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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#3141 acw271011

acw271011
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  • 3,128 posts
  • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
  • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
  • LocationToronto Area

Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:48 AM

congrats! glad to hear everything worked out so well and you had a wonderful day!  we had our wedding in October and all I can do is agree with every single thing you posted!.  Chandly is truly the consummate professional and I too have nothing but good things to say about her!!  can't wait to see your pics.  I looked at Dean Clarke when I was seaching and liked his work, but opted for someone else instead.

 

Originally Posted by RockSea 

6.) SPA - got our hair done at the spa - myself, my 2 bridesmaids, 3 mothers and the grooms lady..,. everyone's hair looked amazing and the cost is of approx $80US

7.) enjoy your wedding... it goes by so fast... can't believe its all over already... but a lifetime of love and happiness has been sealed with a promise :)

 

Please don`t hesitate to ask me some questions as I just left the resort less than 4 days ago :)



 


I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

 

 

http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

 

 

event.png


#3142 acw271011

acw271011
  • Moderators
  • 3,128 posts
  • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
  • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
  • LocationToronto Area

Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:42 AM

being in the US you have a lot more options than we have here in Canada.  Men's Warehouse has a nice "destination wedding" suit that is fairly lightweight, or Jos. A Bank has a destination style as well and I think their colour selection is better.  the other super terrific one, depending on what you want to spend is Tommy Bahama. they have a special wedding section for beach weddings on their website. you might find them a little pricier but so worth it. that's what my husband wore and it was cool and comfortable, plus he picked up 2 other shirts from there at an outlet and wore them for dinner 2 nights that we were doing a la cartes at the resort. good luck!!!

 

Originally Posted by Jodiann 

Hello ladies,

 

Just wanted to know where you all got the guys linen (or similar to linen) suits from??? Ive heard studio suits so far, any other options??

 

 

Also ... for any of the brides heading to GBP sometime soon I was wondering if I could get any of you to take some pics of the area at the outside Piscis restaurant. I have pictures of how its set up where the tables are, but not of the place as a whole. If any of you do .. thanks soooooo much! =)

 

p.s. thanks so much for the salon info!



 


I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

 

 

http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

 

 

event.png


#3143 belledame

belledame
  • Jr. Member
  • 195 posts

    Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:45 PM


    Hi RockSea,

     

    Glad you had a fabulous time and thanks for the review!!! Quick question, when you say "open bar", were you referring to during dinner?

    Originally Posted by RockSea 

    3.) Open BAR - do not pay the fee of $15/ person/hour at your wedding.  Your guest have access to red/white wine, beer, juice and sodas... and if you ask nicely you'll get free stuff.  I asked chandlyn for rum, vodka and scotch... and she threw it in for free :)

    4.)  Photographer: i did not go with the resort photographers as I did not like their style nor qualifications.  I hired my own photographer from Kingston who was so great!!! He arrived at the resort at 7:30am and only left at 10:30 pm.  He charged $1600.00 and was worth every penny! 

    Please check him out at :http://www.deanclarkeweddings.com/index2.php#//home

    I will post a few pictures as soon as I get access to the proofs :)

    5.) music: had a DJ for the reception from 6:30 to 11:00 (he didn't cost anything - as it was included in the package... i really think that part is not well mentioned in the package descriptions.  I took the sunshine package and I had a DJ for an hour and a half at the ceremony and 4 hours at the dinner - asked him to stay till 11 and he agreed at no cost - so we tipped him well :)



     



    #3144 ashley490

    ashley490
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    • 136 posts

      Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:11 AM

      I would highly recommend using Island Importer for purchasing linen suits.  We ordered our guys stuff from there and they were fabulous to deal with!  I had actually measured FI wrong so when I received the pants they didn't fit.  I assumed since it was a custom suit (which you cannot return) and since it was also my error that I would have to buy another pair of pants.  But when I called Island Importer they offered to make a new pair for free!  They were really understanding about my accidental miss sizing and said their goal is to make sure the guys look really good for the wedding.  Anothere plus was that the shipping was really fast (I live in Canada and Island Importer is in the States and the custom suit only took 3-4 weeks to be made and arrive at my house).  You can also order fabric swatches from them for around $10 (which is what I did) so that you know the true color rather than trying to guess from looking online.  Check out their website

      Hello ladies,

       

      Just wanted to know where you all got the guys linen (or similar to linen) suits from??? Ive heard studio suits so far, any other options??

       

       

      Also ... for any of the brides heading to GBP sometime soon I was wondering if I could get any of you to take some pics of the area at the outside Piscis restaurant. I have pictures of how its set up where the tables are, but not of the place as a whole. If any of you do .. thanks soooooo much! =)

       

      p.s. thanks so much for the salon info!



       


      Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay - January 18, 2012

      #3145 Showgirl

      Showgirl
      • Newbie
      • 1 posts

        Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

         

        Hi ladies

        I have been following this thread for the last 15 months and I got married at the Gran Bahia in December 2011.  I wanted to share my experience with you in an attempt to reassure you in the same way that so many other past brides have tried to do, and that was helpful to me.

         

        The main thing that I would say off the bat is that our wedding was truly amazing.  It was the wedding of our dreams and we had a fabulous time.  We live in the UK, and had quite a large destination wedding (80 people).  We have had non-stop compliments and not one person complained about the hotel.  In fact, we already have people from our party that have booked to return later this year.

         

        My top tip to you is to decide the type of wedding that you want and then to work with the co-ordinators and other vendors to make it happen.  Don’t try to fit your dreams around what you think is on offer.  Privacy was important to us so we paid the close out fee for Dolce Vita and it was fantastic to use the whole space for dinner, dancing, speeches etc.  We also used Tai Flora to decorate the venue for us, and they did a great job.  They did all the flowers for the bridal party and I worked with them to incorporate my colour scheme and favourite flowers. I also took some of my own table decorations and the venue just looked stunning when it came together.    

         

        We deviated from the set menus and paid an additional fee per person in order to have the Jamaican menu.  We are African-Caribbean and the reason that we chose Jamaica was to have this theme run throughout our wedding so Jamaican food was a must for us.  It was delicious and although I didn’t get to eat much (I was too giddy with happiness), we had a lot of compliments on the food and there really was a lot of food – both in terms of choice and amount.  We didn’t go with the private bartender, but brought our own top-shelf liquor drinks and champagne instead as this worked out cheaper.  We also had Jamaican Canap©s during our cocktail hour and the steel band played for about an hour after our ceremony, before we headed to Dolce Vita for our reception.

         

        The ceremony was lovely and Reverend Watson was very good.  We wanted something more personal and a little longer than the standard ceremony so we added a few things (poems etc.) to extend the ceremony a bit.

         

        Rashel did my make-up and she is excellent, so if you choose to book her services, you will have nothing to worry about.  Due to another booking, she had to do my makeup really early (11am) and my wedding was at 3pm.  She told me to keep the room temperature cool and honestly, I had no problems with my make-up until I took it off at about 2am.  I also used the resort spa to do my nails, and they were done well.  I can’t comment on hair as I had my own stylist with me.  My dress needed steaming and this was organised by Chandlyn and done on the morning of the wedding. No complaints here.  I can’t comment on any photographers as we had a photographer with us for a week so that we could capture photos from our excursions.  We did a couple of group shopping trips into Ocho Rios, a trip to Dunns River Falls and chartered a private party catamaran with Cool Running’s. All activities were great fun.

         

        The resort cake is delicious but I also had a separate rum cake made by Sheila’s Cakes.  That cake was awesome and huge.  We had sooo much cake.  The resort cake is decorated a little too fussy for my tastes but it tasted really good. 

         

        And now for Chandlyn and Donalee. Having read some of the comments on this site, I was ready to be pretty assertive with them about my expectations.   Having met them both, I now have to say, they were a dream to work with.  Like you, I have had to wait several days (sometimes weeks) for a response to e-mails and have also had to resend or chase, which is stressful.  However, on meeting both ladies and working with them a few days before the wedding and on the wedding day itself, I have nothing but praise for them.  I largely dealt with Chandlyn, and she is very professional and really knows her stuff.  She reminded me or double-checked things that I had forgotten to mention and also gave some helpful suggestions on how things could be done which ultimately improved our day.  Having been in your shoes in the 15month planning of our wedding, I genuinely appreciate that for you as an individual, your wedding is the most important thing to you and believe it or not, Chandlyn and Donalee also understand this.  However, they are dealing with around 3 weddings a day, almost every day and it is just the two of them.  I met with Chandlyn 5 days before the wedding and whilst I was there, she was always available to respond to any questions or assist me in the run-up to the wedding.  On the wedding day, she was fantastic and easily worked a 16-18 hour shift that day.  I also worked with Donalee and found her very good too.

         

        We had a wedding rehearsal the day before and Chandlyn took the bridal party through everything including the timings for the walk to the gazebo, where everyone should be positioned etc. You will have no problems hearing the music/ceremony etc. as they use a PA system, and I had my music on an IPOD playlist, so you can use this or a CD. 

         

        I am actually trying to keep this review brief, and I could say so much more.  However the main thing that I want to convey, is to trust in the fact that you will have a great wedding that will provide you with wonderful memories for the future.  My unofficial nickname is Miss High Maintenance, supposedly due to my high standards and I can honestly say that the Gran Bahia exceeded our expectations.  With such a large group, we were nervous about the amount of money that people had spent to attend and the distance that they had travelled (Jamaica is 10 hours from England). We definitely wanted everything to be perfect.  Our guests have been full of compliments on the wedding and resort choice, so please try not to worry.  I wish you all happy planning for your special day.  It is going to be fabulous!

         

         



        #3146 Bbride

        Bbride
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        • 3 posts

          Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:39 PM

          Not sure how handy you are but, for us, we have 55 guests, so we made pilllowcase beach bags. (google it) and then we tye dyed them red yellow green. Looks great. :)



          #3147 Bbride

          Bbride
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          • 3 posts

            Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:44 PM

            congrats on your wedding! hope it went well! :) How were the a la cartes? How much in advance did you need to book these?



            #3148 acw271011

            acw271011
            • Moderators
            • 3,128 posts
            • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
            • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
            • LocationToronto Area

            Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:44 PM

            Congrats on your wedding and very well said.  I couldn't agree more with your review having had our wedding on October 20th.  Chandlyn is indeed the consummate professional!  Be sure and post some photos when you can! It would be lovely to see some!

             

            Originally Posted by Showgirl 

             

            Hi ladies

            I have been following this thread for the last 15 months and I got married at the Gran Bahia in December 2011.  I wanted to share my experience with you in an attempt to reassure you in the same way that so many other past brides have tried to do, and that was helpful to me.

             

            The main thing that I would say off the bat is that our wedding was truly amazing.  It was the wedding of our dreams and we had a fabulous time.  We live in the UK, and had quite a large destination wedding (80 people).  We have had non-stop compliments and not one person complained about the hotel.  In fact, we already have people from our party that have booked to return later this year.

             

            My top tip to you is to decide the type of wedding that you want and then to work with the co-ordinators and other vendors to make it happen.  Don’t try to fit your dreams around what you think is on offer.  Privacy was important to us so we paid the close out fee for Dolce Vita and it was fantastic to use the whole space for dinner, dancing, speeches etc.  We also used Tai Flora to decorate the venue for us, and they did a great job.  They did all the flowers for the bridal party and I worked with them to incorporate my colour scheme and favourite flowers. I also took some of my own table decorations and the venue just looked stunning when it came together.    

             

            We deviated from the set menus and paid an additional fee per person in order to have the Jamaican menu.  We are African-Caribbean and the reason that we chose Jamaica was to have this theme run throughout our wedding so Jamaican food was a must for us.  It was delicious and although I didn’t get to eat much (I was too giddy with happiness), we had a lot of compliments on the food and there really was a lot of food – both in terms of choice and amount.  We didn’t go with the private bartender, but brought our own top-shelf liquor drinks and champagne instead as this worked out cheaper.  We also had Jamaican Canap©s during our cocktail hour and the steel band played for about an hour after our ceremony, before we headed to Dolce Vita for our reception.

             

            The ceremony was lovely and Reverend Watson was very good.  We wanted something more personal and a little longer than the standard ceremony so we added a few things (poems etc.) to extend the ceremony a bit.

             

            Rashel did my make-up and she is excellent, so if you choose to book her services, you will have nothing to worry about.  Due to another booking, she had to do my makeup really early (11am) and my wedding was at 3pm.  She told me to keep the room temperature cool and honestly, I had no problems with my make-up until I took it off at about 2am.  I also used the resort spa to do my nails, and they were done well.  I can’t comment on hair as I had my own stylist with me.  My dress needed steaming and this was organised by Chandlyn and done on the morning of the wedding. No complaints here.  I can’t comment on any photographers as we had a photographer with us for a week so that we could capture photos from our excursions.  We did a couple of group shopping trips into Ocho Rios, a trip to Dunns River Falls and chartered a private party catamaran with Cool Running’s. All activities were great fun.

             

            The resort cake is delicious but I also had a separate rum cake made by Sheila’s Cakes.  That cake was awesome and huge.  We had sooo much cake.  The resort cake is decorated a little too fussy for my tastes but it tasted really good. 

             

            And now for Chandlyn and Donalee. Having read some of the comments on this site, I was ready to be pretty assertive with them about my expectations.   Having met them both, I now have to say, they were a dream to work with.  Like you, I have had to wait several days (sometimes weeks) for a response to e-mails and have also had to resend or chase, which is stressful.  However, on meeting both ladies and working with them a few days before the wedding and on the wedding day itself, I have nothing but praise for them.  I largely dealt with Chandlyn, and she is very professional and really knows her stuff.  She reminded me or double-checked things that I had forgotten to mention and also gave some helpful suggestions on how things could be done which ultimately improved our day.  Having been in your shoes in the 15month planning of our wedding, I genuinely appreciate that for you as an individual, your wedding is the most important thing to you and believe it or not, Chandlyn and Donalee also understand this.  However, they are dealing with around 3 weddings a day, almost every day and it is just the two of them.  I met with Chandlyn 5 days before the wedding and whilst I was there, she was always available to respond to any questions or assist me in the run-up to the wedding.  On the wedding day, she was fantastic and easily worked a 16-18 hour shift that day.  I also worked with Donalee and found her very good too.

             

            We had a wedding rehearsal the day before and Chandlyn took the bridal party through everything including the timings for the walk to the gazebo, where everyone should be positioned etc. You will have no problems hearing the music/ceremony etc. as they use a PA system, and I had my music on an IPOD playlist, so you can use this or a CD. 

             

            I am actually trying to keep this review brief, and I could say so much more.  However the main thing that I want to convey, is to trust in the fact that you will have a great wedding that will provide you with wonderful memories for the future.  My unofficial nickname is Miss High Maintenance, supposedly due to my high standards and I can honestly say that the Gran Bahia exceeded our expectations.  With such a large group, we were nervous about the amount of money that people had spent to attend and the distance that they had travelled (Jamaica is 10 hours from England). We definitely wanted everything to be perfect.  Our guests have been full of compliments on the wedding and resort choice, so please try not to worry.  I wish you all happy planning for your special day.  It is going to be fabulous!

             

             



             


            I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

             

             

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

             

             

            event.png


            #3149 RockSea

            RockSea
            • Newbie
            • 15 posts

              Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:27 PM



              Originally Posted by tamandrob 

              RockSea

              Congrats on being a Mrs!!!!! Thanks for the helpful tips, I do have one question about the excursion who did you book through, ie sunquest rep, hotel, outside agency? Thanks in advance and I can't wait to see some of your pictures!


               

              I booked with Sunquest agent : Catherine (at the resort)  It was amazing...considering we were able to book the whole boat to ourselves for no extra cost :)


               

               



              #3150 BusyBee123

              BusyBee123
              • Jr. Member
              • 335 posts

                Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:05 AM

                Hello All...

                 

                So I am officially back on Canadian soil and married...well at least according to the Jamaican certificate!  We had an absolutely amazing time and I cannot say enough great things about the resort and planners!  I was a huge fan of detailed reviews, so I'm going to do by absolute best to provide that!  That being said, we have an absolute mountain of laundry and piles of wedding stuff that I need to put away, so I may take a few breaks in between! lol!

                 

                So to start....

                 

                THE RESORT:

                 

                As someone who has travelled quite a bit and stayed at over 20 resorts including 3 others in Jamaica, I have to say the resort itself is superb!  The check in was a very simple process and went relatively quick!  I specifically requested that we all be placed in section 18000 as it has the best views and most central location.  I also asked that we all be on the 3rd floor or higher to maximize the ocean view.  All of my requests were granted with no hassels and we got our free upgrade and were just one floor above our guests.  All of our rooms were ready on arrival (well ahead of 3pm) which was much appreciated after a long day of flying! The rooms were great with 4 poster beds and we had no concerns about towels or linens as I had previously read!  The safes are available, but I believe are an extra $6 per day.  We all rented them and there were no concerns at all regarding thefts or feeling unsafe at any time.  The entertainment in the evenings wasn't great, but the boys really enjoyed the sports bar and the late night burger runs to Burger Principe.  In fact, I think they ate there almost every night.  The disco was a bit sketchy at best, and we didn't spend much time there.  The kareoke bar was entertaining for a bit as well.

                 

                THE FOOD:
                 

                So one thing to know is that you can book your a la carte's in advance.  We made advance reservations for the Grill for our Welcome Dinner, the Mikado Teppanyaky for our Rehearsal Dinner and the Don Pablo for our last night supper for me and my hubby.  Keep in mind that these reservations are booked under you, NOT under your guests.  Therefore your guests can still take advantage of 3 a la cartes or 4 if they are golden club.  So we all ate at the a la cartes pretty much every night. 

                 

                There are two buffet options, the Orchid which is larger, or the Palmyra which is smaller.  The larger has a lot more options, but the smaller was nice as it was quieter.  There are a lot of types of food to choose from, and we never struggled to find something to eat.  The quality was pretty good too.  There is also the Pisces which is a snack bar on the beach which serves jerk chicken, nachos, pizza, etc, etc.  It was great to just relax in a bathing suit and grab a quick bite.  Watch out for the "Hell Fire" jerk sauce though!

                 

                So from the a la cartes, our least favorite was definitely the Grill.  We all went for our Welcome Dinner and found it a bit odd that you do not order your appetizers but rather go choose them from a small buffet.  Many ordered the steak and were unable to eat it as it was really gross and grizzly.  The chicken wasn't bad, and the lobster was ok.  Definitely the most dissapointing by far. The Dolce Vita we only did on the Wedding night, so I'll comment on that later.  I'd likely rate it 2nd, as it was definitely better than the Grill but not a clear fave.

                 

                The best two were for sure the Mikado and the Don Pablo.  We did the Tepanyaky with our 12 person Rehearsal Dinner, and it was so much fun! "Blackie Chan" as he called himself put on a great show and prepared delicious veg, chinese rice, beef, fish, chicken and shrimp!  We also had a choice of appetizers, soups and desserts.  The food was delicious and we had so much fun!  Definitely one of the best nights!  We also went back a second night to just eat off the menu (you have to specify if you want the teppanyaky or menu).  The  4 course menu dinner was just as excellent and we really enjoyed it as well.  A large selection of tempura, meso soup, sushi, lots of seafood options, but great beef tenderloin as well.  Plus they have a fabulous ice cream tempura for dessert!  Yum!

                 

                The Don Pablo was also amazing and probably the best food if I have to vote for just one!  We had a delicious Chateaubriand that they prepare for you directly at your table and banana flambe also prepared at your table for dessert.  Its the most romantic of the restaurant, so definitely worth booking for just the two of you!  We were glad we did!

                 

                THE DRINKS:

                 

                The bars are plentiful as are the drinks.  A small tip goes a long way and ensures you won't be waiting at all or that they will serve you directly in your beach chairs.  My only complaint is they have those drink machines that serve pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris.  I prefer when they make them from scratch, but really that wasn't a huge concern.  They also have champagne at every bar (except the burger joint) which my mother loved!  I highly recommend the Purple Rain...we found it later in the week and loved it! Tastes just like sweet tarts!  

                 

                THE BEACH:

                 

                So as with other Jamaican resorts in MoBay, Ochos and Runaway, the beaches are not as pristine as some of the other islands.  This resort was no exception, however, we were expecting this.  There are areas of the beach, especially in the central cove near the gazebo, that are quite rocky.  Your best bet was to move towards the larger area that goes into the nude beach.  The only trouble there is that the bars are a  little further away, but the beach was MUCH nicer.  There was also some decent snorkeling in the rocky areas, so we were glad we brought our snorkel gear.  

                 

                THE POOL:
                 

                So there is one large pool that runs the whole resort.  The boys enjoyed going from one swim up bar to the next and swimming the whole pool.  We tended to stick more to one area and just relax.  Either way the pool was great...just a little bit cooler than the ocean!  Also we found that the best chairs were towards the end of the resort near the newer section 23000.  They had comfy wooden chairs with thick white padding as opposed to the standard blue ones.  Worth the bit of a walk! 

                 

                So that's a bit of the resort stuff....I'll continue with the wedding day soon!  

                Hope that helps! :)






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