Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper

I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This helps me support my blog and my family at no extra cost to you.

Allie Harper Moore is the irreverent mind behind Allie's New Day – a blog about her life AND PUGS!!! Jen is a devoted member of Tulle Nation who shared her engagement ring shopping experience and pre-engagement photot shoot with y'all. Today, she's back and sharing her destination wedding planning experience.

Allie Harper Moore is the irreverent mind behind Allie's New Day
– a blog about her life AND PUGS!!! Allie is a devoted member of Tulle Nation who shared her engagement ring shopping experience and pre-engagement photot shoot with y'all. Today, she's back and sharing her destination wedding planning experience.

Allie's New Day

Allie
remembers her destination wedding day as, "Seriously
amazing! It was a total dream wedding. We had perfect weather, a fantastic
venue at the resort, and all of our very closest family and friends. And I was
marrying the love of my life. We had a very touching and meaningful ceremony on
the beach, followed by a kick ass party by the pool."

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

Read on for an exclusive interview with Allie Harper Moore of Allie's New Day and her "Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples"…

How did you determine the wedding’s budget and
who contributed what?

We
knew early on that we would pay for our wedding ourselves. That was a big part
in choosing a destination wedding. Ultimately, my MIL decided to pay for a DJ
for us (that wasn’t in our budget), and my parents also gave us some cash. We
were very grateful for both of their contributions to our wedding!

How
did you keep track of your wedding planning (book, planner, Excel, other)?

I’m
an Excel whore and a dedicated list maker. I had lists in Excel – the budget,
the guest list, seating list, resort/room list, invite list, RSVP list – you
get the idea. It worked for me! And I saved it all in a folder called “Wedding
Shit” on my laptop. Because it made me laugh every time I opened it.

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

When
you discussed the wedding, what 5 things where most important to the two of
you?

Getting
married on the beach was one of the few things I’d envisioned for my wedding.
My (now) husband wanted to be sure we had great food and good music for our
reception. We both wanted our closest friends and family to be a part of this
celebration. And we didn’t want it to be super formal or traditional.

How
did you incorporate those 5 things into your wedding?

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

We
picked an all inclusive resort that is known for their gourmet food. It didn’t
disappoint! My husband picked a lot of the music choices for the reception, and
I filled in with my favorites (Bon Jovi anyone?! Who says “Living on a Prayer”
isn’t the best last-song?!). The DJ’s stuck to our playlist (and our
do-not-playlist), and we danced all night. We didn’t include many traditions
like throwing the bouquet and garter, or some of the formalities like a wedding
party (we felt all of our guests were our wedding party).

Could
you share some wedding planning advice for newly engaged couples?

Do
what you love. This day is all about the two of you. Friends and family will do
everything they can to make it about them. And you can choose ways to
incorporate and/or make them happy – but only if it makes YOU happy.

Where
did you splurge and where did you save?

We
splurged on our photography and the resort for our destination wedding. We
chose the higher end resort for their gourmet inclusive program (El Dorado
Royale in Riviera Maya
). The service was beyond amazing! All of our guests
raved about the resort, and we can’t wait to go back for our first anniversary!

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie HarperWedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

The other splurge was photography – this is what captured how truly special our
day was. I have been good friends with Amber of Lotus Blossom
Photography
for several years, and have watched her business grow. She has
the best eye and I’ve always loved her work. I was thrilled when she was
willing to let us hire her for our wedding (and bonus – party with a friend!!).
It was worth every penny, and I really couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing
every minute of our celebration.

Could
you share a favorite DIY project from your
wedding?

My
semi-DIY invitations were my favorite. Another great friend – Amanda of Little Bean Shop designed
our wedding paper suite for us, and I embellished the invite with a handmade
Japanese paper sash, twine, and a sand dollar medallion (putting those paper
crafting skills to good use!).

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

I did a lot of other DIY including cupcake
toppers (designed again by Amanda, assembled by me), paper straw flags, our
welcome bags, tears of joy packets (because nearly everyone boo-hoo’d at the
ceremony!), and a few other little things.

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

Did you use any
tutorials or downloads from other websites/blogs while planning your
wedding?

Planning
a destination wedding to a resort and area I’ve never been to can be very
nervewracking! And it’s true, they operate on a totally different timetable
than US weddings. In the earliest days, choosing your wedding day, time and
venues are the only decisions. Then you have until about 60 days out to decide
the rest of the details. And me being the consummate planner, I wanted
everything DONE and NOW. So it was a little frustrating at time. And it
required a lot of faith in the staff in Mexico. But they seriously pulled it
all off!

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

Having
said all of that, Bestdestinationswedding.com
was a LIFESAVER. I was been able to learn from past brides who got married at
our resort, and share ideas with other destinations brides. I got so much
inspiration and encouragement from the other brides, with no cattiness. I still
enjoy the forum, and giving back to brides who are getting married at our
resort. In fact, I loved it so much, that I’m the Ambassador for the El Dorado Resorts
on the site. The site is owned by Wright Travel Agency, and they are experts in
destination weddings. There are brides who have had and are having destination
weddings all over the world (Italy anyone? Florida? Mexico? Jamaica? Hawaii?
YES!!).

Did
you have to handle any tricky or delicate issues while planning your wedding
and how did you cope with them?

As
with any wedding, there are bumps and spats and hiccups along the way. A
destination wedding is no exception to this rule (although I will say it was a
lot less stressful than planning a US wedding would have been).

The
toughest situation we had was with my sister, who has three kids. I really
wanted her to be at our wedding, but I wasn’t willing to compromise my dream destination
wedding for something that was more convenient for her. She ultimately decided
not to attend the wedding, and we had to both make peace with that decision. I
certainly missed having her with me that day, but ultimately it was her choice
and there was nothing I could do to change it. I focused instead on celebrating
with the friends and family that were there with us.

Could
you share some wedding day advice for newly engaged couples?

Don’t
sweat the small stuff. If it’s not a deal-killer, just let it go. There were
things that could have been different or better or whatever on our wedding day
– but it didn’t change the fact that we were getting married, and were
surrounded by love. On your day, that’s what’s really important too. Not the
fact that your closest girl friends skipped the informal cocktail hour in favor
of snacks at the beach bar. (whatevs!)

Could
you share your favorite photo from the day and tell us why you love it?

Wedding Advice for Newly Engaged Couples: Allie Harper
Image Courtesy of: Lotus Blossom
Photography

I
have so many favorites! The benefit of loving your photographer I suppose. This
one really shows off how much fun we were having. We spent so much of our day
laughing together. It also reminds me just how gorgeous our setting was. This
is right behind the gazebo where we had our ceremony.

*******

Thank you, Allie! I loved how you shared your dilemma with your sister and her kids – it can be such a tricky situation to handle. Be sure to
follow Allie over on her blog, Allie's New Day, and on Twitter!

Would you like to ask Allie any questions about her wedding experience? Leave a comment and we'll try to get back with you!

  • Allie M.

    thanks for sharing our wonderful day & wedding planning experience Chris! you Rock!