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Riu Ocho Rios Wedding Review 7/4/08

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I was married on July 4th at the Riu in Ocho Rios Jamaica. I've been an avid reader of this site for a while. I was hoping to share my wedding experience with those who are planning to have their wedding at the Riu and answer any questions you might have.


Hotel: The hotel was beautiful. The staff was friendly and the rooms were clean. My only issue was with one of my guests having to wait for over 6 hours for their room to be ready. They told him that since he was sharing a room with other guests who had not arrived that he would have to wait. This was unacceptable and after practically cursing out one of the managers he was finally allowed access to his room. Also, one morning we didn't have any hot water. I called to the front desk and they said they had someone working on the issue. It really didn't bother me that much as I was headed to the beach and pool and really didn't need hot water right away. When I returned to my room later on that day the hot water was back on without any more problems.


Also, beware that not all the room keys work. You will at some point have to go down to the front desk to have your key reset. Don't ask me why.


Things to know:

-You must go to the Jerk Hut its awesome

-The beach is clean and there is always a seat

-The swim up bars are a must

-The disco SMELLS and is very very dark.

-The entertainment is REALLy good.



Food: The food was good. It's best to make reservations to the speciality restuarants if you want to mix up your sense and try something different. The buffet is fine but it could get a bit redundant after a few days. Some of the food is very bland ex. the deserts. If you have a sweet tooth this will not help satisfy your desire. If you call first thing in the morning you can make reservations. We ate at the steakhouse and asian restaurants and the steakhouse was the best.


Things to know:

-Have them make you an omlette for breakfast

-Make reservations first thing in the morning

-Dinner is semi-casual so no bathing suits



[staff : The staff were very nice to all of my guests (about 46 of us). No one complained about the staff during our stay. They maid service was good. Just remember that the hotel is very big and so your room may not be cleaned until the end of the day. The maids have a lot of rooms to get to and its a hard job trying to keep the entire hotel clean. However, everything will be cleaned by the end of the day. Also, use your room safe. We didn't have any issues with thief but you can never be too careful.


Wedding: I would suggest finding Chandlyn right after you check into your room. She is very busy and if she or Nicky are not in their office they are problem on the beach or gazebo with another wedding party. We meet with Chandlyn first thing the next morning and she went over everything that we requested. She wrote everything down and double checked everything with me to make sure she had it all right.


Rehearsal: Our rehearsal went well. Chandlyn explained everything to us and we walked thru the ceremony about 2-3 times to make sure we had it right. She also set up our rehearsal dinner at the St. Ann restaurant which turned out fine. All they do is push together some tables toward the back of the St.Ann so that you have a semi-private dinner. We had no problem with that set up.


Things to know:

-write down the order of your party because someone might forget where to stand and when to walk.



Ceremony: On the morning of my wedding we walked over to Chandlyn's office and gave her all the things that we brought with us that we wanted to have set up during the ceremony and the reception. (ie., program cards, menu cards, candy for the tables, guest book etc) My wedding started at 5pm on the beach so I set up my hair appt at the salon around 2pm and was finished about 3ish. Then I went back to my room and waited for my bridesmaids and began to get dressed. Nicky was at my room around 4pm and so was the photographer. We all finished getting dressed and left my room around 4:50pm. Due to slight delay (which was my fault) the wedding started around 5:15pm. The ceremony goes rather quick so try to enjoy every minute of it. We had a hupa which we ordered from the tai floral company (they also decorated the reception site). We wrote our own vows. I also wrote out exactly what I wanted the preahcer to say and gave it to Chandlyn. On the day of my wedding the preacher read exactly what I had provide and he did an excellent job. We also did the sand ceremony which Chandlyn provided us with the colored sand and container (since I forgot to bring one).


Things to know for your ceremony:

-Get a microphone for the ceremony

-Walking in the sand is hard so be ready

-Everyone will be taking pictures and video so get your best Tyra Banks pose together

-Have someone who can keep swimmers out of your background during the ceremony or they will mess up your video.



Photography: Michael is a hard person to find sometimes. However, once we did find him he sat and went over everything he would do for our wedding. He was on time and very professional. We also had the videographer who was good. I didn't even notice them during the wedding. After the ceremony they instructed us on how to pose and asked us what pictures we wanted to take so everything worked out fine. I would say use Michael for sure if you have any concerns about your wedding photos.


Things to know:

-Make a list of your must have pictures and give it to Michael in advance.

-Bring blot tissues for your makeup so you don't end up wiping it off with tissue



Reception: The reception decor at the plantation was PERFECT. I would not have changed one thing. Chandlyn and Nicky did everything I asked. Everything from the table cloths down the to cameras on the table, it was all perfect. We had the steel band during the ceremony and the reggae band and the DJ during the reception. The photographer and videographer stayed for the first hour of our reception which is when we cut the cake, did the first dance, and had people make speechs. We also invited the entertainment to perform for the reception. They were the best. It only last about 15 minutes but everyone loved them. Ask Chandlyn about them if you want to hire them for your wedding. After about an hour the photographer and videographer left and we were served our dinner which was very good. The servers were very attentful and they had fun dancing to the band and the DJ.


We all partyed until the wee hours and everyone told us that they had the best time ever. Chandlyn and Nicky were there with us until about 9pm. They made sure that we had everything we needed. They will stay out of your way so you will not see them but they are around so just look for them if you need them.


Things to know for your reception: -Have FUN, the hard part is over and the fun can begin

-Make sure your dress is light weight as it starts to get heavy as the night moves on.

-Have someone who can collect your table cameras and any personal items so they won't get left behind.

-EAT, you will be starving by the end of the night.



My guest had such and amazing time that they are already planning the reunion :)


Let me know if you have ANY questions. Pictures coming soon.



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Thank you so much for this review, it sounds like your wedding was AWESOME! I can not wait to see your pictures!


May I ask how you got a 5pm wedding?

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Congratulations! I'm glad everything went well and thanks so much for the great review! I will PM you later to ask you about Michael & fees..if you don't mind wink.gif


Thanks again!

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