I have to admit it, I’m exhausted! Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on being busy, but this is definitely a different kind of busy. I set a goal for myself: create, make and pack everything for the wedding by the end of August. Of course everything is taking way longer to finish than anticipated and now I know the perfectionist in me needs to take a back seat. Thank goodness Nate has been away for work over the past couple weeks, otherwise he would have had me committed. This is me taking a deep breath because everything will get finished, my goal will be met and I will have some fun along the way.

Nate and his friends in Yosemite for his Bachelor Party 

Nate with his Best Man and Groomsmen
Keeping me sane are some incredible friends who live in the area, Marisa, Maureen, Kara, and Kat (and of course my sister). They have been an amazing support system, coming over after work and for hours upon hours on the weekends; helping me to glue and tie menus together, stuffing the welcome bags, stamping napkins, etc. While I have so many random thoughts developing in my head because I want to put so much into our wedding, they have been able to reel me in, reminding me that certain ideas are totally excessive. My family and friends are very therapeutic, thanks for keeping me on track!

Candles for the Guestbook table, they match our wedding invitations perfectly!
So far we have four fully stuffed suitcases and I am expecting to fill up three more. Sabryna and I separated everything in half and placed each half in different suitcases, just in case one gets lost. We figure it is better to have 40 dinner menus than none at all! I am keeping very detailed lists of what we have and what we can wait to get once down in Mexico. We have come to the realization that certain items will be much easier to acquire in Cabo rather than trying to lug everything down with us. Real flowers in Cabo are extremely expensive (more so than in the states, since they all have to be flown in) making the largest box to be hauled down, all of the birch wood flowers that we are using to make the centerpieces, bouquets and hairpieces. Luckily they are extremely light!

Personalized Napkins and Dinner Menus – DIY
I love the fact that we can get away with using bright colors; it’s really going to make the pictures and decorations pop.As I wrote in a previous post, we hired a travel agent thinking it would make our lives so much easier. Unfortunately, it has turned into a bit of a headache. We hired the agent for the expertise she could provide, and after answering all of our questions with flying colors we were sold. Everything was going along swimmingly and people were very happy with her service, until a few months ago when we started to get complaints from guests who were trying to book with her. The last 20 guests to book were not happy with the service or quotes provided so they all went through other channels to make reservations. We even divulged to the agent information regarding a couple friends coming in from afar, South America and Europe, who write for travel magazines and blogs. Yep, they booked elsewhere. It’s a terrible feeling to know that our friends and family were inconvenienced. In all honesty we gave our travel agent the benefit of the doubt, while we continued to hope for the best, telling ourselves, that everything would turn around. I started to question the deal Nate and I were getting as well after talking to two other brides who will be having their weddings at the same resort in September and November. Their rooms have been completely comped and they are bringing half as many guests to the resort (with no upfront payment for group bookings, unlike we were lead to believe). We were never counting on a complimentary room, but I decided to call the RIU corporate office and talk through the situation. They were very helpful, but there is really nothing to be done unless if we re-book everyone, which really is not an option. The travel agent decided to go through a 3rd party instead of working directly the resort which also played a part in not being able to secure the special benefits for us and our guests that were promised in the first few meetings. I have come to realize that sometimes no matter how much research one carries out, substandard service can still be had. Obviously I do not want to end this post on a downer. So on a positive note, one item I highly recommend all destination bride and grooms provide is a welcome bag filled with goodies for their guests. Nate and I chose to go with a non-woven polypropylene bag that will make a perfect beach/pool bag which dries fast after getting wet, with our wedding logo adhered to it. We are going to fill the totes with useful items for the adults and have special fun bags for the kids.

{Tags DIY}
My favorite part was coming up with the themes for each bag insert:In Sickness and Health…– Tylenol, Tums, Floss, etc.Beautify Me for the Big Day…– Nail kit, Comb, etc.Resort Relaxation…– Mad-Libs, Drink Stirrer, Chiclets, Beach Ball, etc.I really hope the huge suitcase filled with all of these items doesn’t get misplaced, haha! Less than 2 months to go…Lots of love,Amanda