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ChocoTaco's May 18,2013 Planning Thread

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#1 ChocoTaco7568

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    Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

    CHOCOTACO7568’s PLANNING THREAD… I can be verbose so feel free to just look at the pics!

    I have been a member since January 2012 and have loved all the fantastic women that I have met along the way especially in the ‘Official NOW Jade’ and ‘May 2013 Brides’ threads.  I’m very sad to see this journey come to an end but without hesitation can say that I’ve enjoyed the process. I want to thank all of the past and current BDW brides who were willing to share their ideas, how-to’s, inspirations and support. Without BDW and its many contributors, my upcoming wedding and planning experience would have not been the same. 


    So where to start… maybe with a bit of history.


    My Fianc© Justin and I went on our first date on May 18th 2007. We are both transplants to the Pacific Northwest (Portland OR). I’m from Pennsylvania and he’s from Montana.  We both moved to Portland in pursuit of relationships years prior to meeting.  Long story short, both of these relationships failed us within months of relocating, but they are the reason we are together now.


    We met thru mutual friends (but not a set-up), and it must have been perfect timing because neither of us associates with those people anymore.  We didn’t anticipate that this relationship would evolve into anything. I was supposed to be his rebound since he just ended a relationship 2 months prior and I was actually planning on moving back home to Philly at the end of the summer.  After 3 short months, instead of moving back home, I moved in with Justin and we’ve been inseparable ever since. 


    Justin proposed shortly after our 4 year anniversary on my birthday. Most of my friends and family forgot it was my birthday, work sucked, the dinner plans that Justin made got ruined.  Around 10pm, I finally called it a night and went upstairs to shower with the thought that this was the worse birthday ever.  I open the bathroom door to find my Justin on bended knee with a ring in hand.  Happy Birthday to Me!



    Justin is traditional and there was no way that he would propose without a ring. But he did so knowing that it would be a placeholder until I found something that I liked.  I don’t consider myself traditional and knew that I didn’t want the typical round brilliant or a princess cut and when I first saw an Asscher, I fell in love.  The ring that my Fi proposed with is now my right-hand ring.


    #2 ChocoTaco7568

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      Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:04 PM


      We wanted to go custom with our rings, but due to cost for what we want, we decided to wait until our 3rd anniversary. However, when you know exactly want you want and have to buy from stocked inventory, it makes matters a bit more complicated.  I never knew how much Justin actually paid attention to detail until it came to time to find his wedding band.  After 8 jewelry stores (3 of them twice), he scrutinized over every detail and found one


      My ring it a full eternity of vertical channel set baguettes. Both of our rings are cast from platinum.

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      Having a destination wedding was an easy decision.  We live in OR, and most of our family and friends live out of state in AZ, VA, MD, MT, PA and WA. Regardless of where we get married, most guests would incur travel expenses.  Our location was also any easy choice.  Since we celebrated our 2nd and 4th anniversary in the Riviera Maya, why not get married there for the 6th year anniversary of our first date, May 18, 2013. We considered getting married in 2012, but there were other financial priorities and we wanted to pay for our wedding with 100% cash. This also gave our guests ample time to save (although in the end this didn’t seem to matter).

      #3 ChocoTaco7568

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        Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:06 PM


        We didn’t start planning until we were about 18 months out (6 months post engagement); I guess we didn’t see much urgency since we had so much time. And a small guest list of  +/-30


        Plan A - Initially I had my heart set on renting out Hacienda Caracol in Soliman Bay.  I still dream about this place… one day <sigh>.  Unfortunately, understanding our family and friends financial limitations, we couldn’t proceed with these plans.  The cost breakdown per room would have been too spendy, nor could we afford to pay down the cost for our guests.  We also understood very early on that some of our guest only intended on staying for 3, 5 or 7 nights and the villa required a 7 night minimum stay. Yes there are plenty of villas in the Riviera Maya, but I wasn’t interested in those for various reasons.


        Plan B - Find hotel accommodations for our guest and have our wedding and reception at a small private beach club.  Our top choices were: the Grand Coral Beach club in Playa del Carmen, Zama Beach Club in Isla Mujeres, and Akiin Beach Club in Tulum.  If it weren’t for the cost of hiring a private WC and the costly site fees for a Saturday wedding, these might have been viable options. These were quickly vetoed by Justin.  


        This is when I hit the peak of my frustration and signed up for BDW and stumbled upon Plan C, All Inclusive Wedding Packages.  I’m sure this seems obvious to most of you, but we never stayed at an AI and frankly we were never interested in doing so.  An AI wedding was a hard sell when I proposed this to Justin.  But after doing a bit of research, we began to feel more comfortable and happy with the idea. 


        We ended up with to deposits reserving our date at Dreams Riviera Cancun and Now Jade (not normal, but our wedding date is our anniversary so it was pretty important to secure).  From the time of my deposit it took a month to decide between the two resorts. In the end Now Jade covered 25 guests for the same package price and amenities and Dreams only covered 20 guests.  And prior to 2013 group rates being published NOW Jade offered promo pricing which made the per person rate about $25/night cheaper which seems minor but it adds up quick. That promo on the 2012 group rates sealed the deal.







        Teresa Stauring – Vacation4less

        I found Teresa through BDW and love her!  I'd probably invite her to the wedding if it wasn't weird. There are so many friends and family members that have added stress and frustration to my wedding plans and Teresa is one of the few that has been a positive constant that I never had to worry about.   I first contacted Teresa in Jan 2012, and signed our contract Mar 2012 after asking question after question, clarification ontop of clarification and posed every hypothetical scenario; I'm sure I was annoying.  Her friendly demeanor and responsiveness never wavered.  And I've received great feedback from my guests who have booked through her. Without question, one of my best wedding planning decisions.

        #4 ChocoTaco7568

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          Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

          COLOR SCHEME

          My favorite flower is a green cymbidium orchid and my favorite color is chartreuse; which came first, I honeslty don’t know.  Chartreuse and sangria and the cymbidium orchid was used in every DIY paper based project and set the scheme for our wedding.  In hind sight, these were not the easiest colors to find and coordinate.   But by the time I owned up to this reality I was too vested and had to ride it out.  Fingers crossed that when it’s all said and done that it looks good.







          I purchased my original dress 16 months prior to my wedding.  I am among the minority of brides who actually found a dress that met my initial search criteria and vision: mermaid, no or minimal bling, button with a real loop closure (the more the merrier), ivory, sweetheart neckline, and a fun/dramatic bottom.  The dress… Alvina Valenta 9105.   




          And then there was dress #2…


          Long story short I was watching an episode of SYTTD with my Fi and my dress happened to be featured (no he didn’t know).  He tends to freely voice his opinions about the dresses in the show and my dress was no exception… “That’s an interesting dress, but it doesn’t look suitable for a wedding.  If it wasn’t white you wouldn’t know it was a wedding dress”.  You know what, he was right.  While I loved every detail of that dress and think it reflects my personality to a ‘T’ it never gave me a bridal feeling which is a pretty important factor to overlook. 


          During my first round of trying on dresses I never had a "bride" feeling, and  I thought it was something that most women experience but not all. And i was okay with that since I never considered myself the type of person to get emotional over a wedding dress.  So I went with the dress that I loved and felt fantastic in and thought that was sufficient.  But after the  SYTTD  moment, I had mental disconnect with my dress...I realized I wanted Justin to see me as his bride and if I don't feel like one then then there's a problem.  Honestly, if it weren't for this moment, I don't think there would have been a dress #2.  Any-who, the dress that stole my heart and made me get a bit choked up is my San Patrick Rivoli.  It met my original criteria the only surprise was that I went for head-to-toe lace , which was something I didn’t think I wanted. I didn’t try on a single lace dress during my first four bridal appointments.



          I also think most mermaids look best with a sash.  I wasn’t crazy about the one that came with the dress, so I didn’t even order it.  But I decided to jazz it up a bit with some bling!




          #5 ChocoTaco7568

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            Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:27 PM

            Hair Flower

            After hours of searching for the perfect hair accessory I stumbled upon this lace, flower and rhinestone fascinator. This was hand made by etsy seller: Brenda’s Bridal Veils.  I love this accessory and it really catches light and sparkles like crazy.


            The topic came up casually with Justin one day that he actually assumed I was and wanted me to where a veil.  I was quite surprised that he had an opinion about this… who knew?!?!?  I had no intention of wearing a veil, I never even tried one on with my original dress.   As it turns, out, I actually like the look and it made me feel more like a bride.  Hmmm, maybe I should have tried a veil on with my AV9105…Oh well.

            I had this veil custom made for me by the same esty seller who created my fascinator.  It’s very similar to the image shown but the alencon lace appliques are different and also have crystal and pearl embellishment.



            From the moment we finalized our wedding colors I knew I wanted to wear a chartreuse/lime green shoe.  Surprisingly this was the most difficult component of my wedding look to find; it was quite the undertaking.



            This was easy.  I knew I wanted jewelry with huge sparkle factor, but nothing that would promote a vintage feel.  I wanted to by a modern lace bride. Items on the wish list: Drop earrings and a bracelet.



            Nadri bracelet from Nordstroms



            USA Bride Tear Drop earrings from amazon.com



            #6 ChocoTaco7568

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              Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:27 PM

              Posting this planning thread is a bit more involved than I anticipate... More to come!

              #7 ChocoTaco7568

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                Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:36 AM

                Hair Inspiration

                I love up-dos and think they perfectly accentuate a women’s  d©colletage, but I  have scoliosis and a pretty gnarly scar on my back to prove it, so no up-do for me.  I found this pic of Carrie Underwood and loved it.   Extensions? Yes please! The added length will also act as camouflage to my scoliosis. I’m going for a combination of these three.



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                Wedding day make-up is actually included in my package, but I have zero interest in being someone’s guinea pig on my wedding day. This may sound harsh, but I have had more failed make-up consultations (by professionals) than successes and I don’t want to waste my time having someone do my make-up just so I can hate it and have to do it myself.  And I would prefer to purchase my own makeup that I can keep than pay for a trial. I tested out multiple products this past summer to make sure I was sweat, tear, humidity, and transfer proof.


                Anyway, this is my inspiration and the look that I’m coming pretty close to perfecting, the only change, is a more pronounced plum/eggplant smoked eye.



                #8 ChocoTaco7568

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                  Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:53 AM

                  GROOM/BM ATTIRE

                  Both Justin and his BM will be wearing Linen pants with a matching vest by Perry Ellis.  We considering having Justin wear the matching blazer but thought it would be too warm but wanted him to stand apart from his BM.  So Justin will be the only one wearing a necktie.   We bought a dress shirt from Nordstroms which has a small white tonal paisley pattern and subtle sheen. It dresses up the linen perfectly. The pic below is prior to alterations




                  Groom Shoes

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                  BM Shoes


                  MOH ATTIRE

                  We only have an MOH and BM, luckily for me I only had 1 person to please and we have similar taste so there was never any level of conflict. I desperately wanted a chartreuse green dress, but after looking at dozens of brands and swatches, I quickly realized that it just wouldn't happen; this is also the moment when I decide to tweak the color scheme of my wedding a bit to include eggplant.

                   After 3 stores and 20+ dresses we knew this was the one before she could even get the zipper up. It was everything we were looking for... short, chiffon, well-constructed, and something she actually likes enough to wear again without feeling/looking like she should be in a wedding party.   Again, since I only have the one MOH, I didn’t really care how she accessorized the look, but did request a metallic heeled sandal.

                  #9 Rpc51

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                    Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:13 PM

                    I know you are probably still adding to this but when you get done, can you tell me what makeup products you bought to wear for the wedding. I am having a hard time deciding what is best as fat as foundation, concealer, long wear lip color, etc. I'm so excited for you . . . your day is almost here!

                    #10 ChocoTaco7568

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                      Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

                      Hey Rcp,


                      I had similar concerns...I selected a few days over the summer of 2012 to do full face make-up test to prepare for my bridal look.  I choose days were the high was 90+  and went to Sephora 3 times and MAC once.  Make-up was applied between 10:00 and noon and wore until I went to bed.  The task: I wanted to be tear-proof, transfer-proof, sweat proof, able to endure humidity, photo ready, 12+ hours of wear and something mattifying. I went to the gym on these days, watched a movie that I knew would make me cry, and checked transferability by blotting my face with a white shirt throughout the day.  The following is what I finally went with.  If you want to know the complete list of items I experimented with let me know and I can provide those too.



                      Primer – Tarte Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting Primer, creates a great canvas, really minimizes pores and it’s waterproof.  I also like Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

                      Foundation – Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation (great color selection for darker skin tones)

                      Concealer – Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer

                      Blush – Smashbox Factory Airblush Whipped Cheek in Berry Bliss with light sweep of MAC Mineralize Blush in Lovejoy on top (I have a few more recommendations if needed but this is my wedding look)

                      Bronzer – Nars Casino (subtle glow-my day time option) or Laura Mercier Golden Mosaic Shimmer Color Bloc (more light reflecting, great for evenings)

                      Contour – Really hard to find a contour for dark skin so I use a matte eye shadow from MAC 2 shades darker than my complexion

                      Highlighter – Concealer 1 shade lighter than skin tone and mixed with Nars Illuminator in Orgasm   

                      EyeLiner – Stilla Stay All Day Waterproof Liner (liquid liner)

                      Eyeshadow Primer – Urban Decay Original Primer Potion (love this stuff, it’s been my go to for 3 years now)

                      Eyeshadow – MAC has the best pigments in my opinion.  If you want to know the specifics for my eye look let me know.

                      Mascara – Lancome Power Mascara Lon Wearing Formula (what I would use if I wasn’t getting lash extensions)

                      Brows – Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil

                      Lipliner - Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil

                      Finishing - Make Up For Ever HD MicroFinish Powder

                      Optional investment - Original Beauty Blender Sponge, this truly gives a flawless application.  If it weren’t for my wedding I probably would have never purchased this thing, but I was aiming for perfection.



                      I can’t believe I’m putting all this stuff on my face,  but I love my bridal look and how it photographs.  Each item above really make for a complete and polished look.

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