Friday, August 20, 2010

the truth about mexico.

um, hi. it's been about 100 years since i've typed a word on here. sorry about that. life has been, uh, hectic. in the best possible way. sittinginatree is growing more than we ever expected. there have been some real pinch-me moments. life is goooooooood.

but for months and months i have meant to get on this little old blog and tell the true story of my wedding. because i never did. it was the best damn night of my life. but a lot has gone unsaid. so 5 months later, here goes...

i am possibly insane. and a bit of a dreamer with some lofty aspirations. but i'm also very, very sure about what i want. when i make up my mind there is nothing that can stop me (sfbride and a.h. know this very well). so let me just say that there were NO misunderstandings or miscommunication about what should take place on my wedding day. *some people may see it another way.

for months leading up to our wedding i had an excel spreadsheet of all our guests' reservations (given to me by the management of the hotel) that i carefully monitored. a month beforehand the room arrangements started to change. people who had never met were booked in the same rooms. some no longer had rooms and had gone missing from the spreadsheet. the villas were slowly being sold off in a real estate deal and the hotel management was not communicating to the new owners about existing reservations. nor were they communicating to us. it was bc of our stalker like behavior that we discovered all the mistakes that were taking place. and two of the displaced people happened to be my parents. my parents that were renting 5 of the 20 something villas for an entire week no longer had a room. special.

the morning of my wedding i bawled my eyes out. i was told at 8am that i would be kicked out of my room at noon and moved to the "honeymoon villa" at 3pm. after real estate photos were shot of the space. real estate photos that were just scheduled the day before. after months of communication and assurances from the hotel about getting into the honeymoon villa very early that morning so we could all get ready and take pretty, pretty pictures. so at 8am on my wedding day when they told me that for 3 hours all my luggage, my sister, me, and my two friends, would have to sit on the hotel's lawn like homeless instead of getting ready and sipping champagne, i kinda had a meltdown (understatement of the year). thank you, thank you, miss sarah yates, for saving the day. she charged in there and demanded they make things right and find a home for the weeping bride. before 3 pm. hours before the wedding, with my hair sopping wet and my sister in rollers, we climbed 200 steps to the honeymoon villa carrying 5 rounds of luggage, flowers, dresses, diy projects, and vases, sweating like donkeys (the hotel staff had suddenly gone missing). by 2 pm we had officially relocated. we had no idea what was where from moving, but we had a home.

for six months prior to march i had been shipping boxes and boxes of gold lanterns and decorations slowly but surely to mexico. said boxes were received by *some people. and tracked by me. the day of our wedding about 1/3 of these things were present. at this point, i shrugged my shoulders. i wasn't surprised.

at 3pm, the wedding coordinator quit and took her staff with her. she shoved plates in sfbride's face and told her she could 'set the tables and do everything herself'. sfbride and my mom rallied aunts and friends from the beach, alongside my sister (still in rollers and pajamas) to set up the reception for the 5 pm wedding. it was on that day that sfbride officially became a wedding coordinator, organizing a team of guests on how to execute my vision.

at 4pm sewage began leaking from a nearby bathroom into the ceremony area. my aunt and uncle sat and sopped it up with towels and grass mats. the hotel staff was again, nowhere to be found (and to everyone's credit, i had no idea about this until later that evening).

in addition to all this special, special stuff, i had food poisoning. i had to stop my friend from doing my hair every 5 minutes to vomit.

the clock kept ticking. i got ready. my friends and family arranged everything. my mom and sister pulled on their dresses a minute prior to photos. i put on my dress and suddenly i felt like a million bucks. i decided to forget the day's events. and seriously, the second i saw a.h. all of that was gone. melted away. while everyone around me wept (my dad, my sister, my mom, and then, during the ceremony, my husband, like a baby) i was cool as a cucumber. it was an out of body experience. i've never been happier than standing there around all the people i love, saying our vows. and hearing a.h.'s. magic. pure magic. for a moment all was perfect in the universe.

and then...

i'm a vegetarian. i've been one for over 16 years. i don't even know what meat tastes like anymore. and a.h. really only eats fish. so, we weren't about to serve meat at our wedding- because that would kinda forgo the whole "it's our wedding and we'll do it our way" thing. we re-worked the menu at villa amor with *some people about 100 times (in writing) until we got what we wanted: a fish and veggie taco bar. fun. casual. no cows harmed in the process. the night of our wedding i never ate. not because i was busy. or still sick. but because it was a meat and potatoes mid-west fest. there were no tacos. no tortillas. no fish. and hardly any vegetables.

as daytime turned to a dimly lit night, i looked overhead. the 9 strands of lights i had ordered through some people to light the reception sure. were. dim. that's because there were 10 light bulbs. when asked where all the strands of lights were, we were told that yes, the bride had very specifically told *some people that i wanted 9 bulbs. but there were, count them, 10 bulbs. not 9. ha! and as i said, i'm not a wishy washy kinda gal. i know what i had ordered (and read over on the invoice, where we were clearly charged for 9 strands of lights alongside a fish and veggie taco bar).

and frankly, the list goes on. it was a chaotic mess. we had to ask for them to serve dinner after it became obvious they wouldn't do it on their own. my contact and email buddy for 1 year prior (who had attended college in the us. no language barrier to blame) had simply not really paid attention to anything that came out of my mouth, or my computer, or to the photos i sent. she was so overworked that all her clients were blending together. and the biggest issue of all was that no one every apologized. and really, that's all we wanted. was for her, and the hotel, to say 'we made a mistake'.

and with all that, i would still do it again in a heartbeat. i would still get married at villa amor and endure all those crazy people working there and the lack of organization. it was my dream location and could not have been more perfect had it been in my dreams. and i would still send other brides there (after they read this). there was not a more perfect night in my life. the setting was magic (a ceremony next to the sea under a tree dripping in flowers. a specific location on the property i had begged to let me use. not part of their normal procedures) and the reception even better (there's that 200 step climb again. up a jungle-y hillside of crumbling stairways, overlooking the entire town and ocean below) . i've never laughed or cried or danced so hard in my life. or felt so blissfully happy or so loved. and it was the 60 most perfect guests. and when people tell me it was the best wedding they've ever been to, i actually believe them. because it really was.

so, i'm not telling that story because it was such a horrible experience (dramatic, for sure). i'm telling it because everyone has things go wrong at their wedding (ok, i kinda had more than normal) and it shouldn't matter. you have to get over it and enjoy the hell out of that moment. you never get that time with those people and those emotions again (so who cares if there's meat at your wedding!) and trust me, i pinch myself all the time and try to get back there somehow. hell, i want to move there i loved it so much. so yes, i didn't eat. didn't have half the decor i had methodically planned out. my guests became staff. i didn't slowly get ready and sit and laugh with my girlfriends. but damn, was it a good night. the best. wedding. ever.

so, if you're still reading, that's the truth about mexico. sorry for the novel. i had 5 months to edit, after all.



*some people refers to my bff at villa amor, the wedding coordinator from hell, that taught me all about how to be a better coordinator for my clients.

**special thanks to sarah yates (for always being on my team and being bratty to people when i couldn't do it anymore) and michael antonia (for making me forget all the bad things in my dancing frenzy and making grandmas and parents move like never before) and sfbride (for standing up for what i wanted while i was busy barfing) and to all the amazing loved ones that came and celebrated our love in sayulita. we would do it over and over and over again with all of you. i couldn't have asked for anything more (except maybe some food i could eat).


  1. I'm so sorry to hear you had such difficulty with coordinating your wedding. We got married at Villa Amor last month and had a seemless, wonderfully coordinated, perfect wedding. We left all of the details up to the staff at Villa Amor and had no complaints. Karen was a dream, as was the entire staff. They all went above and beyond for us.

  2. wow. i am so sorry that things were so crazy on your wedding day! kudos to you for not letting things ruin the magic of marrying your husband. i just had two bridesmaids quit because i asked the the dress be ordered from a specific store & i've been really bummed. thank you for the reminder that all that truly matters is marring my best friend.

  3. omg! i didn't know about the food poisoning OR the sewage leak! (of course during said sewage leak i was frantically setting up chairs, lighting candles and taking pictures- simultaneously!) :) it's true, your wedding was magic for everyone involved in spite of all of the madness. i bet most of your guests didn't know about the majority of this. and on the day of, you handled everything so incredibly well. i think most bries would have experienced a meltdown around cocktail hour. you are amazing. i miss your wedding, get weepy just reading about it. xoxo sarah

  4. thank you for writing this...
    as i approach my own wedding, at a destination location with many of my own crazy details melting into the plan, i know i'll have some stories to tell of my own. it's just the odds. but i also know by this that everything will be ok however it turns out and i'm actually pretty stoked to start the adventure of it all.

  5. Truth be told, “blogs”, and “bloggings” were made for personalities like yours...So? On to the next life catastrophe/meltdown :) Sounds like it ended up being an amazing Day/Wedding/Trip, and came together to your level of "acceptance" ...Be well, and stay sane :)

    As with everything life...

    "It always ends up working out, one way or another…"


    As my Grandmother always said, "This too shall pass..."

  6. So glad you finally told us about 'your' perfect day.... sometimes beauty and perfection is in the eye of the beholder...Maybe it was all those mishaps that helped you to see how truly loved and special you and your Hubs relationshio is - esp surrounded by all your amazing friends and family!!!

    Oh and thanks for making me cry my eyes out reading this, at my desk at work!!

    xx- T

    ps - I have missed you and SFbride dearly - comeback!!! But glad sitting in a tree is doing so well!

  7. I'm kinda glad I read this post. We've been thinking of spending our honeymoon at Villa Amor, but I don't want to end up with it turning out to be a disaster. I'm glad you were able to pull through and enjoy your wedding! I'm not sure I could have done it!

  8. Then how come other people had an amazing wedding there? If you name your blog entry "The truth about Mexico", don't expect too much. You always get what you give...

  9. wow. just wow. not sure I have any other words! I'm so glad you were able to look past all this and have the most amazing night of your life, that is the power of love!! From one detail-obsessed bride to another, my blood was boiling for you when I read this, but truly admirable that you were able to enjoy yourself nonetheless! Congrats again!