Planning Thread â€“ Part 4
Ceremony & Reception
- The Ceremony in Mexico
- Time: 4:30pm
We will be taking our photos mostly BEFORE the ceremony. With the sun setting so early in November (5:10pm on my date), I didnâ€™t want to have a ceremony early (so we could take pictures after the ceremony but before sunset) because then our guests would have to entertain themselves before the reception in the evening. So I went with a ceremony just before sunset which means my fianc© and I will have to take pictures before the ceremony. So I plan on a staged â€œfirst lookâ€ and then photos around the resort. Since I am bringing a photographer from the US, I plan on doing a walkthrough of the resort the day before to pick all of the locations.
- Card for fianc©
We decided to not give each other gifts (we have agreements for holidays and birthdays about not giving gifts and just paying for an experience â€“ like a trip), but I said I did want to give each other cards. Here is the picture of our dog that I turned into a folded card so I could write a message to him. BTW â€“ my fianc© is IN LOVE with his dog.
The Dreams Cancun gazebo overlooking the water.
Here is the inspiration picture (from a file provided by the resort) that I am asking be used for my bouquet, my sisterâ€™s bouquet, the gazebo flowers, and the centerpieces. We will see what I end up getting!!! I think my color scheme of the two â€œneutralâ€ blues should allow for bold/colorful flowers.
- Programs w/ bubbles
The programs were another DIY project made with leftover blue card stock (so glad we ordered the 100-pack, saved us A LOT of money) and navy blue ribbon from the invites. I only needed to buy extra white card stock and vellum.
I determined I needed 5 songs to play during seating (to take up about 15 minutes), starting more upbeat and getting more serious:
- â€œMarry Youâ€ by Bruno Mars
- â€œThe Way I amâ€ by Ingrid Michaelson
- â€œThe Best is Yet to Comeâ€ by Michael Buble (fianc© is a HUGE Buble fan)
- â€œStay With Youâ€ by John Legend
- â€œMemories of Usâ€ by Keith Urban
For the ceremony we chose:
- Processional (mothers, flower girls, & MOH): â€œEverythingâ€ by Michael Buble
- Brideâ€™s Entrance: â€œMarry Meâ€ by Train
- Recessional: â€œEverlasting Loveâ€ by Natalie Cole
My fianc© is also in love with Michael Buble (fianceâ€™s man crush), so there will be a lot of Buble played during the ceremony and the reception.
- Ceremony Verbiage
I have to say that I pieced together our ceremony verbiage from the other brides on BDW (with input from my fianc© of course). We are including two readings and a sand ceremony. Attached is a word file with our ceremony:
- Sand Ceremony Set
I wanted a sand ceremony container that I could display after the wedding, so I chose the engraved frame from:
- Flower girl pails & ring bearer stuffed animal
We are using metal pails with starfish tied on with ribbon for the flower girls and a stuffed animal that looks a bit like our dog for the ring bearer â€œpillowâ€.
- The Cocktail Hour
The best part about the cocktail hour is that because we will take most of the pictures before the ceremony, Paul & I will actually get to attend part of the cocktail hour â€“ woohoo!
At Dreams Cancun, the cocktail hour is set typically up on the terrace behind the wedding gazebo.
- Hors dâ€™oeuvres
I believe we will be served 4 hot and 4 cold appetizers:
(hot) tempura shrimp satay, flower zucchini crepes, quiche Lorraine, and beef roll stuffed with vegetables
(cold) salmon rose with egg and olives, melon pearls with prosciutto, shrimp timbale Caribbean style with avocado and cream cheese, and 3 cheese marble chess
- Music (Mexican Trio)
Part of the package is a 45-minute set from a Mexican Trio. I canâ€™t wait to take pictures with these guys!
- Guest Book
I made the guest book on shutterfly using our engagement pictures. I knew I would never open a traditional guest book with just lines and signatures after the wedding. Also I didnâ€™t want anyone to have to be in charge of a Polaroid guestbook. So I settled on a photo book with space around the pictures to write messages.
Shutterfly: $27.99 (it was on sale) + $1.60 for extra pages = $29.59 + $0 S/H (I had a coupon code) + tax, total = $31.87
- The Reception
- Location / Food
The reception should be located on the beach (fingers crossed for good weather). The food will be a plated meal and as of now we are planning to have:
Salad: Organic Garden Salad with lime & honey vinaigrette dressing, gorgonzola cheese, nuts, and grapefruit
Soup: Lobster bisque with a cheese bruschetta
Entr©e: Steak, shrimp, and fish with gratin potatoes and steamed vegetables
Dessert: Chocolate Napolen and wedding cake
- Shoes Optional Sign
I designed the following on Vistaprint and waited for a free lawn sign email: Free + $2.99 for metal stand + $8.99 S/H (though less when combining with other items) = $12
I also bought a beach mat (natural weave with light blue border) for $3 at Five Below, total of ~$15
- Cake & Cake Topper
So the resort includes a cake in the package, but I know I will want to upgrade to a 2 or 3-tier cake. All of the brides from Dreams Cancun say you donâ€™t need a bigger cake as everyone fills up on the dessert included in the meal, but I really want a pretty cake! I have dreamed of a big cake so I am going to have it gosh darn it! (this is what I have told my fianc© and he has learned not to ask) I am not sure what I will end up with yet (I will see what the wedding coordinator says they can do well), but here is the cake topper I had madeâ€¦it is from ebay seller saller_mickey2008. I paid a total of $149.25 including shipping. (it was $10 extra for the dog) I know that almost $150 is a lot for a cake topper, but it is a surprise for my fianc© since he will be sad the dog canâ€™t be in Mexico. Also, I plan on displaying the cake topper next to our sand ceremony frame after the wedding.
- Centerpieces and other table decorations
I decided to take the easy (yet expensive) route on this one and just order my centerpieces through the resort. I expect them to cost about $73 each. This way I wonâ€™t have to worry about a design, or carrying extra luggage, or hoping they get set up properly. I will take table runners (light blue to match the chair sashes) and loose starfish and shells from Oriental Trading Company to put around the vase of flowers. Also on the table will be navy blue napkins to help give the table more color.
- Escort Cards/Table Numbers
I decided to continue the Asian heritage theme by placing a small frame with a Chinese character on each table (with English translation) as the table numbers. I chose the following characters: double happiness, family, love, and friends. I wanted to tie the escort cards to a starfish but decided it wasnâ€™t worth the effort/money so I just used glued on a starfish punch.
My finace and I plan on heading to a nearby market area to pick up local maracas once we get to Cancun. This is a bit risky as there is no guarantee we will find any. We decided to not purchase them online ahead of time because we want them to be authentic favors from Mexico, as well as not having to worry about them being damaged in transit. We made the following tags to tie to each maraca:
- Music (special songs)
Group Arrival: â€œCelebrationâ€ by Kool & The Gang (as we will be at the cocktail hour and then walking to the reception with everyone, there is no need for the traditional introduction)
First dance: â€œMe and Youâ€ by Kenny Chesney
Father/Daughter dance: â€œI Loved her Firstâ€, by Heartland
Mother/Son dance: â€œBecause You Loved Meâ€ by Celine Dion
Cake Cutting: â€œHow Sweet It Isâ€ by Michael Buble
Bouquet / Garter: â€œKissâ€ by Prince
- DJ / dance floor
The DJ is being provided through the resort and I plan on paying extra for the light-up dance floor.
The maracas will serve as one favor. As my fianc© and I are huge dog lovers, we will also have cards that say money has been donated in their name to the local SPCA.
To be continued...