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darairene

Just Married at ROR: Wedding Review

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Hey Ladies!

 

I know how much the wedding reviews helped me when I was wedding planning so it only seemed fair to share my experience with my fellow ROR brides. I will be completely honest and hopefully give you some good tips/words of advice. Overall, I had the time of my life and wouldn't change anything. Some background: my husband is actually Jamaican, our guest list was 75 strong combining those who traveled and those who were from Jamaica, we were married November 1, 2008 at 4pm, we planned five days worth of events from Wednesday to Sunday, and while there were some things that didn't exactly go as planned, I'm happy I chose RIU Ocho Rios. And going in, I was terrified.

 

The day of the wedding started out calm. The sun was shining. My wedding party and I had a quick rehearsal down at the gazeebo by the lagoon where we were intending to have our wedding. After the rehearsal, which went well, I had a quick brunch and then headed to the spa for a massage. I would recommend this for every bride. It was relaxing and the ladies were incredibly nice. I had a friend agree to style my hair so I can't comment on their salon services. Chandlyn had our flowers delivered about an hour before the ceremony. A cool thing was that she also upgraded Tomme and I to a suite the day of our wedding...you should totally ask her to do that for you. The suite turned out to be an amazing last minute solution to a ton of ladies who needed the room to spread out and get ready. I had six bridesmaids, three or four girlfriends, my mom, my aunt, and our flowergirl in the room and there was a enough room to spare.

 

Around two, I knew that the weather wasn't going to hold up and so we quickly made the call to move the ceremony indoors to the Plantation. By 4pm it wasn't storming, but it was definitely wet and icky. It worked out fine, though it wasn't the weather I imagined, I was completely at peace with the day and it was sweet to have two gentlemen with huge outdoor umbrellas escort me and then all of the bridesmaids to the Plantation. I actually really enjoyed the way they set up the Plantation. It actually looked as if we had intended to get married there and that it wasn't a back up. Our violinist was a no show, but Chandlyn had back up music that worked fine. We brought our own pastor and she did a phenomenal job. Afterwards we still had to have a Jamaican pastor sign our official documents.

 

The photos were long, but I suppose a necessary evil. We hired the steel band to play music for our guests while we took pictures. There was rum punch provided for them. In hindsight, we should have ordered hors d'oevres for them as we took so long taking the pictures. However our pictures came out amazing, rain and all.

 

The reception was also at the Plantation, lower level (wedding was on the higher level) and it was the funnest reception I have ever been to. The DJ was great. We had our friend do the MCing and that turned out wonderful. The food was good. The decorations were amazing. Our cake also amazing. Below is a list of all my vendors and a link to our slide show. Email me at darairene@gmail.com if you have more questions beyond what I have provided here.

 

Vendor List:

 

Flowers - Tai Flora: They were okay. We paid a lot and didn't get a lot of what we asked for. Our centerpieces were nice, but not identical to what we picked out. My bouquet was nice and the bridemaids were also nice, but they forgot the extra boutonnieres for the ushers, fathers, and grandfathers. I give them a B. Tai Flora Services Ltd. - Jamaica's Full Service Florists

 

Cake - Selena Wong Cakes: We hired Selena Wong who I would recommend by far. Our cake was fabulously decorated and tasted amazing. I give her an A+. Home

 

Photography - Michael Chen Photography: We hired Michael Chen Photography and he was amazing. We love our photos and he captured everything we wanted him to capture. We give hime an A. Jamaica Wedding Photographer-Michael Chen

 

Favors - Chocolate Dreams: We didn't have the space to bring our own favors and it was also important to us to support Jamaican-owned businesses. Chocolate Dreams provided four elegant chocolate truffles in gold boxes with our names inscribed in deep red - one of our wedding colors. They were at each table setting. We definitely recommend them. || Chocolate Dreams ||

 

Things to Keep in mind:

 

1. If you're getting married in October/November 2009 prepare for rain and rehearse at the Plantation just in case. This time is the rainy season in Jamaica. I didn't know that...nor did my husband apparently and he's from there sad.gif.

 

2. If you can take some pictures before the ceremony that'll prevent spending too much time away from guests after the ceremony is done.

 

3. Don't skimp on the DJ, the music was what made our reception really fun.

 

4. Decide ahead of time the arrangement you want for your reception and make sure Chandlyn and the DJ are aware of that.

 

5. Have fun and don't let anything put a damper on your mood. Getting married at a beautiful resort in Jamaica will make your wedding special and memorable no matter what.

 

Okay sorry for the long post! And before I forget here's a link to our slideshow: Derek and Dara

 

Take good care,

 

Dara

 

P.S. We honeymooned at Goldeneye Resort in nearby Oracabessa. AMAZING!!!

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