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ROR 12/13/08 Wedding Review

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We had the wedding of our dreams at the Riu Ocho Rios! Having a destination wedding was the best idea… we had so much fun with our family and friends, and a wonderful honeymoon at Couples San Souci.

Here is our review broken into sections for easier reading:


Montego Bay Airport: Getting through was pretty simple (note, donâ€t tear off the bottom part of your customs form like I did ... fill it all out!) and we really wish we had brought some pens, the airlines seem to have stopped handing them out and there were no pens in any of the rooms at ROR


Jamaica Tours: B+ we headed over to counter after getting our bags, and they were very friendly. They took all our bags and loaded us into the big, comfy air conditioned bus. We tipped and then got settled in and waited for 10-15 minutes, so we grabbed beers at the Margaritaville counter, and finally headed out 20 minutes later after 2 more people got on. The driver was really nice , and pointed out several places of interest. We stopped almost halfway for drinks and rest stop. The rum punch was $7 (?!) so we stuck with Red Stripes for $4. We didnâ€t purchase anything else there and were glad later when we saw the same things being sold for cheaper other places. Sun had set on the ride to ROR and it started raining right before we got there

Check-in Riu: A Overall, we were really pleased with the resort with a few small exceptions. When we arrived at the resort at 6:30, it was dark and rainy, but we didnâ€t let it get us down…the hotel is huge and beautiful and we couldnâ€t wait to start exploring. We were greeted with cold rum punch and a warm smile while waiting in line to check in. Check-in was pretty painless, we gave them our travel vouchers from the booklet and were given 2 key cards (which are given for the suite side) My FIL and his wife stayed on the regular, non-suite side and were given real keys with very bulky key chains attached.


Rooms: A Our room, suite 1437 was perfect! It was on the 4th floor right in the middle of the building, which made for a fantastic pool and ocean view. The room itself is very modern, clean, and well appointed. All our guests, most were on the non-suite side, were also very happy with their rooms. For the money, I thought the suite was worth it for the extra space of the sitting area, the key cards vs. bulky keys, a separate dinner reservation desk, and proximity to the beach wedding site. ..we didnâ€t have to walk through the whole resort on the way to the ceremony.


Chandlyn/Nikky: A We went to the front desk and had them call Nicky, we set up an appt with her at 10am. After breakfast we headed over there and met with Nikky. The meeting took around 45 minutes and it was pretty easy. We picked the huppah on the beach and she had our flower info Tai Flora emailed her. We also got the chair covers, steel drum band, an extra bottle of champagne, and the cake setup on the beach following the ceremony. Also, they did not have the exact color we wanted for the chair cover sashes, so Nikky said to stop by the next day and see some samples of colors we could use…thought that was very nice. We also gave her the hanging orchids we had brought to decorate the huppah.


We did ask about breakfast in bed the morning after the wedding and she said, no problem! Coffee and a large assortment of food, including yummy omelets and pastries, were delivered to our room just like she promised. Also, at the meeting, we also received our welcome gift, which we liked so much we bought a bunch extra to put in our OOT bags…they were a big hit! We felt Nikky did an outstanding job and we stopped by the day after the wedding and tipped her generously.


Photoshop: This was something I was kinda concerned about after reading about the problems some of the BDW brides had with Michael and outside photographers. After paying for the video services at the Photoshop, Michael knew who we were. So… later that day when our photographer, Brian Nejedly, stopped by the Riu to pick up some things from us, we saw Michael staring us down as we sat in the lobby with Brian. Not 5 minutes later, a security officer comes over and asks to speak with Brian. They both come back over, and the security officer asks us if the wedding coordinators are aware we are using an outside photographer. We assure him Chandlyn is well aware and we have already paid for a day pass for him the wedding day. all this time Michael is watching us. So, Brian leaves, and at this point I am so worried Michael is going to cause a scene on the wedding day or stop Brian from being let in the hotel on the wedding day. DH calms me down and I put it out of my mind. There was no more drama after that, whew… which was lucky for Michael, hehe, my hubby would have set him straight!


Brian Nejedly: A Highly recommended! He was very professional, personable, prompt, and unobtrusive during the ceremony. We debated *a lot* about going with the resort photographer, but in the end it didnâ€t end up costing much more than the Photoshop and we have over 600 amazing pictures , including our TTD. Also, we got all our pics in high and low resolution on cd only 2 days after the wedding.

TTD: We were supposed to do the TTD the day after the wedding, but it was kind of overcast so we rescheduled for the next day. So glad we did, I was exhausted that day and it was our guests last night. But, the next day we felt great and the TTD shoot was one of the highlights of the trip. Brian took us to a gorgeous local waterfall and then to a local beach for sunset pics.


Renova Spa: A+ We only had appts for my and the bridesmaids hair-dos. The morning of the wedding we wanted to add my MIL for hair and my mom for her nails. At the Renova desk, they said they couldnâ€t fit us in so we left. But the hair girl (canâ€t remember her name) came running out after us and said if we could all come in now (10:30 am) she could take everyone. It was really fun being all there together and she did an incredible job. She put so many bobby pins in one of my bridesmaids updos, her head set off the metal detector at two airports on the way home!!


Flowers from Tai Flora: A+ I picked out our bouquets from their catalogue only days before the wedding and they were fabulous. They showed up only 20 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start but I was running late so, no problem. They were beautiful, smelled amazing, and the price was right bunny_4.gif

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Wedding Ceremony: A++ Amazing! It was supposed to be at 2pm, but started at more like 2:30, lol, Nikky was very patient with us! They decorated the huppah beautifully with our hanging orchids, the minister was wonderful, and the steel drum band rocked! They played ‘you look wonderful tonight†by Eric Clapton as I walked down the aisle, not what I had requested (Canon D) but no problem for me. We had cake, champagne, and rum punch on the beach after the ceremony and took tons of pics. So glad we got the video too because it was all such a blur!


Reception Dinner at Mammee Bay: A It was really nice for our guests to have that couple of hours in between the wedding and reception, they got to relax and we got to stop by all their rooms and drink with each of them . Dinner at Mammee was great. The food was excellent, it felt private, and it was right by the beach party…which is where we went after eating to do our first dance. Unfortunately it started raining and they moved it inside. No problem, bridesmaids dragged us on stage where we danced our married butts off!


Front Desk: F Bring lots of small bills for tipping! They canâ€t make any change at the cashier (go figure!) and we saw more than one person pretty mad about this during our stay. For our 10 nights in Jamaica we brought $100 in ones and we could have used a few more. The reason for the F is the messages we left that were never received ( a pretty big deal when u are expecting family to arrive and you have no idea their flight was canceled) Also, my bridesmaid left some of my brand new wedding makeup at the front desk to return to me and I never got it, pretty bummed about that.


Food/Dining at Riu: B Breakfast at St Ann was really good, lots of variety and mostly tasty food. We only ate at St Annâ€s once for dinner and were not impressed, maybe it was an off night but we didnâ€t want to take that chance again. We tipped our way into Tushima (Asian) 2 nights, for 15 of us one night, and made reservations for Sir Richards the other night. Food was very good at both places, even the picky eaters found stuff they enjoyed.


Hope this helps! And please let me know if you have any questions

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Thank you so so much for sharing. A lot of what you did, we are doing. I am also using Brian, and am thinking about using photoshop for video, but now I am not so sure...


Michael obviously knows who Brian is at this point, so I wonder if he will get more ballsey? Did he pretty much stay out of Brian's way during the ceremony?

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