That being said. . . here I go!
I found out that the Sandals "professional" photographers are a little less than stellar, and lean more towards the "cheese" factor than the "oh!" factor. Unfortunately, you can't have any third party vendor (including photog's) on resort property. So basically, they have no competition hence their lackluster appeal.
Here is an example of their work:
SANDAL'S POSEY PICTURES
I stressed out for a day or two wondering what we were going to do. Would it really be worth it to pay them for THAT kind of work? Even though our photography package is a generous gift from my soon to be mother in law, there is no way we were comfortable forking over a big chunk of change to have those generic, posed photographs. Their photo+video package start at $2500! On the other hand, if we didn't use them we wouldn't have pictures of our wedding!!
Suddenly, I had an "Aha!" moment. It would be cheaper to fly down Philip and pay for him to stay at an all inclusive resort for 3 days. We could then have him as a guest at our wedding, and get him a full day pass from 9am till 2am. He can bring mom and dad's multi lens, high def camera and take creative shots of us all day long... pre ceremony, wedding, reception and sunset pictures to boot! Philip is a tech junkie, and loves basically anything to with computers. His editing skill are pretty great, and he has been known to capture an amazing shot.
The following are examples of Philip's shots
As soon as I thought of this brilliant plan, I immediately called him. It was close to midnight, but time couldn't contain this bride's excitement! I didn't think he would turn down a free trip to Jamaica, but I had to fill him in so that he could immediately start perfecting his skills. Or it was perhaps because I was just too impatient to wait 8 hours. Either way, he immediately said yes and the egg was hatched.
As I was emailing my agent and confirming the booking of Philip's flight, I get a somewhat intelligible phone call from Philip. Rushed: "Have you booked my flight? Change it for that Friday, the 8th. Call Wayne. He's coming!" Since I had already received Philip's itinerary, I got off the phone with him quickly without asking questions and emailed my agent to make the changes. Philip had called just in time, so they were changed without a hitch. I called Wayne, to make sure he was in fact coming and that Philip wasn't jumping the gun. I wouldn't want Philip in Jamaica without a place to stay on Friday!
The phone call to Wayne went something like this:
Me: (in an excited ramble) So, I just got off the phone with Philip. You guys are going to be in Jamaica in March. . .yay . . . blah blah blah!
Wayne: (hesitantly and quizzically) "Yeahhhh. . ? We are? What." mumble.
Me: . . . long pause. "This is Connie. . ."
Wayne: Ohhhhh. . !! I didn't know who this was. (still a little hesitant).
*all of a sudden I'm not sure if I've called the right person
Me: "Oh I'm sorry. Is this Wayne?" ...
You get the picture :}
It's quite hilarious and a little bit tragic that brother and sister haven't spoken on the phone for so long that not only do we not have each other's phone number's programmed in our phones, we also don't really recognize each other's voices on the telly. I remember when I was little I was shocked that my mom didn't know how old her brother's or sister's were off the top of her head, or how she could forget their birthday's unless they were written down. I remember thinking "I'll always remember, Of course!!" But the fact is when you get older and have so much going on in your own lives, those things happen.
Anyway, I confirmed with Wayne that he and Sheena did in fact intend on coming to our wedding ceremony, which completely made my night!
Here's the thing with destination weddings, at least for me. I would never want my wedding to be some dreaded financial obligation for anybody attending. Inviting people to my wedding is like saying "Hey, do you want to spend $4000 to see me get married?" I already feel bad enough that Chris's brother and his girlfriend are stretching their budget to come. I hate that my wedding would be a financial strain to anybody! I feel that I would be not only putting people who don't have money on the spot, but also people who do. If somebody does have money, I wouldn't want them thinking that I'd think any less of them for not choosing to come whether they could afford it or not. In an ideal world we'd be able to fly everybody out and pay for their stay. With our own wedding expenses and since we"ll be coming off the tail end of our brutal North Dakota winters, which can be cruel to the construction/home building industries, we just can't be certain what our own finances are going to be like. Although I would love nothing more than for everybody I love to fly out and attend, the last thing I would want is for people to think they "have" to come. For those reasons I haven't formally invited anybody to come.
Now that I get to have both my brothers, my sister inlaw and my niece, in addition to my future brother/sister in law, my wedding gets even MORE perfect than before! So of course, in my wedding minded fashion, I thought, "Well, since I'm going to have my beautiful little niece at my wedding, who better than to walk us the rings.?!" I realize she might still need some adult supervision to keep her on her path, but that will make it even more adorable. I am not one who needs everything "just so", so a little flower girl meltdown or a runaway flower girl would by no means damper my time, just add to the candid moments and make it that much more special. So of course, my next step was to look for little "mini me" dresses for her to wear. I ordered Patsy (Chris's brother's g/f} a lilac colored dress to compliment the flowers, and am having Ryan wear a similar colored button down shirt and tan linen pants and Chris will wear a white button down and tan linen's. Now, I get to add Penelope in all her cuteness with a dress?! I'm on cloud nine!!
Now I need some opinion's. I will put up the picture's of my dresses to refresh your memory, before you help me choose P's dress. Yes, I said dresses plural.
When I was looking through photography albums brides had posted I noticed these amazing TTD pictures. In case you are unfamiliar with them, it stands for "Trash the dress". They are pictures where the bride just does whatever in her dress and doesn't care if it gets wet, dirty, ect. However, my mom absolutely hated the concept of a beautiful dress dragging in the dirty sand, and I intend on wearing my dress again for a little sand ceremony here that Tucker and Ryker can be at. So I decided to get a second TTD dress. Since I'm already getting a great deal on my dress, and I've been in contact with the Chinese seamstress who has been great, I decided to get a second, slightly different one for the TTD pictures.
Here is an example of TTD photo's; I want to do something similar
I think they are beautiful, and I can't wait to try to get some good shots with Dress No. 2.
Here are my dresses:
Above is my TTD dress. The only difference is it's pure white and I may change the neckline to sweetheart. Unlike my first dress, this has a chapel train. I thought that would look neat to have spread out on the beach, ect.
Now, for the fun part! Here are my top choices for a Penelope dress. Remember, my "colors" are white and lilac purple.
This is definitely in the running for being little P's mini me dress. I love how it looks like mine, and incorporates the lilac color of patsy's dress perfectly. . .
I think she would look just like a doll!
But. . .If I end up using the other dress instead, this one would be absolutely perfect!! Very beachy, to boot.
This one is a gorgeous little one!
This would really add a nice vibrant color twist, since everything else will be white and lilac.
So. . . voting opens now! Which pretty little number should it be?
Side note: I haven't actually told Wayne and Sheena that I'm turning their child into my flower child.