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Hi Everyone!

 

So I've decided to start a planning thread to help keep myself on track and also because I've read some other ladies' blogs (@@Wafflesmom and @) and they've been extremely helpful in sharing their wedding planning process and have encouraged me to do the same for others as well. 

 

So just a little bit about myself-- my name is Jess, recently moved to Vancouver from Toronto; my fiancé and I have been dating for almost 6 years now and were engaged in Toronto in November 2014, and got to celebrate with our families before we moved to Vancouver. I studied in graphic design so I want to be the DIY/craft type bride and try to customize and design as many things as I can myself.

 

The Engagement: 

 

My Fi, John, proposed on November 14, 2014 where we had our very first date in Toronto down at Dundas Square. We sat in the exact same spot as we did 5 years ago. Although we both knew the proposal was eventually coming, I was completely caught off guard and surprised. That night, they were rehearsing for the Festival of Lights so Dundas Sq. was filled with dancers, lights, music...it was a really nice environment to be in. Funny enough-- our friend who is a photographer was shooting for the rehearsal and saw us just after the engagement happened for an un-planned engagement photo opp! 

 

Engagement

Engagement Ring

 

 

Destination:
 
After starting to discuss how we both envisioned our wedding to take place, we both decided that it would be best suited as a destination wedding since we had family from all across the country (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and NYC). It made the most sense for us to all fly out to one destination vs. having it in Vancouver or Toronto. We also found that from our experience at most weddings, people are quite reserved and so we wanted our wedding to be a place where people could really enjoy themselves, party, and not be worried about having to work or have any other commitments the next day. And so we decided destination wedding it is! 
 
In the first start of our process, I immediately started researching for wedding planners and so we hired Lexi from the Wedding Butlers in Vancouver. In our experience thus far, she's been super responsive (she always gets back to me within the next day, if not the very same day), very informative, and extremely honest which is something I really appreciate. 
 
Initially we wanted a more intimate setting where we could really have the wedding we envisioned (rustic, beach with some greenery-- not just a resort with sand and water). So we were deciding between Azul Beach Hotel and Now Sapphire.
After further contemplation, John's #1 priority were our guests and making sure that they would have an amazing time not only at our wedding but during the entire week. Which is when we landed on Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort.
 
Our quotes expire this Wednesday, but my only reservations so far are that I haven't had any luck finding pictures or having the wedding coordinators on site at MP to send me photos of their wedding locations and venues at the resort. So hopefully, if any of you ladies have information on that, please share! 
 
Thanks in advanced!! :)
Edited by jes0912
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Woohoo, another planning thread. But what excites me most is that you're a fellow Vancouver Moon Palace bride :)

 

That's such a cute engagement story and I'm glad your friend happened to be there to take pics.

 

I've never been to Moon Palace but came highly recommended by my TA. Plus it met all of our wants for our destination wedding. I do have all the information you're looking for (I've pm'ed you). Hopefully I can help out

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Welcome and congrats. Super awesome @@Wafflesmom can help! A past bride if you search in the planning threads section is @@tygrrlily she also had a wedding at Moon Palace last December.

 

Your ring is gorgeous.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hi ladies!

 

Thanks so much for your responses. I was initially hesitant to start a planning thread in fear that no one would respond, but it's so encouraging to see that people actually genuinely care to help! <3 

 

@ I moved in January so it's almost been a year now and time has passed so quickly! I really only miss my friends and family from Toronto since Vancouver is such a beautiful place to live!

 

@@Wafflesmom It's been super helpful reading your thread and @@tygrrlily 's as well, @@calgarybride2015 thanks for the tip!!


Choosing the Destination

(This is by far the most painful part of the process)

 

So although we've quoted for Moon Palace and are 99% sure that we're booking here sometimes I still find that we have little reservations about securing our bride/groom and wedding deposit that makes this real (and of course it's because it's all non-refundable).  

We initially wanted a small intimate resort mainly because of what I had envisioned for our wedding day (rustic, garden, romantic), but as mentioned John's priority is guest experience, we compromised since I too started to realize that I didn't want guests to just remember the trip for our wedding day only, but for the entirety of the trip experience itself.

 

Some of our top priorities included:

- All-inclusive

- Gourmet dining/fine dining 

- Have a Mexican feel to it (not too modern/chic where it could be mistaken for Vegas vs. Mexico)

- Large enough resort that keeps guests busy with fun activities and things to do

- Be able to cater to our wedding preferences (style, design, decor)

- Family Friendly

- Under $2500 but closer to $2000 would be great!

- Very clean and well kept resort (rooms and resort grounds)

 

The most appealing part about Moon Palace, are the resort credits they offer per room; $1500 for guests. Initially John and I were planning on treating our guests to a group excursions and the moms to a spa day. But this resort credit is a huge incentive for us since it definitely takes the worry out of thinking that the guests would have nothing to do. 

 

Our other concern now is how MASSIVE the resort is. Almost too big? @@Wafflesmom any thoughts or reservations on the size of the resort? We googled mapped it through satellite and it is H.U.G.E.!! I don't think I've seen any resort quite like it. hahahaa, hopefully the place isn't overwhelming-ly big. We want to make sure that we're able to spend time with our guests and not spending the time arranging on where to meet, etc... I'm confident we can hopefully overcome that though, with some better planning and scheduling. 

 

Moon Palace

 
We're meeting our wedding planner later today to just talk over some details and hopefully she will reassure us that this is the place for us...or have another resort alternative.
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The size of the resort is actually what won us over! We really want our guests to feel like it's their vacation too and that they don't have to stick with other wedding guests if they don't want to. If it turns out that ppl want to stick together, that's great but thought we'd give them the option.

 

The resort has wifi so I was just going to do a whatsapp group contact and mention where my fiancé and I would be in case ppl wanted to meet up for drinks or dinner.

 

If you like the Palace credits but are reluctant about the size, there's also Beach Palace, playacar palace (on Playa del Careen) or cozumel palace. Once you stay at one palace resort, you're allowed to visit other Palace resorts for free! And use their facilities too

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@@Wafflesmom Yes the wi-fi! I think that's going to be a huge help when we actually get there, so people will know where/when to meet etc... I'm almost 99% sure we're going to book at Moon Palace. It's better to have more than enough things to do than to have not enough things to do. hhaha, I mean..at the end of the day too-- you can't please EVERYONE lol!

 

@ Thanks for the reassurance! On one hand I wanted to commit so I could get moving with other planning details, but on the other hand was scared I was rushing into booking a place just for the sake of booking, lol

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I am not sure how big Moon Palace is, but I have a feeling the size is comparable to where we got married. We had around 1100 rooms.  The first day it took some walking in circles but everyone finally met up with eachother.  Then it seemed that people formed their groups and decided what area they liked best to hang out at.  So then you knew where to find different people.  The size wasn't a hindrance to us at all really... sure if would have been nice if we only had one pool and everyone was forced to hang together, but then again as said above, it's their holiday too and people like privacy and options and such....  We had wifi but we didn't really need to communicate much, but we may have if we would have advertised using whatsapp -- so that's a great idea :)

 

Edit - ok I stand corrected, I think Moon Palace is twice the size.  That said, I still think you will be fine. Definitely push the whatsapp for the first couple days until people get settled.    I like the larger resorts myself as from my experience they just have so much more going on with a larger variety!

Edited by calgarybride2015
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@@calgarybride2015 hahah no worries! I'm definitely going to set up that whatsapp group! I think you guys are all right about it being a vacation for all our guests too. So they're going to want to do their own thing some nights and I think that with a larger resort it gives the option of hanging out together but also the ability for guests to have their alone time if needed; as a smaller resort won't work the other way around ;) 

 

Quick update as well:

We met with our wedding planner today and all my fears are GONE. She's was amazing-- answered all our questions and all our fears just melted away. John and I both left the conversation feeling really great and super excited about our wedding. So excited that...we picked up my wedding band on the way home (?!?!?!?!) I know-- CRAZY, right?! 

 

IMG 3587

IMG 3590

IMG 3592

 

My engagement ring is Tacori-- and I've always imagined getting the matching wedding band for the engagement ring which costs an outrageous $2500-$3000 just for the band itself. I mean who REALLY looks at a wedding band? Usually people are more fixated on the engagement ring itself. John and I stopped into Winners and managed to buy my wedding band 14k white gold with Swarovski for $100! WHAT A STEAL!! And you really can not tell that it's crystal vs diamonds! Also because my engagement ring has a subtly unique band, I think the mismatched engagement ring/wedding band actually look quite unique together. It's a little big right now so needs to be resized..but I'm not worried about that at all! If anyone knows any reputable jewellers who resize in Vancouver, please let me know!

 

Let me know what your thoughts are! ;) :D  

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I'm so glad you have a great TA and that she was able to make you feel confident with your decisions. So did you finally make your final decision on Moon Palace?

 

And your wedding band looks gorgeous! It matches beautifully with your engagement ring. I have a great jeweler who actually custom made both mine and my fiancé's wedding bands. He's super easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. I will pm you his info when I get home

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@@Wafflesmom Yes!! We're booking at Moon Palace :) Our deposits are due Wednesday but our wedding planner is gathering rates for John and I on a 8 day stay and a 10 day stay. We're planning on going down 1 day early to set-up and stay 2 days after our guests as a "mini-moon" :D and YES-- I would love the contact of your jeweller! Thanks for all the help! 

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