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catererbride

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  1. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Thanks Crasht and you know yours will be, and to you, even better! Sky lanterns... you know somebody else asked about the legal side and to be honest, I didn't even look into it. I knew that fireworks require a special very costly license but I just figured that the lanterns are harmless (I bought the biodegradable ones, a bit more expensive) and we are paying a premium for a private villa so we'll do what we like! It turned out fine, I guess it depends how cautious you are and if your villa is next to a police station? Caterer is Gregory Nelson - you WILL NOT be disappointed! He has the same passion for food and service as I do and that says something! (in fact I have never said that about anyone that I have worked with over the years!). His email is chef.nelson@hotmail.com. He sorted out all tables and linens and our bar (so bar tenders, glasses, drink, ice etc.) Don't be stressed - this is so much fun!!! I thought I would be a complete stress head on the day but I wasn't at all...even though some of my husband's family were late so the ceremony was 45mins late, I was just chilling in my room with my girls! The only things I would have changed, was to be a bit more organised with time so that we could fit in all of our activities , and that i'd eaten more food! I was just so caught up in the moment that time just flew by...We had a local jerk pork guy come up to the villa and do his thing for late night food but I was so all over the place with guests that i didn't get any! (Good job i've eaten his jerk pork & chicken waaaaay to many times before) I am happy it's over but I loved every second and yes, loving being wifey! x Good luck and I am happy to help in any way that I can!
  2. We used Merrick and he is great. Check out some example pics of our wedding last month in my review under the 'Villa Wedding Brides' thread. You won't be disappointed!
  3. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Ooops forgot my bridesmaids! Our colour theme was simply different greens and blues - so I bought some cheapy maxi dresses and dyed them! And my shoes....
  4. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Ok so here goes, my wedding experience..... I should start by saying that I was told by every wedding planner that I contacted to organize my wedding that I was asking too much and it couldn't be done. Oh and they all wanted up to $2500 for the priviledge of me doing all the work. I didn't end up using one and this is what happened: Went out to Jamaica on 15th August to finalize arrangements for 7th Sept Wedding. Spent the next few weeks driving all over Jamaica to source the following: Catering - had actually organized this from UK via email. His name is Gregory Nelson and he is fabulous! I am a trained chef and catering Manager and have very high standards when it comes to food. This is no 'rice and peas' chef. He was trained in France and is the Sous Chef of a resort in Ocho Rios. Wonderful man, very passionate about what he does, very reassuring and so so meticulous. I wanted 'family style service' i.e. where guests serve themselves at the tables. Dishes of each menu item in the centre of the table so that by passing to/serving each other, they interact more and also if they didn't like certain items, they didn't have to eat them and if they wanted 2nd or 3rd helpings....then they could Worked out great. Gregory also sorted our bar out for us which as having a villa wedding, we had considered doing ourselves but considering that would have meant sorting coolers, ice, extra tables, glassware, enough drink and servers...we just wanted less hassle. In my opinion, Gregory is very reasonably priced. No offense about the rice and peas part either...he can cook Jamaican food very well too. My husband is Jamaican so we actually had an informal family cook off welcome party with all the traditional Ja yummy food. Photographer: Again sorted him out whislt in UK. Merrick Cousley. Lovely guy - very humble and modest. Quietly goes about and does his thing without feeling like he was in the way or too bossy at any point. I think he charges fairly too for the quality of his work. Only annoying thing was waiting 6 weeks for our picks when he originally said 4...but hey, I would rather wait and be this happy than get 'average' pics instantly! He arrived slightly before arranged - at 2pm - bearing in mind our service wasn't until after 5pm and he didn't leave until past midnight. No way I would have paid an hourly rate lol! My favourite picture without doubt (though there are sooooooooo many): But then agian there's this one.....when our son was asked to give the rings, forgot they were in his pocket, so ran off to look inside the villa for them!! Cake - a massive let down. Went through Sheila's Bakery which is in Ocho Rios but doesn't have a website. We went there ourselves and saw that it was a professional set up and gave them our cake requirements and this picture: And ended up with this!... What an embarrassment! Glad Merrick only took one pic of it and that it at least tasted good. Ladies, let's be honest, what crap. Music: Fabulous band that my fiance found and I can hook any of you up that are interested. VEEEERRRRY cheap considering - under $1500 for 6 hours including a guitarist for the ceremony: My hubby even got on the mic for a bit...but hey, you met a Jamaican that doesn't sing?! Wedding Make Up: My best friend she did great I think, plus I am obviously a very au natural kind of gal: Flowers: Only got a few bunches for the head table from a local florist - super cheap and our bouquets were made out of buttons! Centre pieces, quizzes, menus etc: The entertainment and the extras: Mini Golf! Pool! A local rasta who painted our reception 'as it happened'! Floating lanterns And finally, our exit vehicle..... Ladies, this day, our day, was a dream and I think one you can only truly have at a villa. Any questions, fire away x
  5. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Hello all, Sorry I have been off the site for ages but I just wanted to touch base. My villa wedding was the most amazing day, a dream that went by too quickly. I am still waiting for our pics for me to post a full report but ladies, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!! Watch this space.... CB
  6. catererbride

    Any September 2011 Jamaica brides on here?

    Well done ladies for getting this far!! Cannot believe how little time is left... All I have to do is: pick up dress tomorrow finish up packing spread all my champers out amongst the guests suitcases find someone to make our cake check the band are actually going to show up find someone to do our hair find a casino company But I am feeling great about everything which is great. I leave here (UK) in 10 days!!! Fiance is already out there with family so I will have about 3 weeks out there to get our act together. Best of luck...we don't need it...we own these weddings!
  7. catererbride

    CARIBBEAN PANTRY

    Hi mzthan6, when are you gettig married? We are using a chef called Gregory Nelson chef.nelson@hotmail.com and he has some great reviews if you google him. It's pretty expensive but still way cheaper than we were initially being quoted through Jamaican planners. AMB, sorry I have been so rubbish, the ?*&% has really hit the fan in the last month with everything from my FI's father figure granddad dying to a major fallout with a best friend (it's messed up) and so now she's not coming (or her hubby or daughter who was my flower girl!!). Crazy! Anyway...I am all over everything now (after a breather and a rather amusing hen/bachelorette party). I am going out to Ja in 10 days and staying until the middle of Sept. How much is Noida charging? I have no clue who we will use and figured more or less that we would do the rounds when we get there. No Idea about videographer i'm afraid Duane doesn't recommend one? We have decided to just set up our camcorder for the ceremony & speeches on a tripod. We don't want movie quality, just a recording of the words as a keep sake and if we can save a dollar here or there.... How is everything your end?
  8. catererbride

    great phot guy for new brides in jamacia

    We're using Merrick and he has been great thus far re. communication and also very reasonable in comparision to some. I will keep you posted though as our wedding is 5 weeks today!!!!
  9. catererbride

    CARIBBEAN PANTRY

    Hi AMB, Crazy right? AND changed my mind...no surprizes there Now going with Merrick Cousley for $1400. Doesn't include as much as Marcia but much better work. Did you find yourself second guessing her work too? She is great for the amount you get for your money but quality wise, in many photos I am shocked she even put them on her web. Sure everyone takes the odd bad pic but these are not the ones you use to advertise your work... Just under 8 weeks! Oooh and need to find a baker...any suggestions? Thanks!
  10. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Hi Gingerpeach..long time! How did it go? Tell all...pictures? Stress levels...ok. At the end of the day, it's either all going to come together and be AMAZING or it won't and it will be very funny! Either way, I am marrying the love of my life and my closest friends and family will be there so, it's all good Best, CB
  11. catererbride

    CARIBBEAN PANTRY

    Sorry Crasht, I meant to answer your q's too... 1.) so jealous you have so much time to play with 2.) $23 pp, I wish ours was so low and think that based on other quotes that I have been given that's not bad at all even for local food 3.) What's her contact please as I would like to ask her about rentals 4.) Island Deli - rude. I emailed him a few times and he emailed back to ask a few more questions. Then he didn't respond for a week so my fiance called him. He then said he was having a problem sending the quote to my email address (even though I had received an email from him previous). My fi then gave him his email - nothing. My fi then called him - left a message. Then I emailed him from FOUR different email addresses and still haven't heard from him. Bearing in mind our food bill will be about $3k - his loss. Yet again though, another example of CRAP service. 5.) Photographer - this makes me so sad....We had booked with Marcia Roberts as she was so cheap and work was ok. Then I stumbled across Dwayne Watkins work and for me, none of the others come close, even the super expensive ones. He is charging $3k which makes me mad (wow I'm going on a bit aren't I?) and Marcia is charging $1400 (this includes loads). We don't have the money but I have convinced myself that actually, Marcia's work is very average and you do keep your pics for life (blah blah blah). A real conundrum basically and this wedding is going to mess up our finances big time but then as I am going so completely overboard with details, I would be gutted beyond belief if this didn't show on our pics. 6.) Yup - paper lanterns are the way forward! 7.) Our villa is Mount Pleasant, Runaway Bay Phew...it's been a while since i've been on here! Best, CB
  12. catererbride

    CARIBBEAN PANTRY

    Hi AMB! It's getting closer to two months now!!! Natalie has been a no go unfortunately because apparently she is off island on my wedding date? Took a couple of weeks to tell me that but still... Oooh what's your offer with the keyboard player? I am still annoyed by how much these guys are ripping us off. My FI's aunties are teachers out in Ja and these vendors are asking for more money than teachers get paid in a month for an evening...THIS IS CRAZY! I would love a jazz band too but we are going with a reggae band (something my parents insist on and I think it will be great) but true, it is very difficult to find examples of musician's work, partic the less well known ones. I need a hairstylist too (my friend is doing my make-up - she does this professionally) but reckon I should just go about to some local hair salons (NOT in resorts) and get some prices. At least they will be much more reasonable and I don't think their quality will be any less good - just less likely to rip off a 'tourist' and don't you feel that you come under the grey area of 'well i'm not completely a tourist...I have my local links!!'? This wedding is ending up being a sweet fortune. Cheapest food cost I have found 'Gregory Nelson' recommended through C Pantry is $50 pp - I too asked for in JMD and got the fee to have a chat with him so he could hear the dialect Can't afford any activities though Well done for the sax player - great choice and can't wait to hear how yours goes. We are having everything from a casino to table tennis, the theme being casual fun where the Jamaicans and the English simply have a great time together. I actually leave for Ja on 15th Aug so not long to go at all! My latest drama is the cost of wedding photographers as am second guessing my previous choice due to quality - this is messing with our budget big time Anyway... Best!! CB
  13. catererbride

    Villa Weddings Brides - Jamaica!

    Am I the first out of us to do a test run of this crazy villa wedding idea?!? Soon2be, you are one smart cookie - this is tough! So far, I have my dress, my shoes, my bridesmaids dresses and small man's suit (7yr old son), about 150 lanterns and 'throwsies' and we have booked the villa (mount pleasant, runaway bay). That's pretty much it and our wedding is on 7th Sept...THIS year. I have a planner coming with me to set up and co-ordinate with vendors...I just need to find & book the vendors! My fiance reckons he has found a guitarist, dj & reggae band for $1000 in total but I am very skeptical of this. He was there last in Feb and randomly started talking to a band in Ochi about our wedding and the rest is history. They do not have any examples of their work so.....? Who knows at this point Enjoy!!!!!
  14. catererbride

    CARIBBEAN PANTRY

    Hi AMB, How is it all going for you? Not too much has progressed my side...but it's still fun, so that's something I am waiting on a quote from Natalie Chen and another one called Island Deli caterers?? I did email two others but they haven't got replied as yet...no surprise there. It's still like pulling teeth and the trouble is that my Jamaican Fi has the same laid back 'take it easy mon' approach that somehow everything will just slot together on the day....hmmmm... 3 months before the wedding and still no closer to a caterer or music (band, dj, etc.) - sure, 'no problem mon' What did you decide on in the end and any hot tips for me? Thanks! CB
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