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Like many others I've creeped this site for a while before actually becoming engaged.  Now it's finally my turn!  The love of my life proposed to me in a romantic chalet in the mountains of BC this past weekend.  We've known for some time that we wanted a destination wedding, but now that the time is here, and even though I have a Pinterest board FULL of ideas I'm lost. I was hoping to hear from some others here on how they decided on a location.   

 

Initially we thought we might like the NOW Jade Riviera Cancun.  We travelled there in April and honestly had an amazing time.  The food was incredible (very important to us) and the service was good as well.  Mexico seems easiest since we currently live in Calgary and are looking for somewhere that both of our families can reach directly.  His family is all in Alberta and mine is across the country in Windsor, Ontario.  We are planning quickly - summer of 2013 - since a lot of my friends are teachers and the summer is most convenient.  Although we enjoyed the NOW Jade, I think we'd like to try somewhere a bit larger because of what we assume will be  a big group going.  We're open at this point to a destination anywhere - suggestions are welcome and I love white sand and I like anywhere there is good food.  For my fiance, he likes a cozier feeling resort, although his family is huge so I have a feeling our guest list is going to be quite large.  We need a place where children are welcome as well, as I'm acquiring a lot of new nieces and nephews and many of my girlfriends are newer mommies.  FYI I am 27 Dresses, haha - the last to get married but a bridesmaid expert!

 

Money is tight.  We're building a house that should be ready in March.  We both work for an airline so flights out for us are not a problem, but for our families and friends we want something confirmed and cheap.  It seems like packages from Alberta a pricier no matter who you go with.  It seems like we need to secure a budget before a resort, but until we know a destination and a resort we can't know what we need.  Lol, it's so much to think about right away.  How did you keep from feeling overwhelmed, and more importantly.... where did you begin??  :)

 

Thanks for your help and suggestions!  I'm sooo looking forward to planning with you all!

 

Lauren  

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Hi Lauren,

 

Welcome to the site.... As a fellow Calgarian this post caught my eye! Good luck with your plans! And let me know if you have any local questions.. Not sure what your budget is but my group will be staying at the Beach Palace in Cancun. We got direct flights and a week at the resort May 11-18 for $1705. This took a lot of work by my travel agent but i told her my budget (for guests) and she made it work! Granted we booked in August but thought this might help you whats available. 

 

Congrats!

-Kristie

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Hi Kristie!

 

Thanks so much for your reply.  Do you mind if I ask what Travel Agent you booked through?  That is a good price for out here.  :)  I know that we're kind of last minute at this point but it would be a good starting place.   

 

The Beach Palace is gorgeous!  I have stayed at the Cancun Palace (a loooong time ago) but remember it being fantastic.  Was price your deciding factor or something else in deciding on your resort?  For our budget my max is about that price for our guests.  We're waiting to hear on what our parents will be able to contribute before nailing down an exact number (which will include dress, invitations and all of the extras) but I'm hoping to have approximately $15000 to work with. 

 

The local question I have right now is about dresses.  Did you find yours here in Calgary?  I know I'll need to work quickly and I do have styles in mind.  Do you know of any local bridal shops where you do not need an appointment?  I'd love to just pop by after work one day.  This is hard without my mom around!  Everything else like invitations and flowers (probably real touch ones) and OOT bags and omg so much else can wait.  I want to secure the location and dress ASAP.  I actually have a zillion other questions too haha but I'll try not to bombard you or anyone else right away! 

 

Thanks again for your help!

 

Lauren

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HI,

 

I am also from Calgary we are getting married in November 2013 in Cuba, I used a travel agent who is wonderful fast to respond and just had her own destination wedding in April so she has lots of knowledge of questions I should be asking the resort and other tips to keep me less stress LOL and we got hotel and flight package $1493 for a five star in Cuba. There is white sand but the aren't really known for their food but it is an awesome place to visit, I also have family travilling from Ontario and their packages are less then $1300 and it is only a 2 1/2 hour flight for them.

 

I think you are on the right track, once I figured out the country I wanted to travel too I picked 3 resorts that I liked and then went to my travel agent, I wanted to stay under 1500 and wanted to give my guests a year to pay for it.

 

let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck.

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Welcome to BDW!

There are so many resorts to pick from, it truly does seem endless. If you want to try larger resorts (in the Cancun/Mayan RIvieria area)  I can suggest the following:

Grand Palladium (it's actually 5 resorts together...huge. They have a train/trolley and boats to take you around)

Barcelo resorts

Dreams

RIU resorts

(all are kid friendly)

And some of the resorts are about $1500 including tax for mid July with Sunwing.

 

All of these are large, high end resorts. But just take note, that some of these are so large that you will never find any of your guests. Perhaps that is what you  want, but sometimes it's also nice to be able to meet up with your guests. If you want something a bit smaller, but with lots of activities you can try Azul Sensatori, Azul Beach.

 

If you need help planning, feel free to ask questions and search the Resort Review section above. Also if you are looking for a TA, you can try BDW travel agent Wright Travel. All they do is specialize in weddings, and sometimes this also means they have bonuses to give to brides. (for example with Karisma resorts, you get a free cocktail party, and upgrade, etc.)

 

Good luck with your planning!

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Originally Posted by murmel View Post

 

Welcome to BDW!

There are so many resorts to pick from, it truly does seem endless. If you want to try larger resorts (in the Cancun/Mayan RIvieria area)  I can suggest the following:

Grand Palladium (it's actually 5 resorts together...huge. They have a train/trolley and boats to take you around)

Barcelo resorts

Dreams

RIU resorts

(all are kid friendly)

And some of the resorts are about $1500 including tax for mid July with Sunwing.

 

All of these are large, high end resorts. But just take note, that some of these are so large that you will never find any of your guests. Perhaps that is what you  want, but sometimes it's also nice to be able to meet up with your guests. If you want something a bit smaller, but with lots of activities you can try Azul Sensatori, Azul Beach.

 

If you need help planning, feel free to ask questions and search the Resort Review section above. Also if you are looking for a TA, you can try BDW travel agent Wright Travel. All they do is specialize in weddings, and sometimes this also means they have bonuses to give to brides. (for example with Karisma resorts, you get a free cocktail party, and upgrade, etc.)

 

Good luck with your planning!

 

Thank you so much!  After spending a whole day doing what I wasn't supposed to be doing (lol) at work yesterday I thought we had decided on Grand Palladium White Sand as a resort.  I went to a wedding there (at the Kantennah?) about 5 years ago and had a great time!  Also a colleague was married there 2 years ago and spoke very highly of it.  The personal kudos mean a lot to me especially since we're putting our trust for the most special day and a whole lot of money into the resort.  I emailed and unfortunately the didn't have the day we were looking for but then Vanessa sent us another date which worked and now we're just waiting for our deposit to be approved and may have secured August 19th, 2013!!  I am thrilled!  I love the bigger resorts, my fiance likes smaller, but he's so very easy going that he will like anything.  :)   I was really quite impressed with Vanessa from Grand Palladium and how quick and efficient she was with emails.  Not at all what I was expecting and it was fantastic!   

 

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions and of course for this amazing website which I have been reading up on for months.  I am just thrilled to get started with all of the plans!!

 

Originally Posted by jolene028 View Post

 

HI,

 

I am also from Calgary we are getting married in November 2013 in Cuba, I used a travel agent who is wonderful fast to respond and just had her own destination wedding in April so she has lots of knowledge of questions I should be asking the resort and other tips to keep me less stress LOL and we got hotel and flight package $1493 for a five star in Cuba. There is white sand but the aren't really known for their food but it is an awesome place to visit, I also have family travilling from Ontario and their packages are less then $1300 and it is only a 2 1/2 hour flight for them.

 

I think you are on the right track, once I figured out the country I wanted to travel too I picked 3 resorts that I liked and then went to my travel agent, I wanted to stay under 1500 and wanted to give my guests a year to pay for it.

 

let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck.

 

Hi Jolene,

 

Thanks for writing back!  My fiance's sister was married in Cuba and they loved it.  They had a very intimate wedding which was awesome and the pictures were beautiful.  What resort are you getting married at?  Have you started looking for a dress yet?  I am having a hard time wanting to do that with my mom in Ontario but I know especially with only 8 months to plan I need to start looking soon!  I actually have my first appointment tomorrow.  So much to look at!

 

We haven't decided if we're going to go with a travel agent yet or not.  My family is in Windsor so it's very cheap for them to fly out of Detroit rather than Toronto.  My fiance and I both work for WestJet so we are lucky to be able to secure a great deal on flights and vacation packages.  I still need to contact our groups department to see what we can do about a block of rooms but so early in the process it's difficult to estimate how many will come.  Surprisingly the package price for our guests for August 17th-24th is $1375 from Toronto and $1475 from Calgary!  Lol - it's not often we have a better price than Sunwing so I am hoping the deposit goes through quickly so that we can jump on it!

 

Good luck with your planning!  I hope we can bounce ideas off of each other along the way!

 

Lauren

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Hi Jolene,

 

Thanks for writing back!  My fiance's sister was married in Cuba and they loved it.  They had a very intimate wedding which was awesome and the pictures were beautiful.  What resort are you getting married at?  Have you started looking for a dress yet?  I am having a hard time wanting to do that with my mom in Ontario but I know especially with only 8 months to plan I need to start looking soon!  I actually have my first appointment tomorrow.  So much to look at!

 

We haven't decided if we're going to go with a travel agent yet or not.  My family is in Windsor so it's very cheap for them to fly out of Detroit rather than Toronto.  My fiance and I both work for WestJet so we are lucky to be able to secure a great deal on flights and vacation packages.  I still need to contact our groups department to see what we can do about a block of rooms but so early in the process it's difficult to estimate how many will come.  Surprisingly the package price for our guests for August 17th-24th is $1375 from Toronto and $1475 from Calgary!  Lol - it's not often we have a better price than Sunwing so I am hoping the deposit goes through quickly so that we can jump on it!

 

Good luck with your planning!  I hope we can bounce ideas off of each other along the way!

 

Lauren

We are getting married at the Iberostar Varadero on November 18, 2013 we are currently scheduled to leave here on the 14th so that part for now is out of the way, and as for the dress yes I just bought one last Friday, and it should be in at the end of April, so that too is out of the way, as for wedding party choices and other smaller details I have no idea LOL I just cant figure out exactly what I want, our colours are pink and orange, but I thought that the entire party in ivory would look pretty cool considering that we are getting married on the beach, but I keep going back and forth!

 

Currently my biggest stress is waiting for people to pay their deposits... we sent out invites and people have until January 15 to pay the deposits, I guess I figured that people would be excited and get it done right away, I guess that was wishful thinking just us and my best friend have paid deposits so far, I know there is still time but waiting is a little stressful!

 

I would love to work for Westjet, I love, love, love travelling. And you are right, I dont think that I have ever seen a Westjet package cheaper than Sunwing I will keep my fingers crossed that it works out for you! my only advise would be to pick a resort and make sure that they have space for the package dates...

 

I check this site out daily so for sure we can use each other for ideas, it is nice to talk to someone in the same city for sure!

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Congrats Lauren! + welcome to this great resource forum :) as you've already seen, you have lots of great support and suggestions from your fellow brides here......a wonderful thing - as well as your Westjet connections - you've got a Lot going for you already......wow :)

We're also from Calgary (+ Wpg) so cheering for all your plans to go smoothly, and that you have the incredible wedding of your dreams.......best o luck!

 

1000

 

team MTM aast, Lynda :)

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Hi Lynda,

 

Thanks for writing!  I didn't realize you guys were from out here.  :)  Your work is wonderful.  I love seeing it on the different threads, just a little taste of the fun!

 

Jolene,

 

I think ivory for everyone would look so great!  I've never seen it before it would be really different!  You've got the hardest things done, the dress and the resort.  I went looking at dresses today for the first time ever.  It was actually easier than I thought because they were all so nice!  The hard part was that they cost more than the ring probably!  I am going to go to a few more places and bring some friends with me (I went alone today) but honestly I think I found one today.  It was just so perfect.  So we'll see! 

 

As for all of the little details, you have lots of time.  It just seems like there's so much, eh?  I start to make a list of things I'll have to do and it just keeps growing and growing haha.  We'll get it all done eventually though.  Try not to stress too much about the people who haven't put down their deposits yet (I say because I haven't got there yet) because that's the part you can't control.  They'll do it - some people are just better under pressure haha.  It's just hard I know to plan anything without knowing exact numbers.  I think we'll be in a similar boat because of the airline thing - all of our friends will just assume they can hop on a flight last minute.  It could be dangerous, but it all works out!  :)

 

Lauren

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Hi Lauren,

 

Welcome to the site fellow Calgarian :)

 

Yes it can be overwhelming at first. Try to prioritize your list: select a resort, start looking for a dress, invites etc. I signed up on www.weddingwire.com and also made my wedding webiste via that site. It is easy to navigate, and has a readymade checklist! Maybe that will help you to organize everything that needs to be done.

 

We are getting married June 2013 at Barcelo Maya Tropical in Mayan Riviera. When we were selecting a resort, we made a list of "must haves" and "like to have" at the resort. Our list included things like many restaurants, beachfront property, large resort, multiple pools, kid friendly. We decided on Mexico - Riviera Maya specifically because my FI insisted on white sandy beaches, and I wanted direct flights. We have family from Calgary, Van, Toronto, and the US. Flying from Calgary during June, we wanted to ensure the majority of our Western Canada guests don't have to have connecting flights, so that right there knocked off Jamaica and DR as destination options (Calgary folks would have to route through Toronto). We didn't see the point in spending all that money to have your guests waste a day flying there and back. We have family flying from all over Canada and the US, we knew we wanted a TA to help us organize and arrange the travel for our guests. I attended two of the Bridal Shows in Calgary and from that signed up for a Destination Wedding Seminar with AMA. We went to the AMA Seminar which was oh so helpful. We talked to many different travel agents (uniglobe, flightcenter etc), but we really appreciated the service AMA offered. We booked with them, and our TA is wonderful! She sends me regular updates when people have booked- the best email ever :) Currently, we have 60 people booked and counting, so like you, we are expecting a big group of people, and the Barcelo is a large resort which will accmomodate our guests. We are paying $1570 (incl taxes) for June 9-16 with direct flights from calgary, (toronto is $1350)

 

As for dresses, I have been to a lot of stores in Calgary.

-The Bridal Center requires an appointment- I personally did not go there for my dress, but my friend did, and she found hers there, and everytime we've had lovely service. My friend paid their $50 for their "wedding passport", and she loves the perks. She ordered our BM dresses and her grooms + groomsmens tux's there- it's a one stop shop.

-I made an appointment at Beautiful Bride and Cameo & Cufflinks

-I did walk in's at Blissful Bride, Sonia's, Ever After, and Ethos

 

If you're up for a drive one day/weekend, I went to the David's Bridal in Edmonton South Common, I didn't make an appointment (but I was there during the week, so it wasn't busy and I had a consultant within 20 min)

 

 

Happy Planning

Sabina

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