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Prettypigpig's belated pics loaded wedding planning journal- Saves & Splurges, DIY...etc

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#1 prettypigpig

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    Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:48 AM

    Hi ladies,

    I got married on July 4th, so as the tradition of BDW, I post my planning thread.  HUGE Thx to BDW! Without this website, I don’t think I would have so much inspiration and fun in my wedding planning process.  Special thx to Nicola for her 2011 Brides thread, to Ginger1961 for being my wedding dress drama partner in crime and Jessica from the Royal PDC Brides thread! Merci Beaucoup!


    How we met?!

    We met in our GMAT prep class, I went to do my MBA after that, but he didn’t.  However, he said that $300 tuition fee was the best investment he ever made, because now he can have a MBA CFA FRM wife!  More details can be found on our wedding website: IMG_1545.JPG



    Even I knew I was getting my ring, I still insisted that ..he has to do a surprise proposal. (oh yes, I am difficult and demanding!)  So he was hinting on and on..it will be xmas/new year proposal…then his b-day (in November) came..and he proposed on his b-day with a custom made cake.  I had no clue that he would propose on his b-day…with his b-day cake! LOL




    Why Destination Wedding?

    Like I mentioned on another thread, there are several reasons.

    1. I always want to get married on a beach, and in Montreal, there isn’t any good ones.
    2. Cost control; I don’t want to share a big meal with a large group of strangers, plus a few of them would bring their whole family and give me a cheap toaster as a gift.
    3. I don’t like other people’s kids, so an Adult Only resort is a nice way to hint.
    4. We have family and friends from all the continents, so a DW is a nice way to compromise.
    5. I want smth different, a DW is very different from a traditional chinese wedding or a local wedding in a church or next to a lake.


    Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

    #2 futuremrstgun

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      Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:59 AM

      love your ring..and the proposal is SUPER cute...would love to see pics of your 7/4 wedding...


      have you posted those yet??



      #3 brendee2005

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        Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:59 AM

        beautiful ring & sweet proposal! Congratulations on your marriage :)


        #4 prettypigpig

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          Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:58 AM

          OK…enough of BS..now let’s jump into the details.

          Location: The Royal Playa Del Carmen


          One of the best in the area, and very nicely located (right off the 5th Ave)! Adult only resort with a sister hotel that can take kids and people with a constrained budget.

          The location is hard to beat as guests can go on 5th Avenue by foot everyday, so they don't need to pay cab or feel trap in the resort for days.  There are also a Mega and a Walmart near the resort, so people don't have to get robbed by the resort when they need some medications and other essential items.

          The resort has 7 restos, again ...due to the fact that I am a picky eater, I need to pick a resort with very very good food and huge variety as well.

          I picked the free wedding package and got married on a Monday to avoid all the "extra" fees.  I compared all the package available on an Excel spreadsheet, and came to the conclusion that...it is cheaper to go for a Mastersuite (a pricier and bigger room with perks)and get the free wedding (saved $400 of minister fees).  The resort charges extra if you want to get married on the weekend days ($400 extra), but since none of our guests needed to work during the weekdays there anyway, it was ok to get married on a Monday...lol

          The resort Spa is also top notch, I did my mani, pedi, hair and makeup there.  I was very pleased with the resort and glad that I didn't spend $350 on vendor fees + $400 on trial and makeup/hair on an external makeup artist. 


          WC: Claudy Che (email), Zulma  (on-site)

          I met Zulma during my site inspection, and she was very kind and helpful.  I saw 2 brides thx her in her office!  Claudy too, has been amazing, always fast email response, and answer all my questions.  On my wedding day, I had a bridezilla moment, as I was afraid that it was going to rain...Zulma and Captain Joquin done the impossible, and moved the WHOLE thing indoor within 30 min.  It didn't rain at the end, but it was a good decision...as no one wanted to have a nervous bride checking the sky every 30 seconds!  Zulma followed my instructions on decor, music...etc, and everything went according to plan!


          Photog: Cecilia Dumas, Sascha Gluck, Ivan Luckie

          Ok…ok..why 3 different photog,  initially I really like Cecilia’s romantic style, but my FI wants smth more sharp and journalistic.  Therefore, we went with Cecilia for my e-session pics during our site inspection stay.  She is super cool and easy going, very creative and reasonably priced.


          We booked Sascha for our big day plus next day TTD, and Ivan for underwater TTD. (I am still waiting for the pro pics, the pic below is what Sascha posted on his Facebook)

          ring exchange.jpg

          Videographer: Alexandre Michaud

          He is a good friend of mine who makes indie movies.  My hubby wanted do a "Reservoir Dogs" style shot with his boys, so..I asked my friend for help! Lucky me!


          Wedding website

          I picked ewedding.com, their templates are nice, easy to use, and fully customizable!  Except my guests are not that tech oriented! oh well...at least I will get a dvd as a keepsake.


          Save the Date

          Paper airplane STD, I saw it in a Martha Stewart Wedding mag, and went download it from their website.

          I bought a pack of cardstock from Walmart, printed them on laser printer, add the little blue rhinestones...et voila!

          save the date.jpg


          I always want passport/boarding passes invites! but the cost of ordering them is a bit too much, especially I needed them to be bilingual (in french and english).  Therefore again...I went DIY.

          First, I got my monogram designed by Rebecca from Allurements by Rebecca. $10

          then...downloaded free templates (both the passport and boarding pass) from Ashlee $0, edited them on Adobe photoshop.

          Ordered the aqua metallic cardstock papers and matching enveloppes from IMG_1684.JPGIMG_1686.JPGIMG_1685.JPGIMG_1694.JPGIMG_1691.JPG



          Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

          #5 prettypigpig

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            Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:51 AM

            OK...Part 3...Sorry Girls..I am very detailed oriented..and afraid that there is a limit per post...so I chopped it in parts..LOL

            My Dresses & Shoes + Misc...

            Dress: I ordered my dress, a mermaid with A-line overlay with an ethereal feel from Babyonline at Dhgate, my own design and fully custom made (no need to alter) $175

            Veil: My something borrowed, I borrowed it from a good friend who got married last year, she got it from Ebay (she paid $40) $0

            Hair flower: yes, I refused to pay big bucks for a hairpiece! I bought it from Forever XXI $7

            Necklace: It has an vintage feel, from Forever XXI $9

            Earrings: Pear shape rhinestones from Winners (like Marshall in USA) $20

            (I don't wear any blings except my rings when I work/ during normal days, so it is a bit unnecessary to splurge on blings just for 1 day, and not that the guests would care...anyway)

            Diamond gold bangle: a heirloom bling from my hubby's family (a gift from my FIL), I weared it as my something old. $0

            Shoes: My weak spot! They were my first purchase during this whole planning process, ordered from Zappos, white sandals with charms around the ankles, Marc by Marc Jacob. $380

            wedding 1.jpgMiscPics092.jpg



            BM Dress

            I only have my 2 sisters as my BMs, they are also super skinny, also several trials...I found them the R&W dress for special occasions. nice cut, and they can re-wear the dress for other occasions. I initially bought one for my rehearsal dinner, then that turn into the BM dress. $98

            BM dress.jpg



            I refused to have a plain rose bouquet, thus my bouquet has pink peonies, pink orchids, pink ranunculus, and green berries

            I ordered it from Marvin, I also got BM rose bouquets, rose corsages for my MIL and grannie, 3 large orchids for MIL's hair (those orchids lasted the whole week!).  Price was very reasonable, and much better than the resort's price.  This pic was taken on the day after my wedding and after a whole day of TTD, the bouquet was still in a decent shape!



            Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

            #6 JayKay

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            • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
            • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
            • LocationSouthern Alberta

            Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:42 AM

            Everything looks great so far!!!

            #7 redginger

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              Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:03 AM

              Congrats Bonnie...you looked gorgeous in your wedding dress. Your comment about other people's kids made me laugh   I loved the paper airplane STD...how original!

              #8 prettypigpig

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                Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:49 AM

                Ok..after a lunch and a few beers...PART 4!


                The Boys outfits

                Since most of the boys are pretty hairy and July's weather is pretty humid and hot, I found suits and long pants are not very "human" for hairy boys when it is like 35C outside.

                I was planning to order linen shirts and pants from that $99/suit Indian site that most of the brides used on this forum, but they were too busy with their existing orders.  Thus, I went to OLD NAVY, got the linen shirts $25 each and the shorts $23 each and silver flip flops $1 each pair (initially I planned a beach reception).  It added up pretty quick because I got 6 boys + 1 man!  My hubby's shirt was from OLD NAVY $25 also and the pants were from GAP $60.



                The boutonnieres

                OK, I had no problem of paying $20 per each rose boutonniere, but seriously, none of the boys really care, and pretty sure ...they would think..meh~ and it would be in the trash can the next day.

                I found these starfish bouts on Esty star.jpg


                MIL's outfit

                Yes, I also plan her outfit too, she trusts my taste and was super nervous as my FIL was bringing his gf to the wedding as well (yes, my hubby's parents divorced 15 yrs ago, and it was very DRAMA).  So, she wanted to look absolutely STUNNING!!!

                Her dress was from David's Bridal, empire waist chiffon dress in cornflower (very blue) to go with my color theme $99.  Canadian brides, watch out for the duties and taxes when you order from Davids!  Her black pearl necklace is a gift from me, it was given by my ex bf, more than 200+ carats natural black pearls, it was too heavy for me, so I weared it once for like 30 mins. LOL I love the art of re-gifting! Her previous surgeries (due to cancer) left some scars around her neck, and that fat necklace hide them perfectly!  Plus she got plenty of compliments, and was MUCH hotter than my FIL's gf! LOL



                Another pics of the boys and girls




                Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

                #9 prettypigpig

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                  Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:47 PM

                  Part 5



                  I've done an un-scientific survey on centrepieces, I asked different people (race, gender, age) rather they remember the centrepiece composition of a reception that I previously attended with them...the result was pretty amazing.  Some people remembers the food's portion was too small, the cake was too sweet, the location was too hot...etc...but none of them remember the centrepiece, except the bride who actually planned the whole reception.


                  Thus, unless your budget is "unlimited", centrepieces, which can cost up to $200 each, can be a "save".  No many people would remember it anyway.

                  My centrepiece is a voltive vase from Bowring (like Crate & Barrel in USA) $12 each, water absorbing Jelly beans $2 (enough for 3 vases), water activated LED light ice cube $5 per dozen on Ebay, Seashells 2 for $1 from Dollarama, diamond confettis $4 on Ebay, Mirror base $4 each at Essence du Papier, starfish candle $10 for a box of 3 from Essence du Papier.  Total comes to less than $25 each.



                  I got a lot of compliments as it was pretty original and DW theme.  This pic was take on the day after the wedding, I am sure my photog got better pics than this one. lol


                  Gift/Favors- Shot glass with mini Tequila


                  I ordered personalized shot glasses from Ebay, approx.$130 for 100 including taxes and duties.





                  Initially, I bought large sand dollars for placecards, but due to the postmen's strike, they didn't make it on time!!! Argh! 

                  I will send them as thx gift to the guest as a souvenir instead of placement card. 

                  To Canadian Bride, you girls can buy large sand dollars from Ebay, and order extra! They are super fragile!!






                  So...my Plan B for placecard was a tag glued to a seashell (yes, I brought my glue gun to Mexico!)



                  Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

                  #10 prettypigpig

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                    Posted 17 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

                    Part 6-Misc items- I am sure I missed smth...oh well..I will add as I remember the details...Enjoy!


                    OOT bags:  I didn't bring any, but will send out thx packages to all the guests.

                    Reasons:  The Royal PDC offers all the common OOT items by default in every room, including chips, juices, anti-bacterian gel for hands.  I also had a nurse, a translator, a lawyer and a doctor as my guests..so there was no need to give free Imodium or Spanish 4 dummies to every guest.  Most of our guests hang out in our suite and played poker at night, shopping and tanned during the day.


                    Thankyou package will include koozies, sand dollar, re-usable bag, printed pro pics of my wedding (older generation LOVES actual prints!)


                    Kiss shakers:  Nothing original, but guests loved it.



                    Fireworks and DJ: Doremix


                    My hubby is a music lover, and by hiring a DJ, it freed him from.."ipoding" the whole night!  I wanted the cold fireworks.

                    It worths every penny!  Doremix is amazing and professional.



                    Lucky lanterns: In lieu of bouquet tossing, I put a ring inside of a lantern and each "single/available" lady guest picks one, the one who picked the lantern with a ring inside is the next lucky lady.  Ladies loved the idea, as it is passive, none aggressive, and pretty original...not to mention they can keep the little lantern after.  I loved it, because I HATED bouquet snatching (some chicks look so...desperated), and I needed to keep my bouquet for TTD sessions.



                    Polaroid camera for guestbook: My guestbook is a polaroid album.  I bought a board so guests can write their msg/wishes and take a polaroid pics.  It kept the guests busy between the ceremony and the reception.  The boys loved it.  The older generation also loved it, as they can take some pics home instead of waiting for the email...and as someone else to print them out! LOL



                    Married to Mr. El Khaiat on July 4th, 2011 @ Royal Playa Del Carmen

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