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NHKinNegril

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About NHKinNegril

  1. I got married at Catcha Falling Star in Negril and just asked them to use whatever baker they typically use. I didn't expect much, since I wasn't able to do a tasting and hadn't read much about Negril bakeries, but I swear it was the best wedding cake I've ever had! We got a pineapple cake with coconut custard filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. I just asked them to decorate it with fresh flowers in my colors, and it looked great. I think we only paid around $300 for it--two tiered, fed about 40 I think (we had 20 guests, but there was a lot left over that we let the staff share). I'd highly recommend tracking this baker down, the cake was amazing. They said the baker was Opia & Jerry Plummer at Roots Cafe. I've googled them and don't see much online, and they don't have a website. If you're interested, email Andrea at catchafallingstar2@gmail.com and ask for the baker's contact info. Pictures of our cake:
  2. These two are highly suspicious to me: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/59513/my-wonderful-photographer-diana-campbell http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/68408/digital-memories-diana-campbell Both are rave reviews by one-time posters who seem to have registered simply to rave about Diana Campbell, but nothing else about their wedding. I find that odd. Also, I hired Diana Campbell and it was a disaster. Not at all like these reviews, so I find them hard to believe.
  3. I was thinking the exact same thing! My photographer was horrible, and right after I posted my thoughts on her, a favorable review was posted raving about her. I found it a little too fishy. I do think it's good sense to see if a rave review of one vendor is the only thing a "bride" has posted.
  4. Having just returned, I would caution that not everyone will have a leisurely wait at MBJ airport. Our shuttle got us there 2.5 hours before departure, but the line for departure customs/security was weaving back and forth throughout the entire check-in area (it was like Disneyland rides!). We checked in quickly with our airline, jumped in the line and had under 45 minutes to spare, which is enough to be comfortable, but I certainly didn't have time to hang out and eat after checking in, as there was no way to know how quickly that line would move. The gift cards are a great idea, but I wouldn't count on all your guests having an opportunity to use them, which would be a shame.
  5. QueenDiva - we had our pre-wedding family dinner at Rockhouse and it was excellent! Stunning resort. Enjoy, it goes by so fast!!!
  6. Hi ladies I am newly returned from my April 9 wedding at Catcha Falling Star in Negril. I haven't posted much on this board, but I used it a lot in my wedding planning, so hopefully this recap will help some of you as well. When my (then) fiance and I began looking into sites in Negril for our wedding (I won't go into how we came to settle on Negril as the location!), we knew right away that we wanted a smaller boutique hotel rather than a large all-inclusive. We only anticipated around 25 guests, and we wanted a more intimate setting and to be the only wedding of the week--not one of several that day. We looked into Rockhouse and Tensing Pen, but they were already booked for our wedding date. We then came across Catcha Falling Star and fell in love with it immediately! The reviews on Trip Advisor speak for themselves--this is a small, intimate resort with superb personal attention from the staff. Its location on the stunning cliffs with beautiful landscaping made it an ideal location for us. Below are my comments on the resort and the various vendors we used for the wedding. Also, here is a link to some photos so you can see the flowers, hair, makeup, location, etc. https://picasaweb.google.com/nimiesque/WeddingRecapCatchaFallingStarNegril?authkey=Gv1sRgCJr99Ibm-u-zOA# Resort: Catcha Falling Star (http://www.'>http://www.'>http://www.'>http://www.'>http://www.catchajamaica.com/) I simply cannot say enough positive things about them. From the moment we arrived, we were treated as though we were the only guests there. Every staff person greeted us by name every time we saw them ("Good morning Miss Niki!"). They were genuinely happy and eager to make us comfortable. We did not book the entire resort for our wedding as it was already partially booked when we scheduled our wedding. Half of our guests stayed at Catcha, and others stayed just down the road at other small resorts or all-inclusives. We weren't planning any group activities or scheduled events other than the wedding day, so this worked perfectly for us. The grounds of Catcha are stunning and the cliffs were so much fun to jump off! The on site restaurant, Ivan's, is #1 on Trip Advisor for a reason--the food was amazing and the drinks are strong!!! In planning my wedding, Andrea and Mauvette took care of almost everything for me! They booked the officiant, I asked for a Steel drum band and they took care of it (they were fantastic! See below), they recommended a cake maker, and all I did was choose the flavors (again, see below). They did not have any hidden fees, in fact they didn't charge extra for anything! They set up the chairs, decorations, tables, and handled all the logistics. I didn't have to worry about anything. They also had extra staff on hand for the cocktail hour and dinner service, and didn't add any fees for that. I can email anyone interested in more specifics of food, menu, costs, etc, but basically this is what we did: Post-ceremony champagne reception with appetizers: We paid by the bottle for champagne, and $16/pp for appetizers. We chose 3 appetizers, and they prepared them basically planning on 2 of each per person. We had some leftover (I think they made more than they actually charged us for!). Dinner: $55/pp + wine. We got a 4-course dinner including chocolate cake (OMG so good!). Open bar at reception: they either do a per person fee, or you can just request an open bar and pay for what is ordered, which is what we did. This was smart for us as most of our guests had very little to drink, as we were full of wine and champagne already! Again, they were super flexible in tailoring the package for us. There is, in fact, no set package. You tell them what you want and they make it happen. No fees for every little thing you want to customize. Florist: Floral Fantasies (http://www.floralfantasiesjamaica.com) 100% thrilled with them! I ordered the "Regal" bridal bouquet ($150), flower girl's hair wreath ($35), two ceremonial tripods ($85/each), and table centerpieces (I requested that they be kept to $40/each). They did a fantastic job. All the flowers were fresh, bright, fragrant, and well put together. For the tripods and centerpieces, all I told them was that I wanted predominantly red, orange, and purple flowers and they did not disappoint. They used high-end flowers and everything was exquisite. My husband and I stayed at the resort through the following week, and the flowers were still alive and beautiful for most of the week! We moved the tripods to our balcony, and the resort kept the centerpieces on the dinner tables for quite some time. They clearly used healthy and fresh flowers. Hair and Make-up: Debra/Queen Bee (http://www.salonnegril.com/index.htm) $180 for hair and make-up, which included the pre-wedding trial at her salon. Loved Debra! Super friendly, listened to what I wanted. I did airbrush make-up that stayed on all day/night through the heat and humidity. She even airbrushed my chest area a bit to hide my slight burn! She was on time (even early!) and came to my resort to get me ready in my hotel room. 100% happy! Officiant: Rev. Campbell $300 (plus the resort added $35 to FedEx us the certificate) I don't know how many of you have to book the officiant on your own, but Catcha recommended Rev. Campbell so we went with him. We asked for a non-religious ceremony, and it was short, simple, and elegant. There were a few mentions of God, but nothing overly religious. If you're curious as to the wording, send me a PM and I'll send you a link to a brief video so you can see some of the ceremony. Cake: We just went with Catcha's recommendation for cake maker and told them what flavors we wanted (they can do basically anything!). We did a pineapple cake with coconut custard filling and vanilla buttercream frosting, decorated with fresh flowers. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the BEST wedding cake I have ever had. Our guests could not stop telling us how delicious it was. I was worried since I am picky about cake and would not have an opportunity to do a cake sampling, but I was so happy with it I ate two pieces that night (plus stole the frosting from my brother's piece!). I'm sure if you email them they can put you in touch with the bakery they use (they said they always use this baker unless a bride prefers her own choice). Steel Drum Band: $280/hour - 4-person band. Again, I just asked Catcha to find a steel drum band, and they scheduled them for me (they use this band a lot). They played as guests arrived for the ceremony, during my flower girl's and my walk down the aisle, then through the champagne reception. I had wanted to walk down the aisle to Canon in D, but they didn't know it, so they played "Here Comes the Bride" which to be honest I wasn't thrilled about, but when I heard it in steel drums it was actually beautiful and I didn't mind! They played "Stand by Me" while my husband and I signed our paperwork, which I thought was perfect! Overall, they were fantastic. Song choices (I didn't make any specific requests) were great and they added the perfect ambiance to the wedding and festivities. Bonus: they were an hour early!!! Super professional We tipped them $100 and they were obviously thrilled about it! Sorry I don't have their contact info, but if you email Catcha I'm sure they'll put you in touch with them. Photographer: Diane Campbell/Digital Memories (http://www.digitalmemoriescollection.com/) I posted a separate review on them. HUGE disappointment. We contracted them from 2:00-8:00 for $900, with our ceremony starting at 3:00. We got Diana and her son to do a video and photos. They showed up an hour late, just minutes before 3:00 and so I have no photos of me getting ready, and I was frantic that whole time wondering if they'd show up at all. I requested candid, casual shots, and they kept trying to pose me and my husband in awkward, cheesy poses that just look stupid. My husband and I had to direct THEM as to what to be doing so we could hopefully get some shots we liked. Out of over 200 images on the disc that Diana threw together, half are out of focus, either me or my husband have our eyes closed, and there is not ONE spectacular image that we would enlarge. They did no photo work to fix dark or overexposed images, and they didn't weed out the clearly bad ones (probably because there'd be no images left to give us!). I am beyond disappointed. Our guests took better photos with their point and click cameras. Huge waste of $900. See my post on them for more details: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/72018/digital-memories-diana-campbell-photographer-in-negril Wedding Favors: We brought favor bags with us and planned on buying local gifts in Negril, since we would be arriving 3 days before the wedding. We took a cab to a shopping center and bought Appleton Rum (not the tiny mini bottles, but I think 12 oz bottles), mini rum cakes, blue mountain coffee, and jerk seasoning. Plenty to choose from at the Hi-Lo shopping center! Again, feel free to PM me or ask any more questions. I have tips for navigating and eating out in Negril in general (For example: cars with red plates are taxis. Do NOT accept a ride from any car without a red plate! Also, I got a minor ear infection (!) and went to a local Dr. who only charged me $50!) Good luck to all you brides planning your dream weddings...may it be as wonderful as ours was!
  7. Forgot to add that she was an hour late and I have no photos of me getting ready. She arrived minutes before the ceremony started. I was frantic!
  8. We used her and got photos on disc and a really cheesy slideshow with PowerPoint style transitions. I have to say we were hugely disappointed with the photos. Half are completely unusable: out of focus, our eyes are closed, bad angles, etc. I can't beleive other people were pleased with her work.
  9. I am just back from my April 9 wedding at Catcha Falling Star (review on resort to come later, but LOVED everything about it!). We used Floral Fantasies for our flowers, and I am beyond thrilled at the job they did! http://www.floralfantasiesjamaica.com/index.html I picked the Regal bridal bouquet; a hair wreath for my flower girl; two ceremonial tripods using red, orange, and purple flowers; and table centerpieces also using red, orange, and purple flowers. Besides simply telling them my colors, and that I wanted to keep the centerpieces to $40/each, I didn't request specific flowers or arrangements, I just let them do their thing. They did not disappoint. The flowers were beautiful, fresh, exotic, and simply stunning! My husband and I stayed at the resort the next week for our honeymoon, and the flowers lasted almost the entire week so the resort kept them out (we moved the tripods to our balcony!). They delivered on time and were very communicative and helpful in the planning process. We hated our photographers (see review for Digital Memories/Diana Campbell) but loved the florist Here are some pictures of the flowers:
  10. I am just back from my wedding on April 9 at Catcha Falling Star in Negril (separate review on the resort will come later--LOVED everything about it!! Can't say enough positive things about the whole experience there!). I had hired Diana Campbell and her son as our photographer and videographer. Pros: Leading up to the event, Diana was very responsive to my inquiries. Cost was great, only $900 for 6 hours with all photos on disc and a video DVD. Her son Duane was enthusiastic and clearly interested in making us happy. I think he has a future down the road once he gets more experience. Cons: My ceremony started at 3:00, so I contracted them from 2:00-8:00 so they could get photos of me getting ready and stay through dinner and part of the reception. They showed up an HOUR late and mere minutes before the ceremony started. I have no pictures of me getting ready, and I was frantic that whole hour wondering if they'd arrive at all. Diana went straight to the refrigerator and helped herself to some bottled water. I would have been thoughtful enough to offer her some if I were not so frantic about them being so late. I had requested natural, casual, and candid shots as I hate poses and do not photograph well when I'm posing. Still, they kept trying to prop me and my husband in cheesy and unnatural pose after pose, and we had to request and suggest our own shots in order to get ones we hoped would turn out. I mistakenly offered to include them in the dinner service. They were so caught up in eating that they missed cues to speeches and toasts and kept asking us to repeat things so they could get the photos. On a whole disc of almost 200 photos, there is not one WOW photo. They included photos that were blurry, out of focus, and where either myself or my husband had our eyes closed. For many of the poses, they clearly only took one or two shots and if either of those were not good, they included them on the disc anyway. Any good photographers will take 5-10 pictures of each pose to hopefully get a good one. They should weed out the clearly bad ones (why give me blurry photos?) and only present high quality images. Diana just threw everything on disc. They took photos from bad angles (kneeling on the ground and aiming up to photograph us results in great nostril shots!) Thanks a lot! Overall: I wish we had paid twice as much for a better photographer and had photos we loved. Thank God our friends took some great photos--we'll use those for our album. I simply cannot recommend Digital Memories/Diana Campbell under any circumstance. Lesson learned: you get what you pay for.
  11. Hi daniB, Not sure if I'm too late to give you some advice on this, but I am just back from my wedding in Negril on April 9. We used Diana from Digital memories and it was horrible. She was an hour late, and same as with your Chicago photographer, all the photos were a huge disappointment. Not one single photo we can look at and say Wow! Our friends took better photos. The disc she gave us had shots with me or my husband with our eyes closed, blurry/out of focus shots, bad angles, silly poses, and all around just not up to professional standards. She was very nice and accommodating in our correspondence, but I cannot recommend her.
  12. Thanks! I ordered mine from inweddingdress, the dress style is DE035 http://www.inweddingdress.com/style-de035.html I trimmed of the small bits of the tiered skirt that had started to fray (mere millimeters, not a lot) and coated the ends in clear nail polish to keep it from fraying. It seems that most of the skirt was treated to prevent fraying, but some small portions were missed. Now, with my nail polish fix, it's perfect and you cannot tell at all. I LOVE this dress! When I put it on I feel so light and airy with that gorgeous flowing skirt. I can't stop looking at it!
  13. Thanks! The dress you ordered is stunning--I hope it turns out just as you imagined. You'll be beautiful!
  14. Hi Brides I've been a lurker, but wanted to post my dress story as I used this thread a lot in my decision-making process! I found the following dress and could not get it out of my head even after looking at all the REAL designer dresses: http://www.inweddingdress.com/style-de035.html I'm getting married April 9 in Jamaica, and this dress seemed perfect for what I envisioned. The skirt reminds me of rolling waves I figured the worse that could happen is I'd be out $300 (I paid extra for rush service and it arrived in exactly two weeks!). It arrived rolled up in a ball, but I guess that cut down on shipping costs. It unraveled to full form, and will require some steaming to get the skirt to lie flat, but I am very happy with it. It's much more substantial and heavy than I expected, fully lined. The seaming on the inside is not high end, but no one can see it. The bodice fits perfectly to the measurements I sent in (I ordered custom sizing), however I think they cut it almost 2 inches longer than I requested so I'll probably have to hem it unless I switch to 4-inch heels! My biggest complaint is that the organza tiers are starting to fray in some spots (they're not hemmed). My project this weekend is to buy some Fray Check (used in crafts to keep ribbons from fraying when cut) and treating EVERY layer. Will take quite a bit of time, but I guess since the dress saved me about $1000 it's a small price to pay. Also, the skirt itself is fuller than in the picture, but I'm OK with that. All in all, I'm happy with my purchase. It's exactly what I envisioned for my beach wedding, and cost me $300 total after shipping and rush service. ** Photos aren't loading correctly here, so see my album in my profile for some pics of actual dress I received.
  15. I am using them for my wedding on April 9, 2011 at Catcha Falling Star. So no reviews of actual flowers yet, but they worked with me to come up with arrangements within my budget and have been very responsive.
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