First off, I would like to THANK ALL of you on this forum! It is amazing how we can plan complete destination weddings online! I used this forum from templates to DIY ideas to excursions to wedding tips! One word of advice though...if you are one of those uptight, freak-out-if-a-hair-is-out-of-place kind of a bride...destination weddings, especially in Jamaica, wouldn't be such a great idea! This country is so chilled out and laid back! Everything is "no problem Mon!' It was wonderful! I had initially written this review on the plane ride home so it would be fresh in my mind but it wasn't saved and the computer died! Arrghh...oh well, let me try to relive this wonderful occasion!!
This was our first experience at an all inclusive resort and we absolutely LOVED it!! We could not have picked a better resort to spend the next 12 days! The lobby was breathtaking! Not to mention the free wifi! We blogged while we were there since a lot of family and friends were not able to attend. They all loved reading about our vacation. Jealous but enjoyed it! Below is the beautiful lobby.
Initially, we had a rm in the 2nd building on the 2nd floor and the view was pretty amazing! The room was pretty basic but we figure how much time would we really stay in there. My husband absolutely loved the mini bar and the liquor dispensers!! Oh was he in heaven!! They say that they refill the mini bar every second day but we had to call them a couple times to refill, which was not a big deal.
Thanks to Chandlyn, on the day of our wedding we were upgraded to a suite. It was in the first building and we were on the second floor. It was great too. We had no complaints. I had originally wanted to reserve a suite when we first were booking but I hopeful that we would be upgraded. Which we were! The only unfortunate thing about the upgrade was it was the day of the wedding and when we should have been getting ready! What chaos that was! But it all worked out.
This was the view from our initial room, which I liked a little better.
And this one is the upgraded suite
Most of our guests stayed in the 3rd building. It didnt' matter where you were staying ALL views wer wonderful
The entertainment crew was outstanding! They had activites and events ALL the time! The evening shows at the main stage was always a great time! There were nights we laughed so hard our bellies were sore! I can't not compliment that crew enough!
Overall, the resort was great! I highly recommend this for a honeymoon/ wedding/vacation!
We loved the buffet breakfasts at St ann's. It was the meeting place for most of the family and guest before we did our daily ritual of hittin the beach! We also enjoyed St Ann's for dinner as well. Most nights it would have some sort of entertainment or music going on which we enjoyed and we loved sitting outside.
There were a few days when Mammee bay was closed for lunch when we were there but when it was open the food was great too. My auntie was actually able to make reservations for all 17 of us for a rehearsal dinner. But then again they were always up at the crack of dawn to hit the beach! Apparently folks lined up pretty early to get seats to those restaurants that required reservations but we really didn't want to sweat that. We were able to make reservations to St Johns one day for the late seating but honestly the food was just ok. At times when reserved parties don't show up for dinner they will take walk ins. My sister and her boyfriend we actually able to this one night with no issues. The decor in the gourmet restaurants were great but we preferred St anns for dinner because of the atmosphere. The only complaint I have was the lady that was taking reservations one day we were there. They are located across from the main bar behind the events board. At first we had no idea who or what her job was as there was no sign. But once you got up close to the table the menus were all laid out. She was not always so friendly. But oh well...
For lunch, the jerk hut, plantation and the lil italian place were good. Overall , no major complaints! It was all good!
Chandlyn - A
I would have to say that my wedding planning was wonderful. On a scale of 1-10 I would say it was a 3! Email correspondence with Chandlyn/Roxianna was great! Responses were always within a couple days and answered ALL of my questions. Up until the last month and a half prior to the wedding, we still didn't know what type of reception we wanted! Intially, we had booked a package that had the semi dinner included. I really wanted the poolside reception but knew that it would cost a bit more as it was $55 per person. A month and a half out we still had 5 people that were still 50/50 on coming! How frustrating was that!! Well, we ended up deciding on the poolside an it turned out amazing!!
Chandlyn was able to set up a welcome dinner for my guests at St Anns as well. She was easy to work with and sooo laid back! I was a little stressed out as the seat covers we brought did not fit the ugly brown chairs and I thought that I had forgotten my sand! But it all worked out!
The only complaint that i did have was that during the wedding rehearsal Chandlyn was present but for the actual wedding Roxianna was there. So things did not go according to how we had rehearsed it! That threw us off a little bit! But we made it work!
We had Micheal from the resort do our photos. I can honestly say I really didn't know what to expect but he actually impressed me. The little photoshop is off in the corner of the resort in this tiny tiny little office. Karen was the one handling the specifics in the office. She asks what you want, must have shots, and basically plans out how the day is going to be like with Micheal. We decided to do about 3 hrs before the ceremony, during and after. As well as 60 mins during the reception. Karen was wonderful! On the day of the wedding Micheal was due in our rm at 315 and we were so not ready! I was freaking out a bit as my bridal party ensured that i would be the first one ready by at least 330! By the time he came, none of my bridal party was ready! Micheal made me feel better by saying that this pre wedding chaos was pretty common and as long as the Groom was not the one late, things would be ok! He said he had yet to be at a wedding that started without the bride! That instantly made me feel much better!
After the ceremony was the real work! Posing for pics is a job in itself!! Whew what a job that was! He took so many pictures of my husband and I! Luckily, we are such posers! Micheal took 1200+ shots! He took a lot of great shots that we are having the most difficult time slimming it down to 100!!
One thing that we loved was that they were able to put ALL the low res photos on our flash stick! We were thrilled!!
Jans Bridals- A
Prior to this whole wedding, I was completely flower challenged! I had NO idea what I wanted or what would look good! If it wasn't for my MOH directing me and telling me what colors I should use I would have been lost! I had always wanted a bouquet of red roses. How original for a fab destination beach wedding huh! Well, my MOH convinced me to add color and it turned out beautiful! I got on the computer and found a beautiful bouquet, let them know what my color scheme was and there ya go! I got exactly what I wanted! I was actually a little nervous prior to the wedding as my wedding party wasn't ready by 4 that I had completly forgot about my bouquet! Roxianna came to the room literally 5 mins before we were to go down! It wasn't until then that I realized that I had no flowers!! Jans also set up the poolside reception. They did a great job! We had two round guest tables, cake table, guestbook signing table and a head table. My guests loved the flower arrangements that they took them back to their rooms!
Below are various pics from the poolside reception and my beautiful bouquet!
Normas taxis and tours A+++
I have nothing but good things to say about this wonderful woman! Norma was absolutely amazing!! I had contacted her about a month prior to our arrival via email and she contacted me by phone the same day! The day we met her I felt as if I had known her for yrs! She was so welcoming and so wonderful! We had booked a van with all our guests to do a day excursion, Dunns falls, margaritaville, Fern gully, Shaws Botanical Garden and a lil stop at a shopping complex for gifts. We had booked our day outing on a Sunday and it worked out great! Dunns falls wasn't jam packed as it normally was but the places opened to shop was limited also as it was a Sunday. Our driver Richard was great! Knowledgeable about Ocho Rios and was a great tour/bus driver! At the end of the day we had my brother hook up is IPod and it was a party van on the ride back to the resort! Even Richard
The day of our excursion was also the day that our best man was arriving. He was landing at 10 but we also scheduled our day trip at 10. We didn't really want him to be at the resort , alone, on his first day so Norma arranged for him to be picked up by one of her drivers and dropped off where ever we were at the time. It was great! It worked out so well!
A few of our guests also used Normas for the nine mile tour and they loved it! Once all the guests had left, my husband and I also had one of the drivers take us into town for a few gifts and souvenirs.
Norma was fabulous and so accommodating! I recommend her to all. Her prices I found extremely reasonable. Our best man had called around for taxi services from the airport and he didn't get a quote under $100 one way!. Norma charged him $75 AND we got to meet up with him.
She really did feel like someone we had known for a long time! Just a wonderful wonderful person!
Overall, our trip was fabulous! We would not have changed a thing about it! Initially, we were pretty discouraged as only about 10% of our invited guests came. We knew to expect that that from the beginning as it was a destination wedding but we still couldn't help but feel that way. It turned out that having the 17 guests was PERFECT!! Once we got back to the States everyone asked how everything was but honestly words and pictures don't even do it justice! It really was something that you had to experience first hand!
Let me know if any of you have any questions and hopefully I can answer them! Hopefully I didn't leave anything out! This new thread only allowed me to attach 10 pics so let me know if you want to see more! I have over 1500! Ha! If you like you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Hope you enjoyed reading!