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Niki's ROR Review w/some pro pics

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We got married at the Riu Ocho Rios on May 9, 2008 at 4pm. So here are some of the details…


We arrived on Tuesday, May 6. The bus ride was not as bad as I had anticipated. Our driver was very friendly and informative so that made the time go by a lot faster. We arrived at the resort, which is just beautiful, and checked in with no problems. We asked about an upgrade and she went in the back and then came back and said we had been upgraded. We were excited to hear that but when we got to our room it was a jr. suite which is what we booked. I called the front desk and they told me that I would have to meet with Chandlyn about being upgraded. Coincidentally on our way up to our room we were waiting for the elevator (holding the dress) and Chandlyn walks up and introduces herself we gave her our names and room number and she said that she would call to set up a meeting. Within 5 minutes of us being in the room she called and scheduled an appointment for noon the next day. She also told me that there were no full suites available that day but she would check again the next day. We never got upgraded, however, we also never asked about it again. After the first day we decided that we didn’t feel like moving even if there was something available so we were fine just staying in the room we were in.


We met with Chandlyn on Wednesday, May 7. She was right on time and the meeting lasted maybe 20 minutes. She went down her checklist and we went down ours and that was about it. We brought our own flowers and decorations so she told us to bring those to her office when we got a chance. She confirmed what we had requested online and asked if we wanted any additional things. I asked the few questions I had and she answered them and we were done. Chandlyn is pleasant but I can only imagine how busy she is since I personally saw at least 7 brides in the first 4 days we were there. She is straight to the point and I can appreciate that because I am the same way. So leaving the meeting I felt at ease but I can see how some brides may feel rushed or like they may need a little more from her. I think it’s just a personal style preference.


That same day the majority of our guest checked in. Almost everyone in out party was upgraded to a jr. suite. I think there were a few problems with some of the rooms but they were all handled to everyone’s satisfaction. I had a hair trial at 3pm that day and that went well. Audry put my hair up in 10 minutes, and it looked great. I made sure to ask if she was going to be the one to do my hair on the actual day and she assured me that she would.


We had our rehearsal on Thursday, May 8 I think it was at either 5 or 5:30. Chandlyn walked us through the ceremony and that was about it. It was quick and easy. We had our rehearsal dinner at St. Anne’s that evening at 6:30. Originally we were just going to do the bridal party and parents because I thought we were limited on the amount of seats we could reserve. At the meeting with Chandlyn she said “yeah, no problem mon. I can do a semi-private area for all 40.” So we were able to have a big dinner with all of our guest. We had a great time at dinner and I’m glad that everyone was able to participate.



Anyways back to the wedding, The morning of the wedding I had breakfast and hung out on the beach for a little while. When I came up to my room I noticed it was a little warm, I checked the AC and it was on 68 but no cold air was coming out. I checked the patio door, because if the door is open the air turns off, but it was shut. We turned the temp all the way down and the fan all the way to high and nothing. Great, just what I needed. I went down to the front desk and told them that the AC wasn’t working. I told them that I was getting married that day and there would be a lot of people in the room so if they could do it ASAP I would appreciate it. I went and got a few drinks to calm my nerves and then went to my 1:00 hair appt. Audry was there as promised. She did my hair and it was even better than the trial. I was really concerned about what was going to happen with my hair but it all worked out just fine. When I got back to my room it was freezing!!! My friend did my make-up and she did a great job. The room was crazy with about 10 people in there at once, but we all managed to get dressed and Chandlyn called around 3:50 to see if we were ready. She came to the room and escorted us to the gazebo. When we got in view of the gazebo I saw that everyone was just standing around, the groomsmen were sitting down and no one was ready. So I told her that I was going to stand back there until they were ready. That’s actually when I saw Marsha. Chandlyn went down and got everyone organized and we started. When I got down the aisle the first thing the minister did was introduce himself and shake my hand which I thought was funny. The ceremony was very nice and in my head it seemed like it was 5 seconds long, it went by so fast. The minister did a totally different order than what we rehearsed but it wasn’t a big deal. The steel drum band was excellent and although I didn’t get any rum punch everyone else seemed to enjoy it.


After we took pictures we went to Mammee Bay to get a sneak preview of the dinner set-up. We were really impressed. Chandlyn did a great job with the decorations. My mom bought all the decorations so I had no idea how everything was supposed to look so I just gave them all to Chandlyn and asked her to make it look nice and she really did. My mom even said the way she set it up was better than she had even envisioned. Dinner was good. It took them a while to get everyone’s food so by the time the last people got their food the first people were done but it wasn’t a big deal. We had our champagne toast and cut the cake at dinner. The cake was a three layer white cake with maybe a strawberry filling. It was good and more than big enough to feed all 40 of our guest. After dinner we had dancing at the Seagrape. This was the best decision we made and I thank all the other brides who suggested it, you could not have been more right. We hired the DJ and he played great music. It got a little hot after a while but no one was complaining. At one point my husband and I were dancing and talking and we decided that after the last dance we would go jump in the ocean. The only person we told was the photographer. So after the last dance we told everyone to walk down to the water for a group picture and as we were walking Erik and I just took off running and jumped in. Everyone was yelling and scrambling for their cameras. I think I fell about 3 times trying to get out because the dress was so heavy. It was the perfect way to end the day.


The RIU is a great resort. I met a lot of interesting people there and all of our guest are still calling talking about what a great time they had. The food was just OK for me. I did not go hungry by any means but some things were not so tasty. I think once you’re there you’ll find the things that you like and stick with that. I only ate at the Japanese restaurant and I thought it was good. My mom ate at a few more restaurants after I left and she said all of them were good.


The staff is extremely friendly and accommodating. I can not say enough about Jamaican hospitality. We had no issues the whole time we were there.


We brought our own photographer with us and had no problems at all. In fact one of the guys from the photoshop came to the dinner and the dancing and he was talking to our photographer. My first though was oh no we’re going to have a problem, but they were chatting and laughing and the photoshop guy came up to us and said that our photographers cameras were a lot better than his so we should have some good pictures.


All in all the RIU was the perfect place for us to get married. I have nothing but positive things to say about it and our whole experience. Once I got there I just decided that I was going to relax and enjoy every second of the experience. I did not stress about anything and everything worked out better than I planned. I know that the odds of me ever taking a vacation with all of my friends and family again are slim so the time that was spent with them and the memories that we made are priceless. So just remember to truly enjoy the experience and the people that are part of it.


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Wow, everything looks great! You were a beautiful bride. I love your pics and the pic of Mammee is really pretty. It's gorgeous when it is lit up like that! I'm glad to hear that everything went so well for, Congratulations!


What time was your wedding, and how did you find the privacy on the beach during the ceremony? Did Chandlyn stop by at anytime during your reception to make sure that everything was ok?

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