My name is Gerri and my fiance is Stephen, and our wedding date is set for July 21, 2012.
I was born and raised in Miami, while Stephen is a native of Nigeria. We have been together for 5 1/2 years (would you believe we met in a club) and by the time we get married it will be shy one month of our sixth anniversary (yeah, about time). I'm an accountant and Stephen is a civil engineer, the bad thing about this is that we are both self employed, believe me when your planning a wedding and a future together, this is not the greatest since it's up and down, but the good thing is that there is a lot of flexibility. A little about us, I'm a workaholic, more out going but a little hint of conservatism. I love to travel (my profile picture, that's me recently during my trip to Lisboa, Portugal), work hard/play hard, while Stephen is very easy going, down to earth, loves kids has his moody moments; and a home body (he is made to be a family man), which is why I love him so much, but I'm going to infect him w/my love of traveling. I've been working on that, and rather than take one honeymoon, I am going to schedule 4 honeymoon trips during our first year of marriage, one every quarter, if we can do more I will. I already have one booked, I just purchased a 5 day 4 night stay at Negril Treehouse one of my friends property in Negril, Jamaica, good for up to one year off of LivingSocial, can't wait!
I am in Miami right now and the weather is perfect, one of the luxuries of living here, which is why we are tying the knot in Miami. At least half of our guest list will be out of towners, so keeping it here is a good idea because it will be a great wedding destination for our guest as well, which is important to us. If you have any thoughts, ideas, tips or guidance on how to plan a spectacular wedding without breaking the bank in such a short period of time, please share, because I would love to hear from you. I am a little bit overwhelmed, I attribute this to the fact that the only planning done thus far is securing the ceremony site (Holy Family Catholic Church) and officiant, and my fiance has been out of the country and will not return until February 2012 (he's here now!!!). This does not leave us with a lot of time to plan this fabulous and spectacular wedding by July and within budget.
Good luck with your planning ladies and please share with me on ideas on how to have this wedding in Miami by July!
I figured out my style, it's got to be a classic elegance type feel but with a little twist, not sure how to get that but working on that now. I don't want to get to much into a theme because I am not that creative or crafty and seems like to much work, but I was thinking along the lines of incorporating East meets West to symbolize, US/Haitian meeting Nigerian/African, a way to include our culture, where our parents are from without it looking tacky with a bunch of flag colors. Right now, I'm trying to work on how to incorporate this. (Most of my profile is private, just send me a friend request and I will add you on, thanks!).
Our Wedding Day Slideshow
Our Wedding Day Photographs
It was such a busy day, it kind of flew by now that I look back on it. One thing I realize is that it will be different for all of us, but still special and unique because it's your close friends and loved ones coming to celebrate with you.
My advice is to plan, plan, plan far in advance and get everything done and then the week of the wedding just go with the flow. Always helpful to have the right people by yourside, we kept the wedding party small, my 2 MOH's were my life line, they removed all stress away from me the last two days and my husband's best man and his 1 groomsmen was very helpful. If you don't have a wedding planner or day of coordinator, get a family or friend to be that point person to help you the day of because you are going to need it. Are things going to go wrong, yes! Is everything you wanted going to fall into place, no, but the one wish will come true, you will be happily married and that counts more than anything. I say this to say, no need for me to repeat what went wrong, were married and thankful for the opportunity to have the day and glad we did it, the real work starts after the wedding! Now, see our special day and how it turned out!
Professional photography by Elton Anderson. www.eltonanderson.com
Here are a few of my photos, I will post some more once I get from Elton. Last but not least, I tried to source or note where my pictures came from as much as possible, but I am human and may have missed so my apologies. Thank you to all of you for your inspiration and ideas, peace and blessings.
Here are some photos from the wedding. It was really something special for us, we had family and friends from all over as far as Denmark, Nigeria to all over the US, really something special to have them here with us and the contributions I can't put a price on it, having them here and knowing what everyone did was truly a gift in itself. Happy planning and marriage to you all....we will all continue to pray for God's blessings to shower and manifest in our lives, in the lives of our families and in the unions that myself and all of you PW ladies are creating. I am forever thankful for this day, this moment and for finding PW, it really helped me to get all of this going. I'm thinking the greatest DIY is being your own planner, because you really get to see a special moment in your life created by you.
Write up in the South Florida Times:
To celebrate my FI's heritage, we are hosting what is known as the Traditional Ceremony at my home the Friday before the wedding. It normally takes place at the brides parents home. However, my FI keeps saying he is not a traditionalist and neither is his family so what we are doing is just doing some prayers and will be serving food and refreshments from both of our cultures to our guest who come to celebrate with us.
We have decided to have my family wear one fabric while his family wears another. This is what my family will be wearing, and I have the greatest MOH. She took everyone's measurements during the bachelorette wknd, flew back to Nigeria, rushed to have them all sewn in 30 days and flew back to the states to deliver via fedex while she is in town for another event and will be flying back for the wedding. Believe me, get the right ppl to stand by your side, it can't just be love and admiration, you need doers who can get the job done. This has been a tremendous help, FI's brother is coming in w/his family for the clothing they will be wearing so I haven't seen them yet since he doesn't fly in until 1 week b4 wedn. I'm sure my outfit and theirs will be beautiful. FI and I are wearing the same thing, I pray it fits.
Update: I found out that FI and I's outfit will be a pale yellow lace w/silver head wrapping for me and for him a cap. His family will be wearing a combination of the wedding colors I selected, the men in his family will be wearing silver with cherry red caps, the young boys/men will be wearing silver w/blue while the women will be wearing an ivory outfit with cherry red head wrap. And the young little girls will be wearing a cherry red dress w/some pink in it so that it's a bit girly. I love that they are incorporating the colors.
Here is some background information on the ceremony that I have read: "Nigerian wedding traditions incorporate many old wedding rituals. With the passage of time many contemporary rituals have been accepted by Nigerians. Nigerian wedding traditions respect their customs and rituals very much. Generally the customs and the tradition vary from one region to the other. In some parts of Nigeria there is an engagement ceremony. This is usually held on the evening before the wedding day. Engagement ceremony is a time of festivity and fun. Friends and relatives drink colas and eat nuts. During the ceremony, the officiating elder sips a cup of palm wine and can invite the bride and the groom to do the same. The officiating officer is generally the speaker who transfers messages between two families. After the engagement ceremony the bride goes to her father’s house to make preparations for the final day. The groom’s family pays a bride price consisting of traditional clothes, shoe, bags and jewelry.
In traditional Nigerian Weddings, brides generally wear imported Indian fabrics. These include decorative coral-beaded headpiece, necklaces coral-beaded ankle bracelets and necklaces. On the wedding day the bride and the groom go to the church. The bride is generally accompanied by her father. On the night of the wedding there is a grand party. After the party the bride returns back to her father’s place and waits for the groom. The groom together with his family come to the bride’s house and claims her. After that the bride and the groom goes back to the groom’s house.
Traditional music and food are inseparable part of Nigerian Wedding Traditions. On the wedding day there are often live band performances. People sing and dance and enjoy all throughout the night. In some areas of Nigeria, beautiful henna designs are done of the hands and the feet of the bride. In many places the elders of the family helps to bathe her before the wedding day."
Update 8/8/2012: The traditional was held the Friday before the wedding (7/20/2012), here are some of the pics of me preparing for the ceremony, getting my head tied w/the traditional wrapper, the ceremony and introduction of the kola-nut, and some other special moments. My family really enjoyed embrassing my husband's culture. But it was tiring after, this ceremony was performed the Friday evening before wedding day so it was so much going on, but glad we did it and glad it's over. I really loved how my family and friends supported me in this endeavor and in embrassing the culture and their contributions! Also you can see how we really incorporated the wedding colors into the attire, Stephen and I wore a pale yellow lace, cherry red head attire on his familie's side and in the skirts of my families side, the silver outfits of the men in his family and the gold in the top on my families side and the ivory clothing for the women on his families side. It was really nice.
Write up in the South Florida Times:
I'm so in love with these shoes (chrisitan louboutin sexy strass), I think I am either going to wear the black or the white......let's see.
UPDATE: I really do love the sexy strass above, but most of the stores don't have because its from an older collection, many store reps said the shoe sold out in 3 days. So my sis and I went shopping, registry and browsing this weekend and saw a few beauty's. I like the Valentino pinkish lace while my sister loved the Louboutins. She wants me to make a statement with the shoes but I want something that I can also wear again. Funny eveyone is saying no to the black but sis is screaming yes, I think I will break this up, I think I should leave the black for the other events and wear something nice and elegant with the dress, something timeless like me!
Another update 4/30: I saw these and I like them as well, another Valentino.
And I purchased these below as a backup in the event I don't get what I want. It's not my first choice but it compliments the decor and will look nice w/the ivory. But it really all comes down to budget now, I got these for less than $100 and everything else I am in love with is $800 to $3k, so I have to see what makes sense, Valentino pumps or DOC? Ivanka Trump Shoes, Natalia 2 Evening Sandals
Update 5/17 - After all my back and forth about shoes, when I finally tried on the dress, my family and I realized that I would have to wear something really low, like a one inch or flats. Therefore, I decided that I am going to wear flats, so looking for something to wear, any suggestions let me know. So I am going to return the Ivanka Trump Shoes.
Update 5/24 - I know I have no business with an update on this subject, but I attended this Stiletto Dash event at Bloomingdale's today for a charity and started to browse in the shoe department. And what I discovered is that I really would like to buy some sandals that for the wedding for pictures and so forth that I can wear again and not just have for the wedding day. I think most of the looks above are stuff I won't wear again often and overly expensive, but this beauty was a pretty penny as well but at least I can rock my pedicure. It is 4 inches so probably can't wear to walk down the aisle but I will wear it during my bridal shower and for picture purposes during wedding. Plus 10% of the proceeds went to charity. Update: 8/4/12, call me the indecisive bride because I ended up trying on the shoes w/the dress and thought I was too tall, I'm almost 5'8 and hubby is 5'11, and I didn't want to be taller than him, so I returned the show and ended up wearing a pair of heels I bought a year ago that I never wore, it was a champange colored shoe that matched by MOH dresses perfectly.
Update 12/8/12: The shoes I ended up wearing. It was a pair of shoes I purchased over 2 years ago that I never had anything to wear w/and then I realized how I had something in my closet when I was showing one of my BM's, so I decided I would just wear this, it was wonderful.
I'm in love with lace, so I want to find a way to incorporate lace in my invitations, this is an idea of what I would like to replicate. If you have any ideas, let me know.
And now that I am including in the invitations, I'm finding ways to incorporate throughout the wedding. I am going to get lace hankerchiefs for the groom, BM, his brothers, my brother n laws and the little boys, but for FI I will get his initials on them and whatever else to make his more special...I am looking for an ivory color. My dress is an ivory lace so I will look for table linen similar to my dress, one for our sweetheart table and one for the cake table and for the remaining tables we will use a plain ivory in order to not overkill the lace. I may use the lace around the candle holders and some of the flower arrangements.
Now that I found the dress (an ivory colored lace), my entire thought process on the look has changed a bit, the lace will be impactful but colors that I thought would be impactful will have to take a back seat.
Update 7/3/2012: Bringing a little lace to life, purchased lace garter and wrapping votive candles w/lace. I also purchased lace hankerchief's as gifts for the women family members who have been so helpful, my side and FI's in addition to my girls!
Update 12/5/2012, I used lace whereever I could. Both of my dresses were of lace, also all of the hanky's made as gifts and mine had lace, I had a lace fan and used the lace embroidered ivory paper I found to print the signage throughout the wedding. Also, the traditional attire wore by the women on the groom's family side were of lace fabric, it was really nice.
My color pattern will be black and ivory as my main colors, I will use a hint of this cherry jubilee lipstick that I love so much, its by Avon (would you believe they discontinued it!!!!) along w/a pale yellow as accent colors to wake it all up...there will be hints of silver and gold, I'm getting chiavari chairs in gold (these chairs are not the most comfortable but they are beautiful), this will probably be the only gold I have. And lots of candles, black vases & I need to find ways to incorporate lace.
Update: I visited Berkeley Florist today (5/11/12), http://www.berkeleyfloristsupply.com/ popular florist in the Miami area selling flowers and supplies, and it was like I was in heaven. It's like my inspiration came to life, but my gosh on the prices. Source, my camera.
For the sweet heart table, I'm thinking something like this, while the tables throughout the room will have an ivory color, the plain linen that comes with the facility, not sure I want to upgrade for 15 tables, I have to see what the budget is looking like with all these extras, but at least our table and the cake table can stand out.
Update 6/22/2012:Reception decor is coming together, this is my mock decor for the tables and room, I worked on it last night. There will be a tall vase and the small cubic vase....for the reception I will have small black cubic vases instead of the clear. I ordered the small black vases from ABC Glasswear from their website and the tall vases I found at Walmart and Michael's (what a search for black vases). And 2nd/3rd photo represents some items I plan to get at Michael's or Pier 1.
Wow, saw this pic and had to post, in love w/this look, but not sure how this will fit w/me, but love the mix of gold and silver.
The first few picturs is at the Marenas Beach Resort & Spa in Miami, this site can accommodate up to 110 persons. I like this location because it's where our guest will be staying, so would be great to have the reception at the same venue where guest will be staying.
This 2nd site is a ballroom (the last 2 photos), its the Renaissance Ballroom, I love the chandeliers. This site is half the price of the resort hotel above, but not in the area I want to be in.
What do you think?
Main colors: Black and ivory. Chivari chairs in gold and some bling bling/silver accents. Invitations will be ivory and black, I will use a paleyellowand the red cherry jubilee somewhere some how as my pop color.
Accent colors: a pale yellow (buttercup or sunflower) and cherry jubilee (this is the closest I could find). My flowers will be ivory and the pale yellow. UPDATE: I might remove the cherry jubilee, no one is feeling it. I may just wear the lipstick for the reception and then add the pop through my wedding favor, I was thinking of having red velvet minicupcakes as a favor if the miniature bottles of rum from Haiti as favors does not work out (Rhum Barbancourt), this was an idea I got from a PW bride now wife. After the Earthquake in Haiti the area that produces the rum was in ruins, so working on some of my contacts to see if they can help me w/this, great way to incorporate my families ancestory since the Nigeria element from my FI's side will be so much at the for front. Our guest list is 66% FI and 34% my side so definitely want to bring some American and Haitian elements in the mix.
Update 8/1/2012: I kept all my colors and incorporated throughout the wedding either through decoration,s clothing, attire etc. during either the first day w/the traditional ceremony or 2nd day church/reception.
Holy Family Catholic Church, our ceremony site. The Doubletree Ocean Point is where our out of towners will be staying, a very nice hotel, will give them beach access and have a piece of what us Miamiams get to enjoy year round. We were thinking of having the wedding at this location, but we found a venue that is half the cost. I'm going to DIY my OOT gift bags.
Update on 4/30/12, both FI and I were confirmed by Bishop Wenski on 4/29/12, this is one step closer to our union!
We are having to make some changes, guest can no longer stay at the Doubletree Ocean Point Resort, I tried to get rooms blocked but they don't have many left. Therefore we are getting some blocked rooms at the Marenas and if we get enough rooms booked, we get some freebees!!! Although we are not having the reception here, it will be a nice place to stay at, the hotel is beautiful so I am sure the photographer will be able to get us some pretty good pictures.
Possible dresses, this is the hardest decision. My style seems to be classic elegance but the more and more I look at dresses, I'm wondering if I am going too plain. I don't want to just buy a dress to be on the safe side, I want to buy a dress that looks good on me but that also says wedding dress not a dress I can wear for an event. If you have a chance let me know which one you like.
Eve - Maggie Sottero
Courtney - Maggie Sottero (I loved this dress on, but didn't make me feel like a bride)
Eve: Maggie Sottero (this dress was big on me and didn't look anything like I expected it 2)
Cindy: can't find in the store
A few others I tried on earlier on around December 2011:
a lace number - another designer
This dress search was not easy, but I found her. Her name is Dakota, she is from the 2009 collection of Enzoani. It's made with alencon lace.
I FOUND MY DRESS!-She is reshaping my decoration decor.
not sure if I will add a sash w/crystal to match shoes
ivory lace fan ivory lace umbrella
I found these beautiful earrnings on PW bride's page, WINKLKR. DENISE - Romantic Long Dangling Crystal Rhinestone and Pearl Chandelier Earrings off of Etsy
Update 5/15/2012: I got a call from the bridal consultant Cheryl at Patricia South Bridal and my dress is in!!!!!!! I am scheduled to go try it on this upcoming Thursday, super super excited!
Updated 6/20/2012: Decided not to get the Studio Jewelry earrings for $70 plus shipping and ended up finding some nice dangling earrings at TJMaax for $24.99, I just need to find a bracelet to match it and I'm done with jewelry and accessories w/the exception of the mermaid slip that I need and possibly a bra but I won't know until after fitting this Friday. I also picked up a sash from David's Bridal this past Sunday for $59.99, I just can't see myself spending $300 to $400 on a sash, all of the one's I am in love w/are this price, but not happening.
Possible Wedding Styles - Looking to Add Extensions
Possible Wedding Makeup Style
Looking to do something vibrant with my eyes but very natural for the wedding and for the reception I will replace lipstick with my cherry jubalee.
But I love the way Stacey Dash's makeup looks, I am going for something natural like this with hints of lavender, pink and so forth for that girly look.
Update 6/20/2012: I found my wedn day hairstyle.
Update 7/10/2012: I have had some many different hair styles I have been in love with, but it seems like I'm all over the place with it. I would definitely say, do a hair trial if you can, you may like a style that doesn't go nice on your face or suite you well. Well this is what happened with the picture above w/Jennifer Williams. I had a trial and it didn't look good on me, so I am changing it up (see pic of KK below, I am thinking of long soft curls, to something similar to my engagement photo, but since my hair is not as long of full as this pic, I will add extensions). And it takes lots of money to have to keep going to different ppl to see if they can replicate a style for you, so pick something beautiful and do your research on stylist, one that is professional and will be on time.
He wants to select but I'm going to stear him in the right direction with some of my choices and ideas. But I've decided to let him decide from the selections.
Monogrammed hankerchief for groom (lace) and non mongrammed hanky for the rest of the guys.
Update 7/3/2012: FI went to Men's Wearhouse w/his best man and decided on their attire, then I went w/him to create the order. The tux is a Wilke-Rodriguez Two Button on Black Satin. I also went with Embroider This.com instead of The Lace Shop since their hankerchief's were better priced. I also opted not to get FI a lace since it seemed a little girly, instead I got him a beautiful linen and got the women lace instead.
Update 9/11/2012: Here is the groom's best man and brother, a shout out 2 both groomsmen!
I was thinking we would omit the favors/gifts to guest but I may include red velvet cupcakes (my friend gave as favors to her engagement party last year and they were to die for), but I thought just giving a cupcake was kind of corny from my perspective. Recently, I read Crystal's (msxtal's) bio and reviewed the pics from her fabulous wedding and noticed that her and her new husband's background are of Haitian decent, they were both born in Haiti. I wanted to include my Haitian culture in some way but didn't really know how to include until I saw her bio, then it hit me, I too would try to get the Barbancourt Haitian Rum to provide as favors. This is really important to me because my FI's Nigerian culture is very strong and will be well/heavily represented in our wedding however with me being born in the US and very Americanized in a sense, I really wanted to find a way to recognize my parents heritage. Many Haitians I know always tease me in saying that I'm a nonHaitian which I don't find funny but I laugh it off, so I really wanted to find a way to include. So thank you Crystal for the inspiration.
So the search began, how do I find over 100 bottles of Barbancourt after readying Crystal's message which notes that the factory where produced in Haiti was damaged during the earthquake to the point where the cellars were destroyed. Well, I started to reach out to all of my contacts who travel to Haiti frequently and received some positive responses to my request for assistance.....and today one of the members on a board that I sit on was able to get 12 miniature bottles for me, so 12 down, 108 to go, wish me luck!
Update: I found all of them, a good friend from high school flew into Haiti w/her family and ended up getting me the six cases that helped me reach 144!!
Update 7/10/2012: Our 2nd set of favors are in, FI's mom ordered mugs as a gift to guest from her family, and I decided to go w/blue since it's FI's favorite color to add elements of him throughout the wedn in some sort of way. I used one of the monogram designs that my friend created for us. I love them!
Updated 12/5/2012, this is how it turned out on the table.
We took some professional engagement photos this past Monday (felt like a mini date), they said it will take 2-3 weeks to get, I can hardly wait!! I plan to DIY our hardcover sign in/well wish booklet for guest to sign during the reception via Shutterfly. I plan to use the e-pics for the booklet.
UPDATE - OMG, Our engagement photos look amazing if I do say so myself, and I am so thankful for losing the 16 pounds because I would have looked like a hot mess!!!! Photos by Image First. I'm getting some 4X6 sized prints of the engagement photos (a mix) from Shutterfly printed and will insert in frames, so that each table has a picture frame of us on the table, see mock centerpiece.
Here goes, I purchased the invitations from Michael's and attempting to print today (didn't end up printing until 5/6/2012, too many changes took place that I had to accommodate). I have been looking at so many websites for inspiration. Finally I saw this design from someone on weddingbee, I downloaded this font from www.dafont.com and combined it with Times New Roman, I then downloaded the template from the website on the invitation and started typing and I played around with spacing. I plan to add this black lace ribbon to the envelopes, I tried ivory but everyone says the black looks better since the envelope is ivory. The invitation itself is already busy enough, the lace didn't look good around it. I'm just getting started, getting to the print phase was hard enough, operation assembly and website is next. What do you think about the language, and what do you think I need to add to the invitation to make it look better, if any? Also do you think the by invite only is tack? Any thoughts on the language on the invitation?
My initial purchase 2 months ago.
UPDATE: I gave up on designing my own website, too much stress, I couldn't everything in place and I need to get information out to people already. Believe me give yourself enough time to work on these projects, it can take its toll. Well thank you PW, I just pulled one of the templates that looked like my invitation design!!!! Surprised I even found this design there but glad I did, I could not change it to black but no biggie, not stressing over that. The good news, FI loves the color blue and I didn't incorporate into the wedding so there he gets the wedding website with the color he likes. I'm not going to stress over the fact that the color is blue even though I want it black....letting it go! Well, another update on 4/17, I ended up changing the design to an ivory and gold. My daughter said the blue was too strong and not in line w/my color palette. Honestly don't stress over everything, at the end of the day ppl don't even see the behind the scene activity. Glad I changed it, looks better!
2nd UPDATE: Finally printed! See below. And the website is up, http://GerriandStephen.projectwedding.com
1. My actual wedding card box and pretty close to what I wanted, it's in the mail, my soon to be sister in law ordered it for me from etsy! - Check
Update 6/14/2012 - Received confirmation that it shipped, should be here soon! ...arrived on 6/19/2012!!
2. Wedding website is up, horray!!! It is better than what I imaged. Family/friends chipped in with the bios and I uploaded epics, old pics and information for our guest, it really looks good.
3. DIY pomanders in black. I may do ivory instead.
4. DIY lace covered candles.
5. Photobook for guest sign in ordered from Shutterfly with a deal I received from Living Social, I love that site! It came in the mail, absolutely in love with this book -Check
6. If you are serious about weight loss, just do some online research on healty eating, nutrition and exercise and you can do this on your own, be your own personal trainer, motivate yourself. I started really working the week after X-mas 2011, I went from 164lbs to 146 lbs as of May 9. My goal is 140 lbs or to fit in my dress comfortably, my first fitting will be around May 31, 2012 when the dress is scheduled to come in. Almost a check! Update 6/14/2012: I am officially 141 lbs.
7. Ordered the personalized napkins, matches and ribbons, I got them from theknot.com website on 6/14/2012, there is a special that one of the PW brides posted on the board, $19 off. I plan to use the ribbons that say thank you around the miniature rum bottles I have. I've decided not to buy bags for the miniature rum bottles, I see it as a waste of money to spend that kind of money for 150 bags that will be thrown away.
8. Got the black vases, one of my friends found some nice vases at Walmart...almost impossible to find black vases on a budget...all of the thrift stores have glass. DOC will do the flower arrangements...money saved, all I have to do is place the order for the flowers. Update 6/20/2012: found a beautiful large black vase at ROSS today that I plan to use for our place cards table. And hired Flowers To Go Miami to help w/flower arrangements, I realized it will be 2 much 4 planner.
I decided to not have any bridesmaids, I just didn't want the drama at this time in my life, to place any type of financial burden on anyone, to be dissappointed when ppl couldn't fulfill responsibility and assist or to deal with ppl not willing to lose weight. Yes, I said it, but I honestly felt that way. I am having only the Maid and Matron of Honor, two good friends. My only request is that my ladies like the dress so that they can wear it again, who really wants to pay $200 and up for a dress to never wear again? I am conscious of that so I will not be the bridezilla that says they have to wear what I tell them to, I want them to like the dress.
Right now I am waiting for my MOH to come in from Africa at the end of May so her and my Matron of Honor can find something off the rack, I don't want to have to order anything from a bridal store.
Here is an idea of what I would like to see them in, I guess because I would wear this, but not sure on the color yet but I like these styles. Source: the lavender is from Amsale while the sandy/gold dress from Monique Lhuillier is at Nordstrom's. The ladies seem to like the sandy colored dress which is nice and goes with my color scheme.
Update 6/1/2012: On 5/31/2012, my ladies tried to purchase the dress from Nordstrom and the dress is on backorder to be shipped the week after the wedding. I was very upset by this, so we had to rush the next day looking for a dress, we ended up going to David's Bridal and found this dress. so both ladies placed an order. It will have to do, but not my first choice.
Update 7/1/2012: You will not believe what happened, when the dresses came in, one of my ladies didn't like the way the dress fit on her and so we ended up having to order another dress.....love them to death but unbelievable. I really have to just let this go and go with the flow, at this point since the new dress still matches the tux for the guys I am fine.
Flower girl dress: I found this nice dress, it complements my dress very well. http://www.mygirldress.com/goemsaflgidr.html
Update 6/20/2012: Purchased the flower girl baskets and hair garland.
Update 12/8/2012: This is how it turned out.
This past weekend, my daughter and I worked on invitations from 3pm to 2am on Sunday, I was a wreck the next day going into the office.
I decided to DIY my invites, so this has been one of the bigger DIY projects I have undertaken and I'm greatful to have had the help. I purchased the invite from Michael's, which you can see above (the one bad thing about this process was that the ink smudged a bit so I had to spend a lot of time fixing this so problem). After finally deciding on a design for the invites, RSVP card and additional insert, we began the process by printing everything from invites to envelopes. I am also so thankful for Michael's, although they can be on the high/expensive side, there are lots of coupons available but more importantly access to people who are in the business of arts and crafts to provide some guidance. On two occasions I received assistance that helped out with my invites, I learned how to do embossing and someone else showed me how to tie the ribbons. I also found my florist at Michael's!!!
Right now I am just trying to figure out how to add the return address for the envelopes that are being mailed. I tried to keep my inserts light so that I would not have to pay so much at the post office. I was able to find a nice wedding cake stamp at 65cents for my outer envelope and the 45cent wedding rose for the rsvp cards!
Well, here we go! And I'll add pictures of the final tie up with the bow once I take some more photos.
We both wore gloves so that none of the invites would get dirty!
Update, 5/12/2012, first two rsvp's in!
I have 15 tables, therefore I am going to use this mock up for 8 or 9 of the tables and the remaining will have some shorter vases, I don't want them to all be the same size. I will only be using ivory/cream or white hydrangea's none of the green flowers, I won't add the other flowers in this piece its too dramatic for me, however I will have the little tree branches in mine and may add some bling on it. I am using black vases, I have been all over town looking for black vases at thrift stores. I found the one in the picture for $3.
I plan to have smaller clear square vases througout the room w/roses and the bouquet and other floral arrangements will be w/roses, a mixture of pale yellow, ivory and white. I will post mockups later.
My future MIL likes the idea of floating candles so I may include.
My original inspirations.
Let me just say, I paid the 50% deposit to my DOC an hour ago and it was the best decision I made! After attending a wedding this past Saturday, it was more evident that I didn't want family and friends having to organize, arrange and make sure that all T's were crossed and I's dotted on wedding day, they should be there to partake in your celebration but instead can be overwhelmed w/work and not even enjoy the wedding themselves. Not that family won't help because they will but more so tending to bride/groom not working, hire a professional if you can. DOC hired today!
Update 7/2/2012: With less than 3 weeks to go, glad I hired the DOC, FI and I met w/her yesterday to discuss the coordination of that day and where we are w/the planning. We also plan to do a walkthrough in the venue w/her this week. I don't see how we could pull this off w/o someone seeing that close family and friends are far and we really want ppl to enjoy the day w/us not running around doing things. If you have budget for it, hire someone! My advice. We got her for a good rate that includes her and an assistant that day, so if your in Miami and your looking for someone, let me know.
I am really not big on a limo for some reason, not sure why, for some reason I find it to be a waste of money, maybe it's the accountant in me. And we don't have a large wedding party. However, I have always loved fast cars, but a nice Maserati, Lamb or Bentley or even a Mercedes S-550 would be cool with me.
FI is taking care of transportation, but my backup plan is to simply rent 1 or 2 cadillac or lincoln town cars for the weekend, I already have something on hold in the event we don't get something from above.
Update 7/9/2012: FI hired transport, 2 Lincoln town cards. Check
Update 8/8/2012: We ended up renting 2 cadillac's, one car and one truck.
OMG! I got a call today and of course I have my bridal consultants work and cell number on my phone, so when I saw the missed call and was in a client meeting. Oh my gosh, I wanted to walk out of the meeting to call her because I knew it could be only one thing....that the DRESS WAS HERE!!!! ok, so I composed myself and listened to her voicemail and then called my mom who was filled w/joy because I was filled with joy and then I proceeded to call everyone to let them know she was here, then I had to stop because I was driving to a lunch meeting w/a client and had to compose myself. Alright lunch meeting over, called Cheryl and she proceeded to tell me how beautiful Dakota is and we scheduled for me to go in on 5/17/2012 to try on the dress. Wish me luck, I will provide update and post pictures soon. I have been working out so much, I only pray that this dress zips/fits.
Update 5/17/2012: She's here!
Update 6/21/2012: My first fitting...would you believe I gained some weight since the dress arrived. I'm 30 days out, I'm going to have to cut out some things and start working out again. No room for error here.
Update 7/3/2012: First fitting, I purchased this sash from David's Bridal, more reasonable then where I purchased the dress. All of their sashes were $150 and up, the one I liked was $300 so a no go. I settled for this and added it to my alteration, I'm having them sew it on and to do the bustle, that's it. The seamstress just said that I shouldn't try to gain any weight. Next fitting is one week b4 the wedn, so I am doing my best...but w/all the things left to do, I might lose not gain.
Update 7/13/2012: 2nd fitting, one week b4 the wedn, we decided to add cups to the dress. I finally got a chance to try it on w/the veil. I ordered a plain ivory double tiered veil from wedding-veil.com for $34.99 plus shipping. I am a plain Jane and at this stage of the game way more money than I want to spend on a veil, so I decided not to spend $200 on a veil I would wear once in my life and instead wear a plain veil since my dress was already an eye catcher. And 20lbs later, the dress looks amazing, I could not even zip it on when I 1st tried it on, but by then I had already loss 13lbs, the last 7 did it. I ordered an 8, because although lose on top it gives me enough room in the thigh area to move around comfortably to dance and sit.
Update 7/17/2012: Last dress fitting today, the dress fit perfectly! I pick up on Thursday, this gives them enough time to steam it!
Update 8/4/12: Oh my gosh, loved my dress to pieces, but I ended up losing so much weight from 7/17 to the wedding date on 7/21/12 that the dress was practically falling of me on the top. It was so lose it was ridiculous, in most of my pictures I am seen holding the dress up under my arms too many times, this was awful....you can see it in the professional pictures. This was one of my dissapointments, I lost 2 much weight.
Udpate 12/8/2012: Wedding day, Dakota did not disappoint.
My friend who is a graphic designer designed these for us, her name is Tania Trammell. Love her to pieces, definitely get talented friends to chip in and help if you can. She used my lace dress as inspiration and some of my other designs.
Update 8/12/2012: I ended up using the first one on the mugs and the signage throughout the wedding. I didn't use the 2nd monogram and I used the 3rd one as the backdrop on our programs as part of the watermark.
Update 12/5/2012: See how I incorporated throughout the wedding (i.e. the monograms above were used on the logos, as backdrop for the menu sheet, the ceremony/wedding reception, signage etc.
If I could have predicted this kind of weekend I would have been wrong, totally would have missed the mark.
My Maid of Honor, Matron of Honor and closest friends and family did a spectacular job of bringing Vegas to South Florida. We stayed at the Seminole Hardrock Resort & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the wekn and had a fab time staying local. Funny how you live in a sunny, beach themed vacation hot spot (Miami) but don't always have the time to enjoy in the amenities, well this was not the case this wekn, we sat pool side, kicked our feet in the water, slept in late, spa treatments, comedy show and my surprise :-)! But the ugly is that it was overshadowed to some extent by an ugly and I mean ugly argument by and w/my sister.
Here are the photos!
Hired, check, that's all I can say.....we are literally hiring photographer one month before wedding, just thankful!
Elton Anderson Photography
Wedding Coverage:Our Package
8 Hours Wedding Day Coverage
Online Proofing Gallery
Digital Proofs on DVD
10x10 Wedding Album
High Res Disc of Images
Update 7/3/2012: Photographer officially paid off, thank you!
Update 2/10/2013: Honestly, after all said and done, I wish I would have used another photographer, I really don't feel like everything went well with the photographer. I should have went with my initial gut.....don't get me wrong, talented artist, I saw a lot of his work, but I didn't like they way some of the pictures came out, I wish I would have made a list of what I really wanted photographed. During our initial meeting, he made me feel really comfortable and that he doesn't do a lot of planning, he kind of just goes with the flow when deciding what pictures to take.....I am not 100% happy with the turnout.
So happy this is out of the way, handled this today. We originally decided on white gold plain wedn bands about 2 weeks ago and all of a sudden, FI takes a left but I decided to just go with the flow, it's one of the few things he decided on so I'm going with the flow.
We're getting his/her Jeff Cooper wedn bands, a platinum w/diamond stones (I really wasn't feeling platinum because it scratches easily but like I said, going w/the flow, he wanted us to have matching bands). I have never heard of this name, I know nothing about designer jewelry and bands, all I am learning along the way but it fit really nicely and will look nice on when I am not rocking my ring. I'm a happy Gerri today!! I was able to strike one more thing from my excel spreadsheet. Also got my garter today, a nice ivory lace!!
And of course my little beauty, it's a solitaire/round, on a plain band, I didn't really care for to much embellishments, again plain Jane.
Decided to try to make this simple.
For FI, I'm getting him a Trek bike similar to mine but a little different and newer model so that he can enjoy my passion for riding and so we can ride together. He's been saying he was going to get a bike, but its been forever, this is my gift to him and it will so be appreciated. See www.trekbikes.com
I'm thinking of the Livestrong FX, it's a good fitness and city bike, it's great for Sunday rides and for fitness freaks like us. For some reason photo is dark, but click on to read more about it.
Also, here is a picture of me enjoying a recent ride w/Miami Critical Mass on Friday, 8/31/12, 18 miles!
FI is buying his groomsmen some nice dress shoes for the wedn, this is their gift. I'm not sure which shoe but this is what he has decided.
I'm getting the groomsmen, his dad, my brother in laws and FI (Irish Cotton White) hankerchiefs from www.embroiderthis.com. I got everyone's initials engraved along w/the wedding date. His dad's says Father of the Groom.
I'm also getting MOB, MOG, my daughter, sisters, 2 cousins, SIL's and BM's lace hankerchiefs (Regal Lace) from www.embroiderthis.com, I plan to get every1s names spelled out with our wedn date on them, but not for the guys. I also engraved them and also got the mothers a pink short sleeve shirt and ironed the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom for them to wear the day after the wedding, it was a cute idea!
I also purchased this black crystal compact mirror for my BM's at ABC Glass, Inc., I plan to get their names engraved on it. I can't wait for it to come in. I plan to get them something else however, with these two ladies who have access to everything its kind of hard, and I don't want to just get them anything...their both so different one a traveler, owner of many businesses/entrepreneur and she is single and the other is a home body, single, controller at job and a wonderful mother, so my thought process on what's important to them is so different.....so I'm thinking. Any suggestions, let me know?.... August 3, 2012: I finally ended up returning the Ted Baker wallet I purchased for them at Bloomingdale's because I didn't think it would have meaning to them or if they would like so I ended up giving them each a $100 gift certificate to Macy's which they loved!
For the parents, I'm thinking about a mini cruise to the Bahamas for my mom and both his parents, a nice little break for them....maybe they can even go together or we can go with them. I also got my mom and daughter their traditional Nigerian attire which is being made. 8/3/12: I ended up just giving his folks the hankerchiefs it got so busy that we couldn't do much.....FI then, husband now (LOL!, hard to say husband I keep calling him by his name) just wants to help his folks pay off their house so he didn't plan on giving them anything but I'm taking my mom on a cruise to say thank you by the end of the year. I also purchased my daughter a nice bag that she was eyeing as a thank you gift for all of her help with the wedding. The hankerchiefs were a real hit, everyone loved them and even more so that they were engraved w/their names, definitely a good idea if your looking for one.
I'm happy we are near but paining because I'm a little bit overwhelmed. I feel the writing here is a little theraputic. I found that not everyone understands it unless they have witnessed this, I'm finding understanding in someone who can relate to what I'm going thru through a friends friend who just got married in March. She has given me so much help, hints, tips, vendors and her attention. Not sure about anyone else but I can honestly say that after a while ppl get tired about hearing about your wedn and its not just friends its also family. I have a lot of single friends and family members and either their just tired of hearing about wedn but I haven't felt like I've gotten the help I thought I would from them. Many don't even call to see how your doing or what they can help you with. I'm not terribly upset because I know their all busy w/work and their families but still....I'm not sure if its because I didn't invite them to be BMs, but again I thought that was the best decision for me. Even w/the 2 BM's I have there were issues so now imagine trying to deal w/more women near and far and busy. We changed the dresses 4 them 3 times and their both busy, one near, one far. My mom has been supportive in that she bought my dress, gave us some money for the reception and letting the bridal shower be hosted at her home, she's my mom and I know she wants the best for me, but she even had her own momzilla moment. One of the blessings is my daughter, she tied ribbons and made invitations w/me late night and has been my wedn planner assistant side kick....love her. Another advice, if ppl want to help, let them help because hard to find them, also if you can get a planner, nothing crazy expensive...then get one.
Day 16 (6/6) - mad dash all day, I made it to 7am mass, from their stopped by the office to research my destinations 4 the day 2 get organized. Hit a few Michael's on the other side of town sekn black vases (use ur 50% coupons at Michael's); found BM bag and jewelry at Burlington, stopped by bridal store to look at veils, decided still 2 expensive 4 me since I don't even care for them that much. Headed right back to office and ordered candles (candles4less) and veil (wedding-veil) online. By the end of the night I obtained renter's insurance and hired the make-up person 4 wedn (she will do my trial day of bridal shower, pefect!), successful tiring day.
Day 15 (6/7) - Mom stopped by my room to give me a mom's pep talk...sweet of her. Happy she found her dress this week. I'm excited today, FI and I move into r new place 2day, keys in hand! Spent most of the day on a payn to add 5 more guest, at Michael's and mall, tiring!
Day 14 (6/8) - Today was a day filled w/joy. The Lord will be in this marriage, that much I know for sure. Our names were announced at mass today and in annoucements, which is normal b4 wedn in Catholic church, but I found out by our church sponsor and counselor 4 the wedn that the priest decided to waive the $900 wedn fee and instead let us make a donation, what a blessing. After mass, we met w/ceremony musician, to work on music selections, $300 fee, unbelievable but happy because MOH agreed to pick up the tab as her gift to us. I spent the day cleaning our new place w/FI! Plus the ladies started preparing for my bridal shower for next Saturday, can't wait.
Day 13 (6/9) - I think FI hired transportation for wedn, not sure. CD's for Nigerian music is in, FI's brother handled for us and I found out my friend got the 2 CD's with the Haitian music on it, so now we just need to make sure the DJ can mix all of this. I set the metn w/the officiant to go over program for the final time. And our 2nd set of favors came in, a gift from FI's mom. Lots of things happen during this 2 week mad dash, brace yourselves ladies.
Day 12 (6/10) - Will be a slow day, I have to work. I visited one of my clients who owns a pastry shop and asked her if I could borrow her beautiful cake stand for the wedn and she said yes, supper excited (my advice, use the ppl around you, ask for their help, even something as small as this is helpful....I looked around and cake stands run about $50 to $150)! I plan to do some returns later today. And I called to confirm my 2nd dress fitting today and found out that they have it scheduled for the night b4 the wedn, my advice ppl, confirm, confirm, confirm, don't leave it to chance that ppl are on top of stuff, even paid professionals. ok, back to work. By nights end, my Fedex package w/the Nigerian clothing came in....they look great!
Day 11 (6/11) - Today is a good day, started off w/a good workout. Had a board meeting but after that, I met DOC and her assistant at the reception venue, we went through everything, thank goodness! I started handing stuff off to her. Now for me to work on program and edits that she recommended to menu font, this and that! FSIL purchased the 12 ivory/cream colored pomanders for the ceremony and a really nice looking aisle runner, glad I can check these off and appreciated the help. Alright back to work! Going to look at furniture again for the 2nd time w/FI plus I think he has a surprise, I hope I'm right.
Day 10 (6/12) - FI and I to meet w/officiant to review program.
Day 9 (6/13) - Complimentary spa day for me w/a friend! Dress fitting today for myself and my mom! MOB picks up her dress! It was a busy day but started off really nice w/the spa, I got a facial, massage and meni/pedi. Then I did a mad dash to get mom and daughter to head out for fittings. I realized at fitting that I needed cups. I then had to drop them off and go to work. I can't even remember what else happened, my brain is fried.
Day 8 (6/14) - Bridal shower and make up trial are today! It was a beautiful day, I did a little cleaning around mom's place and then headed over to my make-up trial for wedn, she definitely made me look like a princess/beauty pagent. My FI, his family and friends didn't recognize me. I then headed over to my bridal shower, it was perfect.
Day 7 (6/15) - It was a relaxing type of Sunday for me. I got to hear our 2nd wedn bann at mass today, one more to go. I then headed to office to start researching bedroom sets and then worked on template for programs. I then headed to mall to look for dress for pre-wedn event FBIL is hosting on Friday after the Nigerian ceremony/reception. I am a little concerned, it poured heavily and the weather is predicting a stormy week. I hope it settles by the wekn.
Day 6 (6/16) - Today was an interesting day, I worked out first thing and then headed over to office to get a few things sorted out for clients. Then mad dash to FI's mom's house to pick her up, she purchased all of the water/soft drinks for the traditional Nigerian ceremony for Friday. Then back to office to meet a client that owns a Haitian bakery, they offered to bake a cake for me for Friday, so sweet. Then mad dash to house to drop things off at mom's place. FI and I ended the day by purchasing our bedroom set for our new place, still no furniture, so much going on.
Day 5 (6/17) - It's been a busy day for me. I made it to 7am mass and heard our 3rd wedding bann. I think stopped by the office to print the programs for the traditional ceremony/reception on Friday, all done. Then headed to florist to drop off the vases and paid the final balance in full. I then headed over to the bridal shop to do my last and final fitting, the cups fit perfectly, I will pick up on Thursday of this week after they have steamed it. I then had to stop to pick up my moms dress and then to my cousins place to finalize the list for the food I need to buy for her to cook for the mini Friday ceremony/reception we are having at my mom's place. Then mad dash to get FI, we dropped off boxes of mug favors and champagne to the reception venue across down and I just got back. I also confirmed that the aisle and pom poms FSIL purchased came in, yeah! Now going to do a mad dash to the mall and then Michael's, if I can get to Costco great if not, another day. I need to return a few things and get my Friday night pre-wedding outfit and our cake topper.
Day 4 (6/18) -
Day 3 (6/19) - Rehearsal today and FI's birthday!
Day 2 (6/20) - Traditional Nigerian Ceremony and after party hosted by FI's brother!
Day 1 (6/21) - W Day!
8/2/2012: Let me just say, it got way to busy those last couple of days and I didn't have time to even look by PW. My advice is to finalize, settle, select everything 1 to 2 weeks before W day, if you are being indecisive about something, do inny menny minny mooo and pick something so that you can move on. The night before the wedding we had to do the traditional nigerian ceremony, it took up so much time and didn't allow free time to do much, it was 1am when my MOH and I were at my office printing the remaining place cards and stuff that could have been done earlier. Do everything early, settle on stuff early on or forget about it.
The best thing is that my two MOH's really stepped up to the plate, the minute my MOH flew in from Nigeria West Africa, the Thursday the day of the rehearsal, she really started to help relieve a lot of the stress from me and carried it on to herself, she really tried to pull me out of the equation, she had the calls going to her phone, she was in contact w/make up lady, photographer, DOC......this really really helped. I was able to go to do my pedicure, facial and makeup on Friday before the traditional with ease. Really really get ppl who can be by your side who have your best interest at heart and who are not worried about anything but you enjoying your special day because that is what she did for me. And my other MOH really worked well with me throughout the wedding, trying to help me here and there which helped, she was limited at times because of her job and motherly responsibilities as was the other who was far away but they really did their best to put me first and I love them for that. Get ppl who are not just friends, but ppl who genuinely care for you and want nothing but make it your day. I had only 2 ladies which worked out good for me, but my cousin and other good friend really helped me out a lot towards the end, love, love the ppl around me. Love, love my daughter, she was my wedding assistant and was there for me every step of the way and my mother was my dear heart, she walked me down the aisle. I'm sure everyone is happy it's over, no more wedding talk and my sanity back.
Lovely, lovely day, I enjoyed the day, that's all I can say, one week before the wedding and I am just as happy as can be! I planned my make up trial for the wedding the Saturday b4 the wedding which just so happen to be my bridal shower day, definitely try to kill two birds with one stone. I also plan on using my complimentary facial and makeup by Bloomingdale's the day of the traditional ceremony so that my face can be done w/o me having to spend more money.
For the bridal shower, I DIY'd margarite bar and let everyone else do their thing. One year I got tired of being an accountant and decided I wanted to bartend, so I got my license and did that for about 8 months, then my mom told me to get my head together and to not waste the money spend on my getting my accounting degree, that I should go back to accounting and give this bartending thing up....so I did, but I can still make a few drinks here and there.
I had been looking at programs for the ceremony and reception for months, and noticed that they were all seperate documents, so I decided to incorporate it in one. I used Word to create the programs and played around with various fonts and styles. I decided to use some of the same font I used for my DIY invitations and inserts and added my monogram to the background layout for our acknowledgement page and also added a map. The final program includes a cover page, acknowledgement, wedding party, ceremony, reception and map page, an all in one. I only printed the cover page in color (my cherry red was used in the Welcome) and the remaining pages were in black to keep the cost down.
I pdf'd each page seperately and then had them printed at Office Depot, I printed about 35 pages for each page for a total of about 105 programs. The pages were created in Word w/three colums so each document had a total of 3 programs that could be created. Office Depot printed, I used a $10 off coupon I had at the office. I then used my paper cutter at the office and had help from one of my maids and my daughter who sat and cut them in 3's and I showed them how to layer and place the bow. I used ivory linen paper that I purchased at Office Depot with a $10 coupon and purchased black card stock from Joann's for the back. We used a whole punch gadget that I also purchased from Office Depot to create the side whole where the ribbon (the ribbon represented the same ribbon I used to wrap the wedding invitations, I had some left over, I had purchased from Michael's) was tied. This allowed to have so coheasion btw the invitations and program. I also embossed the word Love with a love stamp that I purchased from Michael's with the goldish/mettalic looking embossing dust. I had also used this dust on the invitations. I learned the embossing technique from one of the reps. at Michael's and also looked at some DIY youtube videos, I purchased the embossing fan at Michael's.
Here was my inspiration, I think my replica's were not so bad.
Here are a few pictures and if you want the Word doc. so that you can create your own, I am willing to share, no need for someone else to get stressed out trying to recreate this.
Well, for now I am set on Costa Rica, I am waiting for hubby to agree. I really would have liked to have done an Asia trip but hubby dosen't want to go so far away.
We decided not to take a honeymoon initially however we still plan to do a few things, just so many other things that are a priority after the wedding. For now we are going to take a trip to Negril Treehouse in Negril Jamaica either in Sept or Oct. The facility is owned by one of my clients so when I saw the deal on LivingSocial I picked it up. I am still researching Costa Rica and have an idea on where I want to stay but need hubby to get on board. He is traveling to his home country of Nigeria, I may tag along for a little bit but I don't consider this a vacation since he will be working most of the time but if we can get a trip to visit Accra, Ghana then I will be pleased.
It is a 70 room property located on Negril's famous 7 Mile Beach. I am sure hubby is going to try to run that 7 miles, he loves to jog/run on the beach. It includes a complimentary breakfast buffet that I have heard great reviews on so I am excited. It's an older resort compared to what you find in Montego or Negril but it is small and quaint, with old fashion charm, so just what we are looking for and still maintains the characteristics of the island.
Costa Rica - Papagayo Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
I have been researching this property near the papagayo area, this property has a lot of amenities and things to do and all inclusive.
I'm really excited to visit the peninsula papagayo area even if it's not at the Hilton, this area is breathtaking.
I keep hearing wonderful things about this area so I am excited to visit since we are normally a few hours away by plane from Nigeria. I want to visit Labadi beach, this picture is Labadi Beach Hotel area.
Updated 2/10/2013 - So far the only thing we've done is visited the Negril Treehouse during the weekend on 2/24/13 for 5 days and 4 nights and it was awesome, it was very calming. It's a very low key type of place, it's not a big or first class resort, it's a small 70 room resort in Negril that sits right on a stretch of 7 mile beach and it is really chill and beautiful all at the same time. It is not all inclusive, breakfast is included complimentary, and there are some discounts on a few services, and free paddle boarding lessons but the rate was very reasonable. I like that food was not included because it forced us to visit and walk more to visit some of the local restaurants. We went snorkeling, did stand up paddle boarding and sailing, I think it was a nice break for us since we haven't taken a honeymoon yet and this is the first break we have had since the wedding last July. From the wedding, we both went back to work, moved in to our new place and have been settling in to married life.......marriage is a lot of work ladies! We plan to do Costa Rica or somewhere late on in the year. Here is a picture from Negril.