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JoannaBanana

Joannabanana's Planning Thread - May 12Th 2016 - Grand Sirenis

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TADAAAAA - We have a date!  8 months after our engagement, and 5 months after joining this site.  A whole lot of researching, nagging, a site tour, and basically blood, sweat, and tears.  We have finally made the commitment.  I should have just listened to @@calgarybride2015 to begin with!  Props lady! 

This is a Planning Thread v 2.0 for me, so I'll just copy/paste some of my previous backstory.

 

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 an Automotive Technician.  I've since left the position as it is 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.  He says he always knew we would end up together.  Sometimes I still stop and look at him and I have to shake my head.  I love him so much, and I feel lucky to be with him.  He's a challenge some days, and so am I.  But I guess that's the beauty of a loving relationship.  Even from the day he proposed to today I feel our love has evolved to such a higher place. 

Edited by JoannaBanana
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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.  EDIT: I had it sized while I was in Mexico!
N5pdOjkb.jpg
 


The Destination

 

So I have been intentionally not posting much for months now, because it took me SO LONG to pick a resort.  I was more easy-going in this regard, but my commitment-phobe-come-procrastinator fiancé seemed to find a way to swat away almost every suggestion.  Last month (June) on a whim we went down to the Riviera Maya area and stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum.  While we ultimately did not choose to stay at this resort, we did take the opportunity to do a site tour of the Grand Sirenis.  We rather liked what we saw, and at the time my fiancé said he could definitely see both of our families staying there and having a great time.  Somehow between then and now he kind of lost his focus and started daydreaming about Jamaica again.  After a few more quotes and a week long boys drinking trip on his part, he finally pulled out the list of quotes (which I had provided to him for his ease or consideration) and he circled Grand Sirenis.  With less than a year to go I jumped in to game mode. 

 

Travel Agent

 

We are not using a travel agent in the traditional sense.  I know.  I had great experiences with a few travel agents, but ultimately with my sister being an Air Canada employee no one could beat the quote that they were able to provide to me with her discount.  The savings are worth not having an actual agent/coordinator that specializes in this sort of thing.  I hope I'm not missing out on too much in this respect. 

 

That said if any GTA brides are looking for a good agent do not hesitate to contact Tracy Sinclair at Romantic Planet.  This lady was so patient, so fun, prompt, and provided excellent recommendations and prices.  I actually have a lot of regret for not going with her anyway.  But I can't justify spending more, and making the decision for all of my guests to pay more.  I have a unique advantage to get Air Canada employee discount, but I know most people do not.  I really do hope that people will see my opinion of her and give her their business because she absolutely deserves it.  

 

tracy.Sinclair@@romanticplanet.ca

www.romanticplanet.ca

Edited by JoannaBanana
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Hey! Congrats on setting your date and picking a resort!

And nah, you shouldn't have just listened to me.  It's tough picking a resort, and you gotta make sure what you pick is for YOU and your guests.   But of course I am biased and think you will love it :)

 

They have a FB page - not for weddings, but in general. Lots of brides chat on there if you are interested.

 

Oh!!!! your sister works for AC - that is awesome. I totally would have went that route too.  I am always so jealous of people who work for an airline :)  Glad you have that sorted out.    Are you willing to share your price?  I have been looking at trips, I randomly check Expedia and the GS has been super expensive as of late. But then again, I think most are.

 

Your ring is gorgeous!!!

 

Can't wait for more.

Edited by calgarybride2015
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Hi Joanna! Congratulations on setting a date and destination! This hotel looks beautiful and even I was tempted to jump ship from Royalton after seeing @@calgarybride2015's photos X

 

Great news regarding your discount xx

 

Maybeoneday

14 /10/2015 - R R C, Mexico

Edited by maybeoneday
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@@JoannaBanana

Yay! Another Grand Sirenis Bride!! Welcome to the club! I love your ring and I remember reading your engagment story somewhere else. So cute! And that ring is gorgeous! Congrats!

 

I can't wait to read more about your planning!!

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@@calgarybride2015 At the risk of making others green with envy - $1247 per person.  I know that price is crazy because of the insane amount of research and quoting I went through. 

 

@@maybeoneday Royalton was my top runner for a long time, we could have gone either way - but this price was too good to say no to for Sirenis, especially after our site tour


@@yycbride2016 I changed my username, and my original "Planning" thread involved too much pussyfooting around, so I decided to remake the whole thing, and copy some parts.

Edited by JoannaBanana
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@@JoannaBanana OMG!!!! Yes I am definately green with envy about your price. Our group quote is $2054 pp and because we upgraded to an ocean view room my FI and I are paying $2133 each :o Look like I need to make some more connections with people who are well connected hahaha. Good for you though. That will save you a lot of money!

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Very good price!!!!  Jealous in fact, we paid $1565 from Calgary and $1465 from Toronto.

I thought those were a deal from what I've been seeing :)  Good job!!!!!!!

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So I'm feeling a little frustrated.  I'm trying to pull together the ol' Boarding Pass invitation.  I think they aren't working on my computer because I don't have Microsoft Office, so I'm trying to make it work in Open Office.  I'm kinda hoping I could just get away with sending out email invitations with a link to our wedding website.  That's what my friend did.  I'm going to try from my work computer tomorrow and see how that goes.

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I've never heard of open office. Do you have any Microsoft programs? I find publisher a bit easier to use although I suffered thru word to do our boarding pass invites as that's what the template was made in.

 

I rent Microsoft office for $10/month. Now I've probably paid for it lol but it may be an option for you if you need it for other wedding planning. Then you can cancel when you are done with it.

 

I think if you did an email invite sending people to your website that would be totally ok! I find anything goes with DW so whatever you would like to do.

 

If you end up making them please post the finally product :)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by calgarybride2015
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