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About pearlygirl

  1. jamaicabride....Shadows is entirely open-aired. It is a semi-circle shaped building that overlooks the beach/ocean. During the day, it is used as the lunch buffet. The main floor has the kitchen/buffet area in the center with seating along the outside of the "circle" for great views. There is an open stairway to the upper level, which is only a 1/2 story and also overlooks the beach.
  2. I'll answer any questions I can for you I just wanted to let you know that we had to pay cash for the extra flowers so if you're planning on ordering a lot of extra flowers, bring a lot of cash. I guess I'd check with Dionne to see what other extras would need to be paid in cash. We paid for the wedding and everything in the salon with a credit card through the hotel.
  3. The WC at the Riu Negril is Dionne and I thought she was great to work with. I'm not sure that the WC's name at the Riu Tropical Bay is, though. Here is a link to a few more pics including the ceremony site and a few from Shadows. Most of the pics we took at Shadows didn't turn out b/c we forgot to turn on the flash, so these don't really show much. But like I said before, we really enjoyed it. Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket
  4. We had our dinner at the Steakhouse, which I believe is called Shadows. It was on the second level. The meal, cocktails and cake were served at our table, however, the soup and salad are served buffet style on the main level. The Steakhouse is an open-air restaurant, so there is no air conditioning. Our dinner was at 7pm so it had cooled off pretty well by then... no problems with the heat or being too hot. The meal was wonderful, most people opted for the steak, which was really good. I had the combination platter which had steak, chicken, shrimp and some sausage thing. I didn't eat the sausage thing, but the rest was delicious. They served champagne at dinner and cake was served shortly thereafter. Another thing is that the restrooms are located on the main level which wasn't any inconvenience to us, but just an FYI. We didn't even go into Sir Andrews so I can't comment on that restaurant, sorry!
  5. We went with the Royal Package. The only things that we paid for that weren't included in the package were extra flowers and my hair. Our ceremony was under the arch on the beach, not in a gazebo. We didn't opt for chair covers... the chairs that they used were dark brown and tan colored and in my opinion, they looked really nice for the beach wedding. For me, I think chair covers would have been to fancy. (We're pretty laid back and didn't want anything very traditional or fancy, we went for more of a beachy feel.) They decorated the arch in flowers...one bunch at the top of the arch and one at each of the sides. It was pretty plain and simple, but, I thought it was perfect. They also set up a little heart shaped table which is used for the sand ceremony (if you choose to have one) and for signing the papers. I will say that the decorations at the ceremony were very simple, nothing more than what I mentioned above. However, the ceremony on the beach with the ocean as a backdrop and the palm trees around us were absloutely beautiful. Like I said, we went for the beachy feel and the simple decorations were perfect for us. Also, they didn't have much for decorations at our dinner. Like I stated earlier, they did have table linens and candles but nothing more than that. Our dinner was at 7pm and it was dark out so the ambiance of the open-air restaurant and candle light was perfect for us. I will mentioned that they spelled my name wrong (missing the last letter of my name) on the cake. I thought it was hilarious and not even worth mentioning or complaining about. I'll try to post some more pictures soon...
  6. inunez...I just wanted to let you know that I did get married on-site at the Riu Negril. We had 15 guests but we did not have a private reception. We did have our sit-down dinner on the upper level at the Steakhouse. They did provide table linens. However, I didn't have any centerpieces or bring any of my own decorations. I also can't comment on having an iPod playlist or having someone announce your arrival. Sorry, I wish I had more information for you!
  7. Meghan, Thanks for the compliment. I'm sure you're wedding will be wonderful! Lisa, I just added the 1st dance song at the end of the cd that I made and when I met with Dionne the day before the wedding, I told her I wanted to do our first dance on the beach. But we were the only wedding that day and at the last time slot, 4:00 pm, so I guess I'd check with her to make sure it is okay if there are any other weddings that day or one right after yours. Any other questions, feel free to ask!
  8. I can't comment specifically on buying jewelry in Mexico, but my hubby wanted to buy his band in Negril, but I was worried we wouldn't find anything. I didn't want the stress of HAVING to find a ring there. So we bought one at home from Zales the week before we left. Zales has a 30 day return and 90 day exchange policy. I felt better just knowing we had a ring in case we didn't find one in Negril. It turned out perfect, though, because we did find the perfect band for him in Negril. But I'm glad we brought a back-up just in case we hadn't found one. Good Luck!
  9. StarandJay, You will have a great time at the Riu Negril. I was so unsure of what to expect, but when we got there, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm sure your wedding will be wonderful! The pictures that I currently have on photobucket are from True Colors Photography. In my opinion, they are good but not great...they got some close-ups that we wouldn't otherwise have. But personally, I didn't feel the quality of their pictures was really worth spending an exta $500+ for more photos. We had the Royal Package, which included 12 photos...they took about 105 shots total. They kinda bugged us all week to upgrade our package which would have included more shots/poses, but all of our guests planned on taking photos and I figured we'd get a few good ones out of the bunch. Unless you purchase the DVD, they will make you pick the 12 photos you want from their computer screen/photo systme. It was sort of difficult to scroll through and try to decide which ones we wanted to get. Then they just print off the photos as regular 4x6 photos, sort of like you'd get if you went to Target or Walgreens. I saw some photos from a few photographers in Negril (thanks to this website!) that were amazingly gorgeous. The problem is that the photo packages start at $1,000 and go up...I didn't budget for that. If I had a disposable income, I definately would have hired an outside photographer. Oh well, I'm very happy with all the photos I have. Any other questions, feel free to ask! Brie
  10. Thanks for all the comments! lisaloo....I'll be happy to answer any questions you have...just PM when you think of them baj....I think no matter which resort you pick, your wedding will be wonderful. I didn't mind the beach at the Riu Negril at all, and one guy we met had walked down the the RTB and said the beach and hotel weren't that much better than the RN. But that is just one person's opinion. I do want to add that I did not swim in the ocean myself because I only like to go in the ocean when I can swim in the rolling waves. A friend of mine noted that the bottom was a little mucky, and she's a total "miss priss" (love her to death but its the truth). She swam in it and it didn't bother her. I can see where some people would be disappointed in the beach, but I think those people are way way too picky. I'm a total beach person and it was absolutley gorgeous!
  11. Hi ladies! I'm back from the Riu Negril-our wedding was absolutely perfect and our vacation in Negril was wonderful! Hopefully this review will help relieve some of your doubts and stess. I want to start by saying that we have gone on vacation every year for the past 5 years and stayed at AI resorts in Jamaica (including the ROR), Mexico and the Dominican so I have 5 other hotels to compare this one to. Also, we traveled with a relatively small group of 15 people, so I'm not sure how different an experience would be with over 50 guests. So here it goes..... Pre-Wedding planning w/WC: I contacted the WC in November 2008 to start planning our February 2009 wedding. The WC responded to every single email I sent her and answered every question I had (which was a lot!). The longest I waited was 2 days for a response. I found her to be very helpful during my pre-wedding planning. Flight: We flew Northwest non-stop from Minneapolis to Montego Bay. One thing I was really worried about what how the heck I was going to get my dress down there! When we arrived at the gate, I asked the attendant what I should do with it. She told me to board right after the first-class passengers and ask the on-board attendant. The on-board attendant showed me the "closet" they have in first-class. It was TINY and my dress (which isn't that big) wouldn't have fit. So I put it in an overhead compartment and made sure no one put their belongings on top of it. The dress made it to Jamiaca with no problems. Whew! Transfer to hotel: The bus ride to Negril from Montego Bay is around 1.5 hours. We just bought a bunch of Red Stripe from the airport, sat back and enjoyed the scenery (which is beautiful) and chatted with other passengers. The bus will make one pit-stop for refreshments and bathroom break. Hotel: We were immediately met with a refreshment upon arrival to the hotel. Check took 10 minutes for our entire group. Our room was upgraded to Oceanfront in building 2, which I was really excited about. I always try to get a room as close to the ocean as possible Everyone from our group was located in either building 1 or building 2, which were not that from from the main lobby. I wouldn't have wanted to be in buildings 3 or 4. The hotel was very similar to the ROR, in fact, our room was almost exactly the same as the one we had at ROR. The entire hotel was comparable to the ROR except I think the pools are a little smaller and there are no elevators at RN. The only ala carte restaurant we ate at was the Steakhouse on our wedding night. The food and service were excellent. The reservation system at the hotel is pretty lame....you have to stand in line at 9am to make reservations for the ala carte restaurants and it is only done every other day. People were standing there by 8am to make reservations. It wasn't important enough for me to stand in line for 2 hours just to eat in the ala carte restaurants. The dinner and lunch buffets are good.....not excellent, but not crap either. Even picky eaters will be able to find something to eat. The buffets are huge and very similar to the one at the ROR. My favorite lunch spot was the Jerk Hut on the beach....it was excellent! There are 5 bars....the beach bar, the pool bar, the swim up bar, the lobby bar and the stage bar. It seemed no matter what time of day it was (between 9am-midnight) you could get a drink anywhere. The disco is open later, but we only went in there once and left right away. My favorite was the beach bar. The beach is very big and I liked it. However, it is located in Bloody Bay, so it is very calm with no rolling waves to play in, which was nice for me because I didn't have to stress about my son being in the ocean and being swept away by big waves....haha, not that he would, but I get nervous when he plays in the ocean in the big waves, so this was a little less stressful for me as a mother. The beach stretches around the bay to the other hotels including the Riu Tropical Bay, so there is plenty of beach to walk along. If you walk one way from the hotel, there is a fish sanctuary. We saw starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, puffer fish, pencil fish and other schools of fish. It was really cool. If you walk the other way, you'll go past locals selling their "jamaican junk" on the way to the other resorts. They'll hassle you a little, but if you say "no thank you" and keep walking, they won't bother you anymore. FYI- I did notice that a lot of the stuff they were selling was also available in the airport and other shops in Negril....it was cheaper on the beach...my son bought a necklace on the beach for $8 and the same one was $14 at the airport. Before I move on to wedding details, let me tell you the biggest "Pro" about this resort which was the hotel staff. Of all the hotels and destinations I've been to, the staff at the Riu Negril was the nicest and friendliest I've ever seen! Everyone from the guy sweeping the sidewalk to the manager were always smiling and friendly (one exception was the lady who did my hair but I'll b_tch about her later). Every staff person I talked to was helpful and respectful. It was one of the major plusses of this hotel and made our stay even more enjoyable. I also want to mention that it was my birthday while we were there, and they sent a fruit plate to our room with a little birthday letter. I thought that was really nice! Now a few cons of the hotel, which are pretty minor in the entire scheme of things. One con is that the A/C in our room was very sporadic. It seemed the coolest between 2pm-midnight. Mornings and early afternoons our room was pretty warm. I was freaking out about it cuz I didn't want to be sweating up a storm when it was time to get ready for the wedding. We complained to the front desk. First they said they'd have it fixed and then they offered to move us to a different room, but after viewing the room they wanted to switch us to, we didn't move because I loved the location of the room we had. Everyone in our group said their rooms got warmer during the night, but most would cool down in the mornings. Whatever, I wasn't going to let it ruin my trip and our room was plenty cool when it came time to get ready for the wedding. A few more cons....bathrooms are pretty sparse, especially if you like to hang out on the beach. The closest bathroom to the beach is located in the lunch buffet. Also, the closest bathroom to the pools is located in the lobby. It didn't bother us because our room was very close to the spot that we sat on the beach everyday, but I think they need to install a few more bathrooms. Also, my MIL got tons of sand fly bites the first night we were there. No one else in the group got them but we heard many people complaining, but I'd definately bring some bug spray in case anyone gets them. This didn't seem to be only at the RN....we talked with many people on our airplane that were on the 7-mile beach or even in different towns closer to Montego Bay and some had the same problem. Wedding Review: Our wedding was perfect! I wouldn't have changed a single thing about it (except the hair lady's attitude). We met with Dionne, the WC, at 10am the day before the wedding. She was extremely pleasant and helpful. I picked out my bouquet and boutineers (sp?), which turned out beautiful. FYI- if you will be ordering any more flowers than the ones included in the package, they require to to pay cash, so keep that in mind. I'd check with Dionne on any other upgrades you may do to you package ie photos, music etc to make sure what you can pay for with a CC and what you need cash for. We paid for the wedding part (Royal Package $1,115 US with a CC). I brought my own CD for music and we brought our sand and vases for the sand ceremony. She told us the guests and wedding party (which was just hubby and my son) to be on the beach (where we chose to have our ceremony) at 3:45...she picked up my dad and I at my room at 3:55. The ceremony started at 4pm. When you meet with her and if you have the Royal Package, she will ask if you want breakfast in bed. They do it at 8am only...we decided not to have it because we didn't want to be up at 8. She'll also schedule your complimentary body scrub and you have to pick a time for the day after the wedding. We chose 10:30am, but we cancelled it 1/2 hour before because we didn't want to get out of bed I had debated whether or not to do my own hair because my hair is freakishly frizzy in the humidity and I've never liked when a sylist has done my hair before for weddings I've been in. I figured why pay an arm and a leg to have my hair done and probably hate it. But...I made an appointment at the last minute for 2:30pm. I would definately suggest that if you are having your hair done at the resort, go in for a trial. I got there and she handed me a magazine like OK or In Touch and told me to pick a style. I told her to do big curls and have 1/2 up and 1/2 down because I had a headband and a veil. So she starts going at it. My SIL was there, luckily, and I could tell by her face that the stylist was doing something I was going to hate. My SIL asked if she was going to leave the curls on top of my head and the stylist snapped "She said she wanted 1/2 up and 1/2 down." I said, "I can't see what you are doing" because she had me turned away from the mirror. So she turns the chair so I can see what she is doing.....she has tight curls in a lcump at the top of my head with the back of my hair curled and down. OMG! I said, "I wanted it more like this" and pointed to a picture (I can't describe the pic, but it definaltey wasn't a clump of curls on the top of her head!). So the stylist snaps at me "You said you wanted 1/2 up 1/2 down, not a sweep!" And I said, "I'm sorry, I guess I don't understand the difference between a 'sweep' and 1/2 up 1/2 down." So she tears the curls off of my head and fiercly (the only way I can describe it) starts brushing them out. Right then and there I knew i was going to hate my hair no matter what she did. I'm looking at the clock and it is 3:15. I have to be ready at 3:55 and I hadn't even done my make-up or taken my dress out of the bag or my jewelry out fo the boxes etc. I'm in a major panic and I just wanted her to finish her stupid hair-do so I could get back to my room and fix it. Finally at 3:30 she is done and asked how I liked it. I hated it, but Iwasn't going to tell her that because she'd just yell at me again and try to fix it herself. I didn't have time for that. I ran to my room and began shaking these tight curls out. Bobby pins are flying, my hair is stuck to my head because of all the hairspray. Disaster! But I finally got in under control, fixed my hair, did my make-up and put on my dress and accessories in like 20 minutes. It's the fastest I've ever gotten ready in my entire life, but it worked out just fine. Then Dionne and my dad were knocking on the door. We walked through the building to the spot we would start walking down the aisle. The boombox (or whatever you call) it was playing my music and Dionne signaled for my aisle song to come on. The music was perfect, it was clear as a bell and just the right volume. Everyone was waiting on the beach where they had set up chairs and decorated the arch beautifully! There isn't a clear path on where you should walk, so my dad and I were a little confused, but the photographer directed us on which direction to go. The minister, by hubby and my son were waiting at the arch and they all looked so nice. I thought I would for sure cry, but when I got up there, my hubby was crying! Not that I was happy to see him cry, but it was touching to see him so emotional. I asked for the civil ceremony, but the minister was practically reading out of a Bible, which was totally fine with me. Not that I am a super religious person, but is was nice to have our marriage blessed by God. After the vows, we went over to the little table and did our sand ceremony which was perfect. Then back to the arch for the "kiss the bride" and pronouncing husband and wife. Then back down the aisle and over to the little table again to sign the marriage certificate. This is funny....our certifiacte states our "condition." Hubby, being divorced is called divorced...I, being a single woman who has never been married, am called a "spinster." It made me laugh. Then we did our first dance on the beach, which was one thing I really wanted to do. Again the music was clear and just the right volume. It was one of my favorite parts. Then we went to the beach bar for drink. Then on to the lobby bar for more drinks. This particular night, the bartenders had music playing and were singing so we did more dancing! Then we went to dinner at the Steakhouse which was super yummy! Then another guy showed up and sang to us at our dinner. It was really nice. They did the cake at the Steakhouse after dinner, which was nice. The cake was ok, not great, but we didn't care. Then the hotel manager came and asked us how our wedding day was. Of course, we told him it was perfect because it was. I thought it was a nice gesture that he took the time to ask us. After dinner, the nightly show was just about over so we had more drinks at the lobby bar, then after the show was over, we went over the bar by the stage. We asked them to play my CD and they did! So our group danced to my entire CD on stage. No one was really around at that time, so it wasn't that embarrassing, but it was nice to have our own music to dance to since we didn't have any "private reception" stuff. By then, we were hungry again, and we went to the late night pizza shop for pizza. Then off to our room When we got to our room, there was another fruit plate for us and the maids had done a beautiful and huge towel decoration with flowers on our bed and left us a congratulations note. It was a nice surprise. All in all, the entire experience was unbelievable and perfect. Feel free to ask any questions. I'm sure I forgot to mention some things...this review is so long. I'm not even going to proof-read it becuase it seriously took like an hour to write it and my boss is wondering what I've been doing. I'm going to try to post this link to my Riu photographer pics on photobucket..I hope it works! Pictures by brie7656 - Photobucket
  12. I don't have any really great ideas.....but if you are not having anyone stand at the alter with you, maybe they could just be called your "bridesmaids" or your "bridal party," except they won't stand at the alter like a traditional wedding? Your BM's don't have to do the traditional standing up at the alter, they can just sit in the front row? Like I said, its not great or creative, but it is an idea. Maybe someone will have a better one for you
  13. Thanks girls! I've been in contact w/ the WC for a few months via email, but I never thought to ask her about when we'll be meeting, DUH!! I sent her an email yesterday, she returned the email asking when we fly in. Hopefully I'll hear back from her before we leave for the airport tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll just have to try to track her down at the resort
  14. Thanks for all the advice ladies! prairiegirl....we are the same!!! I have the products that my stylist used (travel-sized even) and step-by-step pictures when she styled it. I'm also bringing my flat iron and two sizes of curling iron. During the practice, she showed me exactly what you explained....small pony, then bobby pin around it for loose curls. I liked the way she did it and hopefully, I'll be able to do the same. There is NO POINT in trying to straighten my hair....I've tried on every trip I've been on, and it just ends up looking like a frizzball rats nest I like the idea of trying to style my hair the way my stylist showed me a few days before to see how it holds up in the weather. If it is horrible, hopefully I can get an appointment in the salon! Again, thanks for all the advice and opinions!
  15. So I'm leaving on Friday (yay!) the wedding is next Tuesday. How/when do I meet up with the Riu WC once we arrive at the hotel? Does she contact me or do I need to try to get ahold of her? I'm freaking out about all these little things right now because it is getting so close! Like, what if they don't let me put my dress in the closet on the plane? Will it fit in the overhead compartment? It's not that big but it's not small either. Will I have to carry it in my lap?
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