Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MTS Couples: Jessica and Brian

I just received some great wedding photos from a bride who recently returned from her January wedding in Punta Cana. The group stayed at the Majestic Colonial resort (which is a family-friendly property and all-inclusive) and loved it! I am so happy that they had a wonderful time and wish them the very best in married life! Here are a few snapshots she shared:

What a great family photo!

Love this one! Look at that water...

I thought her flowers were gorgeous!

<3 Congratulations!! <3

Thanks again for sharing Jessica and Brian~ We are so happy you enjoyed your trip!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bridal Fair Trends & Bonus 'Today' Show Clip

As I mentioned earlier this week, Midwest Travel Service participated in the recent Wedding Fair event at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Besides meeting hundreds of brides and grooms to talk about honeymoon and destination wedding plans, we also love to scope out the wedding industry's latest trends. At this particular event I was able to capture some snapshots of the latest decor ideas, bridal fashions and cake designs... Here they are!

Alternate seating options are big right now! Other than conference and chiavari chairs, 
you can also rent sofas, leather booths (as shown above) and clear chairs 
(as shown below) to give your tables some character.

As illustrated in this photo and several of the snapshots below, 
intricate table settings and centerpieces are incredibly popular.

Notice the frilly linens! You'll see more of that at the next table as well:

Rather than traditional chaivari chair sashes, many decor companies are 
offering covers like the ones in this picture (and the next one too!):

This particular setup was my personal favorite- 
There's a lot more simplicity but still a pop of color and character.

Now onto the yummy portion... the cakes! As with table decor you'll notice that frills, swirls and intricate designs are incredibly popular right now. Monograms and use of the couple's initials are still commonly featured as well. 

Last but not least, here are some snapshots of the latest bridal gown trends. Ruching, layering and embellishments seem to be the hottest gown styles currently featured. Which is your fav?

So there you have it! There's a quick visual summary of what was featured at Twin City Bridal Association's latest bridal fair. We'll be sure to share more in both March and October when we attend again. It's always interesting to see how the styles change in such a short amount of time!

I wasn't planning on having more info to add to this blog, but I caught the following Today Show segment as I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee and I wanted to share! I love their discussion about the benefits of having a travel agent... We can help our clients locate the best values (and that it's not necessarily always about getting the very lowest price), we're there to back you up in case something minor (or heaven forbid, something major) goes awry during travel, and we can introduce new and exciting ideas that never would have been explored otherwise. Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuosa Travel Network makes a great point about how people hire financial advisors to take care of their money-- Why not also work with an advisor to help make the most of our valuable free time as well?! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Resort Spotlight: Now Jade

What a busy weekend we had at Midwest Travel Service! As you know, The Wedding Fair was this past Sunday which always makes time fly. They'll be lots more to come on that topic later in the week when I post a photo-blog about the latest dress, floral and decor trends featured at the event. As always, it was great to connect with so many engaged ladies about their destination wedding and honeymoon plans!

Today I wanted to feature a really great family-friendly resort to kick of our 'Resort Spotlight' blog posts. Now Jade is an all-inclusive property located in Puerto Morelos, a quaint fishing town in the Riviera Maya. I love this location because it gets you out of Cancun but is still only about 20-25 minutes from the international airport. Here's a little map to show you exactly where it's located:

Now Jade is part of the Am Resorts brand which means that guests receive a lot(!) of fabulous all-inclusive amenities "without a wristband, and without an exception." Here's a list of the inclusions:

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
  • Bottomless fruit juices and soft drinks
  • Top-shelf spirits and premium beer, whenever you like
  • Hip, cozy suites with the latest gadgets, including flat screen TVs
  • In-suite mini bar refreshed daily with soft drinks, bottled water and beer
  • Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities
  • Plush bathrobes and slippers
  • 24-hour room service
  • Pool and beach wait service
  • Reservation-free gourmet restaurants
  • Bars and lounges
  • Endless daytime activities: deep sea diving*, golf*, kayaking, snorkeling, tennis, windsurfing* and more
  • Nightly theme parties & live entertainment
  • Explorer's Kids Club with supervised activities
  • All taxes and gratuities
  • * Available for an additional fee

Welcome to Now Jade. Here's the view as you step out of the main lobby doors.

An exterior view of the four-story buildings. All suites have wonderful pool, garden or ocean views.

I personally love the size of this resort. There are 550 suites, eight restaurants (including six which have  gourmet a la carte menus) and six bars and lounges. 550 suites may seem too big or like it would get crowded during the busiest times, but the layout of the property makes for a very comfortable experience. You don't need to take a shuttle from one end of the resort to the other, but you are still offered plenty of variety and places to explore. Here's a link to view detailed info on all of the delicious dining options. My personal fav? Cin Cin, the adults-only eatery which features Mediterranean cuisine and a rich and luxurious atmosphere:

Whether you're a pool-lover or more a fan of the ocean, Now Jade offers it all... A sun-drenched private beach overlooking the Caribbean water, comfortable lounging options- check out the ample amount of beach palapas below!, three swimming pools (one for all, one for adults-only and one shallow pool for the kids-only too!) and of course, a swim-up bar.  Here's a snapshot of all the options:

LOTS of space on the beach

Shallow pool for the kids

Grab a drink at the swim-up bar

I can't say enough about the comfortable accommodations at Now Jade. All rooms include a king bed or two double beds, a private balcony/terrace, a very roomy marble bathroom with double sinks and a dressing area, a jacuzzi for two and separate shower, alarm clock with iPod docking station, air conditioning, safety deposit box, in-room mini bar, flat screen with cable t.v. (by the way, many rooms have two tv's- one in the bedroom and one in the living area), a coffee maker, work desk, direct-dial phone, etc. Family suites are of course available as well if you need to house a larger clan.

My favorite part about these beds? The soft sheets! :)

Plush robes and slippers in every room

Here's the separate living area with a couch, desk, tv, entrance to the patio, etc. Notice the great welcome gift on the table: fresh fruit and a bottle of champagne!

Peek into the bathroom and closet area - So much storage space for a larger family here!

Our particular room was located in the Preferred Club section, which means it came with additional amenities you can read about here. This was definitely a nice add-on but truthfully, you would have a fabulous time at this resort regardless of whether this was in the budget or not. A couple Preferred Club aspects I enjoyed were our outdoor jacuzzi on the balcony and the complimentary internet access.

A morning view overlooking the pool and ocean from our balcony

In case you haven't guessed, I absolutely plan to return to Now Jade in the future! I really liked the balanced size of the resort, the all-inclusive amenities and comfortable rooms, the a la carte dining options (rather than serving exclusively buffet-style) and the great mix of beach lounging options + pool areas. The affordable and fair pricing of this resort is truly the icing on the cake! If you'd like to receive rates for a particular set of dates, email me anytime at and I'd be happy to help!

So loyal MTS blog readers, what did you think of our very first 'Resort Spotlight' blog? Does it make you feel more familiarized with this particular property? I sure hope so! There are LOTS more to come...