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Neako's Planning Thread - Riviera Maya 2016

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#1 JoannaBanana

  • Jr. Member
  • 319 posts
    • LocationEtobicoke

    Posted 22 February 2015 - 01:05 PM

    I'm not really playing by the rules here - I haven't picked my resort, nor my date, so this thread may be premature.  But I have so much running through my head already that I just wanted to drop it all in one place.  We've been engaged for a few months, but there seems to be a switch in mind that was flipped and now it's Wedding Planning Mode: ON.  One might say I'm obsessed.

    How We Met
    He likes to call it "Fishing Off the Company Pier" which basically means we met at work.  I was a Service Advisor, and he is a Technician.  I've since left the position as it's considered a conflict of interest (although no one had any idea we were together)  Initially we were both in relationships, but I always thought he was cute.  I never thought we would end up together, and he says he always knew we would end up together.  Sometimes I still stop and look at him and have to shake my head.  I love him so much, and I feel lucky to be with him.
    The Proposal
    I'm going to tell a story that may seem unrelated, but will always be tied to the proposal for me.  In 2002 I took a sweet little Bengal kitten in to my life.  I named him Toby, and he was mama's boy.  When Sean and I decided to move in together I was devastated when he told me due to his "allergies" he didn't want me to bring either of my cats.  I knew my other cat Lucky would be okay with my parents, but Toby and I had a very close bond.  I basically begged, and Sean relented.  Over the past 2+ years Sean and Toby got to love each other too.  Well, one day Toby was not well.  This was right during the Christmas season.  He needed life saving surgery and I could not afford it.  Up to this point he was a vibrant cat, and the vet pleaded with me to do the surgery, and lowered her cost.  I still couldn't do it, and it was tearing me apart. Sean told me he wasn't ready to say goodbye, and he stepped in to pay for the surgery.  Coming from someone who is mildly allergic, and never wanted a cat to begin with, he was my unexpected hero.  The next night, when I was still stressing over the surgery Sean asked me if he could change my mood and got down on one knee.  He cried, I cried, and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.  Just in our kitchen on a regular weeknight, I think I still had my jacket on.  Apparently Sean hadn't stepped in sooner to save him because he had just dropped his money on the ring hours before the bad news came from the vet.  Suddenly it felt like Christmas again.  We brought Toby home the next day, but he still needed a lot of care.  We slept on a mattress on the floor of our spare bedroom with Toby between us so we could be close.  Over the days that followed Toby stopped eating, and I had to bring him back to the vet.  She kept him in her care overnight, but I got the call at 9am, that it was time to come and say goodbye.  Sean met me at the clinic and we went in together.  She led us in the room and as she slipped out she said "I'm sorry he passed away."  I was overcome with grief, and basically ran out of the building.  Sean handled everything, and told them not to call me.  He paid the final bill, returned the special foods they had sold to us, and arranged for his ashes.  This kinda sounds like a depressing proposal story.  But really, these two events were intertwined to me, and it's as though after Sean proposed the three of us became like a little family if only for a couple of days. 
    The Ring
    In September 2014 we went with two other couples to Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril Jamaica.  It's a beautiful resort.  I've always wanted a destination wedding, and after this trip Sean was on board.  He told me he could see both our families here at this resort, and when we got home I should start looking at rings, and he would ask my father.  So I knew it was coming.  I must have tried on 100 rings.  One day on a whim I decided to swing by People's even though I had already seen all their rings.  They were having a travelling "Design your Own" event.  Basically a whole bunch of mounts, and then individual diamonds which they will then put together for you on the spot.  The moment I tried on this ring, I knew it was for me.  They weren't coming back for a month.  I had given Sean two other ring selections, and this was the third and most expensive, and least accessible.  I really didn't think this would be the one, and I was so happy to see that he found it again.  I LOVE it, and he picked a beautiful diamond to go with it.  It's too large (I've lost 35lbs since I had my finger sized) but I haven't been able to part with it yet for resizing. 
    The Destination
    Teehee, I made this thread before picking!  I finally convinced my FI that he wont have his head cut off in Mexico, so we've agreed on Riviera Maya.  We originally planned on Jamaica, but it doesn't seem to be fitting in our guest budget. My shortlist is Riu Yucatan, Riu Palace Mexico (maybe Riu Palace Riviera Maya) or Grand Riviera Princess.  I'm still researching.
    Here's a group of colour palettes that I gathered. 
    I'll probably go with something similar to this:

    Music is very important to my fiance and I, and is one of the things that brings us closer together.  So many nights we've stayed up late just the two of us talking and playing records.  I'm going to try to select some generally crowd friendly songs, with a mix of tracks that are special to us, but not too left field.  I'm sure there are other music lovers around here who are planning to chose a more unconventional or unexpected playlist and I would love to hear your ideas! 


    Here's our livingroom a couple of years ago.  We've since filled almost all the cubby holes with more records



    Here's a couple of tracks that we love:












    Shopping soon!



    Edited by Neako, 22 February 2015 - 01:23 PM.

    My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


    #2 calgarybride2015

    • Sr. Member
    • 4,512 posts
    • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
    • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
    • LocationCalgary, AB

    Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:22 PM



    Sorry to hear about your cat :(   I can see why you see these are interwining events... although you lost a life, you are starting a new life at the same time.


    I love your ring, so beautiful.


    I look forward to seeing what you finally chose for your resort in the end. Know you haven't gone mad, this is the hardest part!  I must have went back and forth soooo many times I was probably driving my TA mad! 


    Good luck!


    Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


    Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


    Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


    Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



    #3 TinkerSofi

    • Sr. Member
    • 2,217 posts
    • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
    • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
    • LocationCanada

    Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:26 PM

    I can't wait to read more.


    Your proposal story is so heartfelt, I loved it. You know you have a keeper when you have someone like that, who will be there by your side no matter what. I think it was a perfect time to propose. 


    It's funny that he says that he knew you guys would be together. Our story is somewhat similar, and we run across each other again after a few months of not seeing one another. I had a boyfriend, but to this day I remember him telling me, "I don't care who you're with right now, because I know you and I will end up together. We're just meant to be" haha. 




    #4 JoannaBanana

    • Jr. Member
    • 319 posts
      • LocationEtobicoke

      Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:48 PM

      @TinkerSofi we were both in relationships when we met, but we always had a connection. It's kinda bad, but when both of our relationships ended I was so excited that we might finally have a chance.  It took a few months after that, but we found our way to each other.


      @calgarybride2015 I've told you before, but you have been such a great support on this forum, and I'm sure others agree. 

      We looked at the loss exactly as you said, he was there for me when I needed him and now it's a new stage of life.  As for the ring, the only thing I'm worried about is finding the matching band!  It exists but I need to pin it down before it's gone.

      My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


      #5 kcole123

      • Member
      • 850 posts
      • Wedding Date:April 17, 2015
      • Wedding Location:Melia Caribe
      • LocationPunta Cana, Dominican

      Posted 22 February 2015 - 03:22 PM

      Welcome to the planning stages. Congratulations on your engagement as wel. You are going to have so much fun and get a lot of help from brides on this forum. Can't wait for more of your planning.

      Kristy and Nathan

      Melia Caribe Tropical

      April 17, 2015

      #6 acw271011

      • Moderators
      • 3,132 posts
      • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
      • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
      • LocationToronto Area

      Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

      What a lovely story. With my husband and I it was my dog just after we met. puppy was diagnosed with bowel cancer and he last only about 3 weeks after they confirmed it. I had never had to have an animal put to sleep ever but he went downhill so quickly that they said to let him go because it would be very painful for him if I waited. I had told him I wanted to go to the vet's on my own because I knew I would crack. We had only been together a few months at that point. But Doug was right there as soon as I got to his apartment and the only thing he said to me was that he wished I had let him say goodbye too. Well... didn't I feel like a total $%#&*  We've been through a lot in the nearly 14 years we've been together and he has always stuck by me. I'm like you. Even after this many years I sometimes look at him and shake my head. After such a lousy first marriage to find someone so special really is mind boggling sometimes. lol


      We were married in Jamaica and fell in love with the island. We got married in a beautiful gazebo right on the beach, just the two of us. We loved the resort and would go back in a heartbeat but I agree that the price point is a bit higher than what we're looking for right now. We're booked for Azul Fives to renew our vows on October 20th this year. It will be the first time we get to celebrate our anniversary in a special way and by rights I shouldn't be here to celebrate it at all so the renewal will be a life celebration as much as anything else.


      This is a wonderful site and you will absolutely get a ton of helpful tips and suggestions from all the brides here, both past and present. They're a super bunch. I see you're in Etobicoke - there are a lot of GTA brides here and a lot of canadians so you'll get plenty of tips on travel agents and resorts. There are full forums for the RIU resorts here as well. Obviously January to April is pretty much peak travel time so your rates will likely be somewhat higher than the summer or fall. Early December is also a somewhat cheaper time for the resorts before the xmas rush gets started.


      I love the start of your thread. Be sure to keep it updated and let us know when you choose a date and resort!!


      Good luck and happy planning!

      I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015







      #7 JoannaBanana

      • Jr. Member
      • 319 posts
        • LocationEtobicoke

        Posted 22 February 2015 - 09:08 PM

        We're booked for Azul Fives to renew our vows on October 20th this year. It will be the first time we get to celebrate our anniversary in a special way and by rights I shouldn't be here to celebrate it at all so the renewal will be a life celebration as much as anything else.

        Did you recover from an illness? I can't think of a better way to celebrate life.

        For the animal lovers, here is Toby:

        Attached File  uploadfromtaptalk1424667627913.jpeg   24.78KB   10 downloadsAttached File  uploadfromtaptalk1424667632318.jpeg   60.07KB   10 downloadsAttached File  uploadfromtaptalk1424667830033.jpg   707.83KB   10 downloads
        I forgot to mention, that after my FI agreed to bring Lucky home AND we have a kitten coming home next month. Attached File  uploadfromtaptalk1424668076687.jpg   1.09MB   10 downloadsAttached File  uploadfromtaptalk1424668107551.jpg   101.79KB   10 downloads

        Edited by Neako, 22 February 2015 - 09:05 PM.

        My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


        #8 Meandhim

        • Member
        • 706 posts
        • Wedding Date:November 25, 2015
        • Wedding Location:Grand Palladium in Punta Cana
        • LocationToronto

        Posted 23 February 2015 - 10:40 AM

        I love your story as I have two fur babies myself! Have fun Planning

        My Planning Thread - MeandHim - Grand Palladium Bavaro - Nov 25 2015



        #9 JoannaBanana

        • Jr. Member
        • 319 posts
          • LocationEtobicoke

          Posted 27 February 2015 - 02:38 PM

          So I changed my screen name.  (Thanks Tammy)  When I do book (waiting to hear back from my TA) then I may just post a revised thread.  Or appeal for a thread name change.  I randomly picked Neako when I thought I would remain anonymous.  My name is actually Joanne (Jo). 




          My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


          #10 JoannaBanana

          • Jr. Member
          • 319 posts
            • LocationEtobicoke

            Posted 01 March 2015 - 08:03 AM




            This is us BTW. Isn't he cute! <3


            So last night I spent what felt like hours watching Youtube tours of hotels.  I highly recommend this for people who are unsure of a resort.  I think it ruled out any of the Rius for me to be honest.  The pools are just SO SMALL!  Grand Riviera Princess may be a little worn around the edges, and probably too much walking, but overall I think it delivers on more points for me so far.

            My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


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