Wedding wrap-up

I have been meaning to get back on the horse and write my final notes on my own experience over the coming weeks. I will be going deeper and present different perspectives of my amazing wedding experience.

Here is what you can expect in the coming weeks:
-          
       Week of wedding
o   Description of what happens
o   What to expect
-          How not to be stressed at your wedding?
o   How to deal with last minute issues
-          How to break the ice and bring to families together?
o   Is it all about the guests
o   Activities around the wedding
o   Tips
-          My Wedding day – traditional or not
o   I will explore how I felt
o   Pictures!
-          Trash the Dress photo-shoot
o   How wild, sexy and exciting is it?
o   Does your dress really get trashed?
o   Is it worth the investment?
-          What is it like to have a destination wedding?
o   Pros, cons and tips
-          How to decompress after your wedding
-          Grooms point of view
o   I will interview my groom and ask him to write a blog about his experience
o   Tips for the groom
-          Suppliers
o   I will share tips and overall experience
o   Having a wedding planner, is it worth the investment?
o   How to make your wedding personalized  in a word with Pinterest
o   Best investments, biggest waists of money
o   What went wrong, what would I do different
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   And finally, to wrap it up, I will tell you if I would do it again.

I will be posting about a blog each week.  Please follow me and share this experience of recording a wedding planner’s own destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  Stay Tuned!
Ciao

5 Tips to Make Your Name Change Simple


I am really excited to introduce Danielle Tate as a guest blogger. Danielle specializes in making name changing easy and efficient after a civil marriage.  I realized that her experience and voice is needed, especially with all the challenges that a Destination Wedding might bring. Enjoy,

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Destination weddings incorporate your dreams and an exotic locale…they can also cause a few name change headaches along the way.  Read my tips below to ensure a smooth transition from Miss to Mrs.  regardless of where you say “I do”.


1.            Book Flights & Reservations in Your Maiden Name. You won’t be able to file for a new passport or driver’s license in your married name until your marriage certificate is issued (which is typically 2 weeks after your wedding).

2.            Invest in Travel Insurance.  This protects you from any name-related mistakes that could happen on your trip (and prevents you from needing to re-purchase flights in your maiden name if your fiancé goofs).

3.            Request Multiple Marriage Certificates. Whether you’re married in the U.S. or abroad, asking for 2-3 certified certificates ensures you have enough to file for your name change with all government agencies (and saves you from negotiating for more once you’re home).

4.            Translation/Authentication.  A quick call to the Social Security Administration at 800.772.1213 will let you know if your international marriage certificate needs to be translated or authenticated before it is accepted in the U.S.

5.            Choose Your Married Name. Select your perfect married name before your wedding, so your family knows how to write checks and engrave gifts.  Play the The Married Game for a fun way to find your ideal name!

 
Danielle Tate is the founder of MissNowMrs.com, the premier online name change service for brides.  Helping over 180,000 brides transition from Miss to Mrs. has made her an expert in name change. Check out MissNowMrs.com for more name change information and

facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MissNowMrscom


Twitter: @missnowmrscom

3 Months before my Destiantion Wedding! What do I still need to do?


Planning a destination wedding might be challenging, but by this time you are over the hump   Mike and I have spent so much time and effort planning our wedding that is very exciting to finally see our wedding day on the horizon.  Three months before the wedding is the time to make all the decisions and finalize the details

A.  Choose the menu for the wedding.

Mexico offers many opportunities for venues other than hotels. Mike and I wanted a private venue to host our big yet intimate wedding. Being a wedding planner food is very important for me so I paid special attention to this factor. The food quality is usually underestimated in a wedding.  People seem to remember the bar, ambiance, decoration, etc but that is only because they haven’t had an exquisite meal served at a wedding. Ours might be the first one!

We went a different route and chose a family style-setting that offered amazing variety of food. We were lucky to be able to taste everything ahead of time and let me tell you I dream about it! 3 more months to try it again!

If you weren’t as lucky and haven’t had a tasting yet and you are not planning to travel before the wedding, reach out to your wedding planner. They know the menus and have worked before with the caterer or hotel before and can provide some guidance.

I always suggest to my clients to consider at least two options for the main course - you want to be able to adapt in the event that someone doesn’t like what they are being served

It’s very important to ask your guests to share their dietary restrictions with you. The most common restrictions are:  Shellfish, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Kosher. Any caterer can adapt a menu to these restrictions and deliver a wonderful meal to all guests.

B.  Decoration

You will notice that these last few months might be the most expensive of your wedding planning yet. The reason is because here is where all the upgrades come. All the things you really don’t need but you absolutely want are decided at this time. The reason why I leave decoration for last is because I want to make sure I understand the number of guests that will celebrate with us and adjust the budget accordingly.

My advice for you is to consider your budget before finalizing details with your flower designer and decorator. Here are some ideas that will change dramatically the look of your wedding without having to sell your soul to the devil:

  1. Architectural Illumination. Most destination weddings are dreamed to happen during the day, but what happens at night? The ocean disappears, the amazing buildings around you are just shadows, and all the magnificence of the location is gone. So invest in amazing lights and have an ambiance that will be bullet proof and camera friendly at night.

Our venue has gorgeous fisherman boats docked on the beach and they move with the waves. It is one of the most romantic things ever. I will direct some light to them to keep the ocean moving and also connecting to Playa del Carmen, which until a couple decades ago used to be just a small fisherman town

  1. If you need to add pops of color, your stationary is a great way to decorate your table. A great menu, amazing place cards and table numbers add to a concept and don’t cost much.
  2. Candles candles candles, They are not expensive but your wedding will look like a million dollars
  3. Mike and I are using local flowers for our center pieces, bouquets and boutonnieres. Imported flowers can increase the price considerably.

C.  Personal Items

Here is where I am though on myself. It’s time to invest all my energy and focus to get the results I want for my personal life.

  1. Body. I set some goals at the beginning of my planning and I haven’t reached them yet - 3 months is the deadline to revolutionize your body. I am trying to work out daily, cutting carbs and minimizing alcohol. Sorry, but this stage calls for drastic measures.  I am not starving myself but I am supper conscious of my calorie intake
  2. Heart Stuff. Are you writing your own vows?  I know I haven’t, but this is the right time to start playing with the idea – Our priest is giving us the opportunity to share our own vows in addition to the mandatory by the Catholic Church. I am still trying to figure out if I want to be funny, romantic, dramatic, one thing is for sure… I am going to cry,  my sister will be in charge of bringing the Kleenex!
  3. Stress Levels: Your guests will start to ask a million questions about everything for some reason calling the hotel directly seems too hard for them! I am trying to direct them to my MOH or the hotel. They say that common sense is the least common of all senses, so be ready to experience it in real life.  I have been lucky to this point but it’s coming I can feel it!
  4. Always be grateful. I just recently had 2 bridal showers and 2 bachelorette parties. I am keeping track of all my presents and I am personalizing thank you notes to all my guests. It’s very important for me to make sure that everybody feels as important as they are to us!

Keep following my blog and as always send me your questions! I love reading them!
 

MyEvent by Jen Kasten interviewed for luxury travel magazine


I feel honored because  I was recently approached by La Cure World Wise Magazine. They are an online magazine that specializes in luxury travel and  lifestyle.  They asked me if I could be interviewed, to share with their audience, some tips regarding destination weddings. Of course I said yes! Every bride needs all the advice they can get! I could only imagine how nervous I would be if I wasn’t an  expert in the field! So, as always, I am happy to share!

 
Please read my advice and the wonderful point of view of other colleagues in the industry!

 
http://www.lacurevillas.com/magazine/destination-wedding-planning/

 

Signing up to online bridal contests. Does it pay off?


Since Mike and I got engaged, I signed up to few online contests. Every supplier in the industry wants to attract couples to their business. There is always a price being offered, free trips, free wedding photographer, etc. So I thought I should try some, at the end you are only a bride once, right?

One of the contests Mike signed us up for was the registry at Macys. Macys hosted and Friday night registry marathon. They reached out to all couples out there via the biggest online sites. Macys was going to give away a few $1000.00 dollar prizes to couples that registered that night. Mike and I thought it would hurt, especially because they have awesome kitchen appliances and all sorts of good stuff!

It so happened that the biggest thunderstorm of all summer in Chicago happen that night. All Macys here were expecting way more couples to attend but due to weather they had a small percentage actually coming.

Here is how it worked. Both the bride and groom had a chance to enter their information for a shot at winning the prize. The draft was computerized and the price was randomly chosen. We didn’t win that night.

Few days later I get an email from eprize.com telling me that because of the small number of people attending the main night, another random draft happened considering the couples that actually participated in the registry. I won one of the $1000.00 dollars prizes! I stared at that email for a few seconds pondering the possibility of a scam. Mike was sure it was not a real prize but suggested I called Macys to verify.

The very nice Lady at Macys asked me to forward my email and said that she would happily find out for me. After almost 1 week I got her answer. The chief weddings at Macys Nationwide confirmed that that prize was legit and that I was free to claim my prize!

1 month latter I got a tracking number and I am waiting for my certificate to get here tomorrow!

This comes as such a blessing. Planning a destination wedding in Mexico, if you choose high season, means that Chicago will be under a ton of snow while you enjoy the perfect weather in Mexico, however, shopping for clothes to look awesome could be challenging. You have to do it while its summer here! And I am planning to take advantage of all offers, everything summer is 60% off right now at Macys!

Mike and I will be rocking amazing outwear on our wedding week! Thank you Macys!

So my advice to you is sing up… with a little luck you can win the grand prize!