Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

MJKH Riviera Maya Wedding Planning Journal ~ Lots of Pictures!

Recommended Posts

I want to start by saying that the last 16 months have been the most fun, exciting, stressful, creative, exhausting yet invigorating months of my life...I'm sure most of you can relate! : )


Thank you all for the opportunity to vent, share and laugh here on BDW...I have truly been (and continue to be) inspired.


This is our story...


Janelle & Todd

Riviera Maya, Mexico





It was the first weekend of October, 2008 and I was helping a friend with her wedding. A couple of weeks prior she "planted a seed"...that maybe her cousin (Todd) and I might hit it off. He loved to travel, was a foodie, an avid reader...more of an intellectual than a jock (which suited me just fine). She and Todd weren't overly close (at the time)...there is a 13 year age difference between them...in fact, she wasn't sure if he was in a relationship or not at that point!


Anyway, it was my job to hang out at her house and wait for their guests to arrive from the church the night of the rehearsal dinner. The doorbell rings, this incredibly stunning man walks in, introduces himself as "Todd" and honestly, I saw stars. It was hard for me to make eye contact with him the whole night, I was so excited. We chatted a bit the next day at the wedding ceremony and reception...and I spent most of the next morning (gift opening) at the kitchen sink with his mother, washing dishes! 


Let's just say I took the bull by the horns...I was not prepared to let this one get away!!! I got his work e-mail address (the only one my cousin had) and spent an hour composing a four sentence e-mail, that basically said he was the one person at the wedding that I wished I had been able to spend more time with. I hit "send" and waited...all of 15 minutes!!! He replied that he was, at that moment, sitting at his desk, trying to get the nerve to call up his cousin (my friend) for my contact info. The rest is history...I think we just always knew that we would be together forever. It is easy to be with him, to share a space and travel the world together...in my dreams I could not have imagined having a relationship with a man as honest, open and loving...there was no question we would be married.


But...we are both very private and practical and never really saw ourselves having a big wedding. Neither of us had been married before but he did have a teenage daughter from a previous relationship. We moved in together after about 18 months of dating and that's when our parents started saying things like "there's money set aside for a wedding" and "we just want to see you married!" So, on our second trip to the Riviera Maya in January, 2011 (@ Dreams Tulum), we decided what we wanted was a destination wedding...to ask friends and family (none of whom had been to Mexico before) to step outside of their comfort zone and travel with us back to the Riviera Maya in February, 2012! 






Engagement Photo/Third Anniversary 




I won't go into a lot of details about our wedding week kits...if you'd like more information, here is the link to my thread:




But for a bargain shopper like me, they were so much fun to do and our guests are still talking about them! If you plan to do welcome/oot bags, start early and look for deals towards the end of the summer as warm weather items begin to go on clearance.













We selected a local travel agent as many of our guests were 55+ and we thought they would appreciate the opportunity to sit down and speak in person with someone. She specializes in destination weddings and was never afraid to pick up the phone and call the resort/wedding office directly as questions or issues came up.  


We hosted an open house the second Sunday in December so our guests could meet each other, mingle and ask questions. We had a DVD of photos playing from our first two trips to Mexico, with lots of pictures of the resort, surrounding towns, and the excursions we had been on. We distributed our wedding week survival bags, passport covers with information booklets inside and flip-flops. 












The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya was our home for two fabulous weeks this winter. It was quite nostalgic for us as that's where we spent our very first holiday in Mexico two years earlier. We (briefly!) considered somewhere other than Mexico for a DW, but decided the Riviera Maya would be best as we felt comfortable there and knew how to maneuver around. We thought the GSRM would have lots to offer those who just wanted to hang out at the resort for a week plus it was in a great location for those who wanted to get off the resort during the day to sightsee/do excursions. They have a kids club, lazy river, lots of restaurants, activities galore, a fabulous spa and lush jungle/flora all around the resort. My parents saw monkeys sitting in the trees across from their balcony! The GSRM also has two very large open lounge areas with lots of seating for bigger groups to visit at all times of the day or night.  


We purchased the presidential wedding package thru the resort which included this lovely suite for two weeks. Staying at the resort on our own for the week after the wedding was the BEST decision we made!  
















Still to come...decor/attire/photography...and more!










Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I know you are not done, but I just have to say that I was so excited to see your planning thread! I LOVE the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya and am honestly surprised that more brides do not choose to get married there. Looks lovely so far and cannot wait to see more!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, from this preview alone I can tell your wedding must have been absolute incredible!  Congratulations!!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks amazing and love your little survival kit bags.  I am considering a destination wedding.  I am curious, how many people did you invite, and how many were able to join you during your celebration?  I can't wait to see more pictures :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

DITTO!!!  I can't wait to see more.... :)

Originally Posted by tkuzma View Post

Wow, from this preview alone I can tell your wedding must have been absolute incredible!  Congratulations!!!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Best Destination Wedding Sponsors

    Facebook Pinterest Google+ Twitter
  • Posts

    • The cooking method can double the calorie content of a meal, so learn about healthy cooking without having to add extra fats, like using a steamer,  a rotisserie , a slow cooker , a pressure cooker, a grill. Once you cook your own meals, you can control the calorie content because your control the cooking method and all the ingredients. A lot of people are overweight because they keep eating food that they did not cook.
    • I have stayed at Dreams La Romana and Dreams Dominicus.  The two resorts are very different in style and decor. A few comparison points are below and fact sheets are attached for both.   Both resorts are approx 45 minutes from Punta Cana airport, close proximity to Saona Island, Catalina Island and Altos de Chavon. Top championship golf courses in the Caribbean are just minutes away including Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore, The Links and La Estancia – all designed by world-famous Pete Dye. Restaurants are similar at both resorts.  Both offer the Explorers Club for Kids.  Dreams Dominicus  Brand new resort and in 2016 488 rooms (however additional construction was underway) More contemporary style & decor Good beach area Rooms were very nice Preferred Club located in main lobby and adjacent to main pool & beach front Food was good Center plaza area with nighttime entertainment Main lobby is small, but outdoor bar off lobby is nice Dreams La Romana Originally built in 2003 & opened as Dreams La Romana in 2008 756 rooms Recently renovated and new preferred club adults only lounge & pool added  Rooms are more traditional Caribbean decor Grounds are very lush and tropical Good beach area food was good    Dreams Dominicus fact sheet.pdf Dreams La Romana fact sheet.pdf
    • My sister has done it but with the destination wedding, only super close family members and friends came since it was expensive and farther. It was great though.
    • Thanks! I had it printed out. Very useful!!
    • Hello Guys, Are you looking for affordable wedding venue, reception halls, party rentals, outdoor event venue, birthday party venue in mobile al.  Choose Anne-Marie Cottage for your special occasion. Our cottage is an affordable venue for your intimate wedding.   Thank u 
  • Topics