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IrieBride08's Review of Sandals Grande Ochi (Looonnnngg!)


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#1 IrieBride08

IrieBride08
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  • 716 posts

    Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:25 PM

    I’ve FINALLY gotten around to posting my super long review of SGOR! Our wedding was awesome! It far exceeded my expectations. We had an amazing time in Ocho Rios and at the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Resort. Having a destination wedding was the best decision we could have made. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and ended up bonding. One of my friends posted on her personal website that she’s completely sold on destination weddings and thinks it’s totally the way to go for a wedding.

    We had a total of 40 guests. I was concerned about the dynamic of the group and didn’t know how it would all work out, but everything was truly beyond my expectations. Even my father, who balked at my wedding for our entire engagement, did a complete 180 and had himself a ball.

    Flight (Air Jamaica) – A+
    We flew Air Jamaica first class from Baltimore straight to Montego Bay. We had 8 pieces of luggage, so we sent two suitcases to my parents and my sister to check for us. Since we flew first class, we were able to check 3 bags each w/ up to 70lbs weight limit. This was really helpful since we brought all of our decorations, OOT bag items, etc. We also got to wait in the first class lounge at the airport. It was really nice with beverages and snacks.

    I carried my dress on the plane. There were at least 6 other brides on the plane with us so my dress was laid flat in the overhead compartment. One more bride came along and the attendant asked me if I minded if they placed her dress on top of mine. I agreed, since hers was a light dress. We were really excited and got first class treatment the entire time we were there. They served a cute little breakfast on the plane and it was pretty good with cute little flatware and salt n pepper shakers. I found the whole flight charming and relaxing.

    Arrival (Sangster Airport) - B
    Our experience at the airport was a little chaotic, but we got through customs smoothly with no issues. It was just a little confusing once we got to the Sandals Lounge to catch the bus to the resort. The attendants had trouble locating our reservations initially which freaked me out. Since we made all of the travel arrangements for ourselves and all of our guests, everyone’s name was listed under Michael’s name. Once we figured this out, we called key people to let everyone know and things went smoothly from there.

    Our flight arrived on Wednesday and our guests were scheduled to arrive on two flights on Thursday from Baltimore and Atlanta. It turned out that all 40 of our guests were on one of these two flights and they all arrived together which made things easy for us to greet everyone. They all checked in together.

    Transfers (arranged through Sandals) - A
    The transfers are included free by Sandals. We had nice plush buses with AC. The ride was smooth and pleasant. We stopped at a little jerk shack along the way. The ride took about 2 hours. The driver pointed out scenes of interest along the way.

    Check-in (Front Desk) - A
    Arriving at the resort, we were all impressed. It was very lush and beautiful. We were greeted with cold hand towels. We were ushered into the Concierge Lounge and offered snacks and champagne. I kept worrying about my parents check in process. Everyone kept telling me not to worry about anything. We were given our room keys and given a brief orientation of the resort. When I went to the main lobby, my parents and my sister and aunt were enjoying champagne and strawberry daiquiris and were clutching their room keys. They looked super happy, which made me happy. Everyone was very friendly and accommodating. They put all of their luggage on a shuttle to carry them over to their rooms on the Riviera side. Our room was a villa on the Manor side.

    Our guests arrived the next afternoon. I’m actually glad that all of our guests arrived together at the same time on the same day. It made it so much easier. The Atlanta group arrived first and we ran into them as they waited in the lounge sipping champagne for their room assignments. Everyone looked very relaxed and excited to be there. The Baltimore group arrived an hour later and went through the same treatment.

    Rooms - B
    Our room was 7319 on the Manor side and was pretty small. We had a small little kitchen with a fully stocked fridge, a cute little living room and balcony that overlooked a private pool shared by the other villa residents (3 other rooms). The bedroom had a huge four poster mahogany bed, cd player, and tv armoire. It was nice, but cramped. The bathroom was also pretty small. We were disappointed with how tight everything was, but it was nice and clean and the view was amazing. You could see beautiful lush gardens and a distant view of the ocean. The pool was also pretty nice and private. The whole time we were there, we never saw any of the other villa residents, so it felt like our personal pool.

    My parents, aunt and sister were in rooms 3108 and 3109 on the Riviera side, Bamboo Building. My sister and aunt’s room was very spacious and comfortable. My parent’s room was a little smaller, but it was still very nice. They both had beautiful views of the gardens and they all seemed happy with their accommodations. Their rooms and bathrooms looked more modern than our villa. We commented and joked about this, but it never was a huge issue for us.

    All of our guests were housed on the Riviera side and in close proximity to each other. Several had cute little villas, and the rest stayed in the Bamboo Building. All had beautiful views of the lush gardens and grounds. Only one couple had a beach view, but they specifically requested it. Everyone had a blast visiting everyone’s room and making arrangements to meet at specific pools and Jacuzzi’s.

    In general, the rooms were nice, but on the antiquated side. The bathroom fixtures were just standard and sometimes the hot water didn’t work right or the shower would be wonky, but everything else was so great that everyone seemed to overlook those things. No one complained about the rooms. I think that if Sandals ever upgrades those features, it would make the resort nearly perfect.

    After our wedding, we were upgraded to a 2 room suite villa that was considerably larger, had a beautiful veranda, and shared a private pool with the villa residents below. It was villa 7205. We had 2 huge bathrooms, one with a double sink. This came in handy when we were getting ready in the evenings to go out. Mike would dress and shower in one room, and me in the other. The new room also had a large kitchen, stocked with liquor and soda, wine, etc. and a large living area.

    The only minor gripe we had was that it seemed that as the days passed, the maids became more and more lax with leaving us enough wash cloths, giving us turndown service, and stocking our fridge. We had to call to have it stocked on one occasion. I will say that initially the refrigerator wasn’t working on the first day we checked in. Once we called to report it, a repairman was there to fix it within the hour and it worked perfectly from then on.

    Resort - A
    We found the resort extremely beautiful and lush. I picked Ocho Rios originally because it seemed to be a close match to Hawaii (with mountains, ocean, and lush gardens) without the price. Sandals grounds were exceptionally beautiful. I loved all of the flora, idyllic ponds, bubbling brooks, private pathways, etc. it was very romantic. All of my guests loved it as well. They also loved how large and sprawling the resort was. The Riviera side as the side where everything happened, while the Manor side was more private and quiet. My guests took advantage of everything the resort had to offer. They swam, went out on all the free excursions and water activities (glass bottom boats, wind surfing, snorkeling, etc.) I think that all of the activity available helped diffuse how “couples oriented” the resort was.

    The Sandals employees were also very nice and were always looking to serve, share a smile, and accommodate your needs wherever we were. They really went above and beyond to be of service.

    Welcome Cocktail Reception – A+
    Because we had over 20 rooms booked at the resort, we were given a free welcome cocktail reception for all of our guests as part of the weddingmoon package. We held the welcome reception on Thursday evening at 6:30. Sandals provided everything. The reception was held at the Beach Pool Deck and we had our own private bar with two bartenders, a lavish spread of hot and cold hors-d’œuvres. They set up the tall tables with white table cloths for people to mingle and eat over, and played reggae music over a loud speaker.

    We used this event to pass out our OOT bags to our guests and shared a brief introduction of every person to introduce everyone and explain their relationship/tie to us.

    We never solidified any details on this event with the wedding coordinator prior to arrival. We were told where the reception would take place when we checked in and we had no input into the hors menu. Despite this, everything they served was delicious and beautifully served and displayed. There were fresh fruit platters, jerk chicken wings, meatballs, Jamaican patty empanadas, cucumbers with smoked salmon, and other cold h’ors that I can’t even recall. The bartenders whipped up every drink we threw at them and concocted some of their own. At the end of the night, my girlfriends and I all took two “congratulatory” shots made by the bartenders. (One looked like an atomic bomb and tasted delicious!) We had a ball. My father, who is in the catering business commented that it was very well done. This from him is high praise since he has something negative to say about most restaurants we go to. LOL!

    Rehearsal Dinner - A
    The rehearsal dinner was also a complimentary event from Sandals and part of our weddingmoon package. It was held in a conference room on the Manor side, and was beautifully decorated with personalized menus and everything. We had a private bartender who attended to all of our needs and 4 servers who served our group a five-course dinner table side. They served West Indian Pepper Pot soup, which turned out to be my favorite at the resort. (I would order it wherever I saw it throughout our stay at Sandals!) Dessert was a pineapple upside-down cake that was delicious and my guests raved about. The dinner was very laid back and fun.

    I was super emotional that night at the rehearsal dinner. I could barely speak without bawling! I was just so happy with everything. I was really overcome with happiness. After the dinner, several of our friends came back to our villa to swim in our semi-private pool. We completely demolished our bar stash that night as well!

    More to come...


    #2 IrieBride08

    IrieBride08
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      Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:27 PM

      Wedding Day
      The weather was beautiful. I spent the night before in my cousin’s room and had breakfast the next morning with my sister and aunt. I ended up running into several other guests and my parents. I went back to my villa to spend a little time to myself to reflect, contemplate, etc. I showered and got myself ready for dressing and headed back over to the Riviera side to get dressed and made up since the ceremony was happening at the Reef Terrace Gazebo on the Riviera side of the resort.

      I took my time and styled my hair myself. My mother came in and offered to help. I let her for a while, but she was jacking me up, so I politely offered to finish the rest! LOL! I had a make up appointment at 12:30 so I went to the salon for that. The makeup artist was a half hour late since she thought I was going to the salon on the Manor side. I had to wait for her to come to the correct salon. I bought all MAC makeup and had an instruction sheet created for me by the MAC stylists. All she had to do was follow the instructions, so I thought it would be easy. She kept trying to sneak her own makeup on my face and I could tell she wasn’t applying it the way the instructions indicated. I was really trying to be patient with her, but as the minutes ticked by, I was growing more and more annoyed.

      At that point, my photographer arrived and started to take shots of me getting my make up done. After a break I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe my eyes. She had rimmed my eyes with black liner and I looked like a frickin’ raccoon! At that point, I told her that I would finish the makeup my self, packed up my make up and hightailed it out of there.

      My day got a little frenetic from that point. I was locked out of my dressing room with only 30 minutes to get dressed and fix my makeup. My parents were luckily next door, so I waited with them until my sister opened the door. I was able to salvage my make up and the photogs took several shots of me getting dressed, and of my mother, sister and me.

      My father joined us and the four of us walked down to the ceremony site. Once there, I realized that I’d forgotten the ceremony music, so my father ran back to the room to get it and turn it over to the WC. I also realized at that time that I forgot our wedding rings back in the Manor side villa! So I pulled off my engagement ring and sent that over to the best man. Michael ended up borrowing a ring from one of our guests.

      My cousins had taken all of my wedding d©cor and decorated the gazebo while I was getting dressed, so I didn’t see the final product until I was walking down the aisle. I thought they did a great job. They hung my strung orchids and used the centerpieces on the end chairs of the aisles and tied two to the gazebo itself. They set up the sand ceremony stuff and decorated the table with petals and another centerpiece. They couldn’t do my thick silk petal runner because it was too windy, so they scattered petals just as I was preparing to walk down the aisle.

      The ceremony, which was scheduled to start at 2pm, went beautifully and much too fast. Due to the music snafu and the coordinator failing to “coordinate”, the ceremony didn’t start until after 2:30! The ring Michael borrowed only went to just below the nail on his ring finger, which was funny. The officiant was very good and made the ceremony fun. I learned after the fact, that my photogs were in the way and blocked everyone’s view so several of my guests didn’t see most of the ceremony. I was upset that they weren’t more discreet.

      We really didn’t have much time for pictures after the ceremony because the reception was scheduled for 3:30 to 6:30pm and we were already running behind. We took a couple of group shots and then a few with just all of our family members, but they weren’t very organized. For example, in the family shot, my mother was on one side, and my father on the other. They didn’t organize us very well. Michael ended up sending the best man to the reception with the rest of the guests, so we have no shots on the beach with our complete wedding party. We also didn’t get shots of just my parents, my sister, my sister and I, etc. There just was no time!

      After the pictures, we had our driver take us to the Manor side to get our rings and drop things off before we headed to the reception.

      Reception: Evita’s Jamaican-Italian Restaurant – A+
      The reception at Evita’s was exceptional. My cousins had all of our guests remain on the buses while they decorated the room with my centerpieces. They sprinkled flower petals on the tables and used all of my AA flowers and bouquets. They had the guestbook station by the front door and one of them took the job of snapping each guests’ photo with the Polaroid camera for the guestbook. They also set up my wedding favors, the suitcase tins that were filled with personalized M&Ms. It was a really pretty set up. Eva had created some cute personalized menus for me (since I had run out of time) and they were at every place setting.

      By the time we arrived, our guests were already enjoying cocktails and the band that we hired through Eva, the owner of Evita’s. We used the band’s sound system to announce the wedding party. The band was really great and so we did our first dance to a reggae song. It was really fun and upbeat. My parents joined us and then ultimately our entire wedding group. It was hard to get everyone seated again for dinner.

      The food was phenomenal and everyone was raving about it. We had toasts and more dancing. We pretty much shut the place down around 7:30 (so they could get ready for the dinner crowd). I think that having the reception there was the best idea ever. I paid a fraction of what it would have cost me at Sandals. Also, everyone really enjoyed going offsite for the reception. I think everyone appreciated all of the festivities being over early as well. It gave everyone time to make their own evening plans for their last night in Jamaica.

      After the reception, several of our friends (the younger crowd) met up with us at the Manor pool to hang out, have drinks, etc. We decided to spend that last night with our guests since we were going to be at the resort for a full extra week. The older crew stayed on the Riviera side and had a ball at the piano bar. A few went offsite to local Jamaican clubs to party.

      Wedding Cake – A++++
      The cake was DELICIOUS!! It was almond flavored with pineapple and mango filling, buttercream frosting with fresh coconut and coconut cookies around the bottom half of each layer. It was decorated with fresh white orchids. The cake topper also had some pink flowers, which were not in my color scheme, but I decided to overlook it since the cake was so good!

      Eva made arrangements for the cake. I think she used the same baker she recommended to TA Maureen, or Future Bakery. She packed up the remaining pieces for us and we took them back to our room. We enjoyed that cake throughout our honeymoon week!

      We were also given a free wedding cake by Sandals. It was chocolate with white icing and had red frosting flowers on it. It was actually pretty good, but was no contest next to the Evitas wedding cake! (Sandals cake – B)

      Red Lane Spa
      I had a complimentary mani/pedi as part of my wedding package and had this done at the spa. I’m pretty picky about these type of services, so I knew that I wouldn’t be overly impressed. The service itself was very good, but I asked for a French manicure on both my hands and feet and it was a mediocre paint job. It didn’t even last until the ceremony and I got it done the day before! If you go to the spa for a manicure, I would recommend getting a regular paint job. I would rate the mani/pedi a C-!

      I also was able to do a seaweed body scrub and it was wonderful! My skin felt like silk afterward and I was so relaxed. The spa is beautiful and I loved the soft fluffy robes they give you. I would rate their spa services an A!

      Food/Restaurants - A
      We really enjoyed all of the restaurants on the resort. There were 9. We really loved how they served all of the meals in courses. It was very leisurely and the food was delicious. Our favorite restaurant was the Reef Terrace restaurant. (They served my favorite—the Pepper Pot soup!) The only restaurant we didn’t get to try was Valentino’s. We just ran out of time. The restaurant we preferred the least was Arizona’s. It had the prettiest setting, right on the beach, but the food—Tex Mex—wasn’t the best to us. We also ate at Orchids (Asian food) and had to wait an hour to be seated, but the food was delicious!

      Beach – B-The beach was pretty small. We swam in it once, but I didn’t like all of the seaweed on the sea floor. I kept standing on Michael’s feet to avoid contact with it! We aren’t huge beach fans, so it wasn’t a big deal to us. We spent more time in the pool.


      #3 IrieBride08

      IrieBride08
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      • 716 posts

        Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:28 PM

        VENDORS
        Lee Taxi & Tours (Transportation & Excursions) – A+
        I booked Lee’s Taxi & Tours to transport my guests to and from the wedding reception at Evita’s. I paid $260 to transport 40 wedding guests to and from the resort and for private transportation for Michael and I. This also included taxi service for us anywhere we needed to go during the wedding weekend. They sent over 2 Toyota Coaster buses (which seat 28 people each) and Norma (the owner) sent her own personal car to transport us to the reception when one of her drivers backed out at the last minute.

        They really gave us exceptional service and Norma went waaayyyyyy above and beyond for us. We organized two tours/excursions for my wedding guests to take them to Dunn’s River Falls and shopping and on an Ocho Rios Highlight Tour which included a sight-seeing tour and shopping. I had a problem when one of my guests (who is from Jamaica) undercut the tours I’d arranged by offering another tour which combined both of the above-mentioned tours for less money. This really upset me and while I was going off and flipping out, Norma calmed me and offered my guests the same deal, matched the price and the excursion ended up going off without a hitch.

        We ended up doing a sight-seeing tour of Ochi, fern gully, shopping, and Dunn’s River. It was a hit with my guests. (I had about 26 people participate in the tour.) I was blown away by Norma’s customer service. She showed up at the resort on the morning of the guest excursion to make sure that everything went ok and that I was happy with everything.

        Prim & Pixie (Invitations & Programs) – A
        I’m really glad that I chose Prim & Pixie for my invites. I completely and totally copied the passport invite from Alyssa. When I saw them posted on the forum, I just fell in love and called P&P immediately! LOL!! I drafted the invitation copy myself and tailored it to our needs. Everyone who received them loved them and kept them as keepsakes. I was happy with this, cuz those invites were NOT cheap!

        Toward the end of my planning process, I was really running out of time with my printed materials. I wanted to do table cards, menus, programs, a welcome booklet, and a final wedding update newsletter for guests prior to departure. In the end, I was able to get P&P to create wedding programs for me and I just scrapped the rest. I just didn’t have the time to complete it all.

        I was super pleased with the wedding program they created. They incorporated my wedding colors of Lagoon and Sunset and created a simple but beautiful program for me that was tied style-wise to the invitations.

        P&P were easy to work with and very flexible with my many edits (I’m a journalist and editor). The only thing that would have made things easier is if they had a Paypal account or some other way to pay them quickly. Currently, you have to fax them a payment sheet which can be a pain (accessing a fax). Also, there were times when they didn’t receive the fax, etc. which added to production time.

        The Dress (David’s Bridal)
        My dress was a Monique Luo. I questioned my choice from the moment I made it, but I must say that I felt very beautiful in it (from the moment I tried it on) which is why I went ahead and bought it despite feeling pressured by the salespeople and despite feeling unsure if it was what I wanted.

        Originally, I was looking for a sleek, beachy, sexy dress, but none I tried on were flattering. The Luo dress was the only dress that I tried on that didn’t make me feel like a baby elephant! It made me look smaller than I actually was. Also, the wrong price tag was on the dress (it was $960 but was marked $349) and David’s offered to honor the incorrect price on that day only, so I bought it. In hindsight, I am happy with that decision. I’m also glad that I didn’t have to spend a fortune on the dress.

        I will say that between the final fitting (where it was so fitted that I struggled to zip it up after alterations) and my wedding day, I must have lost 10 pounds because I was swimming in the dress that day!

        Veil (SomethingBold.com)
        I really loved my veil. I had envisioned myself in a birdcage veil from the beginning since I wanted the look of a veil without having to deal with the length of a regular one. I had several inspiration photos of the veil and was so thrilled to find one comparable for an affordable price.

        I selected the “Grace” veil in Ivory and it had scattered crystals to give me a little “bling.” I really loved how it looked on me. (I wish I had an excuse to wear it again!)

        Photography/ Videography (Dennis Duncan Photography & Video) – B-/ C+
        The wedding pictures were super important to me, but I didn't have the budget to afford the type of pictures I wanted, PLUS Sandals has a super strict policy of no outside photographers. The resort photographers were mediocre to me and I felt trapped.

        One of my friends from Jamaica put her feelers out for local photogs and recommended Dennis Duncan to me. He is supposedly in high demand in Jamaica for both photos and video. Turns out that he had connections with the management at Sandals and they were willing to allow him onsite to take my pictures! Evidently, Sandals would have him train their resort photographers so he had pre-existing relationship with them already.

        I had him send me samples of his photos and video (since he didn't have a website--which was a BIG red flag to me) and when I got them I was disappointed since they were really no better than the resort photography! All of the pictures were super posed and the videos were worse with cheesy music, etc. The only benefit to using them was that I would have them with me for the entire wedding day and they would go to the offsite reception (at Evita’s) and take pictures there. (The Sandals photogs would only take pictures on the resort of the ceremony and weren’t willing to go offsite.)

        I was just resigned to have mediocre photos and I had to pray REAL hard to be ok with that. Dennis had the nerve to want a ridiculous amount of money for his mediocre photos and video, so I had to negotiate him down and I ended up paying him $1500 for both photos and video. He agreed to give me all high res files on a disc.

        As I anticipated, my video is mediocre. (Ok, it’s actually awful!) I gave him our wedding CD and told him to use music from it, but he still used his cheesy music on the CD. All of the shots are so close up that you can practically read peoples thoughts! He never gave me any wide-shots so that you can see the location, the setting, etc. The positive thing about the video is that it has our entire ceremony and I am very glad to have that preserved.

        The pictures turned out waaayyyyy better than the video I must say, so that made me feel better. I’m so glad that they were able to capture some preparation pictures of me. I have some very nice pics that will make stunning portraits. They also did a great job photographing everyone in our group. The shots are pretty posed, but I ended up with more natural shots than I anticipated and they look really great. I plan to take the disc to a professional and have a couple of books and wedding albums made.

        Aside from their capability, Dennis and his assistant were really nice and very accommodating to me. They followed me everywhere and took pictures and video of every second of the wedding day. I appreciated his professionalism in that aspect. He sent me my wedding photos via FedEx the day I returned home, and I appreciate that as well. I also appreciate that he was able to give me over 600 pics and a complete video for $1500. I would have only gotten 24 5x7’s, 6 8x10s, 42 high res negatives, and a video for $1800 from the Sandals photoshop, so all things considered, I think it worked out.

        Sandals photographer
        We did have a Sandals photog at our wedding to take shots. Our wedding package came with one free 5X7 shot, so they captured the ceremony as well. I was so glad to have Dennis there because his camera equipment was far superior to the Sandals photog’s. The pictures from the resort photog were actually very nice and I was tempted to buy some shots from them, but my new husband wouldn’t let me! My father ended up buying a few of these pictures though—for $20 a pic (for 5X7’s)!

        We did do a “Sunset” photo shoot during our honeymoon with the Sandals photogs and it turned out really nice. I am happy to have those pictures and the experience was really fun.

        Wedding Coordinators – C
        Darma (offsite)/ Annette (onsite)
        I was really excited to work with the WC and get my wedding planned. I worked with Darma (the off site coordinator) and found her to be very responsive, but I felt she was pushing expensive services at me that I just wasn’t interested in. No matter how many times I reminded her about my slim budget, she would get my hopes up for certain things only to dash them with Sandals high prices. I also found her pretty inflexible when it came to trying to tailor my wedding details and reception to my needs and tastes. When I asked about the sand ceremony, she told me we could do it, but it would cost $200 for the materials, etc. so I got them myself. The flowers cost a fortune, so I got them myself, the list goes on. I’m not blaming her for this, but when I asked her to help me come up with an affordable plan for the reception, she told me there was nothing she could do. THEN she tried to keep me from moving my reception offsite by scaring me and telling me it was dangerous to leave the resort. Toward the end, I stopped contacting her, and just emailed her my final details, like the final guest list and final selections for my wedding package.

        My onsite coordinator was Annette. We met for over an hour to go through all of the wedding details. I was impressed with how organized she was. We went through the ceremony and she let me select all of the menus for my wedding events (except the cocktail reception) and she made arrangements for my spa appointments, etc. She also promised to take care the music and sound system for the ceremony. She told me that I would have to decorate for my ceremony myself since we weren’t using their florist (there would be no one coming to set up any d©cor as a result) This is when I decided to enlist the help of my cousins to help me decorate.

        On the day of the wedding, she came to get me for the ceremony, but she never told me that she didn’t get the ceremony music! I didn’t find out about it until I was at the site ready to walk down the aisle! She also told my mother not to walk down the aisle until she came to get her, then she never showed back up, so we were clueless as to when to start. The photographer had to direct my mother down the aisle. I will say that she helped me stay calm over the music snafu and the missing ring snafu!

        I think that without my cousins there to run the ceremony that day, things would have been worse. My guests were unaware of any problems or issues though and I was thankful for that.


        #4 IrieBride08

        IrieBride08
        • Member
        • 716 posts

          Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:33 PM

          Ok, here are a few more pictures (pro pics):


          My shoes and earrings:
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          Getting ready:
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          Chair decoration:
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          Ceremony site and guests:
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          Happy couple!
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          Wedding cake from Evitas:
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          I'll see if I can post more pictures later...


          #5 KHarrod

          KHarrod
          • Member
          • 902 posts

            Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:49 PM

            Thanks for the great review, Im glad that everything worked out for the best.

            #6 DreamsComeTrue

            DreamsComeTrue
            • Newbie
            • 44 posts

              Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:30 PM

              My FI and I are seriously considering SGOR for our big day sometime next year. We're both graduate students on a very limited budget and it will only be the two of us at the DW.

              Your review was incredibly helpful. Pictures are extremely important to me. How many pics did Sandals give you to review and choose from? How would you rate the quality of the photos from Sandals? If you had to chose one or the other on a limited budget would you go with the outside photographer you hired or the Sandals photog?

              Also, I hear its really humid there. How did you keep your hair looking so perfect?

              #7 Carolyn

              Carolyn
              • Sr. Member
              • 1,235 posts

                Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

                Wow you looked great. What a great detail review.

                #8 Dez921714

                Dez921714
                • Sr. Member
                • 1,489 posts

                  Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:36 PM

                  I love your pics! You look beautiful!

                  Thanks for such a detailed review. I'm sure many deciding brides will find it super helpful!!
                  http://ticker.7910.o....25vdCBpbiA.gif27 Confirmed with Plane Tickets...5 with rooms booked!

                  150 INVITES / 6 YES / 13 NO

                  #9 IrieBride08

                  IrieBride08
                  • Member
                  • 716 posts

                    Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:57 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by DreamsComeTrue
                    My FI and I are seriously considering SGOR for our big day sometime next year. We're both graduate students on a very limited budget and it will only be the two of us at the DW.

                    Your review was incredibly helpful. Pictures are extremely important to me. How many pics did Sandals give you to review and choose from? How would you rate the quality of the photos from Sandals? If you had to chose one or the other on a limited budget would you go with the outside photographer you hired or the Sandals photog?

                    Also, I hear its really humid there. How did you keep your hair looking so perfect?
                    If that's the case, then a DW at SGOR would be perfect for you. You would be able to get all of the perks and upgrades that you want and it will be super affordable for you.

                    I'll admit that I complained profusely about the "nickel and diming" that the resort does, but in the end, with my selections I didn't have to pay anything out of pocket. I think that with fewer people attending, you can upgrade easily and it won't be a financial burden.

                    The Sandals photogs were mediocre. The pictures looked pretty nice. They give you a large amount to select from--just keep in mind that the package and a la carte prices are super expensive. (I thought $20 per shot was steep for a la carte!) And they're nice enought that you'll be tempted to buy more than you want to spend! LOL!

                    Since I felt a little "damned" either way as far as the photos, I would do the outside photog again only because they were willing to follow me offsite for the reception (Sandals photogs wouldn't) and I ended up with a CD full of pictures (over 600) as opposed to the puny number of pics offered in the Sandals packages by comparison.

                    It WAS very humid there! I'm suprised myself at how well my hair held up! LOL! But my wedding day was pretty breezy...hot but breezy.


                    #10 AlmostMrsForbes

                    AlmostMrsForbes
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 238 posts

                      Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:10 PM

                      Great review! I had my wedding at ROR two days after yours, and did my reception at Evita's. I'm glad you liked it - your review brought back great memories!




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