Archive | October, 2018

#39 Find my Soul Mate, Fall in Love and Get Married–Part 2

14 Oct

It happened! I met my soul mate, my match. I fell madly, deeply in love. And now I’m a married woman living my happily ever after.

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On September 22, 2018, in front of our closest family and friends, on a beautiful beach in Mexico, Mychael and I proclaimed our love for each other. It was such a special day, and really an unforgettable week.

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We decided early on in the wedding planning process that we wanted to do a destination wedding. A couple of years ago, we attended my cousin Ali’s wedding in Tulum and had the most incredible time. It wasn’t about the actual wedding day per say, although that was lovely, it was about all the quality time we got to spend with everyone. We loved so many things about that trip that we decided to do something really similar. Fortunately my cousin is really cool and was flattered, not upset, when I called to ask if we could model our wedding after hers.

We worked with an awesome travel agency out of Dallas called Legacy Travel. Our travel agent Lesley was super helpful from the get-go. She made venue recommendations and arranged for us to do a site check trip. We looked at 8 hotels in the Riviera Maya, specifically in Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. In the end, we decided on Dreams Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos. The hotel was tucked away and felt very private, but was still only a short distance to the airport, which was something we kept in mind for some of our older guests and those that were apprehensius about traveling out of the country. It is an all-inclusive resort, which looks expensive upfront, but when you factor in food and alcohol costs, it’s actually a great deal (especially considering how much our friends and family like to drink šŸ»).

We worked with their in-house wedding planning staff to put together the event of our dreams (well, really just mine…I don’t think Mychael ever dreamed of his wedding šŸ˜†). They do a ton of weddings at this hotel, so I felt really confident in their ability to pull it off. We planned to have our ceremony right on the beach, no shoes required, the cocktail hour on a restaurant rooftop at sunset, and the reception on a deck on the beach.

You always hear people complain about wedding planning, but for me, it was really fun. It probably helps that event planning is a part of my job and both my parents are in marketing so they had great advice. I tried hard to think through every little detail to ensure the trip would be a memorable experience for all our guests. Our ultimate goal was to throw an amazing party so people would have a great time celebrating and getting to know each other.

When the week came, we were ready to go. We’d packed up several big suitcases of decorations and sent one with each of our parents (I’d ordered a lot of stuff…I wish Etsy had something equivalent to a frequent flyer program! They literally have anything you can think of for weddings and believe me, I put that site to the the test.)

My parents spoiled us and upgraded everything about our trip, so we were picked up by a car service and taken to the airport. Then hung at the lounge and flew first class.

When we changed planes in LA, they surprised us by booking the seats right across from us (we didn’t think they were coming until the next day!). I love surprises so much and it was so fun to travel with them to Cancun.

Once we got to the hotel, everything went by so quickly. The first couple of days were filled with wedding-related meetings to make sure everything was ready to go. And then before you know it, the wedding activities began!

We had a welcome karaoke party so everyone could get to know each other over a few (or 10 drinks).

The following night was the rehearsal dinner. It was a beautiful private dinner that felt like we were eating in the jungle. Following dinner, we had a surprise fire dancer show. It was pretty cool!

And before you know it, it was the BIG DAY! My amazing maid-of-honor Anita got some super-cute matching bathing suits for the bridesmaids and my girls and I did a fun photoshoot that morning.

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And then it was time to head to the spa to get ready. I invited the bridesmaids, flower girl, the moms and Mychael’s sister to all get ready together, so we completely took over the spa. It was so fun!

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Then, we went back to my room to all get dressed, hang out and toast with some champagne.

And I found the sweetest card from Mychael.

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He’s not a mushy guy, so this meant so much to me. It talked about how people kept asking if he was nervous, but he wasn’t. He was sure. It resonated because I felt the exact same way. I wasn’t nervous about marrying him or spending the rest of my life with him. I was excited. This was the moment I’d been waiting for and I had found the man of my dreams.

It all came and went in a flash.

Family is really important to both Mychael and I so our ceremony consisted of only family members. My dad was our officiant (and he nailed it…funny and sentimental at the same time), Mychael’s dad did a special Irish bell ringing ceremony to honor their family’s heritage, his sister did a sweet reading about love and my brother did a more light-hearted reading from The Wedding Singer. Our ceremony was heart-felt and there were some candid moments that I will treasure forever. It was perfect. Everything I had ever imagined and so much more.

From there we took a million photos (Mychael’s personal nightmare) and our guests headed to the cocktail hour.

During the cocktail hour it started pouring. We knew this was coming and had planned earlier in the day to move the reception inside. Ideally it would have held off another 30 minutes, but the staff was really on top of it and moved everyone downstairs inside the restaurant just in time to avoid the rain and finish up the cocktail hour. It wasn’t my dream to have the reception in a ballroom, but in the end it wasn’t a big deal. Everyone had a great time and some people even said they liked it better because there was air conditioning. And the staff did a great job of making it look beautiful.

Our wedding was an incredible day, but moreso than that, the week was an unforgettable celebration of love. And man, it was fun. All our friends and family meshed so well and we’ve even seen new friendships forming because of that trip. I had the best time ever and I wish we could do it all again. Maybe I can talk Mychael into inviting 75 of our closest family and friends on a trip to celebrate our first anniversary. šŸ˜‰

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