Jamaica0619's RMB Long Wedding Review
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:22 PM
I still have to do my planning thread, so I want to take a chance here to thank Tammy and all the moderators for their hard work in keeping BDW up and running for all of us destination brides and grooms. This site was invaluable in planning our DW. I also want to thank everyone for all the ideas, suggestions, input, and general support that the forum offers.
This is going to be a long review of our DW at RMB, but I’m trying to be thorough. I know that there are now quite a few of us, but I think ROR still has outnumbered.
As I am a frequent flyer on US Air, so I already know what to expect of the airline. Because of my status we were upgraded to first class both ways – the perks of being a frequent flyer.
My dress (in a garment bag, which also contained my DH’s clothes) counted as my carry-on. I was allowed in addition to it a “personal item” (purse, backpack, computer bag). There was no space in the closet for the dress as that is where the flight crew needs to store their bags. So, it would get as wrinkled, if not more wrinkled, than it would in the overhead bins. The flight attendant was sympathetic, but a fact is a fact. Initially, it looked like I would have to store it in the overhead bin folded in half. In the end, however, there was enough overhead space that I was able to lay the garment bag flat.
Jamaica Tours (Airport Transfers)
We had no trouble with the transfers per se. Nearly all the guests used them, and no one mentioned any problems. When we landed it was pouring. They loaded our luggage in a small mini-bus, and then allowed me to use an umbrella to get to the bus with my dress. I think my DH got wet. However, on the return, the bus was nearly 30 minutes late, but thankfully the lines at the airport were short and we were through security and immigration with about 45 minutes to spare before boarding began.
While not a reflection on Jamaica Tours, I think it is good to mention that transferring the dress from the airport to the resort can also be tricky. The bus was completely full so at one point I had my backpack and my dress heaped on my lap. Thankfully a very nice woman across the aisle heard me whining (yes, whining about what my dress is going to look like) and offer to let me stretch the dress across me, my DH, the aisle and then her. It turned out her daughter was getting married the same day as us, so she was very sympathetic, and later told me she spent three hours getting the wrinkles out of her daughter’s dress.
The funny part...the dress was in perfect condition when we arrived. So much of all my concern... And, in the humidity, what wrinkles were in my DH’s clothes had mostly fallen out.
RMB – The Resort
We had visited the resort in January so we had an idea of what to expect.
Check-in was a smooth process, and we had no issues with it. Our experiences both times were that the staff on the resort are very friendly and try to be very helpful. We were greeted with a rum drink.
Given we were generally busy with the wedding and our guests; I kept forgetting to make reservations for the specialty restaurants. The only reason we were able to eat at one of them during our stay was because we claimed that his family’s reservation for the steak house was an error and it should have been eight, not six. The reservations were booked days in advance. So, if you or your guests really want to eat at the specialty restaurants make a point of booking them.
The food at the Rose Hall (the main buffet) is okay. It is buffet food made in mass quantity. So, you can’t go with high expectations.
We had booked the oceanfront suite. We wanted the space, and given it was our wedding we decided to spoil ourselves. Plus with all the wedding stuff we brought with us we really did need the space. And, we did not want to count on an upgrade.
We encountered a few issues while we were there:
Our refrigerator did not work most of the time we were there. We called four times for service to it. And, on the fourth time they finally replaced it. Granted this was two days before we were leaving.
My MOH’s father left his cell phone on the table on their patio, and it was stolen. The patio was on the ground floor, and it was not very deep. So, someone probably reached through the bars and took the phone off the table. It would not have been a hard reach. It happened while they were in the room. Also, when we were there in January my DH’s swimsuit was stolen off the drying rack – same scenario – the patio was not deep and someone could have just reached over and taken it. So, if you are on the ground floor be careful of what you leave on the patio.
Finally, my DH’s father lost his key in the ocean and they charged a fee to replace it. I have heard of this at other resorts. So, it is not an entirely strange policy. But, I wanted to warn you to watch your keys – particularly in the ocean.
The next two points, the resort can do nothing about...just want future RMB brides to be prepared...
The ocean off the beach has a lot of sea grass, and can have quite a bit of seaweed. I’m not a big fan of the sea grass and seaweed, so I spent most of my time at the pool, which is not a hardship.
Also, while there was no mosquitoes in January. Or if there were they were not that bad. When we were there for the wedding...I was really glad my TA warned me to take bug spray. The mosquitoes were very bad. Everyone (or nearly everyone) had bites. So, I would make sure to take bug spray and some type of bit treatment.
This is a picture of the resort/beach - I thought it was a cool shot:
We did a welcome dinner at the Rose Hall the night before the wedding. We did not arrange it through the WCs, but simply selected a group of tables inside the restaurant, and the waiter for that area help everyone pull them together to create three long tables. We tipped the waiter for his assistance.
Pancha Night Club
I cannot tell you much about the club...I never went to the club. From going in briefly in January...it is small and very loud.
Our waiter at the welcome dinner heard my friends and I talking about going there and he recommended that we go to Margaritaville on the Hip Strip instead. There is a free shuttle that runs from the resort to Margaritaville (on the half hour – I think) and back (on the hour). In addition, that night it was ladies night and we got in for free. One quick note – do not ask at the taxi stand about the shuttle. They are obviously not helpful as they want the fare. I know this seems obvious. But, they will try to assure you both coming and going to Margaritaville that the shuttle has already left if they even hear you say you are looking for it.
I probably had the most issues with the spa. I know others have had good experiences here, so I wasn’t worried. But, I did not have the same experience.
First, my appointment was at 10am with a 2pm wedding for hair and manicure. My one BM had a hair appointment at noon along with my MIL. My mom had her make-up done at 11am. They had double booked my wedding group with the wedding for 4pm, which had even more appointments – hair, manicure and pedicures nails for four to five people. So, they had to try to straighten that mess out. They did not even take me until 10:30am. And, they tried to tell some of the other bride’s wedding party that they could do their hair at 3pm (which wouldn’t work for them – obviously). So, the appointments were a complete mess, even though both her and I booked them in advance through the website.
Then they decided it would be a good idea to do my hair then my nails. So, by the time I left...running really late...my nails were wet. So, needless to say there was some damage on my right hand to the manicure, since I’m right handed. I tried to be careful.
In terms of my hair...I did a trial at home and took five different pictures of it from different angles. Plus I brought the pictures that my hair dresser used for inspiration with me, and explained (as she told me to) how she got the style started. They completely ignored me. My hair looked NOTHING like what I asked for. My mother was having her make-up done while they were “finishing” my hair, and she thought I was going to lose it (completely looked ready to explode). Plus she thought it looked horrible. I was sooo mad when I saw it. But, it took them nearly an hour and a half to do my hair...I did not have time for them to start over. When it was very obvious to them I was not happy (understatement), they “fixed” it. In reality, my MOH and I tried to do damage repair when I got back to my room. Thankfully I had brought a curling iron, hairspray, and bobby pins...we needed them. The downside was neither of us are very skilled at doing hair...but we made it better. But, it was still nothing like what I wanted, but at least it was better.
By the time the reception rolled around my hair was a complete mess. I have very straight hair and between the wind and the fact that they put so much hairspray in my hair it was loosing all of the curl. So, my MOH had to come back to my room and we took it completely down, put it in a ponytail and re-curled it. It worked. But, it only annoyed me more.
My BM was not unhappy with her hairstyle. It looked really good, and actually I would have taken her style over mine. However, she could not believe we paid $65 for them do her hair in a fancy ponytail.
The funny thing is that my BM and I both had our hair done (for the fun of it) for my AHR, and we both loved how our hair was done for that by our local salons. We both agreed our hair looked better that day then on the day of the wedding.
My mom’s make-up looked really good and very natural. We were both thrilled with what they did. They used the make-up she brought with her. My mom almost never wears make-up, and when she does it is just lipstick and powder, which is why she opted to have it done.
My MIL didn’t like what they did and re-did it back in her room. But, even when she made the appointment she had a bad feeling she wouldn’t like it and probably should just do it herself. But, she decided to give it a try. She commented she should have stuck with her gut, and done it herself from the beginning.
With the Caprice package we were entitled to other spa treatments, those treatments were really nice and I was happy with those. We both had massages done, and an exfoliation. The only glitch we ran into there was that they took my voucher that the WC had given to me when I had my hair appointment to keep on file. Well, when I went back to book the rest of our treatments, they had accidently sent the voucher in with the paperwork for my BMs, MIL, and mom’s appointments. So, we had to wait several hours to book our appointments while the sorted the paperwork out. The funny thing is I predicted a screw-up would occur based on my experience the day of the wedding.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:25 PM
Through my TA, I had scheduled a meeting with Roxiana for the day after we arrived in the morning. She was ready for us when we arrived. At that time, we reviewed everything. Including providing for a third time all of the information for the marriage license. Basically, anything that I thought I handled in advance was reviewed and actually determined that day.
We booked the steel drum band and my DH selected the song for me to walk down the aisle to (â€œUnder the Seaâ€). We also ordered the arch for the wedding from Tia Flora. Since my package (Caprice) included the flowers, we only had to pay for the bamboo arch and tulle â€“ the flowers placed on it were included. These flowers would also serve as the centerpieces for my reception. I was not picky about the flowers and just went with whatever was standard. And, they were beautiful. We also gave her a copy of the vows and ring exchange wording we wanted to use â€“ and it was used during the ceremony. We also gave her wording for the sand ceremony, which wasnâ€™t used, but what he said was fine. We also went over the items I brought with me â€“ chair bows, sand ceremony, cake topper, etc. She asked me to deliver everything the day before the wedding, so they would have it for set-up. And, it was all set-up perfectly. We also reviewed the details of the reception â€“ menu, etc. The meeting went well and everything seemed to be in order.
We also met the minister/judge (not sure what his title was) who would be performing the ceremony. He was very nice. Actually, he even asked what my colors were. He likes to make sure he matches/fits in with what the wedding colors are. When we saw him around the resort, he always had a different suit, shirt and tie on.
The ceremony started on time (sort of), I was running a little late courteous of the spa. The steel drum band did not know Under the Sea, so I made a snap decision for Over the Rainbow. I will be honest â€“ I barely notice the steel drum band, but my guests enjoyed it and it added something to the atmosphere. I noticed it more when the hour was over and they stopped playing.
There were only two glitches with the WCs. The first was a supervisor at the reception told us that if we wanted to tip the wonderful people who worked our reception and really contributed to how nice it was, we could do so through the WCs. However, the WCs insisted that they had no idea who worked our wedding and that they would not be able to tip them but would let people know in general how happy we were. We regret not running back to our room and tipping them personally ourselves.
The second one was with our sand ceremony. We used a sand frame, and would need all the sand in order to fill the frame. But, only about 3/4 of the sand fit in the vases. So, when we went to get the rest of our sand, it had been misplaced. So, I now had to purchase more sand and couldnâ€™t find the same shade of blue so the top colors are a little off from the bottom colors.
My only other general comment was that we did the champagne toast following the ceremony. I wish we had waited for the reception. First, it was crazy because the Photoshop photographer was in a rush, so he really gave us no time to visit with guests (for even a moment) to do a toast. Second, it was so hot drinking the champagne was making me ill, so I didnâ€™t get a chance to enjoy it. And, most of my guests did not drink theirs either â€“ so it was sort of a waste. I wish I had waited to do so at the reception â€“ I think everyone would have enjoyed it more.
Picture of the west beach wedding set-up:
Picture of the arch:
Steel drum band:
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:30 PM
The only planning glitch we ran into turned into the best decision we made – the private beach reception. We had wanted to "rent" the upstairs of Mahoe Bay for a private reception – Chantelle had told us that it was possible for $500. Well, given there was another wedding that day, and it had more guests than we did, we were told that this was not an option. And, on top of that, we would be placed on the lower level of Mahoe Bay with the other diners. Slightly separated but still downstairs. Well, we were not happy at all. So, she suggested that our only other option was to have a private beach reception. Well, this was more that we had planned to do, but it was the better of the two options. In the end, the beach reception was the best decision we made. It was absolutely lovely. The food was amazing – according to all the guests it was the best (or at least one of the best) meals they had while they were there. We got to dance using the resorts speaker and my iPod. It felt like a real reception...small but very, very real. Also, my guests kept commenting that the beach reception was the perfect ending to the wedding and that it would be something they would never forget. That it was truly unique.
These flower arrangements served double duty - they were the flowers that decorated the arch. I took them back to my room after and they lasted until we left four days later.
We ordered a vanilla cake with raspberry filling. We thought the cake was very good. It was really moist and very tasty. The only funny thing was – no one told us the best way to cut it. So, our photographer gave us a quick lesson.
I am not a big fan of watching myself on video, but I finally did so that I could give them a fair review. I was very happy with the video. We had booked them for one hour and got a 20 minute video from that – which is what we expected. They used the four songs we provided on a DVD. The video captured the ceremony plus incorporated some of the pictures that Photoshop took. Our primary reason for getting the video was so we could share it with those who could not be there. It was well worth the money we spent on it.
We had the Caprice package so it included one hour of photography and 24 pictures. I tried to tell the WC that we did not want or need this part of our package, but they insisted. So, they took pictures during the ceremony and for about 20 minutes after. The proof pictures were okay at best – my friends and family took better shots – not to mention the photographers I brought with me. They were really washed out and the colors were bad. However, the 24 pictures that we selected that were touched up turned out nice. They were okay, but I was really glad I brought my own photographer.
Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:33 PM
Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:53 AM
Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:53 PM
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