Hi girls I'm back!!! Our wedding was absolutely amazing and I've been so excited to share all the details with you all! So here goes...
We arrived on Wednesday (our wedding was on Saturday). We got there one day before all of our guests which was really nice bc it gave us a chance to get familiar with the resort, which is HUGE! It's a really beautiful resort and we were blown away by it's size, cleanliness, and how such a big place with so many people there could still not feel overwhelming. The only issue we ever really had the entire time we were there was towels, but really no one cared. My parents never even got towels the whole week bc they were always out, but it wasn't that big of a deal, we shared and at the end of the week my husband (yay!) and I ended up with 4 extras! lol. I saw some ppl stressing about the reviews but honestly don't waste your time. The resort was amazing, the staff for the most part were always pleasant, friendly, and helpful. Tipping certainly helps get better service though! It's amazing how a dollar here or there def goes far here. But you have to consider that the people working at this resort are prob making a fraction of what we do so I don't mind tipping, esp if it gets me good service. And, they work there butts off! You will see the same guys doing entertainment all day in the hot sun by the pool and then still up doing the entertainment at night til 11pm...it's crazy. The food was great, everyone that came with us said they were all really impressed with the food and the drinks were always flowing. Our room was beautiful, right above the lobby with a beautiful view of the ocean and the whole resort.
We had 39 people travel to Jamaica for our wedding, it was incredible. Everyone told us that they had an amazing time and couldn't believe that we had found such a beautiful and fun resort. We made it a priority to greet each guest as they arrived so we spent a lot of Thursday in the lobby but everyone really appreciated seeing us right when they had arrived, especially after traveling from all over the US. And we were so excited to have our best friends and close family coming that we didn't mind at all. The only drama we had was that my parents missed their flight on Thursday. It was awful! Airtran wouldn't let them on their flight bc their computers crashed the morning they were trying to leave and they waited in line for over an hour to check their bags and then Airtran wouldn't let them on bc they had closed the flight. It was a fiasco, but they were able to get to the resort on Friday. I had a little breakdown after I learned my parents wouldn't be there for the first night but I calmed down and had a great evening with friends and family who had arrived. Thursday we met with Chandlyn and she was wonderful. Like everyone says, you really don't have anything to worry about. She has all your info in a file and you meet with her to go over everything to finalize the details. We had our rehearsal that night and ran through all the details. Then after dinner, we all met for drinks on the terrace and eventually made our way to the disco. Haha...what a night. It was a lot of fun but it was so loud!! By the time we left, our ears were ringing. But it was a great night regardless. The next day, we took everyone zip lining in the White River Valley and then to Mahoe Falls to climb and splash around, it was so fun! Everyone loved the excursion.
On the day of our wedding, my sister (maid of honor) and I got our hair done at the salon at 9:30 and then my mom and mother in law had an appointment at 10:30. Everyone was finally done around 12 so make sure you give yourself plenty of time for hair. They did a great job on everyone's hair and they have some super hairspray. My hair didn't move all day! The girl that did my hair redid it about 3 times until she was happy with it...I didn't have any pics (I forgot) but described to her what I wanted and she pretty much got it spot on. We got ready in our room and then met Chandlyn in the lobby at 2 to head down to the gazebo for our 2:30 ceremony. Not everyone was seated yet so we ended up hanging out in the Club Golden room bc of the AC in there (we were dying from the heat!) until she was ready to take us down. My parents, MOH and BM and I all rode down in the glorified golf cart down to the steps before the long path down to the gazebo. The long walk down to the gazebo was great, it gave me a chance to get myself together before I was at the alter and surprisingly I kept it together for almost the whole ceremony (I choked up a bit during the vows). Chandlyn and Donnalee were so sweet and put all the chair ties on that I had brought down, decorated the gazebo with pink, white, and orange tulle, and also put up lanterns in the gazebo (I was expecting them to put them on the light posts along the pathway but it still looked great!). We had the steel drum band and it really made the ceremony amazing and very Jamaica! The minister was ok...I wrote our ceremony and he only saw it minutes before the ceremony started, even though I tried to get his contact info before hand to give it to him in advance. He skipped the first reading and I had to correct him to mid ceremony which was interesting and explain to him the order (even though it was pretty clear). I left a section for him to do a serman, which he didn't do but overall it was nice and no one seemed to notice any major problems, they all told us the ceremony was beautiful. We had three readings, which turned out to be a good thing since he didn't do a sermon...without them there wouldn't have been much substance to the ceremony besides our vows etc. We had champagne and pictures after the ceremony and we cut our cake and everyone had a snack before we got a great group pic and then left with our parents and bridal party to drive around St. Anne, the local town to get some awesome pics. I can't wait to get them from our photographer (Laurie Tennent, we brought her with us from Michigan...she was AMAZING!). We stopped at a fishing village, got pics with some adorable children swimming in the ocean, got pics at some ruins, and stopped at a local restaurant for a drink, it was so fun! THe only non-fun part was when our driver lost his keys at the bar for 25 mins....no problem mon! ha! Anywho- After taking pics for a bit, we returned in time for sunset at 6:45 and went straight to dinner (it was supposed to start at 6:30...oh well!). We had dinner at Dolce Vita and it was delicious. Everyone loved the food! We had the caprese salad, squash soup (YUM!), chicken with risotto, and tirimisu. My husband had the beef with fungi sauce and it was sooooooooooo good (he has a nut allergy so couldn't have the chicken) and I had the vegetarian mousaka which was again, delicious. We were totally impressed and delighted with the food at Dolce Vita. We brought our own table runners and centerpieces which turned out great. We also brough our own guest book pages for everyone to fill out which worked out well since we were late from taking pics...everyone really enjoyed them.
Phew...this is getting long! haha. Sooo... after dinner we headed back to the gazebo for dancing and drinks. We rented out the gazebo from 8:30 to 10:30...didn't arrive until 8:45 but Chandlyn and Donnalee did a lovely job setting up the gazebo for us. the re-hung up the paper lanterns in the gazebo and set up paper luminaries we had brought down with tea lights all around, it was perfect! We didn't hire the DJ, instead we brought a BOSE sound dock and an ipod and it was perfect. We also didn't get the bartender, instead we picked up beer and wine after gettting pics from a local store. They had set up a table, cups, and a cooler of ice for us. My friend went up to the lobby bar and bribed the bartender to give him a gallen jug of rum punch and it was perfect! We brought wine chiller wrapper things for the bottles and this inflatable raft-like container that was a few inches deep and held all the ice and drinks, it was great. Everyone had so much fun dancing at the gazebo, and when the lights went out at 10:30, we just kept on dancing for another 40 minutes! hahah. The tea lights from the luminaries provided just enough light that it was perfect. It even started to down pour half way through dancing and it was actually a relief bc it had been so hot. So after dancing and drinks, we all went back and changed, then headed to the disco til prob 2am, then we went swimming until amost 4:30am in the pool. It was amazing and so fun. My friends stupidly stole a few bottles of liquor from the pool bars and we were set, even with the security watching us the whole time, they didn't care! We weren't super loud and it was only 10-15 of us by that time so no one cared that we were swimming. It was the perfect end to such a fun day.
The rest of our time was spent relaxing by the pool or the beach, getting up to say good bye as our guests left and just had a great time. After our week at GBP, my husband and I went to the Negril coast and stayed at Tensing Pen for 3 nights. It was just what we needed, relaxation and alone time!
I know I skipped around and rambled on a lot so sorry for that! Let me know if you have any questions, and don't worry about a thing!!! Gran Bahia was the perfect choice and I coudn't imagine having our wedding anywhere else. We drove past a few of the resorts and GBP was so much nicer than all of them, especially for the price. I'll try to attach a few pics, sorry I don't have any pro pics yet!
view from our room!
walking down with my parents
cutting the cake
at the gazebo