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The Final Countdown: Planning Journal for July 18, 2013 - Long and Pic-Heavy and a Work in Progress

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#1 Peach

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    Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:02 PM

    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 go…




    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 “Omigod, are you serious?” exclamations). For a full story of our engagement, including a few pictures, see the story here:





    The very first thing I did when we got home (after talking to the families, of course), was create “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” 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 cards… The little note up top says something like, “I promise the dress won’t be as puffy.”






    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 didn’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 – 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 MOH… they were teasing me because I couldn’t do much planning for so long. I called this one, “The Aisle File”.




    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 “Thank You” 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!

    #2 Peach

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      Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:40 PM



      I love themes, and loved the ideas for destination themes I found here. So, though I am normally indecisive, right away I knew exactly what I would create for the stationary stuff.


      First out were the save-the-dates. These went out about a year in advance. We opted for boarding-pass ones.








      On the back of the ticket-holder is a vintage map of the Dominican, with starfish clip art at our location. 

      The first page of the ticket gives the basic information, the second page is a note saying we would love you to come, but understand if you cannot, please know we will have an at home celebration upon our return.



      My FMIL emailed me the idea for message in a bottle invites shortly after getting engaged, and FI supplied many of the how-tos in terms of ideas (i.e. why not use that floral foam stuff?) This was such a labour of love, and went out (most were hand-delivered) between Christmas and March this year.








      Rolled up in with the invite was the RSVP card. We did not get many of these back (though we stamped them). Not that we sent a lot, mind you. Quite a few people said they wanted to keep the whole set together. :)



      #3 brownsugarbride

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        Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:05 PM

        Wow...your invites are spectacular!  I can't wait to see the rest of your post(s)!

        #4 Peach

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          Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:19 PM



          FI has a bout included with his, but I got busy with a girlfriend one afternoon and made these for the other VIM (very important men). Plus they can be used at the AHR for the 3 grandfathers. We made more than enough so FI can choose his favourites.
















          #5 Peach

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            Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:29 PM


            These just went out about a week ago. I wanted to get everyone excited for the wedding. They included a brochure, luggage tags, packing list, and CD. All DIY, of course.




            #6 Shara1984

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              Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:37 PM

              These are so creative!

              #7 Peach

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                Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:05 PM



                We decided - okay, I decided - to do paper fan programs. These were made with the same cardstock (a pack from Staples), created in Word and printed on my own computer, based on an amalgamation of many, many pictures here!



                #8 Peach

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                  Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:08 PM

                  OOPS! Just realized I forgot to include pictures of the parasols. 

                  My sister will carry the blue; the white is for me for pictures. Maybe during our TTD next day?




                  The lettering seems pretty easy to DIY, but I actually bought these from a former bride who did them herself.

                  #9 Jenny2014

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                    Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:02 AM

                    Love ALL OF IT!!!!


                    I too am having a long engagement... coming up on being engaged 10 months now, and still a LONG way to go!


                    Glad to hear it does go by fast, and I love how crafty you were! Your message in a bottle invites are spectacular! I can well imagine how much everyone loved them!



                    Congrats to you! Hope these next few weeks fly by... but the day of is slow, and you can remember it all!

                    #10 Peach

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                      Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:47 AM

                      Okay, sorry I have been lackadaisical lately in posting; I am a teacher, and with it being the end of the school year, things got pretty nuts! Anyway, school is officially done, which for me, means the last couple weeks here are going to be focused almost entirely on WEDDING PLANNING! Yay!


                      So here are a few more DIY projects I have found stashed away on my computer:


                      CAKE TOPPER:


                      We are choosing a cake that is included with our package. I am not sure what flavour we will have yet; I think it is narrowed down to vanilla, chocolate or coconut. Regardless, it will be a simple, small (maybe two-tier?) cake. I have made our own cake topper; something silly that represents us, and was (almost!) free!



                      I am a Disney nut (a total Disney nerd!), and wanted to incorporate that somehow. FI says I am most like Cinderella, since she is so giving and everything...  Also I am going to be blonde, and blue is one of our colours. :) 

                      FI actually contributed the Han Solo - he is a Star Wars fan, and that was actually one of his action figures as a child. 


                      That is a wooden heart from Walmart that I painted white. Now looking at it, I think I will write our date and names on the tip of the heart still. For our AHR, we will be borrowing (I think) my in laws' topper, which in turn was her parents'.


                      PRE-TRAVEL PACKETS:


                      6 to 8 weeks before our departure, I mailed packets to everyone (one per single or one per couple) who was travelling with us. They included a brochure (largely copied from this site), CD (I know, slightly archaic but oh well), luggage tags, and packing list.








                      Those luggage tags are really just vistaprint business cards I whole-punched and tied a ribbon through. On the back I put our resort name, and "laminated" the backs to reinforce them (okay, I carefully stretched a piece of clear packing tape across the back). 


                      I made the CD covers (thank you, pinterest), and the packing list was from a dollar bin at michaels a couple years ago.

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