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jmarshall

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About jmarshall

  1. PS. I didn't think the flowers would last either which is why I went with a fake flower in my hair, but no joke, my bouquet was beautiful and nearly as good as when I first got them for like a whole week after .. could be because they were orchids though.
  2. Oh I also forgot to mention, completely not related to the wedding, but a tip regarding the resort. The main breakfast buffet at the Gran Bahia is always packed and runs out of food... if you want a little more intimate, less crazy, and better food quality go to the Palmyra Buffet. I don't think many people know about this place because it was never busy and the food was always fresh and fully stocked.... to get there just go to the main buffet and walk left and walk some more and you will hit it.
  3. Quote: Originally Posted by CdnBrideJoanne Jenna - Thank you so much for writing a review! Your pics are simply beautiful and your dress was amazing. Did the resort willingly let you mix and match the menu items at the Dolce Vita? Or did you have to pay extra to do that? Also, are the dinners at 6:00 or did you have the option of having it start at 6:30? And last question.... how much did you have to pay for the bouquet upgrade? Congratulations!! Thanks!! Vinnette only gave us three menu options for the Dolce Vita and we were able to mix and match those three menus, and mixing was free of charge. Not sure if 6:30 is an option; she didn't give us a choice... she just said dinner is at 6:00. For the bouquet and boutonniere upgrade it was $85. Be forewarned... initially they tried to charge me a delivery fee of like $10 because it wasn't the included bouquet and boutonniere... I argued it and they waived it. So watch for that. Jenna
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by soontobeawalsh Hey Jenna Thanks so much for your review! It is always great to hear from each bride how their day and overall experience went!! Thanks for sharing. Your cake is beautiful. I was wondering about the ribbon on your cake. Is it just regular ribbon? or is it special edible cake decorating ribbon? Also great pictures!! You look so beautiful and happy with your hubby Yes, just regular ribbon from hobby lobby!
  5. Quote: Originally Posted by tram13 Jenna, Thank you so much for your review and sharing your pictures! You looked amazing and I am glad to hear that everything worked out perfectly. Thank you for the tips on the taxi drivers, etc - do you know where you got your booze and how much you ended up spending? Also, thanks for the tips about the spa - my mom has set up a hair appointment for herself and a make-up appointment for myself for the wedding day. I have printed off the confirmation e-mails (thankfully, my mom forwarded all that information to me) and will take them with us. I will also inquire about a make-up trial, because I do believe that is included! I was just wondering - you stated that the resort wasn't your favorite. May I ask why? Congratulations on becoming a MRS! Thank you! I do not know the exact name of the market we went to, but I can tell you that from the front entrance of the Gran Bahia you turn left. Travel a couple of minutes down the road and when you hit the first stop light, the market will be right on the right... look for a bunch of taxis. Should be a 2-5 minute taxi ride. We bought five 750mL bottles at around $15+/- each: 2 Sky vodkas, 1 whiskey (some brand we have never heard of, but it was the only whiskey they had), and 2 rums (called Overproof and unless if you like STRONG alcohol, I would not recommend this because we thought it was nasty and none of our guests touched it LOL). Total I want to say was like $70ish. Still cheaper than the open bar price! We actually could have just skipped buying alcohol with the rum punch and champagne Vinnette provided us. As for the taxi, Vinnette said the ride shouldn't be more than a couple bucks. When we hailed our taxi, we immediately asked the driver how much for the round trip and he said $10; we bartered with him a bit and were able to get him down (his response was whatever works mon haha). We still ended up giving our taxi driver like $8 because he stayed with us at the market and even came in with us to help with the alcohol and to make sure we didn't get ripped off. Yeah definitely take those confirmation emails with you for the spa! As for the resort not being our favorite... there were actually quite a few things that were quite a bummer, but I will just name a few that bugged us the most... 1) We couldn't get any reservations at any of the specialty restaurants. We were there from a Sunday to a Sunday (a whole week). We went to book the reservations the day after we arrived and there was no availability in any of the restaurants. The only restaurant we were able to get booked in was the Grill at 9:30PM! And the food there ended up being all cold! 2) We have been to a lot of all-inclusives and the service at this resort was by far the worst. Most of the servers and bartenders had bad attitudes and were grumpy and some were just flat out mean. If you wanted any drinks in the restaurants you had to actually approach the servers and ask for them or go get them yourself. 3) The food was not great, not much variety... pretty much the same thing everyday with maybe a couple things different. Oh and the late night burger spot was NASTY. And I swear, I am the least picky eater on the planet, no joke I usually like everything! Wedding dinner was fantastic though... probably the only meal we really enjoyed there. 4) The beach is not the nicest... if you are a beach person and have been to a lot of amazing beaches, I think you will be disappointed... we were. *But seriously, we chose this resort for the wedding specifically and we were so soooo happy we did. So I would recommend it for everyone looking for an awesome wedding, but for someone just looking for a vacation spot, I would say keep looking. Hope this helps! Jenna
  6. Hi Lauren, Thank you! So to request Christopher Lee I contacted the photography company at the Gran Bahia via email: photoweddingbpjam@arrecifestudio.com or photoweddingbpjam@tropiconestudio.com They emailed me using both those emails so I am not sure which one is the right one, try both. Just say your a bride and would like to request Christopher Lee. Even if he has another bride that day if you really, really bug them they might still let you have him too... that's what I had to do. He's totally worth the trouble though... For the flowers, I didn't use a catalog. A few months before the wedding I just found a picture of the exact bouquet I wanted and emailed Tai Flora directly, telling here I was getting married at the Gran Bahia on November 13 and asking if they had that flower, could make that bouquet, and what the cost would be. They gave me like a $25 credit since I did not get the included bouquet and boutonniere in the wedding package. Once we agreed on the pricing and final invoice, she forwarded it on to my wedding coordinator. For the Italian restaurant, we had three menu options, however Vinnette let us mix and match the three menus a bit. I am pretty positive they would accommodate someone that is vegetarian. If you have Vinnette as your wedding coordinator she would definitely accommodate the vegetarian, as she was amazing at making things happen. An for the hair appointment through the spa, I booked it through them directly as well. Email: spabpjam@bahia-principe.com Hope this helps... let me know if you have any other questions! Jenna
  7. Soooo ladies, I just got back from Jamaica and let me just start of by saying that you will not be disappointed having your wedding at the Gran Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay. Ok so get comfortable because here comes a very long review… just wanted to warn you all. Traveling to Jamaica My husband and I are from Salt Lake City, UT in the U.S. We traveled to and from Jamaica on JetBlue. The airline itself is great; however, they do not accommodate brides, at least they didn’t for me. Apparently JetBlue does not have a coat closet so there is no where to hang your dress on the airplane if you carry it on, and they were actually saying that we needed to stuff the dress in a suitcase. From Salt Lake City to JFK the flight attendants at least let me use a little more overhead space and just fold my dress once in half. When we got to New York, a JetBlue flight attendant was going to make my husband (fiancé then) and I check ALL the rest of our carry-ons, including the ones that would go under the seat in front of us because she said my dress would take up too much room. I said that doesn’t even make sense considering the items going beneath the seats won’t even affect the overhead space. I wasn’t going to let here check the rest of our items because it had all our glass centerpieces in them and all of our money, passports, etc. I think eventually she realized her reasoning was wrong, and she ended up letting us keep all our things. We arrived in Jamaica, checked in at the Gran Bahia, and besides a couple hiccups in our reservations, everything went pretty smoothly. We supposedly received an upgraded room (our wedding packaged included it if it was available), but I think they told us we did, but really didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, we had a beautiful room with a good view of the pool and ocean; however, my little sister’s room/view/patio was nicer than ours. She checked in that same night, in the lowest category room, and her balcony was seriously three times the size of ours with a pool and ocean view. Oh well. Day After Arrival Let’s see, so the next day after we arrived, we met our wedding coordinator, Vinnette, at 9AM and spent maybe two hours with her. We went over everything, we got all of our questions answered, and we paid for our package and extras. We went with the Unforgettable package gazebo wedding at 2PM, the semi-private reception at Dolce Vita at 6PM, and the Gazebo with DJ for dancing from 8PM-10PM. We only ended up having twelve family members coming, so having an open bar during the dancing was not an option (need at least 20 people). After asking nicely, we were able to get Vinnette to agree to set up a table, ice, and mixers at the Gazebo for no charge, and my hubby and I were going to go get a couple of alcohol bottles off resort. She then took us over to the photography office were we confirmed our photography package and our photographer, Christopher Lee. Day Before the Wedding The day before the wedding, my man was SUPER sick. He didn’t get out of bed all day. So I was kind of stressing, A LOT. Vinnette said, if we had to, we could reschedule it when he got better. She said it probably wouldn’t be at the same time, be it would be no problem if it came down to that. Thank goodness he was feeling better the next day, not completely, but enough to get married and have some fun. So the day before the wedding, I picked the brain of one of the security guys in the lobby about how to go about going off resort and buying alcohol and where. He told me everything I needed to know and gave me all sorts of advice on how to not get ripped off; I wish I remembered his name so you guys could go talk to him if you needed something. Anyways, so my sister, her boyfriend, and I walked up to the front gate, hailed a RED license plate cab (only take these because the others are just random people), went to the market not even five minutes down the road, and made it back to the resort safe and sound. FYI, don’t use the resort taxi; they were trying to charge us $30 for the round trip and Vinnette told us that that is B.S. and told us to not use them. Later on that day, I met with Vinnette and gave her all the wedding stuff we brought/made, including the chair ties, music, center pieces, cake topper/cake ribbon, sand ceremony, sign in book, and money for Tai Flora (we upgraded our bouquet and boutonnière). Later on that evening I did the free bridal hair trial at the spa, and I’m glad I did just to get an idea of what it would look like. Oh and they do just a quick version, so don’t be alarmed when it isn’t exactly like you wanted. I forgot to mention, if you are getting your hair done at the spa be sure to go to the spa as soon as you can to confirm your appointments. A few months before I arrived I booked my hair appointment and trial. When I got there they had me down for completely different times. I told them I wanted the times I originally booked and they said, sorry, we are all booked up. I went to my room and got all the confirmation emails I had from them from the months prior and they at least changed the times to a little bit closer to the original times. Still frustrating though. Wedding Day The day of the wedding, I got my hair done at the spa at 11AM, which turned out exactly how I wanted and had my sister do my makeup. Vinnette said she would be at our room five to ten minutes before 2PM to give me my flowers and pick me up in the cart. (My hubby was given his boutonnière at the gazebo when he got there.) Anyways, Vinnette was on time and my flowers were STUNNING (we went with blue orchids). We didn’t manage to get out of the room until maybe 2:10. I was freaking out a little because I hate being late, but Vinnette told me to stop stressing because the wedding won’t go on without the bride. Upon arrival at the gazebo, our photographer immediately started taking pictures. The party catamaran was blaring music when we got to the gazebo, and my sister-in-law screamed at them across the water to “CUT THE MUSIC,†pretty funny. J They actually listened to her and quit, and then the steel band drum immediately started playing. Everything at the ceremony went smoothly and couldn’t have been more perfect. I personally think the minister could have done a little better… he stumbled through his words pretty bad, but no worries! As for the weather, that day was on and off rain and we got lucky, the rain stopped right before our ceremony and the sun came out. It was beautiful. Apparently, the first wedding and last wedding that day got poured on. L At least it is supposed to be good luck if it rains on our wedding. Dinner at the Dolce Vita was at 6:00PM, but somehow everyone in our party thought it was 6:30 so we started dinner late. Luckily, we were able to just push everything back a half hour with out any troubles and were still able to have two hours at dinner and two hours of dancing. All of our centerpiece decorations were set up exactly how I told Vinnette we wanted it and all our chair ties made it over to the restaurant. It was perfect and beautiful. As for the menu, we had a caesar salad with chicken, cream of roasted squash and thyme soup, chicken breast with ricotta walnuts and bacon with basil risotto crunch, and profiteroles with cream and chocolate coulis. All of it was delicious. Our waiter was a bit grumpy, but he did a good job. Our cake, WAS AWESOME!!!! When we sat down for our meeting with Vinnette I told her we didn’t want any of the flowery, fluffy, decorative frosting junk on our cake. I said we just wanted it plain, flat frosting with the ribbon that we brought and our cake topper. It was sooo much better! The cake was actually square too, and I didn’t even request that/didn’t know it was an option!! Beautiful and delicious!!! The cake was chocolate raspberry. At the gazebo, the DJ and drinks table were set up as asked and Vinnette surprised us with some rum punch and champagne too. If you go this route, I highly suggest asking her to provide water on the table too because we forgot and were dying. The manager guy was luckily there though so he was able to make a phone call and at least bring us a couple pitchers. Advice For your photographer, book Christopher Lee! HE IS AMAZING! He is funny, always smiling, and a very talented photographer. I am obsessed with our pictures, no joke. I cannot recommend him enough. Be forewarned, he is booked out pretty far in advance so book him ASAP!! The only other photographer is a guy named Nick; I honestly don’t know a thing about him or his work, but I do know that every time we saw him he didn’t seem very chipper. :/ We only did the ceremony and beach package. I am glad we didn’t choose to do more because with the reception only being semi-private we would have had a lot of random people in our photos and at the gazebo for the dancing outside, we were all sweaty beasts within minutes and not looking our best anymore! haha If you can, extend your vacation to spend some alone time with your new hubby. For us, the wedding week was stressful and just go, go, go. We felt like most of the time we were trying to coordinate with family where to meet and when and we spent a lot of time in the lobby waiting for people to arrive and seeing them off. AND WE ONLY HAD A TOTAL OF 12 PEOPLE COME, SO I COULDN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE IF MORE PEOPLE CAME. YIKES! HAHA. We stayed at the Gran Bahia for a week and then went to Couples Swept Away in Negril for five nights. Hands down, the best resort I have EVER been to. If finances allow it, DEFINITELY take a few days extra for your honeymoon; I’m SOOOO glad we did. For those of you that are control freaks, like me, if you have Vinnette as your wedding coordinator, be prepared to give her all control because she will demand it and DON’T be afraid to give it to her. She got everything done correctly, and perfectly. She was AWESOME and went above and beyond on every detail. Highly recommend her. Lastly, if you plan to bring back some cake to freeze and eat on your first anniversary, bring a freaking cake box. We went to EVERY single restaurant at the resort, and not one could even manage to come up with a Styrofoam to-go box; it was sad and disappointing. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Just make sure you have your wedding time and reception location confirmed; the rest of it can be worked out when you get there. Overall, the Gran Bahia as a resort, was not my favorite, but as for getting married there, it was simply perfect. So those of you that have booked your wedding there, FANTASTIC choice! And for those of you that are considering it, DO IT. YA MON!! Sorry for the book… Anyways, feel free to ask me any and all questions; would love to help. All the best, Jenna Our Cake My bouquet by Tai Flora Random one from my camera Another random one from my camera (playing the steel drums) Some photos by Christopher Lee (AKA the ones I am obsessed with )
  8. Could somebody email me the 2014 wedding packages? Pretty please! jenna.m.marshall@gmail.com
  9. Does anyone know if you can book the photographer for your reception too? I have an earlier wedding so it would be okay if he left and did other weddings in the mean time, but I was hoping to maybe get some sunset photographs, photos during dinner, and maybe when we do the sky lantern thing. HELP!
  10. Does Chris Lee have a seperate Facebook page from Arrecife? If so, how did you search for him or can you send me his link? THANK YOU!!!
  11. I am sure that I have read this somewhere on this thread, but I didn't want to go back through the 413 pages again to find my answer. Is Rashel Edwards the hair and makeup person at the resort? If not, do you have to pay the vendor fee for her? How much does she charge for hair and also for make up?
  12. Does anyone know if the resort will work with you on the style of the wedding cake? I don't want any of the frosting decorations or whatever you call them on the cake. We would like just a plain cake with a couple of flowers on top and some ribbon at the base of each tier. Also, do you know if we can request to skip the dessert that is included with dinner and sub it for an extra tier on the cake?
  13. The $1700 includes dinner. However, I am sure that if you go over a certain number of people they will start charging for each additional person. Not sure what that number is though.
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