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ajanders21

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About ajanders21

  1. It took us just over 4 months to get it, but its very colorful!
  2. Forgot to answer your question about the court... we didn't go to the court, Coyaba took care of all the paperwork effort... We did get a document from the minister that he signed that day but the official LEGAL document didn't arrive until about 2 weeks ago (its Jamaica, 'mon where everything is slower)... and the document that he gives you doesn't look very legal (its Jamaica, 'mon!), but when the official one comes in it looks a lot better. thankfully we got ours in time for tax season... woohoo! The best/worst part of the document, the bride is listed as 'spinster"... while the groom is a bachelor.
  3. Its definitely order off the menu. And its order as much as you want off the menu. I had some guests who were so in love with the rum french toast that they would order 2-3 orders at once... and sides of whatever... basically its a free for all. My favorite b-fast was the pancake sandwich... and you can order room service as well (no charge/extra charge if your on the all inclusive)... This is the best kind of AI because its not buffet, its al a carte. Just a reminder though, that it is Jamaica so things happen a lot slower... so don't wait until your starving to eat, or you'll be sorry! (same goes for lunch!) And you can come and go as you please. We were kind of a hassle for them because there were so many of us all going to dinner at once that we took up the entire place and obviously 60 people ordering at once Really slows down the kitchen! And also beyond lunch... I had some friends who are basically human incinerators and they would sit at the bar and eat snacks until the pool bar closed. Again, its all part of the AI. So, while I felt bad about requiring my guests to do the AI, in the end, they definitely got their money's worth! On the freeze dried petals, I just want to warn you that it might not be technically legal to bring them in... so hide them well in your bag(s). I separated my 60 cups into large ziploc bags, wrapped them in clothes and spread them out to 3 bags. I was also prepared to plead ignorance and claim that they were fake. I wasn't hassled at customs (breezed right through, actually) and so I don't know how they would feel about them. Just want to give you the heads up! Also, one more tip... if you are flying Air Jamaica, I highly recommend you to upgrade to first class... its only 200 more per ticket (if you upgrade at the counter day-of), but you won't regret it. I got special handling of my dress (no jamming it into a bin), first on the plane so room for my carry on, cocktails and good breakfast, but the best part was getting off. We were the first off the plane and so NO waiting/lines at immigration, and our bags were first off the plane (they mark them with special first class tags so they are first off) so we didn't get stuck in a line at customs either. We were out of the airport within 20 minutes of the plane landing. (and the hotel is about a 7 minute ride from the airport so its also a huge plus!) SO nice!
  4. Hey, ladies... no worries, I wish someone could have answered my questions so I'm glad to help... The dance floor comes with the tent (its included in the price)... and its actually nice to have a place to dance because you're on the grass... I can't remember the total cost of the tent... I do remember though, that if you have over 60 ppl the price really starts to rack up because we had 61 people and I begged them to not charge me for table/chair rental... It really is special though, walking down the lantern lit pathway away from the hotel... its like you're on your own private island. Flowers were REALLY expensive... and trust me I investigated all my options... For my bouquet, I really like the cybidium (I can't spelll sorry!) orchids and so I got them and them only (no roses) and it was HUGE, but 300 bucks... i.e. NOT cheap. They were amazing and look fantastic in my professional photos. I thankfully only had 1 maid of honor and 1 junior bridesmaid, so I worked with her on a regular bouquet for the MOH and a smaller (cheaper) for the JB... also I made up for the cost by not having flowers at my tables... instead I used vases filled with candy... but someone had the pineapple idea and that's super cute... I was told that the flowers are so expensive because most are imported... I also heard of someone going to a flower wholesaler in Montego bay (on this board I think) and got red roses and made her own bouquet... but I cannot remember the name of the place... I also saved on cost by bringing down my own petals (freeze dried and silk) for the isle and the petal toss... HUGE savings. I can post more pics if you'd like... Apparently sungold won't be posting my photos online as I didn't have their full package.
  5. I didn't even notice that they didn't have music playing! We had a group of 60 people with about 80% of them in the 25-35 age range... so they didn't need music to have a good time... (though one of my guests did bring an Ipod with mini speakers and played it at lunch one day and Coyaba didn't seem to mind). We also brought a nerf football for the guests (the guys obviously) and they really seemed to enjoy it. But, for the most part, it was just a very relaxing experience. I've stayed at hotels that do play music and it can really not be pleasant because they might play something you hate (or play a cd over and over, which is a very terrible experience that I had at Riu... have you ever heard of "Alex F" song that was re-made about 4 years ago... they played it over and over and over again at Riu Negril... I almost stabbed my eyes out!) or even worse, you can't have a conversation because the music is BLARING. So, I think it was a good call on Coyaba's part. Plus, if you have a party crowd, (like we did) cocktails are the only music you need! (The have a chocolate banana rum frozen drink that I still dream about!) Also, they have personal rafts for the ocean, floating "lilly pads" in the water, snorkeling equipment, sea kayaks, paddle boats, etc... so there is plenty to do without ever feeling bored. We only had 2 "arranged" activities. We did a golf outing at the White Witch course (Ritz Carlton's course) which is apparently world famous. We also did our own informal "poker tournament" the 2nd night. We did it all on our own (in the polo grounds) and Coyaba was great about letting us take over the space (without charging us extra).. we brought the chips and cards and the bartenders did table service (because we were the only people there). We thought about doing arranged trips but I decided that my guests could decide on their own if they wanted to do activities. It ended up working out, because some just wanted to lay around and sleep in, while others booked trips, rented cars, chartered fishing boats and went zip lining. There wasn't a single person who wanted to do something but didn't, or went alone... there was always a handful of people up for going along for the fun. Also, I wanted everyone to feel like they were on a vacation with a wedding on the schedule...
  6. I hope I didn't scare you away from Mitzi! She really did end up doing a great job with my hair! We went with a plated dinner (I wanted a little more formal reception and we ran out of food on the buffet the night before! So I was glad we did plated!). It really was fab food... we got the steak and shrimp skewers and every aspect of the meal was delicious. They also served the food quickly so it wasn't like people were waiting to eat all the time. (We didn't realize but they serve the couple first and you both must be seated in order for them to serve you) so really if the wedding couple is seated then it flows quite quickly! (and you have a dedicated waiter at dinner which is nice). Also, I don't know if I mentioned this, but you'll have the same waiters throughout the week so by the reception you'll be calling them by their first name. Also, I don't know where you are having your reception at and I don't know if it was the rain, or just Jamaica but there were lots of little spiders who made appearances throughout the evening on tables (only when someone got up and left their seat). That might be something you want to consider with a buffet. We brought our own oot boxes (we ended up using small cake boxes with our logo (a palm tree) stamped/embossed on them). Inside we had a small sunblock, goldfish, trail mix, aspirin, mike and ikes (the sort-of colors of jamaica!), a CD that I made and a welcome booklet- passport. I was really worried about customs too (I also brought in freeze dried rose petals for a petal toss in the ceremony) but it was actually a breeze. Coyaba tells you to play dumb, and don't declare anything... we ended up sailing through customs. We also were smart about packing. I spread things out through 4 separate bags, I had other people carry down stuff for me, and my mom had a bag completely dedicated to the oot boxes. Again, play dumb, and smile and you'll likely sail through without a problem. The only issue we really faced is that we didn't have much room for clothes so we recycled a lot of our daytime outfits (since space was sacrificed for wedding crap!) I did a lot of DIY projects and everyone loved them, but I couldn't do the final assembly until I got there and so I spent a lot of time in my room cursing myself while putting things together. Everyone appreciated every single detail but it still was a B I T C H. I wish I would have gotten there a day before my guests arrived so I could have been settled in, instead of arriving with everyone else. I wish I would have ordered the rum french toast. It is apparently divine and it was sold out by the time the news got to me! (if you are on the AI you can "double" order breakfast which is why it was all gone!) I regret not "slowing down" on my wedding day. I was so worried about rain/hurricane that I just wanted the wedding to be over with so we could take photos because it looked like it would rain at any moment! I enjoyed the coconut bar but a lot of people didn't enjoy the taste of the coconut (a little salty) so not a lot of people actually drank them. It was a great thing for people to see and remember but I'm not sure I would definitely do that again. I must say though, that I was very pleased with so many aspects that I have many more "I would do again in a heart beat" over I wouldn't do, or wish I did... The best advice I can give you is to relax, because you really are in good hands. Alex and Gabi really did everything that I could have ever hoped for and more. Have your vision ready when you do the meeting (on your arrival day), and when the meeting is finished really relax, they will blow your mind with their attention to detail.
  7. I did my own makeup, but I had Mitzi do my hair (and my MOH's hair)... She did a great job on my hair (see photos above), but on my MOH's hair, it was not so great. I don't think she gave Mitzi enough direction and her hair ended up looking like Marie Antoinette... it was pretty bad. We ended up fixing her hair after Mitzi left, and it ended up looking much better. So, if you plan on using her bring photos and have a game plan, (maybe plan on having her use most of your own makeup like foundation, etc) and she should do well... also, I would suggest having someone keep touch up stuff on hand after the ceremony (so that you don't have to go back to the room to fix your makeup in case you cry...and you can go straight to photos)... She also has this hairspray that is like cement, (which is awesome with the weather) but be prepared to wash your hair that night (or the next morning) otherwise you'll have an itchy scalp!
  8. I second the Sungold recommendation (they are actually based in Negril, but they don't charge for travel to MB). We just got married and they made the best out of hurricane paloma on our wedding day! Florist I used who my hotel recomended which was Flowers by Sandra Martin. I think her website is www.flowerstudiojamaica.com... she's Montego bay based and she works with a lot of the hotels... My flowers were gorgeous!! The band I used was called Chokey Taylor and they are a full blown reggae band (they were AMAZING, everyone at the wedding commented about how great they were)... I can get your their manager's contact info if you PM me... they were pricey, but well worth the splurge!
  9. Dana, per your request I just emailed you my snapfish album which is a growing collection of family photos from the weekend. Ladies, that's another thing I suggest. Open up a snapfish or Kodakgallery, or some sort of photo account where wedding guests can upload their photos onto, for everyone's enjoyment. There were so many pictures I would have missed if I didn't do this. I included the info in my welcome passport book, including the log-in and password, and it seems like everyday the photo album grows! To answer more questions... the East Lawn were the reception was held (under the tent) is next to the property, but its technically where Alex lives (it was Joanne's but they switched). The only thing that seperates it from the property is a small wall (the oceanside isn't walled off and you can see the house/lawn from the beach). They had the for-sight to put up the tent days before the wedding, so even with all the scattered rain, the grass stayed very dry. Its an amazing location because its even more tucked away from the other hotel guests that makes you feel like your in your own very special place (especially will all of their hanging candles in the trees leading up to the entrance) I cannot tell you the warm glow this tent gave off! I will say though, that the tent is harder for air to circulate so people were definitely getting their sweat on. (they had set up several fans but booze + humidity + dancing= serious sweat!) I will warn everyone about another "issue". I don't know if it was the rain, or just how it is in Jamaica, but there were several spiders that made appearances at the wedding. On tables, chairs, etc. No one complained about being bitten, but there were several shrieks scattered throughout the wedding. (they mostly would show up after someone got up from their chair). The gazebo deck is tented and it was where you waited during the processional, and its not favorable to photography. Especially if you look at my wedding photos it was a little overcast that day (which cleared as soon as we started signing the wedding papers, a sign from above ) So with overcast skies, and no real lighting is would not have been my ideal wedding. I made the snap decision that even with the possibility of rain, that I would have it on the dock (again a first for Coyaba). I decided that no matter what, if it rained, it would just be the heavens shedding "tears of joy"... and thankfully it didn't rain... but there was a lot of chanting "sun, sun, sun" in my bridal suite! Regarding the question of costs for the extras... I believe are the following (but might change by next year) Fresh coconut station- $5 per person Bonfire/Jamaican smores- $300 (I think?) Pepper lights (Christmas lights), luminaries, paper lanterns- $500 (I brought down the white paper luminaries because they only had brown... and I brought down my own paper lanterns, but they didn't return them, so maybe you can use mine! Tent Rental- $1750 (plus a set up charge) ... this one stung when I first ordered it but I was beyond pleased with the result) Reggae Band - $3000 plus an additional 300 for 1 hour of DJ (since we wanted a 4 hour party)-- very steep but really its such an experience if you can afford it! Also, the room they give to the bride and groom is amazing. The view is straight out into the ocean and they have cathedral wood paneled ceilings which makes the room gorgeous. Also, they've upgraded the rooms in building 3 (301-31, the bedspreads are this amazingly soft suede-ish duvet instead of the palm leaf in all of their photos (the palm leaf print is still used for their curtains) but its very nice to say the least! Is this post going on forever?? Final things... My bouquet was cylimbium orchids (I don't know how to spell it), and for just them it was $300 dollars, but she did have one with the same orchids and roses for a little cheaper. The bridesmaids bouquets as well as the corsages, boutineers, etc were all dendrobilum orchids (again, I can't spell) and they were $90 for the MOH (I only had one bridesmaid) $40 for the junior bridesmaid (same as MOH but smaller) $25 for Moms $15 for dads and best man (i think thats the #'s) Also, I used silk petals for my petal aisle (coyaba is cool with as long as you tip the gardener), and I also brought in freeze dried rose petals for the petal toss. Thankfully I didn't have any issues at customs, but I was told to "deny, deny, deny" if asked if they were real. SO much cheaper than getting them from the florist..$50 for 60 cups of freeze dried (more than enough for my 60 guests plus more for the aisle) vs. $80 for a bag of real white petals from the florist which she estimated to be enough for 6-10 people! Feel free to ask more questions, these are all things I wanted to ask and had no one, so I'm more than glad to help you girls out!! And, again... the place truly is spectacular. The food, the drinks, the staff... you won't be disappointed with anything!
  10. Just to give you an idea how amazing it is under the tent: I'll have to dig through my other photos of the band (8 or 9 people with backup singers to boot!) Seriously amazing band!! And of my table settings... Also, once my professional photos are done I'll paste the link as well! PM me with questions, but seriously, are you all in for a treat!!
  11. Here are the final few (out of the hundreds we took)... since we were dealing with Hurricane Paloma just a few hundred miles away, the wedding lawn was soaked and we had out ceremony on the Docks (a first for Coyaba). I highly discourage brides from getting married under the gazebo tent unless its pouring rain (its super dark, trust me!)... anyway, it worked out for the best and at the end of our ceremony the sun came out and we had an amazing sunset! View of ceremony- Ceremony 2- Ceremony 3- (getting the petal toss) Back view of the petal toss exit- My bouquet- Our photoshoot (Sungold was AMAZING!) The sunset- Entrance to the reception (with luminaries and tiki torches, not shown) Entrance past the torches and luminaries (what's not shown but amazing are these hanging candles in the palm trees, SO amazing!) My tablecard arrangements- LOVED these! one more!
  12. Rehearsal dinner- pool with luminaries Coconut bar- (paid extra for...) Paper lanterns- (were supposed to be hung on the string lights outside but because of the rain the afternoon before they did it inside and I loved it! String lights and luminaries on dock at dinner- (paid extra for) Bonfire and Smores after dinner- (paid extra for... a must do ladies!) Next is the wedding day...
  13. Ok ladies... bear with me... I might take up a few threads with all these pics! Front side entrance to hotel Entrance: Back of the lobby area of hotel- on left in brown/red is the vineyard dining area Polo Grounds Bar (Upstairs above lobby) View of hotel from Dock Next thread is of rehearsal dinner....
  14. Ladies, I just got back from getting married at Coyaba on the 8th. Oh, ladies are you in for a TREAT! I will write a full blown review later today or tomorrow, but words cannot describe how wonderful the entire experience was... the staff, the food, the attention to detail, the doting on the bride and groom... unbelievable. We had 61 guests and they all said that it was the best wedding the had ever been to (and this was with Hurricane Paloma weather too boot! (scattered rain showers, very high tide, the wedding lawn was soaked!)... thankfully it didn't rain during the ceremony or reception! We also did a few things and they were well worth the splurges... 1) pepper lights, paper lanters, luminaries at the rehershal dinner (Ask Joanne) 2) coconut bar (for the experience alone!) 3) Bonfire with smores (HUGE success!... though we ran out of chocolate very quickly) 4) Reggae band... yes, they are very expensive but they sound amazing and really make it a Jamaican experience. No one could stop talking about them 5) Going with the tent rental and using the east lawn for the reception. I swear ladies, if you have enough or close to enough people this is worth the cost. It is like a movie set... the have hanging candles in the trees, tiki torches (and more luminaries... which I brought down the bags for) the tent is secluded, and the way its lit-up at night just takes you to another place... looking back, it was sooo amazing. I will try to load up my photos asap... and give an even more indepth review of Coyaba, but until then KNOW it is going to be a very special occasion. OH and one last thing, if you haven't, your group MUST and I mean MUST go on the All Inclusive plan... I realize its expensive, but breakfast at the hotel starts at 14 dollars (and thats contentinal breakfast). Lunch is 15-28 per person, and dinner is 28-38 per person. This isn't even including drinks (which they have an amazing array of top shelf liquors available). And, again the food is spectacular. Ok, more soon, but again, get excited ladies, you're in for the most amazing weekend for you and your guests!
  15. We are definitely going for the fun/funny route. We're both goofy and not the lovey-dovey type... and Since we have a reggae band, our options are limited, so its either between Can't get enough (of your love) - by Barry White... because its fun, and quick, and we can do funny dancing like the "lasso" and the fishing hook thing... Or because we are in Jamaica and the band, we might do "No woman, no cry"- Bob Marley ... because again, that's just funny...
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