249 till Punta Cana, 254 til the wedding day
I’m going to start my Planning thread now...a tad bit early but I figure it will keep me on track...and help me pick up on things I’m forgetting!
How we met:
We went to same university, took the same classes but never met until years later when we both went back to school for the same program at collage. We both had long term significant others when we started school however just before the last of the 2nd term started we both happened to be single for the first time in a long time. He asked me out for Coffee and the rest is History! That was April 2006.
Some Weird and not so Weird Facts About us:
- We are the same age...I’m exactly 1 month older
- We are both from Newfoundland Canada, but from total opposite ends of the Island (I’m North and he’s South)
- We are huge Blue Jays Fans
- We have lived together for 8 of our 9 years together.
- We love looking for beach glass in the summer
- We love camping, Fishing, Ice Fishing,
- We both had the same Wayne Gretzky Barbie Doll (action figure if you ask my FI) when we were little.
- Our Song is “Hot Legs” by Rod Stewart, and it’s a long story as to why
- We have the same Favorite color – Bright cobalt Blue
- We both love peanut butter on our French toast.
- We have two cats...sisters from the same litter “Chewy” the black one and “Ditto” the white one.
We have always considered April Fools our Anniversary and so on our 7th anniversary I woke him up super early and gave him his card. My card had a super mushy and heartfelt letter inside, because we had gone through our first and only (so far...fingers crossed...lol) “Rough Patch” just a few months previous and I had wanted to tell him how I felt. He got all emotional (which he does not do) and started blabbering on about how lucky we are and how we are going to staying together forever and have babies and get old. He told me we wanted to marry me. Now I went to work like I normally would...and I just assumed he was talking shit because I had woke him up REALLY early and hit him with that letter before his coffee! Haha! That afternoon he picked me up from work that afternoon but instead of going home we went to a jewellery store and he told me to pick out a ring because he meant every word he had said in the morning. So not a typical planned proposal story...but it’s our story and I love it.
So my FI is not keen on weddings in general, he has severe phobia of talking in front of people...so for him the smaller the wedding the better. My FI was also what you call an “Accident”, His parents came home from a holiday with a surprise...ha...so his brothers and sisters are my Parents age and his mom and dad are more like my grandparents age...so Needless to say even though we are both Newfoundlanders we had totally different up bringing! His dream wedding would be just him and I and maybe our parents at city hall...that’s it!
But me on the other hand I LOVE weddings! My mom owned a craft store, where I spent all my time! It was a very small town so our craft store also sold wedding supplies, wedding magazines...and my mom made wedding dresses. So let’s just say I’ve been thinking about my wedding for a very LONG long long time. I had multiple Pinterest wedding boards for many years now... before Pinterest was even popular! I also love hanging out with all my family, aunts, uncles, cousins...and I get terribly homesick, there is no better smell than ocean air...I’m a sook! My Dream wedding be a giant wedding at home in my small town with everyone I know...all of our family, friends, extended family, outside near the ocean...lots of dancing, music, food drinks, speeches...I love the speeches...lol...obviously this was not going to fly.
We had a limited budget because we are paying for the wedding ourselves, with just a little help...my Parents offered to give us the same amount that they paid for their wedding when they got married almost 40years ago ($5000 ), that was actually a HUGE help...just about doubled our budget! We knew a Toronto wedding was out of the question...way too expensive...and I needed to be near the ocean! I wanted to invite all my Family but my FI wanted something much smaller. We thought a destination wedding would be perfect!
- Could invite a ton of people on a small budget (this is before we realised you still pay by the person)...Check!
- Nice weather...Check!
- Spend a whole week with the people we love and miss....Check!
- People who weren’t totally close to you probably would not go....Check!
We knew where immediately...The Grand Palladium in Punta Cana! We had gone there for our first Vacation together right after graduation...we had an awesome time! Since we had been there before it was a bit more comforting to me...I wouldn’t want to take everyone I love to a place new place that I know nothing about and could be awful! I looked up the Wedding Packages...they seemed reasonable; this was also before I knew about extras. I looked up the flights on a bunch of different carriers...again seemed reasonable. It was Family Friendly too which was great since a lot of our friends have kids now. This resort is huge...I wanted to make sure that people who didn't want to spend more money on excursions would not get bored at the resort. There are tons of restaurants & Bars, daily activities...so there is something for everyone! In the end the wedding package end up being a lot more than I thought, and so did the All-inclusive package, but still somewhat manageable with our budget. I am happy with my Resort pick so far...my WC is great so far, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about her from the other brides on here so that’s great. If I had my time back though, I would have done a little more research on this resort and others...my bad.
No question... April Fools 2015! It was the day of our first date. It was the day we got engaged. April is a good time to go to Punta Cana! And who gets married on April Fools on Wednesday! We do! So I did what the resort website said and I emailed the resort and put down my deposit before I sorted my travel just to make sure the date was available...the date was ours!
This is where the plan went to shit! Lol!
First of all we have to tell everyone. I had prepared myself for the “why don’t you just come home and get married...” plea from friends and family. Which totally happened, and I felt guilty as heck even though I knew it was coming, but this was our compromise so I stuck to it. Every time I spoke to my Nan I would feel guilty and cry...she used every guilt trick in the book...god I love her! Lol! But I stuck to my guns!
Next, get a TA and a travel package. For the US ladies, in Canada we get an All-Inclusive package at a group rate, this covers Flight down and back, airport transfers, and your all inclusive stay at the resort...and most of the time everyone travels together, you also get bonus’ like 11th person to book gets a free package...etc. I went to a wedding show and got several TA names and Destination Wedding Travel agency contacts. I emailed, and no one really responded...and one people who did were very pushy and abrasive wanted money right away to secure their “services”...Alarm Bells! So I got the name of Travel Agent from one of the lovely ladies here on BDW forum. She was great at first but before we got things settled and booked she disappeared!
While the TA was MIA a few other personal things happened from Jun to Aug ...My FI got into small car accident...no one was hurt, but it ate into our budget. My Mom got laid off so she was unsure if they could honour their offer to help with the budget. Our close Friend / Neighbour got pancreatic cancer and passed away, My FI’s Sister in California got a very aggressive liver cancer and passed away a very short time thereafter. My Nan was also diagnosed with bone cancer...head to toe. I had started having anxiety and small panic attacks...which totally freaked me out because I am so normally laidback; my FI is usually the high strung one.
When the fog cleared the wedding date was now too close, we had no travel, no TA, no plans, no money, the whole family was still kind of stressed...so we decided to postpone. What’s another year if we’ve been together this long.
The New Date:
We decided to pick a new date since April turned out to be pretty expensive because it was high season. We wanted to get married in 2015 and my FI’s Work does not allow vacay in December so we picked the last week of November. I emailed the resort and I was able to switch my wedding date to Nov 25th and keep my deposit!
My New TA:
I decided I’ve had enough of calling and emailing...I wanted someone I could talk to face to face, who couldn’t ignore me or disappear! I walked into the flight centre next to my work and got the manager. She has been awesome! We have had so much trouble with our travel package it has been unbelievable! She has even said she’s never seen anything like it! But she fought with the airline for me and got me everything they had promised! The Guaranteed price booking deadline has since passed and we have 44 people, so far. Now to wait til Sept when final payments are due.
The Legal Wedding:
We decided to have our legal wedding in Newfoundland in July. Just us, our Parents, and my Nan’s. My two Nans will be our witness’. Mark Parents are pretty old and after all the stress of the past summer their health was up and down so we decided that this would be a good back up in case something were to happen and they could not make the trip. Also I really wanted my Nan to be a part of my wedding, but since her diagnoses she was told not to travel out of country and she cannot get travel insurance.
Side note about my Nan...she is the strongest woman I know...I swear she lives on pure spite! She is currently 87...has had breast cancer twice and now full on bone cancer! Never took a treatment of any kind and is still going strong. She lives alone, cooks & bakes, makes bread, Gardens both flowers and vegetables, shovels her driveway, packs up wood for her furnace, she still drives (very well I might add) and takes her neighbours who don’t have a car 20min to the nearest town for Dr apts. She is so AWESOME! And I can’t imagine my day without her.
We are unsure about the details exactly yet...but we soon have to figure that out...We will use the Punta Cana Wedding date as our Anniversary Date and we are keeping the legal wedding a secret, although I'm sure no one will care.
Coming Soon...The Dress...Shoes...Jewellery...and other fun inspirations