Bailey and I first met in December of 2019 when she and Dennis were newly engaged. Our wedding planning got off to a great start and we soon had the resort chosen, and the room block for their wedding guests set up. By February 2020, we were sending out save the dates for their March 2021 wedding.
We all know what happened from there…
Through hotel closures, travel bans, shutdowns, quarantines, room cancellations, rescheduling the entire wedding, rebookings, two wedding coordinator changes, Delta, Omicron, flight issues, and more room cancellations, Bailey and Dennis kept the faith and rolled with the punches like champs!
“Kate could not have been more helpful in navigating the logistics of changing our date with the resort and getting all our guests rebooked for December 2021. We could not have asked for a better travel planner to help make our wedding a success. She brought so much peace of mind and made it so easy for everyone to feel comfortable and confident traveling to our wedding.” ~ Bailey
The best part of my job is getting to know the couples I work with. The worst part of my job is that I only get to work with them for 12 -15 months. The silver lining to Covid was working with Bailey and Dennis for two years and finally seeing their dream of a destination wedding and celebrating their love story with all of their family and friends come true.
Shortly after getting engaged, my fiancé and I relocated to a new city. After exploring options in both our previous and new city we had just moved to, nothing really felt like us. We’re in the season of life where we are constantly attending weddings. We felt like every venue and theme had already been overdone and we wanted something different. Knowing that we wanted a smaller wedding and most of our family would need to travel anyway, a destination wedding was the perfect option. It was also important that we got to spend time with our guests. What better way to celebrate than a week in paradise?
Like most brides planning a wedding, I turned to WeddingWire and other online forums to help me figure out how to get started with my planning. I saw that Kate’s Travel had very positive reviews, so I decided to give her a call. After our first conversation, I knew that she would make this part of our wedding planning easy.
Within a month of signing our contract with Azul, the world shut down due to COVID. Given we had over a year before our wedding, I didn’t worry about diving into planning right away, and understandably the resort was focused on helping 2020 brides reschedule their weddings. I had an initial conversation with a wedding coordinator who explained how to navigate the online building tool and some tips on where to focus my attention until we touched base in a few months. During that time, the resort stopped hosting weddings and furloughed many of the wedding coordinators so communication basically stopped. Heading into the fall of 2020, I was starting to feel a little more anxious because I had not had more planning conversations with the resort, but Kate reassured me that they were still ramping back up after being closed for so long.
As we got closer to our March 2021 date, it became clear that we were going to need to postpone. COVID was still a concern and many of our guests didn’t feel comfortable traveling. After we made the decision to postpone, Kate jumped in and navigated us through the logistics of rescheduling and rebooking our guests. Again, with almost another year to plan and instructions to reach out to our coordinator in the fall, I put wedding planning on the back burner. Fast forward to the fall of 2021, I reached out to our coordinator to start finalizing. Although many of our original plans were still in place, I wanted the chance to walk through everything again. I’ll be honest and say that our original coordinator was not a good fit for me. He wasn’t responsive and didn’t really make me feel confident that everything would come together. I shared this concern with Kate. She worked her magic and got a new coordinator assigned to our wedding and he was WONDERFUL. He was responsive, answered all my questions, and spent as much time as I needed on the phone to walk through everything with me.
My favorite piece of advice for new brides is to schedule a discovery wedding dress appointment to help you figure out what style you want before the big wedding dress appointment with your friends and family. You’ll then know what style and design you like and can focus on dresses you know you will love (vs. trying to figure out what you like or feeling insecure about styles that don’t work). Given the location of the wedding, I knew I wanted something simple and timeless for my wedding dress.
When it came time to shop, I did my “discovery” appointment with my sisters and fell in love with a particular designer. I visited her website and found my dream dress. It just so happened that they carried that style at two boutiques in Texas and one just happened to be down the street from my Maid of Honor. We made an appointment and because of COVID, it was just us and the stylist in the store. Although they talked me into trying on several that day, as soon as I put on my dress, I knew it was the one. Although they couldn’t be there with me, we had a great time FaceTiming my mom and wedding party to let them see the final choice.
Fun fact: As much as I loved my dress, I knew I wanted to change into something more party-appropriate after the ceremony. I found a really fun, white jumpsuit that I wore for our reception to make sure I could really get down on the dance floor!
From what I heard the booking process could not have been easier for our guests. Kate did an awesome job outlining all the different room options and prices so everyone could make an informed decision. I had a couple of “needy” guests with lots of questions and Kate handled all their questions and concerns promptly. When it came time to travel, Kate’s detailed emails about airport transfers, travel documents, and things to know made traveling to a foreign country easy.
The onsite wedding team was amazing. They were so accommodating to my last-minute questions and final adjustments. They walked through every part of our wedding with us. From the welcome dinner to the reception and made sure I felt comfortable with everything. Our guests raved about how excellent the service was and how beautiful everything turned out.
Despite feeling confident that everything would come together, I really didn’t know how it would all come together. It’s safe to say that our wedding exceeded all my expectations!
Our ceremony took place right before sunset and my dad and step-dad walked me down the aisle to “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which was a nod to my husband’s favorite soccer team. My father-in-law officiated the ceremony and did a wonderful job. Because most of our family doesn’t live near us, they haven’t spent much time with us as a couple, so it was important that the ceremony served as a chance to bring everyone into our love story and it did exactly that! Unfortunately, right after the ceremony the skies opened and poured, however, the most beautiful rainbow appeared after. I lost both my grandfathers in the past few years, and it felt like their way of showing that they were there with us in spirit. After the ceremony and cocktail hour, we made our way to the beach for dinner and dancing. The coolest moment was seeing all our loved ones out on the dance floor having a great time.
Getting to spend quality time and make new memories with our friends and family.
The day after our wedding we chartered a catamaran and explored Isla Mujeres. On the boat ride back, as the sun was setting, I looked around at all my closest friends and family in one place taking in the beautiful views, and (as cheesy as it sounds) it was so heartwarming. I can’t explain how loved and blessed I felt to have these people there with me at that moment.
I can’t count the ways!
From making our guests feel comfortable about booking and traveling, to assisting with rescheduling our wedding, to helping me get a new coordinator assigned when I felt like my planning was stalling. Our wedding would not have been possible without Kate.