By sarahdemali, · 1,830 Views · 4 Comments
Number of guests: 35
We got married May 8th at the Grand Palladium.We had a mix of experiences here, at the time we arrived we were advised the resort had been over booked which meant that purchased rooms were not received for our guests as well as my husband and I. This wasn't a problem until we were faced with short tempered front desk staff who were down right rude for no reason. Once we had moved past the experience with them it got better. Our wedding coordinator was sooooooooooo nice and warm and made us feel so welcome, Omeshia.
We chose to have our wedding ceremony at the angel atrium as I needed protection from the sun to avoid getting a migraine, which I ended up with anyway so I am thankful we had over head coverage. This is also the "back up" site for rainy days. It was beautiful! And the breeze that comes through the atrium is remarkable so I wasn't even hot in my north american wedding dress. And our guests appreciated the break from the heat.
The atrium is a far walk from the grand palladium side which means a long walk in the direct sun at 2pm however the wedding coordinator is wonderful and she arranged for all of our guests to get picked up at their villa at 1:30 so that they would have transportation to the ceremony site. They also provided transportation for those requiring it back to the main resort after the ceremony.
The DJ for the ceremony is included and the acoustics in the atrium made for a magical experience when our music was played to accompany us down the isle.
The second he started to play my heart fluttered. I will never forget that experience.
There are endless opportunities for photo opp's at this hotel, each one more beautiful than the last.
Our reception was at the blue lagoon and as you can see in the picture below, you don't need decoration when you have a view like that. However, the hotel moves all of the flowers from the ceremony site to the reception so this made decorations easy and beautiful. We also purchased centre pieces for each table which were glass vases with floating candles. They were simple and pretty, I had no idea that you don't rent them but you purchase them so they tell you you can take it all away with you.
If I had more time I would have found another bride on the resort to donate them however the reception staff were on a strict schedule so there was no time for that.
For our sound equipment we brought our own including speakers and microphone, in theory at home this worked amazing. However, in the chaos of the day making sure everything ended up at the right location at the same time was a task and a half.
And don't forget technical issues... oh those technical issues... if I were to go back and do it again I probably would have gone with the PA that I was told "wasn't worth it and didn't work great" because then atleast they would handle any technical glitches so that I didn't have to. However, we made it through those issues and everyone had a great time.
As the reception staff are on such a tight schedule and our speeches went longer than expected we didn't get to much dancing other than the traditional dances. The other reason for this is that we decided to release sky lanters on the beach after dinner/speeches. We released sky lanterns for my parents as they've both passed away and I welcomed the other guests to release one with a wish to any of their loved ones. This was an incredible experience and capped off the evening in a magical and important way. It allowed me to take a moment specifically for my family as my brother was the only person on my side that attended.
It was talked about by all of our guests as well as other guests around the resort and I overheard some people talking about it the next day in the pool.
We also did pictures with sparklers which was fun and pretty.
All in all the wedding was everything I dreamed of. The scene is set by the beauty of Jamaica and the vibe is fun and easy going aside from a few less than desirable moments. However you will find this everywhere you go.
A few of the cons of the trip included the attitude of the staff. One of the nights we went to the beach for a bonfire and went up to one of the beds by the beach where you climb up the ladder. Well I climbed up and there was a loose nail that I hit my toe nail on. I asked the front desk for a bandaid as it was bleeding and you'd have thought I asked for their first born.
A couple days later I was in the pool and because of the small (one) bandaid they gave me my toe nail wasn't properly protected and I ended up ripping it off completly. Luckily the lifeguard was super helpful and took care of me while I screamed at the top of my lungs lol. However, front desk had no desire to provide even at that point basic first aid supplies... wtf?
We also had 2 $700 cell phones stolen from our guests on the trip by staff, their phones were used as cameras for wedding pictures and speeches. So not only have they lost their phones, but we've lost some of the important speeches. Security had no interest in assisting with this, and the hotel hasn't even so much as responded to our inquiry. So leave all valuables locked up or at home. I was also warned that the room staff looked for wedding bands if they knew you were getting married, so ensure you're wearing it or locking it up.
But on a positive note, I left a number of semi-valuable things out on the day of my wedding as I didn't have time to tidy it up or lock things up. The maid for my room actually went in and got it all cleaned up for me. Not once did she take a single thing from our room and she went above and beyond on the day of our wedding. Sometimes you luck out.
Our airconditioning in our room also wasn't working and I had called at the beginning of the week regarding it and the front desk said "we'll send someone up." However they never came. On the night before our wedding my friend and I went back to my room early to get things ready for the next day. I started calling for someone to come check the air conditioning as all of the girls were coming to my room the next day to get ready. After waiting an hour I must have called around 4-7 times an hour until midnight about the a/c. I finally called in tears and threatened that I would be down to bring someone back to my room to fix the a/c and about 30 minutes later a maintenance man came up with a manager... The a/c still didn't work.
Needless to say I woke up the next morning exhausted, hot and with a migraine. It was a rough start to the morning. But as noted above, it got better.
Personally, I think they have a beautiful resort, and as it is a newer resort its unfortunate but the staff themselves are not experienced enough to either a) work for such a large, high demand resort b) work in customer service. Hopefully in another few years they will have their kinks worked out and happier, more responsive staff.
Lanterns at the beach: