Back from ROR...and now a MRS!!
Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:56 AM
Okay ..deep breath...
We got married beforehand at city hall in May. It was a great experience and I would definitely do that part all over again. It didn't make anything less special in Jamaica and if anything somehow made the big ceremony more special. It also helped us to stress and spend a much less as the day got closer.
We got to the resort on Monday July 20 at about 1pm. NO ONE gets a room before 3pm check in time. So be prepared to drop your bags and get some food. You may be able to get in your room before 3pm BUT be prepared to be constantly going to the front desk and checking on the status. Many of our guests decided to do this....we felt our time was better spent getting some food. Lol. Our first room was very nice with a great view but we were upgraded on Wednesday to the Jacuzzi suite for the wedding. We got this upgrade for free and we only used the FREE PACKAGE. Do not be afraid to ask questions beforehand, I called the booking service about a month before and had them put a note on my account and also made the request on the first day. You do not need the Jacuzzi suite the same way you do not need to fly first class...lol...BUT if you can get it then please do. The room is beautiful and HUGE.
We met with Nikki on Tuesday after I stalked the wedding coordinator office. They will tell you that you need to make an appointment; however, I just kept trying to open the door until it was open. Once we broke in lol....we met with Nikki. She was great. Ladies...I can not say this enough do not stress. You can literally plan everything once you get down there. My mom actually helped me take care of most of it as I was falling asleep during most of the meeting, as the best man broke his leg the night before and we were up until 5am in a local hospital. Despite all of this all the planning went really well. I picked my bouquet (24 pink and 0range open roses $122) and bridesmaids bouquets (white carnations $35 each). I bought all my vases and candles from Ikea before leaving to do my own centerpieces, so I only took 1 bag of orchids for $35 bucks to use for the vases. We took down our own aisle runner from oriental trading...unless you getting something personal just use theirs. We also took down our own programs. We dropped everything off the day before and with the help of my girls, everything came out BEAUTIFUL.
Welcome bags....this needs its own section. For months before I was stressing about these. I had 50plus guests so I could not afford to do anything really crazy. I was this close to spending a ton of money BUT then I took a breath. I went to Michaelâ€™s and got white paper bags w/ handles. Dollar store for pink & orange tissue paper. I ordered 60 mugs from 4imprint.com..I ordered late so it came up to $200. If you order earlier you will spend less. I am glad I went this route because everyone will use the mugs again. They all loved them. Oh and although we ordered only 60 they sent us about 70.....we have so many extra. We also added in Cheese curls...that we bought in town once in Jamaica for about 30cents each. The welcome dinner was on Wednesday at 6:30 at St. Anns after the rehearsal. Nikki and Chadlyn put the welcome bags on everyone's chair beforehand. Everyone was late to the welcome dinner which did make us a little pissed BUT once everyone showed up everything was great. It could have been a bit more organized on our part but all in all everyone enjoyed themselves.
Ceremony- was supposed to start at 3pm, however, it didn't start till about 3:30 since I was running late at the salon. I got my hair, nails and makeup done for $200. They also included my mom's hair for free. My girls did their own hair and makeup. I also re-did my makeup, so I would suggest that if you are going for a natural/light look to save the money and do it yourself. The hair came out great and so did the nails. I rushed to my room, took like 5 pictures and then headed downstairs. The band was playing...please book these guys. The minister was great. Everything was magical. We didn't pay for any decor. The orchids were already hanging from a previous wedding and Tai Flora gave use the free flowers for the gazebo. Jen felt bad that I spent the morning before in the hospital with the best man. It was really nice of her. After the ceremony we did food and drinks @ 13 per person. We had 53 ppl and only paid for 30 ppl. You get a lot of food, so if you have 50ppl you can def book for less. Everyone ate and was happy with the food and drinks while we took pictures.
Reception- GREAT!!!! We did the poolside reception and upgraded to the Jamaican menu. My family is Jamaican but everyone enjoyed the food. My aunt baked our cake beforehand, it was a traditional rum cake. We had a frosted once we got down there..Nikki helped us with the bakery. It was delicious!! Our friend is a D.J so he did the party for us so we rented to the equipment. Please splurge for a D.J. or at least the equipment, it really made the party. We also rented the live reggae band for $500. DO NOT DO THIS. It was nice but sooo not worth it. They played slow music...I put in a request for my mom & dad so they could dance to their wedding song. They did not know the song and instead played something else once they were out on the floor. The guests did enjoy it but the D.J. could have done the same thing. I also did lanterns that I bought from Luna Bazaar. I spent DAYS putting together throwies to light these 70 lanterns. Tai Flora wanted to charge us close to $400 just to set these up. The hotel did the set up for FREE. We DID NOT need to light the lanterns, most of the lights fell out of the lanterns anyway because of the wind. The lighting the hotel provided was great. I would recommend getting the lanterns but do not worry about lighting them up. We danced danced danced and had a blast.
Afterward- - we spent alot of time with the guests by choice. Once everyone left we had our own time. I would not have changed this for anything. The resort was great. I will leave you guys with some helpful tips.
Building 3 sucks...many of our guest complained about it. Building 1 is really nice and is more modern. The best pool is by Building 1 as well. There are less kids and it not as crazy over here. You can really relax.
The food is okay...I am a picky eater so I was not really impressed. The best time we had was at the Japanese restaurant. You have to make reservations for the restaurants early..like 8am. HOWEVER, if you are nice and ask for it the miss at the table will make advance reservations for you. We were able to make our reservations for the following night the day before for most of the trip which was great. Try to only book for 7pm as the 9pm meals were just not as good, even though it is the same menu.
Ask the housekeeper for a can of bug spray....the spray the room BUT we did see ants and 1 roach on the day we didn't have her clean the room. After this I wanted my own can so I could spray extra lol
Ask for a discount card at the front desk...you get 15% off everything!
The excursions are great!! BUT expensive. As tourists you are going to be paying 4x the actual price but if you want to save there are ways. There is no fee to climb duns river falls so if it is just the two of you, take a taxi over for $30 total lol. The party boat is $75pp and to take a van tour over is $30pp. If you can get a local driver, you can go over there for about $5pp. BUT you have to be careful which driver you are using. DO NOT just jump into any car. Local drivers can be found in town, they will give you their card and although you will still be overpaying...it will be alot less to get around.
Do the Martha Bree trip ($70pp) and the Horseback riding ($75pp)..We did the honeymoon ride for an extra $46. I would do it again. You can haggle on the jet skis pricing....please note these guys are illegal and are not apart of the hotel. Once the police come they will leave. We paid $20pp for 20 minutes. The regular price is $60 for 30minutes.
Buy your gifts in town..the resort is super expensive. In town you can haggle haggle haggle. However don't bargain too much...the people selling actually need the money. On your way to resort you will notice the shacks...this is the real Jamaica and this is where many of the people live. So although you will hear EVERYONE asking for a tip try and be understanding.
Always ask for extra rum!!! They will make the drinks stronger all you have to do is ask.
This is all I can think of now. If you have any questions let me know.
Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:59 AM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:03 AM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:03 PM
Thanks for the wonderful review. Can't wait to see your pics. Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time. We stress for so long only to get to that very special day and poof there it went!
Congrats...and don't forget the pics!
Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:26 PM
Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:19 AM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users