It’s official – 6 months until the big day! Is that really possible?! During the past 2 months we have been focused and committed to other friends’ weddings, bachelorette and bachelor parties, bridal showers, baby showers…you name it, it has taken place. However, I did find my dress! While shopping with my friend, Marisa I found a dress that I absolutely adored and I decided to bring my sister back with me the following weekend with the intention to purchase said dress. As we walked into the store a new dress caught my eye, funny enough it caught Sabryna’s eye too. I left the store with the new dress, forgoing the dress I was set on buying, ha.

I did find some time to celebrate my 30th Birthday with friends at a tea party!

The countdown is on! It is time to really buckle down, concentrate and confirm our wedding plans now that we have a solid idea of how many guests will be attending. Nate and I are thrilled as over 50 friends and family have completely booked their trips through our travel agent. We are expecting over 100 guests to book by the end of June. It is exciting to know that everyone is ready for a vacation and a chance to celebrate as much as we are. Numerous people have been asking me, what is the hardest part when planning a destination wedding? The answer is simple: everything will come together very last minute. I am a natural planner and I like everything nailed into place as early as possible; which in reality is the complete opposite when planning a DW. We have a small packet from the resort with very little information regarding the ceremony, dinner and reception venues, but that is all. It is very difficult to get solid answers from the onsite wedding coordinator, until about 2 months before the wedding…crazy, right?! They are so busy with other weddings and prices for vendors change so frequently that it is completely standard to not get specific information until about 2 months out. What makes it even more insane, but thrilling, is that most of the final decisions are handled when you meet face to face with the coordinator 2-3 days before the wedding. I keep reminding myself that this is all perfectly normal, as I am silently freaking out inside.

Rachel, Maureen, and me * All Brides-to-Be in 2011

As part of the wedding package at the resort some items are included (wedding cake, bride’s bouquet/grooms boutonniere, spa treatments, breakfast in bed, etc.). But the best part of the package is that any decorations, centerpieces, chair bows and the list could go on and on, that we bring with us they will set up before the ceremony, dinner and reception and take it all down after. The next question is: How do we get it all down there? Numerous friends in Los Angeles and elsewhere have been kind enough to offer their services as bag carriers and are willing to lug an extra suite-case, since shipping items down to the resort is not an option. Since getting a few answers from the wedding coordinator (or should I say the 3 different coordinators I have spoken with at the resort, who keep moving to new positions within the resort) is a slow and painful process, I have found my savior the Best Destination Wedding Forum.  This site is incredibly helpful and I would recommend it to any bride or groom (yes, there are grooms on the site too) who are planning a DW. It is a forum for ideas, suggestions, comments, and concerns revolving around DW in all parts of the world, with the main focus being Mexico and the Caribbean. I have met so many wonderful brides on here who are having or who have had their wedding at the RIU. We share ideas and information that we receive. Some of the most useful information I have been given has come from this site. Let me share one little secret that I learned through a bride on this site; the resort only makes a wedding cake large enough to feed 60 people and each extra slice over that 60 is $9 per person…way too much for a slice of cake in my opinion. Costco is a 5 minute drive from the resort. Costco cake anyone?! I do love their frosting, ha!

Maureen’s Bachelorette Party…the first of many this year!

My sister has been tirelessly planning and preparing for my Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower. Multiple people will be traveling from afar so in order to keep it simple both parties will be taking place during Memorial Day weekend. I am so looking forward to celebrating and spending time with friends and family! Fun pictures are sure to follow in my next post. Lots of Love,