Back from ROR Wedding!
Posted 24 July 2008 - 12:14 AM
Hey ladies! I'm back from my July 19th wedding at ROR! Here is my review. I hope it's not too long (smile)! I am going to try to post a few pics separately, with more to come in a day or two (I know, I know)!
General – I have no major complaints at all regarding our stay. Everything turned out wonderful, actually better than I had anticipated, especially since the weather did not cooperate on my wedding day. It rained ALL day! But, that turned out to be a blessing! More details below.
Airport/Transportation – We flew Air Jamaica on a non-stop flight. No complaints about the airline, except the long line check-in line and customs line in Jamaica! I was able to hang my dress in first class with no problems. All of our luggage arrived intact. I was worried about my flowers which I packed in a hard case, but they were not tampered with at all. I packed all of my “essentials” in my carry-on, just in case, but, no problems. Air Jamaica allows 2 checked bags per person, so that was a big help since we had 7 checked bags. I’m sure we would’ve paid dearly on another airline since the baggage allowances are ever decreasing. We also used Lees Tours to pick us up from the airport in Jamaica since we had so much stuff and I didn’t feel like making the other hotel stops. They were great! Norma and Yvonne are very sweet. Everything went smoothly, even our Dunn’s River excursion that we organized through them. BTW, climbing the Dunn’s River Falls is a must-do! Our group had a ball!
Check-in/Hotel – The hotel check-in went smooth. The only thing was that we took our own luggage to the room since the bellhops were moving a little slow and we needed to drop off luggage at the two rooms; we took one of their carts. Unfortunately, there were no upgrades available for us, as the hotel was booked. We had a jr. suite and the kids had an oceanview regular room. At first we were concerned because the two rooms were on opposite sides of the property, which is fairly large, but it wasn’t that bad after we got used to the layout of the hotel. The hotel itself is a nice property and everyone was very nice. We didn’t experience any rude hotel workers, nor did we have any thefts. I was really concerned about that, but no problems, “mon”! Oh, one other minor issue. I did have to contact the front desk 3 times to get an extra cot in one of our rooms. After the third request, it was done. No major impact, as it was there before bedtime.
Food/Drinks – I gained about 5lbs! The breakfast was great, as was the Jerk Hut. That is a must do if you go there! Be warned, the jerk sauce is HOT (and this is from someone who loves hot/spicy food)!!! I was satisfied at the other meals, but I did get tired of the Piccolo Italiano as the snack stop! We didn’t do any of the reserved restaurants, but I heard several times that the Japanese restaurant, Tushima, was very good. Be sure to make your reservations the day before you want to eat. The drinks were not very strong, but if you asked for extra alcohol, they gladly provided it. I gave my guests larger cups to use at the bars and they had no problems filling them.
Room – Although I wish I had booked the oceanview suite, the jr. suite worked well for us. The only complaint with the room is the beds. We had the 2 double beds that were pushed together. The beds kept scooting apart and I’m used to sleeping in a king bed anyway. It didn’t make for very romantic nights! Our rooms were cleaned daily and our drinks restocked.
Chandlyn/Nakeisha – I was worried about how my experience with these ladies was going to be, especially since a few ladies on BDW had issues in the few weddings prior to mine. Well, I can’t say anything bad about either! They were very nice and accommodating. Everything was “no problem” and they did everything as I requested. On the day of my wedding, it was a bit chaotic because it rained all day and I was originally going to do my wedding at the garden/pond gazebo. We made several last minute decisions, but through it all, they were more than gracious and worked with me closely to make sure everything was what I wanted. I must say that whenever I saw Chandlyn or Nakeisha during the stay, they smiled and spoke. The next day after the wedding I went to say thank you and we chatted for a few minutes like we’d known each other for awhile! No complaints about these ladies…I’m sure it can be hectic when there are several weddings per day, but they do work hard. I will say that I didn’t see them anymore after we moved for the reception, but we managed. I’m a sort-of control freak anyway, so we kept things moving with no problems.
Ceremony – WOW!!! Okay, like I stated before, I was supposed to do the ceremony at the garden gazebo…a sista HAD to wear her heels, LOL! I liked the beach background, but the heels took priority, so garden gazebo it was…so I thought! The rain never stopped that day. It was pouring literally all day, except for a slight glimmer of hope for about 5 minutes. So, we had to move it indoors, but where was the question. The options were the Plantation, which would’ve required a walk in the rain---NOT!, Mammee Bay where the reception was going to be, or the conference room. It was 2:00pm and it was getting close to ceremony time (4pm) and I hadn’t really seen either to make a decision. Plantation was out because of the walk in the rain factor, so after I finished my hair at Renova at 2:30, I quickly checked out both sites. I did not like the conference room. It was too closed in and reminded me of a Best Western motel/hotel conference room or something. Mammee Bay was still open for eating until 4pm, the ceremony start time. So, you figure people would still be there until about 4:30. The other thing was that the rain had come in a little and made the floor wet. Decisions, decisions. I decided to go with Mammee Bay and we changed the start time to 4:30pm. OK, so now we have to inform the wedding party and guests---handled that. Chandlyn promised they would mop up the water on the floor and get things prepared. After taking time to deal with another small catastrophe (our camcorder decided not to work; I’ll tell more in the Michael/Photoshop section), my time was getting short, as it was now about 3:30pm. Fast forward, I was finally ready at about 4:45pm. By the time I got there, there were no miscellaneous guests around, so timing worked out well, even though we were behind schedule. I was absolutely amazed at how the ceremony site looked once I got there. It was better than what I expected, and to me it was even better than having it at the garden gazebo. There wasn’t a lot of tulle used, but the simple dÃ©cor with the ocean in the background was beautiful. I was very impressed with the minister…he pronounced our names correctly the entire time! We did not add anything to the vows. We used our own music for the seating of the guests and our processional songs, and the steel band played as we walked back down the aisle. I didn’t really get to pay close attention to the steel band, but when I did tune in, it was very festive. I honestly don’t even remember when they finished since we were busy taking pictures. The rain stopped long enough for us to do some photos on the beach. As we were finishing the pictures on the beach, it began to drizzle. Timing, again, was perfect! I think I would’ve liked a few photos at the garden gazebo, but not a big deal in retrospect.
Reception - The reception area was set up just as I requested. Chandlyn and Nakeisha did everything perfectly; I was impressed. Knowing that there was not a lot of room for centerpieces, I did tea light candles in clear holders with diamond sparklers and petals sprinkled down the center, weaving in and out of the candles. Our gazebo arrangements were also left on the table. I had coral color petals and diamond sparklers for the cake table, as well as a smaller bouquet arrangement (BTW, I brought my own flowers for the gazebo and for the bridal party). We used covered chairs for the ceremony and reception, so that made the area look 10 times better. It was expensive to add the covers, but well worth it. The few boo-boos from the reception are as follows: we did not see Chandlyn and Nakeisha anymore, but the waiters were more than attentive so they were not missed, and we had to pull the cake decorations from the gazebo arrangements in an effort to quickly decorate the cake. But, again, no problems! I was supposed to get a floral cake topper since I didn’t use the free bouquets. I think we finished the dinner a little after 9pm. I had originally booked the disco from 9-11pm, but decided to cancel it and I’m glad I did. By the time we finished the reception and we went to change, it was time for it to open to the public, so we just met up and partied for awhile…even though we were pooped at this point! We had a ball, though!
Michael/Photoshop – Another area I can’t complain about. I was really worried how my experience with Michael was going to be after hearing a few of the other reviews, but Michael is alright with me! He was more than accommodating and very professional. Even before seeing any of the pictures, my guests were saying he was a good photographer. Although the pictures don’t have that “photojournalistic” feel, they are great photos and work well for us. Michael even went so far as to stay at work late to get us a CD of the photos to review and came in on Sunday, the only day the Photoshop is closed. We were going to use the videographer, but we forgot to pay the day before, as was required, and changed our minds overnight. I’m sure the videographer would’ve done a good job, but we had two people videotape the ceremony and some of the reception, so we were well covered and saved a few bucks. Oh, about our camcorder. Part of our decision to not use the videographer was because we had our camcorder and talked to one of the guests about doing the taping. Well, my husband (smile) charged the camcorder and went to check it out just hours before the ceremony, and the damned thing was not working! It recorded sound, but no picture! We found out one of my bridesmaids and her hubby had a one, so we used that one instead. In addition, my now sister-in-law also recorded on here camera. BTW, Michael is aware of his fuzzy reputation and after talking about it, I can understand his side of things sometimes too. Just like with my wedding which started late (although it was good that it was the last one for the day), the weddings run on a schedule and sometimes adjustments and concessions have to be made in order to keep the bookings from running into each other or cutting away time from one another. Of course we want things as we want them, but we have to keep the other side in mind as well. Not taking defense, but just being mindful of the job he has.
Renova Spa – Again, I was worried how this was going to turn out. I had decided before going to the resort that I would just do my own hair. Well, I was having a diva moment and just did not feel like doing my hair. I made an appointment to get my hair done and my fingers and toes re-polished. I made the appointment for a wash and set, but when the receptionist found out it was my wedding, she said I needed a bridal hairstyle, which was of course about $30 more---NOT! I didn’t require anything complicated, just a set to get some curls that could be partially pinned up. Well, since it rained, I didn’t even have them pin it up, I just left with my curls pinned in place so that my hair would not fall quickly. Audry did my hair and Nicole did my fingers/toes. I was worried that they might have trouble with my hair since I had a full weave, but that was not an issue at all. Both ladies did an excellent job and had great personalities. They tried to keep my optimistic and cheerful even though it was raining and it looked like it wasn’t going to stop!
Overall my experience was great and turned out much better than anticipated, especially in light of the rain. I don’t know if there’s anything I would really change. I would actually suggest that they offer the Mammee Bay spot as a regular ceremony option. I would definitely visit the resort again.
One more piece of info. I did not do the legal ceremony there, as I didn’t send my paperwork over in time. Chandlyn asked if I had it with me when we first met, which I didn’t. The point is if you don’t send your paperwork over within the 30 days, don’t panic! I’m sure she doesn’t want everyone to be last minute, but all will not be lost! However, I am legal as of today! )
Posted 24 July 2008 - 12:23 AM
Posted 24 July 2008 - 01:23 AM
Posted 24 July 2008 - 01:29 AM
Posted 24 July 2008 - 08:21 AM
Get those pics posted girl..*lol*
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