Jamy's Las Caletas Wedding Review
Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:33 AM
Two days before the wedding FI, my parents, and I met Nicole at 8:30 a.m to board the boat for Las Caletas. She spotted me and gave me a big hug, such a nice lady. I brought her stuff for the day of the wedding (programs, favors, etc.) and she took them somewhere safe. The boat ride was fun, the crew put on a show as they always do, and passed out fruit & pastries. When the boat arrived (about an hour ride) Nicole escorted us to the bridal casita and showed us around Caletas. We sat down and discussed last minute details - order of ceremony, tables, who was walking with who, etc. She typed everything up on her laptop right there and by lunch was able to present me with a copy.
We spent the day swimming and kayaking, eating and drinking. It was really nice to be able to spend quiet time with FI and my parents alone because there was little alone or quiet time after that. The site visit is included for 2 people in what you pay, and I recommend taking advantage of it unless you want the location to be a total surprise. Caletas looks different by day, the water is emerald green but you wouldn't know that just by going at night when the water is more dark. It was very relaxing!
Day of the Wedding:
BM's and I met Nicole (WC) at the marina at 8:30 a.m. On the boat we had first dibs at the spa bookings which was awesome. People on the boat who were going to the day tour got wind of the fact that I was getting married and it spread around the boat like wild fire. Everyone was coming up to us and congratulating me - I guess that was my 15 minutes ) MOH took dramamine and still threw up 3 times - I think she willed it because she was nervous for 2 days before hand. Everyone else took dramamine and we were fine. (FI & guests took the 4pm boat and I hear 4-5 people got sick. They didn't take the dramamine as suggested. One of them spent the hour in the bathroom, didn't get to see anything. Point: Make sure dramamine is available and laugh at the fools who say no thanks...hehehe).
Nicole took my dress and everyone's stuff - 6 girls meant a lot of baggage but she kept it out of our way and when we got there she had the crew carry it up to the casita. FYI the trek up to the casita is a long one and well worth it, but don't try to be cute with high heels because you may twist an ankle. It's a flip-flops kind of place for sure.
Once we settled in we went down for some fruit, coffee, and kahlua (sp?) which was a nice start to the day. The weather was perfect!! We lingered over several cups of that yummy coffee then it was time for my hour aromatherapy massage. That was fabulous!! I thought I was already relaxed but that took me to a whole new level. We had lunch, beers, and margaritas which were all really good. Then we went swimming in the ocean until the jelly fish came and we got out..hehehe. Then we all took naps, the sun and alcohol wears on you. We woke up about 2 1/2 hours before the wedding. The daytime tour left at 2:30 so it was totally quiet there, just people setting up for our wedding.
I laid on a hammock overlooking the beautiful emerald water and started writing my wedding vows. That was sooooooo calming. Then I got a call on my cell from my dog's vet where she was boarding saying she ruptured an anal gland and they needed authorization to treat her. I asked 1000 questions, told the vet to do what they had to, and asked them to call me if anything went wrong. That shook me up for a second as you dog lovers can understand - I'm soooo glad I left her with her vet and not at a random place that wouldn't have noticed it.
Heads up pet owners - make sure the place you leave your pet is staffed with someone who knows how to spot ailments. My dog had no real visible trauma, but the vet tech. who walked her noticed she was nipping at her bottom a lot and told the vet who thought it was symptomatic of anal gland trouble, which it was. The place I was going to leave her at first had a vet on call, but the walkers were just dog lovers and wouldn't have necessarily caught on to Honey's condition. They said she had an infection and was probably in a great deal of pain. Honey is rarely ill, but you never know what could happen so please make sure your pets are safe while you're gone.
Anyway, I finished my vows and started to get ready.
Hour Before the Ceremony:
Nicole had huge plates of yummy guacamole and chips sent up for us with tons of margaritas. MMMMM....we needed that. Oh, FYI if you have a large group there are showers in the spa which is next door to the casita that you can use too. So everyone got ready and when the boat arrived the photographer came up with my mother, sis in law, flower girl, and ring bearer. We took some photos and then the tequila shots started - yes! We started making our way down the hill and got in line to start the ceremony. There were giant ants on the steps and we were barefoot so we just stepped over them - the kids freaked a little but they were picked up and it was okay from there.
We were lined up and well hidden from sight in the jungle. I heard my music start and said to my MOH - "hey I just realized I have no idea what any of us are supposed to do - this is fun". I'm a go with the flow kind of person, plus how hard is it to walk and assemble, right? It made it even more exciting. So I just walked and stopped next to FI like I've seen at every wedding. I looked at Brad (minister) and he whispered "nice to meet you", it was funny. It was short, maybe 10 minutes? It was very nice though, Brad's spirituality is right in line with ours so it felt really nice to hear what he had to say. We did the sand cermony and hand blessing, exhanged vows, and walked out to take pictures.
Oh, I am told there were sand crabs crawling around but I didn't see them. The ring bearer was afraid to step on the sand and had to be carried, I just thought he didn't like sand but later learned he saw those crabs and wanted no part of it. Apparently one was making it's way up my train and my dad stepped in and kicked it away. Also one was inching toward my MOH's bare feet and Roberto (photographer) got rid of it. I had no idea any of this was happening, but I bet the video will be hilarious when I get to it!
We used Caletas' photographer Roberto Aceves. He is a really likeable man, totally nice and fun to work with. I had no complaints at all. In fact, I took charge without thinking if it would offend him or not, but I had spent 2 full days there and knew where I wanted to take pictures so I led him around and he did a great job keeping up with me and doing his own thing as well. We were standing on these stairs taking wedding party formals and the party boat was passing by - they all started shouting and waving at us and we shouted and waved back - it was really fun. Roberto met me the next day at my hotel with 2 discs of photos and apologized that he didn't have time to make the prints yet. Um, yeah it's only been 24 hours, don't worry about it!!!
He met me at the airport the day after that with at least 60 more prints than I was supposed to get. I am very pleased with everything. Most of you know I'm really kick-back in my approach to this whole wedding planning business, and I didn't care to scour the earth for the best photographer in my budget. Since I didn't do extensive background checks or spend almost as much as the wedding on a quality photographer I expected my pics to be just barely okay, but I actually really really liked them. If flying an American to Caletas isn't in your budget Roberto really is okay to use. I guess you can be the judge when you see my photos and maybe they aren't award winning but hey, I wasn't going for the cover of InStyle....just something to have when my memories fade...lol.
While taking pictures trays of shrimp, caviar, prosciutto, etc. were brought to us along with #########. After photos we joined the guests who were enjoying the same ######### and munchies. Dinner started, we chose to serve ourselves and it was yummy. I remember yummy fish stuffed with shrimp, grilled chicken, steak, pasta, rice, veggies, bread, salad. It was all good. We did the toast with sparkling wine and my father made a nice, short speech.
We've been to so many weddings where the toasts are long and boring and get out of hand, so we previously told guests that there would be no formal toasts (except for my dad). Instead, we had the videographer capture everyone's individual toasts throughout the night. I have yet to see the video so I can't comment on the video yet but the guy was nice enough. This way more time was spent partying and as a bonus we get a toast from everyone.
We cut the cake which was really good!!! White cake, white frosting, decorated with ribbon and flowers. Then the dancing started. About 40 minutes into it the fire dancers arrived. Definitely do this!! It was like $200, so worth it. We kept this as a surprise and they came out of the darkness....all of a sudden the music stopped and someone announced them and everyone was stunned. They put on a hell of a show, the fire gets a little hot when they are close. We kept dancing and the announcer kept having to say "don't move" when they got close. Seriously, one wrong move from either of us would have been dangerous. But it was very cool.
After that I had to change - my dress was heavy and hot. I changed into a white sundress which was much better. BTW, there is really not much electricity in the bathrooms or really anywhere, but I thought it was cool. There were tons of candles all over, in the bathrooms too.
What else, um, time flew!!!!! We extended the reception by 1/2 hour but 3 more hours would have flown by too. I guess time flies when you have a cool wedding. We danced and did shots the whole reception, then it was time to board the boat. Nicole was like "make sure you save room to drink with me on the boat" HA - no problem I hold my liqour well. Nicole & crew rounded up our stuff and brought it to the boat.
Boat Ride Home
Everyone was feeling good!!!!! I get on the boat and Nicole and Brad (minister) grab Will and I and we start doing more tequila shots. It was too much fun!! Somehow the upper floor of the boat turned into the wild deck and that's where the dancing started again. They were playing really good music - like 90's hip hop - maybe they tailored it to our crowd or maybe they always play it? Anyway we lost our minds on the way back. I danced with everyone - including the captain, it was soooo fun. We were sad when the boat docked but it had to end......until......
We went back to the hotel to change and met our partying guests at the Zoo - a club on the Malecon. We partied all night and made it back to the hotel at 6 am. I'll have to do a Zoo review later, but if you party hard go there!!
I think that's it. My cousin has my official wedding pics discs - I gave them to her to take home since I went straight to Jamaica and didn't want to risk losing them there. Once I get them back I'll share.
I'm sure I forgot something?!? It was an awesome experience and my guests all said we ruined them for other weddings to come. Many of our guests have attended destination weddings and said that Caletas is nothing like any they have been to. I really think the privacy is what does it. It feels like you are on an island in the middle of paradise. Again I suggest, if you are undecided on location, check it out. Nicole and Adventure Weddings in general are great to work with.
Posted 18 June 2007 - 09:16 AM
Posted 18 June 2007 - 09:20 AM
Fantastic review - sounds like your wedding was a blast!!!!
Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:02 AM
Sounds like you had a great time- congratulaions! Las Caletas sounds like an amazing place!
Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:21 AM
...I also can't see the pics
Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:38 PM
Thanks to you, I also brought a 2nd dress to change into. I NEVER thought I'd want to get out of my wedding dress, and I think the only reason I did is because I wasn't feeling well. But I am glad I brought it - so thanks for the idea!
Our Caletas Wedding Slideshow (by Leigh Miller)
Our Caletas Wedding Video
Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:52 PM
Reading your reviews makes me want to go back and do it all over again as well!! (and I wasn't sick!!!)
My hubby and I keep saying we want to go back and do it all over again - it was just so much fun and so perfect!!!!
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