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Karlee's Planning Thread Melia Varadero November 15Th 2016

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Oh... Where do I start?

Our story is long, and hectic. I'm very excited to share our journey with you. I have been lurking Best Destination Wedding for some time and now I'm here to have my voice.

Chuck and I met in 2012. We met at a bar through mutual friends. It didn't take long for me to know he was the one. 

We started dating the day after valentines days, February 15th 2013. The number 15 is my new lucky number. 
Chuck and I have been through our fair share of rough patches. We've been through moves and job changes and the only thing that changes is 

the strength of our love for each other. 


This past summer we were once again in the midst of some career changes. We decided to take a trip to spend some quality bonding time before I was going to submerge myself in my work. 
The day we picked for our trip was August 15th 2015. We had a phenomenal drive up there. We're from Windsor so it took about 4 hours by the time you factor in visiting an old boss in Ancaster.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We seemingly had picked the HOTTEST day of the year to go hiking.



The background was BEAUTIFUL. In my younger adult years I'd lived in Hamilton and went to school at Mohawk. Actually getting out into nature and spending time with not only who I love but doing what I love was very important to me. 

Earlier in the day I had convinced Chuck to buy a Selfie stick (LOL). So while he was taking that, I turned around to grab some snaps of the falls. 
I was so happy just being outside and being  active. I didn't even hear Chuck calling my name. 



When I finally turned around, I found Chuck waiting for me with something in his hand. Now I wish I could say he was completely down on one knee but the situation wasn't ideal. Anybody who has been to Albion Falls knows how rocky and mucky it can be. He began to tell me how important I was to him and how he knew it just felt right too. 

Thank GOODNESS I was wearing sunglasses because I was a wreck. I was crying and shaking and so excited. In that moment, we didn't even notice the hundred people who were going about their adventure around him. 
2.5 years after we started dating (to the day) I said yes to marrying the love of my life.

When I called my mom (who was in on the whole thing) she was so happy. The words destination and beach wedding were already flying out of her mouth. My heart was always set on a beach wedding. I am a beach person. I live for the sunshine and warmth. I'm not a big family person. I only keep in contact with a few family members (My mom is the youngest of 15). To me a wedding is intimate and not about who can throw the most money at vendors. However, I knew this attitude would not hold up with both sides of the family.

When we returned home we immediately threw around the ideas of Jamaica and Mexico. To me, Cuba was not an option. I adore Cuba. I have been 3 times. Compared to the Dominican , I prefer Cuba. However, I wanted to experience somewhere different, more elegant. 


By September we had decided on The Grand Sunset Princess in Playa Del Carmen. We chose a bridal party of 7 each (I know, a lot). 
The GSP was going to cost me 1500$ CDN tax in from Toronto May 10-17th 2017. At first, everyone was on board. The deposit date was January 4th 2016. 

Nobody booked. 


We opted for a very personalized letter that we distributed to about 100 of our family and friends. We hand delivered each letter and explained how excited we'd be if they could join us.

Nobody. Not even my parents.
With the deadline approaching (as well as Christmas), my heart started to break. Family members were calling demanding to know when the at home reception would be(which I hadn't planned on). We had decided on a private beach reception (that was going to cost me a pretty Canadian penny). 


By mid December, we cancelled our Mexico Weddingmoon.


4/7 Bridesmaids had convinced me to do a home wedding. The promised they'd help with everything. 
And so we booked a Venue, and a DJ and a Decorator. Our new date was February 11th 2017. 

Our TA was excellent. She had arranged to allow us to keep our deposit for our honeymoon instead. 
Over the next two months I became stressed and obsessed. Every time I'd turned around our guest list swelled by 5 and the cheque book was signing more and more money away.

My small home wedding turned into a 200 person extravaganza. Our honeymoon was going to cost 6000 minimum. I broke down. My heart felt empty as we planned a Winter Affair. No longer would I spend a week with my parents who have never been somewhere tropical. 
No longer would I profess my love for Chuck on a beach with the Toes in the Sand. 

With everyday that passed, we struggled to find help. Bridesmaids didn't want to do what I asked. I would make numerous appointments for dress fittings, they wouldn't come. We threw our engagement party were almost none of the BM's showed up. They didn't want to help. 

I plopped on the couch in the mid of February and told my mom I wanted to run away...too my surprise she said DO IT.

So we are. 
We searched in Cuba for a cheap alternative. All the expectations I had were out the window. I settled on a symbolic ceremony with no bridal party. We decided not to tell people our new plans. For all most people know, we're going away with family for a early winter getaway.

Our Travel Agent at Goligers Travel in Windsor is our lifesaver.

She rerouted our deposit (again) and was able to secure us 30 seats to the Melia Varadero for November 11th to 18th 2016 (Friday to Friday).
The cost ended up at 1308 pp , tax in. 
Chuck and I splurged, we upgraded to Suite at The Level Melia Varadero. 
And even still, the price we got was better then our pp cost for a honeymoon in Jamaica. 




So Where are we now.
Well... about 3 weeks ago I used inspiration from another BDW bride and used Paperless Post to selectively pick who I'd invite first.
Instead of giving guests 90 days for the deposit, we've chosen 45 days with a date of April 15th for cut off (Obviously we have the ability to add more for 45 more days). 
This has been received well.  The paperless invites have been a hit. It cost me 20 dollars to invite 50 guests and I have left over coins yet. 




As of writing we have about 10 confirmed attendants. Truthfully, that is all I need. My dress has been bought already and I'm ready to go. 
I am anticipating about 20 people including us to travel. At this time we have no real plans for anything besides a housewarming party after the wedding. 
We are currently trying to save up for our house (we're touring some this week), and what better way to celebrate our casual marriage than with a casual housewarming party.

I promise to add more information as I go. I have bought some cheap decorations and am hoping to get working on formal invites once we buy the house. As the booking deadline approaches, I will focus more on the OOT bags and other details. 

Thanks for everyone's support. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all !!!



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Your story and engagement are heartwarming :)


I'm so glad in the end you and Chuck decided to do what your hearts wanted not everyone else. It's tough not to feel the guilt and do as others want. As you see that never turns out well. Good for you two and as I've said in another post - you picked a fabulous resort.


Can't wait to read more. If you have any questions about the resort just let me know.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@@karleealyssa congrats on your wedding and your amazing story. It really reminds us of our story, the places we've been, the hardships we've been through and after all is said and done we still have one another, out two cats (which we brought from Canada to our new home in Mexico) and our love for one another.


You are going to have an amazing time in Cuba. We were in Cayo Santa Maria this past February to photograph a wedding. Cuba is such a beautiful country and the people are so wonderful.


We wish you the best of luck, for your wedding and everything in life <3

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