Can’t believe it is a month till we leave! Just crazy how fast the time has gone, I feel like I have blinked and it is here already! Thank you to all you wonderful ladies for all of the advice, inspiration, planning threads, DIY threads and just support, you all have been absolutely wonderful!
Now onto the fun stuff….
My fiancé and I met back in the fall of 2003 at University. I honestly thought he was the biggest jerk at first but he was going through girlfriend trouble at the time and was grumpy. We ended up becoming close friends throughout that first year, hanging out on our summer away from university, as his parents had moved to an acreage outside of my hometown. We lost touch briefly during the summer of 2005 due to being busy with other things, dating other people etc. Funny thing is we had liked each other on and off for those first two years but never at the same time! We seemed that summer only to text or call each other when we drunk and were thinking of one another (I was 19, still in my party stage.. not that way anymore lol!) We ended up reconnecting a few months later when I was driving home from work one night on a different road than I usually take, Walmart happened to be closed for inventory that night (I wanted the game CD LOL) and the FI happened to have a flat tire on the side of the highway. One could say it was fate! We had really missed each other and reconnected that night – ended up starting to date a month later when he invited me over for a “movie”. Lol
Now it’s been nine years together (Sept 3rd), two houses, finishing school, traveling and rescuing our little pig dog Maggie (She is a bulldog) and we are getting married
I wish I could say I didn’t know it was coming at all but after 8 years together, you get over that by the 5th, 6th year. I knew it would happen eventually but had no idea of when. We were supposed to go to Vegas with some friends in January of this year but it got canceled and the FI was really pushing to go to Mexico, namely the Bahia Principe in February. We were overdue for a vacation, so I thought hey, he’s just pushing because we desperately need one. Little did I know that he had the ring and had bought it before Christmas! We ended up booking the Bahia and going from the 12th-19th. It was an awesome trip and we had a wonderful time the whole week except for me getting sick a few nights(I have bad IBS)
Last night we were there we had booked Don Pablo’s for a nice dinner with our friends and brought our champagne from our room to head to the beach after and toast our last night there. Dinner was great and we were on our way out when we saw a wedding going on. I pointed out to the FI that we could do that at Tulum one day and he walked away from me. I was PISSED. (you might be too after such a nice dinner and 8.5 years of dating ) Turns out he was nervous as all heck,but from my point of view, I had brought up wedding stuff and he walked away from me – didn’t help that I had had a few glasses of wine! Anyway boys headed to get “beers” aka get ring from his friend while EV (j’s wife) kept me company. Then we headed to the beach to have some champagne and toast our last night on vacation. I was still a bit peeved and was ignoring him somewhat and went to go sit on the stairs on the dock. The moon was almost full that night and it was a beautiful night. The FI kept asking if I was angry with him and I wouldn’t even look at him – just was staring out at the water, a little angry.. Turns out our friends had vacated. I found it strange that he didn’t come sit next to me, as we had sat there a few nights back and had a deep conversation about our relationship. Anyway – I turn around and he is down on one knee! I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. I thought I would of cried but nope. Needless to say I felt like the biggest A-HOLE and he had a good laugh at my expense. We ended up going to the snack bar on the resort and celebrating with some of our friends who work at the resort (chicken fingers, champagne and fries – perfect for us. The snack bar guys even round up 3 extra bottles of champagne and some cake!)
We always knew we were going to have a destination wedding as we love traveling – we try to get away at least once or twice a year on a big vacation and then on little trips. So it wasn’t a hard decision to pick the Mayan to have our wedding. We also love the Bahia (We have been to their resorts 5 times, 3 in the Mayan), so we ended up picking the Bahia Mayan complex for our hotel. We usually had stayed at Coba in the past but we had got wind from our amazing travel agent (if you need an excellent one that is experienced with cross border travel, PM me ) that Akumal was switching over to luxury don Pablo collection, so we got our group booking there while the price was still cheap. The luxury branding will include premium drinks, unlimited a la cartes among many more inclusions, so it wasn’t hard to book for Akumal over Coba as the pricing is very similar.
R and I did not like the limitations that the resort had on what time the reception had to be over, so we started exploring off site options as his cousin had done the same earlier in the year and we really liked the idea of customizing the ceremony and reception. We ended up looking at pricing out a few venues and ended up choosing Blue Venado beach club. We will have the ceremony and reception location from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am, which is fantastic and perfect timing for us.
I am totally a Type A person, which is great for my job and all being in HR but can drive those around me nuts at times. However, being that I am in Canada and the wedding is in Mexico, I knew I needed some help if we were to have the wedding off the resort! After reading reviews on here and seeing how much the other brides loved Joyce from Dream Weddings, it was an easy pick. She has been ABSOLUTELY wonderful, always responding to my emails and giving advice and just being a wedding planner super woman. I owe this woman a lot! I can’t wait to meet her here in a month!! (if she isn’t sick of me yet! LOL)
Transportation & Rough timeline
We will be transporting guests from the resort to the Blue Venado and back again. We used Joyce’s trusted transportation company, Rutas Hispanics and they were more than reasonable with their quote.
Timeline is as follows: (for the most part.. still working it out with Joyce )
3:30 pm – Shuttles arrive at GBP Akumal to transport guests to wedding venue
4:00 pm – Shuttles arrive at venue
4:15 pm – Ceremony starts
4:45 pm to 5:45 pm – Cocktail hour, family portraits, etc
6:00 – Dinner begins
6:30 speeches begin
7:30 – Break before first dances
8:00 – First dances, etc
8:15– Party starts!
11:00 – Late lunch of pizza courtesy of Joyce’s assistant picking it up from PDC for us
1:00 am – Shuttles arrive to transport guests back to hotel.
Blue Venado has been such a dream to work with – Daymar has been wonderful to converse with back and forth and they are more than accommodating with our requests. We ended up getting their basic liquor package and a 3 course meal which was extremely reasonable but I do know because their venue is getting more popular, they have raised their prices a bit, however are still very very reasonable compared to others out there. We learnt everyone has a different vision for their wedding and that’s why there are so many venues out there
The food we will be tasting when we get to Mexico, so I am unsure of what we will be picking however with all the reviews, I can’t wait to try it!
We decided to get married 9 months from when we got engaged as both of our lucky numbers are 11, so we chose 11-11 as our wedding date. After almost nine years of dating, we knew we weren’t rushing into anything! Pretty much as soon as we got back from Mexico, we hit the ground running with planning.
Within a week, we sent out save the dates – we decided against invites as we really had limited time, so I built a wedding website from scratch and included TONS of information on there. Our save the dates directed people to the website to RSVP & such, which saved on postage and time. We found most people either called or RSVP’d through our parents or didn’t at all (Ukrainians never RSVP LOL and I can say that, I am a Uky!)
I wish I could of spent time doing personalized save the dates as I am pretty crafty but once again with the time restrictions, we ended up going with Vista Print. I was very happy with how they turned out and the price. Very good quality. Didn’t hurt we had a nice picture from a friends previous wedding where we got a “shut out” on the bridal toss/garter toss (3 for 3 for weddings!)
I built our website through Wix, honestly, if you have the time and expertise to build your own, I would suggest it. I really love how it turned out – I did spent quite of time on it to get it up to where it needed to be with the information we needed but I don’t regret it one bit. You can check it out at www.herecomesthesun11.com
Since we didn’t do invites, we (or I) decided on completing pre-travel brochures, as I saw a bunch of the ladies on here complete them and I LOVED them. I took a bunch of ideas from a whole swag of them and combined them into one and waited until Vista print had a sale to order them.
We ended up giving them out to most people at our engagement/meet & greet fiesta party my parents hosted and then mailing the rest out to people 2 months before the wedding.I ended up getting cute bags from dollarama, some fabric paint and personalized each one of the bags with “Mexico 2014” and the couples names on the bag and gave them out at our engagement party, along with customized luggage tags.
I also created welcome books for each room at the resort (per each family/couple) with a whole swack of information regarding the resort, wedding, etc. Thanks to all the wonderful ladies on this forum for the templates. I ended up taking them to staples to get printed, cost me 3.49 per copy, which wasn’t bad when you think about how much ink is.
Each person when they arrive at the resort (Rich and I are going to meet the groups when they get in off the bus on the various dates) is going to get a 20 oz bubba keg – we ended up getting various colors for everyone but tied everyone together with waterproof stickers I ordered off of Davetdesigns on Etsy.
We priced out Canadian tire for bubba’s when they go on sale but the price was similar to ordering online and we got to pick different colors and types, and the shipping was only 5.99 anywhere in the states.
I ordered thank you tags for them off of Vista print (business card style) and hole punched a hole in the side and will be attaching them to the beach bags with ribbon I got from efavormart
I got the kids colorful ones versus a full blown bubba keg. We also made personalized beach bags with a monogram I created on http://www.designmantic.com
We debated filling them up to the brim with things but ended up going the less is more route as we had already spent quite a bit on the bubba’s and bags & such. So each person when they arrive will get their bubba, bag, a welcome book, playing cards, hand sanitizer, nail file for the ladies and a door hanger . Still picking up some things for them, so I will post on here what I ended up adding on
Rich ended up buying all of his groomsmen outfits, which are similar to the picture below. He got everything at la chateau for very reasonable. He will get them cigars for the day of and something small but that essentially was his groomsmen gift to the guys.
I ended up picking bridesmaid dresses from Donna Morgan and went with the spearmint color. I let the girls choose what style they wanted but gave them the color to go with. They were very reasonable in price and were comfortable, as I had worn donna morgan for my cousins wedding previously.
We both ended up with 5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids as we have lots of friends LOL. We also have our nephew (who is 18) as our ring bearer and our friend Roz (who is 30) as our flower girl. Very untraditional as you can see!
I ended up getting the ladies a travel sized perfume rollerball each & paid for half their hair and makeup. I also got each lady a robe off of Etsy and made them a personalized hanger, which I will give to them the night before the wedding
I also ended up getting my mom, my MIL and my SIL a robe as well, since they will be getting their hair and makeup done with us as well. (https://www.etsy.com...hop/silkandmore)
Hair & Makeup
I ended up stumbling upon MVP Makeup and Artistry on here and wow, I was blown away at their work. I ended up emailing Edgar that day to book with them and I have a feeling I will not be disappointed judging by the many amazing reviews that Melissa has. This is an area where I SPLURGED. However, I am very basic with my makeup and hair on a daily basis unless I have an event to go to, so it’ll be nice to feel like the best version of myself for a day. I am very excited to have Melissa do our hair and makeup! I will make sure I post a review after the wedding
We ran into an issue however, with them not being allowed on the resort as I guess the Bahia has put their foot down in regards to vendors coming on site. At first I was looking into limo transportation to PDC so we could all have our hair and makeup done at their place but I didn’t want to be that far away from the resort. Akumal Beach is one of my favorite spots in the entire world, so I came up with the plan to reserve a hotel room for one night. We have the hotel room, which is at the Akumal Caribe hotel which is right on the beach till 12:00 noon and we are meeting Melissa at the hotel. It ended up costing me 180 when all was said and done with exchange rates but I am happy, as I am only a 5 minute drive from the hotel and I get to get ready on the beach with my girlfriends. As well, so it doesn’t get too crowded, we got a ground floor room, so friends and smokers can come and go and go grab a drink and chill on the beach
The Blue Venado is a blank slate, so the possibilities were endless on what we could do for the décor. We ended up having our wedding colors be gold, navy and mint, so I tried to incorporate them in what I could without going over the top and having too much color!
The guest tables come with a white table cloth already and we’re going to put a navy table runner over top. I rented candles as well as lighting from Arte Velas, so on each table there will be a cluster of 3 LED candles that are sitting on a gold charger that is filled with sand. I got some finger star fish from Michaels for the ceremony and the starfish will be moved into the reception area and then will rest on the candles. I also picked up sparkly gold votives as well and they will go on each of the tables, as well as gold frames from Dollar tree in the states for our table numbers, which I got off of Etsy. (https://www.etsy.com...StorybirdPrints)
Head table will look similar – navy table runners as well, however I have rented gold globe lighting (eight of them) that will be spaced out on the head table. The girls bouquets will be in vases as well, which will add to the décor and I got a cute “The Kozey’s sign” off of a vendor on etsy that I will hanging on the front.(https://www.etsy.com...eCountryBanners)
We ended up getting net lighting for six out of the ten posts in the palapa, as well as the fabric for the roof of it. We rented 10 tiki torches for the beach as well. We were going for a cozy, warm feeling rather than overdoing it with décor (to each their own) so I CAN’T wait to see what it looks like!
Ceremony I went basic…in my opinion, with all the beauty around us, we didn’t need anything that took away from the surroundings. We got a shoe valet, as seen below.
We also got a gazebo, which will have mint and navy fabric over top. I will be putting pencil starfish with ribbon on all of the aisle chairs.
We will be getting this cake as seen below – chocolate and cream cheese icing I can’t wait! We also got these really cute cake toppers from Etsy – I can’t wait to see them on top of the cake!
Reading reviews on here and talking to Joyce and a few other people, a lot of things can fly away if it is windy during your wedding. There were many ideas I had for a seating chart but we ended up going with the coolest one I saw on Pinterest! We will be doing the following below:
I LOVE it! My sister in law has a craft printer as she used to scrapbook quite a bit before her photography business took off, so she will be printing out the tags to put on top of the beers. R and I will be heading into PDC before we meet with Joyce and picking up beer & pop for the table numbers. I know we have an all-inclusive alcohol package for our reception but I thought it was such a cool idea. I will be including this picture frame as well.
We are really fortunate that R’s sister is a wedding photographer and does quite a bit of destination weddings as well! So she will be taking our photos. I am SO excited for her to take them as her work is an amazing and she will do a fantastic job. (www.captureitphotography.ca) We also hired a second shooter so his sister could enjoy herself as well – Laura from Playalovesme Photography. (http://playaloves.me) Her work is fantastic and I can’t wait to meet her, she has been wonderful to talk to. I was fortunate that Joyce has worked with her and knows her quite well, so she recommended her to us.
I will admit I don’t really care about flowers too much so I told Joyce to get me the nicest and cheapest one’s she could get. So white roses it is! I would post a picture.. but you know what white roses look like LOL! We will be getting them from Jarden Floreria They will be wrapped in navy ribbon and then my sister in law is making some craft flowers to add into my bouquet so it matches with our colors.
Entertainment & DJ
I still REALLY want a Mariachi but we will see.. We did get a bean bag game set through Party Planet, who is DJ’ing for us as well. We got them from 4:00 till 1:00 am. We LOVE playing bean bags while camping or in our backyard, so this will be a nice break from the dance floor for some people. We thought about getting other entertainment but we have quite a few in our group who are just happy with drinking and visiting, so we decided against it. The only thing I would of really wanted if it was allowed was fire dancers but with the new rules in effect, they weren’t. Oh well! Now we are debating getting a light up dance floor…. We will see
We are meeting up with our bridal party the night before in one of the la cartes to go over last minute things and then everyone is meeting up at one of the bars at 7:30/8:00 – still figuring out exactly where we are going to meet, as the resort is assisting to make sure we don’t disrupt other guests We wanted to do an actual dinner but with having it at an a la carte, it needed to be at 6:00 pm which is way too early for a lot of our guests who like to shower and nap before dinner.
We aren’t really doing any as we are spending a ton on the bubba kegs, as well as a few things to stuff into the bubba kegs. The beer with the seating chart essentially is our favors, as well as a few surprises at our reception (Piñatas’ & glow sticks )
I’m trying to think of more that I can add to this! If you have any questions or are interested in templates, let me know
AAAAAAAH A MONTH TO GO!!!
Edited by Mrsktobe, 06 October 2014 - 09:46 AM.