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Just getting started and sooooo confused!!!!! (RIU Ocho Rios, Jamaica)


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#1 vdambs

vdambs
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    Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:23 PM

    Hello all...I'm brand new to this site but can already tell I'm going to get so great advice!

    My fiance and I are looking at having our wedding at the RUI Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We aren't looking at holding it until October 2010 but as far as I can tell you have to do some major advanced planning when it comes to having a destination wedding.

    I've contact the wedding coordinator over there but she's not able to give me any information because we are looking so far in advance. So I'm hoping anyone how had held there weddings there would mind me asking my asking my zillions of questions...and sharing pictures. The pictures I've already seen on this site are absolutely beautiful and I couldn't imagine having my wedding anywhere else!

    My questions are as follows and if you can help in anyway I would soooo appreciate it!!!!!

    1. My soon to be father-in-law is a paster here in the US and we would like to incorporate him into the service in some way, would that be possible to incorporate him even if it's just to say a prayer or do we need to have the Jamaican minister do the entire service?
    2. If we choose the religious ceremony will we be able to incorporate a unity candle lighting during the ceremony?
    3. We are looking at purchasing the Caprice wedding package and would like to know what the reception consists of. Is this a "sit down" dinner with music and dancing?
    4. What kind of food is served at the reception? Will the guests just order as if they were eating at a regular restaurant?
    5. Will we be able to have the reception right after the wedding ceremony?
    6. Will the cake be served at the reception or right after the wedding?
    7. Will we be able to provide our own cake serving set for the cake cutting?
    8. At the reception will we be able to have our special song played so that we are able to have our first dance as a married couple to "our song"?
    9. What do the Caprice wedding package decorations include for the wedding ceremony?
    10. Do you have pictures available to send of wedding decorations, wedding locations, bouquet, boutonniere and cake designs?
    11. Does the spa offer someone to do my make-up for me (the Bride) on the wedding day?
    12. Is there Golf offered close to the resort?
    13. Will there be free transportation for all guests to and from the airport to the resort on both the day of arrival and the day of departure?
    14. Will we be able to hold a rehearsal dinner for the bridal party the night before the wedding?
    15. Does the resort offer group guide tours either free of charge or at a rate?
    16. Will we be able to provide our own cake topper or does the cake already come with a cake topper?
    17. We would like to provide a welcome gift to all of our guests who will be staying at your resort?
    18. If so, are we allowed to have the gifts placed in their rooms on arrival?
    19. If so, are we allowed to arrange to have them shipped to the resort prior to our arrival?
    20. Will the resort offer a room block for the guests so that they are all able to stay at your resort?
    21. How far in advance do our wedding guest's rooms need to be booked?
    22. Is October a good time to hold a wedding in Jamaica?

    #2 Angel

    Angel
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    • 2,635 posts

      Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:26 PM

      Welcome to the forum. You'll get a lot of info here to help you along the way.
      Happy Planning!!

      #3 ErinB

      ErinB

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        Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:30 PM



        We have lots of ROR brides! You'll find answers to all of your questions here.

        You should search the Jamaica forum and the Wedding Reviews.

        #4 vdambs

        vdambs
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          Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:41 PM

          Thanks you guys...already getting feedback!!!!!!

          #5 Kishalee

          Kishalee
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            Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:46 PM

            Wow. You have a lot of questions...

            Look through the forums. Most of them are answered some where. I will try to take a stab at these....

            1. My soon to be father-in-law is a paster here in the US and we would like to incorporate him into the service in some way, would that be possible to incorporate him even if it's just to say a prayer or do we need to have the Jamaican minister do the entire service?you would have to check with chandlyn, but I can't see why you can't incorporate your FIL.
            2. If we choose the religious ceremony will we be able to incorporate a unity candle lighting during the ceremony?Don't know.
            3. We are looking at purchasing the Caprice wedding package and would like to know what the reception consists of. Is this a "sit down" dinner with music and dancing?Yes. Look through the forum for the menu for the private and semi-private reception menus. Depending on the number of guests, you can opt for what you would like. There might be a charge for changes, but it is up to you.
            4. What kind of food is served at the reception? Will the guests just order as if they were eating at a regular restaurant? Again, look in the forums regarding the receptions. There are menus, table info, etc.
            5. Will we be able to have the reception right after the wedding ceremony? All receptions begin at 6:30. When you schedule your wedding try to get the last time (4pm) and you will be pretty close to the time.
            6. Will the cake be served at the reception or right after the wedding? Cake is at the reception.
            7. Will we be able to provide our own cake serving set for the cake cutting? Cant see why not.
            8. At the reception will we be able to have our special song played so that we are able to have our first dance as a married couple to "our song"? You can get the DJ to play the song if you would like, or you can bring down cds, etc.
            9. What do the Caprice wedding package decorations include for the wedding ceremony?not sure, but it covers basic flowers, etc. everything else like the chair covers, aisle runners, etc are extra.
            10. Do you have pictures available to send of wedding decorations, wedding locations, bouquet, boutonniere and cake designs? Take a few minutes and look through the forum. Many brides have posted thier pics from their weddings there and stuff from the ROR. Most of the info is there somewhere.
            11. Does the spa offer someone to do my make-up for me (the Bride) on the wedding day?Yes. There is a salon there that has done wonderful jobs on hair and makeup for the brides.
            12. Is there Golf offered close to the resort?Not sure. I heard something about there being a golf course off the property. I haven't a clue here.
            13. Will there be free transportation for all guests to and from the airport to the resort on both the day of arrival and the day of departure?arranged by you TA when she books fyour package. not provided by the resort.
            14. Will we be able to hold a rehearsal dinner for the bridal party the night before the wedding?Sure. you can do what you like, but for the most part there is a fee for "private functions"
            15. Does the resort offer group guide tours either free of charge or at a rate?There are free activities on the resort, but there is a charge for off premise stuff. Most of them are so worth it... Check out the ROR website.
            16. Will we be able to provide our own cake topper or does the cake already come with a cake topper? Yes.
            17. We would like to provide a welcome gift to all of our guests who will be staying at your resort? most of the brides here are/have done Out Of Town bags (aka OOT bags)
            18. If so, are we allowed to have the gifts placed in their rooms on arrival? Yes. there is a fee per item. Most are opting to give out our bags at welcome receoptions, etc.
            19. If so, are we allowed to arrange to have them shipped to the resort prior to our arrival?I don't think the resort accepts shipments.
            20. Will you offer a room block for the guests so that they are all able to stay at your resort? You need to speak to your TA. I don't work for the RIU, but your TA should know all about that.
            21. How far in advance do our wedding guest's rooms need to be booked? again, up to you, your TA, etc. I would think 30days is good.
            22. Is October a good time to hold a wedding in Jamaica? it's jamaica. when isn't a good time. My wedding is Oct 4th, so I hope so.

            #6 Bride010101

            Bride010101
            • Sr. Member
            • 1,547 posts

              Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:47 PM

              Welcome from another ROR bride!

              2010 bookings probably won't open up until next January-March. (based on this year at least for 2009)

              Take a look through the Jamaica forum. There are tons of ROR brides... so flowers, reception dinners, ceremony setups and what not have been discussed at length.

              Also look through the wedding review sections. Lots of current ROR brides are just getting back or will be in the near future.

              Some good threads to get you started include:
              http://bestdestinati...com/forum/t5538
              http://bestdestinati...com/forum/t5770

              #7 Bride010101

              Bride010101
              • Sr. Member
              • 1,547 posts

                Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:59 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by vdambs


                My questions are as follows and if you can help in anyway I would soooo appreciate it!!!!!

                1. My soon to be father-in-law is a paster here in the US and we would like to incorporate him into the service in some way, would that be possible to incorporate him even if it's just to say a prayer or do we need to have the Jamaican minister do the entire service? I doubt it would be a problem... they seem pretty easy going
                2. If we choose the religious ceremony will we be able to incorporate a unity candle lighting during the ceremony? Yep... lots of brides add in sand ceremonys and other personalized aspects to the ceremony. You can just give your wording to Chandlyn once you get there.
                3. We are looking at purchasing the Caprice wedding package and would like to know what the reception consists of. Is this a "sit down" dinner with music and dancing? The free dinner option is semi-private at Mammee Bay. There are optoins for private sit down at the Planation Restaurant or on the beach at a cost. DJ is also an additional charge. There is tons of info on this - use the serach in the upper right of the screen and look for Mammee, Seagrape and Planation.
                4. What kind of food is served at the reception? Will the guests just order as if they were eating at a regular restaurant? Yep if you use the free recpetion at Mammee Bay. I beleive there is a Planatation menu with different upgrades on here somewhere.
                5. Will we be able to have the reception right after the wedding ceremony? Not necessarily. Customarily the dinner starts at 6:30 I beleive. However, one bride that just come back was able to have a lunch reception after her 11:00 wedding... so they may be more flexible
                6. Will the cake be served at the reception or right after the wedding? Usually at the reception from what I have seen
                7. Will we be able to provide our own cake serving set for the cake cutting? I beleive that they do supply the serving stuff. But you can bring your own if you wish.
                8. At the reception will we be able to have our special song played so that we are able to have our first dance as a married couple to "our song"? If you chose to, yes. I know a lot of brides hire the dj for the reception at either the disco or at seagrape. Other brides are also just bringing an ipod w/ speakers to save money. And other brides (who are not doing a traditional/dancing recpetion have their first dance right after the ceremony on the beach.
                9. What do the Caprice wedding package decorations include for the wedding ceremony? Not sure. I know people have discussed whether the Caprice is worth it or not... so take a look for that thread. I am going with the free package and then just upgrading what I want. Seems like the best deal for us.
                10. Do you have pictures available to send of wedding decorations, wedding locations, bouquet, boutonniere and cake designs? Search through the Jamaica thread I posted earlier. There are pics of most of this. I also (somewhere) have a file of the floweres and arches. If you want it, just pm you email address and I will try to track it down.
                11. Does the spa offer someone to do my make-up for me (the Bride) on the wedding day? I beleive so at an additional charge. I think there has been mixed reviews on their make-up services. But eveyrone has been pretty happy with their hair.
                12. Is there Golf offered close to the resort? Hmm.. not that I recall. I know there are options, but not sure how close.
                13. Will there be free transportation for all guests to and from the airport to the resort on both the day of arrival and the day of departure? Not through the Riu. If you are working with a travel agent they should be able to arrange it for you. If you are working on your own I have heard good things about Lees Tours. (try seraching for them)
                14. Will we be able to hold a rehearsal dinner for the bridal party the night before the wedding? Yep... you will be able to arrange that with Chandyln
                15. Does the resort offer group guide tours either free of charge or at a rate? Group tours... such at excursion to Dunns fall and zip line stuff?? If so, yes they have them.. but at an addittoinal cost. On-site they do offer some activities such as snorkeling.
                16. Will we be able to provide our own cake topper or does the cake already come with a cake topper? From what I've seen the cakes usually come with flowers. But you could easily have a cake topper and give it to Chandyln at your meeting.
                17. We would like to provide a welcome gift to all of our guests who will be staying at your resort? We will be. Our guests are giving both their time and a lot of money to come... so we want to show them our appreciation. Take a look for OOT bags... they have discussed at length and are quite common on this site.
                18. If so, are we allowed to have the gifts placed in their rooms on arrival? I know you can at a charge. We are just going to arrange a small, informal welcome party at one of the bars and hand them out personally there.
                19. If so, are we allowed to arrange to have them shipped to the resort prior to our arrival? Nope, you aren't allowed to ship anythig ahead of time.
                20. Will the resort offer a room block for the guests so that they are all able to stay at your resort? I beleive there is group blocks that you can arrange. We chose not to. But something I"m sure you could look into.
                21. How far in advance do our wedding guest's rooms need to be booked? We will probalby be booking in June for our January wedding.
                22. Is October a good time to hold a wedding in Jamaica? Why not? I'm not the best to answer this... I guess I don't know what the whether and travel rates are like. But in my opinion, if it fits your schedule and its the date you want... you can't go wrong!

                Hope that helps!

                #8 geology_rocks

                geology_rocks
                • Jr. Member
                • 215 posts

                  Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:59 PM

                  We haven't actually had our wedding yet but I'll try to answer the questions that I can.


                  My questions are as follows and if you can help in anyway I would soooo appreciate it!!!!!

                  1. My soon to be father-in-law is a paster here in the US and we would like to incorporate him into the service in some way, would that be possible to incorporate him even if it's just to say a prayer or do we need to have the Jamaican minister do the entire service? ??
                  2. If we choose the religious ceremony will we be able to incorporate a unity candle lighting during the ceremony? ??
                  3. We are looking at purchasing the Caprice wedding package and would like to know what the reception consists of. Is this a "sit down" dinner with music and dancing? The "reception" included with the current packages is a semi-private dinner at one of the restaurants. If you want dancing and a traditional reception that will cost extra but can be done.
                  4. What kind of food is served at the reception? Will the guests just order as if they were eating at a regular restaurant? It depends on the reception you choose to hav. The standard is the steak house where there is a salad bar type area and you order your entree.
                  5. Will we be able to have the reception right after the wedding ceremony? Depends on the time of your ceremony but most receptions don't start until 6:30
                  6. Will the cake be served at the reception or right after the wedding? I'm sure they can arrange whatever you ilke
                  7. Will we be able to provide our own cake serving set for the cake cutting? Of course you could, but do you really want to haul extra stuff down there?
                  8. At the reception will we be able to have our special song played so that we are able to have our first dance as a married couple to "our song"? Depends on the reception you choose. No dancing or music with the standard, included reception dinner. You could rent the disco for after your dinner or have a beach party after but those cost extra $$$
                  9. What do the Caprice wedding package decorations include for the wedding ceremony? sorry
                  10. Do you have pictures available to send of wedding decorations, wedding locations, bouquet, boutonniere and cake designs? Check out everyone's trip reports and reviews, tons of pictures in there!
                  11. Does the spa offer someone to do my make-up for me (the Bride) on the wedding day? The spa can be booked in advance and can do your hair, make-up, pedicure, manicure ....
                  12. Is there Golf offered close to the resort? ?? probably
                  13. Will there be free transportation for all guests to and from the airport to the resort on both the day of arrival and the day of departure? Depends how you book your vacation package. The resort itself doesn't provide transportation but some vacation companies include transportation. Ask your TA!
                  14. Will we be able to hold a rehearsal dinner for the bridal party the night before the wedding? You can do almost anything for some extra $$$
                  15. Does the resort offer group guide tours either free of charge or at a rate? nothing is free! from what I understand though, there are a bunch of tour operators set up at the resort.
                  16. Will we be able to provide our own cake topper or does the cake already come with a cake topper? Of course you can bring your own cake topper!
                  17. We would like to provide a welcome gift to all of our guests who will be staying at your resort?
                  18. If so, are we allowed to have the gifts placed in their rooms on arrival? I don't think this is available and probably not advisable, what if your guests finnagle an upgrade and never make it to their anticipated room?
                  19. If so, are we allowed to arrange to have them shipped to the resort prior to our arrival? I didn't ask because I read that others have been told "NO!!"
                  20. Will the resort offer a room block for the guests so that they are all able to stay at your resort? There are something like 800 rooms, shouldn't be a problem but I think a TA could arrange a group rate/package. Having a TA demanding deposits and stuff is a lot of stree off you, I wouldn't worry about a group rate if you're booking everything yourself.
                  21. How far in advance do our wedding guest's rooms need to be booked? We're leaving in 6 days and there are still some rooms available. Depends on the season I guesss.
                  22. Is October a good time to hold a wedding in Jamaica? It is huricane season. I remember reading that it rains a whole lot in November, not sure about October.


                  There is a "search" feature at the top of the page. Chance are, if you come up with a question, some one else has had the same question at some point and lots of people had all sorts of information to share.

                  Welcome and Happy planning!

                  #9 MoKe0506

                  MoKe0506
                  • Newbie
                  • 81 posts

                    Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:14 PM

                    Hi,
                    Welcome to the forum. I'm not getting married at ROR until next April but here's what I know:

                    1) Usually the reception dinner is around 6-6:30ish. But if you have an early wedding, you can have a lunch reception but they'll serve lunch food. I believe your guests will order from a menu like a regular restaurant. You can make your menus if you want, I'll be doing that. I've heard from past brides that the food was very good.

                    2) There are 3 restaurants you can choose from for your reception: Mammee Bay, St. Ann's and the Plantation. Mammee Bay and St. Ann's are semi-private at no extra cost. The Plantation is private and you can have a DJ and dancing there if you would like since it's private. But the Plantation is $500 for 2 hrs or $1000 for 4 hrs. St. Ann's is a buffet so most brides either choose Mammee Bay or the Plantation depending on their budget. Also, if you are having more the 50 guests then you have to have a private dinner at the Plantation. If you choose to have a semi-private dinner then you can rent the disco for 2 hrs for dancing. Or have dancing on the beach. I believe it's $250 for a DJ.

                    3) They will serve the cake during the dinner reception. You can bring your own cake toppers and serving set. You can basically bring any decorations you want. When you get down there you will sit with the wedding coordinator and discuss exactly what you want. You can provide her with pics or have everything written down and she'll take care of it. I plan on bringing a lot of my own decorations as well as using Tai Floral.

                    4) Yes, the spa can do your hair and makeup on your wedding day. They can even do it in your room if you choose.

                    5) Yes, they can set up a free rehearsal dinner before the wedding.

                    6) I believe Riu charges a fee to deliver welcome gifts to your guests' rooms. I think $3 but I am not sure. Most brides just met with their guests and gave them their bags in person. I don't think you can ship them ahead of time because the Riu doesn't want to be held responsible but I could be wrong.

                    7) I believe October is around hurricane season in JA so it may rain often. But I think Aug-Sept is the peak months for rain.

                    Are you using a travel agent to book for the wedding? If so, most travel agents include transfer to and from the hotel in their packages. Not sure if that is offered if your guests book through the Riu website. There are a few Travel Agents on this board that can help you. I think 6-8 months prior to the wedding is the average time frame where brides send out Save the Date cards to their guests. I'm giving my guests a year in advance notice so my STD's have already been mailed out. I also created a free wedding website with all my Travel Agent's contact info. So my guests can start booking now if they like. A few of my guests are booking soon but I think most will probably wait until the last minute. It's their choice when they choose to book just make sure you give them enough notice so they can plan accordingly. I don't believe Riu block rooms but your travel agent should be able to. I didn't block any rooms for my guests. I just booked for my stay, my guests can book with anyone and whenever they want. The Riu is big and I don't think they'll have any trouble booking a room.

                    I hope this helps!! Again, I'm in my planning stages as well but I got all my info from the brides here on this forum. If you just browse and read their reviews you will find all the info you need, including pics.

                    #10 vdambs

                    vdambs
                    • Newbie
                    • 24 posts

                      Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:17 PM

                      Man, you guys are on it!!!!!!! Thanks sooooo sooo much for all the help!!!!!




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