Many of you may know that I am a Bride-to-Be and am gettin’ hitched in November out of the country.
I thought it was time to recap and look at the process thus far. Many of my followers, co-workers and life-long friends have been intrigued on how it is planning a destination wedding and what is left on the list to do.
Advice: if you don’t have thick skin and not for sure on a destination wedding, Don’t DO IT.
The first thing I found is people have their opinions and will be quick to ask how many of the friends and family are going. If your wishy-washy about your decision it will be way to easy to feel bad about others not being able to attend or travel and you will start to feel bad and the whole experience will be a #FAIL.
Luckily, my Groom and I weighed out many locations, venues and destinations before deciding on Los Cabos, Mexico drastically. I have not regretted it [thus far] and am very excited to say that I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The next question everyone will ask Where are you getting married? Cabo is a very common location that people have heard before but many don’t know that it is in Mexico. Also if you want to be “technical” Cabo is slang for Los Cabos which is the entire peninsula, while the resort our vows will be is San Jose, just north-east of Cabo San Lucas.
Are Kids Invited?
Resorts are either kid-friendly or adult-only. When picking it is hard to think about not including the small ones or the kids of your friends. In our case, we didn’t make it the only reason but it also was something I was thinking more of then my groom and I didn’t want to exclude anyone under 18 that would or could come. Needless to say, our confirmed guest list is all above 18 and we are at a kid-friendly resort currently. Can’t plan for that one.
The Groom picked our resort out of the many choices and some help from travel agents knowing we wanted:
1. Excellent service *****
2. New experience for guests
3. Outstanding food
“How many guests are coming?”
Why are people curious about the number of guests at the wedding? I guess this one got tricky because originally the groom and I thought if we were doing destination it would also be the solution to inviting extended family. Then after thinking more closely we realized that when you invite someone you also have to expect that they may come, and that made our group to still be small and quaint group.
In the movies, they portray it as you pick 1 color of flower and just show-up. There is more to that if you plan on having a Minister, music, planned dinner, bridesmaid flowers and a reception that is outside. Of course, it is simplified and thinking of all the small things for the table and decorations for the church is not needed – your on the ocean with palm trees people. As a designer, I’m taking the time to create custom hand-outs and menus that would reflect our branding and wedding theme.
Your on-site wedding coordinator will answer your questions in about 5-10 days and will only answer your questions, not expand on more information or friendly discussions. My impression is that they have a lot of brides and until your on-site they know you may change your mind and nerves can be calmed by tequila and the view of the ocean. [Mine will be. Lime please – no salt.]
Having a photographer that had a true, bright intimate personality was my goal. I knew that I had talented friends and family to take pictures but didn’t want to worry about that. I started my search with $8,000+ photographers that were used at high-end resorts and restaurants in the area. I even wrote a bride that had her wedding at a popular sunset resort and ended-up chatting with her multiple times to get references.
Setting up phone calls with a few high-end photographers led me to writing down tips on the timeline of the day, ceremony recommends and even got my minister through a reference.
A referral to a referral to another referral led me to Esther who I enjoyed her work and sincere down-to-earth approach to her photography. It ended up working out perfectly that my wedding coordinator gave me the 5 photographers that were preferred and didn’t require any additional money since they work with the resort. Esther was available and agreed to giving original photos along with touched-up and was within my turn-a-round time-frame.
Bridal Party Planning
Again, thinking about destination I knew my only sister would be my maid of honor and was fine with a very nontraditional set-up. But after starting the planning process and friends and guests started to book and plan to come, I couldn’t help but want them in beautiful dresses and be my bridesmaids. Once I started, I wanted more friends to also be included, but the mother-of-the-bride made a point, “You must also have guests at your wedding, otherwise no one will be sitting down for your ceremony.” [laugh out loud] Right? It’s true – so I had decided on 4 bridesmaids made up my longest friends that are attending our wedding celebration. My groom actually had to also have a thick skin with his only brother not being able to attend the wedding out of the country, so he has 3 best men including my brother.
What to Wear
The ladies I had a vision and even though it was more work, it will be worth it! Everyone has their own individual style and long chiffon dress by different designers within the same color palette family of rose gold. They will pair that with neutral and white wedges and mystery jewelry they will receive before the trip. This look was inspired by a celebrity wedding of course:
The grooms dress was actually harder than I had planned. Going out to Cabo we didn’t want to deal with renting and having suits or pieces left behind, so we knew from the start we would be buying the pieces. Visiting 5 different Jos. A. Banks, we were disappointed with their color choices and a lot of their retail sales staff. We choice Men’s Warehouse where Steve will be wearing Kenneth Cole in a textured pattern Taupe suit. The groomsmen aren’t wearing full suits but a Calvin Klein textured white shirt, Taupe slacks and a stylish tie clip. We went with a blue Steve Madden boat shoe that has modern no laces and white trim that Steve gifted the guys.
I will pack for two weeks and have shopped end of summer sales for bright color dresses and a swimsuit for every day. Just the other day I took a picture of the beach wear and also laid-out and marked in the groom’s closet what shirts he will bring and noted the things he still needed. [I literally put post-its on a few dress shirts to mark them.] Of course I will be carrying my wedding dress on with me and Steve will have his suit as our carry-on’s.
Capturing and Social Planning
We plan to have friends and family take their own video and tag @LovinRlife on @instagram or Facebook #LovinRlife as the main digital foot print staying on theme with the wedding website LovinRlife.com.
Recapping the event will include a few blog posts along with gathering video so that he can be archived.
Since the Holidays are coming after the wedding, a Holiday card / New Year card with wedding pictures will have to be in order.
The Groom and I will be staying at our resort to ensure we time and money to visit the downtown and culture of Los Cabos. Why leave a resort when you have the Honeymoon Suite?
Lastly my overall thoughts is a destination wedding is an experience that you simply can’t explain how it feels until you experience it for yourself. Planning a trip is fun and already has a lot of energy surrounds it but having it also be part of the best day of your life is just an incredible feeling. Friends and Family that make the effort to come will be in your life forever. This isn’t just an event you get a free meal or dance at a fancy entertainment venue – it’s a true commitment. Overall my support has been outstanding and the kind gestures from the people that matter is really thrilling and truly unforgettable.
1 month & 27 days to go!
Your Cabo Bride-to-Be