Hello dear brides
First of all I want to thank many brides who helped me and supported me on my planning: Murmel, Girlinthecity,Calgarybride (Kim), repax !!! I gotta say to all of you "thanks so much"
My name is Lina, our wedding was on April 10th, 2015 and I will do my very best to summarized our wedding planning and wedding day. It is really hard to shrink an entire year of ideas, planning and things in one post, but we will do my best
A bit about me and my husband: I am originally born in Colombia and he is American-Irish. We met in 2011 after each of us ended a long relationship, he was previously engaged and I was in a relationship that was long enough and going endless. We met at work in our corporate jobs and the best man in my life was there,...my best friend. My hubby and myself lived together since 2013
Engagement: It was a regular day for me March 1, 2014. We did not celebrate Valentine's day because we had bad snow. Tim left me a note to scratch all plans and invited me to a winery for dinner to celebrate our postpone valentines...I smelled something was going on but I did not want to think or expect anything. I had plans to run errands that Saturday and all was changed. When we got to the winery, he had all set in a booked suite with roses arrangements and champagne Tim invited me to walk on the golf course and after a while told me he needed to tell me something! on his knees he proposed his love to me!! it was so emotional and I was so happy and the begging to the best day of my life!
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Visited in May these resorts: Dreams Tulum, Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Playacar, Moon Palace, Azul Beach, Azul Sensatori, Generations Riviera Maya, Grand Porto Real (Playa del Carmen)
Most wanted: Dreams Tulum, Playacar and Sensatori. Which we selected: Azul Sensatori for the great reviews of Karisma chain and the location to go to Cancun and Playa. My first choice was Dreams Tulum but it was about 2 hours from the airport.
I wish I knew before we booked: More options to do a off resort wedding and still gather a group in a resort (I did not know my options)
Company used: Destination weddings...I recommend!
Miami planning feedback: No comment.
Now the planning started:
Wedding colors: Coral and aqua blue (aka Tiffany blue)
Save the date: We did the regular magnet
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invitations: we did passports in English and Spanish and two designs. If you want to see the inside please ask me and will show you it was lots of work because the template did not include anything for Sensatori and I had to search, proof read and translate for the Spanish passports.
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Tip: manage your budget and invitations is a way to cut costs. Do not go too fancy!
This was such a crazy time for me!! It brought me tears and loss of sleep at night. I live in NJ and visited many stores here and in NY. I was like too demanding or basically I did not like anything. I ended spending more than I wanted because I ended with 3 dresses, but I was a happy bride on my wedding day. I had one dress that I never worn, another that I used for our catholic ceremony and another one for Mexico.
PLUS 2 more dresses for the reception. I ended using only one ...yes crazy!! Note: I am selling my dresses (reception, wedding and bridal). you will see pics as I keep showing my planning.
Tip: DO not let the bridal store convince you on the dress you are not 100%, they need to sell and you need to be in love with your dress. If you buy too early you will have second thoughts!!! I guarantee you thins one! A bridal store will tell you 8-6 months before the wedding...it is NOT true, I had stores contacting me 3 months and 2 months prior to the wedding.
Bridal Shower dress: His family had a shower for me because my sister lives in Mexico.
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Ceremony: We had two ceremonies. One was the catholic here in NJ for our family only and the second in Mexico with families and friends.
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Bridesmaids dress: I had 6 (2 were his sisters) each paid for their dress and I chose one affordable at David's
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Tip: Try to avoid drama by not choosing his family members in your wedding party (if you do not feel like you want...just dont do it)
Gifts for the bridesmaids: a Kimono robe (all blue and I was white), flip flops made by myself with the initial of their name on the button, a tank top with rhinestones made by myself "bridal entourage", a pair of barefoot sandals did not make myself, a set of jewelry to use on the wedding day and a necklace with each of their initials that said "I could not say I do without you"
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Flower Girl: some toys and the following to our niece.
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Mother of the groom and bride: basically the same as the bridesmaids and the handkerchief (the pic below is not mine just the message is what I chose), to my mom it was in Spanish because she does not speak English
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Father of the groom (my dad is deceased ): bottle of scotch (super expensive)
Groomsmen: each had a customize gift from beau-coup.com and some alcohol (we shipped to them before we departed)
Best Man: custom made sterling silver cuff-links with the shape of boxing gloves, because he loves boxing.
Maid of Honor: the dress (I paid for it) and the same as each bridesmaid.
Photographer: Sarani weddings (not Sarani Studio) yes she is more expensive. We have not received our pics yet, but will do soon! and will update with my professional photos. booked Sarani in May 2014 and did not look much because we loved her work when we visited her. Sarani is such a sweetheart and very professional, I am so happy we booked her and even though we dont have photos yet, I know we will be happy!!
We also had video with Sarani. We paid the vendor fee and that included one vendor per day, not per person. Sarani came with 3 more people (shooter and assistant) all were 4.
DJ: I booked in June 2014 DJ Doremixx with Ivan the main DJ and owner, I had paid deposits and basically planned all with Hugo and Ivan. Ivan was going to be my DJ, but in January 2015 I was advised by Karisma that I was not allowed to bring him or any other vendor because "policy" had changed. That was not true because I kept seeing Doremixx playing in 2015 at Karisma resorts, I never knew that the deal was but I was unable to bring Doremixx, I put tons of work and emails on that, even spoke with a Karisma director in Miami, I was not getting a "no" as an answer and basically lasted for a month. Ivan Gomez and Hugo Gomez (his brother) were communicating with me all the time and they were supportive. I had tears over a DJ because to me music is very important, I contacted many brides for help and it was so big to me. I am Latina and big into dancing salsa, merengue, etc..so I had all planned with Ivan about the type of music I wanted for the wedding day!!!
We even considered to move the reception and ceremony over to Arenika, which is a beach club near Sensatori which is within walking distance and gorgeous, I contacted Weddings on the beach and Natalia was amazingly helpful!! unfortunaltely this brought lots of confusion to me and when we decided to move the wedding out of Sensatori we called Arenika and the place was booked. It was just no meant to be.
We ended with the vendor at Sensatori, we got the DJ with MC and his name was Fernando. It was "all right", people had a good time, but I would have expected better, I know that you might think I was pre-set in my mind about the DJ and honesly I was not, that DJ is just ok! their equipment is SO OLD!!! but still I think of my wedding day as a magical day so I do not regret!
Learned experience: you wont always win while planning, things wont be perfect but be happy and compromise!
TTD: Yes, we hired Studio by the Ferry!
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Makeup and hair: I hired Michael and Martina from Beso Brides. No, they did not come inside the resort. After the headache of the DJ I did not want another. I booked a room in Puerto Morelos for $80 per night after taxes. I met with them there and it was the best I did, no regrets and I was okay leaving the resort, every bride is different and that was not a big thing to me. I wanted airbrush and at the resort I was not sure with their expertise. Martina and Michael prices were much more reasonable, I was on time back at the resort with my 3 bridesmaids and mothers.
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Bouquet flowers and button:
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Flowers for my bouquet: I knew I could not do touch or fake flowers and because I love expensive good looking things, I compromised with cheap flowers and I do not regret.
I realized that nowadays ANY wedding gets so expensive, Karisma weddings are NOT cheap and all adds up quickly.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF MY PLANNING: come up with welcome bags and reception decor!!!
I started reading and reading and making orders and money started being spent!! After 3 orders I realized I did not have a theme and all was all over the place with colors and designs. I wanted to read more and found several templates BUT each of them were for that specific bride. I needed to do something only for me that would call my name and his name all the time. I am good with designs and my brother also, so we sat down and decided that we would create an entire wedding theme with our colors and one exclusive design. Maybe the idea of the items were all over in every page and board I read, but the designs were only mine and I did my only designs. for my decor I wanted something more "beach relaxed", colorful and bright, I knew I did not want silvers or golds.
Tip: decide what type of decor defines your personality and location. Do not start spending without a clear idea of what you want because it will go to waste!!
My brother and I created and designed the entire logo, theme and all for our wedding decor and stationary. We printed, cut and finished all ourselves. It was lots of stress and work BUT it was worth the effort. Our designs came out really nice!!!
I would LOVE to do this for another bride who wants to have a unique theme and logo like I did. I do not have templates, we used a design software for this.
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The Azul Sensatori wedding department is absolutely amazing with their work!!! They do this top notch and they are SO PROFESSIONAL!!! they amazed me and everyone!
We did it at Spoons the night before the wedding, the dinner for the group is inside the restaurant, but made it very private where everyone knows this, they give you wedding menus and decorate nicely, no need of stress here. We had some Mexican souvenirs for the tables which ended working perfectly, because they had Mexican night as the theme night LOL.
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The bride is ready to walk down the isle:
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Ceremony: I selected Memorable moments, Vitange collection but had to go white because they had blue or orange that did not match my decor. I requested to have roses dyed with aqua blue and coral roses
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Wedding party: Over the rainbow was the song and the seating song while guests waited was "three little birds"
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Here comes the bride and ceremony: I walked with "I choose you" by Sara
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Each chair had a fan and a bubbles (we also customized this)
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then pronounced: Mrs and Ms.
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MORE TO COME SOON!!! COCKTAIL HOUR, RECEPTION AND CATAMARAN (I will post now because I don't want to lose all the work I did for hours)
I have tons of pics to share for ideas!!
Edited by linaco80, 09 May 2015 - 11:03 AM.