The Vendors Who Helped Make Our Wedding “The Best Day Ever”

For the past year and a half, March 24th, 2016 has been what I considered the “best day of my life”. That was the day Ethan proposed to me and it will always be incredibly special to me, but I’m not sure anything can compare to September 16th, 2017, the day we finally got to say “I do”.

As you know, we spent a long time planning for our wedding, and once it finally came, I was beyond excited. Everyone tells you to mentally prepare yourself for something to go wrong, “because inevitably, something will go wrong. Trust me”, they said. But at the end of the night when we got back to our hotel, Ethan asked me if there was anything I would’ve changed about the day, and my answer was no. I could not have imagined a more perfect day. Sure, there were tiny little things here and there that may not have gone 100% according to plan, or that didn’t align with my incredibly detailed itinerary, but when it all came down to it, I was so happy with the way the entire weekend went.

I have a lot of amazing people to thank for that, including our friends, family and vendors. I wanted to write up a post specifically to recognize all of the amazing people who pulled together to help make our wedding day so wonderful. I was so pleased with every single person who played a role in the day, and I hope that some of you are able to take advantage of their services in the future as well. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed!

I will warn you; this is a little lengthy, but I have given the vendors big headings so you can hopefully skip to whichever ones you are most interested in, OR you can just read them all because you are that awesome. ; ) I have provided contact information for each vendor as well as a link to their website (if applicable; please note the links just look like bolded text, so hold the mouse over the words to see if it’s a link), but if you have any additional questions about any of them, please feel free to comment below, DM me on Instagram, or email me at wellnessforthewin@gmail.com.

Table of Contents:

  • Ceremony/Reception Venue
  • Wedding Dress & Veil
  • Hair Stylist
  • Makeup Artist
  • Wedding Cake
  • Florist
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • DJ
  • Photo Booth
  • Bridesmaids Dresses
  • Tuxedo Rentals
  • Engagement Ring
  • Calligraphy / Lettering
  • Save the Dates / Invitations
  • Rehearsal Dinner Venue
  • Cookies
  • Travel Agency
  • Honeymoon Resort / Details
  • Snacks & Lunch for Wedding Day

Okay, y’all. Here goes nothing.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Terrace on Grand

I can’t say enough positive things about our experience with Terrace on Grand leading up to the big day, as well as on our actual wedding day. Emad and Maggie were both so incredibly helpful and accommodating throughout the planning process, and did everything they could to make sure we would be more than satisfied (especially myself, the bride). They made note of every special request I had during each meeting, and they made it happen. They even remembered exactly how I liked my salad and my favorite dressing, and made me my own personal salad for our wedding night. They did all the big things right, but the little things like that really stood out to me the most. The staff was amazing on the night of our wedding, and the food (from their caterer) was delicious. The rooftop provided the most beautiful setting for our ceremony, and was exactly what I had imagined. Luckily the rain held off until right after it was over. 😉 Maggie contacted all of my vendors during the week of our wedding to coordinate drop off/pick up times, which saved me so much time and stress during that final week. If anything went wrong behind the scenes, I had no idea because they took care of everything, and it all came together perfectly in the end. When they tell you that you do not need a wedding coordinator (especially for the day of), they are not kidding. Maggie and Emad know exactly what they are doing and have so much experience in this venue, so no one else would be able to execute it as well as they can. Not needing a wedding coordinator also saved us a lot of money, which was important to me. As a bride, you have a lot of responsibility and to-do’s leading up to the wedding, and sometimes you want an answer right away. That was never a problem at Terrace on Grand. If I sent an email to either Emad or Maggie, I got a response almost immediately. Maggie in particular helped with our rehearsal and wedding day and I can’t thank her enough for making sure my day was perfect. It was an absolute dream and I wish I could relive it over and over! Thank you so much to Maggie, Emad and the entire staff at TOG that make bride’s dreams come true. I would highly recommend Terrace on Grand to anyone looking for a beautiful venue in the Kansas City area.

Check them out on The Knot as well for more pictures and reviews from past brides and grooms!

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This gives you an idea of what the reception room looks like, except this was before the decorations and flowers were up! More pics of the finished product will be posted soon. I love the beautiful hanging lights all over the room!
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Here’s my delicious dinner provided by the Terrace on Grand caterer! You can see the side salad that the staff made just for me. 🙂 A lot of brides say that they didn’t eat anything on their wedding day because they were too busy, but that was not the case for me. I was STARVING by the time we got to the reception and I pretty much cleaned my plate – haha! Are you surprised? ; )
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Here’s a photo of me with all my Pi Phi babes!! You can see the white curtain on the right has lights hanging behind it; the head table sits in front of that. It’s a beautiful space!
One of my favorite parts about Terrace on Grand was their huge bridal suite, where all of the girls in the wedding party and family were able to get ready together and hang out comfortably on the morning of our wedding day. This is a pic of me with my new twin sister’s-in-law!

Stay tuned for our professional photos to see more of our beautiful venue!

Wedding Dress and Veil: Gown Gallery

I had an awesome experience with Gown Gallery for my wedding dress. It was the one and only place I went to try on any dresses. I went on “National Bridal Sale Day” last summer, so I got an amazing deal on my Justin Alexander dress, and it was absolutely beautiful. I got so many compliments on it and truly felt like a princess. Robin helped me find this beautiful dress, and she assisted us throughout the rest of the process; booking follow-up fittings, ordering my veil, picking up the dress, etc. She was so sweet and helpful, and I highly recommend visiting her for an amazing dress shopping experience!

I also used someone from Gown Gallery for dress alterations and she did an amazing job. If anyone wants her contact info, let me know and I can find it for you!

This was the day I chose my wedding dress!
One of several dress fittings at Gown Gallery : )
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Here’s a closer pic of my dress on our big day, alongside my beautiful momma.
I absolutely loved my cathedral veil, also from Gown Gallery. It got annoying at times because people kept stepping on it (haha) but it made for some beautiful photos!! Totally worth it. This is a photo of me sneaking up on my dad for our first look! Such a fun way to show your dad and groom how you look with no one else around!

 Hair Stylist(s): Elizabeth McKenzie Hair Studio

Rachel and I actually cheered together in high school, so it was so much fun having her be a part of my wedding day! Several of my bridesmaids knew her from high school too, so it was great having another friend in on the getting ready fun. : ) Rachel does an amazing job on wedding hairstyles, but she also does great work on haircuts, coloring and more. I think everyone in my family has visited her for her services before!

I was absolutely in LOVE with my updo for my wedding. I showed Rachel a picture of what I had in mind, and she executed it flawlessly. Not only did my hair look beautiful, but ALL of the bridesmaids hair looked stunning! Thank you to Rachel’s older sister and business partner, Sarah, for assisting with bridesmaids’ hairstyles that day.

Here are a few pictures from my hair trial with Rachel: 

But more importantly… the wedding day! 

Makeup Artist: Rachel Naster

I have been seeing Rachel for the past year or so for regular dermaplaning and hydrafacials. Check out her website for more information about her services, as well as my previous blog post about my journey to wedding ready skin, because Rachel had so much to do with it! She also does spray tans (which I did before my wedding and it looked amazing), she has her own makeup/skincare line (I have several of her products and LOVE them all), waxing and obviously, provides airbrush makeup for weddings and other events. If you’re wondering whether airbrush is worth it or that much better, the answer is YES. My makeup didn’t budge all day and I couldn’t have been happier with the way it looked. There is seriously nothing Rachel can’t do! She is absolutely amazing and I urge everyone to go see her even if you don’t need wedding makeup. Taking care of your skin is so important, and I didn’t realize how true that was until I started visiting her regularly. Rachel is such a beautiful person inside and out, and I promise you will not regret going to see her. 🙂

Pictures from my makeup trial: 

Wedding day makeup: 

Had to include a few of the beautiful and talented Rachel doing her thing!!

Wedding Cake: Rachel King

I didn’t have a huge desire to have a crazy big, seven-tiered wedding cake (or to spend tons of money on cake) so instead we chose to have a friend of a friend make us a smaller, two-tiered naked cake which was exactly what I wanted! Rachel King made my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding cake a few years ago and did a great job, so that’s who we decided to go with as well! I love supporting small businesses and individuals, so it was a perfect fit. : )

Rachel was kind enough to let Ethan and I come to her home to do a cake tasting, and we absolutely loved everything we tried! We probably ate an entire cake between the two of us that day… OOPS. #noregrets ; ) We ultimately chose to do one layer of vanilla cake and one layer of lemon cake with vanilla buttercream frosting all over. Since we had her make us a naked cake, our florist (up next) added some of our flowers to it. It looked so beautiful and tasted even better! We saved some to eat on our one-year anniversary; we’ll see how it tastes after a year in the freezer. ; )

Rachel’s services include: wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cakes for any occasion, sugar cookies, and regular cookies. (She does not work with fondant.)

Unfortunately I don’t have any really great pictures of our wedding cake since we don’t have our professional photos back yet, but it looked so gorgeous and I will definitely share it on my upcoming post with all of our wedding pictures! : ) One of Ethan’s groomsmen (thanks Chris!) captured a few side shots of us during the cake cutting, so you can somewhat see what it looks like!

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Obviously not a great photo of us haha but the cake looks beautiful!!!

Here are a few pictures of other awesome cakes Rachel has done!

Florist: Joshua Joseph Shepherd

I found Joshua through a family member also. He did the flowers at my cousin’s wedding last summer and they looked awesome, so we decided to go ahead and meet with him! At our first meeting, I was impressed right away. Joshua was super organized and asked all of the right questions. He didn’t even bat an eye when my vision for our flowers totally changed between meeting 1 and meeting 3. He also allowed us to borrow some of his vases and other equipment so we didn’t have to buy it ourselves. Leading up to our wedding, I would frequently text him with pictures for inspiration and he truly took all of my thoughts and ideas to heart. Our bouquets (and boutonnieres) looked absolutely perfect. I couldn’t have been happier with the way they turned out, and they looked so beautiful with all of the different colors of my bridesmaids’ dresses. I highly recommend using Joshua for flowers. He is the best and can turn your vision into a reality!

For our flower arrangements on the tables, we did “take-aways”, meaning that the vases were plastic (although you would never know it by looking at them), so your guests can take them home at the end of the night. I would hate to see all of those beautiful flowers go in the trash after the wedding, so I LOVED having this option so our friends and family could enjoy them for another week or so! 🙂

Contact Joshua:

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You can tell how beautiful my bouquet is from here, but our professional photos will do a better job of capturing it! : )

Photography: Brittyn Fuller Photography

We used Brittyn for our engagement and wedding photos. I found her on The Knot and loved her style, and a friend of mine knew her from high school as well. When we met with her I knew it was a great fit. Brittyn is sweet, down-to-earth and really makes you feel comfortable while she’s shooting. Even though she’s young and a fairly new full-time photographer, you would think she has been doing it for 20 years. She has a great eye for catching the best angle and the most perfect moments. I am so thankful we will have these gorgeous photos to look back on our engagement and wedding day for the rest of our lives!

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One more sneak peek that Brittyn shared on Instagram @brittyn_photography! Totally teasing me!!! I’m in love with this pic.

Check out some of our favorite engagement photos by Brittyn!

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Stay tuned for our wedding photos by Brittyn!!! I literally cannot wait to see them! I might do a whole blog post just to share every single one of them once they arrive. ; ) Is that obnoxious? Oops. #notsorry

Brittyn Photography Contact Options:

Videography: Keera at Gold Hairpin

Website: Gold Hairpin

My brother and sister-in-law also used Keera as their wedding videographer two years ago (click here to see their amazing video), and my best friend Kenzie used her last summer for her wedding (click here to see Kenzie’s video), and I am OBSESSED with her work. Please go to her website and watch a few more of her videos and you will understand why. Her style is so unique and she does such a great job of capturing the whole day in just a couple of magical minutes, and her songs are always fitting for the vibe of the wedding. I love all of her videos so much, and I am beyond ecstatic to see ours. I know it will be just perfect, as they all are!

Contact Keera:

  • “Contact” page on her site linked above
  • Email her directly at keera@goldhairpin.com
  • Follow her on Instagram @goldhairpin

 DJ: Danny “DC” Collins

Danny was recommended by a friend, so I reached out to him and we sat down for a meeting with Ethan, my mom and myself, and we all had a great feeling about him right off the bat. He was also extremely organized and provided us with a list of song ideas, an itinerary outline, the whole sha-bang, at our very first meeting. We were like… “Okay, where do we sign?” Danny was great about listening to our ideas and getting to know the style of music that Ethan and I (and our guests) would like. He allowed us to express our own thoughts and ideas, but also offered his expert advice when it was needed since he has many years of experience doing this, which was very helpful.

After much deliberation, here are the formality songs we used:

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Father Daughter Dance with my Daddy : )
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First dance with my new hubby!

 Photo Booth: DJ Alex Reed

My best friend Laura’s boyfriend is an awesome DJ in Kansas City, and he so kindly donated his amazing photo booth for our wedding night! I was completely caught off guard by this on our wedding day, and it was such a sweet surprise. The photo booth really added to the night and gave our guests another fun option of something to do during our reception. This is definitely the coolest photo booth I’ve ever used — you can send the photos straight to your phone instead of printing them, OR you have the option to print too! Thank you SO MUCH Alex for allowing us to use it.

  • Alex is also an incredible wedding DJ so if you are interested in his services, check out his website here or follow him on Instagram @djalexreedkc !

Here are some cute pics from the photo booth at our wedding! (It also allows you to take pictures in black and white, and do little “GIF” videos, which can also get sent to your phone and be shared on social media. SO fun!!)

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Got a few shots with my MOH and her husband, Ross! E and I are clearly not ready in the bottom pic lol.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids

I have been in three weddings now that have used Bella Bridesmaids for bridesmaid dresses, and it has always been a great experience. Although some of their dresses are on the pricier side, you can feel confident knowing that the quality is much better than what you would get at other stores. That was important to me, especially with the vision I had for my bridesmaids. Even though I was a little nervous about it all coming together, I really wanted them to wear all different colors (within my color palette) and styles of dresses based on what they felt most comfortable in. Letting the girls choose their own dresses was really fun and they all made the decisions so easily together; there was no drama or fighting over a certain color or style. It went very smoothly, and all of the dresses came together beautifully on the big day! My dad said I had the prettiest group of girls he has ever seen! ☺️ Thank you to Bella Bridesmaids for helping us make that happen!

This is the color palette that inspired my wedding colors. I found it on Pinterest right after we got engaged and fell in love!

Here are a few pictures of my beautiful best friends in their bridesmaids dresses! I just love the way they all blend together!

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Tuxedo Rentals: Tip Top Tux

We have a lot of friends who have gotten married this year, and several of them have had issues with the places they rented their tuxes from. Some of them had problems with the tuxes not fitting at the last minute, or pieces missing. We had no problems at all with TTT. The ordering process was easy, we locked in a great price during a special promotion, and all the guys looked awesome! They even dressed our adorable little ring bearer! : ) We would definitely recommend Tip Top Tux for men’s attire for weddings.

I don’t have many great pics of all the guys in their tuxes, but they wore all black with plum bowties and suspenders. Ethan wore a plum vest and had a white pocket square. The tux rental included the jacket, pants, shirt, bowtie, suspenders and shoes!

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Engagement Ring: Mazzarese Jewelry

Ethan and I looked at engagement rings at every jewelry store you can think of. I know some girls don’t want to look or have any idea ahead of time, but I personally feel that it is important to look together so he knows what you like and don’t like. Keep in mind it is going to be on your finger for the rest of your life, so you probably want to love it. ; ) Ethan admitted that he would not have had any idea what I wanted if we hadn’t gone together, so I’m very happy we did.

Mazzarese really stood out to me compared to all of the other places we visited. It has a very high-end feel inside, but all of the consultants are super friendly and helpful, and they are willing to work with you to meet your budgetary needs, while still giving you a ring that you will love. Heidi specifically has been the most amazing helper with my ring. After we got engaged, she did not roll her eyes when I came in three times in one week to get it resized. She was (and still is) very sweet and helpful from start to finish. Mazzarese is more than willing to clean my ring whenever I want, and they also cleaned my grandmother’s ring for me, which was my “something old” for our wedding.

I get so many compliments on my wedding ring and I could not be happier that we chose to go with Mazzarese. I highly recommend paying them a visit if you are in KC and in the market for a diamond ring. ; ) (They also have a lot of other high-end jewelry, such as watches, earrings, necklaces, etc.)

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Hashtag Signs & Calligraphy: Megan Reed

Megan and I were in Pi Phi together at K-State, so I have known about her artistic talents for a while now! I couldn’t resist using her skills for something wedding-related. : )

I wrestled with whether or not I should have calligraphy for our wedding invitation addresses for a long time, and I eventually decided to just do it. It was just another expense and I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it, but I can honestly say I do not regret it at all! I got tons of compliments about how beautiful the envelopes looked thanks to Megan’s calligraphy, so I would definitely do it again! I really wanted our whole wedding to have a classy, romantic vibe, and I think the calligraphy on the invites really helped set the tone for a more formal occasion.

Megan also made us these fun signs to help tell our guests how to share their photos from our day! These were such a cute and fun addition to our reception decorations! I was also able to use them at a few of my bridal showers before the wedding.

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“Oh Snap!” sign on the left of the island with our wedding hashtag, #GettinHutched

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Calligraphy on the envelope was done by Megan Reed! She was able to do multiple different designs of calligraphy that I found, but this is the one that I liked best! Invitations were done by Pink Antlers, listed next!

Save the Dates & Invitations: Pink Antlers Studio

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Website: Pink Antlers Studio

Contact Pink Antlers Studio for your paper or gifting needs!

  • Contact: hello@pinkantlers.com
  • Follow them on social media: @pinkantlersstudio

Claire Wenger was also a Pi Phi with me at K-State and I am so proud of her and her family for opening Pink Antlers Studio in Kansas City! It has been incredibly successful so far; if you’ve never been, you have to check it out! Pink Antlers is a paper, party and gift shop with a ton of adorable stuff, and they frequently host fun little crafting workshops as well! A lot of people probably didn’t know that they also do wedding save the dates and invitations!

I found some invites online (actually from a former Terrace on Grand bride, if I’m being honest) and I loved them, and Pink Antlers did a great job of recreating a similar template just for us. For both the save the dates and the wedding invitations, the turnaround time was extremely quick. Their prices are also very reasonable, and much more affordable than most of the invitation websites I looked at online.

This is what our save the dates looked like. Brittyn (our photographer) designed the text on the front and back; Pink Antlers just printed them for us! We selected paper with a shimmer finish that looked really nice. : )

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Again, our invitations (which I totally copied from Alyssa Barletter who also got married at TOG a few years ago!!):

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Rehearsal Dinner: Brio

Ethan let me do whatever I wanted for most of the wedding, but for the record, I want it to be known that I asked for his opinion on almost everything. ; ) The rehearsal dinner location was the one thing Ethan really felt passionate about, and he had his heart set on Brio. I didn’t argue; I love Brio too, and it turned out to be the perfect space for our rehearsal dinner.

Jen Carl, the event coordinator at Brio, was very easy to work with, super responsive to emails, and helped me plan the perfect rehearsal dinner. The staff was friendly and attentive (and always made sure people’s drinks were full) and the food was all incredible! Ethan, his parents, and myself were able to do a tasting in advance which was very helpful as well (and we also needed to be rolled out at the end… SO much food.) We decided to do “family style” for our dinner rather than plated, which I loved, because that gave everyone the ability to taste multiple entrees and salad dishes. The bar was located inside our banquet room which was really convenient too.

They have a projector and screen available there to rent if you want to show a slideshow or anything, which we did, but I borrowed a projector from a friend (rather than spending $100 to rent).

Overall, the rehearsal dinner went very smoothly and we were extremely happy with the quality of food and service that Brio provided. We would highly recommend Brio as a rehearsal dinner venue! We are excited to be going back there soon for our good friend’s rehearsal dinner! 🙂

I got lots of compliments on this dress too — it was from Etiquette Boutique in Park Place!

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This private room at Brio was the perfect space to host our 50 closest friends and family. It was intimate and classy – the perfect rehearsal dinner venue!

 Bridal Shower Cookies: Sweet Lil’ Cookie

  • “Like” her page on Facebook: Sweet Lil’ Cookie
  • Contact via DM through her Facebook page

Allie is a friend of a friend who has an amazing talent for baking and decorating the most delicious cookies. One of my bridesmaids, Kenzie, had some of Allie’s cookies at her bridal shower and wedding last summer (in place of a groom’s cake) and Allie did such a good job, I couldn’t resist ordering some of her gorgeous cookies myself! We decided to get some for my family bridal shower and the cookies were a hit! Everyone said they were “too pretty to eat”, but then they took one bite and got over that pretty quickly. ; ) Trust me, they taste even better than they look.

These sugar cookies are obviously a little pricier than your average chocolate chip cookie from the grocery store, but they definitely make a statement and they are fun to have for special occasions such as a bridal shower, baby shower, wedding, birthday party, etc. Check out her Facebook page (linked above) for more pictures of her awesome work!

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These were my cookies for the bridal shower! H for Hutcheson, of course. 🙂 And she matched a few of our wedding colors!
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This photo is courtesy of Allie from Sweet Lil Cookie, found on her Facebook page! You have to go “like” her page — SO many amazing pictures of beautifully detailed cookies for all occasions! You need these in your life.

 Travel Agency: Love To Travel

  • Website: Love to Travel
  • Instagram: @lovetotravelkc
  • Find them on The Knot to read tons of reviews — all extremely positive!

Ethan and I used Love to Travel for the first time to plan our honeymoon. Kim and Dave Cook are family friends of mine and we had heard great things about their travel agency. We met with Dave about a year in advance to talk about what we had in mind for our trip, as well as our budget. Dave was awesome about providing us with plenty of options and helpful information about each location, including excursions, amenities, food, and price, which was a big deciding factor for us. Ultimately, we decided on Saint Lucia and we were so excited; however, on the day of our wedding we found out that there was a tropical storm (which eventually turned into a hurricane) heading straight toward those islands. Thankfully, we purchased trip insurance like Dave advised, since our wedding was during hurricane season. The day after our wedding, we were in constant communication with Dave and Kim to find out what our options were. They were working all day (on a Sunday) to keep us informed and figure out a way to give us the honeymoon we had been dreaming of for over a year. We ended up going to a new resort in Riviera Maya called Unico Hotel, which they highly recommended, and had an absolutely incredible experience, and surprisingly, PERFECT weather all week long. The process to switch our trip over was completely seamless on our end. Love to Travel took care of everything for us. They even arranged to have private shuttles take us to and from the airport at our new destination. From start to finish, our experience with Love to Travel was amazing. Ethan and I have talked multiple times about the fact that we will never book a trip like this again without using the Love to Travel team (or purchasing trip insurance!!). We don’t know what we would’ve done without them otherwise; we probably would’ve been out a LOT of money due to the hurricane and been totally bummed. Everything ended up working out perfectly and we made great memories that we will never forget at a beautiful resort with an oceanfront honeymoon suite view, thanks to Dave and Kim. Thank you so much to everyone on the Love to Travel team for all that you did to make our trip absolutely perfect! We will definitely be back to book all of our future anniversary trips! : )

Honeymoon Resort: Unico Hotel in Riviera Maya

Although we were disappointed that we couldn’t go to the Sandals resort in Saint Lucia that we had been looking forward to for the past year, Unico Hotel was a perfect replacement. It just opened in March of this year, so it was very nice, clean and new. The service was amazing everywhere we went; the servers, concierges, bartenders, housekeeping, etc. The staff was extremely friendly and wanted to make sure you were more than satisfied. Housekeeping came twice a day; once to make our bed, replace towels, organize our mess (lol, my mess), etc., and again later to “turn down” our bed and put yummy little chocolates on it, and even a rose.

The view outside our balcony was amazing:

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Delicious chicken quesadillas from room service after our sunset wine cruise (left); relaxing in our cozy Unico 2087 slippers (middle); a Unico “mixologist” came to our room to whip up some fancy drinks right in front of us! (right)

We absolutely LOVED all of the food at the resort. There are four different restaurant options for dinner: 20.87 is like a “steak house”, Mi Carisa is Italian, Cueva Siete is Mexican, and Mura House is Japanese (which we visited twice) for the sushi, and hibachi on our last night. All of the meals we had were absolutely delicious. They were definitely more extravagant entrees than we’re used to, and things we don’t typically see, but it was fun to branch out and try dishes that we wouldn’t have at home, such as grilled octopus! However, if you’re craving “normal” American food, like pancakes, a chicken quesadilla or nachos, you can check out the huge buffet (open for breakfast and lunch only), get it through room service 24/7, or order it poolside. Yes, you heard me right. Amazing!

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Some of the best nachos EVER at one of the poolside bars for lunch.
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Fancy dinner at Mi Carisa with my new hubby : )

Hibachi at Mura House on the last night was so fun and delicious! Warning: do not eat sushi beforehand as an appetizer or you will have to be rolled out of there like us. LOL oops, lesson learned. 

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The breakfast/lunch buffet selection was amazing. I enjoyed made-to-order veggie omelets every morning, and Ethan loved the made-to-order crepes!!

The beach at Unico was one of the nicer beaches I have ever been to. The temperature of the water was perfect, and it wasn’t too rocky. Of course there were a few rocky areas, because #nature, but for the most part it was super nice and sandy, and the waves were big enough that you could play in them, but not too big that you felt scared to get in the water. We loved laying out on the chairs by the beach every day and never had trouble finding a spot. There is also a bar right by the beach chairs, and servers who frequently check to make sure your drink is full. : )

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I should also mention that Unico is a 5-star, all-inclusive resort, which includes a LOT of stuff. Obviously all food and drinks are included, but you are expected to tip your servers and bartenders there. They also have a spa, and all guests at the resort can use the spa services and only have to pay 20% of the full price. Ethan and I enjoyed a relaxing couples massage one morning, and only had to pay $100 for an hour long massage for the two of us. It was amazing. The spa includes a ton of other services that we didn’t take advantage of, but you totally could if you’re into that sort of thing.

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My comfy robe to get ready for our massage! Getting pampered there was the best.

We did a few excursions while we were there as well, and a couple of them were “included” or significantly discounted through the resort. We did the sunset wine cruise that was included one night and it was absolutely beautiful! We took a huge boat out on the water in the evening with a group of about 25-30 people (all couples) and they provided all the alcohol you could ever want, plus snacks. The food was not the best, but the drinks were great and the view was unbelievable. HOWEVER, if you get seasick at all, I would not recommend it. I personally do not get seasick, so I loved it, but several others on the boat had to sit in the back because they weren’t feeling well. Thankfully, no one actually got sick, but they did not enjoy themselves. So if that would be you, maybe pick a different excursion. 🙂

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The other excursion we did was a blast. It was called Xtreme Mayan Jungle Tour I believe, and it included zip lining through a jungle, rappelling, snorkeling in a lagoon, and swimming through a cave! It was a super fun day, and lasted from about 9 am to 4 pm. But we loved it and got to squeeze in all kinds of activities at once, and met some fun people along the way. Our guide was funny and entertaining, and made the experience very enjoyable for all of us! Tacos were included for lunch and they were the bomb. I would highly recommend this excursion if you go to Unico! We booked it through Vacation Makers, so if you go there and ask them, they’d know which one it was. 🙂

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Yes, there were bats flying over our heads and the water was absolutely freezing. But besides that it was very cool – ha!

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We also went out on jet skis one day, because Ethan was dying to do it! I was just holding on for dear life the whole 30 minutes, haha! But it was definitely a cool experience!
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Thanks to our new friend Laurie (also from the KC area!) for capturing this photo!

 Snacks: t.Loft

I decided to get some peanut butter and sunbutter balls from t.Loft because they are so delicious, and they provided an easy and healthy on-the-go option for our wedding party to snack on throughout the day! The day of the wedding gets long and busy and you have to make eating a priority, but sometimes you’re in a hurry running from one thing to the next. I’m so happy we had these protein bites around to provide some quick and nutritious fuel for our wedding party to get through the long day! They were a hit. 🙂 Thank you so much t.Loft for sharing your tasty treats for my big day!!

Check out t.Loft on Instagram and visit their restaurants for more yummy and healthy snacks, meals, smoothies and juices!

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 Lunch: Goodcents

If you know me at all, you know I’m a bit of a Goodcents fiend. I freaking LOVE their sandwiches. If I have a choice between Subway, Goodcents, and 500 other sandwich places, I’ll pick Goodcents every time. Which is obviously why I chose to provide Goodcents to everyone for lunch on our wedding day. Their party trays are perfect for big groups, and it’s a much healthier option than most other places that cater. The ordering process was simple (you can do it all online and schedule pick-up time) and they listened to all of my special requests! All wheat bread, no roast beef, no onions, to name a few. 😉 (PS: I love onions, but they advised not to order them so the wedding party didn’t smell like onions all day…. Great recommendation! Haha.) Along with the t.Loft PB balls and many other snacks, Goodcents subs for lunch, and Einstein Brother’s bagels for breakfast, our wedding party definitely didn’t go hungry that day! Are you surprised? : ) I make sure my people are well fed!

I was obviously a little too busy to get a good photo of the Goodcents, but you get the point. : )

Party Bus: Custom Limousine Inc. – Trolley & Transportation

A lot of people these days will take a party bus directly after their ceremony to go take pictures with their wedding party and plus ones for a few hours before the reception. That was not the case for us, as our ceremony and reception were back to back at the same location. So we got a party bus (aka black limo coach) to transport just the wedding party around for pictures earlier in the afternoon. The process to book it was super easy; all you have to do is call and tell them the date, time, pick-up and drop-off location, etc. Our vehicle was supposed to hold 20, but we were squeezed in there pretty tight, so we could’ve gotten a bigger one, but we made it work! We were able to bring on our own coolers of adult beverages, and they had ice in the wells on the bus which was nice! Overall the bus was cozy, there was an aux hook-up so we could play music, the driver was extremely nice and accommodating and we had no issues whatsoever. I think the price was pretty standard for those types of things. I would recommend using this company if you need a party bus and/or trolley for your event!

Here are some pics of our wedding party on the bus!

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Some of my favorite men! : )
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Goofy Sam also photo bombing. ; )

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My lovely bridesmaid Kenz fanning me AND feeding me drinks. What a doll.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading the longest blog post in the history of the world. I hope you enjoyed seeing some pictures from our big day, and that you took away some good information that you can use for your future wedding or refer to friends who are getting married soon!

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Aaaand we are out of here! This was our glow stick exit at the end of the night. 🙂 A super cheap and easy option for an exit! Glow sticks were purchased on good ol’ Amazon.

If you have any more specific questions about the vendors listed that I did not provide in this post, please don’t hesitate to reach out via DM on Instagram, comment below, or email at wellnessforthewin@gmail.com.

Talk to you soon! : )

Shanna Hutcheson, RD LD

#WellnessForTheWin #Hutched

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