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MCree's Planning Thread - Long and Pic Heavy!!!

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#1 MCree

  • Jr. Member
  • 276 posts

    Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

    I did it! I survived my wedding day. Okay,  only kidding . . . kind of!  In all honesty, as hectic and time consuming as the year long process of planning was at some points, it was all worth it. I miss it more than you can imagine! My advice to all of you future brides and grooms is to try to enjoy every minute of it because it goes by so fast! Also, if you’re on a tight budget, shop around and never buy the first thing you see. I made a preliminary budget early on, brainstormed ways to stick to it, and ultimately busted my booty DIYing and waiting for sales/promo codes so we wouldn’t go over. Although it takes a lot of effort, this allowed our budget more wiggle room to splurge on things we didn’t necessarily need but really wanted later on. So, here goes nothing! First and foremost, I want to thank Tammy for her wonderful creation of this site.  As creative and crafty as I am, my ideas truly would have been lost without the inspiration of so many threads on this wonderful forum to guide me. So with that being said, I would also like to send a special HUGE thank you to all of the previous brides who have given advice, guidance and freely shared so many amazing ideas with the rest of us. There are far to many inspiration threads I used to guide my own so thanks to each and every one of you who has so generously shared your ideas with the rest of us! I could NOT have done it without you!


    In paying a small portion of my debt back to this site, it is important that I share my planning experience with ya’ll-sorry, that’s the Louisiana coming out in me;).  Although I will not be sharing my personal templates- I loved this process so much, I am considering starting a business out of this on the side-I am HAPPY to share tips and advice on any of my ideas and projects! If my planning thread can help even one future bride during her planning process than I am satisfied!  I wish all of you future brides and grooms the best of luck!


    Our Engagement

    It all began on December 6, 2011!  FI proposed on our five year anniversary after a romantic day of surprises. I came home from work to roses and a box about the size of a ring . . .  only to open it and find diamond earrings instead. Don’t get me wrong, they were beautiful and all, but FI had successfully thrown me off by this point since we had been talking marriage for quite some time and there was no ring when I opened the box. Sneaky boy! Anyways, we later went to dinner at our favorite restaurant. He waited until we got back that night. Only after washing up and getting in bed, to my surprise I am greeted by our Chihuahua, Chu Chu, with my ring tied to a gold ribbon around his neck.  I was thrilled that hubby decided to involve our baby boy in popping the big question! Groom did such a wonderful job! After the night, the planning began . . .






    The Rings

    After hearing fabulous reviews on the company and lower prices for quality diamonds, groom decided to buy my ring from Bluenile.com. Bad picture, but it is gorgeous, and I would highly recommend them!



    Groom works at a plant and knew he wanted a simple tungsten ring due to the work he does. We bought his ring from Kay jewelers. Sorry, I couldn't find a picture.


    The Resort and the Time

    So many options we had to consider before making the final decision on a resort and time of year to get married! I researched and compared wedding packages as well as kid and budget friendly resorts for months. After going back and forth in trying to decide what time of year would be the cheapest to travel, out of Hurricane season, and not blistering hot for our older guests especially, we decided to get married on December 1, 2012 at Dreams Riviera Cancun! 



    Save the Dates

    When I first joined BDW, I immediately fell in love with all of the MIB ideas. This was before I really got on the DIY bandwagon. My busy life style intimidated me from tackling these on my own so I initially ordered them from Hansonandellis.com to save some time.  I didn’t love the price tag though so it was all DIY from here on out. I did get the  DIY bug after seeing so many fabulous MIBs so I decided to add my own touches to it. I turned the boxes inside out and constructed them into mini luggage, burnt the edges of the paper, made tags and return address labels for them, and ordered free magnets from Vista print with our STD info for guests to have a fridge reminder. 




    This was by far the toughest DIY project throughout my planning process. I literally looked at every MIB thread on this site, pulled ideas from here and there and got to work with my own passport invites. Formatting, printing,  cutting and creating these bad boys was a real pain in the behind, but the end project made it so worth it! This is a couple of the pages of my finished product.




    Pre-travel Brochures and Luggage Tags

    We sent DIY brochures and luggage tags that I bought from Michael's out one month before our wedding. I took out and added my own tag in each luggage tag. Here is the finished project. 




     OOT Bags

    I purchased our OOT bags from Amazon. We put a bag together for each family/single.  I am providing a list of the goodies we put in each bag along with where we got them from in parenthesis by each.




    Pink beach bag


    A. Folder with DIY monogram (Office Depot)

         1. Welcome Letter (DIY free flyers from Vista Print)


         2.  Wedding Day Itinerary (DIY on paper and cardstock

         3.  Do Not Disturb Sign (DIY free rack cards from Vista Print)

         4.  Starfish Symbolism Card (DIY free business cards from Vista)

    B. Wedding Week Survival Kits in Biohazard bags (Workplace)


         1. Small bottle of Aloe Vera (Target)

         2. Anti-Bacterial (Bath and Body Works)

         3. Playing Cards (Oriental Trading with DIY label)


         4. First Aid Kit

              a. Chap Stick with DIY label (The Dollar Tree)

              b. Aspirin, Immodium, Pepto,  Emergen-C (Minimuz.com),

              c. Band Aids/ Ear Plugs (from Hubby’s work)


    C. Yellow/Pink Personalized Koozies    



    D. Santa Clause Beach Ornament in box (Oriental Trading)

    E. Puerto Morelos Shirt (free from Vista Print)

    F. Puerto Morelos Note Pad/Pen (free from Vista Print)

    G. Tip Holder/ Room Key Lanyards (Ebay) (DIY insert card)



    (This is some of the items we ordered from Viasta Print to add to our bags)



    My DIY OOT Bag Tags

    I bought a 2' hole puncher on sale at Joanne’s to make the circle.  I designed and printed a from and back, printed them on transparent label paper, cut them out and glued them on cardstock.  I then attached these to the bags using pink and raffia and twisting them together. 


    To Be Continued . . . 

    #2 MCree

    • Jr. Member
    • 276 posts

      Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:53 AM

      The Bride Wardrobe

      My Dress

      All I knew before dress shopping was that I wanted a dress with a sweetheart neckline and something flowy and beachy.  I never had a “That’s the one” moment while shopping, but after visiting a couple of shops, I found one that both my mom and I loved. It is by Casablanca. 





      My Shoes

      I found my shoes at JC Penney.  They were cheap, looked dressy enough, had a heal, yet were easy to walk in . . score!



      My Jewelry

      I decided on a pair of simple dangle earrings from David’s Bridal and a bracelet I found at JC Penney.




      My veil

      I was in shock at how expensive veils were at all of the bridal shops, and being frugal, I refused to pay $100-200 on a veil I would only keep on for an hour at tops.  So I looked on ebay and found this gem for under $30. (I don't have a picture of the veil alone)





      My Hair Flower

      Again, an area I refused to spend a lot of money on. I found my flower at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 and then sewed a pretty rhinestone button I found at Wal-Mart to the middle of it to dress it up some and ta da! 






      We decided to do a TTD shoot with my friend and sister, who are both photographers, two days after the wedding. After a lot of searching, I was lucky enough to bid and snag a beautiful unused wedding dress in my size on ebay for $99 and free shipping.  It was such a steal! Overall, I am so happy we did this shoot.  It was a blast and I was so happy with the pictures. These are just a few of my faves!







      My Getting Ready Outfit

      I found a pink romper for myself and a grey one for my MOH a few days before we left.  I super glued a rhinestone “I DO” peel and stick sticker to the leg of mine.  I also wore a white “Bride” robe that I had received as a present and my sister wore a pink one that I bought her with hers!









      The Groom Wardrobe

      The Suit

      We purchased my groom’s suit online on sale from Express (bad fit-and we had a ton of alteration. I would not recommend), his white shirt from Hugo Boss, and I found a personalized initial handkerchief on Ebay.  He wore a brown belt and some brown closed toe shoes he already had. 




      TTD Outift

      Oops- I totally forgot to get my groom his outfit until last minute. So for our TTD session, my groom wore a plain white collared shirt and khaki pants we picked up at Wal Mart the day before we left.  The sleeves were a little short, but we rolled them up and it worked out fine!


      Wedding Party Attire

      Best Man/ FOG and MOH/SOB

      He wore a white collared shirt with sleeves rolled up and matching express khaki pants. She wore a short yellow strapless dress from that she found at a boutique in Cali, a yellow flower in her hair, and a pair of silver sandals she already had.




      Our ring bearer also wore a plain white collared shirt with khaki pants.  We bought his shell from Hobby Lobby, and I painted some subtle glitter on it to add some shine and filled it up with sand.



      #3 MCree

      • Jr. Member
      • 276 posts

        Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

        Ceremony Site D©cor


        Huppah and Chair Set Up

        For our huppah, I brought down fuchsia organza material that my mom picked up from Joanns. I asked that they drape the white organza that came with our package, and put the fuchsia organza around each pole for a hint of color.  I then asked for them to place our flower centerpieces at each corner up top. We had yellow and pink roses scattered on the mat. 







        I bought satin fuchsia sashes from weddinglinensdirect, and I asked them to tie bows on the back of each of our chairs. 


        Flowers for our Wedding

        I supplied my wedding coordinator with a flower inspiration picture before the wedding, and I was so pleased with the outcome of our centerpieces and my bouquet on my wedding day!  I went with white, yellow and pink tropical flowers with lilies and roses.










        Hand tied Ceremony Fans with DIY Tiered Programs

        I bought our fans from Oriental Trading and hot glued ¾ yellow satin ribbon around each handle.  I then formatted a tiered program, printed, cut and assembled using raffia and starfish charms that I had bought off ebay.




        Our Sand Ceremony Kit

        I ended up buying an hour glass shaped vase from Michael’s and two smaller vases I found there to pour.  They did not have marked measurements so we eyed them, but it ended up being perfect size. With coupons, this was less than $10 in all for all three. We bought white sand, and used sand from the beach for our other to save “weight “ room in our bags.  Hubby made a cork out of some sort of foam that they make at the plant he works at. 





        My DIY Ceremony sign and shoe mat

        My mom actually tackled this project for me.  She used boards she bought from Lowes, cut them, painted them white and stenciled the letters.  For the mat under the shoes optional sign, we bought a piece of fabric from Hobby Lobby (we had a yard cut in the ribbon section) and I used two starfish and seashell stamps I bought from Michaels to stamp the rug at the corner to personalize it a little.  We finished this off by sprinkling some yellow glitter to it to dress it up some. 




        Cocktail Hour

        Our cocktail hour took place at the North Jacuzzi area. We had the mariachi trio play for our guests while groom and I were off taking photos.





        I bought these from the Knot.com.  We used them for our cocktail hour to add a hint of personalization to the tall tables. 




        Reception D©cor

        Our reception took place on the pool deck.  I am so glad we decided to splurge and rent the dance floor.  It was a huge hit, and everyone had an absolutely blast dancing on it all night!






        Welcome Table

        For our welcome table, I brought down some decorations to dress it up some. I brought an 8X10 engagement photo of us in a white frame, a metal tree with tea lights that I covered in glitter glue, a white basket with our starfish placecards in it, a DIY fingerprint guestbook along with the frame with directions and a basket of pashminas. They set it up beautifully! (Shoot, I cant find  picture of the set-up.  I have a mock set-up I can post later.  Just let me know, and ill try to dig it up and post it. 




        Place cards

        For our place cards, I bought white glitter starfish at Big Lots,  printed and tied names to each.  I then stuck these in styrofoam to keep them standing straight in the bottom of a basket I spray painted white and covered this with sand from the beach.





        Guest Book

        For our guest book, groom and I decided to use our free videographer servies to record guests giving wedding tips and advice.  The video quality was surprisingly wonderful, and in the end, we were so so happy we went with this option. Our guests' advice and tips were both touching and hilarious - something we will surely cherish for years to come. 

        I also made a DIY wedding family and friends tree for guests to fingerprint and sign.  I found the blank pink book in the dollar bin at Michaels, cut a piece of jute for the left side of the book to dress it up some, created the tree and personalized it to glue to the right side, and finished it off by putting black and pink stamp pads to the left and wet naps to the right.  It came out really cute!







        I bought our pashminas off of ebay.  They were of wonderful quality, and being that it is breezy at night during December, they were a huge hit. I rolled them up, added a DIY tag to each and tied them with raffia. Our guests loved them!






        MY DIY Centerpieces

        I used ideas I found on this site to make my floating orchid vases for each table. I had a pink LED light submerged at the bottom, but you can not tell in this picture.  I also had frosted votive tea light candles (go this route because of the wind), table linens, scattered white glitter starfish, and a yellow maraca on each place setting. 





        MY DIY menus

        I made these through Vista print.  They were the rack room cards and I just added our buffet menu to each card, backed them on yellow glitter cardstock and had them slipped into our. dinner napkins.



        Our favors/placecards were maracas we ordered through Amols.  I tied a tag to it that had thank you on one side and their name on the other.  These were a huge hit!  Guests enjoyed dancing with them at the reception!





        Our Cake

        I decided on a two-tier tres les flavored cake because we had less than 30 guests.  Being as our cake was so small, I opted to do a cute cake topper as opposed to flowers or an initial topper that I initially wanted to go with. I ordered two adirondack chairs from a doll site.  I added a miniature doll wine glass to my chair and a bottle that looked like a Heineken-hubby’s favorite beverage-to his chair. We made the shells, froze them, and brought them with us to add to it.






        My DIY parasol

        I saw these on etsy but in an attempt to save money, ordered a cheap parasol from theknot.com and decided to DIY.  I printed out the words “Mr and Mrs.” in a nicer font-sorry can’t remember what it was called- and then blew this up to the size I wanted on a printer.  Next, my mom and I taped the blown up words to the parasol, went in front of a bright window, traced the letters with a permanent marker then filled it in. I later came over it with acrylic paint to make the letters pop.  This was a very tedious project, but I loved the end result.  Hubby and I used this parasol for TTD pictures and for our entrance to the reception.







        More to Come . . . 

        #4 lgerry

        • Jr. Member
        • 349 posts
        • Wedding Date:January 15, 2014
        • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

        Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:33 AM

        Congrats!!! Awesome thread so far!! Looks like your day was amazing, and you looked beautiful!


        Just wondering what seller you used on ebay for the pashminas? We are looking for some decent quality but cheap ones.


        Liz :)

        #5 LoriGran

        • Jr. Member
        • 339 posts
        • Wedding Date:July 25, 2014
        • Wedding Location:Rivera Maya
        • LocationMexico

        Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:41 AM

        Beautiful wedding!! Congratulations!! :)

        #6 AndreaandAaron

        • Jr. Member
        • 180 posts

          Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:46 AM

          Your wedding looked so beautiful! Thanks for posting this thread!

          #7 Marymack

          • Jr. Member
          • 414 posts

            Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

            Very nice,thanks for sharing!!!

            #8 MCree

            • Jr. Member
            • 276 posts

              Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

              Originally Posted by lgerry 

              Congrats!!! Awesome thread so far!! Looks like your day was amazing, and you looked beautiful!


              Just wondering what seller you used on ebay for the pashminas? We are looking for some decent quality but cheap ones.


              Liz :)

              Thank you so much!

              NEW Solid Silk Pashmina Shawl Wrap Stole Cashmere Scarf Pickascarf is who I bought through on ebay.  I was picky about colors (I wanted white, yellow and a few fuchsia), and I waited until last minute to purchase these so they are def not the cheapest. They are $5.89 I believe a piece -not a great price, but I ran out of time -  free shipping, but wonderful quality!  So so soft, and all of my guests loved them!   

              #9 lgerry

              • Jr. Member
              • 349 posts
              • Wedding Date:January 15, 2014
              • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

              Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

              Thank you so much! NEW Solid Silk Pashmina Shawl Wrap Stole Cashmere Scarf Pickascarf is who I bought through on ebay.  I was picky about colors (I wanted white, yellow and a few fuchsia), and I waited until last minute to purchase these so they are def not the cheapest. They are $5.89 I believe a piece -not a great price, but I ran out of time -  free shipping, but wonderful quality!  So so soft, and all of my guests loved them!   

              awesome, thanks!!! :)

              #10 MCree

              • Jr. Member
              • 276 posts

                Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

                Bride and Groom Gifts

                For my groom’s gift,  I hesitantly did a boudoir shoot with a good friend of mine who is a photographer, and I then made a photobook for him on adoramapix.com. I researched books, and I found that their books are of great quality for the price! This is MOH presenting him with it on our wedding morning. He had no idea and absolutely loved it! Im so glad I did this after all.







                My groom gave me my gift the day before we left  for Mexico. It is a cross that he had custom made. Pictures don’t even do it justice . . . it is sooo beautiful!





                Bridal Party Gifts

                MOH gifts

                In addition to buying her dress for the wedding day, we gave her extra goodies in her OOT bag at the welcome dinner.  These included a grey getting ready romper outfit for day of, a fuchsia Robe with “MOH” rhinestones on back, a personalized compact Mirror from ebay, and a starfish wine stopper from oriental trading.com.  





                BM/ FOG gifts

                In addition to buying his outfit for the wedding day, we also bought groom’s BM a personalized tan leather toiletry bag from personalizationmall.com and a starfish wine stopper from oriental trading.com to add to his OOT bag. The bag was great quality.

                (sorry, I don't currently have any pics of it.)


                MOB and MOG

                We gave our moms personalized handkerchiefs and a personalized compact (same as above) with their name engraved on it from ebay.  (This is the pic on the site)



                Welcome Dinner 

                We had our welcome in the wine cellar. We had was one long table decorated in rose pedals and candles. It was simple and elegant. 





                I found my welcome dinner dress at Express.  I bought it while they had a 50% off sale.  This is me posing with Melissa with Bliss Photography.  She did our TTD, boudoir shoot and captured so many wonderful pictures of our special day.  She is an awesome photographer!!








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