Since I never got to post all my details, I figure I can post pictures now lol I will do a review of sorts here and finish with the details I left out. Let me start with what I have already posted in this thread and how that worked out.
We arrived at the resort on the Wednesday before our Saturday wedding. We had transfers included in our package and I am glad we used them! They picked us up in a nice, comfy SUV. We were able to check-in right away and our room was ready for us! They really went above and beyond to make sure that everything was perfect for us, right from the start. We received an upgrade and we were very pleased with the check in process. We were notified during check in that because 90% of our guests were arriving the next day on the same flight, they would put together a check in event for them. I will explain later how that worked out. After freshening up, we met with our WC and went over all the locations, choices, etc. During our review of the ceremony location, the beach, I realized that it was way too HOT to have my hair down for the ceremony. I had thought about the heat but didn't factor in just how hot it would be at 4pm. It was nice to review everything and be at all of the locations around the same time as the wedding events would be occurring. It helped me get an idea of the lighting and heat intensity etc. PS I really recommend arriving a day before your guests at the least! I was able get everything done before the guests arrived and loved that I could dedicate all my time to them when they did arrive.
Traveling with the dress
As some of you may remember, I had my dress "packed for travel" as the bridal salon called it. I had never heard of it previously, but they basically layered my dress in tissue to prevent any beading damage, and rolled it. They inserted it into a vacuum sealed bag and then taped the outside for protection. I was VERY leery of this idea in the beginning but I got to ask a few brides that I had made friends with from the bridal salon and they highly recommended it. So, the weekend before my wedding, I picked up my dress or a big ball of white. LOL I wish I had taken a picture of it, but it ended up looking like a rectangular pillow, but only about a foot wide. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous about flying with it. Because of all the tape, it looked pretty suspicious. But, I ended up traveling with the dress, shoes, jewelry, and any other wedding day must haves in my carry on. It was very easy and convenient and it was always with me so I loved that aspect. We went through a special security line at the airport(because I had my bride tank top on ) and we literally were in and out of the line in about a minute? maybe less? They didn't open the carry on or anything! I was very pleased with my packing for travel dress experience! I did take it out of the wrapping upon arrival and it does get a bit wrinkled but nothing major. I had plans to steam it regardless and it was perfect after that!
Guest Arrival and Check in
Of our 29 guests, 26 were on the same flight or a flight that landed 15 minutes later, so the resort put together a check in event for us. Our travel agent did an excellent job of communicating with the transfer company and a bus was waiting for the guests to shuttle them to the resort. Our WC set up the bar connected to the lobby for us and provided champagne, cold drinks, and some snacks for the guests. We were there waiting for the guests as they arrived and while it was overwhelming to see so many of them at once, I was so excited!! Our WC went through all the paperwork with the guests as well as the in's and out's of the resort over a microphone. She also explained all the events that we had planned and where/when they would be taking place. The transfer company rep was also there and explained how to check in for the return flight home and when/where to meet for the transfer back to the airport. The resort spa rep was there also and informed everyone of the discount included for our wedding guests and made some appointments for those interested. It was a perfect opportunity to hand out our Welcome Bags and all of the rooms were ready after that! All of our guests got rides to their rooms and that was that. It was so easy and efficient. I was very pleased with this process. Within an hour, the guests were at lunch, enjoying the resort and spending time together! Here are a few photos of the check in event.
Hair and Make up
So like I said, I knew from the first day there, that my hair down wasn't going to cut it! That's another piece of advice I would give to soon to be brides. You have to accept the fact that not everything will go as planned. You will be figuring stuff out right up until the ceremony, if you are like me anyway. So up it was! I let the stylist, my best friend, do what she wanted for the updo. We both do on location hair and make up for weddings, so I really trusted her instincts. I think a big part of the reason I felt so relaxed was because I had her there with me, providing the services. I know her work and felt confident that she would make us all feel wonderful, and she did. We are very accustomed to working with time limits for weddings also so I knew she had my back and would keep an eye on time as I was.
I did have airbrush make up applied and I love it. I have a machine of my own and airbrush myself often, so I knew what to expect but I love how my make up lasted throughout the night, even in Mexico with the heat!
I did not use my headpiece that I had purchased. I didn't really care for it with the updo. I had the WC contact the florist for me when I decided that my hair would be up on that first day, and order an orchid for my hair. I had a feeling that the flower would be more in line with what I wanted.
I did use all the other accessories that I purchased, thank God! Earrings were comfortable, not too heavy. Shoes were great also, although I did take them off for the ceremony. Really wanted to be barefoot.
Here are some pictures of hair/make up and getting ready:
Events leading up to the wedding
After check in, I went to check out my sisters' room as well as check in with our parents and make sure everything was going well. Our guests ended up in the same building on the same floor, mostly, but with at least one room in between them. So, I ended up in the hallways talking to one guest, and another would hear our voices and come out and join the party! lol Eventually I left everyone to unpack and made lunch plans with anyone who wanted to come. After lunch, we made it to the beach bar and had some drinks while some of us jumped in the water also. It was a great start to the weekend! I hadn't realized that the party would start right from the beginning, otherwise I don't know if I would have planned the Welcome event.
We met our guests in the main plaza of the resort for drinks. Everyone knew everyone else by then from the beach bar earlier but it was nice to have a drink together and it established the plaza as a common meeting place for the rest of the trip.
The next day, Friday, was spent by the pool. At night, we held our Thank You Dinner. We opted out of a traditional Rehearsal Dinner with just the bridal party because we felt that everyone deserved to celebrate with us and we didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by excluding them. We had our rehearsal on the beach at 4 PM with the bridal party and the Thank You dinner was held at 6 PM at a restaurant on the beach. It was beautiful, and though it was costly because it was a private event, we don't regret it! The food was amazing and we got to spend time with everyone.