HELP Grand Palladium Brides!!!!
Posted 28 October 2009 - 11:41 AM
Great to hear the news about Grand Palladium Jamaica meeting your expectations!
I thought you couldn't use an outside photographer, how were you able to book SunGold?
Can't believe Julian is gone already...nice to hear Nina is doing great work though!
Can't wait for your review.
Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:09 AM
Posted 29 October 2009 - 12:11 PM
Im getting married April 28, 2010 and using Sungold as well.
Thanks for letting us know of the change in the corrdinator.
Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:48 PM
Let me start by saying we had a ton of stress prior to leaving for Jamaica mainly caused by the Palladium’s decision to retile their pools. I won’t go into details but it went as far as relatives travelling all the way from Scotland being transferred to a different resort and having to move to the palladium half way through their trip-very, very stressful. So needless to say I was very concerned about how everything was going to turn out-not only on the day but for the whole week. Although we still had issues overall I am really happy with how everything turned out.
When we arrived we went to the Jamaica side to check in however that side of the resort was closed and we were all moved to the Lady Hamilton side. This worked out well b/c my Fi and I were upgraded to one of the honeymoon villas and everyone else was close by. The room was amazing and if you haven’t been to the resort before (we hadn’t)-it is unbelievable. Everyone was very happy with the rooms. We spent most of our time between the sports bar, adult pool and infinity bar. Everything is pretty spread out but I really like that about the resort. We stayed at the Dunns River Sandals for our honeymoon and that was one of the things I missed most about the Palladium-being about to walk around and not feeling like you are at a hotel (if that makes sense!). I highly recommend that everyone uses the spa area (with the steam room, sauna, etc.). It is amazing! Again the Palladium’s spa was way nicer than the Dunns River Sandals.
Only one buffet was open while we were there and half (or more) of the a la cartes were closed on a rotating basis. It was a huge pain as there was no schedule for when they were open or what they were serving-one night the Asian would be open but it was serving Italian, etc. It was very difficult to book a table for everyone-they said we had to have a set menu so we ended up just making a reservation at the buffet for all of us which worked out well. One night 10 of us tried to get a table at the Asian and even though the restaurant was empty they would not let us sit together at one table.
We had arranged to meet Julian at 10am on Wednesday (we arrived Tuesday afternoon). The front desk said they would call to remind her. We showed up at 10 to be told that Julian wasn’t in and could we come back at noon. We were not impressed b/c we had waited around in the morning for the meeting and now had to wait more. When we came back Nina apologized b/c she had looked over our file and seen how many issues we had been having (she said she was frustrated just by reading the emails). We had not received any emails from Julian in about a month-everything was confirmed over the phone b.c she was receiving my emails but we were not receiving her responses (now I wonder if she was even sending responses). We went over all the details with Nina, choose flowers, etc. We came back later that day to drop off our table decorations, sand ceremony set, etc. as well as to meet the minister (and give him a copy of our ceremony).
We had a ton of problems with the Spa. 5 of us had treatments booked on Thursday (we had booked and paid online) that they didn’t have record of. We got in but it was concerning that they didn’t have any record. We then confirmed our appointments for the day of the wedding and they didn’t have record of half of those appointment either. They did a good job of our hair and make up (I had brought pictures of how I wanted my hair and it was pretty close to the pictures). They were fast-about an hour for my updo and makeup (and I have relatively long hair).
I had purchased a ocean massage for my parent’s 30th anniversary. I had paid for it online and booked it for 8am on Monday (I was told I could only book it for 8am, 5pm or 6pm). When they showed up at 8am they were told the receptionist wouldn’t be there until 9am and to come back then. When they came back at 9am they were told the massage would be at 10am. At 10am they were told it could only be done at 5pm or 6pm. They enjoyed the massage but it was very disappointing because this caused them to miss our excursion to Negril and they had to waste the whole morning going back and forward to the spa. I recommend going to the spa to confirm all appointments as soon as you arrive to avoid this kind of hassle.
I chose to upgrade my bouquet to deluxe #92 from the Tai Floral brochure and also order the standard #92 for my bridesmaid. Flowers were not a big deal to me but I am so glad I upgrade because they were honestly the prettiest flowers I have ever seen-way nice than the picture in the brochure. The flowers were delivered to my parents room (where I was getting ready) before 1:30pm so no problems there (there was a bride married a few days before me and her flowers had been delivered to the ceremony site instead of her room).
Our ceremony was booked for 4pm at the gazebo. I watched 3 other weddings at the beach while we were there and although they were very nice the beach is a lot more public than the gazebo. If you are like me and don’t really want a whole bunch of people in their bathing suits watching you say your vows I suggest going with the gazebo (it is private and extremely pretty). It was extremely hot and our guests were VERY grateful for the fans we had put out on the chairs (a great Michaels purchase).
Vincent MacKenzie was our minister and he was great. We had written our own ceremony which he used. He was very funny and kept the mood of the ceremony light (which was what we wanted). We also had a sand ceremony which Nina and Lori set up for us (they even measured out the sand because we had our mother’s pour a layer first). Word of advise if you are doing a sand ceremony with layers like us-let the sand settle to make sure the vase is full before packing it! We had our mothers pour a layer each and then we mixed ours but b/c the sand wasn’t settled when we put the lid on it all mixed on the way home. It sounds stupid but I was really upset about it b/c I really like having the layers-it was pretty and symbolic so I was very disappointed when I opened the box last night.
We had booked a gold package with Sungold associate RS. The package included 10hrs and also an assistant photographer (AG). They were both amazing to work with and highly recommended. My fi and I aren’t the most comfortable when it comes to having our pictures taken (especially for hours on end) and they made us feel totally at ease. They showed me a few of the photos as we went on their cameras and they were stunning. We had booked a room at the resort for them which I think ended up cheaper than the day passes because they were there the day of the wedding and the day after for the TTD (we just booked the room-we didn’t include them as guests). Our photo session after the ceremony was cut short because of an insane thunderstorm that had rolled in but I think we made up for it with the TTD (plus the storm was really cool to watch from the Poseidon).
We told Nina we did not want True Colors at the ceremony and it was no problem (she just asked if we had our own photographer and we said yes-that was it). We asked to have True colors come to the reception to take pictures of the guests (to use up the 8 free included in the tropical package). My guests had a hard time choosing their pictures b/c they were not good. I would have been very upset if we did not have Sungold (so thanks to this site because it was only through other brides that I thought to book an outside photographer!!)
Our reception was at the Poseidon (originally supposed to be the Blue Lagoon but relocated because of the construction). The Poseidon was perfect because it was so close to the gazebo. My mum had asked Nina if we could use the covered chairs from the ceremony for the reception (instead of having the regular chairs) and I am so glad they used them because it looked amazing. The tables were set up with our place settings and shells we had brought as well at candles from the hotel. We had a head table and 4 tables of six in front. I was very happy with how the reception looked.
The food was good (although I didn’t eat much-I was too excited). We had a vanilla cake and it was great (lots of people commented on how good the cake was). The bar and food service was great as well.
We had booked the DJ through Jascynthia and when Julian started she told me we had to use the hotels DJ. She cancelled the DJ Jascynthia had booked and I thought we were using the hotel’s DJ. Turned out that he was not the hotel’s DJ but an outside vendor and he was terrible. Don’t worry though-I don’t think the hotel would use him again. Nina told me the next day she actually had a couple from a nearby villa ask her what was wrong with him because they would hear the music from the room. He would restart songs a minute into them and cut songs off half way through. I had given him a CD with instructions for 6 specific songs I wanted played during the reception (very simple instructions) and he wasn’t able to follow them. I felt like I had to go talk to him every 10 mins to make sure he knew what he was doing. Plus his equipment was terrible-we could barely hear the speeches.
Before the reception (while we were having our pictures taken) my brother and his wife went around with a video camera and had everyone tape “words of advise for the happy couple”. I had no idea they had done this and I cried watching the clips. The clips are hilarious and sweet and will be perfect to show at our AHR. I highly recommend doing this at your wedding if you can-it is priceless.
We had booked a booze cruise through the resort for Monday however it was really windy on Monday so we cancelled the cruise in the morning. Instead we called Cecil (a driver that my friend’s brother had met when he was in Jamaica in January) and 15 of us went into Negril to the beach, shopping and to Rick’s caf©. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Cecil is great-he stayed with us the whole time, made sure we weren’t hassled by anyone and made us feel totally safe. He also took myself and my husband to the Dunn’s River Sandals on Tuesday for our honeymoon. We stopped at the falls first and he showed up where to go and waited while we climbed the falls. He let us use his cell phone as much as we wanted to call home for no charge (he even stopped by the hotel earlier in the week and gave my friend a cell so that we could get ahold of him throughout the week). I will post his phone number (it is at home) in case anyone wants to contact him.
I think that covers everything-sorry it is so long-winded!! If anyone has any questions let me know. I will try to post some pictures soon or if anyone wants specific pictures message me and I can email them.
Take care everyone-happy planning!
Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:59 PM
Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:56 PM
Congratulations on being a Mrs and Thank you for such a detailed review!
So excited to hear how you got things taken care of and it sounds like things went well.
can't wait to see pictures!!!!
Posted 30 October 2009 - 09:45 AM
| Originally Posted by cgrant32 |
Jane, Thanks for the great review. That's a wonderful idea about the fans. Did you use any special music for the ceremony? I didn't really want to pay for a steel band or anything. I'm glad it all turned out well.
Hope that helps!
Posted 31 October 2009 - 01:37 PM
Congrats on being a Mrs!!
Could you tell me if they served liquor at the reception? Was it included or for an extra fee?
Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:08 PM
Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:33 AM
| Originally Posted by mswhatever |
Congrats on being a Mrs!!
Could you tell me if they served liquor at the reception? Was it included or for an extra fee?
There is a bar in the Poseidon-it actually worked out perfectly because our cermony finished around 4:30-4:45 and everyone headed to the Poseidon although our reception was scheduled for 6pm. The bar was open so our guests had a few drinks before dinner while we had our pictures taken on the beach. The bar was open for the duration of our reception and wine was served with dinner. There was no extra charge.
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