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Joanne’s After the Fact Planning Thread & Review In One -> Long with tons of photos & info

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#1 JoanneIreland

  • Member
  • 860 posts

    Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:00 PM


    Thank You!

    Now I understand why it takes a bride so long to post a planning thread or review ..… things are chaotic when you return home!! Sorry for the delay in posting but better late than never!

    First off, like every bride who’s gone before me I am going to say – “WOW, I can’t believe it’s my turn!!”

    Secondly, thank you to all the brides on this forum for the wonderful advice and ideas, I can’t imagine what I would have done had I not found this website! It really was a life saver, and all the ladies on here seem like truly warm and wonderful people. Thank you to all of you for your advice, guidance, comments and for freely sharing your amazing ideas! I wish all of you long and happy marriages!! CHEERS GIRLS!! Thanks as well to our host Tammy and all the mods.

    A big shout out in particular to my fellow November 2011 brides, especially Courtney, Eun-sil, Taryn, Sarah, Janine and Carrie.  I’ll miss you girls but hope we will continue to stay in touch!



    Our engagement

    In March 2010 we took a holiday to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. On our second night Mike had the hotel staff deliver a dozen red roses to the room :-) I wasn’t suspicious of this at all as he had promised before we left to try and make it a romantic holiday for the two of us. We then went for a lovely meal and all the time I had no idea that a beautiful engagement ring was burning a hole in his pocket! After dinner Mike suggested a romantic walk on the beach (where he planned to pop the big question!), but I kind of spoiled his plans by insisting on going back to the room to change into sweats before going to the beach. When we walked into the hotel room, we found it covered in flower petals, candles, red heart balloons and chilled champagne (Mike had been in touch with the resort before we even left to arrange all this!)  ..... and then Mike took me by the hand and walked me to the balcony where he proceeded to get down on one knee and told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me ….. aw!!
    All I remember is Mike going down on one knee and then not hearing a thing after that!! All Mike remembers is wondering "UUUmmm is she going to say "YES??" .... it seems that all I said for a long time was "Oh My God, Oh My God, etc .... etc ...." !!
    Once I eventually said YES and smothered Mike in kisses, I then proceeded to spend the rest of the night calling family (despite the time difference to Ireland by the way) to share our happy news!! That was one big phone bill, LOL, but totally worth it!!
    We decided to keep the news a secret beyond immediate family until we returned home and could share the news with friends in person. Man was that hard! We both kept our phones switched off, so we wouldn’t have to talk to anyone at home, but proceeded to tell almost every stranger in Mexico that we just got engaged!!






    Engagement Ring

    Mike got  my engagement ring from Barmakian’s Jewelers’ in Boston - Ring1.jpg




    Our Wedding Bands

    My wedding band was made by Barmakian’s to match my E-Ring. I LOVE IT!

    Mike works in construction and decided from the start that he didn’t want an expensive ring as he already believes he will be replacing it many times (LOL) so he picked his ring from Band Joanne.jpegBands both.jpeg







    My FAKE wedding ring set J

    Before we left for Mexico I had my engagement ring cleaned. I didn’t want to wear it on the beach, in the pools, with sunscreen etc…. and get it all dirty before the wedding so we kept our rings in the safe until the wedding and I purchased a fake set on Ebay to wear until we were married! I don’t wear my ring going to bed, in shower, doing housework, going to beach, etc so I actually even used this fake set during the daytime AFTER we were married on her honeymoon, haha!!

    Purchased from RingsOfBeauty on Ebay - Fake Rings.jpeg


    Mike also has a backup ring because his fingers swell at work so we wanted a second one in a bigger size, lol. We got this on Ebay :

    Fake Ring Mike .jpg








    Our Wedding Resort -> Barcel³ Maya Palace, Puerto Aventuras, Riviera Maya, MEXICO

    I’m from Ireland and Mike is American, so the first question was where do we have this wedding? One family is going to have to travel so how do we decide???? Answer : DESTINATION WEDDING and make everyone travel!! We chose The Riviera Maya in Mexico because it will always be close to our hearts as it’s where Mike proposed. During that visit we stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba which we totally loved, but during excursions we stopped at the Barcel³ Maya Palace Deluxe to pick up guests and we really liked the look of it. Googled it when we got home and decided this was the place for us! ArielViewOfHotel.jpg x


    beach.jpg beautiful-beach.jpg


    Hotel.jpg LifeguardChair.jpg




    view.jpg sunbed.jpg






    As mentioned, the resort consists of 5 sections, we along with most of our guests stayed at the Palace, all in the Oaxaca building. The rooms are beautiful, very new, modern and clean. 

    As premium guests of the Palace we had free WIFI, free room service, access to club lounge, unlimited amount of beach towels, etc ....


    HotelRoom3.jpg HotelRoom2.jpg

    bathroom.jpg bath.jpg





    Wedding Coordinator

    Our resort w/c was Lillian Vargas at the Barcel³ Maya whom I can’t say enough good things about!! Love her! I have heard so many horror stories about brides going weeks and weeks without contact from their w/c. I was so lucky and never waited longer than 24 hours for a reply, and she always answered all my questions. Her English was perfect and we had no problems communicating with her. I highly recommend Lillian to any future Barcel³ Maya Brides! A piece of advice to all future destination wedding brides – have faith and trust in your w/c! Had I been able to give up control, the whole planning process would have been so much easier for me. Remember these wonderful w/c’s plan and work on so many weddings, they are pros and have the whole process nailed down. On top of that, when you feel like there are so many details to be ironed out, remember that so long as you know what you want all of the final details will be finalized in your onsite meeting with your w/c when you arrive, so all that stressing ahead of time was totally wasted!






    Wedding Package

    In order to have our reception on the beach we had to go for at least the Strawberry Package, otherwise the reception would be indoors. We didn’t want to travel all that far to have our dinner in a restaurant and thus went with this package as it also included lots of extras we would have booked anyways -> WedSite.png







    Our Save The Date Postcards And Magnets

    We made our own Save The Dates using VistaPrint. We sent a magnet so people could keep a reminder in view, and also a postcard that had more detailed information on the back. Below is a picture of the main magnet, but attached is the link to the complete DIY Project I previously posted on BDW.

    Tip : Sign us for emails on Vistaprint to receive promo links.


    Save the Date Magnet.jpg


    Enclosed Save the Date Postcard FRONT -

    Save the Date Postcard Front.jpg



    Enclosed Save the Date Postcard BACK-

    Save the Date Postcard Back.jpg





    Our DIY Boarding Pass Invitations

    We made our own Boarding Pass Invitations. Below are a couple of pics but attached is my full review with step by step instructions and the template.















    Travel Agent or Going it Alone?

    On our invitations and website we listed a local Travel Agent who we knew via a friend. Only a few people used her though. When booking our own package I got prices from the TA and also compared with every single online travel site including Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Apple Vacations, TNT Vacations etc …… Expedia was by far the better price so we booked round trip flights and 19 nights accommodation for me and hubby for almost $2,000 cheaper than our TA so it was a no-brainer to just go with this option even though I know it would have been nice and would have had perks to having a TA, but the $$ saving was just too good.




    Airline, Check-In, Customs and Hotel Transfer

    Check In : Flew JetBlue from Boston to Cancun. Flight included one bag per person weighing no more than 50lbs. An extra bag under 50 lbs is $35. If you go over 50lbs (literally if you are at 50.5) the charge is $50. If you are between 50-70lbs it’s $75, if you are over 70lbs it is a $100 fee. We had 6 people on same flight with 7 bags so we moved things between bags to have 6 bags under the 50lbs (thus free) and paid $35 for the 7th extra bag. IT’S CHEAPER TO CHECK TWO LIGHTER BAGS RATHER THAN LET ONE BAG GO A POUND OVER!! The night before we weighed all our bags on the bathroom scales so we were well organized before the airport! We also loaded our carry on with the heaviest items. I would suggest using duffel bags that you can pack into each other for the return trip home.

    JetBlue Flight : JetBlue is an all coach cabin, so there was no closet to hang the wedding dress, only option was an overhead compartment. We were traveling with my sister’s 2 year old daughter so were able to board early to get space in overhead compartment. The crew couldn’t care less that we were on our way to our wedding, but it didn’t matter much to us. The nice thing about JetBlue was the free satellite TV and movies, but remember to bring earphones otherwise you have to buy them!

    Mexico Customs : Make sure you have a pen onboard to fill out your paperwork. You will need one tourist card per person and one customs declaration form per family which are handed out by the crew onboard. Once you pick up your baggage you then have to go through customs where every piece of luggage has to go through a scanner. We were carrying suit bags and my wedding dress and the staff there were lovely and asking questions about the wedding, they are obviously used to seeing brides pass through on a regular basis. Once you get past customs walk really FAST and keep your head down until you get outside and find your transfer.

     Airport Transfers : We used USA-Transfers (Morning Outfit 3.JPG Morning Outfit 2.JPG

    Morning Outfit 4.jpg Morning Outfit 1.JPG



    MORE TO COME .........



    #2 JoanneIreland

    • Member
    • 860 posts

      Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:42 PM


      .... Continued .........




      Groom’s Wedding Suit


      When my FI at the time first told me he wanted to wear a full suit my reaction was “ARE YOU MAD??!!” I mean a BLACK  full suit, paired with flipflops? In hot sweaty Mexico? I really thought it would look awful but I think it worked out wonderfully and he looked smoking hot!

      The suit was purchased from JC Penny and the white shirt, tie and handkerchief from Men’s Warehouse.

      Mike’s flip flops are from Old Navy. As I had something on the bottom of my shoes, I felt Mike should have the same so I got him “HE” for one flip flop, and “LP!” for the other (HELP!), got good laughs from this!!

      Mikes Suit 2.jpg








      Wedding Party Attire

      • Best Man, Father of Groom, and Father of Bride wore the same as groom without the jacket (again from JC Penny) but with yellow ties to match bridesmaid (purchased from Men’s Warehouse), and I think they all look so handsome. We picked up all the guys flip flops at Old Navy and the belts from Perry Ellis.


      • Maid of honor :  My beautiful Maid of Honor’s (my sister) dress was purchased from David’s Bridal, style number F12732 in color Canary for $150. Purchased the matching flip flops for $15.50 also from David’s Bridal. I absolutely adore everything about how she looked, and was so proud of my little sis, she looked so gorgeous!!


      • Flower Girl : For our flowergirl, our 2 year old niece Belle, we purchased this white dress from Target. Can you believe this was only $20???? It was by far the best deal of our entire wedding!! We then added a matching canary yellow sash from David’s Bridal for $10. Belle’s shoes were also purchased from David’s Bridal (sorry, can’t remember how much they cost, but think they were $30) and I added 2 canary yellow flowers also from David’s bridal ($11 for the two).

      Mike & Matt 1.jpg


      Mike and Matt 2.jpg


      The Dads.jpg


      Belle's Dress.jpg


      Michelle & Belle 2.jpegMichelle & Belle 2.jpeg mum 2.JPG






      Mother of the Groom


      Mike’s mum got her outfit from a Massachusetts boutique. Sorry no idea on which store or designer, but she looked so lovely!




      Wedding Gown


      Now down to the serious talk – THE WEDDING DRESS!

      My dress is Jasmine Couture Style Number T440, but I had it made with a sweetheart top and added a bridal belt also from the Jasmine line.

      On the model :

      Jasmine Couture T440.jpg

      And on me :

      Dress 1.jpg 



      Dress 2.jpg

      Dress 3.jpgx






      Veil is a one tier angel dust finger tip veil. It sparkled so much in the sun but you can’t really see in these photos.

      Veil 3.JPGVeil_2.jpg







      Shoes and Flip Flops

      My shoes are Caparro’s Sarina pump in white satin. Purchased from Shoes (1).jpg


      Shoes (2).jpg




      Shoes 4.jpg






      Wedding Clutch

      My sister bought me my clutch, which I love. Matches my dress so well! I swear this is my favorite accessory of the day!!



      #3 JoanneIreland

      • Member
      • 860 posts

        Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:39 PM




        .... Continued .........



        Guest OOT Bags


        For our guests we ordered the totes from Vistaprint and inside we put mouse pads, magnet calendars, note books, pen, sticky pads, Tshirts, do not disturb signs, welcome card, welcome brochure (all from Vistaprint), pashmena’s, sunglasses, key rings, face clothes,  lip balm, survival kits (nail file, gum, mints, shout wipes, moisture wipes, etc), first aid kits, beach balls, candle, candy, etc …….

        This is a full post I placed on BDW on our OOT bags with lots of photos - OOT Bag_1.jpg


        OOT Bag_2.jpg


        OOT Bag_3.jpg


        OOT Bag_4.JPG


        OOT Bag_Flipflops.JPG









        DIY Wedding Weekend Survival Kits


        Survival Kit.jpg




        First Aid Kit.jpg

        First Aid & Survival Kits.JPG






        Wedding Favor for OOT Bag

        Along with all the other items above, we wanted to leave a favor in each bag so we purchased wine stoppers that had a blue ceramic flip flop on top, which we picked up at The Christmas Tree Shop. I purchased a pack of 50 blue organza favor bags from Ebay to put them in and added a note that said “Thank you for joining us in Mexico. Please pour a glass and toast to the new Mr. & Mrs.!”



        OOT Bag Wedding Favor.jpg


        OOT Bag Wedding Favor 1.JPG







        Welcome Brochure

        We used VistaPrint to make Welcome Brochures for each guest. We made a list of each guest with space to add their room number, we had information about the day/time/location of the welcome dinner, wedding day itinerary, and some funny Spanish phrases. In my rush to do this last minute before we left for Mexico, I forgot to add some guests (including the best man!!) and we had the wrong ceremony time. Oh well, it was a good conversation topic!

        Brochure Outside.jpg


        Brochure Inside.jpg






        Wedding Party OOT Bags


        For our MOH, Best man, parents, and flowergirl we had the following bags personalized by a seller on EBay


        Wedding Party OOT Bags.JPG


        Bride and Groom Bags.JPG








        Gifts for Wedding Party



        - We paid for all the outfits for the wedding party (black pants & vest, white dress shirt, yellow tie, flip flops and belts for both fathers and the best man, for MOH we bought the dress, matching flip flops and bag, along with her jewelry, and for our flower girl we also bought her dress, shoes and accessories.

        - We also paid for mum’s and MOH hair and makeup on the big day.

        - Now that we have our professional photos we will be making wedding photobooks for both sets of parents, which they know about already, so that’s something for them to look forward to.

        - Canvas wrap frame for both sets of parents with their favorite wedding photo.

        - For our best man we gave him a customized tote and inside put Dolce & Gabbana “The One” cologne and matching shower gel, flip flops, drink cooler, and a toiletry bag with some men’s products.

        - For our Maid Of Honor we gave a customized tote and inside we put pink Uggs (she has been talking about wanting these for FOREVER so it was my special surprise to her), pink bikini, red bikini, black bikini with Maid Of Honor bling, MOH tank, pink drink cooler, Bridesmaid accessories/makeup bag, personalized flip flops, silver glitzy luggage tag that says “Upgrade Me” in pink, waterproof mascara, and 2 tubs of the face cream she uses. I also got personalized embroidered flip flops and travel cosmetic bag from Exclusive Weddings.

        - For our flower girl we gave a personalized tote and filled it with everything and anything from Disney Princess! Loads of bubbles (her favorite), crayons, sunglasses, beach ball, bucket and spade, sunhat, personalized t-shirts, clothing, personalized clothes hangar, photo frames, etc ……..
        We also got Belle her first suitcase (Disney Princess of course), from the Disney Store.

        - For Mother of the Bride we purchased earrings and bracelet from Macy’s (Monet brand) that were a perfect match to her dress.

        #4 JoanneIreland

        • Member
        • 860 posts

          Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:56 AM




          .... Continued .........



          Flowers, bouquet, boutonnieres, bouquet jewelry, etc ……


          I ordered my starfish bouquet jewelry (got a blue one and a white one because I couldn’t decide) from Bouquet Jewelry.JPG


          Bouquet.JPG Bouquet Michelle.JPG




          Ceremony Flowers.jpg


          Ceremony Flowers 1 (2).jpg








          Ceremony items for guests (fans, tissues, and bubble wands)


          On each ceremony seat we left a raffia fan, tissue pack and bubble wand for each guest.

          Fans : I ordered raffia fans from Oriental Trading and like others on here have said, they come in varying sizes, but not a big deal. I wrapped the handle with yellow ribbon and added a starfish charm to each.

          Tissues : For the tissues I ordered velum bar 4 envelopes from Paper N More, and printed out the verse on sticky paper from Staples, cut and stuck one to each envelope and inserted two Kleenex to each. The verse says “If you shed a tear or two, Here’s a tissue just for you. So wipe away that happy tear, We are thankful you are here!”.

          Bubbles : I purchased the bubble wands from Walmart and through the heart shaped top I made and attached a tag that says “Bubble of good wishes for the new Mr. & Mrs.!”




          Ceremony Items.JPG




          Bubble Wands.JPG








          Ceremony readings and Sand Ceremony


          We purchased our sand ceremony kit on Etsy - Sand Ceremony (1).jpg


          Sand Ceremony (2).jpg








          Ring Holder

          We actually made this ourselves, LOL!! We just glued a starfish from the Christmas Tree Shop onto a shell from a stuffed clam Mike had for dinner, haha!! We were going to fill it with sand and stand the rings in it but with my pave settings on my ring I was worried the sand would have gotten stuck in there pretty good. If you have a smooth band though I’d suggest that option as think it looks really cool!

          Ring Holder.JPG






          Live Musician at Ceremony

          We had a saxophonist play at the ceremony on the beach. I can’t say that I heard him, but was told he was very good!

          We used our iPod to play ‘Over The Rainbow” when my mum walked down the aisle with my flowergirl/niece, followed by my sister/MOH. Then when I walked down with my dad the iPod played Canon in D.

          The saxophonist played again immediately when the ceremony ended but I must have been in my own little world because I don’t remember hearing him, LOL!






          Something Old, Something New ….

          Something old – Hair pin (used one old hair pin)

          Something new – my wedding dress!

          Something borrowed – borrowed diamonte hair pins from my colleagues wife who used them for her own wedding

          Something blue – Embroidered handkerchief (date in European format)


          Something Blue.JPG








          Reception Location

          As soon as we choose the Barcel³  Maya for our wedding, I started researching previous weddings at the resort and fell in love with Playa Azul for the reception. We had to have an upgraded wedding package (Strawberry) to book this location but it was totally worth it!


          Reception Location (1).jpg


          Reception Location (2).jpg


          Reception Location (3).JPG


          Reception Location (4).JPG








          Dinner Menu

          Another of our DIY projects, got this idea from a magazine. We put together our own menu cards using cardstock, vellum paper and raffia ribbon.


          Choosing the menu was incredibly hard as we made the stupid decision of asking people for their input and of course everyone had different opinions!! In the end I don’t think you could make a bad decision as every option sounded so yummy! We went with the following :

          Appetizer :        Marinated Curried Chicken and Tomato Salad

          Soup :              Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese Crostini

          Main :               Surf and Turf (Beef Tenderloin and Lobster Tail) with baked potato and vegetables

          Dessert :           White Chocolate and Raspberry Tiramisu



          Menus (1).JPG


          Menus (2).JPG










          Place Cards

          We used starfish that we got at The Christmas Tree Shop, and just used twine to add the DIY name tag. Cute and beachy, and again inspired from other brides on this forum.

          Place Cards (1).jpg


          Place Cards (2).jpg







          Reception Table Decorations (chair sashes, table runners, vases, candles, flower petals)


          Barcel³ provided the chair sashes and I provided the table runners and yellow candle vases. The center pieces are the same from the ceremony that were used on the huppa and ceremony table, our w/c moved them to the reception after the ceremony. I also bought freeze dried petal flowers with me but ended up buying more from the resort when we got there. 


          Table Decor.JPG







          Reception Favors


          At each place setting we placed a yellow maraca with “Mexico” written on it, and attached a tag that said :

          “"Instead of tapping on your glass,

          here's a system with Mexican class..

          Stand and shake with all your might,

          to see the groom kiss his bride tonight!"




          Maraca 2.JPG









          Wedding Cake, Topper and Decorations

          We upgraded to a 2 tier cake and sent an inspiration picture ahead of time to our w/c who gave us a quote.

          We chose different fillings for each tier, one was vanilla cake filled with fresh strawberries and the other was chocolate. It was absolutely divine but everyone was so stuffed I don’t think much was eaten!

          The inspiration pic and the real cake were nowhere near exact but I still think the resort did a great job and we loved our cake.


          This is our inspiration picture :




          And this is what we actually got :

          Cake Real.JPG



          The yellow sun chair napkin holders were purchased from The Christmas Tree Shop. We ordered the yellow personalized napkins from a seller on Ebay.


          For the cake topper we purchased two small Adirondack beach chairs on E-bay, and from a dolls house seller on Ebay we got a mini white wine glass and mini corona beer bottle (our signature drinks, haha) and glued to the arm of each chair. We printed out little signs that say “Reserved for the Bride” and “Reserved for the Groom” and glued to the chairs.



          Cake Topper (1).jpg


          Cake Topper (2).jpg








          MORE TO COME .........









          #5 JoanneIreland

          • Member
          • 860 posts

            Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:32 AM



            .... Continued .........




            Music Choices for Dinner, Reception, First Dance ……

            We used our iPod connected to the resort stereo system, and the w/c provided a microphone and one of our guests acted as Emcee. Here are our music playlists :


            First Dance

            “When You Say Nothing At All” – Ronan Keating


            Dinner Music

            Dinner music.jpg


            Reception Music

            Reception Music.jpg


            Cake Cutting

            “Sugar Sugar” – The Archies

            “Candyman” – Christina Aguilera


            Garter Removal

            “Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye


            *Amount of time for reception -> Welcome cocktails, seated for dinner, Best Man and MOH speeches, dinner is served and dinner music played (playlist was 1.6 hours total), Mariachi band (hired for 45 minutes), reception music (playlist was 1.7 hours), switched music for cake cutting, garter toss, and last dance.






            Mariachi Band

            At almost $9 a MINUTE  (yup you read that right, it cost $400 for 45 minutes), I have to admit it was worth every penny to have the mariachi band come play at our reception and I highly recommend it to any of you who may be having doubts. It was a great transition from dinner to party mode. We arranged for them to come right after the main course finished and they got people going and doing shots with dessert. When the 45 minutes were done, we were all up and dancing and ready to start on our dancing playlist! They really played the part well of transitioning from sitting for dinner into full on party mode.

            Mariachi 1.JPG


            Mariachi 2.JPG


            Mariachi 3.JPG






            Our Sequence of Events (approximate times)


            Note : Sunset on November 17th 2011 was around 5pm

            7:00-8:00AM       Bride breakfast with her family

            8:00-9:00AM       Groom breakfast with his best man and guests

            10:30-1:15AM     Hair and makeup artists arrive to room to do bridal party

            12:30PM             Photographer and his assistant arrive and split time between bride and groom’s rooms

            1:15PM              All guests meet in Palace lobby

            1:30PM              Shuttle takes guests to ceremony site

            1:45PM              W/C picks bridal party up in golf cart to go to ceremony

            2:00-2:30PM       Ceremony

            2:30-2:50PM       Champagne Reception on beach with guests

            2:50-3:30PM       Professional photos with guests and wedding party

            3:30-5:30PM       Bride & Groom professional photos. Guests went to Palace lobby bar, some took a nap

            5:50-6:10PM       Champagne gathering at Playa Azul

            6:10-6:15PM       Guests seated

            6:10-6:6:20PM    Bride & Groom first dance, and dance with parents

            6:20-6:30PM       Best man and MOH speeches (they were eager to get it out of the way!!)

            6:30-7:15PM       Appetizer, Soup and Main Course

            7:15-8:00PM       Mariachi Band and dessert

            8:00-8:30PM       Dancing & Drinking!

            8:30-8:40PM       Cake Cutting

            8:40-8:50PM       Garter removal and toss

            8:50-10:00PM     More dancing & drinking!

            10:00-10:30PM   Lighting and releasing sky lanterns on the beach

            10:30- ????        Jaguars Nightclub





            For our “guestbook” we ordered a personalized wedding autograph frame. Knowing our wedding was going to be smaller and more intimate it just seemed like the perfect choice! I’m so glad we did this so we have hung the picture in our home and see the happy wedding wishes every time we walk past it. Such a better decision I think than a guest book.












            DIY Just Married Umbrella

            From advice from other brides on BDW I printed out “Just Married” in large letters, taped to the inside of the umbrella, held it up to sunlight and traced the outline with a pencil, and then used black acrylic paint to fill in.


            Umbrella 1.jpg


            Umbrella 2.jpg








            We used Ivan Luckie for both our wedding day and TTD session the following day (Ivan (1).jpg


            Ivan (2).jpg


            Ivan (3).jpg


            Ivan (4).jpg











            Make Up and Hair by Adrian Guerra

            After reading wonderful reviews on BDW I booked Adrian Guerra (Adrian (1).jpg


            Adrian (2).jpg





            Barcel³ Spa

            The evening before the wedding I used the resort spa for a French manicure and pedicure which was included in my package. They did a decent enough job, not the best I’ve ever had, but not bad either. 

            Also included in my wedding package was my hair and makeup but as I hired Adrian for my big day, I used the this for my TTD session instead to get my hair and makeup done. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did it. They use MAC makeup and I have to admit it pretty much lasted all day. Here’s my hair and makeup the spa did :


            Barcelo Spa.jpg


            Barcelo Spa 2_2.jpg

            ashlynm88 likes this

            #6 shan0487

            • Sr. Member
            • 1,393 posts
            • Wedding Date:November 23, 2012
            • Wedding Location:Sun Palace & Moon Palace- Cancun, MX
            • LocationSt Louis, MO

            Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:43 AM

            Amazing job thus far!! You're wedding looks amazing and you looked beautiful! Congrats!!! :)

            #7 JQLong

            • Jr. Member
            • 336 posts

              Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

              What an amazing review!!!  Thank you so uch for sharing!


              And most of all Congrats!

              So Amazing......July 4, 2012!!!!!!

              #8 JoanneIreland

              • Member
              • 860 posts

                Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:34 AM


                .... Continued .........



                Trash The Dress Outfits

                TTD (or suit!) For My Hubby –

                I picked up Mike’s natural color 100% linen pants at Macy’s for $29.98 and I found his 100% white linen shirt at TJMaxx for $24.99, another great deal.


                TTD Mike.jpg


                TTD For Me –

                Ordered online from Babyonline via DHGate :

                TTD Joanne.JPG


                TTD Photo Shoot –

                We did our Trash The Dress shoot the day after our wedding on the public beaches of Tulum. It was so beautiful! We used Ivan Luckie photography again. Here are some photos from the shoot :

                TTD (1).jpg


                TTD (5).jpg


                TTD (6).jpg


                TTD (2)_2.jpg


                TTD (3)_3.jpg


                TTD (4)_2.jpg


                TTD (7)_7.jpg


                TTD (8).jpg


                TTD (9).jpg


                TTD (10).jpg







                DIY T-Shirts and Bikini’s

                I was dying to have a bikini that said “Bride” in rhinestones on it, but after looking online and finding that they are almost $100 I thought NO WAY! So thanks to ideas from other brides on BDW I purchased $5 bling iron on transfers from Michaels and $12 bikini’s at Walmart and made my own BRIDE and MAID OF HONOR blinging bikinis!! I also purchased more rhinestone iron on’s to make tank tops for myself MOH, and flower girl.  Also used regular iron on transfer paper to make t-shirts for immediate family members. My sister had some tank tops embroidered for myself, herself, and flower girl.


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                More DIY Projects

                1. Mint Matchbooks -> Template came from this website, printed on cardstock, used zots to stick the mints, and added raffia ribbon.
                2. Just Married Parasol –> Purchased plain parasol on E-bay, printed letters, taped behind and then held up to sunlight to trace the edge outline. Then painted with black acrylic paint. Very easy.
                3. Wedding Week Survival Kit -> Created in lunch bags and added mints,
                4. First Aid Kits -> Included headache pills, band aids,
                5. Personalized Lip Balm


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                Welcome Dinner Outfit

                Rehearsal Dinner/Welcome Dinner dress was purchased in Ireland


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                Welcome Dinner

                We reserved our Welcome Dinner for 2 nights before the wedding (I did not want to be boozing the night before!) at restaurant Rodizo, which is the Brazilian restaurant at the Palace. For any guest that was not staying at the Palace we had to pay a $15 surcharge per person. The Brazilian was a great idea, everyone loved it!

                Appetizer was a buffet, which was awesome. Main course was a 7 course meat dinner!! Everyone practically had to be rolled away from the table afterwards and were suffering from the meat sweats, LOL!!


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                Sky Lanterns


                We purchased bio-degradable sky lanterns online and bought one for each guest. Check with your w/c first if your resort allows them as some don’t. I also packed a bunch of lighters, but the waiters supplied burners which made it much easier. At the very end of the night we all went down by the water and lit and made wishes, and set off the lanterns. It was super cool and a huge hit!! Our photographer had already left so we don’t have any great pictures but I’ll remember it forever in my mind.


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                These are some of the tips I remember we paid :

                Wedding Coordinator                $150

                JOP                                           $50

                Mariachi band                             $100

                #9 MsBlissMpls

                • Jr. Member
                • 253 posts

                  Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:49 AM

                  Love your story and contragulations on your happy honeymoon surprise!! Your wedding was beautiful!

                  #10 Sharon99

                  • Sr. Member
                  • 1,301 posts

                    Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:58 AM

                    Wow you had a beautiful wedding!! You looked amazing too. And congrats on both...Mrs and soon to be mommy!!!! yay how exciting!

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