By ErinDoc, · 1,737 Views · 4 Comments
Our wedding at the IRHS was absolutely PERFECT!!! The entire experience was more than I could have imagined. I wouldn’t have done it any other way!
Travel Agent: Pan World Travel (out of York, PA) – I have traveled a few times on trips that Gary and Sue of Pan World set up and was never disappointed so there was no competition when deciding who to use as our destination wedding TA. They helped walk us through everything from narrowing down the locations to giving us a list of resorts they recommended. I am so happy they helped lead us to Jamaica and the IRHS – it was perfect for what we wanted!
Photographer: Nicole of Nicole K. Photography – www.nicolekphotography.com Nicole is a friend of a friend, and one of the coolest and talented people!! My entire group loved her, and her pictures are breathtaking!
Bride & Groom travel: Wednesday to Wednesday (11/2 – 11/9) at IRHS and then went to Couples Swept Away in Negril from Wednesday to Saturday (11/9 – 11/12). Most of our guests traveled Friday to Tuesday. We had 47 adults and my 6 week old niece in total.
Welcome Party: Friday night 8:00 – 10:00 PM, Lobby terrace with Mento Band ($300 per hour) – no food and used lobby bar for drinks. Nicole had the lobby bar servers come out to get our party drinks. This was perfect, and I would highly recommend everything that we did. The only problem was that most of our guests were exhausted by 10:00 because they had traveled that day. We only made it to the disco with 4 of us, and I was hoping for more!
Rehearsal & Dinner: Rehearsal was 4:00 PM on the beach on Saturday. It lasted about 20 minutes and Nicole ran us through everything. We walked over to the ceremony location in our bathing suits and cover-ups from the pool. Our rehearsal dinner was at 8:30 PM at Calabash. We had a group of 24 people. We included the bridal party and ALL family. It was actually a really nice size group! They set up two tables for us, and it was really much more private than I had envisioned. With a group that size they gave us the option of a 6:30 or 8:30 seating. I thought eating at 8:30 would keep us less rushed however we missed the entire beach party on Saturday night because it started at 8 or 9 that night….so knowing that we might have moved up the reservation to be able to attend the beach party.
Wedding Day Details: Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM on the beach (no aisle runner, no decoration on the huppa, white chair bows) Steel pan band played for ceremony and for cocktail party from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Cocktail party was national open bar and appetizers. Reception at Aunt Ruby Steakhouse (private) from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm with DJ and beer and wine that is included/provided for in price.
Flowers – Tai Flora: Jodi-Ann was great to work with. There was a bit of a delay at some points in communication, but the flowers arrived on time the day of the wedding and were exactly what I wanted!
Steel pan band: We asked them to play whatever music they wanted to because they have
done this more than we have, and it was perfect!
DJ Kevan: FABULOUS!!!! Kevan was great! He definitely figured out what most of our guests liked and went with it. He was fantastic!! We did introductions only for my husband and I. I was all about keeping things simple where we could and didn’t want to make sure the bridal party was lined up, etc. We had a CD with our first dance song and the mother-son, father-daughter dances, and everything else he asked us during our planning meeting……introduction song, cake cutting song, last song of the night, etc. We basically winged it during the meeting, and everything we picked worked out perfectly! Any songs that Kevan didn’t have, he downloaded on the spot. When a friend of mine ran up right before the “last song” and requested a different one for us, Kevan looked it up, downloaded it, and played it right on cue.
Restaurants: All of the food was spectacular! Every one of our guests raved about it. We had a lot of people there that had done Caribbean travel before but never an all-inclusive resort, and they were very impressed! I think I ate steak almost every night, and every night it was done perfectly!! I was waiting for a night when it didn’t taste as good as the last, and it never happened. I read a recommendation on BDW to make your dinner reservations as soon as you arrive, so I passed that info onto my guests. Most made their reservations right away and didn’t have any trouble getting to most, if not all, of the restaurants during their short stay.
Romantic dinner for two on the beach: The night after the wedding my husband surprised me with a romantic dinner for two right on the beach where we had been married the night before. First of all, I have a super sweet husband, and second, the dinner and setting was AMAZING!!!!! I go back there in my dreams. J
Rooms: GREAT! I wish the shower was a little bigger, but that is really the only complaint that I have about the rooms. Again most of our group RAVED about the rooms! If for some reason you don’t like the room you are given or have any issues, the front desk is happy to fix the problem….but they can’t fix it if you don’t tell them. We were upgraded to an ocean front room upon check-in, and it was paradise!! The room was clean and spacious, and the balcony was fantastic!
Wedding Coordinators: Tiffany and Nicole were great! I know that before going to the IRHS people get a bit discouraged because they might not get a response as fast as they like, but you have to remember that there is a wedding almost every day that they are focusing ALL of their attention on. There are events from first thing in the morning to late into the evening that the WC’s are overseeing and making sure go off without a hitch…so trust me when I say that you will want that attention when you are actually in Jamaica! Try to hang in there in the meantime.
Overall Rating: A+++++ We would go back in a second! Some resorts give you a wedding for less money, but they may have 10 weddings a day. I thought that it was totally worth it to pay a little more and be the only bride of the day. After getting there and seeing the three properties, I’m really happy with our decision to stay at the Suites. It made our guests splurge a little bit, and everyone LOVED it!
I can’t believe after a year of planning that it is all over! For anyone thinking about doing Jamaica for a destination wedding, I would highly recommend it. If you are anything like me (an accountant…so detail-oriented, organized, and a planner by trade), Jamaica is the perfect place to make you let go of all the details that you can’t change and actually ENJOY every minute of the experience!