I’m finally doing it!!!
I’ve been thinking about starting my thread weeks after joining this forum, but for a number of reasons I didn’t – fear of my thread not being interesting, lack of free time and what if someone didn’t like something I chose? Through communicating with the amazing ladies on this thread, I’ve learned that we are all here for the same purpose, and this is the most supportive group of women I have ever encountered.
When I started planning #deecolwedding2016 (yes, that’s our hashtag ) I didn’t know what to do.
All I knew was:
- Half of our guests will be flying from Toronto, half from the UK and possibly a few from New York, Florida, Nova Scotia, France, and Ireland
- We needed to find a location that wasn’t unrealistic in both distance and price for all of our guests to travel to
- We wanted our Canadian guests to pay between $1200-1400
I’m hoping that with this thread I will not only be able to keep myself organized and get great feedback from the community, but also to help any future brides who were confused in the beginning like me and maybe have some similarities to my story.
So here we go… just over 7 ½ months to go: 225 days until we leave for Mexico and 232 days until we say I do!
How We Met
My girlfriend Victoria was having her 25th champagne birthday in Las Vegas in August 2011. On our first day we met a group of guys that were really cool we ended up hanging out with. On our second day, we went to the MGM Wet Republic pool party. These guys bought a cabana, booze, the works, so the day went on and the vodka was flowing... I had refused to go into the water because, well, not many people actually get out to use the washroom, and they’re drinking loads… you get it… Victoria decided she was going to have one of the guys throw me in the pool. So there I am, in this disgusting pool, wading my way out of it, and this gorgeous English accent beside me says “You look nice”. I turned to look at him and he was so handsome, I couldn’t believe it. We talked for a bit and then decided to exchange numbers and meet up later that night. I got back to my room with the girls and slighty slurry said “Guys, I just met my husband!”.
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Later that night, Colin showed up at Tryst nightclub (pic above) and we spent the rest of our holiday together. We had this instant connection. Saying goodbye was so hard, we both cried, it was like we have known each other for ever and were a couple. He said he’d call me when he landed back in the UK and I thought I’d never hear from him… “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Well it didn’t. He called me the day he landed, and the day after, and we bbm’d all day and night inbetween calls. Then, 5 days after we met, we decided to go for it, neither of us wanted a long distance relationship but we decided we were just going to make it work, we had to. I booked a flight to London to visit for a week in October 2011, we went to Venice for a couple days in between and I met his family. He flew to Toronto one month later in December 2011 for my birthday and met my family. I applied for my UK visa and moved to London in February 2012. We lived there together for almost two years, Colin got permanent residency to Canada and we moved back in January 2014.
The kicker – Colin was previously engaged. She cheated on him with his boss so obviously that ended. He had already booked his stag with a few of his friends in Vegas and with the wedding being called off, he asked his friends if they want to postpone it by a few months and go anyway. They postponed to that weekend in August 2011 that I was there. We had a magazine article written about us when we were in London and the story of how we met, the headline was “I Met My Girlfriend On My Stag-Do!” but the best part was that his ex saw it! haha
Colin and I always knew we would get married. But with moving back to Canada and trying to get permanent jobs, we also knew we had to wait.
On November 28th, we had made reservations to go out for my birthday dinner (my Birthday is December 1st). That day Colin had called me to tell me he got a job offer! Obviously I was beyond thrilled and couldn’t wait for that evening, we had so much to celebrate! I did have a moment of “He got a job, is he proposing?” but decided to push it aside and enjoy the awesome night we had ahead of us. I bought some champagne on the way home and should of caught on when I suggested we have some but he said to wait until after dinner, I thought he was just being sensible. We had a delicious dinner and when we were leaving he asked if I wanted to go for a walk on the pier, we were in Port Credit in Mississauga and you can see the Toronto lights from there. Since it was almost December I said “ummm not really, it’s a bit cold” and he said “Trust me, I’ll make it worth your while”. My heart dropped into my stomach. OMG it’s happening. Once we hit the spot you can see the lights, he dropped to one knee and said “Will you be my wife?” I said a combination of “omg” “are you serious?” “holy sh**” and eventually “YES!”
I called my mom and she cried like someone had been murdered. I called my dad and he already knew because Colin called him when he went to the washroom I’m really close with my Dad and he loves Col to pieces so this meant the world to me.
We went to pick out my ring the next day and we had already invited a bunch of friends over for my birthday that night so it turned into a triple celebration!
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The Wedding – Why Destination?
Along with always knowing we would be married, we also always knew we were going to have a destination wedding. All my friends and family are mostly in Canada, and all his side is mostly in England. We didn’t think it would be fair to ask just one side to travel, it just made the most sense to us. This way everyone gets a great vacation, our friends and families get to spend a week together getting to know each other and we get to spend time with the UK family we don’t get to see too often anymore.
Deciding on a Resort, Travel Agents and Getting Pricing
As most brides will tell you, this is one of the most stressful parts…
Our first task was to figure out what resorts will cater to guests from both the UK and Canada and offer packages. Colin took the reins on this as he is in travel, and not that he gets any inside info or discounts, but he knows where to look.
We decided on Riviera Maya, Mexico and narrowed our choices down to the Grand Sirenis (due to @calgarybride2015 thread and review – I still think she should get a commission from them) and the Grand Bahia Principe Coba.
We gathered some quotes, from the airlines directly, travel agents and from Romantic Planet. So far the GBP was looking like less money for both the Canadians and Brits. I work part time for a marketing company making drinks and promoting brands etc, one weekend I was working at the Toronto Food & Drink Market and there was a bridal show going on in the next hall. One of the vendors from the show came to me on the Sunday and “needed a Caesar” well, I “needed to get in that show” so she handed me her exhibitors pass and off I went. I did a quick loop and a guy from Total Advantage Travel & Tours stopped me. I told him I was pretty much ready to book and he said he could beat the quote I got. So I thought ‘what do I have to lose’ and emailed him the next day. Their first quote for GBP was already $100 less than Romantic Planet and after going back and forth, doing a bit of price matching and $30 more being taken off the price … we were able to get a group rate through Total Advantage for $1259 pp with Air Canada. We made sure the London flights matched up and weren’t too expensive and secured our deal.
To date we have 19 booked from Canada and 21 booked from the UK, 40 total including Col & I. We anticipate about 10 more to book, but I am beyond happy with our number, it’s more than I could have ever asked for and I can’t wait!!!
We have decided on a legal ceremony, although it's a bit more hassle, we wanted to have everything done at once, and it will be worth it
We had these done on February 7th, 2015 in High Park, Toronto
Save the Dates and Invitations
The Save the Dates were sent out at the end of April once we secured our Canadian group rates and the UK flights were released and activated our wedding website. We sent our Invitations out Mid-May.
We have all information available on our website including the RSVP, as we would have replies coming in from so many countries it saves us a bit of money as well. We update the pricing for the UK guests as often as possible on the travel page of the website. The final rsvp date will be January 31st, 2016.
I have my dress, flowers, bridesmaid dresses and a couple other things on the go. I didn’t expect to be able to start this today so I will update the rest shortly
Edited by deecol, 11 September 2015 - 07:58 AM.