By Misee17, · 1,183 Views · 11 Comments
USA3000. Everything went really well on this airline. We had a direct flight from Chicago to MoBay. I was able to pre-board so I could store my dress. However, I wasn't able to hang my dress. I had to fold it into the carry on up top. I guess that is what they have to do now because there are so many Destination Brides. It was fine tho, my dress didn't even wrinkle!
Check in went really well. We originally had booked an oceanview suite. They didn't offer us an upgrade, but my husband asked them if we could be upgraded for free since we brought almost 50 people to their resort. The worker spoke with her manager and they were able to upgrade us to an oceanfront room! My husband tipped her $10 b/c we were so happy!
We were greeted with Jamaican sunrise drinks. I think it was just OJ and grenadine, but they were good! Some of my guests had some issues with getting the wrong beds. A lot were getting two double beds instead of one king. Apparently the resort was running out of rooms with king beds. This kinda bothered me, but I went to the front desk and they said they couldn't do much about it, but they could push the two doubles together. Some of our guests did this and they said the bed was huge! haha. Just a small problem. Most guests didn’t even mind.
view from our room. setting up for the beach party sat. night.
The rooms at IRHS are absolutely gorgeous! I loved the decor and the bathrooms were my favorite! There is a glass shower with a huge tub! Every room has a bottle of rum in it when you get there, except we didn't get one so I called down to the front desk and they never ended up getting one to us. But they gave me a bottle of champagne the day of the wedding to make up for it. I don't know why we didn't have a bottle of rum--I think it may have been b/c we got upgraded to the oceanfront and the room wasn't ready. The beds are very comfy!!! All my guests were very happy with their rooms.
The food was fabulous!!! We weren't able to get to many restaurants but all the food we tried was extremely good. The buffet is delicious and we ate there for breakfast almost every day. We also ate there for lunch and dinner a couple nights also. This is something I want to let people know. Tell your guests in advance that they will need to set up their dinner reservations for the specialty restaurants. I tried to tell my guests in an email before they got there, but I don't think I stressed enough that they needed to do it ASAP. And if people want to make group reservations you people's room #'s or someone from each party needs to be there. Also, Make sure you let your guests know about the dress code. I had some issues with boys not wearing long pants and they had to go change. They seemed lax on men wearing sandals, but they definitely enforced the long pant rule. I sent that info out early as well...but I think I needed to stress it more.
All the bars were amazing. The swim up pool bar was my favorite. The bartenders make so many frozen drinks, I don't know how they do it! I ended up drinking a lot of Red Stripe because my stomach couldn't handle all the sweet stuff. I liked the dirt banana and Pina Coladas. We also hung out at the music bar the night before the wedding. That was really fun. My husband and his groomsmen chilled at the cigar lounge "Flames"--they really liked it. And it's connected to the Music Bar. The Mango Walk is crazy fun. The workers/Entertainment is really fun and definitely entertain. The Club gets hella busy Fri & Saturday, and there are a lot of people.
I really liked the hot and cold pools at the spa. When it started raining we all went there and enjoyed the sauna and hot tubs. It was really fun. We got our free massages and they were amazing. My husband had never had one before and he really enjoyed it.
I loved the pool. It was really big and you could always get a drink. It wasn’t very crowded while we were there. It did rain part of the time, so maybe that is why. The beach was nice too. They had a beach volleyball court and we got whole bunch of our guests together and had a game going for about an hour or so. It was so much fun! One of the star friends was playing with us too! He was sooo funny!
We originally had our welcome dinner planned for the Calabash Restaurant. However, this was one of the changes we experienced when we met with Nicole. Apparently there was a wedding at Calabash that night, so we couldn’t have it there. I was a little upset because I already had it written down in the itinerary for all the guests. But they were able to move us to the Mexican Restaurant and still keep our menu choices. So, I was happy. And it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The Maria Bonita Mexican Restaurant was absolutely perfect because there weren’t many people there. It made it very private and our food actually came out very quickly. I have heard that one of the problems at Calabash was that it is slow and there are a lot of people.
We used Marcia Roberts for our wedding photographer. She was wonderful. She and Christopher made shooting so much fun and we had a great time. They were even teaching us some naughty Jamaican words. It was so fun. I can’t wait to see the pictures. I highly recommend her as she was so easy to work with and very professional. And her rates were very reasonable. I had to pay a vendor fee of $100 for each photographer at the resort, but that was not a big deal.
We met with Nicole the day we arrived to the resort. We just went to her office and she was able to chat with us. She basically just went over every thing in the “Last Wedding Details” she sends about a month before. However, I would double check your venues for the Welcome dinner and Wedding Dinner before you go down. Tiffany showed up halfway through too. They both are extremely nice and have a good sense of humor. They were able to get us two red stripe bottles for the sand ceremony and we just had to bring all our decorations down the night before the wedding day.
Everything was absolutely perfect! And it went so smoothly. Even my husband said that he couldn’t believe how perfect everything went. However, I was a little worried about rain. When I woke up it was overcast and I tried not to worry. But then when I was getting my hair done it started raining! I was freaking out, but my moh and hair stylist told me not to worry. It stopped raining in the afternoon and just stayed overcast the rest of the day. I was fine with that! Nicole came and got my BM’s and myself around 4:20. Our ceremony was at 4:30. I think everything was pretty much on time.
I got my hair and makeup done at the resort spa. Lemore did my hair and I absolutely loved it! I had an idea in my head and no picture, but she took my “idea” to whole other level! I got so many compliments on my hair, I was so happy.
Tracy did my makeup, and she also did a fabulous job. I actually brought a pic of how I had my makeup done once and she went off that pic. But she made it more natural looking which I appreciated. It was really fun getting my makeup done by her. She was teaching me some Jamaican “Patois”—their other language there. It was fun and she did a great job.
The ceremony went perfectly. The DJ had our music perfect. And his equipment and sound was great. No skips or mess ups. He even played some music while we were drinking champaign and taking pics. The officiate was also fantastic. We had a lot of compliments about what a great job he did. I actually never got to meet him before the ceremony, but my husband did and he said he was a very nice guy. I was trying to focus on how beautiful everything was, but I couldn’t stop staring at my man. We were just so gitty and having fun. All my decorations were perfectly hung up and looked gorgeous. After the ceremony they had champaign and we all toasted before we got to picture taking with Marcia Roberts.
We had our reception dinner at Aunt Ruby’s Steakhouse. We didn’t rent out the restaurant because we didn’t have 50 people, but that actually worked out for us money wise. The décor looked amazing. Nicole and her crew did a wonderful job. They even put up my 12 lanterns I brought even though we didn’t rent out the restaurant. I was so pleased on how everything looked. The centerpieces from Floral Fantasies looked amazing. Since it had rained earlier that day, there were some mosquitoes. People were getting bit the first half hour, but then the bugs went away. Dinner was great. I had the steak. It was hard to eat because I was still so excited. We cut the cake, which they put orange orchids on!!! That I loved because I had only seen purple. After we cut the cake we made our way to the Mango Walk Club, which we rented out for 2 hours. There we did our toasts and first dances. And we still had about an hour to dance privately before the club went public. It was an absolute blast.
Nicole and Tiffany were amazing. I was very pleased with all their help and assistance. They even helped accommodate my aunt (who is in a wheelchair) get into the Mango Walk Club and on the beach sand. They truly are workaholics and I almost felt bad when she told me her next vacation would be to visit her family. My husband loved joking around with them and there were always laughing with us. They were even dancing it up by the DJ at our reception, which made me excited that they enjoy their job. I was so happy with all their hard work!
Overall, everything was absolutely amazing. I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!! It was so wonderful and I wish I could relive the whole experience again! Just make sure you have a plan, and Nicole and Tiffany will help accommodate and take care of everything!