A BRIEF story of us.

Hello everyone and welcome to our new blog!

This is Maria, we have reached  this  year 18 years of Life at weddingsinplaya.com. Finally we can vote ( or drink)!

Many clients ask us: what is your  story?

how did you become  wedding planners?

how did you land here in Playa del Carmen?

Today we  will  unveil  the story of us, Erica and Maria. 

We were born in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, a region of great wines (Picolit, among all) and intense wind (bora winds can  arrive to  160Km/h in winter through the Julian Alps). 

I am the  third of three and Erica is only child, but she grew up with her 3  cousins just next to her.

Here is me at one, in the middle, with my two Brothers. They are honorary bros. to Erica as well!

 

Growing up in a little village, even if  Leonardo Da Vinci created  the project, is boring ( I tried running away at 2 years old  but I  was found on the  road, happily walking, by a neighbour). Erica, born 6 years later, was facing  the same challenges.

Finally one  day in 1990, one cold day in October, we met. It was Fun at  first sight! We recognised a kindred spirit in one another and we decided to have a  good time, whenever we could.

It was a great friendship and we planned a lot of trips and adventures together…. one summer we left with our motorbikes for Rimini, in the Italian Riviera, on board of our Vespa and Ciao, for a long haul of 390 Km… Needless to say it was a cool adventure and a fond memory!

Over the years we lived in different countries: Erica left for Shangai and I went to Australia. After 16 months around the  world, after many countries and many beers, at the beginning of 1996, i first saw Playa Del Carmen: it was  a simple paradise: 5th Ave. stopped at  8th street  and Constituyentes was jungle! Can you believe it?

I fell in love!

This was Playa   in 1996. All green…. Porto Real Hotel had not been built and neither the others. I found a job at Viva Maya and  met the future husband i did not know  I was going to marry. 

  Destiny is grand and after a year in Playa I went to live in Texas, happy new mother  of a baby girl, born in 1998, Skylar. Erica came to  visit me and my husband, Sharky, in Houston and assisted to the birth. Happy times! And life flies: we move back to Playa in 1999. Immediately Erica and I got together, just to find out that she was pregnant with Maia, who was born in  the year 2000, another incredibly happy event! Here they are, all grown!

 

 

But back to business: in 2001, Erica was working at the famous Yaxche’ Mayan Restaurant and was getting a few inquires from American  couples to organise a wedding  in Mexico. I owned the Coffee Press, a cafe’  for  expats that used to wake up  at 7a or return from the  beach  at that time after the party….

One day we  were chit chatting and she blurted out: What do you think, Maria, do you want  to enter into business and do weddings together?

I said YES I do ( right in theme… ahaha), and that was 18 years ago.

There was only another wedding planner in town, Brenda, an American restaurant owner that organised weddings at her restaurant.

The first year we planned 3 weddings, asking very little money and making a lot of mistakes.

We knew a Mayan shaman and started organising Mayan weddings first at Yaxche’ and then in many other locations.

Then we started getting an education from the best, going to courses and meetings in Usa, like Weddings MBA and courses with Alan Berg.

Once we were on our 3rd years, we were making some sense. On our 10th  year, about 30 more  wedding planners  started to work in town, now we  have celebrated over 500 weddings! What i love about wedding planning is that for 1 year,  you are the confidential sister of the couple. Then after the wedding has ended, you  go  back to being  nobody: it’s healthy for the  ego!

Life has been a wonderful gift, i still meet  a lot of ex clients that 15 yrs later come to Playa with their kids and stop by to say hi:  we love to see how our clients have kept the promise of Love of their wedding day and transformed into a lovely family!

Photo courtesy of A. E.

So, this is our Story,

we have been so lucky to arrive in  Playa at a time when there  was so much opportunity, so little people, so much  to live. We know that.

We can only  say:

Gracias, Playa. Gracias to all of our  clients, past and future, that love us, support us and  believe in us. We give  the best to all of  you!

Wedding trends 2019: it’s all about You!

Hola everyone,

i hope you all are having a great 2019.

This is Maria here offering a personal and uber selected array of wedding trends for 2019. Ready?

First of all, let’s keep something very clear: it’s YOUR wedding.

Not your mama’s, not your sister’s and not your best friend’s.

So get personal! Hire vendors you connect with on a personal level, not just the ones that suit your aesthetic or budget, you will be working with your planner for a year or more so it would be grand if you 3 click.

You 2 are the heroes of this story and you 2 are going to decide together what is important to the  both of you. Never mind grandma wants a Catholic Wedding: if you want to get married by  a Mayan shaman on the beach at the sound of drums on a full moon, that is what grandma should see (and she will like it too, because your happiness is her happiness).

Be bold enough to be you: aren’t you worth it?

I always tell my clients : this is YOUR day  and you pick how the day will unfold… so go big.
This year’s trends finally are listening to the wisdom of the centuries (ours! LOL): that’s why I am particularly excited about  them and happy to introduce my top fav coming up in 2019.

They’re proof that these major life events are becoming more and more about the couple : weddings are getting more personalised and that is a great sign!

No more FOMO nor following the trend: you are  the trend, you never missed out anything, because you are creating this Moment!

The year is shaping up to be one of the most incredible wedding seasons ever.

So here we go:

1.

Be you

I  never address this topic long enough  but mark my words: this is the one day that will be in your memory forever: why not just go all the way?

if you  like purple, go purple.

If you want to get married in moody colours, go with them (colour will feature more heavily than in previous years, think deep shades like burgundy and hunter green for a striking and moody look to your day or mix several shades from the same palette to create a fresh style….gowns with asymmetrical elements will also be trendy… bridesmaids no longer in same colour but shades of same palette…)

 

This one-shoulder dress is from Justin Alexander’s spring 2019 collection. Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock

2.

Smaller weddings but unique experiences

No one wants to have a cookie cutter wedding or copy  Meghan Markle and her prince: the trend now is

THINK UNIQUE

Expect 50 to 70 guests weddings but a lot of flare.

We will see more planners getting out there to  create a journey and experience for all the guests to enjoy…  not only on the wedding day but also at welcome parties and post wedding brunches (sometimes on a catamaran, sometimes in a cave), something we have always done and got rewarded with lots of loving gratitude from our over 500 clients (yep we have started in 2001, many of our clients are parents and soon will be celebrating 20  years married… Erica Bressan how come we got so grown-ish up?)

 

Photo Alessandro Banchelli

www.photostudioab.com

www.weddingmexicophotography.com

3.

Food : artistic edible displays

Food as art, amazingly yummy and beautiful to look at!! that is a trend i relate too, as Italian. Many couples are ditching traditional wedding buffets for more memorable options. Popular examples of interactive food stations include tequila tasting with meat and veggie tacos, ceviche bars and churros carts.
Also a trend: grazing receptions, where there won’t be a sit down dinner but more of a selection of different appetisers and snacks with something for everyone, from the vegan to the meat lover. Tom and Jon you are totally 2019!!

Also a trend: less traditional array of seating elements and more fluid use of space: high top tables, pillows and carpets to create a Maroccan suuk with hookas and belly dancers, use of beach chairs covered with Mexican blankets, use of indigenous art like Huichol and Otomi…. in a word: Whimsical!

Photo subject to Author’s right

4.

Greenery instead of too many flowers, but also colours!!

We love palms leaves, they  are cheap and beautiful! So many brides are chosing the option of a mostly  green arch or bouquet.  But also bright and rich colours… You can incorporate these colours in all aspects of your wedding decor from table settings, candles, linens and florals. Turquoise is definitely one of the key colours for 2019… Coral as well.

Matt and Holly, you are trendy!

Photo Alessandro Banchelli

www.photostudioab.com

www.weddingmexicophotography.com

5.

Meaningful ceremonies: variety and real feel

We love our couples and we would love to see something personal in every ceremony. Whether it’s writing vows that tell an untold story, a touching song from your brother or the newest and original rings warming passage (all guests pass the rings in a pouch and hold them in their hands sending their blessed energy to the couple), we love that unique touch that talks about you. Also signs in all languages and fonts!!

Lots of unexpected twists on the traditional wedding in the year….

 

Photos subject to Author’s right

So you got the idea: it’s all about you! We are here to simply send an invitation: an invitation to living  every  moment fulfilled. We want to invite you to a dance that will never cease to amaze you. The dance is your  life. The invitation is to live it in joy, amazement and infinite Bliss. Your guests will thank you. And years from now, the memories will be amazing!!!! 

10 Things I’ve Learned After Planning 500 Weddings

Tips from Maria, seasoned wedding planner directly for YOU

1. Everyone has an OPINION
Daytime wedding, nighttime wedding, summer or winter, catering or restaurant… Everyone in your family (and your partner’s) will chip in. It’ll be mostly coming from a place of love, but let them gently realise that the only people who have to decide is you and your fiancee.

talking

 

2. Decisions, decisions…
To make a plan, you need to define what you like. Open the web and start checking sites like Pinterest, WeddingWire, Best Destination Wedding and Weddings In Playa – these sites have the ability to transport you to thousands of weddings in 5 minutes. Take notes, be bold, have fun!

 

3. It’s important to get on the same page as your families before planning anything
Details that might seem obvious, like who’s paying for it, what the budget will be, and what the priorities are. Very important, if your parents pay; make them feel important. Everyone loves and greets appreciation!

dollar-1362244_960_720

 

4. Yes, it’s YOUR day, but it’s also important to your whole family
When starting the planning process, fighting for stuff that is only important to one, can end rather unpleasantly, sometimes even with tears. Understand that the day is a dream come true not just for you, but also for your parents, so if we need to have a religious ceremony in order for them to be happy, we might be able to come to a happy medium. Pick your fights!

 

5. There will be some conflicts between the 2 of you and that’s OK
To you, the song you pick for your first dance is super important. For him, it’s all about what’s going to be served at the open bar – you have different priorities!

Take a deep breath and just remember that you’re both under intense pressure trying to plan the perfect day, and that you’re always going to be different people with different ideas. Talk about everything, explain why you’re passionate about certain things, and maybe take a whole day with each other to just hang out and forget about the wedding so you can enjoy each other’s company instead. It sounds like a self-help book, but I promise that it works.

spendtime

 

6. Some guests are a headache
The majority of people understand the unwritten rules and know that they have to RSVP on time. Others are going to tell you last minute that they can’t make it, making you end up footing the food and drink bill.

It happens at every wedding. It’s normal to get stressed and frustrated so do your best to spot the unwanted and try to be on top of it. Either you accept that they might not come or misbehave or you don’t invite them. Easy!

badguest

 

7. Dress shopping can be tough!!
And it can be a nightmare because, contrary to popular belief, no dress is going to fit you like Cinderella’s slipper right out of the box. There are a number of designs and designers you’ll love, so don’t worry. Start shopping early!
8. Be aware of the weather conditions
Beach weddings generally mean a lot of wind: I also love candles but unless it’s a quiet evening they won’t stay lit.

Same for your hairdo: if the wind blows, an updo is best…

windyhair

 

9. EAT
Ask the catering service or restaurant manager to assign someone to follow you around.

Everyone will tell you that you will be going to be too busy to eat or drink on your wedding day because you’re going to be running around at the reception. Get ready! Assign a waiter to cater to both of you and all will be well!

thing3

 

10. ENJOY YOURSELF
It’s true that the day is going to fly by, but it’s really going to fly by if you’re not having fun. Don’t worry about it if someone doesn’t look comfortable or if your cousin is having a fight with his girlfriend. Enjoy your party because it goes fast.

What’s truly important is the fact that you’re marrying the love of your life.

 

11! Wedding planners are your best friends
It’s an extra cost that will hinder your budget BUT they have done this a million times before, so by giving them the reigns you can actually enjoy your own wedding. It is very easy to hire people to manage timing, amount of alcohol per person, and negotiations with the florist and every one else.

E&M

Crucial Wedding Tips

13 Tips from your Pro Wedding Planners

You can thank us later!

 

1. Try On Your Dress

Try on your wedding dress 3 days before your wedding and check how to open it to go to wee and dance – the best way to wee is facing the wall and lifting the anterior part.

 

2. Appoint A Best Friend

You don’t want to be bothered with a million little things on your wedding day, and believe me, there will BE so appoint a best friend help out. You’ll need someone to hold onto your phone and field the texts, they can let you know if something truly disastrous is happening that needs your immediate attention and also FEED you before the wedding. With all the morning jitters, you’re likely to forget. And you definitely don’t want to put any champagne into your system without having a snack first!

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3. Shoes!

You will need 3 pairs of shoes: slippers for the getting ready, high heels or cool shoes for the ceremony and easy comfy shoes for the DANCE!

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4. Break In Your Shoes

Soften up your wedding shoes before the big day without getting them dirty – see this great post from Wedding Party

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5. Introduce Everybody

Arrange for your wedding party to meet and get to know each other before the wedding. It’ s likely they all are friends but, just in case, why not have dinner or drinks with all of them 1 month before and enjoy the pleasure of their company while they mingle?

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6. Cream Or Fondant?

Don’t make the mistake of picking the wrong icing for you cake – buttercream, ganache, whipped cream, pastry creams (sometimes called creme patissiere), and cream cheese icings can melt so go for rolled fondant and marzipan-iced cakes if you’re having a hot, outdoor wedding.

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7. Save The Date

Got a wedding website? Make sure to include a call to action reminding to guests to Save The Date. (don’t have a wedding website? speak to Pixel Fields)

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8. Wedding Photos

Noon is harsh so don’t schedule your photo shoot to early – the best light is 2 hours before sunset, so enjoy it!

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9. Clean Your Rings

Have your ring professionally cleaned – your jeweller will most likely do it for virtually nothing and  you can enjoy a prismatic extra sparkly ring for your photos.

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10. Guestbook

Don’t just go for the standard guestbook, be creative and come up with something different. Some of the coolest we’ve seen are wishes on rocks, shells, painted on a canvas or even sung accompanied by a recorder! There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest.

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11. The List

It’s most important that you put together a forget-me-not bag or list of items to take with you like the marriage certificate, rings, contact lenses/glasses, everything you can think of. Let your mother and/or sister know about it too in case you partied a bit too much!

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12. Learn How To Say NO!

Lean how to respectfully say NO, because that is something you will need at some point in your planning (your mom’s old wedding dress or your uncle singing might be great… or not). Learn how to be firm and clear on what you won’t do and with love and compassion learn to say ‘NO thanks’.

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13. Last But Not Least

THIS IS A PARTY and the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun. Life is too short (and your wedding day will fly by) to hold a grudge or be angry because the candles didn’t stay lit so dance, drink and be merry!

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