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aholen

Crazy long planning thread loaded with pics and templates!

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Hi Girls! We just returned from our fabulous trip to Cancun where we were married June 12 at the Moon Palace Resort. I didnâ€t have time to put this together before the wedding, but here it is now!

 

Before I begin, Iâ€d like to say how much I appreciate all of you ladies for posting all your fantastic ideas, templates, and pics. Most of what we used for the wedding came from all of you, so THANK YOU!

 

So without further ado, here you go!

 

How We Met:

We were matched on eHarmony on April 1, 2008. You could say, we "clicked" right away. After moving through the introductory steps online, we met in person for the first time on May 3 at the Med in Boulder. There was a wait to get a table, so we took a stroll along Pearl street, where a woman begging for change turned out to be a prophet. She told us within the first five minutes of our meeting that we were a cute "couple." 

All throughout dinner, I wasn't sure if Erich was having a good time, as he was extremely quiet. Those in the know realize this is normal. It wasn't until Erich reached for the check at the end of the meal and suggested that they get drinks at the Rio that I realized he might be interested after all.

 

Drinks at the Rio moved to air hockey at the Catacombs, to drinks again at Trilogy. The date only ended when everything in Boulder was closed. Our first date lasted over 7 hours, and the rest, is history!

 

1010_AnnaErich_0206.jpg?random=130117518

 

 

Our Engagement:

As a dating anniversary gift to me, Erich scheduled a wine train trip to Grand Junction over the last weekend in July. We took the train from Denver to Grand Junction on Friday and spent the day Saturday wine tasting.

Unbeknownst to me, Erich had made reservations before we left at a very nice restaurant (called The Winery) in downtown Grand Junction for Saturday night (highly suspect) and brought along his big, nice camera (also unusual). We had a wonderful dinner, during which he looked rather nervous, and although I had my toes secretly crossed all through dinner and dessert, nothing happened.

 

He then suggested we go for a walk after dinner, but alas, it was pouring rain, so we ran to the car. When we got back to the hotel, after I had decided that I was misreading him, he proposed! Howâ€s that for an anniversary gift?

IMG_13381.jpg?random=170677640

 

 

Save the Dates

Our Save the Dates were sent out pretty quickly. We actually decided to go digital with these, as invitations were coming soon after. I made a photo slide show using Animoto.com. It came out awesome!

 

Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg0WWGEwsIk

 

 

The Resort:

We chose the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun for our wedding for several reasons:

 

  1. It is highly rated
  2. It is large and has lots of activities so guests never need to leave the resort if they donâ€t want to.
  3. They were running a promotion that gave guests “Palace Dollars†to spend in the salon, on excursions, etc. (Not as easy to spend as I had hoped…see my review for more details on that!)
  4. They have great wedding packages.
  5. They have large gazebos that would allow all of our guests to be in the shade for the ceremony.

The resort was wonderful, though the wedding department did leave something to be desired. Poor communication and other snafuâ€s (such as they lost my wedding dress for 2 days and didnâ€t find it until the morning of the wedding!) caused us much stress. The ceremony, however, and all private events were fabulous in the end.

 

 

One of their many errors was in our room assignment. We had wanted a Concierge level room with the extra amenities such as a private section of the beach, etc. Alas, this level of room is only in one of their sections, and we had wanted all of our guests to be together. Originally they said no problem, later they had us totally separated from everyone else. Anyway, long story short, they made it up to us by allowing us to change room categories and guaranteeing the room upgrade that was part of our wedding promotional package (normally this is based on availability). So we got a 1 bedroom presidential suite for the price of an ocean front room—cheaper than concierge and WAY better!

 

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The Dress:

It took me forever to decide on a dress. Ladies, I highly recommend you start any weight loss you plan to do long before you go dress shopping!!!

 

In the end though, I LOVED my dress.

 

Angelina Bridal 904 from Felice in Denver:

 

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Matron of Honor Dress:

 

bridesmaid12.jpg

 

 

Welcome Dinner Dress:

 

6576_front.jpg

 

More to follow...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shoes:

From Dillards, only $40 by Michele D. I needed something with a 2†or lower heel, partly because Iâ€m already 5â€10â€, partly because my feet hurt in anything more. These were so comfy I also bought them in black!

 

Shoes.jpg

 

 

Jewelry:

I wanted to wear Amber jewelry to reflect my Polish heritage. I found the perfect set online at The Russian Store, and it even took care of my something blue! Unfortunately, I forgot the earrings at home! Luckily, I had little amber studs with me though, so it was fine.

 

Amber necklace.jpgAmber Bracelet.jpgAmber earrings.jpg

 

 

The Rings:

When Erich proposed, he gave me a solitaire ring so I could pick my setting. I chose:

Engagement Ring 2.JPG

 

 

I thought this would be easy to find a band for. Not so! We finally had one custom made based on a ring I had seen in Boulder:

 

Ring.jpg

 

 

We had it made at Kayâ€s for half the price of all the other jewelry stores in the area. Even better, Kayâ€s required a $500 deposit, but you could hae it back if you didnâ€t like their design in wax. Every other jewelry store we talked to keeps that deposit if they canâ€t make you happy. Kays did a great job!

 

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We found Erichâ€s ring a t a jewelry boutique in Boulder. The center color is actualy meteor rock! Super cool! The ring is by Chris Ploof.

 

Erichs Ring.jpg

 

 

I found lots of amazing stuff on Etsy for the wedding!

 

From AmoreBride - My bouquets & bouts.

Inspiration pic: 

Bouquet.jpg

 

And final products:

 

Bridal Bouquet 3.jpgMOH2.jpgBoutoniere.jpg

 

 

Bouquet Charm from YourCharmedWedding (crystal and ribbon color are customizable):

 

Bouquet Charm.jpg

 

 

Bouquet Charm from YourCharmedWedding (crystal and ribbon color are customizable):

Hair Flower 1.jpgHair Flower 2.jpg

 

 

Passport Invites from SproullieDesigns:

Invite1.pngInvite2blacked out.pngInvite3.pngInvite4blacked out.png

 

 

 

Ring Dish Inspriation by LoveStoryCreations (I actually made the one pictured below):

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Self-inking address stamp from Foryoo. Not pictured since when I blur out the last name and address, there isn't much left to admire! But trust me, it's awesome!

 

Wedding programs I created based on all the fabulous ideas on this site. If you or someone you know is big into Scrapbooking, this can be done pretty easily, it just takes time. Luckily, my neighbor is a huge scapbooker, which saved me literally $100s on tools!:

 

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Here's the template I created/borrowed for these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wedding Brochure was also created from the inspirational ideas on this site:

 

Brochure1.pngBrochure2.png

 

And the template:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooh! Getting late! More tomorrow!

 

Fan for posting.pub

Welcome Brochure Otto post.pub

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I am so glad your dress was found.  I couldn't even begin to imagine that.  I look forward to hearing about the rest.  Congratulations on being a Mrs

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Gift Bags for Guests

We put together gift bags for our guests with personalized and other items we thought they might find handy.

 

We purchased drawstring backpacks and Stainless Steel water bottles from 4allpromos.com for each of our guests with our wedding logo and the words “Cancun, Mexico 6.12.11†printed on each bag. We decided not to put our names on these so that guests would be more likely to use them in the future. These were a HUGE hit, and even better, the bags were cheaper than if I had bought paper gift bags for each guest! One thing I learned was to check out prices for the number I wanted, and for the next minimum above that, as prices often drop significantly. In some cases, we ordered 20 or more extra for less money as a result!

 

We also purchased shot classes (one per family) from Discount Mugs. I collect shot glasses from every place I travel, so this seemed fitting. We did put out names on these.

 

Other things we included:

SPF chapstick (From Target $1/ea.)

Game books for rainy days from the dollar store

Kid level game books for families with kids as well as a few crayons.

A deck of cards from Oriental Trading

Hand sanitizer (Forgot to photograph that!)

A postcard with photo sharing info made on Vistaprint.

 

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I also created a resort scavenger hunt for guests in the hopes of helping them become familiar with the huge resort, which was included in the bag. Only about 3 families participated, but at least it gave people an idea of WHAT was there, even if they didnâ€t play to find it all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding guest Bingo:

During our welcome dinner, we had our guests play wedding guest bingo to help them mingle and get to know each other. As with most get-to-know you games, people thought it was lame for the first 30 seconds, then really got into it and saw the value. We even had one guest keep playing even after the winners were announced, she was so into it! All the items are based on things about us, which also made it fun for guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Girl Basket:

We didnâ€t want to haul a basket to Cancun, so I figured I would pick one up with the other odds and ends when we got there. I decided to get this Sombrero instead (about $12). It worked out great. The color matched our wedding colors, and accidentally, the flower girls dress, which she chose on her own!

 

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Guestbook

We also decided we wanted guest to write out wishes for us, but didnâ€t want a regular guestbook. So we decided to have guests write on postcards for us, which we will put into an album. This is super handy too for when we do an AHR. We had guests in Cancun sign Cancun postcards, and AHR guest will do CO postcards. I had a few girls fly in for my bachelorette party as well, so they did Denver postcards & others did Vegas ones. 

 

Cake Topper

I had a hard time finding a cake topper I liked. I wanted one that was quirky and reflected how we met. I decided to have my other cousin, who makes wedding cakes for a living, make it for us. Sheâ€s amazing by the way, so if you live in Michigan, look her up! http://a2cakes.tumblr.com/ Inspiration pic (I did not  like the one of the bride dragging the groom though!):

 

Cake Topper Inspiration.png

 

The topper she made:

 

Cake Topper.png

 

 

Hair

My inspiration pics:

Hair, Bride, Curly, Low-do, Orchishair.jpgModel Bride Hair Extensions

 

 

And final product (Sorry, I don't have better pics yet!):

 

Hair1.pngHair2.png

 

 

Suit

We got Erichâ€s Suit at JosBanks

http://www.josbank.com/menswear/shop/Product_11001_10050_102403

They were having a buy one, get one free sale, so we got his Best Manâ€s suit as well, which doubled as his gift as well.

 

Suit.png

 

 

Ties

I wanted ties for the boys that coordinated, but I wanted my fianceâ€s to be a different color. I found the perfect solution at Dillardâ€s:

P6060081.JPG

 

 

Sand Ceremony Frame

We purchased this from ForeverFrame (www.theforeverframe.com). Absolutely love the final product! If you buy one from them though, keep in mind that the sand vessels they sell donâ€t hold all the sand you buy from them. We filled up the vessels for the ceremony and did our thing, then put in the stopper that is supposed to keep the sand from shifting…and the sand didnâ€t reach the top. It shifted lots. We will have to buy more sand and redo it. Ah well! Totally worth it still! We had our wedding symbol engraved on the wood along with some text. Didnâ€t get a good photo of it yet though!

 

Hereâ€s a sample from their website:

 

wedding3.jpg

 

 

Maracas

I bought Maracas in Cancun to use with the table “numbers†and of course we did that whole “Shake for the kiss†thing. We went to Market 28 to buy the Maracas. The male vendors were awful. Lewd, crude, and rude! The first guy we talked to was not exactly a wiz with a calculator either! After much button pushing, he wanted $1200 for 56 maracas. Lol. We searched on and finally found a girl with lots to sell who gave them to us for 700 pesos, or about $70. 

 

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Photo Booth Props

I loved the idea of doing a photo booth, but didnâ€t want to pay the big bucks to rend one. So we took down our tripod and good camera, and set it up on a timer. Our Canon can actually do several pics in a row with a second delay between using the timer, so that makes for some great shots! I used pictures off the Internet and Etsy to inspire me and created most of the props, then hit the dollar store for the rest. We made them with cardstock backing and colored foam from a craft store and thin dowels wrapped in ribbon. They were really fun to make!

 

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Odds and Ends

 

I bought lots of new clothes and swimsuits for the wedding since I lost about 28 lbs. over the last year and nothing fit me anymore. Some fun highlights:

 

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I love the bikini below. Alas, we learned a valuable lesson. COPPERTONE SPORT SPF 50 STAINS anything white yellow!! (Including white soap, ha!)

P6060069.JPG

 

Almost done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scavenger hunt.pub

Wedding Guest bingo.pub

Maracas Post.pub

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More fun clothing purchases:

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This dress is from Victoriaâ€s Secret. I love it, though itâ€s not very forgiving! Think Spanx! I also used double sided tape on the front, and thank goodness I did! It was super windy the day I wore it and you canâ€t wear a bra with this dress…You get the idea…

VS Dress 1.jpgVS Dress 2.jpg

 

 

Websites I couldnâ€t live without during this process:

 

Seating Charts
 www.weddingwire.com has a really easy to use seating chart maker that lets you make your table sizes, arrange guests, etc.

Keeping track of photos I liked for inspiration
 vi.sualize.us   The absolute best way to keep track of inspiration pics!

Keeping track of websites
www.delicious .com  I love this bookmarking tool! You create an account and save websites that you can then access from any computer.

Ideas
www.etsy.com, www. Brides.com, http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/, and of course, this one!!

Wedding Website
 www.weddingwindow.com  Lots of great features and templates!!

Weightloss
www.weightwatchers.com. Worth every penny!!! So easy to lose weight with this if you stick to it! I lost over 25 lbs!

Photo Sharing
www.yogile.com  For $25 a year, you can purchase an account with unlimited storage for a year. Guests can easily upload and download FULL RESOLUTION photos WITHOUT CREATING AN ACCOUNT! Super cool for photo sharing!

Travel Journal
I wanted to keep track of our travels and found a great website to do so: www.offexploring.com You can blog what you do, upload photos and videos, pinpoint where you are on a map, etc. You can then create a book with all that info after you get home!

Wedding Album
I refuse to pay $400+ for a wedding album I can make myself with minimal effort for about $40. Check out Mixbook.com. Itâ€s my favorite site for this! Lots of great templates as well as control over the layout. Books come out great! We made an engagement book with this. You can also make guest books with it. Super cool!

 

 

Alright ladies! That's everything!!

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You looked beautiful on your wedding day! Thanks for sharing, everything looks great!

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