By jend, · 926 Views · 9 Comments
First, I just want to say that our wedding day (Thurs, April 18) was perfect! I don't think I could have asked for anything more. I am SO glad we chose the Now Jade for our wedding, we couldn't have been happier with both the resort itself and the wedding. Sorry in advance for how long this is!
Arrival : I would say this was one of the only downsides to the trip. The check in only has about four desks, and when we arrived with almost 30 people, it seemed pretty disorganized even though I think they knew what time to expect us and how many of us would be arriving. A the bride and groom, we were shortly whisked away to the Preferred Side, which was great! We had paid for an Ocean View regular room, but were upgraded to the Preferred side and had a view of the adult only pool and a partial ocean view. That was awesome! (I only felt a little bad for everyone else waiting to check in on the regular side)
Rooms: The rooms themselves are amazing. All of our guests were very happy with the decor, and especially the bathrooms :) Some people even took pictures of their bathrooms! A few of our guests were given construction views, but were able to change their rooms as new ones became available (usually the day after they requested a move). The staff seemed used to this request and it didn't seem like much of a problem. One or two of the couples attending also received two double beds. One couple got the beds pushed together to make a giant bed, and another requested a move, which was accommodated that day. Only one other in our group upgraded to the Preferred Side.
Welcome Dinner: We chose to do a welcome dinner in a section of the buffet on the second night we arrived (once all our guests from varying cities had arrived). They can reserve a section with no problems, and no fees.
Restaurants/Buffet: We thought the buffet was the best we've seen in an all inclusive, and were happy to go often. The restaurants were also great. Our guests loved the no-reservation system. Usually if you go to dinner before 6:30 there were no waits at all. After that time, you may run into a short wait, usually 15-30min. The guest favourites were Spice (Asian), French and Italian. Also, the coffee shop was loved by all. They even have blended drinks. Make sure you try it early in the week so you don't miss out!
Meeting with the Wedding Planner (Pilar/MariCarmen): We met the wedding planners Monday morning. MariCarmen was assigned to our wedding, and both Pilar and MariCarmen went through all the details with us from beginning to end. I know a couple other brides mentioned they have pictures you can go through to help you decide how to drape the fabric at the pergola/beach etc. It was very helpful and took about an hour. We also dropped off all of the stuff we'd brought (lanterns, menus, ribbons, table runners, as well as my dress and the grooms outfit).
Hair/Makeup - I had a trial with Angela early in the week. I made some changes before the wedding day from this. I thought the hair was close to what I was envisioning, and I was happy with it. Not ecstatic, but happy. I thought the makeup was great, I didn't worry about this at all. Though a tip: They do not understand eyeliner wings...I would bring a picture of exactly what you want. Just adding a wing took about a half hour of back and forth.
Rehearsal - we had a quick rehearsal the day before the wedding. It was good to know where everyone was supposed to stand/wait/etc. Glad we did that!
Ceremony: At the Pergola. It was set up exactly as we'd wanted. We used the wicker chairs from the buffet terrace, with white cushions. They charged us for the cushions, but I liked the chairs so I think it was worth it. They were then moved to the reception after.
We had my Hawaiian brother in law play the ukulele while guests were seated and as I entered. It was great, we needed to pay for an extra microphone (one for the ukulele and one for the singing). It was a good choice as the wind and water are very loud.
The ceremony was a civil one (legal) and the officiant was great, really nice. However the speakers did point out to the audience, so it was kind of hard for us to hear him in the wind. The only tip I have is that if you are having a legal ceremony, have your maid of honour bring a wet wipe. You have to do fingerprints and it's hard to get the ink off with the dry tissue they give you. A wet wipe would have been great :)
Cocktail hour: After the ceremony we had our cocktail hour at the Mix Beach Bar. I liked this location because it's right next to the Pergola and it's a very natural transition. Once we had toasted and done the receiving line, we got our guests out for some group pictures. Then we left everyone to enjoy the cocktail hour while we took photos for an hour. I heard that Darius the bartender was great, lining up "happiness shots" for our guests. However, this did render a few of our guests very intoxicated even before dinner started. I had also read in the forums that people had a lot of extra appetizers. We had 29 guests and did not order extra, and they demolished them. I might have ordered more if I'd known.
Pictures: We used Dean Sanderson and were very happy with our choice.
Reception: It looked exactly like we had wanted. They hung the lanterns nicely, and the table set up was perfect. I actually got a chance to look at it after our photos and confirm it was exactly how I'd wanted it. MariCarmen made sure everything was perfect. One tip if you are having your reception on the terrace, it's a bit windy, so tented place cards might blow away. We actually put them underneath our favor to stay put! Just something to keep in mind. Although we had a seating plan, we did not bring table numbers, they did those up for us without even asking. As well they provided the seating list at our guest book table.
We did rent the sound system for the terrace. I am glad we did even though it was expensive. If you are doing speeches, I don't think anyone would have heard them without the microphone. We did not do a dancefloor, but had four rectangular tables, and a sweetheart table. MariCarmen stayed for the whole thing to help run it along and make sure everything went as planned. It was nice to know she was there if we needed her!
When we got back to our room after the reception, a Honeymoon banner was on the door and the room was done up very nicely. It was great!
All in all, we liked the Now Jade much better than the resort we went to for our honeymoon. I wish we'd actually stayed at the Now Jade longer than the week. It was amazing!