And the final installment, including what you've all been waiting for!
Thursday, April 7 - THE BIG DAY!!!
Gosh, the whole day is a bit of a blur. We got up (yes, we spent the night together and we saw each other before the wedding ) and went for breakfast. When we were getting dressed that day, I got dressed in the bathroom and Jeff in the room, and we ended up wearing the same shirts unbeknownst to each other. Normally I would have changed, but we kinda looked at each other and said, “screw it - it’s our wedding day - we can match” LOL.
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I left Jeff at the adult pool with his family and I headed back to the room. He was nervous! And freaking out about the room key, as he kept demagnetizing his, no matter how careful he was. I guess he went back to the room about 3 times before he had to go get ready at his best man’s room - he wanted to make sure he wasn’t locked out.
I didn’t shower earlier as I wanted to shower as late as possible. So I grabbed a shower and primped myself. My sister came to my room (late as always, of course) to drop off her dress, etc. and then we headed to the spa to meet my BFF for hair & make-up. The salon is quite small and there was another bridal party in there at the time. That meant that we were all spread out and couldn’t really talk to each other. Eventually the other bridal party was done and it was a lot nicer - quiet and more private.
My sister and I both had our hair & make-up done, while my best friend only had her make-up done. Moises was my MUA/hair stylist and I loved what he did with both. I showed him a few photos of hair and make-up and he took it from there. He hardly said a word to me, so I don’t know that he spoke English very well, but he seemed to understand any request that I had or comment that I made.
The hair photos that I showed him were pretty simple, but he really took it up a notch and made it something special. I was a bit worried because he curled my hair at the back and my hair doesn’t usually hold a curl very well. In fact, I chose the styles I chose because I was worried any with curls would fall. But it held. Man, did it hold. Of course there was a lot of hairspray in it, but it did the trick.
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I thought my make-up was very natural looking, which is what I wanted. Although if you were up really close, it was a bit cakey. But a foot or two away and in photos, it looked amazing. Again, he did a good job replicating the photos I showed him.
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My sister’s hair was beautiful as well - she didn’t come with a photo and simply picked something out of a book at the salon. For make-up, I believe they had her select from a few eye shadow color options and her eyes turned out beautifully. Unfortunately her foundation was quite orange and did not blend well into her neck. We didn’t notice until we left and there was no fixing it ourselves (we tried, but there was no blending to be had). I’m hoping the photographer can touch up the photos with her in it so that she doesn’t look so much like Donald Trump’s orange cousin (at least she has better hair) My best friend’s make-up turned out really nicely. She was happy with it.
We headed back to the room to get dressed. Wow… time went by fast. I had ordered room service from the salon so that we could eat something. We pretty much had to wolf it down, grab some photos in our robes and throw on our clothes. Luckily all of our dresses are easy to deal with! I would recommend more time rather than less for getting dressed. I definitely underestimated the time we needed.
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Juan Carlos delivered the flowers to the room. They were absolutely perfect. I had shown him a bunch of different photos, not one cohesive idea. Yet they were exactly what I wanted and more. The bridesmaids bouquets were simple enough - just calla lilies, but I wasn’t sure what I would end up with for my bouquet. I could not have been happier.
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Then it was off for first look photos. The first look photos were a bit weird, because it’s such an intimate moment, but yet it was quite staged. Jeff knew I was walking up behind him and I kept having to stop for another shot. I don’t know if that’s how all photographers do it, but it felt, well, strange. But I still loved that we did it and it is one of my favorite moments from our wedding. The look on his face was amazing (and hilarious).
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Background story is that I had originally bought a white sundress that I thought I might use as a wedding dress. I changed my mind (twice!) on that, and ended up with a “real” wedding dress, although it was short. I had worn the sundress on our second night, when we did our informal cocktail hour. It was the first time Jeff had seen the dress. He assumed that I was going with something equally casual, just a different style. So he was surprised to see me all dolled up.
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We went our separate ways, to meet again at the wedding ceremony! I had both of my parents walk me down the aisle, as I mentioned earlier. Our friend was playing Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon on his saxophone. And Jeff was waiting at the altar for me, on a beautiful beach surrounded by friends & family. There was a nice breeze blowing and it was a little cloudy, which was great because it was much cooler than it was the day before.
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I don’t really remember what the officiant said, but she was warm and friendly. Her English was very good and I remember listening and nodding to much of what she said, but I don’t remember anything now! We also said our own vows. Jeff used the ones he used for our legal ceremony, which were provided by that officiant. I found some on the internet the night before LOL He had his memorized, but I had mine on a little scrap of paper, that I had conveniently placed in my bra (where else do you put it?) so I had dig around to get it out LOL. And then I couldn’t hold it and the microphone at the same time because the paper was flapping around in the wind. So Jeff had to hold it for me. It was actually pretty comical. Ladies - figure out a plan for reading your vows! I’m just sayin’...
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The ceremony was short - maybe 15 minutes max? And then we were walking back up the aisle and onto the terrace for a toast with our guests. I had gotten a little teary during our vows, but I lost it when I was hugging Jeff’s mom. She is so sweet and said the nicest thing to me, and the waterworks started. Well, not waterworks I guess. I recovered quickly.
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We spent some time on the terrace with our guests - hugs, kisses, cheers - and then off for photos. We did group/family/bridal party photos first on the beach, and then just Jeff and I walked through the resort and down the beach for more photos. We actually got chased off the pier that belongs to a neighboring resort, but it was worth it. I love those photos.
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Words of advice for your wedding photoshoot: bring water and gum/mints! Our mouths were so dry and gross by the end, and we were frankly tired of kissing each other LOL.
The photos took longer than I expected - probably partly because the walk down the beach to the pier was about 15 minutes one-way. Our cocktail hour was scheduled to start an hour after our ceremony ended and it was in full swing by the time we got back. The waiters were awesome - bringing us food and drinks right away. I was able to try all 4 of our appetizers and they were all delicious.
I was really happy with the overall set up. We didn’t bring a lot of decor with us. There was globe lights and papel picado to be strung under the pergola; fairy lights to be strung along the balcony railings; and small blue vases to be placed on the tables with individual flowers in them. I didn’t give a lot of direction, so I really didn’t know how it was going to look. But I was very happy with it. I was even happier that Juan Carlos added some extras at no cost. There were lanterns on the cocktail rounds, for example. Also, remember the bride who left me her candle holders, but he said he didn’t have them? Guess what was on my head table?!? I’m actually really glad we ended up getting those as I don’t think I brought enough vases for all of the tables and it would have looked a bit empty if we didn’t have the candle holders to add.
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Then it was time to sit down for dinner. My brother-in-law was our MC and he did a great job of keeping the group entertained without being too much in the spotlight. He also was totally on top of the timing and kept asking me if we wanted to do X now, etc. I would have had no idea if it wasn’t for him. We had speeches from our best man and maid of honor. They were both so lovely, but the best man made us cry (and half the guests, too). It was really touching. We also said a short thank you to everyone.
I managed to try all of the food (I am NOT a girl to miss out on food) and it was all very good. I was really happy with it. The resort also did a great job (as far as I know) with a wide variety of food allergies & dietary needs.
We had our first dance, which was nothing special (we didn’t practice anything or have a routine). The song was “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole. We weren’t planning to do father/bride or mother/groom dances, but our respective parents cut in and finished the dance with us, which I thought was really cute. Actually, it made it less awkward than just having the two of us there on our own. Then we moved on to the party tunes!
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I was actually surprised at how hard our group partied. There was tons of dancing and lots of shots. We have an older group with most guests being over 40, well over, in some cases, so I thought it might wind down early. Our reception was only scheduled until 9:30 and then I had planned to move to the nightclub. However, the banquet manager was awesome and let us stay. They closed the bar, but we had our own speaker & music, so he just let us stay out there. Jeff and I left around 11:15, I think. I’m not sure how long everyone else stayed - not much longer, I don’t think, but some of them did move to the nightclub.
We arrived back at our room to find it decorated in rose petals, a bottle of prosecco chilling, and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. A very nice touch. But we were too tired to indulge! We tumbled into bed and went to sleep - so romantic haha.
Overall, it was a perfect day. Sure, there were little things here and there that didn’t quite go according to plan. But nothing major, nothing upsetting. I’m so thankful to the staff at Now Sapphire for making our day wonderful (and not having much to work with - we didn’t have much in the way of decor or extras). And, of course, to our friends and family for coming to Mexico to celebrate with us.
Friday, April 8
We woke up fairly early and enjoyed a lazy morning until our breakfast arrived (part of the package). It was very good and I particularly enjoyed the mimosas on our balcony!
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We spent part of the day at the adult pool with some friends (again, lazy) and then went to the Blue Water Grill for a late group lunch, followed by a walk down the beach on our own. We had hoped to make it to Puerto Morelos, but we ran out of time. We made it just back the um, "au natural" resort and then turned around.
We had a couple’s massage booked at the spa for late afternoon. This was included as part of our package. Jeff had never had a massage before and thought it would be weird LOL. Well, he has been converted! He was asking if we could go for one on our honeymoon, but we didn’t get around to it.
Then off for dinner and back to the lobby bar for more cards & drinks!
Saturday, April 9
The last real day at our beautiful resort. After returning our decor, we spent most of the day at the beach with friends. We got a bocce tournament going and I also went out on a Hobie cat (sailboat) with another couple. Everything was pretty chill.
We also were back & forth from the beach to the lobby as some of our guests were leaving that day. We said goodbye to friends from Australia and a few others that day, which made me sad. I realized when saying goodbye that I didn’t spend nearly enough time with some people. But yet there wasn’t much more time to be had
As much as I was looking forward to our honeymoon in Costa Rica, and some alone time, I was not ready to leave. I felt like there were so many things we hadn’t yet done. We’d barely been to the main pool, we didn’t do any activities (lots of our guests took advantage of yoga, pilates, organized bike ride into Puerto Morelos, etc.), we didn’t walk to Puerto Morelos, we didn’t take out the kayaks, and we didn’t visit any places outside of the resort (I love visiting cenotes when we are vacationing in that area). And we didn’t get much of a chance to really relax.
I don’t regret Costa Rica one bit, because it was amazing and different from anything we’ve ever done. But I wouldn’t have been disappointed to stay at the resort for another few days or a week. Just a thought for those of you making your plans now.
Saturday night we had a private dinner booked on the beach (again, part of our package). They had “tents” set up side-by-side for each private dinner booked. However it was super windy on the beach. We had sand blowing up and sticking to our lips as we waited to place our order.
When the waiter came to take our order, we asked if we could move up to the Blue Water Grill Terrace. The restaurant wasn’t open that night, so it was completely empty. No problemo! They set up a table for us that was much more sheltered, although maybe not quite as romantic as being directly on the beach. But the servers were wonderful and the food was very good. We had a wonderful experience, and it was nice to have some time to ourselves. I’m glad we did it.
Sunday, April 10
Final day! We had breakfast and then went to the lobby to say goodbye to the Toronto group. Then we made some rounds at the pools to say hello/goodbye to others, since our flight to Costa Rica was earlier than the rest of our group’s flight. We back to our room to finish packing and then we grabbed a cab to the airport. Sad that our wedding week was over, but excited to be off on our honeymoon!