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Karlee's Cuba Wedding November 2016

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#1 karleealyssa

karleealyssa
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 15, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Melia Varadero, Varadero Cuba
  • LocationWindsor Ontario Canada

Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:44 AM

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.

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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. 
 

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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. 

 

http://blog.meliacub...nt-garde-flair/

 

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. 

 

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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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#2 deecol

deecol
  • Member
  • 787 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 30, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 21 March 2016 - 05:46 PM

@karleealyssa First of all, welcome! I am so sorry for all the obstacles you have faced so far, and for so many people letting you down in the process.  Unfortunately, weddings are one of those things that will bring out the best or the worst in people.  Well done on going ahead with your own plans and taking charge,  In the end it's all about you and the one you love.  

 

As I'm sure you know, there are so many supportive ladies on here, and endless tips and information.  Looking forward to reading about the rest of your journey!



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My Planning Thread:

http://www.bestdesti...6/#entry1904529


#3 vancouverpetunia

vancouverpetunia
  • Member
  • 670 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Now Sapphire, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • LocationVancouver, Canada

Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:35 PM

@karleealyssa Wow... you've been on a roller coaster. I'm glad you are following your heart and I know it will work out for you and you will LOVE it. You'll get lots of great ideas and support here. Out of curiosity, have you cancelled your wedding at home? I wasn't clear from your story if you are still planning to do that or not.


- Erin

 

My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...2016/?p=1893268

 

My Now Sapphire review: http://www.bestdesti...riviera-cancun/


#4 ashhtayy

ashhtayy
  • Member
  • 607 posts
  • Wedding Date:June 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
  • LocationToronto, Canada

Posted 25 March 2016 - 08:49 AM

@karleealyssa Congratulations and welcome to the site! I'm happy you and your FI stuck with your original plan and went forward with a DW. Best of luck with all your planning. I look forward to reading more :)

#5 SunshineDreamKay

SunshineDreamKay
  • Newbie
  • 33 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 14, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Cancun, Mexico
  • LocationUK

Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:50 AM

Congratulations what a lovely engagement. How heartbreaking it must have been to cancel your original dw but so glad you've decided to continue with a dw in the end. It's so hard when you don't get the support you expect from family and friends to be there. It takes a lot of strength to see things from a new perspective and continue to plan with a new mindset so it's great you've stuck with your plan. Looking forward to reading more about your planning.

Moon Palace Cancun Bride, November 2016

#6 karleealyssa

karleealyssa
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 15, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Melia Varadero, Varadero Cuba
  • LocationWindsor Ontario Canada

Posted 26 March 2016 - 02:28 PM

@karleealyssa Wow... you've been on a roller coaster. I'm glad you are following your heart and I know it will work out for you and you will LOVE it. You'll get lots of great ideas and support here. Out of curiosity, have you cancelled your wedding at home? I wasn't clear from your story if you are still planning to do that or not.

 Yes! We completely cancelled the vendors we'd already booked !!!! We had a hall, church, dj and decorator. Everyone was very understanding and we received most of our deposit money back !

I'm looking forward to updating as we are getting closer to our deposit date !! Our group should be confirmed by April 15th. 
Right now I'm in limbo until we get an idea of how many will be joining us !


 
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#7 karleealyssa

karleealyssa
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 15, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Melia Varadero, Varadero Cuba
  • LocationWindsor Ontario Canada

Posted 24 April 2016 - 05:29 PM

April 24th 2016
So It's been a bit since I've updated but a lot has happened.

Our April 15th Deadline for Deposits Passed...

We have 25 CONFIRMED guests. I cannot even believe it! 25 of 30 seats and the other 5 are accounted for!
I am so excited I could squeal.

 

Basically we cut down the 90 day deadline to 45 days and we seen better results this way.
I may even reserve an additional 30 seats just in case. Our group rate expires at the beginning of June.

Right now I've put the wedding plans on the back burner because we are just under 2 months from closing on our house.
The big stuff is complete, dress and BM dresses, fathers outfits as well as the groomsman all have their outfits picked out and some paid for.
PHEW.

Right now my mom and sister (MoH) have been tossing around ideas for a bridal shower. Because our wedding is in November which means a Backyard BBQ party is not possible, they are opting to throw a Bridal Shower instead.
I am slightly concerned that people will be offended because we chose to do a paperless wedding and people were invited to Cuba via Paperless Post. We really only wanted immediate family and friends for our ceremony. 

Because of everything going on, a big party is just not something I wish to take on. A lot of time and money is going into our house and I feel much happier that way.

So tell me, did anyone else feel guilty for wanting a small bridal shower to celebrate with the important ladies of their lives? While we love our aunts and uncles, being from a big family of 29 first aunts and uncles, we just couldn't invite some but not the others to Cuba. 

Once I get over this hurdle, I am hoping to start on some small decorations and OOT bags. I'm excited to get creative with some mugs and cozies !
 


 
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#8 vancouverpetunia

vancouverpetunia
  • Member
  • 670 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 7, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Now Sapphire, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • LocationVancouver, Canada

Posted 25 April 2016 - 09:33 AM

Glad to hear you are getting a good response. That's exciting! I didn't do an at home reception. My cousin threw me a bridal shower - mostly friends/family who were invited to the wedding, but also some cousins came who were not. I think you can do whatever you are comfortable with :)


Edited by vancouverpetunia, 25 April 2016 - 09:33 AM.

- Erin

 

My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...2016/?p=1893268

 

My Now Sapphire review: http://www.bestdesti...riviera-cancun/


#9 karleealyssa

karleealyssa
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 15, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Melia Varadero, Varadero Cuba
  • LocationWindsor Ontario Canada

Posted 27 April 2016 - 09:46 AM

Glad to hear you are getting a good response. That's exciting! I didn't do an at home reception. My cousin threw me a bridal shower - mostly friends/family who were invited to the wedding, but also some cousins came who were not. I think you can do whatever you are comfortable with :)

I'm glad I'm not the only one going this route! My mom said that if anybody is offended and doesn't want to come then that is on them. 
We are choosing a destination because it suits our personalities and our budget. She's not really into the whole "wedding etiquette" and she will deal with disgruntled family members who cannot attend.
We never said people COULDN'T come, we just left it as an open ended invitation.
My current dilemma is finding a bus that I can charter to pick us up and drive us between home and the airport. I figure I would like to coordinate people together if at all possible!


 
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#10 karleealyssa

karleealyssa
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 15, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Melia Varadero, Varadero Cuba
  • LocationWindsor Ontario Canada

Posted 09 May 2016 - 12:22 PM

Our Bridal Party. 
So we had picked a HUGE bridal party of 7 back last summer.
Actually he picked 7 I picked 6.

WHAT A HEADACHE


 
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