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Why not another planning thread? We have just over 6 months to go and things are really started to fall into place, so I figured it’s about time to share our experiences and ideas and pay-it-forward like so many other planning threads have done for us! (btw – thank you to everyone who shares ideas/deals/photos – it’s all so helpful!)

 

T&A

T and I met at a post-work happy hour. I had just joined the company a few months prior and a coworker invited me to join the Friday happy hour crew. We chatted at happy hour every week for a few months, when I finally accepted his offer to take me out. That was over 5 years ago! We still work for the same company; T is an engineer and I am in marketing and we kept our relationship very quiet until we got engaged – hard to hide the ring! We adopted two fur-babies, Kona & Harley. They are the center of our worlds J

 

Kona & Harley

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2013 11 02 10.06.54

 

Will you be my wife?

T and I love to take vacations to Mexico or the Caribbean in December. We go every winter. Last October I was feeling really overwhelmed with schoolwork (working on my MBA) and work and decided to book a vacation for December. We ended up back at Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana – it is our favorite resort (highly recommend)! We flew out Thursday morning, the day after my last class for the semester. I was super annoyed that T was carrying on instead of checking his bag; he always checks so I have extra room for shoes in his bag. :) Anyways we arrive and enjoy your first few days at back at the resort. We ran into a friend whom we met 2 years ago the same resort! On our second night, we met friends in the lobby for a drink and after they went off for dinner, T suggested a walk on the beach before our reservation. We walked the beach every night around dinner, so it wasn’t weird. I was again annoyed because I had on wedges and didn’t really want to take them off to walk in the sand. As we approached the beach I got this gut feeling “oh sh*t, he’s going to propose!” I slide off my shoes and we walked the moonlight beach for a few moments before he stopped, dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife! J

We headed back to the lobby to get a bottle of champagne and he made a stop at restaurant to tell our friends, who actually had champagne waiting for us because T had let them in on the plans. We spent the next 6 days in paradise. We didn’t tell anyone until we got home. We got home 2 days before Christmas and would be seeing the families over the holiday – I wanted to tell them in person rather than over the phone. Both our families were over the moon excited!

He picked out the ring all on his own just a few weeks before we left. He didn’t want to check a bag because the ring was in his luggage. He was super worried about losing it! It’s perfect!

 

photo Dec 17 9 26 35 Pm

ring

 
 

DW is the only option

My classes were starting in early January, and we wanted to sort out a few details before my time became occupied by school and work. After talking about what was important to each of us and how we want our day to be, it was clear the only option for us was a DW. It fits perfectly with who we are. We’re in our mid-30s, so we’re paying for the shindig on our own. Our friends are all ready for an excuse to take a vacation without their kids and we’re all a bit more financially stable, so DW here we go!

 

2016 12 19 18.17.07

 

The Planning Process

The first few months I was super anxious to get things planned. I’m a bit Type A, so the checklists, excel spreadsheets are a bit overkill, but it’s keeping my organized. School was crazy over the spring, so not much wedding planning happened. Summer was a bit more activity as I didn't have classes. We’ve been working with Javier at Lomas and so far, he’s been great, he responds in 3-5 days. Don’t expect daily responses from anyone Lomas – if you accept this early on, it helps alleviate frustrations! I've starting by breaking things down into categories so it was more manageable and less overwhelming. 

Travel Agent

Venue

Guest List

Invitations / Save The Dates / Website

Travel

Bridal Attire

Groom Attire

Bridal Party Attire

Rings

Ceremony

Cocktail Hour

Reception

Flowers

OOT bags & gifts

Photographer

Pre-wedding Events

Miscellaneous 

 

One thing I really struggled with was resources for DW planning. Everything I found on Pinterest, Wedding Wire, The Knot, etc didn’t seem to fit with a DW. Thanks to BDW for helping clarifying some things! Otherwise, I’m just making this up as I go. Sharing it to try to give others options and ideas. No two weddings are the same and you should do what works for you and your partner!! 

 

Stay tuned to see how the adventures of T&A continue! 


Travel Agent / Venue

We found our wonderful travel agent, Kate’s Travel, via Google search. She’s local and I felt like I was talking to my aunt when we interviewed her. She sent over a few dozen resort options once we described our venue requirements and we ended on Azul Sensatori in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We wanted a resort with both family friend and adult’s only options and something a little more upscale.

Our date was a totally random selection. My MBA graduation is end of April and I wanted to wait until I was done with school. June-August is just too hot and hurricane season. Sept-Nov seemed like too long of an engagement – so May. And we had to do early May because our nephews graduate high school in late May. Friday weddings get better perks, so we ended up on Friday, May 11, 2018. (super romantic, right?) HAHA

 

Guest Lists / Initiations

The first thing I wanted to do was setup a website. I knew there would be a lot of questions about travel, so I wanted a site they could reference not only for RSVP, but for travel tips. I tried to use a freebie, but I wasn’t able to customize how I wanted. So I bought the domain and built the site on Wordpress. I like that I can see visits and top content too!

 

We sent STDs in late February (15 months before the wedding). We wanted to give our 170 guests plenty of time to plan and budget. I ordered these from Vistaprint – nothing super special.

 

I knew I wanted to custom design our invitations, as I have a lot of experience in graphic design. I worked on these for months and in June, finally printed them. My mom helped me assemble and I mailed them in early July. This is where I struggled – timing! Traditional weddings are 8-10 weeks before the wedding, but our group rate expires November 1 (6 months before), and we had to have final counts to the resort 60 days before… I just couldn’t decide when to send the invites! We invited 170 guests, but many are our elderly family that we knew wouldn’t be able to make the trip. We expected 40-50 guests.
 
 

I finally gave up and send the invites in July (10 months before wedding, 3.5 months before booking deadline). Turns out – this worked wonders for our guests! Many appreciated the extra time to budget and plan! I know it’s not for everyone, but I couldn’t figure out a better solution. Guests wouldn’t book without the invitation… what worked for us, may not work for everyone else.

 

side note: I actually shared our sending timeline on wedding wire, and several brides attacked me for sending out invitations far too soon – it was bulling via an online forum! I was simply trying to share my experience for another DW bride because I really struggled with this piece. I stay here on BDW – far better sense of support here!

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Edited by TandAGetHitched

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*Update* - we are 2 weeks from the booking deadline and we’ve heard from all but 5 people. We have 54 adults and 9 children RSVP – 63 total! It’s amazing so many friends and family are able and willing to travel for our day – we feel so blessed and loved!

Edited by TandAGetHitched

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6 months to go!! 

 

I had a really productive call with Javier yesterday... talked a lot about the details... feels nice to start talking about the details instead of just ideas - the plans are starting to come together! 

 

Travel

We decided to have a legal wedding in Mexico. We considered getting married here before and I socialized this idea with a few very close friends and after talking to them, we decided to stick with legal. So we will arrive on Monday, May 7 and have our blood work done on Tuesday, May 8. Most of our guests leave on Sunday, May 13, but we are going to stay a few extra days until Wednesday, May 16 (10 days total).

We booked flights with miles. I made a few big international trips to China last year and we get to keep our miles, so I was able to buy us first-class tickets for the trip and still have enough miles left over to buy my mom’s flight. Passports are both up to date, so one less thing to worry about.

Next on the to-do list:

                 Book airport parking/transportation in MN (T)

                 Book doggy daycare/boarding for the puppies (T)

 

Ceremony

We set our ceremony for 4pm on Friday May 11, 2018. The WC kept trying to push us to the sky deck, but we are 100% a beach couple. We opted for the Always & Forever package and are planning very little décor for the ceremony. We are using the white chairs in the package and I plan to bring a few white sheers for the gazebo, but pretty simple. I did order rose petals for the isle. We are not going to do a program, since it’ll be pretty short and honestly, one less thing to do!

Next on the to-do list:

                  Source sheers (A)

                  Select ceremony music (T)

 

 

Cocktail Hour

This will be immediately following the ceremony and on the beach. We’re planning to do a receiving line and/or a group photo after the ceremony. And then the 5 of us will head off with our photographer for some sunset pictures around the resort. I’ll be staying out of the water with my dress though. ;). We select the Mexican Fiesta for the cocktail hours.

Next on the to-do list:

                  Build playlist (T)

 

Reception

We’ve select the Plaza Zavas for our reception, it’s beautiful. We’re again keeping with the basic package – white tables and chairs. We selected the BBQ Buffet for our dinner, as we have quite a few dietary restrictions, a buffet is just easier. We are not doing a cake. T is not a cake person, and the buffet comes with 4 desserts. I’ve read too many posts about a wedding cake that goes to waste, especially since you can even take it back to your room! So we’re going to pass on this tradition.

I booked the DJ a few months ago – so that’s done! We aren’t going to do speeches, so one less thing to worry about.

Centerpieces have been giving me more anxiety than they are worth! Lomas’ prices are way too high (we will have 9 tables total), but I don’t want to haul a bunch of stuff with me. I bought these wine bottle-like lanterns at Michaels for $3/each, but they need something more with them. So I’m trying to figure that out.

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize centerpieces (A)

                  Entrance music (T)

                  First dance music (T)

                  Welcome toast (T&A)

                  String lights for plaza (A)

 

Flowers

Ug, flowers, another struggle! Why are Lomas prices so high?! I know, all wedding prices are high. I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own flowers, but I have 0 talents in this area. I’ve looked at etsy a bit, but prices are pretty high there too and I’m nervous about quality and travel. I ultimately ordered flowers from Lomas (1 bridal bouquet, 1 MOH bouquet, 2 corsages, 2 boutonnieres).

Next on the to-do list:

                  nothing! 

IMG 6919

MOH   BB 37

Groom & BM   B14

Moms   LC 28

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The Dress

My mom came to visit in June and we set out on a mission. My mom, and FMIL went to a few stores on Friday. And then on Saturday, my mom and MOH and I visited a few more. While at David’s Bridal I hit a wall – the consultant wasn’t listening to anything I said and I just knew I wouldn’t find my dress there. So we left and went to get a drink. Wine fixes a lot. The last store carried Mori Lee, who I knew I wanted to try several styles from her new line. The first dress I tried on here was perfect. They also carried my other top 2 contenders, so after trying on all 3, I select the Mori Lee. They said my dress would arrive in late October. So I was super shocked with it came in 6 weeks early in September! My HBIC and I went and picked it up – it’s perfect! Just needs a few alterations, but for right now, it’s hanging in my VIP’s spare closet.

Next on the to-do list:

                  Schedule alterations appointment (A)

                  Find shoes and accessories (A)

                  Book hair & make up appointments via WC (A)

dress pickup

 

Groom & BM Attire

FH has a light gray suit he just purchased – pretty sure he’s going to wear this. Need to figure out what the BM is going to wear. We are planning a shopping trip in January.

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize attire (T)

                  Find FH's wedding band (A)

 

MOH

We decide to have just 1 MOH and 1 BM. I also have a HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge). Her role is really to help with the pre-wedding events and help keep us on time the day of. she is not a day of coordinator and she's not a personal attendant! She is just a close friend who will help make sure we stay on time and manage any potential disasters. She asked if she could have this type of role and be involved, so I said ‘heck yes!’

My MOH is my best friend. We’ve known each other for 13 years. I initially wasn’t going to have a BP because I didn’t want to ask friends to spend more money for our wedding. But then started to imagine the day and I couldn’t imagine it without LaLa by my side. So, she’s in! We went shopping for her dress in August and she found the perfect option at David’s. She got to pick whatever she wanted, but ultimately asked me to select the final one because she couldn’t decide :)

Next on the to-do list:

                  Schedule alterations appointment (MOH)

                  Find shoes and accessories (MOH)

 

Reception *update*

Ugg centerpieces! These have been giving me anxiety! Lomas’ prices are high, but I don’t want to haul a bunch of stuff down with us. But I think I figured them out. It's about $20 per table. I'm going to frost the bottle, to soften the candle glow, and then paint the small sign in a metallic gold. I think they'll look lovely once they're are done. Glad to have these close to  done! 

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize centerpieces (A)

                  Entrance music (T)

                  First dance music (T)

                  Welcome toast (T&A)

                  String lights for plaza (A)

3 flowers with love sign 3

3 blue flowers with love sign

 

Photographer

Yes – we found one a few months ago! I had initially select one photographer, but once we got their contract and there were just a few things that didn’t settle well with T and I, like the 50% deposit and 50% cancelation fee. They didn’t negotiate on the terms, so we moved to another vendor. I emailed Lincoln at Moments that Matter and he was AMAZING. I told him our concerns with the previous vendor and he was very understanding. MTM’s contract is much more standard and flexible. Plus, Lincoln offered to shoot our wedding, even though we selected a package he typically doesn’t shoot, and gave us a discount! I’m really glad we found MTM – I feel super comfortable with them by our sides for the day.

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize shot list (A)

                  Finalize day of schedules (A)

                  Determine if we need to add extra hours to photographer package 

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100 days!

 

We have a lot of little things left to take care...see anything I'm missing?

I'll post some more photos and ideas now that we've finalized a lot of things! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed last week and spent the weekend ordering everything for the OOT bags and even picked up a few bridal party and hostess gifts. I ordered a few pairs of shoes for the big day, but I'm not quite ready to cross it off my list yet, not 100% sold on the ones I ordered - hoping they "wow" me in person. Also - alteration appointments are booked - which made me feel a whole lot better! I guess things are coming together - but I'm sure these 100 days are going to FLY! in addition to wedding planning, I'm in my last 3 months of my Graduate degree (I graduate 3 days before we leave for Mexico!) and I started a new job in November, which has been a bit more demanding (in a good way!) than I expected. 

 

Happy Planning friends! Stay tuned for more updates from T&A #TandAGetHitched #WeAreTheHerberts

 

Travel

Next on the to-do list:

                 Book airport parking/transportation in MN (T)

 

Ceremony

Next on the to-do list:

                  send legal documents to WC (A)

                  Select ceremony music (T)

                  Load music to iPod (T)

 

 

Cocktail Hour

Next on the to-do list:

                  Load music to iPod (T)
                  Find a friend to play DJ at cocktail (T)
 

 

Reception

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finish painting centerpieces (A)

                  Entrance music (T)

                  First dance music (T)

                  Welcome toast (T&A)

                  Send song list to professional DJ (A)

 

Flowers

Next on the to-do list:

                  NOTHING

 

Bridal Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                 Alterations appointments - scheduled (A)

                 Find shoes and accessories (A)

 

Groom's Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  Find new white shirt  (T)

 

                  Find FH's wedding band (T&A)

 

MOH Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  NOTHING
 
BM's Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  Find new white shirt  (T)

 

Photographer

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize shot list (A)

                  Finalize day of schedules (A)

 

OOT Bags & Gifts

Next on the to-do list:

                   Order last items (bags) (A)

                   setup mock-up (A)

                   create brochure / welcome letter(A)

                   finish bridal party gifts (A)

                   finish MOB gift (A)

                   finish MOG gift (A)

                   Pack items (A)

 

Pre-Events

Next on the to-do list:

                   Couples Shower coming up in March (A)

                   Bachelorette party in April (A)

                   find outfits for shower & bachelorette (A)

                   find hostess gifts (A)

                   invite family & bridal party to semi-private dinner on Thursday (T)

                   invite all guests to informal cocktail hour on Thursday (T)

 
Misc

Next on the to-do list:

                   prepare tip and vendor envelopes  (T)

                   send pre-travel email to guests (A)

                   book pre-travel beauty appointments (A)

                   find a few new outfits / bathing suits (A)

                   request mail hold (T)

                   order groceries to be delivered when we get home (A)

                   book pre-travel hair appointment (T)

Edited by TandAGetHitched

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100 days!

 

We have a lot of little things left to take care...

 

Travel

Next on the to-do list:

                 Book airport parking/transportation in MN (T)

                 Book doggy daycare/boarding for the puppies (T)

 

Ceremony

Next on the to-do list:

                  Select ceremony music (T)

 

Cocktail Hour

Next on the to-do list

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holy crap - only 83 days to go! (79 until we depart for Mexico!). The last few weeks have FLOWN by... 

 

We have our wedding shower (couples style) in 2 weeks and I am SUPER excited for the event. my MOH and our close friend planned a great afternoon at a local brewery, which fits us perfectly! 

 

I must say, there has been very little drama around our wedding. a few folks were upset last year when we decided on a DW, but most people have gotten over that and are just generally happy for us. The FH and I haven't had any knock-down fights or disagreements. I dare say wedding planning has been OK. (I probably just jinxed myself now...)

 

Still plenty to do on our list, but a lot of things may end up in the F*ck It Bucket because I just don't care or want to care that much about a few things... 

 

Last week I ask FH to make the biggest decision - legal or symbolic ceremony. We had been planning legal ceremony in Mexico for the last year, but now that the budget is being stretched, we realized we could save about $1000 by getting married in MN before we depart. FH always wanted a courthouse wedding, so this is a compromise... courthouse before we leave for him and a beach wedding for me :) so I gave him the full power to decide... and he decided to get hitched in MN before we leave. With his decision (which I fully support) I also gave him the task of getting the marriage license, finding a date/time/judge and also finding 2 witnesses who will keep the secret until 'death do us part'. Our families cannot know we got married before Mexico, they'd be heartbroken and this would cause all the drama in the world and make up for the lack of drama over the last 13 months. We'll see if FH actually get this planned, but I vowed not to step in and save the day :)

 

another thing we threw in the F*ck It Bucket - a formal welcome dinner. The free semi-private event can only host 50 guests, but we have 62. So either we host the event on a different day (Wed or Sun) when fewer guests are at the resort, or we exclude people - both options feel crappy to me. So after talking with FH and MOH and a few other friends - we decided to scrap the semi-free event all together. yes, it's a perk we're going to not cash in on, but who cares. Instead, we're going to have an informal cocktail hour at one of the resort bars on Thursday evening. this lets our guests stop by if and when they want. Some guests are only there for 3 days, and I feel like a jerk if I schedule dinner Thurs and the wedding is Friday, that only leaves them Saturday to enjoy their vacation. 

 

otherwise... the planning continues, I feel like I'm missing stuff, but oh well! 

Travel

Next on the to-do list:

                 Book airport parking/transportation in MN (T)

 

Ceremony

Next on the to-do list:

                  send legal documents to WC (A)

                  Select ceremony music (T)

                  Load music to iPod (T)

 

Cocktail Hour

Next on the to-do list:

                  Load music to iPod (T)
                  Find a friend to play DJ at cocktail (T)
 

Reception

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finish painting centerpieces (A)

                  Entrance music (T)

                  First dance music (T)

                  Welcome toast (T&A)

                  Send song list to professional DJ (A)

 

Flowers

Next on the to-do list:

                  NOTHING

 

Bridal Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                 Alterations appointments - scheduled (A)

                 Find shoes and accessories (A)

 

Groom's Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  Find new white shirt  (T)

                  Find FH's wedding band (T&A)

 

MOH Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  NOTHING
 
BM's Attire

Next on the to-do list:

                  Find new white shirt  (T)

 

Photographer

Next on the to-do list:

                  Finalize shot list (A)

                  Finalize day of schedules (A)

 

OOT Bags & Gifts

Next on the to-do list:

                   Order last items (bags) (A)

                   setup mock-up (A)

                   create brochure / welcome letter(A)

                   finish bridal party gifts (A)

                   finish MOB gift (A)

                   finish MOG gift (A)

                   Pack items (A)

 

Pre-Events

Next on the to-do list:

                   Couples Shower in March (A)

                   Bachelorette party in April (A)

                   find outfits for shower & bachelorette (A)

                   find hostess gifts (A)

                   invite all guests to informal cocktail hour on Thursday (T)

 
Misc

Next on the to-do list:

                   prepare tip and vendor envelopes  (T)

                   send pre-travel email to guests (A)

                   book pre-travel beauty appointments (A)

                   find a few new outfits / bathing suits (A)

                   request mail hold (T)

                   order groceries to be delivered when we get home (A)

                   book pre-travel hair appointment (T)

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