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amberduke

Amber Duke's Planning Thread: Barcelo Maya Palace

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1. Location: Barcelo Maya Palace, Riviera Maya, Mexico

 

Our family is from all over and Billy had his heart set on a February wedding (our anniversary is "sometime in February" haha). Since a February wedding in Chicago is out of the question, we thought "If everyone has to travel anyway, why not escape the cold for a week or two in Mexico?"

 

We chose Barcelo Maya Palace because our family has vacationed there before and it would be family friendly for my cousin and niece. It is a truly beautiful place and I recall the first time I was there wondering: how do colors this rich exist in real life?!

 

2. The Ring:

 

When Billy asked me what kind of ring I might want, I called my mom for advice. Her response was: "The one we already have for you!" My Great-Grandmother's rings were left to my mother and then me! My mother gave him the ring the next time we went to visit them in Texas (and he asked my father for permission). He loved it because it was free and I love it because it is beautiful and has a story!

 

3. Engagement Pictures: 

 

Billy's father is a portrait photographer, but a girlfriend from work (who's photo journalism style I really admire) volunteered to do our pictures as a wedding present. We went out for less than thirty minutes and then went to lunch! I was honestly more excited to spend time with her than take a ton a pictures. Her name is Kate DeLaRosa and her blog (including images I drool over in my spare time) is www.diapersandskinnyjeans.com 

 

Here are a few samples (she got these to me the next day):

 

 

 

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4. My Dress

 

My Maid of Honor, Lauren, sent me a picture of this dress and I knew immediately that I wanted it for my wedding, BUT of course the designer no longer made the dress! My mother and Lauren tracked down a size 10 (I am about a size 4 in this style) and we ordered it! It is currently being rebuilt to fit me and I couldn't love it more! It. Has. Pockets!!!!

 

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 75

 

 

5. Bridesmaid Dresses

 

I grew up a dancing and was opposed to the bridesmaids look like they were in costume. I think this is what I was most picky about in ALL of the planning! I scoured Bhldn and Nordstrom and ModCloth and all of the other sites for ideas. I ended up with a mix that I love and makes them look/feel pretty. My mother and I paid for the dresses, so even if they hate them: it doesn't matter! haha

 

 

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This has their sizes- oops, and Briana's changed BUT you get the jist!

 

to be continued...

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6. Flower Girl 

 

My niece will be 8 months old and My SIL is carrying her down the aisle in this adorable romper that I got this from lovetobejewel on etsy

 

 

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And this sweet headband from adamsblankie on easy as well:

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6. Save the Dates

 

So I am a terrible bride and don't have a decent picture of my Save the Dates so I took a screen shot of an image my friend posted on instagram :/ eek! People raved about them and posted pictures of them on Instagram and Facebook...so it was worth the time to put them together (which I likely wouldn't have ordered had I know I was going to lace ribbon through 150 of these suckers! www.paper-source.com and the personalized stamps were from zazzle.com

 

 

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7. Shoes and Veil

 

I got these Badgley Mishka pumps ON SALE from Lord & Taylor online. Now I have never set foot in a L&T but they were $100 less than Nordstrom/Zappos AND then I got an extra 20% off!

 

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I got this veil made by kellyM5 on easy.com (and I promptly cut off the pearl strands sticking up!)

 

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While we are on the veil, I am hoping Adrian from Styling Trio can get my hair to look like this (I do have red hair that I have been growing out ALL YEAR- ugh): 

 

 

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8. Invitations

 

Again, I am not the best bride in documenting paper, but I absolutely loved the invites that my mother designed/assembled with the help of Billy and my brother Cameron. 

 

 

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More to come...

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Your engagement photos are so cute!!! I love your dress, and the mix you found for your BMs too. Can't wait to see more!

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6. Shoes and Veil/Hair

 

I ordered my veil from kellyM5 on easy (although I promptly cut off the white pearl strand things):700

 

I have been growing out my hair since we were engaged (which is reddish and I can't wait to cut it!!!) and this is my inspiration for the day:

 

 

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And these are the shoes I will wear for pictures. They are Badgley Mishka's that I found magically on sale at Lordandtaylor.com Seriously, they are normally over $200 and I snagged them for $70! 

 

 

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7. Save the Dates

 

I am the worst at documenting things and so I stole a screen shot from a friend on Instagram of our Save the Dates. I guess people liked them because there were about 10 people who accidentally posted our address on Instagram/Facebook when they were mailed out!

 

 

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8. Invitations

 

Again, not the best at documenting, but my mother designed these suckers and we pulled a late night when Billy and I went to visit for the holidays to put them all together and address/stamp them! So far, the reviews are great. I am lucky to have such a create mum!

 

 

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9. Flower Girl Outfit

 

My 7 month old niece- Maris- will be our flower girl (my sister-in-law, Lauren will carry her down the aisle) and we pretty much wanted to purchase this adorable romper for her! We got it from lovetobejewel on etsy, and again we promptly removed the flowers!

 

 

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We also ordered this headband, although we aren't sure if it will work. We ordered it from adamsblankie on etsy:

 

 

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10. The Rings:

 

Billy chose his ring all by himself and I was really impressed. It was from jessedanger on etsy and is silver on the outside and rose gold on the inside. Hey whatever makes him happy (and it was only $350!) haha:

 

 

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My ring was more difficult to shop for because it is over 90 years old and has a curve to it...we sought advice from a nearby jewelry store and Billy's mom actually pointed this one out to us! 

 

 

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Here is how they look together (so awkward):

 

 

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11. "City-Hall Hitched"

 

We chose to do the legal ceremony on the 90th anniversary of my great-grandparent's wedding (since I am wearing her ring) at Chicago's City Hall. It wasn't glamorous and we went alone (which almost broke my mother's heart), but it was actually really nice to take this first step the two of us!

 

I still wanted to feel "bridal" so I rented this Badgley Mishka garden party dress from renttherunway.com for city hall and dinner after. I felt so pretty and received a ton of compliments from complete strangers! 

 

 

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Here is a picture of Billy and I at City Hall:

 

 

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12. Bachelorette:

 

So I absolutely insisted that I did NOT want a bridal shower or bachelorette party since only ONE of the bridesmaids lives in Chicago. My bridesmaids/maid-of-honor are stubborn and decided to throw me one anyhow. They flew in from California and New York to be here and remotely planned a lovely day/night!

 

My favorite part (and the part worth copying for others) was a wine/painting party at a local studio. We had a blast and learned how to paint high heels! It was so much fun that my local bridesmaid is doing it for her birthday this weekend! haha

 

 

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Additionally, my mother-in-law took some of us out to a casino/resort another weekend for massages, dinner, and the Wilson Phillips concert (a-la-Bridesmaids the movie). The hilarious part is that I was pulled up onstage to dance with them during "Dancing Queen" and was "small town famous" for the rest of the weekend. Who knew you could have so much fun in Michigan City, Indiana?!

 

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 (PS- we were super dressed down for the event!)

 

Next up: the cake, wedding programs, guest "book", and more!

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13. Groomsmen

 

Billy chose these on his own and my only direction was "Whatever makes you happy." They shirts/pants are from J.Crew and the shoes he ordered from Zappos. He turned to me this morning and said "I forgot about belts!" haha

 

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14. Wedding Programs

 

I ordered these from LilyAmongThornsBride on etsy and they should be here this week! I liked that they were different and Kate's husband (the awesome photographer: diapersandskinnyjeans.com) thought they would make a great picture! With all of the etsy vendors, I tried to be as easygoing as possible, so I would literally tell them: keep the font, coloring, materials, etc as in your posting and just change the names/location! 

 

 

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15. Bridesmaids Gifts:

 

I am paying for the infamous Adrian from Styling Trio to come do our hair and makeup as well as these robes (that just arrived today!) at $50/each from Underwrapz on etsy: 

 

 

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I also ordered some for my mom and mother-in-law!

 

I ordered these for everyone to wear that day, WAY cheaper than the original idea I had to get them pearl studs from Tiffany's! They were only $12/each from PearlyJaneBridal on etsy:

 

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And finally, these beautiful and handmade thank you cards from ifiwerecards on etsy for only $3.50 each!: 700

 

16. Cards for Mom's and Dad and Billy (and my Aunt Pat who purchased the cake and helped with a ton of the planning):

 

I also got these from ifiwerecards on etsy, they ranged in price from $7-$15 each. Again, I requested them as shown and with only our names changed! 

 

 

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17. Guest Book

 

I did not find ANY guest books that I could imagine keeping (I am the opposite of a pack rat- I throw away everything!) until I found this Guest Book Box made by braggingbags on etsy:

 

 

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18. Out of Town Bags

 

I was dreading these and went back and forth about a thousand times if I wanted to put forth the effort...I have and am now stuck trying to pull it all together. I really wanted a way to thank everyone for coming down to Mexico, but didn't want them to look tacky.

 

I about died when my mother-in-law offered to do them and suggested Mexican candies/chips and small towels for the bags and immediately took them over! (this sounds mean, but I swear- what about this wedding so far screams "Mexico!" how cheesy would that have been?!)

 

Anyhow, now that you all think I am a mean girl- and again, I swear I am not!- let's move on.

 

I ordered plain canvas bags with the following screen printed onto it:

 

 

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They were $2.15 each and I ordered them through Totally Promotion.

 

Since the whole point was to thank everyone for coming, I ordered the following Welcome/Thank You/Itinerary Cards from hvh941 on etsy. She was absolutely lovely to work with! They came out $2 a card, but that includes the double sided linen card, envelope, and custom sticker. The first is the example and the rest are the proofs for ours!

 

 

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Billy wanted cups. And he wanted color. The following is our compromise from discountmugs.com. I think they ended up being $1 each. I am sure people will love them, whatever msnwink.gif:

 

 

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I also ordered custom water bottle stickers and did task the mother-in-law with buying those in Mexico (she is getting there 2 days before us). 

 

And my mother ordered vintage postcards and we are putting 2 in each bag: 1 that will be addressed to us for our guests to write down their favorite memory of the weekend and the other for them to keep/send to someone else! I don't know where she got the postcards from, but I do that she worked with packandpost on etsy to get the vintage stamps (that we also used for the invitations):

 

 

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Is there anything else I should be considering for these things?!

 

HALP.

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