Sep 11, 2011

A "bee" to connect us together....

Weddingbee is a very special community and it's hard for me to put into words what it means to me. I really appreciate all the support I got during our wedding planning and even now as an old married lady. ;) 

So back last fall, a little over a month before my wedding, a thought occured to me. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way for all of us to have something to connect us together on our wedding day. And then I happened to stumble on these little guys:

It was like some kind of sign. So I message Mrs. Knitting and asked if she would like to start a new Weddingbee tradition. A tradition where we would pass these little guys from Bee to Bee so that each of us would be able to carry something with us that connects us together on our wedding day. Well Mrs. Knitting was just as excited as I was about the idea thus a new tradition was born. 

For the past 10 months we have been passing these little charms along to the next Bee getting married. Everyone has been free carry the charms with them how ever they wanted so there have been some really cool ideas. Want to see what a few of us did with them?

via Mrs. Knitting / Photo by Josh Levinson

via Mrs. Bunting / Photo by Bryan and Mae

via Mrs. Cheetah / Photo by Amelia Lyon

via Mrs. Lox / Photo by Chad Lippiatt Photo

via Mrs. Jaguar / Photo by Follan Photography

via Mrs. Lioness / Photo by H. Photography

via Mrs. Brooch / Photo by Meredith Perdue

via Mrs. Crepe / Photo by Phindy Studios

via Mrs. Teaspoon / Personal Photo

I love reading through recaps and seeing the little charms. It really makes me feel like no matter the distance we are all connected. I am sure these photos are not the last you will see of these little charms as our new Bees are continuing the tradition. So keep your eyes peeled, you never know when a photo of them might pop up in a post. ;)

Did you / will you carry anything on your wedding day to connect you to someone else?

Sep 6, 2011

Meerkat's Mexico Budget

At first I wasn't sure I was even going to write this post. I would hate for anyone who stumbled across our budget to think that all destination weddings have similar costs. I am not going to lie, we splurged on a few things we really wanted. So please take our budget with a grain of salt.

Now for the breakdown. Originally our budget was $10k but as we went along, like most couples, we found a few things here and there that we decided to splurge a bit more on than originally planned (*cough* my dress *cough*). Eventually we settled on a $15k budget which to this day I am really happy with. Compared to the $28k it would have cost us back here in Michigan, Mr. Meerkat and I both felt we got a lot of bang for our buck.

Mrs. Meerkat's Attire - $1624
My dress was one of the items we splurged on. I had planned to buy something simple and low cost but when I tried this dress on I fell in love. I tried on over 100 dresses before I found this one but when I put it on I actually started jumping up and down with excitement. I told Mr. Meerkat I wasn't going to buy it because of cost, he told me to go right back to the store and order it. Which resulted in a happy bride and  our first budget increase.

Mr. Meerkat's Attire - $489

Bridal Party Gifts - $380
  • Groomsman - Mexican Liquor (x2): $70
  • Bridesmaids - Leather Makeup Case and Bracelet (x2): $90
  • Moms - Necklace and Handkerchief (x2): $220

Misc - $332

Photography, Videography & Trash the Dress Session - $7125
Here is another area we splurged. We booked both Sol and our videographer for an additional two hours and added a trash the dress session. This was one of the bigger reasons we had to increase our budget but I can honestly say it was the best money we spent. The photos and memories we got from Del Sol are worth their weight in gold.

Rehearsal Dinner: $0 (Included in Resort Stay)
Cost really wasn't a factor on this one as Mama-In-Law Meerkat wanted to host this for us. But it just didn't make sense to head off property when the restaurants at the resort offered to host it for us for free. We made the right decision. The food was amazing and totally free!

Ceremony (Al Cielo Hotel) - $2731
Booking Al Cielo for our ceremony comes in #2 on the what I would do again list (right behind booking Del Sol). Everything was just perfect, they treated us like royalty and the setting was beyond amazing. There were a few things I added in like the vases with bamboo and the root balls which added to the budget increase.
  • Transportation To/From Resort: $120
  • Al Cielo Venue Fee & Cocktail Hour: $1,500
    • Included palm leaves and petals for aisle, benches, chuppah, welcome drinks, cocktail hour with hor 'dourves and bathroom decor
  • Additional Decor: $444
  • Bridal Bouquet: $90
  • Outside Wedding Coordinator: $500
  • Engraved Sandalwood Fans: $31.25
  • Programs: $35
  • Shell Ring Bowl: $10.75

Reception (La Laguna @ Grand Palladium Resort) - $2766
The food was delicious and the drinks free flowing. They even setup a station for everyone to have flaming Mayan coffee. And our DJ, Bijan, kept the party going all night.
TOTAL: $15,447

So there you have it, the Meerkat's Mexico budget. We came in $447 over budget but for us that is pretty darn close! ;)

How are you doing with your budget? Are you close to your goal to?

Aug 31, 2011

Trash the Dress - The Aftermath


While our trash the dress session really didn't "trash" my dress, I did want to show you the aftermath. Well maybe aftermath is too strong a word, perhaps a better classification would be clean up. :P

Initially when we thought of doing a trash the dress I knew that getting the dress wet wouldn't cause any damage but the one thing I didn't think about was the sand. The sand in and of itself really didn't do any damage either, it just got stuck EVERYWHERE.

You can see how the sand really clung to the dress while it was wet. And yes some of it came off in the van as it started to dry but there was still a ton left when we got back to the hotel. So Mr. Meerkat helped me get my sand laden dress into our outdoor shower and wash the saltwater and sand out.

As you can see, I brought back my own little beach. Now you would think that would be the end of the sand right? Not by a long shot. I must have shook it out more 10 times and a pile of sand came out each time.Eventually I just gave up and put the dress back in the garment bag, sand and all.

When we got it back to Michigan, Mama-In-Law Meerkat took over. Even after two more hand washings the dress still had sand it in. Eventually she had to open the hem of the dress a tiny bit and dump the sand out. While she did get most of it out, you can still see a little bit in the hem when you hold it up to the light. But none of the sand was even noticeable when I wore it for our second reception. I give my dress credit, it came through like a trooper and looked brand spankin' new. :)

Did you do a trash the dress session? How did your dress come out?

Aug 30, 2011

Journey Of A Thousand Miles: Beach Trash The Dress


After our time was up at the beautiful cenote, we headed down to Xcael beach for the second half of our trash the dress session. As soon as we pulled in, Rachel saw this beautiful palm tree and decided to start our beach photos there.

Of course it didn't take long to add in my handsome husband.

I even got to help Mr. Meerkat get a bit more relax and losen his tie.

Next we moved up to the beautiful sand dune down by the waterfront.

And then we got a little goofy.

As the sun was getting ready to set we headed down off the sand dune and onto the beach.

We even got a couple photos with my hand painted parasol. And no, M doesn't stand for Meerkat. ;)

Slowly we began to make our way down to the waters edge.

And then it was go time -we were going to get soaking wet.

At first I was doing really well but then a small wave came and start to pull the train of my dress along with it. Mr. Meerkat had to hold me in place so I didn't fall face first into the water.

After a couple minutes I got use to the pull of the waves and was able to stand somewhat on my own - enough so we could start getting some photos.  

Mr. Meerkat still had to partially hold me up as the waves were still trying to wash my train away.

It was getting really tough to stay standing in the waves so Rachel moved us up to the beach for some shots on the sand.

And with that Mr. Meerkat bundled us up in towels and we headed back to the hotel.

It was an absolutely amazing time. One I can't even begin to express in words. So maybe I should let the video speak for itself:

Rachel, Jonathan, Paul and Sesan - Thank you so much. You kept us laughing the whole time. This is a memory I will always look back on and treasure.

Days Before Wedding
Getting Ready
Cocktail Hour and Portraits
The Reception