By heather1214, · 1,785 Views · 4 Comments
My husband and I got engaged Christmas Eve 2011. We had been together 6 years at that point, so I was expecting a proposal at every turn! We both grew up in the town we still live in and knew our guest list would be much larger than what we wanted to spend. I didn't want to be in debt from my wedding, so we immediately decided to do a Destination Wedding. We have been to many different places but neither of us had been to Jamaica. After a lot of research, we decided on Iberostar Rose Hall Beach. We booked a site visit, and I am so glad we did! We spent a long weekend there in May 2012. Before traveling, I had made arrangements to meet the Wedding Coordinator (who is no longer there). Upon our arrival, I was told she would be off the entire time we were vacationing. Outraged, I called the Suites and spoke to Nicole. She set up an appointment immediately for us. Once we saw the resort, we were sold!
We traveled May 19-25, 2013. We had a total of 50 people (ourselves included).
Travel Agent: B
Avoya Travel: Bobbi Wagner (booking company was FunJet)
This started out as a great experience. We locked in a rate for guests who would be traveling the same time as us and also did a "Groups Your Way" for those who were making their own trip. The Groups Your Way got a $100 discount for booking inside the group. Bobbi was helpful in processing all of the paperwork and payments. From what my guests have said, they had a good experience with her also. The reason for the B grade, when you book a group through a company such as FunJet, you (the Bride & Groom) are entitled to a refund based on the amount of guests traveling with you. I was assured that the 2 separate groups would be considered as 1 for our refund. The refund we got was half of what we expected, and I'm still trying to work this out with them 2 months later.
We landed in Montego Bay early, so we knew our rooms wouldn't be ready. 20 of us arrived on Sunday the 19th on the same flight. We left all of our stuff together for the bellmen to watch and hit the beach , pool and lobby bar. All of our rooms were ready at the check-in time for the hotel (I think 3:00?) The rest of our group arrived on Monday & Tiesday. We had towels with Welcome Cards to give out. We hand delivered those to the guests who arrived with us and left the other towels at the desk each morning for those that were checking in that day. (I don't recommend giving the front desk all of the gifts if guests check in different days as some of our towels went missing)
Our room was clean and we had no complaints the entire time we were there. There was an ironing board and hair dryer there. (Hair dryers were actually decent, but I alsways bring my own) We called to have the mini fridge re-stocked and they usually brought us what we needed right away. The reason it doesn't get an A+, we were on the 1st floor (Which is actually the 2nd level, as they don't count the ground floor as a Floor number) and the view was "eh". If we had been higher up, perhaps we would have had a better view.
We ate at the Steak House, the Hibachi (At the Beach resort), Calabash, and the Buffet. All of the restaurants were very good. I think the steakhouse was my favorite meal! If you can organize a Hibachi night for your guests, do it!! We did a smaller group of 16 (I think?) and it was a lot of fun!
You truly cannot beat the service at this hotel! Every single person is so kind and accomodating!! Be sure to stop by the Lobby Bar to say hello to Ricky and the Pool bar staff (Waylon) is all around amazing!!
Wedding Coordinator: A+
I have to say that if I had done this review before we arrived, I may not have been so kind. Their communication is terrible!! But once you get there, Nicole has everything under control. You aren't a cookie cutter wedding, but after 300 weddings a year, not much changes besides decor. She did everything exactly how I imagined! I was rainy the week we were there every day at some point between 2-6. I told Nicole that I 100% did not want to have it indoors. It rained from maybe 2:00-3:45 that day, and they had to wipe down all of the chairs (rented from FF) and mop the lazy river island. Over all I was very happy with Nicole & Tiffany's professionalism!
DJ Kevan: A+
Love Kevan! He met with us a few days before the wedding to go over some details. I had sent him a list of our wedding songs and a DO NOT play list prior to leaving the states. He was so accomodating!! Kevan basically runs the show at the reception. I let him know I wanted dinner to move somewhat quickly and he timed everything perfectly! We added some uplighting into our package and he even threw in party lights for the dance floor for free! He is a true professional and does his job VERY VERY well!!!
The set-up was gorgeous!! BUT it was extremely hot in there and there is no bathroom, so you have to go to the downstairs of the lobby. If you consider your reception in that room, be sure they turn the AC on HIGH well before your reception started. I didn't want my guests to be hot, so we didn't do an outdoor reception, and it turned out to be just as hot inside. Had I known, we would have done the beach reception! We had a jerk chicken appetizer, caesar salad, and surf & turf (sirloin & shrimp) for dinner. (Pasta primavera for vegetarian option). We also did brownie or apple pie for dessert and of course wedding cake!
Considering I did not care at all about the cake, I was really happy with the way the cake looked!! I brought navy ribbon to wrap around each tier and an "M" for the top. They actually stacked the layers instead of it being on that stand and put orchids around it. It looked very pretty, but the vanilla tasted dry. I had 3 different flavors and everyone seemed to like the chocolate and the rum flavored cake. The chef also put her finger in part of the icing so it wasn't complete perfection but still gets a "B"!
This pains me to grade our photographer so low, but I have to be honest. We used SunGold's Associate, Clayton. We did an engagement session last May as a test run, and although we only got about 75 picutres, he seemed very professional and we were really happy with what we got. On your wedding day, you are rushing all over and truly rely on the professionals to get the job done. He had an assistant with him who basically only held the flash equipment the whole time. The equipment is in a lot of the pictures and can't be edited out. I've done other professional shoots and can't understand why they didn't use natural light for most of the shots outside. I waited 7 weeks for photos and got only 300 on a thumb drive. 150 of those 300 were of the dance floor after dinner. (I have basically the same photos from guests personal cameras) Some of the "edited" images even had the flash in it.
He missed A LOT of the sentimental shots that every bride assumes a photographer will get. (My dad's first look, shaking grooms hand, no shot of the whole bridal party at the ceremoy, etc.) I'm not sure what happend that day, but he definitely did not deliver wedding photography quality photos. I have to say, some of the photos we did get were beautiful, but when you miss major shots, there is no excuse. Especially when you have 2 photographers.
We paid almost $3,000 for the engagement shoot ($250) and the wedding day. The only saving grace to this grade was Paula was wonderful at responding. We are even getting part of our $ refunded. My advice, make a list of your MUST have shots, and do not stop taking pictures until they have gotten all of them. Absolutely explain to them how important those special moments are that you cannot re-create.
I, like every other bride on here got fed up with TaiFlor's terrible customer service and began to look elsewhere. I found Floral Fantasies, and had a great relationship with Chantal from the start. She is very professional and patient!! My flowers turned out more amazing than I could have imagined! We paid $1900 for all of our flowers and for the chair rental. I was so happy with my flowers, I had them delivered to guests rooms after the reception so they could enjoy them longer!
Party Boat: A
We used the Diver Centers party boat to the Blue Lagoon. I forget what it was called, but it can be booked right on the beach at the hotel. It was a sunset cruise to a lagoon that turns blue when you swim. The boat was so fun, we drank beer and rum the whole way out. They played music and we danced. It was pretty affordable and we had a boat to ourselves. We did this the day after the wedding (our last night there) and it was the perfect ending to our trip!
Here are a few pictures from our wedding!! The photographer did not do any of this editing, in fact it didn't seem like any of the photos given to me had even been touched up!! It was done by a co-worker who does photography. Thank god she did this for me, because if not, I would still be hating on my photos!