Alrighty, I am rolling all of this into one post because I am lazy.
· Destination wedding, without a doubt. Very little stress. Helped keep our guest list down, which meant that I got to spend more money on areas that I wanted to. For example, we got some really cool invites since I only had to order 22, and we upgraded our menu to include lobster since we only had 12 people including ourselves.
The small DW also let us really spend time with all of our guests. We didn’t try to schedule any activities as this was their vacation too and we didn’t want to dictate anything. We all had dinner together each night, and would just run into each other around the pool or bar and hang out, or not.
· Use a travel agent! I can’t imagine trying to coordinate this for everyone. Basically, we let everyone know the date, the resort and the TA’s contact info. We didn’t have a room block as I didn’t want the stress of hitting the numbers or not. Everyone booked through the TA except my parents. They booked on their own and then were upset that they had to pay for a shuttle from the airport to the hotel, which was included when booking through the TA. Another bonus was that two guests were affected by Sandy, and the TA called them every hour, working with them and trying to get them a flight. We didn’t even book the flights through the TA. Beach Bum Vacations came through and the guests made it. Yea Beach Bums!
· Get the best photographer you can afford. At the end of the day pictures and your memories are going to be the only thing you have. Your flowers, the décor, your guests aren’t going to remember any of it, so put the money in preserving the day for yourself.
· Trust your vendors. Unless your are a florist, wedding planner/event manager, let your vendors do their jobs. Ask for their input and advice if something comes up. You don't have to take it, but remember, they know the property, customs and other vendors.
· Stress over stuff you can’t control, piddly things, or honestly, most everything. I had two people look at me like I was nuts when they asked me about the weather forecast and I said I didn’t know. I had a back- up plan and other than that, why worry? What could I do about the weather?
· Don’t become a lunatic. Believe me, I had stuff go “wrong”. I didn’t freak out and I didn’t become a screaming beotch. Because of this, my vendors bent over backwards to make things right. In fact, things turned out better than originally planned and I got added perks.
· Basically, the don’t stress and don’t lose your mind is one in the same. As long as you and your groom show up, you are getting married. Hell, even if the judge/lawyer/clergy doesn’t show up, wing it with heartfelt vows and get your marriage license at home. Most everything can be worked around, so relax, have fun, and allow your vendors to do their job.
· G/B/U - I got nothing ladies. Nothing was bad, nothing was ugly. Regarding the good, it wasn't all rainbows, but I chose not to stress or to let it be bad or ugly, and it all worked out fantastically.
My rocking vendors:
Hilton Papagayo, Costa Rica Tree Houses Hotel El Velo Photography Beach Bum Vacation
Mavora Too chic little shab
Stout Woodworks Apropos Roasters Zinnia Designs Hop Skip Jump Paper