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Butterflies

Maria's after the wedding Planning Journal, DIY Wedding *Lots of PICS*

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Finally I have the opportunity to post the planning list of our wedding that was at Dreams La Romana, Dominican Republic. When I started planning our wedding I found this awesome forum and it was a gold mine for me! It was a great source of inspiration and motivation that help me accept the challenge of a DIY wedding.  I must thank everyone that has shared ideas here, and hopefully mi ideas could be of help to someone!

 

Our Engagement

We got engaged in June last year, my now husband (still getting used to the term, LOL) proposed on my birthday. He first thought proposing on our first anniversary in July, but in the end he couldnâ€t wait! In the morning he gave me a birthday gift with a card saying that this was the first of my gifts. Then for lunch he brought me a big bouquet of roses (I love roses, in fact they were our wedding flowers). Then in the evening he was taking me out for diner to a surprise place, and when I went to the living room I found a new card placed in the roses; when I took the card right behind it I found a small box with the shape of a red rose and the ring inside. Right there he proposed. I was at the restaurant looking at my ring like OMG Iâ€m engaged! I couldnâ€t believe it, jajaja cheesy.gif

 

Save the Date

I love chickens as pets but I wanted a more traditional wedding, still I wanted to include chickens somewhere, so we found these amazing bride and groom chickens, and took them with us to a cruise around South Europe (we live in Spain, that is why youâ€ll see the texts in Spanish). We shot the chickens everywhere we could and did a video to announce the save the date. This is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zscl8DMsLHo

 

Wedding website

Since we had guest from 8 different countries, we did a website to provide all the travel information, and also put the story of how we met, what we though when we first saw each other, etc. The website was free, I did it with weddingwire, they have nice designs and it is really easy to use. Also they have great software for planning the seating distribution of the guests –we were over 50 people so was very helpful for me. http://www.weddingwire.com/

 

Invitations

All the elements for the wedding were DIY projects. The theme of the wedding was butterflies, so these are the invitations, very traditional style with butterflies and textures. Inside each invitation I added a small handwritten card, since I wanted a wedding full of personalized details like this, and people appreciated it.

 

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I put some texture on the white envelopes

 

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This is the small note that I inserted into each invitation with a handwritten message msnwink.gif

 

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The OOT bags

I ordered some Out Of Town beach bags. For all these I used a more informal theme than butterflies, so made a logo of flip flops that were used for everything before and after the wedding day. Also I used blue instead of purple since my husband favorite color is blue and he was so sweet letting me choose my favorite colors for the wedding. We put inside the welcome brochure

 

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Also we put a blue chicken pen, people loved it LOL

 

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a small post-it notebook,

 

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 a practical waterproof pouch to carry around money/camera/mobile phone, everyone carried these around!

 

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a “please do not disturb†sign,

 

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an inflatable travel pillow,

 

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a beach ball,

 

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a small sewing-kit,

 

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and a "Besame Mucho" chap lipstick

 

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People loved the OOT bags and used them, it was great since hotel staff sometimes would tell us, "yes, a lady carrying a bag like yours is already inside eating" LOL

 

For my father and my husband I ordered baseball caps, like my fiance said "the Groom".

 

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For my sister, aunt, father, mother in law, sister in law and brother in law I ordered some bags from Vistaprint, that say “father of the bride†“sister of the groom"...

 

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For my husband and me we did some Vistaprint t-shirts. One for the day before the wedding that reads “soon: married forever†for the bachelor party.

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Also had this one “Just Married†t—shirt made for the day after the wedding

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I also ordered some iron-on rhinestones at Etsy and did some tank shirts that said “Bride†and another that said “Yes†that I wore the morning of the wedding cheer2.gif

 

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The wedding - Programs

 

In the Spanish culture we are not used to having programs as part of the wedding, but I saw the idea in this forum and thought it was great for us, since both my mother and my husbandâ€s father passed away, and dedicating a space in the programs was a right way to honor their memories. But then I got kind of excited and finished doing a 3 pages program, jajaja, including a ticket that you could tear from the programs, saying “valid for a dance with the bride or the groomâ€. This was fun since some of my guests did claim their coupons, jajaja

 

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I wanted to create a whole set for the programs, including a small fan, so it has different parts: first a cover that was like a thin box with a ribbon and the same texture as the invitations.

 

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When you opened the cover, inside you found a small envelope containing Kleenex with a wedding-theme print, and the envelope reads “For the tears of Joyâ€. My friends and I always cry at each otherâ€s weddings… my wedding was the last one so I knew we would get emotional, and I was sooo right ;)

 

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Also there was a second envelope full of confetti in form of butterflies (also I cut these ones… looong nights), the envelope read “For throwing good wishes to the newlywedsâ€, in the pictures these looked  very nice! And some of the butterflies even attached to the wedding dress,

 

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it was a very nice part of the wedding watching all my butterflies flying around us!

 

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Finally you had the little white pai pai fan and the program. It was a lot of work doing all those pieces, but it was worth it, our guests took the programs home to keep them, they loved it.

 

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Ceremony decoration

My colors were purple, white and rose. For the wedding gazebo, we had white and purple decoration and sashes (from the hotel). This is how it looked

 

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For the ceremony I did some signs to reserve the bridal party seats

 

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I also cut (and added texture…) to a lot of white butterflies for putting in the “hallwayâ€, instead of having the red carpet. It looked very nice

 

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At some point we had a bit of rain, so the parasol that I brought as decoration was very helpful LOL

 

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Dress and suit

This is the dress I chose (I still don´t have the professional pictures, but gives you an idea). I ordered the veil at Light in the Box, they have many things for weddings and pretty cheap veils.

 

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My fiancé was wearing a black suit and the purple jacket and tie. The bridal party (3 small nephews) had white clothes with a purple sash in the waist. In the picture you can also see my bouquet, from the hotel, white and purple roses, and my husband had a boutonniere with the same colors.

 

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These are the baskets and lanterns that the bridal party had (I added all the butterflies)

 

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Reception

Decoration for the reception (at Seaside Grill, Dreams La Romana) had butterflies all around. I ordered flower centers from the hotel, and asked them to attach my DIY butterflies, also they put butterflies in the table and butterflies seating cards. This is how it looked

 

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These are the seating cards, attached to each glass. Iâ€m especially proud of this one since it took lot of effort, and everyone loved them!

 

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The butterflies menus

 

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The table names ( we chose counties since we had guests from so many different counties there)

 

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For the kids we put an activity book in their seats, they loved them and were bringing us their colored drawings, so cute! These can be found at Oriental Trading, the booklet with a box of 5 crayons

 

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For the signature book we made a pre-wedding photo shooting and them made an album with spaces for people to sign. It is great since now it is a cute album with our photos and our guests good wishes cheesy.gif

 

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As favors, I did personalized key-rings with a heart that had engraved our names and date. For my sister and friends who love Hello Kitty I put a Hello Kitty charm, for a pilot friend I put a plane charm, for an aunt who loves her dog I added a dog charm, for a friend who loves taking pictures a camera charm, so everyone had a different key-ring based on their hobbies, also with their names initials on it. They loved it and some of them changed key-rings right away!

 

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I put the key-rings inside little boxes, and added a personalized handwritten card tied with ribbon. The card folded in 3 parts, and it reads “Love is the master keyâ€

 

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Hora Loca

After dinner, we had something called “Crazy Hour†so we gave masks and wigs (that we brought) to the guests and had very lively music and hotel dansers for about an hour, we did group choreographies like Gangnam Style, Macarena, a limbo, etc. It was like a carnival and everyone loved that! That made them dance a lot, even my 80 years old aunt! It was lot of FUN!

 

Trash the Dress

For the wedding I wore white shoes since I wanted a very traditional-religious wedding. But for the photo shooting I wore purple shoes.

 

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Also we did the trash the dress in the hotel beach

 

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Wedding Music

We provided all the music to the DJ. So the day after the wedding we gave to our guests pen drives with all the wedding music as thank-you-and-goodbye gift. They love it, some of them sent me messages saying that they carry the pen drive on their car radios, or that they put it to their kids for dancing. Also it was great for the videographer, so he can use the music for our video pinkie.gif

 

My Experience!

 

Doing all these things was a great experience and I enjoyed a lot doing the DIY projects. It was like magic watching them the day of the wedding, all the things I worked at!

 

So if you have the courage and motivation, it is great and when people know you did them yourself, they see every piece of the wedding as a memorable keepsake (like some of my friends even took home the menus, that felt good!). I can assure you that the DIY projects pay off and make you feel proud cheesy.gif

 

Enjoy your craft projects, and again THANKS for all the great ideas that you shared and were of big help for me!

If you have any doubts or have any questions, just let me know and Iâ€ll be more than glad to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maria- This thread is so inspirational! Your wedding is so beautiful, and I love all of the DIY touches. I know that your guests felt cherished, and will be talking about this for years to come. P.S. I will definitely be using some of these ideas!

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Originally Posted by brownsugarbride View Post

 

Maria-

This thread is so inspirational! Your wedding is so beautiful, and I love all of the DIY touches. I know that your guests felt cherished, and will be talking about this for years to come.

 

P.S. I will definitely be using some of these ideas!

Thanks BrownSugarBride!

I'm glad you like some the ideas. A good part of the wedding is making the preparations and it is definetely great when you enjoy this part almost as the wedding itself (of course the wedding day beats everything else! LOL). I wish you good luck and lot of happiness with your preparations!

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Thanks BrownSugarBride! I'm glad you like some the ideas. A good part of the wedding is making the preparations and it is definetely great when you enjoy this part almost as the wedding itself (of course the wedding day beats everything else! LOL). I wish you good luck and lot of happiness with your preparations!
I'm a bit stressed right now trying to pick the right resort *sigh*, but I'm looking forward to the actual preparations part.

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Originally Posted by brownsugarbride View Post

 

 

I'm a bit stressed right now trying to pick the right resort *sigh*, but I'm looking forward to the actual preparations part.

 

I can imagine! My wedding was at Dreams La Romana (Dominican Republic), I'm not sure if you are looking into that country or more Mexico, but Dreams La Romana was incredible in terms of the wedding coordinators, wedding food, service and locations (like semi-private spots for the ceremonias. They have garden gazebo, where I married, and also beach spots).

 

Also it is an all-inclusive, so once you pay the trip, no need to carry money around the hotel, they have like six different restaurants at night (also included in the hotel price) that my guests enjoyed quite a lot. I wrote the hotel review here if you would like to see it (the review is more wedding-oriented but I can tell you more about the hotel if you wish, or send you pictures).

http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/products/dreams-la-romana-resort-spa-all-inclusive/reviews/7258

Good luck with finding a great hotel!

 

Also, I had people coming from 8 different countries, so we hired the Travel Agency from this site, called Wright Travel. They are based in the US, and have good packages for people travelling from the US. They made a great job in managing all the reservations, and since we were a group (around 50 people) we even got some money remboursed after the trip! I also wrote a review -they manage any country, not only Dominican Republic- and they are specialized in destination weddings. Therefore they can also arrange tours inside the country if you wish to do a trip with your guests. This is the travel agency review (also great level of service!): http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/products/wright-travel-agency-destination-wedding-and-honeymoon-specialists/reviews/7257

 

You'll see that you'll find a great hotel, and I can assure you that this forum is a great source of information (it helped me a lot in taking so many decisions!), so you are starting at the right place cheesy.gif

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Maria - how beautiful! I love the butterflies, and all of your OOT items. The colors are all amazing. And you were such a stunning bride. Wishing you & your husband all the happiness and joy in the world! 

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Originally Posted by AllieH View Post

 

Maria - how beautiful! I love the butterflies, and all of your OOT items. The colors are all amazing. And you were such a stunning bride. Wishing you & your husband all the happiness and joy in the world! 

 

Many thanks for the great wishes Allie!! I'm still waiting for the profesional pictures where hopefully the colors will look more bright since the purple paper I used had a little glitter on it cheesy.gif

The photographer is a friend of ours who came from Spain (http://www.imagingfactory.es/Inicio.html). He did pretty funny things for the wedding group pictures and the trash the dress, like these LOL

 

 

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Hi again,

I just realized that there were a few things missing from the planning list, so I'm adding them, in case you find some ideas useful cheesy.gif

 

The centerpieces butterflies

As I mentioned before, as part of the DIY I had butterflies for adding to the hotel flowers centerpieces. To make these butterflies easy to attach to the flowers, I glued two butterflies together, but adding first a very thin iron cord that I attached with tape. After that, I put some rhinestones as decoration and ready!

 

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You can see here the very thin metal cord that was a good solution to easily attach the butterflies to the flowers centerpieces

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This is how the final centerpieces looked like with the butterflies attach to the roses and plants

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The cake

We wanted a bigger cake than what was offered at the hotel, so we used an external provider and they did a great job. We loved the cake, with so many butterflies on it! and guests liked very much the taste, we had guava filling and other parts with strawberry filling love.gif

 

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For cutting the cake I ordered an engraved cutting set from Light in the Box, I think the price was around 20 dollars. I put butterflies instead of the lilac flowers.

 

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My hair tiara was also from Light in the Box, they have many nice things for weddings and cheap prices. The only advice is to order things with enough time since it can take 3 weeks to arrive!

 

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This is a closer picture of my wedding bouquet. It had White and light purple roses.

The song that I chose for tossing the bouquet was "All the Single Ladies" (Beyonce) I got the idea from this forum cheesy.gif

 

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This is the DIY card I made to my friend who went with me to look for the dress, I gave it to her with a personalized gift.

 

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This is a close up of the OOT bags flip flop logo

 

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And also before going to the Dominican Republic we sent to our guests a card with a bag-shape luggage tag that said "Take me to the Paradise, Dominican Republic", they loved the surprise.

 

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Wedding website

This is how our wedding website looked like. We did it at www.weddingwire.com At weddinwire you can easily create your website for free, select different designs and put all the travel information, hotel prices, etc. It is a good alternative to sending brochures via mail, with the advantage that you can update the website everytime you need.

Also we put there our gifts lists, our contact info, the travel agent contact, the packing list (very recommended to provide a packing list to your guests! and insist on sunblock!!) cool.gif 

Check my packing list further below (in both Spanish and English).

 

The website was a great help, since that way people had all the information they needed and that saves you many emails repeating the same information like hotel prices, inmigration policies, etc.

 

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The packing list

I recommend tha you provide from the beginning some orientation on what to bring, that will be very helpful to your guests. I made a generic packing list, but if you want to be more specific you can add some medicine names and more level of details.

 

Ropa / Clothing:            
Ropa fresca de playa / Sun-dresses and beach clothes            
Ropa abrigada para el regreso en avión / Warm clothes for the night flight back (for the plane)            
Trajes de Baño / Bathing suits            
Foulards o abrigos para la noche y para el aire acondicionado / Light jacket or sweater for the nights and for the restaurants air conditioning          
Chancletas o sandalias para la playa / Sandals or flip flops for the beach            
La ropa de la boda! Traje de cocktail (damas) y traje y corbata (caballeros) / Clothes for the wedding! Cocktail dress for ladies and suit for gentlemen      
             
Neceser / Toiletries:            
Los productos que suelen llevar en su neceser / Usual products that you carry on your toilet bag            
Lentes de sol / Sunglasses            
ESENCIAL: Bloqueador Solar, spf 20 es recomendable / ESSENTIAL: spf 20 Sun block recommended            
Medicinas de uso común: aspirinas/Gelocatil, antiácidos opcional y sus medicinas habituales / Aspirins, antiacids and your usual medicine      
             
Varios / Miscellaneous:            
Cámara o video-cámara / Camera or video-camera            
Dinero en efectivo para propinas / Cash for tips            
Importante: en el hotel hay un cajero automático, y también tienen servicio de cambio de moneda / The hotel has a cash machine and also currency Exchange service            

Pasaporte y reservas, billetes de avión / Passport and tickets

 

 

Oh Shit! Bride Survival Kit

Ok, everyone thinks on a survival kit for their guests, but it is also very important to think on a more detailed bride survival kit, nice and ready for the wedding day.

I had a small bag ready that I gave to my best friend, were I put from ballerinas, (to change my high heels when my feet were dying), to retouch makeup, mints and cholocate (I just knew I wouldn't have lunch before the wedding, I just knew it!), a bottle of water, band-aids, pantyliners -just in case-, kleenex... etc.

 

I found this interesting article on the Bride's survival kit and used it as guideline to create my survival kit: http://offbeatbride.com/2012/01/wedding-emergency-kit

 

And now I think this is almost all, if you have any questions or need any help, just let me know! And good luck with your preparations ladies!!! Have FUN cheer2.gif

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Originally Posted by Miss J View Post

 

Butterflies, Oh, the last picture of you (the sunset one) is absolutely stunning!!

Thanks Miss J!

 

Our photographer is just great and so much fun to work with!!! He travels anywhere and I can assure you he is not expensive at all. He lives in Spain but went with us to Dominican Republic for the whole week, and right before our wedding he went to California/USA for another wedding. He does any country since he is quite international (also speaks English). His name is Santy (http://www.imagingfactory.es/Inicio.html). If anyone wants his details like email/phone, let me know.

 

These are some other pictures he did, but I still don't have the rest... he did like 3 thousand pictures of the whole week, plus videos!!! And the best thing is that he will give us every single pictures in high resolution so that I can keep these, make more informal albums, send to the family woot.gif

 

He does the wedding album in a very beautiful format, so we are doing our album with him. He designs the album and sends you the pdf for approval before printing - that is great, I think.

Moreover, during the trip he even took pictures of my friends' family and kids, that I'll send them once Santy delivers these pictures to me, he is so nice, my guests loved him cause he puts lot of humor into the work!

He is also working in a video clip of the wedding, I want to see it soooo much cheesy.gif

 

What I like about him is the creativity, but also keeping the soft and romantic side in the pictures. These are some more of Santy's pics!

 

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This is at our bachelor party (we did it together at the hotel :)

 

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For the rehearsal dinner we also did a bonfire and Santy did this composition with my friends' pictures

 

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This is a composition from our trip to Saona Island (an excursión we did together)

 

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And this one is real, with the parrots and all, LOL, I love chickens but also birds in general, jajaja, my poor husband has to bear with this love.gif

 

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