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#981 Jessica Correa

Jessica Correa
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  • 270 posts

    Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:17 PM

    Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MRSTTOBE 

    What do you ladies think about bringing a photographer in from where you live as opposed to hiring a local one? the really good local ones seem pretty expensive.

     

    I would stick with a local one. We use Rounald from WPA Jamaica. Our resort charged a $300 vendor fee so keep that cost in mind. Bringing your own would cost flight and hotel. A local photographer already knows the best locations or shots from prior experience. Best of luck to you!! :)

     

    I had this same dilemma and I went with a local photographer. I thought about it and I would have to fly my photographer out, pay for his expenses, pay for his services etc. It was super expensive! Meanwhile, if I get a local photographer, it would be cheaper and he knows the area! He is accustomed to shooting pictures in those settings so they would come out better and he would know the perfect places and posses as well as timing of the day for the best photographs. 



    #982 VMS2013

    VMS2013
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    • 5 posts

      Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:29 PM

      Hi ladies! We are thinking about getting married at half moon in montego bay this October/November 2013! I am worried about hair and makeup and photography from local vendors!! Has anyone gotten married there? What are you doing for hair and makeup?? Thx

      #983 frandanwedding

      frandanwedding
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      • 7 posts

        Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:45 AM

        We just booked for our wedding! So excited :)



        #984 SWOK

        SWOK
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        • 53 posts

          Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:30 PM

          thank you! i've been reading ALL of your posts - you are very very helpful! thank you for all your responses to me and everyone else!!

          I have a few questions if you have time!

          do you have pix of your ceremony?? i would love to see!! what was your fav resturant at the resort and how was the nightlife? i saw they have "entertainment" - what was that? did you do any excursions off the resort? what were the included water sports you could do? did you go to the spa or get nails dones there?? ANY other tips/ideas/suggestions for me? Im having i think about 50-60 ppl coming down and we are having it at the casita at 4pm

           

          have a great day!! congrats!!



          #985 HelenaI

          HelenaI
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          • 6 posts

            Posted 27 July 2013 - 04:44 AM

            Helena

            Wedding date: Jan 16,2014

            Location: Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica



            #986 LisaJoy

            LisaJoy
            • Newbie
            • 64 posts
            • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
            • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

            Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:53 AM

            Originally Posted by SWOK 

            thank you! i've been reading ALL of your posts - you are very very helpful! thank you for all your responses to me and everyone else!!

            I have a few questions if you have time!

            do you have pix of your ceremony?? i would love to see!! what was your fav resturant at the resort and how was the nightlife? i saw they have "entertainment" - what was that? did you do any excursions off the resort? what were the included water sports you could do? did you go to the spa or get nails dones there?? ANY other tips/ideas/suggestions for me? Im having i think about 50-60 ppl coming down and we are having it at the casita at 4pm

             

            have a great day!! congrats!!

            SWOK -

             

            Pictures - I'll send you some pics once I get them back from WPA Jamaica.  I do have some if you click on my name, not many though. I have an album on my Facebook.

             

            Restaurant - My fave restaurant was Bordeaux (French.)  It was classy, great food and romantic atmosphere.  Himitsu is the Japanese (Pan-Asian) restaurant.  Similar to Benihanas.  This place is booked every night at the grill area so you have to make a reservation a couple nights in advance.  Otherwise you can dine at private tables no problem. We did both but I LOVED the food from the grill.  You got a variety where at the private dining you had to order an entr©e which offered one type of meat. The Buffet breakfast offered each morning in the World Caf©....YUMMY!!! The World Caf© offers special nights for instance:  Lobster Night.  Watch for those nights on the daily bulletin in the rooms and take advantage!  We loved the two nights we went.

             

            Entertainment  - was a hit and miss for us.  Other than the singers/bands they have come on the resort, the Secrets team does the same show over and over again. Basically its a couples game or competition. If you don't mind sharing personal information about your sex life or don't mind being embarrassed in front of a crowd, then opt to be a couple in the show.  If not, sit back and laugh at the contestants. You win a bottle of Tequila.  One night they had men line up. The wife was blindfolded and had to touch each shirtless man's chest, and butt, to see if you could pick out her hubby. Neither wife picked her man.  Oops!!  I could see this create fights with insecure couples so beware.  We did laugh a lot though!! :)  Sunday nights at 7pm in the open area by the Piano Bar features a single artist, SHYAM MOSES!!! Oh my, his voice is smooth and sings romantic songs.  My husband and I danced even though we were the only ones out there. We didn't care! Other couples will join in then sit down after the song. We danced to almost all his songs. So romantic!!  He offers CDs for $20 after his show.  Listening to one as I type! ;)  We never checked out Desires Night Club.  Is not our thing but I'm sure would have been fun had we gone. If you enjoy sitting around listening to people sing karaoke or just lively ppl, hang out at or in the outside seating of the Piano Lounge. It always seemed lively.

             

            Excursions - You can purchase excursions onsite.  In fact, I recommend buying once you are there.  We booked one prior to leaving the US.  That excursion was disorganized and chaotic. The company through Secrets was far better and way more organized!!  We did two combos.  1)  Dunns Falls and Ultimate Swim with the Dolphin.  Both were so cool!! I would recommend it even thought I read how touristy Dunns Falls was.  It really was not that bad. The vendors you walk through at the end are SO RUDE and PUSHY!!! Beware. 2)  Mystic Mountain which included the Sky Ride, Bobsled and Zip Line.  The bobsled was the best!!! Zip Line was cool but you go from tree to tree in short distances.  I expected a longer zip line but still glad we did it. Both excursions were around $200+.  **If you want to purchase local items, do it while on the excursions!!  Items are expensive at the resort and they do not negotiate.  Secrets has a vendor night on Wed so you can buy limited things, no clothing.**

             

            Water Sports - They offer Kayaks, Hobies ($10 with a captain on board, free if you can sail.)  I know you can snorkel but we bought one while there. Cost us $40-50 so bring your own snorkel. We had fun in the WO Preferred Club beach snorkeling against the rocks.

             

            Beaches - Speaking of beaches.  WO offers a private beach which is quiet and peaceful.  Only Preferred Club members are supposed to be in that area.  SJ is more a party area, lots of people and where all the water sports are. When hanging with family, we were in the SJ areas - pools and beaches. Once they left and just us, we stayed in the WO section and thoroughly enjoyed the alone time. We honestly barely used our swim out room however the option was nice plus offered more sunlight in the room without having a balcony.  When you walk outside your door on the ground floor, 90% of the restaurants are right there!! 

             

            Spa  - We went to the spa for massages and to enjoy the hydrotherapy circuit pool twice.  Loved it. I did pay for my hair and makeup and ended up redoing it all (in a hurry) right before my wedding. I didn't like it and the lady didn't even have an eyelash curler!  That is crazy!! I thought the way she did my makeup would hold up better in that environment than my own. My own makeup (mineral powder) would have done just fine.  I did stuff a handkerchief in my bosom for during the wedding for sweat.  A must have!! I'd save the money and do your own since you have 60 ppl going. Somebody in your group has to have some talent. LOL!  My SIS did mine after my spa appt.  Just make sure your makeup is darker for professional pics.

             

            Casita - The beach casita sits right off the walking path off a popular SJ pool.  You will have people watching you more so than you would in the gazebo however the gazebo cannot hold 60 ppl.  Have you thought about a beach wedding?  That was my first choice but Lisa Marie (WC) said it was not that private.  After seeing it, it would have worked out fine since not many ppl sit in that area anyway. It would offer more privacy than the casita in my opinion only because its up against rocks and open beach.  The casita is about 50 feet from the main walkway. Ours was only 8 ppl so the gazebo was perfect.  If I had more, the beach wedding would have been perfect but then you have to decorate the area = more $$.  Check out AlexisinJamaica's page (she's commented on several Jamaica posts.)  She did a beach wedding at Secrets and was AWESOME!!! But she put a lot of money into it.  Not sure your budget.

             

            Tips - Literally now talking about actual tips, money tips.  Take lots of $1.00s for tips. You'll find many of the employees deserve the tips.  We took 50 $1.00s and ran out during our 10 day stay. Not many places can give you change so come prepared.  The wedding team truly did take care of everything once we arrived there.  They forgot our tiki torches but was not their fault. It rained for 2 hours solid right up to our start time so they put us in the ballroom then back out at the gazebo last minute. I would recommend to review your hotel bill prior to checking out!!! I did find some minor errors that took a while to fix. You can charge to your room when you purchase things in the boutique or spa.  We had to pay with a cc for the excursions and the vendor night required cash. Internet access does not work in the SWO rooms but when you take your phone into the lobby area, works like a charm!! They also offer two computers for your use. If you take a camera, lock up your battery charger!! I know sounds stupid but many ppl take cameras and forget their charger. Ours was stolen from our room the last full day there so I am guessing another customer forgot theirs and gave our room attendant money if she came across one.  Its the only thing that could have happened. We locked up all our valuables. I would suggest doing so. People are nice there but no one is perfect. 

             

            Candlelight Private Dinner - I would take advantage of the Candlelight Private Dinner at the 5:45pm or 6:00pm time slot.  Yes, it gets dark shortly after you start but you do see the sunset and everyone has left the beach area for dinner so you truly have a PRIVATE dinner. If you choose an earlier time slot, people are in your bubble.  LOL It ended up being free for us but we were willing, and expecting, to pay the $390.  It was worth it.

             

            Hope that helps!! Let me know if you have any other questions. 



            #987 muneera0302

            muneera0302
            • Jr. Member
            • 277 posts

              Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

              I'm getting married at secrets as well. I'm gEtting my guests bags and wanted to put some logo or saying on there (maybe not our name because I want them to be able to reuse the bags after the trip) . Any suggestions? I've checked out other threads but haven't found anything, wondering if any of you jamaica brides have any ideas.

              #988 jrebecky

              jrebecky
              • Newbie
              • 75 posts

                Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:42 AM

                Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

                SWOK -

                 

                Pictures - I'll send you some pics once I get them back from WPA Jamaica.  I do have some if you click on my name, not many though. I have an album on my Facebook.

                 

                Restaurant - My fave restaurant was Bordeaux (French.)  It was classy, great food and romantic atmosphere.  Himitsu is the Japanese (Pan-Asian) restaurant.  Similar to Benihanas.  This place is booked every night at the grill area so you have to make a reservation a couple nights in advance.  Otherwise you can dine at private tables no problem. We did both but I LOVED the food from the grill.  You got a variety where at the private dining you had to order an entr©e which offered one type of meat. The Buffet breakfast offered each morning in the World Caf©....YUMMY!!! The World Caf© offers special nights for instance:  Lobster Night.  Watch for those nights on the daily bulletin in the rooms and take advantage!  We loved the two nights we went.

                 

                Entertainment  - was a hit and miss for us.  Other than the singers/bands they have come on the resort, the Secrets team does the same show over and over again. Basically its a couples game or competition. If you don't mind sharing personal information about your sex life or don't mind being embarrassed in front of a crowd, then opt to be a couple in the show.  If not, sit back and laugh at the contestants. You win a bottle of Tequila.  One night they had men line up. The wife was blindfolded and had to touch each shirtless man's chest, and butt, to see if you could pick out her hubby. Neither wife picked her man.  Oops!!  I could see this create fights with insecure couples so beware.  We did laugh a lot though!! :)  Sunday nights at 7pm in the open area by the Piano Bar features a single artist, SHYAM MOSES!!! Oh my, his voice is smooth and sings romantic songs.  My husband and I danced even though we were the only ones out there. We didn't care! Other couples will join in then sit down after the song. We danced to almost all his songs. So romantic!!  He offers CDs for $20 after his show.  Listening to one as I type! ;)  We never checked out Desires Night Club.  Is not our thing but I'm sure would have been fun had we gone. If you enjoy sitting around listening to people sing karaoke or just lively ppl, hang out at or in the outside seating of the Piano Lounge. It always seemed lively.

                 

                Excursions - You can purchase excursions onsite.  In fact, I recommend buying once you are there.  We booked one prior to leaving the US.  That excursion was disorganized and chaotic. The company through Secrets was far better and way more organized!!  We did two combos.  1)  Dunns Falls and Ultimate Swim with the Dolphin.  Both were so cool!! I would recommend it even thought I read how touristy Dunns Falls was.  It really was not that bad. The vendors you walk through at the end are SO RUDE and PUSHY!!! Beware. 2)  Mystic Mountain which included the Sky Ride, Bobsled and Zip Line.  The bobsled was the best!!! Zip Line was cool but you go from tree to tree in short distances.  I expected a longer zip line but still glad we did it. Both excursions were around $200+.  **If you want to purchase local items, do it while on the excursions!!  Items are expensive at the resort and they do not negotiate.  Secrets has a vendor night on Wed so you can buy limited things, no clothing.**

                 

                Water Sports - They offer Kayaks, Hobies ($10 with a captain on board, free if you can sail.)  I know you can snorkel but we bought one while there. Cost us $40-50 so bring your own snorkel. We had fun in the WO Preferred Club beach snorkeling against the rocks.

                 

                Beaches - Speaking of beaches.  WO offers a private beach which is quiet and peaceful.  Only Preferred Club members are supposed to be in that area.  SJ is more a party area, lots of people and where all the water sports are. When hanging with family, we were in the SJ areas - pools and beaches. Once they left and just us, we stayed in the WO section and thoroughly enjoyed the alone time. We honestly barely used our swim out room however the option was nice plus offered more sunlight in the room without having a balcony.  When you walk outside your door on the ground floor, 90% of the restaurants are right there!! 

                 

                Spa  - We went to the spa for massages and to enjoy the hydrotherapy circuit pool twice.  Loved it. I did pay for my hair and makeup and ended up redoing it all (in a hurry) right before my wedding. I didn't like it and the lady didn't even have an eyelash curler!  That is crazy!! I thought the way she did my makeup would hold up better in that environment than my own. My own makeup (mineral powder) would have done just fine.  I did stuff a handkerchief in my bosom for during the wedding for sweat.  A must have!! I'd save the money and do your own since you have 60 ppl going. Somebody in your group has to have some talent. LOL!  My SIS did mine after my spa appt.  Just make sure your makeup is darker for professional pics.

                 

                Casita - The beach casita sits right off the walking path off a popular SJ pool.  You will have people watching you more so than you would in the gazebo however the gazebo cannot hold 60 ppl.  Have you thought about a beach wedding?  That was my first choice but Lisa Marie (WC) said it was not that private.  After seeing it, it would have worked out fine since not many ppl sit in that area anyway. It would offer more privacy than the casita in my opinion only because its up against rocks and open beach.  The casita is about 50 feet from the main walkway. Ours was only 8 ppl so the gazebo was perfect.  If I had more, the beach wedding would have been perfect but then you have to decorate the area = more $$.  Check out AlexisinJamaica's page (she's commented on several Jamaica posts.)  She did a beach wedding at Secrets and was AWESOME!!! But she put a lot of money into it.  Not sure your budget.

                 

                Tips - Literally now talking about actual tips, money tips.  Take lots of $1.00s for tips. You'll find many of the employees deserve the tips.  We took 50 $1.00s and ran out during our 10 day stay. Not many places can give you change so come prepared.  The wedding team truly did take care of everything once we arrived there.  They forgot our tiki torches but was not their fault. It rained for 2 hours solid right up to our start time so they put us in the ballroom then back out at the gazebo last minute. I would recommend to review your hotel bill prior to checking out!!! I did find some minor errors that took a while to fix. You can charge to your room when you purchase things in the boutique or spa.  We had to pay with a cc for the excursions and the vendor night required cash. Internet access does not work in the SWO rooms but when you take your phone into the lobby area, works like a charm!! They also offer two computers for your use. If you take a camera, lock up your battery charger!! I know sounds stupid but many ppl take cameras and forget their charger. Ours was stolen from our room the last full day there so I am guessing another customer forgot theirs and gave our room attendant money if she came across one.  Its the only thing that could have happened. We locked up all our valuables. I would suggest doing so. People are nice there but no one is perfect. 

                 

                Candlelight Private Dinner - I would take advantage of the Candlelight Private Dinner at the 5:45pm or 6:00pm time slot.  Yes, it gets dark shortly after you start but you do see the sunset and everyone has left the beach area for dinner so you truly have a PRIVATE dinner. If you choose an earlier time slot, people are in your bubble.  LOL It ended up being free for us but we were willing, and expecting, to pay the $390.  It was worth it.

                 

                Hope that helps!! Let me know if you have any other questions. 

                I am getting married at Secrets St. James Nov. 1st.  I really want to do the candlelight private dinner.  Was it on the one of the beaches at the resort or did you get transported somewhere else?  Also, how did you end up getting it for free?  But, it is $390 if you have to pay for it?  Thanks!



                #989 LisaJoy

                LisaJoy
                • Newbie
                • 64 posts
                • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
                • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

                Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:43 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by jrebecky 

                I am getting married at Secrets St. James Nov. 1st.  I really want to do the candlelight private dinner.  Was it on the one of the beaches at the resort or did you get transported somewhere else?  Also, how did you end up getting it for free?  But, it is $390 if you have to pay for it?  Thanks!

                 

                 

                Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! So exciting.

                There are several locations they set up the private candlelight dinner - in the gazebo, on the beach and on the rock walls. We did not get an option. If you do, I'd ask for the rock wall. The beach is not private in the earlier time slots plus you get sand in your shoes. :) To me, the gazebo is closed in where I like the open space. We were planning to pay the $390 but ended up being free. Since we married on a Monday and left the followng Monday, we qualified not only for the Wedding Package but the Honeymoon Package as well. :) They initially told me we could not combine the two. But at checkin, they gave us the Honeymoon package on their own.

                #990 muneera0302

                muneera0302
                • Jr. Member
                • 277 posts

                  Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:47 AM

                  we are planning on giving mini alcohol bottles as favors but wanted to purchase them in the states and travel down. has anyone else done that? if so, do they tax you at the airport in jamaica for bringing alchohol? we're planning on bringing 100 mini bottles for favors, we may need to split them up between several guests.




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