My family is planning to stay in Tulum the week of Nov. 20th of this year. We have a rental house on the beach arranged, tickets purchased, etc. What we need now is a wedding. Allow me to (attempt to) explain.
My sister got engaged over a year ago. Originally, the wedding was going to be in Juneau, Alaska (where she lives). However, as they scouted spots, they found that there were very limited options. She decided to rent out a B & B in the outskirts and go the wedding tent option. However, the one tent company there is known to be really unreliable, and the more they tried to plan the more stressful things got. They then began to consider a wedding in Mexico.
The "important" relatives were called and asked if their attending a destination wedding in Mexico would financially be feasible. Everyone said yes. The planning began. Save the date cards were sent out.
An all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen was chosen, and my sister began working with a wedding coordinator through destinationweddings.com. My family bought airline tickets. The couple was in the process of looking at flowers and food when the coordinator quit the company. My sister had to start over with a new coordinator. When she did so, she learned that the first coordinator had been incorrect with many of her facts, including minimum stays at the resort, pricing for guests attending the wedding but not staying at the resort, etc. Stress again.
The dress was shopped for (fly to Anchorage to shop) and ordered. When it came in for the fitting (fly to Anchorage again) they had ordered it two sizes too big. It had to be reordered and then fitted on a third trip.
Then, the mother-in-law announces that she cannot, afterall, afford to make the trip. My sister and her fiance could not afford to pay for the in-law's trip. However, our family had already bought airline tickets and plans had been made! My sister could not imagine her fiance getting married without his family there, so they began to look into Alaska once again. Their thought was that they would pay the fees to change the airline tickets. Back to trying to find a location in Juneau. No go. His hometown (home island) was being considered when our mother pulled out HER cards and said that she would not be traveling to Alaska, as she already had her tickets to Mexico, everyone asked has said that yes, they would go, etc.
The wedding was put on hold, and the family decided that we would still go to Mexico together, but just as a family vacation, and not at an AI.
Meanwhile, my sister tried to buy their tickets to Mexico with their companion fare discount, and learned that starting in October (months down the road) Alaskan Airlines would no longer be flying direct to Cancun, so they would have to pay full price for both tickets.
The real kicker came in July. A fisherman by trade, the fiance's boat sank at sea. Thankfully, he made it out alive. However, it was a complete loss, and in Alaska, one cannot insure wooden boats. They were devistated, both emotionally and financially. However, since the Mexico trip was already bought and paid for, they decided they would still go.
Fast foward to about a week ago, and my sister called to say that they would like to do a ceremony on the beach in Tulum while we are there. It would be a symbolic ceremony, with only the eight of us (total) there, and they would make it official in the states. However, obviously there is very little money available for such an affair. I told her that I would find a way to plan something.
I contacted a few wedding planners in the Tulum area, but they require $1000-2000 dollars simply for a consulting fee. That isn't a possibility for us. My vision is for us to do the ceremony on the beach at our rental at sunset. I like the idea of tiki torches lighting the way, some sort of arch at the end of the "aisle" and some flowers. I know that planners offer these options but again, I cannot afford the planner fee. Instead, if it is possible, I would like for my family to put this together for my sister and her fiance.
Where/who do I contact for an officiant for the ceremony?
Is there a place in Tulum, or even Playa, where I could purchase tiki torches, etc.? Would any of the companies rent them to me?
Where should I shop for flowers? I would need some for decorating and some to fashion a bouquet.
Is there an affordable photographer that you would recommend?
For after the ceremony, I envison a champagne toast on the beach, and then going to a restaurant somewhere afterwards. Again, since there are so few of us, we wouldn't need it catered. However, I do need suggestions on where to go. I'd like to "party it up" a bit afterwards, as well. Thoughts?
If anyone can help me with any of the above, I would be most grateful. I work full-time, have two little kids, and am overwhelmed with this mission with so little time to work with.