Like so many other brides before me, it would seem, I wasn’t going to do a planning thread. But I have seen how helpful they can be to others, as well as it’s a great way to solicit ideas for your own planning. Not to mention, I think it will help me stay on track. So here goes…
How We Met
We met at a destination wedding at Dreams Tulum in Nov 2010. I was there for my co-worker and he came as his buddy’s “plus one”. Jeff knew the wedding couple and a lot of the guests, but he wasn’t close enough to be invited. In a sense we were both outsiders, since I was a friend from work, and while I knew many of the bride’s friends, I was not close to any of them. It turned out that it didn’t matter - we made fast friends and had so much fun over the course of that week.
He followed me around like a puppy dog the entire week! (I hope he never reads this - he will kill me ) Because I had not been to an all-inclusive before and I generally like more active vacations, plus the fact that I wasn’t super tight with the group, I had booked a couple of excursions on my own. Jeff’s friend “volunteered” him to come with me on one. Thank goodness he did. I was so hungover. I wouldn’t have made it back down the Coba pyramid without him!
But I wasn’t interested. I really liked him. We got along so well and he made me laugh. But I wasn’t into him. I was recently out of a relationship that ended badly, so I’m sure that was part of it. Strangely, he’s quite shy by nature, but he was NOT shy with me. He made his intentions clear from the start, but I wasn’t going there.
Anyhow, fast forward a year. I finally emailed him to send him photos from the Coba excursion (he conveniently forgot his camera). I suggested drinks, thinking that since a year had past, maybe we could now be friends. And here we are almost 3.5 years later.
We had been talking about getting married. We had been talking about rings. I inherited a ring from my grandma that is really ugly (and not an antique or anything I want to keep for sentimental reasons), but has some diamonds and gold that I suggested he use to have a ring custom made. That was a little too intimidating for him, I guess. He told me to go ring shopping with a girlfriend, which I did, but didn’t tell him about. One night, after many drinks, and him complaining about not knowing what to do about a custom ring, I tossed a business card at him with 3 model numbers printed on it. That was summer 2014.
We had a big trip planned to Spain and France in Sept 2014. I thought he might propose. But as the days passed in Barcelona, nothing. I was trying not to expect it, because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Then towards the end of our trip, the two of us alone in a ruined castle tower in the South of France, he whipped out the ring and proposed. I forgot to say “yes”. I said “thank you” instead, because I had this pretty “gift” he was giving me. He had to clarify. LOL. He had the ring in his wallet the whole time - walking around Barcelona, pickpocket central. I still can’t believe it.
We considered a local wedding (or somewhat local). I wanted something very casual - maybe a BBQ in a park? But public parks don’t allow booze! So now what? We thought about going to the Okanagan, which is like Canada’s Napa Valley for those who aren’t familiar with it. We’ve done an annual trip there 3 years running, and I grew up in the area, but no longer have any friends or family there. But it just wasn’t quite right.
We’d also been to the Riviera Maya twice since we originally met. It is our go-to place for a relaxing, easy getaway. Plus we met there, so it just seemed right. We’ve now been there a total of 4 times together, having just returned from another trip last week. And we both had so much fun at the wedding at Dreams Tulum. I hope ours is just as good!
I started doing research on resorts in late November, I think. I also contacted a destination wedding travel agent in probably December, who further helped with the research. We considered Grand Princess (we’d previously been there on vacation), Grand Palladium, Ocean Coral & Turquesa, all 3 Azul properties (Beach, Sensatori & Fives), plus Now Jade and Now Sapphire. It was really tough finding the right combination of resort and wedding package, while trying to consider our guests and their needs as well. I have a huge spreadsheet with all the details in it for comparing resorts. Although it’s still early in the planning stages for me, I think choosing the resort was the toughest part of the whole process.
For various reasons we narrowed it down to Now Jade, Now Sapphire and Ocean Coral & Turquesa. In mid-January, we put down a deposit with the TA and she got quotes from those three for travel packages (air + hotel + transfers). OCT was a bit cheaper, but it’s not as highly rated either in stars or reviews as the Now properties. If it had been a lot cheaper, I would have considered it. It was tough to choose between the 2 Now properties, but Sapphire was a little bit cheaper, seemed to have a more “Mexican feel” to it, which I wanted, and I also have a colleague who was married there 2 years ago who had a great experience. We booked Now Sapphire at the end of Feb.
We invited 62 adults plus some kids. Of course, we knew some would not come. I was thinking we might end up around 40 - 50. At this point, I think it may be closer to 30 - 40, which I actually prefer. We currently have 33 people who have said they are coming (plus a few kids), as well as 12 who have said they are not. I don’t know about the other 17, but suspect not many will come. Of the 33, 11 have put down a deposit. Our booking deposit deadline is May 15.
Save the Date
We sent a simple email with links to our wedding web site (http://erinandjeff.weddingwoo.com/) and attachments including travel details. We have an RSVP form on our web site, which I built in Google Forms. I’m not planning to send paper STDs, but I think I will send paper invitations.
Obviously we have almost a year until our wedding, so plenty of time to plan and work on all those little touches. But I’m a planner and our wedding is my new obsession, so stay tuned for more updates soon, I’m sure!
Edited by vancouverpetunia, 15 April 2015 - 04:30 PM.