I had a really long engagement (2 years from "Yes to "I Do!") , and I cannot believe it is time to post this! It seems to have gone by quickly now, though back when I started planning it felt like this was so far away! And now, on day 1 of posting this, we are six weeks away from THE DAY! I will add to this as I go through and finish up the details, but for now, this is what I have. Thanks to everyone on this forum. I pretty much begged, borrowed, and stole from everyone, and the worst thing is, I did not keep track of where I got all the ideas, so I cannot even say a proper thank you to those who helped! What I do know is that this forum is the single best resource I had, and I am SO glad that I found it! Thank you all! Okay, so here we goâ€¦
I met FI back in University, when we both started in the fall of 2003. We became fast friends, best friends, then eventually more than that. We were living together before long, and finally, during a trip to Riviera Nyarit, Mexico, in July 2011, he got down on one knee during sunset on a ledge looking over the ocean, and proposed. I was elated, and said yes, of course, right away. (Well, after the â€œOmigod, are you serious?â€ exclamations). For a full story of our engagement, including a few pictures, see the story here:
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
The very first thing I did when we got home (after talking to the families, of course), was create â€œWill You Be My Bridesmaidâ€ cards. I got the inspiration for the project from googling it, but I see some brides on here have used the same, or similar, formats. I borrowed the poem from someone on here too! I sent the one to my BM with coconut bath salts, and my MOH got a little pack with coconut body butter and the bath salts too. I wanted to get them excited for the tropical feel! My MOH is my little sister, who will be just a couple months shy of 18, and my very good friend is my BM. She actually took on a lot of the planning, since my sister is so young; they worked together really well. They are both so dear to me and have done so much for me!
Unfortunately, my BM will not actually be attending the DW. After she agreed, months later, she announced she was expecting. Her little daughter will be just under six months old when we travel, and though she originally planned to bring her along (though she was hesitant, I am sure, to do so!), our resort then announced it was becoming adults-only. When this was announced, my BM suggested she back out of the trip itself, since she had been worried about traveling with her young daughter anyway. She still requested I see her as a bridesmaid, which I do, and she threw me my shower and stagette, and will be a part of our AHR.
Anyway, here are the cardsâ€¦ The little note up top says something like, â€œI promise the dress wonâ€™t be as puffy.â€
Next, I got organized; spreadsheet with my budgets, DIY to-do lists and timelines, and we got in touch with travel agents. We finally picked a local agent, who was wonderful. We already knew where we wanted to go, so that part was easy. We decided to go to the Dominican Republic, since neither of us had ever been there, and because of the highly-rated beaches and area. After a bit of research, we fell in love with Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. We love the idea that it is on its own island, and that it is not as tourist-y as Punta Cana and such. So the chances were that no one we knew had been there before, and that really appealed to us.
I am a teacher, so I have lots of time off during the summer, but during the year, not so much. Well, by this time I went back to work, so, while I kept doing things, I didnâ€™t finish many projects. I completed tags for favours, and started STDs and such.
We decided on boarding pass save-the-dates, and message-in-a-bottle invitations, all DIY. Thanks, again, to the templates and inspirations from this site!
I also made a simple monogram, again, thanks to instructions from this site. We just put this on a few things, like round stickers that we used for envelope seals for out STDs. We got those through vistaprint.
PS â€“ Our colours are blue and coral; we had a really hard time deciding on a specific blue. So we decided to go with many different shades of blue, with touches of coral.
Then FI set up a website for us, and I filled it all in. We just used weddingwire, which we really liked. We got lots of compliments on it too. It was easy to use, and fit our needs perfectly, so we were pleased with that.
Also, I sent out an email newsletter to my BM and MOHâ€¦ they were teasing me because I couldnâ€™t do much planning for so long. I called this one, â€œThe Aisle Fileâ€.
We have a free bouquet that comes with our package (the free package) and a boutonniere as well.
Flowers are not too important to me. I want to have them, and like them, but I like all flowers. I will just pick the most tropical-looking ones available. Something like this:
I decided that my moh would carry a parasol instead of flowers, so I made the ladies and I (including the moms) each a wrist corsage (mine is for the AHR, and I used the same flower to make my hair flower). I already had all of the materials for these except for my flower.
Mine is the one with the coral ribbon.
And here is the parasol that my sister will carry. I have one for my BM too; am debating on bringing it for photos. I have a white one that says â€œThank Youâ€ too, that I bought from another bride.
For centrepieces, we are bringing small blue vases FI found at Michaels on clearance (they were something ridiculous like 66 cents each). We are going to cluster three or so of them on each table, and intersperse with shells and tea lights.
I will post a picture once I take one.
Stay tuned for more details!