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Riu Montego Bay Wedding Review with Pics 4-11-09


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#1 marshall1980

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    Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

    Okay ladies, I will try to be as detailed and honest as possible because I found the wedding reviews to be so helpful when planning. WARNING! This is an honest review that will have some negative points too, so if you are a nervous bride that will be upset by hearing anything negative, you may want to consider not reading this.

    So, first let me start off by saying that if you picked Riu Montego Bay as your wedding place,you WILL NOT BE DISSAPPOINTED! The resort is gorgeous! We had about 30 guests in our party. They all complimented us the entire weekend saying how great everything was. As soon as we arrived, we knew we had made the right choice in a destination wedding. I’m getting excited for all of you just thinking about it. I just want to tell you guys that no matter what happens, just remember you are in paradise, relax, enjoy yourself and do not sweat the small stuff where your wedding is concerned.

    Air Jamaica – C
    We used Southwest airlines from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale and back without incident. The trip to Jamaica on Jamaica Airlines was okay, the coach space is really small (it was hard to put our backpacks under our chairs because it was so tight) and the flight was full—so ladies planning on carrying their dress on (which I highly recommend) just be aware that the overhead compartments are small, but they do have a small area in first class that you can hang stuff. On the return trip, Air Jamaica decided to change our 11:30am flight to 10:00am WITHOUT NOTIFYING US! When we arrived to the airport, they said the plane was boarding and we didn’t have time to make it (which me and my husband disagree with—if they had hustled, we could have got on the flight). So we ended up having to dash to another flight, fly to Kingston, wait 5 hours for a flight to Fort Lauderdale. Air Jamaica did give us an upgrade to first class for the flight home however, I personally will not be using them again.

    Riu Resort:
    Check in- A
    Check in was smooth and easy. My cousin got to the resort the day before we arrived and gave our welcome bag to the front desk to hand out for us. She also made sure that we got upgraded to the oceanfront suite. Ladies, you have to make sure you get the upgrade! The oceanfront suite is absolutely amazing!!! When we got into the room, our welcome bag was on the table and they had spelled out “Welcome to Riu Lisa & Marlon” in flowers on our king-size bed. We had the same cleaning lady every day and everyday she would put fresh flowers in our room and a new towel design on the bed (swans, seashell, our initials, etc.)

    Food- B+
    I thought the food was pretty good. We ate at the Buffet for almost all of our meals. Some of our guests ate at the specialty restaurants that you needed reservations for, but they said that it was definitely over-rated. I honestly was perfectly happy with the variety buffet and the Jamaica jerk chicken hut, that I didn’t even bother to try any of the other places. But just so you know, there is an Italian restaurant, a Chinese style restaurant and the Mahoe Bay steakhouse.



    Chantelle B+/A-,
    Alright let me tell you guys something about Chantelle. She really takes a lot of pride in what she does, she loves doing weddings and will do everything in her power to make sure your wedding is what you want and all of your requests are met as best as possible. Having said that, I will tell you honestly that she is way overworked and spread entirely too thin. Just try and remember that she is the only one doing stuff most of the time (she doesn’t have an assistant yet) and she is dependant on a lot of people behind the scenes.


    Wedding: A++

    There were two weddings on the Saturday that I got married. A little note of caution to the ladies getting married on a day where there are more than wedding, where your patience hat. We started late (we were the second wedding at 4pm), in typical Jamaica fashion. Our room was kind of far from the wedding site (I picked the plaza gazebo) so I had asked Chantelle for a golf cart or something to ride on so I wouldn’t be all sweaty when I arrived. Well, they didn’t have a golf cart available, but Chantelle got one of the bell hops to bring one of the suitcase carts over and I sat on a chair and rode on that. I thought this was hilarious! She took me through the pool area (because it was the shortest route) and everyone started clapping and cheering when they saw me coming, I couldn’t stop laughing, and it put me in a great mood for the ceremony (not that I wasn’t super excited already!!) The minister did a great job, his words were beautiful. FYI-we did have a religious ceremony, with prayers included, so if you do not wish to have this, let Chantelle know. The ceremony was about 25 minutes and we flubbed through the whole thing but had so much fun doing it. The Riu does not have an official rehearsal, but I got with the wedding party briefly the night before and I did a run-through of the songs everybody would be walking to, where to stand, etc. After the ceremony we had the champagne toast and HD for our guests to eat while we were taking pics on the beach. The bar is right next to the plaza gazebo for those that want to drink, but I highly recommend splurging on the HD for your guests because this was greatly appreciated.

    Tai Floral- D
    Sorry ladies, I was not impressed with Tai Floral. First of all, I could not get anyone to contact me back (email or phone) when I was planning the wedding. I never got a price list for how much their bouquets cost. Chantelle and I sat down and custom-designed bouquets to save some money. When the bouquets arrived, my bouquet was not only completely wrong but they charged me $150 for it! It was so plain and uninteresting, but Chantelle did her best to try and dress it up with burgundy ribbon that I had brought.

    Photographer: Saab Weddings A++
    Michael and Olive are amazing! They are so professional and nice. I went with an outside photographer (the resort allows this, but you will have to pay for a day pass for him or her to be on the premises if they are not a guest) and he did a fantastic job. One of our wedding guests takes pics also as a hobby. His wedding present to us was pics of the entire trip (these are pics in the link posted below) and they also came out amazing. He uploaded about 800 pics to our computer before we left! I made sure to put some of the pics he took of the resort in there for you laidies. J

    Reception: C
    We went with the Free package and got the semi-private reception at the Mahoe Bay Steakhouse. The background is beautiful and the set-up was very nice. We had one of our guests introduce us. Our party favors were at each table setting and instead of putting guests names on the place cards, I made them into fun facts about groom and I. Now, here was the problem: the second wedding reception was going on at the same time as ours and they only had 2 waiters for both parties! Needless to say, the waiters were extremely overwhelmed and it took a very long time to get the orders in and get our food. One of our wedding guests went back to our room and got our IPOD docking station to have music to listen to and our moms came up with an idea for everyone to stand up, introduce themselves and read their fun facts while we waited. The food was okay. I thought it was better at the buffet.

    Cake B
    The cake was okay. I brought my own decorations and topper and Chantelle did a great job making sure they were on placed on. We had to have our wedding guests cut and serve it because we didn’t want to wait for the waiters to do it.

    Disco-B
    After the wedding, we all walked to the disco to do our first dance and dances with my father and his mother. Our fathers had to involve the manager to give us our full 2 hours because we were running so late (not our fault, by the way), but it worked out in the end.

    ***Please let me know if the link doesn't work!***
    Picasa Web Albums - Lisa - Our Wedding

    #2 Dana_C

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      Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:53 PM

      Congrats! I'm glad you had a good time overall and that things worked out. You guys looked great, and you looked fantastic in your dress!

      #3 Geralyn

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        Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:55 PM

        Everything looks beautiful...thanks for the review and the pics...I'm getting more and more excited to go!!

        #4 tylersgirl

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          Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:58 PM

          Congrats! Your pics look gorgeous!

          #5 YoursTruly

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            Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:18 PM

            WOW Lisa--you guys looked amazing--loved your colors! So glad your day was everything you wanted.....Congrats again!

            #6 Betsy

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              Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:23 PM

              Your dress is amazing! And I think your flowers look beautiful, sorry they weren't what you wanted though! Sounds like you were able to have a wonderful and beautiful wedding, even though there were some issues. Thanks for the honest review! I also think you should get some sort of reward for the fastest review ever! You're still in Montego Bay, aren't you?? LOL

              #7 jk1101

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                Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:35 PM

                You look beautiful - I love your hair and veil and all the flowers around the gazebo! Congratulations!

                #8 budgetjamaicabride

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                  Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:46 PM

                  Congrats and thanks for the honest review. The preface is the best to remember... we are in paradise and there will be issues... just let most of them roll. :) Your pics are great!

                  #9 Danyelle

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                    Posted 13 April 2009 - 03:49 PM

                    OH
                    MY
                    GOD

                    your dress is to die
                    you looked freaking BEAUTIFUL
                    the resort looks amazing
                    you look so happy!
                    that room is fab too.

                    I'm so happy for you!!!!

                    #10 JUSTUSTWO

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                      Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:19 PM

                      Love the pics! You were a beautiful bride & your dress was amazing. Riding the luggage rack to your ceremony site will definitely be a great memory!
                      Congratulations!




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