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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#3151 BusyBee123

BusyBee123
  • Jr. Member
  • 335 posts

    Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:01 AM

    So on to the wedding! 

     

    Please try to relax because the wedding planners are absolute pros!  This place is a wedding factory and does this a ton!  In fact, they have 50 weddings in January alone and this is their quite season.  They mentioned that sometimes they will have up to 4 weddings a day in May-September!  

     

    THE INITIAL MEETING:

    The night we arrived, we received a note from Chandlyn about our meeting time the next day.  To be honest, I went to the meeting ready for a fight.  As some of you might recall, about a month before our wedding, we were told that our gazebo reception had been cancelled as we didn't have 25 people.  So I was ready for a battle and brought my mother along for backup.  Needless to say, it was all for nothing!  Chandlyn was the ultimate professional, and had every email, every picture, everything I had ever sent in my file.  We went through my list of requests and there were no concerns about any of them.  I got my reception sorted out, and they agreed to even allow me to have the bartender for the 2 hours. I was also worried that they might give the Dolce to another group as they were larger than us, but they kept their word and allowed us the semi private option.  I was thrilled! I also provided them with diagrams of how I wanted everything set up at the dinner and the gazebo and provided a suitcase full of decor.  The meeting was seamless and so reassuring.  Honestly as rough as the email correspondence might be, they were FANTASTIC.  I cannot say enough great things about them. 
     

     

    GETTING READY:

     

    I had a hair trial at the spa on Sunday that was fabulous.  I had brought a few pictures of styles I was hoping to try, and the stylist was able to do all of them for me before deciding on the best one.  She was also kind enough to give me a new style before I left for dinner that evening, so my then FI wouldn't see my wedding hair.  She was so accomodating and lovely!  I saw the same girl again on my wedding day for hair and makeup.  She replicated exactly what we had done at the trial and it was exactly what I wanted.  I had bought clip in extensions for my wedding day and there were no issues whatsoever.  My makeup was also exactly what I had wanted, and I had brought in a photo as well!  So no concerns with the spa whatsoever.  My two bridesmaids and mom also had their hair done at the spa, and they were able to accomodate all of us easily!  They also provided champagne to get the day going!  Please note that the prices just went up at the spa as well...It was $180 for my trial plus day off hair and makeup, and the girls paid $80 for their hair.  It gets charged to your room, so you pay when you check out.  If you plan on tipping you need to bring extra cash as you can't tip through your room. We started at the spa at 11am which was perfect timing for our 3pm ceremony. 

     

    THE FLOWERS:

     

    I ordered all of my flowers from Tai Flora and did not use the hotel package.  In all I ordered 4 boutonnieres, 1 wrist corsage, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, one bridal bouquet and two HUGE arrangements for the gazebo.  All in all it came to $500 + tax.  My flowers were exactly what I wanted!  My colours were coral, ivory with hints of pale green, so we got a combo of coral and ivory roses, white orchids and green hydrangeas.  I couldn't have been happier with my flowers.  I will post pics soon!

     

    THE GAZEBO:

     

    We were lucky enough to be able to see the gazebo from our balcony as we were getting ready, so it was nice to be able to check up on the decorating!  One thing I would say is chair ties are a must.  We saw a few weddings without them and they looked pretty blah.  The colour on the chairs provides a great pop of colour!  We also added some of the chair ties to the standard white fabric draped on the gazebo for an extra pop of colour.  I'm also SO glad that we ordered the flowers for the gazebo.  I didn't see anyone else with flowers the rest of the week, but I thought it really added a nice touch.  I think more colour is better to stand out against the stark white of the gazebo pillars.  We also had bubbles, fans and programs on every seat.  To be honest, no one used the bubbles, except my mother!  They were kind of a waste but looked pretty.  Not too many used their fans either, as there was a good breeze on our day to cool people off.  

     

    Given what I had heard about past sand ceremony kits not being set up, I gave that job to my father.  Everything else I left up to the wedding planners and it was done perfectly!  I couldn't have asked for anything better!  

     

    THE CEREMONY:

     

    We met Chandlyn in the lobby at about 3pm ( we were running a bit late ), and rode over the gazebo in the golf cart.  Wow did it feel like a long ride!  When we arrived, the  steel band was playing and they were fabulous.  They were definitely worth every penny of the $400!  My guests kept commenting on what a nice touch they were and all enjoyed getting their photos taken with them!  They played the exact music I had asked for without a hitch!  

     

    The walk down the aisle is long so be prepared!  There are also these rocky steps at the top that were a bit tough to navigate.  If you are planning on stilletos I would be SUPER careful!  I had brought a high heel option and a flat, and ended up picking the flat after the rehearsal and those steps!  

     

    We had written our own script which the minister simply read.  He didn't deviate at all.  I'd say he was good, but nothing really special.  He had a bit of a hard time turning the pages in the breeze, but otherwise it was ok.  He was also wearing this hideous leopard print attire, which we got a good laugh out of. My hubby said they had a great chat while they were waiting for me, but I didn't really get to talk to him much.  The sand ceremony and signing went off without a problem, however, the sand as we were pouring kept blowing into our eyes and mouths!  Again, the breeze is lovely down there but try to keep your mouth closed! lol!  

     

    After the ceremony when you walk down the aisle, they hand you and your guests champagne for the toast.  The steel band was playing and we all danced around for a bit and just enjoyed the moment!  I couldn't have asked for better!  All in all, our ceremony lasted about 35 minutes from start to finish.  

     

    THE PHOTOGRAPHY:

     

    We then moved into taking pictures and continued to take photos right up until our dinner at 6pm.  We were really glad that we had chosen the 3pm ceremony as otherwise we would have had to cut the photos short (we had originally planned on 4pm). 

     

    Our photographers were AMAZING as I cannot say enough great things about them.  They are from the Ottawa area and were an absolute pleasure to work with!  They took everything we could have wanted and more and had spent the whole beginning of the week scouting out all the best picture spots!  By the end of the week they felt more like friends than photographers and were definitely one of the best decisions we made in the planning process.  If any brides are looking for a photog to travel with them, I can definitely provide contact info!  

     

    THE DINNER:

     

    We had our dinner at the Dolce Vita at 6pm.  I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Dolce.  We observed several other brides having their dinners at the Grill and although all of their guests were at one big table, they were seated right next to other guests at the resort.  There was no privacy at all.  The biggest advantage to the Dolce is that you get a private room off the main restaurant that overlooks the water.  There are no other guests even nearby so it was great for speeches and felt more like a normal wedding.    If it is still available, that would definitely be my choice again hands down.

     

    The set up of the Dolce was great!  We had a sweetheart table for us at the front of the room, then two long rectangular tables for our guests.  We also had a separate cake table, a table with a photo matt and our sand ceremony and another table on which we handed out sky lanterns, personalized matches and sparklers.  They planners couldn't have decorated better! Everything was perfect and as per the diagrams I had given.  They moved the large flower arrangements from the gazebo inside and used them on either side of our sweetheart table.  The bridesmaids bouquets doubled as centerpices and we used the sand ceremony vases to hold them.  We just added some lights and coral stones, and they were perfect!  We also had bought a TON of candles which provided really nice mood lighting.  

     

    The waiters took great care of us and were very professional.  We had the squash soup which was delicious, followed by the Ravioli Boscaila.  The ravioli was good, but the sauce was quite salty.  We then had the Stuffed Chicken with Risotto which was good, the risotto especially.  We had the protiferoles to follow we we had heard questionable reviews about the tiramisu.  The good thing about the protiferoles was that it was small, so most people still ate cake following.  

     

    We had the vanilla raspberry cake which was SO YUMMY!  However, the cake looked, well...like the other pictures we had seen.  Cake decor is definitely not their forte.  Cake wasn't super important to us, so we didn't care too much.  We bought gum paste seashells and starfish with us as decor, which was a nice touch.  Even despite that it was a simple cake at best.  The good thing, was that as we were a smaller group, we were able to send everyone home with a cake box of cake as well...most of which were eating after our dancing at the gazebo when people needed a snack!  Just remember to grab plastic forks at the Pisces during the day!  

     

    THE RECEPTION:

     

    Apart from the decision to get married, I think renting the gazebo afterwards was our next best decision!  We went straight from the dinner back the to gazebo and the bartender and DJ were ready to go!  

     

    Prior to starting the first dance, we went out next to the gazebo and let off the sky lanterns.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the night for me.  They were so beautiful going up, and several other resort guests commented on them the rest of the week.  We also had sparklers and had some fun with those!

     

    Next we did the first dance and father daughter dance.  We brought a CD for the DJ and there were no problems.  We also bought a IPAD just in case, but he preferred CD.  The DJ then played his own selection of music the rest of the night, and it was fabulous! We had heard awful reviews, but he took request, played what we asked and was a great guy!  We also gave him a tip and he stayed a full extra half hour for us until 11pm!  

     

    The bar wasn't a standard simple bar, and had all of the premium liquors on it!  They could also make up any of the mixed drinks you could get elsewhere in the resort.  I was expecting beer and rum, but it was SO much better!  The guests loved it, as it would have been at least a 10min walk each way to the lobby bar and wouldn't have been feasible.  It also saved us the hassel of trying to set up a bar ourselves, which I really appreciated.

     

    We had an absolute blast at the gazebo and all of our guests danced the night away until 11pm.  It was totally worth the $500 for the gazebo/DJ and with our small group the bar was only $230.  Best money I ever spent.  One thing to keep in mind if you don't rent the gazebo is that the disco doesn't open until 11pm.  We saw a lot of other brides wandering around on the terrace or at the sports bar waiting for the disco to open.  Again everyone has a preference and different financial situations and group sizes, but I would highly recommend it!  Made for the perfect night!  

     

    AFTERWARDS:

     

    After all that dancing we were all super hot, so instead of going home to shower, we all got changed and jumped in the pool!  We had a lot of fun and were the only ones their! Eventually we ended up at the late night burger joint for a burger and to eat our cake!  

     

     

     

    So all in all our day was perfect and went off without any problems.  I am usually very type A and need to make sure every detail is perfect, but the wedding planners made it so easy for me to relax and just enjoy.  There is nothing I would change at the end of the day, and I think that says a lot!  

     

    All that being said, I did hear from a few other brides that their days had taken turns they weren't expecting.  The bride the day before me, got moved at the last minute from the Grill to the Palmyra buffet.  They were still allowed the grill menu but it took them over 3.5hrs to get all of their food and it was cold by the time it got there.  Hopefully that won't happen to anyone else.  The planner commented that they appreciated how detailed I was with diagrams and very clear instructions as they felt they were better able to ensure that I got what I wanted.  For the extra time it took to do that, it was definitely worth it! 

     

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to let me know! I'll do my best to answer them all!! Also I'll post photos as soon as I can!  

     


     

     



    #3152 BusyBee123

    BusyBee123
    • Jr. Member
    • 335 posts

      Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:18 AM

      Oh, I completely forgot the excursion and the TTD!  Two super important things!  

       

      EXCURSION:

       

      I planned an excursion for my whole group the day before the wedding.  It was definitely the best day of our trip (minus the wedding of course!) We went on the Island Vibes Party Cruise out of Ochos Rios.  We departed the Sandals resort and went snorkelling, then Dunn's River, then party cruise back home.  This cruise was different from the one booked through the resort as they gave me a better group rate and also provided premium drinks and hors d'hoeurves on the ride home.  I booked it through Casita at Island Routes and have the info for anyone who wants it.  

       

      We had a fabulous day!  Although we were not the only ones of the boat, the staff really focused on our group and kept announcing our wedding and playing special songs for us!  They also kept pouring us shots and more shots, so needless to say it was a bit of a rough ride back to the hotel and a few of us were still feeling pretty good come rehearsal time!  The good thing, was then no one partied too hard the night before the wedding!  

       

      Don't worry, the falls and snorkel were done prior to all the drinking.  As someone who scuba dives, I thought the snorkeling was just ok, but the other guests enjoyed it.  Dunn's River was fun with a group!  We'd done it previously by ourselves but it was so much more fun with everyone.  

       

      All in all the excursion cost us $70 per person tax included.  We booked it a couple months in advance and weren't disappointed!  Having also done the Cool Runnings that they offer at the resort, I prefer this tour as there are some minor differences.  If you want contact info, let me know!

       

      TTD:

       

      What a fun day!  We rented a 7 passenger van and spent about 6 hours driving around taking the most amazing photos!  Our driver's name was Kevin Morrison and he can be reached at: kevin.morrison75@yahoo.com.  He also emails back faster than anyone else.  When we first emailed him, he showed up in lobby 10min later so we could meet him before we hired him for the day!  His prices are also super negotiable.  

       

      We started out from the resort to Ochos and stopped at a number of little towns along the way.  Kevin had a bunch of great suggestions and I cannot thank him enough!  He brought us out into this gated condo development, to the best ocean view we saw our entire stay.  I also mentioned something about how it would have been nice to take a pic on a horse, and 10min later we were pulling up and he had managed to find us a horse to take pics with for only $10!  He was incredible and has a ton of connections on the island!  

       

      We took pics in everything from jerk huts, to town centres, to fields with goats!  We stopped at the Great Civic House, which had some really cool old wall backdrops.  In the end, we ended up back at Dunn's River which was perfect!  Dunn's River costs $20/person, so for us and two photogs it was $80.  That being said, I'm sure the pics will be well worth it!  We arrived between a lot of the tour boats so it was initially very quiet.  We were able to trek into the falls without anyone in the background and take some great pics. We didn't climb the whole falls, by any means, but were able to get some relatively dry shots by getting on at the exit/entry points.  Then we went down to the bottom and jumped into the ocean and did more of those pics.  

       

      Our photographers had an amazing sense of adventure and were such a pleasure to work with!  They somehow managed to bring 6 cameras half way up the falls and still make it look easy.  They were also super relaxed and made it such a fun day for us!  Now I just can't wait to see the pics!

       

      So I think that is officially it!  I'm sure I missed a lot, so feel free to ask me questions!  

       

       

       

       



      #3153 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 15 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

      Congrats on the wedding and being Mrs.! your review was terrific and I'm so glad everything turned out so well, and that you were happy with it all.  isn't it great?  even though our wedding is done I'm still enjoying seeing the reviews of the ladies that have been on this site at the same time as me. I can't wait to see pics!  did you see jaykay and creep her wedding? did she creep yours lol  I'm anxious to hear her review too. congrats again!!

       

      Originally Posted by BusyBee123 

      So on to the wedding! 

       

      Please try to relax because the wedding planners are absolute pros!  This place is a wedding factory and does this a ton!  In fact, they have 50 weddings in January alone and this is their quite season.  They mentioned that sometimes they will have up to 4 weddings a day in May-September!  

       

      THE INITIAL MEETING:

      The night we arrived, we received a note from Chandlyn about our meeting time the next day.  To be honest, I went to the meeting ready for a fight.  As some of you might recall, about a month before our wedding, we were told that our gazebo reception had been cancelled as we didn't have 25 people.  So I was ready for a battle and brought my mother along for backup.  Needless to say, it was all for nothing!  Chandlyn was the ultimate professional, and had every email, every picture, everything I had ever sent in my file.  We went through my list of requests and there were no concerns about any of them.  I got my reception sorted out, and they agreed to even allow me to have the bartender for the 2 hours. I was also worried that they might give the Dolce to another group as they were larger than us, but they kept their word and allowed us the semi private option.  I was thrilled! I also provided them with diagrams of how I wanted everything set up at the dinner and the gazebo and provided a suitcase full of decor.  The meeting was seamless and so reassuring.  Honestly as rough as the email correspondence might be, they were FANTASTIC.  I cannot say enough great things about them. 
       

       

      GETTING READY:

       

      I had a hair trial at the spa on Sunday that was fabulous.  I had brought a few pictures of styles I was hoping to try, and the stylist was able to do all of them for me before deciding on the best one.  She was also kind enough to give me a new style before I left for dinner that evening, so my then FI wouldn't see my wedding hair.  She was so accomodating and lovely!  I saw the same girl again on my wedding day for hair and makeup.  She replicated exactly what we had done at the trial and it was exactly what I wanted.  I had bought clip in extensions for my wedding day and there were no issues whatsoever.  My makeup was also exactly what I had wanted, and I had brought in a photo as well!  So no concerns with the spa whatsoever.  My two bridesmaids and mom also had their hair done at the spa, and they were able to accomodate all of us easily!  They also provided champagne to get the day going!  Please note that the prices just went up at the spa as well...It was $180 for my trial plus day off hair and makeup, and the girls paid $80 for their hair.  It gets charged to your room, so you pay when you check out.  If you plan on tipping you need to bring extra cash as you can't tip through your room. We started at the spa at 11am which was perfect timing for our 3pm ceremony. 

       

      THE FLOWERS:

       

      I ordered all of my flowers from Tai Flora and did not use the hotel package.  In all I ordered 4 boutonnieres, 1 wrist corsage, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, one bridal bouquet and two HUGE arrangements for the gazebo.  All in all it came to $500 + tax.  My flowers were exactly what I wanted!  My colours were coral, ivory with hints of pale green, so we got a combo of coral and ivory roses, white orchids and green hydrangeas.  I couldn't have been happier with my flowers.  I will post pics soon!

       

      THE GAZEBO:

       

      We were lucky enough to be able to see the gazebo from our balcony as we were getting ready, so it was nice to be able to check up on the decorating!  One thing I would say is chair ties are a must.  We saw a few weddings without them and they looked pretty blah.  The colour on the chairs provides a great pop of colour!  We also added some of the chair ties to the standard white fabric draped on the gazebo for an extra pop of colour.  I'm also SO glad that we ordered the flowers for the gazebo.  I didn't see anyone else with flowers the rest of the week, but I thought it really added a nice touch.  I think more colour is better to stand out against the stark white of the gazebo pillars.  We also had bubbles, fans and programs on every seat.  To be honest, no one used the bubbles, except my mother!  They were kind of a waste but looked pretty.  Not too many used their fans either, as there was a good breeze on our day to cool people off.  

       

      Given what I had heard about past sand ceremony kits not being set up, I gave that job to my father.  Everything else I left up to the wedding planners and it was done perfectly!  I couldn't have asked for anything better!  

       

      THE CEREMONY:

       

      We met Chandlyn in the lobby at about 3pm ( we were running a bit late ), and rode over the gazebo in the golf cart.  Wow did it feel like a long ride!  When we arrived, the  steel band was playing and they were fabulous.  They were definitely worth every penny of the $400!  My guests kept commenting on what a nice touch they were and all enjoyed getting their photos taken with them!  They played the exact music I had asked for without a hitch!  

       

      The walk down the aisle is long so be prepared!  There are also these rocky steps at the top that were a bit tough to navigate.  If you are planning on stilletos I would be SUPER careful!  I had brought a high heel option and a flat, and ended up picking the flat after the rehearsal and those steps!  

       

      We had written our own script which the minister simply read.  He didn't deviate at all.  I'd say he was good, but nothing really special.  He had a bit of a hard time turning the pages in the breeze, but otherwise it was ok.  He was also wearing this hideous leopard print attire, which we got a good laugh out of. My hubby said they had a great chat while they were waiting for me, but I didn't really get to talk to him much.  The sand ceremony and signing went off without a problem, however, the sand as we were pouring kept blowing into our eyes and mouths!  Again, the breeze is lovely down there but try to keep your mouth closed! lol!  

       

      After the ceremony when you walk down the aisle, they hand you and your guests champagne for the toast.  The steel band was playing and we all danced around for a bit and just enjoyed the moment!  I couldn't have asked for better!  All in all, our ceremony lasted about 35 minutes from start to finish.  

       

      THE PHOTOGRAPHY:

       

      We then moved into taking pictures and continued to take photos right up until our dinner at 6pm.  We were really glad that we had chosen the 3pm ceremony as otherwise we would have had to cut the photos short (we had originally planned on 4pm). 

       

      Our photographers were AMAZING as I cannot say enough great things about them.  They are from the Ottawa area and were an absolute pleasure to work with!  They took everything we could have wanted and more and had spent the whole beginning of the week scouting out all the best picture spots!  By the end of the week they felt more like friends than photographers and were definitely one of the best decisions we made in the planning process.  If any brides are looking for a photog to travel with them, I can definitely provide contact info!  

       

      THE DINNER:

       

      We had our dinner at the Dolce Vita at 6pm.  I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the Dolce.  We observed several other brides having their dinners at the Grill and although all of their guests were at one big table, they were seated right next to other guests at the resort.  There was no privacy at all.  The biggest advantage to the Dolce is that you get a private room off the main restaurant that overlooks the water.  There are no other guests even nearby so it was great for speeches and felt more like a normal wedding.    If it is still available, that would definitely be my choice again hands down.

       

      The set up of the Dolce was great!  We had a sweetheart table for us at the front of the room, then two long rectangular tables for our guests.  We also had a separate cake table, a table with a photo matt and our sand ceremony and another table on which we handed out sky lanterns, personalized matches and sparklers.  They planners couldn't have decorated better! Everything was perfect and as per the diagrams I had given.  They moved the large flower arrangements from the gazebo inside and used them on either side of our sweetheart table.  The bridesmaids bouquets doubled as centerpices and we used the sand ceremony vases to hold them.  We just added some lights and coral stones, and they were perfect!  We also had bought a TON of candles which provided really nice mood lighting.  

       

      The waiters took great care of us and were very professional.  We had the squash soup which was delicious, followed by the Ravioli Boscaila.  The ravioli was good, but the sauce was quite salty.  We then had the Stuffed Chicken with Risotto which was good, the risotto especially.  We had the protiferoles to follow we we had heard questionable reviews about the tiramisu.  The good thing about the protiferoles was that it was small, so most people still ate cake following.  

       

      We had the vanilla raspberry cake which was SO YUMMY!  However, the cake looked, well...like the other pictures we had seen.  Cake decor is definitely not their forte.  Cake wasn't super important to us, so we didn't care too much.  We bought gum paste seashells and starfish with us as decor, which was a nice touch.  Even despite that it was a simple cake at best.  The good thing, was that as we were a smaller group, we were able to send everyone home with a cake box of cake as well...most of which were eating after our dancing at the gazebo when people needed a snack!  Just remember to grab plastic forks at the Pisces during the day!  

       

      THE RECEPTION:

       

      Apart from the decision to get married, I think renting the gazebo afterwards was our next best decision!  We went straight from the dinner back the to gazebo and the bartender and DJ were ready to go!  

       

      Prior to starting the first dance, we went out next to the gazebo and let off the sky lanterns.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the night for me.  They were so beautiful going up, and several other resort guests commented on them the rest of the week.  We also had sparklers and had some fun with those!

       

      Next we did the first dance and father daughter dance.  We brought a CD for the DJ and there were no problems.  We also bought a IPAD just in case, but he preferred CD.  The DJ then played his own selection of music the rest of the night, and it was fabulous! We had heard awful reviews, but he took request, played what we asked and was a great guy!  We also gave him a tip and he stayed a full extra half hour for us until 11pm!  

       

      The bar wasn't a standard simple bar, and had all of the premium liquors on it!  They could also make up any of the mixed drinks you could get elsewhere in the resort.  I was expecting beer and rum, but it was SO much better!  The guests loved it, as it would have been at least a 10min walk each way to the lobby bar and wouldn't have been feasible.  It also saved us the hassel of trying to set up a bar ourselves, which I really appreciated.

       

      We had an absolute blast at the gazebo and all of our guests danced the night away until 11pm.  It was totally worth the $500 for the gazebo/DJ and with our small group the bar was only $230.  Best money I ever spent.  One thing to keep in mind if you don't rent the gazebo is that the disco doesn't open until 11pm.  We saw a lot of other brides wandering around on the terrace or at the sports bar waiting for the disco to open.  Again everyone has a preference and different financial situations and group sizes, but I would highly recommend it!  Made for the perfect night!  

       

      AFTERWARDS:

       

      After all that dancing we were all super hot, so instead of going home to shower, we all got changed and jumped in the pool!  We had a lot of fun and were the only ones their! Eventually we ended up at the late night burger joint for a burger and to eat our cake!  

       

       

       

      So all in all our day was perfect and went off without any problems.  I am usually very type A and need to make sure every detail is perfect, but the wedding planners made it so easy for me to relax and just enjoy.  There is nothing I would change at the end of the day, and I think that says a lot!  

       

      All that being said, I did hear from a few other brides that their days had taken turns they weren't expecting.  The bride the day before me, got moved at the last minute from the Grill to the Palmyra buffet.  They were still allowed the grill menu but it took them over 3.5hrs to get all of their food and it was cold by the time it got there.  Hopefully that won't happen to anyone else.  The planner commented that they appreciated how detailed I was with diagrams and very clear instructions as they felt they were better able to ensure that I got what I wanted.  For the extra time it took to do that, it was definitely worth it! 

       

      If anyone has any questions, please feel free to let me know! I'll do my best to answer them all!! Also I'll post photos as soon as I can!  

       


       

       



       


      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


      #3154 Kim Deslippe

      Kim Deslippe
      • Newbie
      • 85 posts

        Posted 15 January 2012 - 03:59 PM

        Awe, congrats on becoming a Mrs., you look stunning and so happy with your new hubby!!

        Thank you for the wonderful review, cannot wait to see more pics!!

         

        I've been debating on which restaurant to book for the wedding dinner, and was leaning towards the Dolce...glad to hear it was a top choice.

         

        We're in a bit of a debate about the gazebo/dj and bartender right now:

        • My FI doesn't see the point in spending the extra $ for it be because he figures everyone will just want to go their separate ways after dinner. (and he's not much for dancing)
        • My mom has requested that we have a reception area to have drinks and dancing; my future MIL has not specifically asked but has made comments about other DW she's been to that have had receptions, "which was really nice" vs the ones that have not.
        • I definitely like the idea of renting the gazebo but cannot decide on spending $ for the dj or having one of my brothers man a laptop, cd player, or ipod; do we know if there is a sound system to hook up to in the evening if we choose not to use the dj?
        • We figure that we'll probably have a minimum of 50 guests, so if we book the bartender and they charge $20 pp, that $1000 for only a couple hours just to serve drinks that are included with the trip.  To me that's a lot, especially if not all guests come down to the gazebo and some don't even drink.  I like the idea of tipping the bartenders/housekeepers to leave of some pitchers of drinks at the pool bars and getting extra beers left in the room fridges, but just worried that we'll have trouble with it and then be stuck walking back and forth for drinks all night.

        Any opinions are appreciated!!



        #3155 BusyBee123

        BusyBee123
        • Jr. Member
        • 335 posts

          Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:05 PM

          Thanks so much!  I appreciate it!  

           

          I can understand where you're coming from.  You have a number of options.  The first is not to have a reception which is free.  A lot of the brides that didn't have receptions just wandered around on the terrace or went to the nightly entertainment and waited for the disco to open at 11pm.  That being said, dinner will be done by about 8:30pm so that's a long while to wait and most of their guests seemed to have gotten bored and dispersed.  For our guests, after dinner, we were all ready to continue the evening and spend more time together, so for us, moving to the gazebo was perfect.  I can't imagine the night ending there....I would have felt that it was incomplete and disappointed.  Plus we really wanted to have a traditional first dance and have everyone come together and do the sky lanterns. 

           

          For $250, you can rent the gazebo by itself, which really is the crucial part of the after reception should you choose to have one.  The problem with that is that there is no sound system included in the rental.  If you want the sound system, you have to pay for the DJ which is an additional $250.  To be honest, we were really impressed with the DJ and $250 isn't a lot of money compared to what you would be paying for a DJ at home.  What you could do is spend money on a sound system and bring it down with you, but to get a decent sound system that would project out there on  a windy point might cost you the same.   If you did get a sound system, I guess you could bring it home with you, however, if that's something you're interested in.  You'd have to assign a guest to DJ or change CDs for the evening.  

           

          With that many people, I can definitely understand why you would second guess the bar.  Honestly, if I had that many people, I probably wouldn't have gotten the bartender either.  With that number of people, perhaps you could assign two or three guys to be in charge of bringing down some of the beer that you collect from your rooms and getting the bartenders to mix you up some jugs of rum punch or something.  With only 16 of us, to lose 3 people to get drinks would have really toned down the fun! The wedding planners will provide ice and cups along with a table if you want to do that, so that's definitely a possibility to save money. 

           

          If you want my honest opinion, I would pay the $500 for the gazebo and DJ and figure out the drinks yourself.  Then you get your full evening reception and can just get a few guys to get drinks.  You only get to do this once, so make the most of it!  Hope that helps! 
           

          Originally Posted by Kim Deslippe 

          Awe, congrats on becoming a Mrs., you look stunning and so happy with your new hubby!!

          Thank you for the wonderful review, cannot wait to see more pics!!

           

          I've been debating on which restaurant to book for the wedding dinner, and was leaning towards the Dolce...glad to hear it was a top choice.

           

          We're in a bit of a debate about the gazebo/dj and bartender right now:

          • My FI doesn't see the point in spending the extra $ for it be because he figures everyone will just want to go their separate ways after dinner. (and he's not much for dancing)
          • My mom has requested that we have a reception area to have drinks and dancing; my future MIL has not specifically asked but has made comments about other DW she's been to that have had receptions, "which was really nice" vs the ones that have not.
          • I definitely like the idea of renting the gazebo but cannot decide on spending $ for the dj or having one of my brothers man a laptop, cd player, or ipod; do we know if there is a sound system to hook up to in the evening if we choose not to use the dj?
          • We figure that we'll probably have a minimum of 50 guests, so if we book the bartender and they charge $20 pp, that $1000 for only a couple hours just to serve drinks that are included with the trip.  To me that's a lot, especially if not all guests come down to the gazebo and some don't even drink.  I like the idea of tipping the bartenders/housekeepers to leave of some pitchers of drinks at the pool bars and getting extra beers left in the room fridges, but just worried that we'll have trouble with it and then be stuck walking back and forth for drinks all night.

          Any opinions are appreciated!!



           



          #3156 BusyBee123

          BusyBee123
          • Jr. Member
          • 335 posts

            Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

            Thanks so much ACW! Hope you're doing well and enjoying married life!  I still can't believe it is all over!  It felt like a dream come true!  

             

            I somehow missed jaykay completely!  I had planned to go and congratulate her on her wedding day, but ended up with a horrible migraine!  I watched a bit of her ceremony from our balcony before I headed to bed!  It looked lovely from what I could see!  Loved her bright aqua chair ties!  

             

            Quote:

            Originally Posted by acw271011 

            Congrats on the wedding and being Mrs.! your review was terrific and I'm so glad everything turned out so well, and that you were happy with it all.  isn't it great?  even though our wedding is done I'm still enjoying seeing the reviews of the ladies that have been on this site at the same time as me. I can't wait to see pics!  did you see jaykay and creep her wedding? did she creep yours lol  I'm anxious to hear her review too. congrats again!!



             



            #3157 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 15 January 2012 - 07:50 PM

            awww. that's really a shame. it's awful when you don't feel well while on vacation. I've had that happen and it's really no fun.  there was only one person from here that was there at the same time I was and I managed to just see her walk down the walkway, then I had to run for my trial hair appt. the FI took some pictures though. her colour was aqua too and it looked beautiful. there are only a couple more that I'd like to see the reviews from then I guess I'm all through with this site. I'm the old lady here I think and I'd like to see how you girls make out with your weddings before I sign off lol  we're already planning to go back to the resort in October for our first anniversary and have now fallen in love with Jamaica. congrats again!  oh - by the way, my son lives in parkwood hills on Meadowlands.

             

            Originally Posted by BusyBee123 

            Thanks so much ACW! Hope you're doing well and enjoying married life!  I still can't believe it is all over!  It felt like a dream come true!  

             

            I somehow missed jaykay completely!  I had planned to go and congratulate her on her wedding day, but ended up with a horrible migraine!  I watched a bit of her ceremony from our balcony before I headed to bed!  It looked lovely from what I could see!  Loved her bright aqua chair ties!  

             

            Quote:



             



             


            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


            #3158 imajoseph

            imajoseph
            • Newbie
            • 12 posts

              Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:59 AM

              Hi BusyBee123

               

              Your trip report was amazing and so detailed, congratulations on your wedding it sounded awesome !

               

              I noticed you went on the Island Vibes Party Cruise, can you give me some contact information as we would like to book that cruise also, we are getting married in May and would like to pre-book it now so our guests can contact them before hand and book. We will likely have about 20 or so interested , will that be enough to get a group rate? how many did you have? Also how did you all get to Ochos Rios where it left from, did they provide transport to and from the resort?

               

              Many Thanks

              Chris



              #3159 BusyBee123

              BusyBee123
              • Jr. Member
              • 335 posts

                Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:42 AM

                Hey....

                 

                The woman I worked with was named Casita and her email is as follows: sales08@caribbeanworldvacations.com.  She works for Caribbean World/Island Routes.  She was absolutely fabulous to work with and helped us SO much!  Plus she responds super fast to email.   When we first booked we had 18 people....then ended up with only 14 going on the cruise and she allowed us to still use the group rate.  She also refunded us the deposit we had already paid for the extra 4 people.   We paid $70 per person.  

                 

                What we did was pay a 50% deposit at the time of booking, then paid the rest about a month and a bit before we went.  We paid for all of our guests, so it went directly on one credit card.  

                 

                The cruise includes transportation to and from Ocho Rios in a bus.  It also provides all snorkel equipement, Dunn's River admission, and the cruise, drinks, snacks.

                 

                Hope that helps! 

                 

                 

                Originally Posted by imajoseph 

                Hi BusyBee123

                 

                Your trip report was amazing and so detailed, congratulations on your wedding it sounded awesome !

                 

                I noticed you went on the Island Vibes Party Cruise, can you give me some contact information as we would like to book that cruise also, we are getting married in May and would like to pre-book it now so our guests can contact them before hand and book. We will likely have about 20 or so interested , will that be enough to get a group rate? how many did you have? Also how did you all get to Ochos Rios where it left from, did they provide transport to and from the resort?

                 

                Many Thanks

                Chris



                 



                #3160 Kim Deslippe

                Kim Deslippe
                • Newbie
                • 85 posts

                  Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

                  Thanks BusyBee,

                  Another thing I am curious about is if the music that the DJ has is current a little dated; maybe we should bring some CDs with newer stuff?

                  Definitely think we're going to book the gazebo and the DJ but skip the bartender (depending on the # of guests).
                  Thanks

                   

                  Originally Posted by BusyBee123 

                  Thanks so much!  I appreciate it!  

                   

                  I can understand where you're coming from.  You have a number of options.  The first is not to have a reception which is free.  A lot of the brides that didn't have receptions just wandered around on the terrace or went to the nightly entertainment and waited for the disco to open at 11pm.  That being said, dinner will be done by about 8:30pm so that's a long while to wait and most of their guests seemed to have gotten bored and dispersed.  For our guests, after dinner, we were all ready to continue the evening and spend more time together, so for us, moving to the gazebo was perfect.  I can't imagine the night ending there....I would have felt that it was incomplete and disappointed.  Plus we really wanted to have a traditional first dance and have everyone come together and do the sky lanterns. 

                   

                  For $250, you can rent the gazebo by itself, which really is the crucial part of the after reception should you choose to have one.  The problem with that is that there is no sound system included in the rental.  If you want the sound system, you have to pay for the DJ which is an additional $250.  To be honest, we were really impressed with the DJ and $250 isn't a lot of money compared to what you would be paying for a DJ at home.  What you could do is spend money on a sound system and bring it down with you, but to get a decent sound system that would project out there on  a windy point might cost you the same.   If you did get a sound system, I guess you could bring it home with you, however, if that's something you're interested in.  You'd have to assign a guest to DJ or change CDs for the evening.  

                   

                  With that many people, I can definitely understand why you would second guess the bar.  Honestly, if I had that many people, I probably wouldn't have gotten the bartender either.  With that number of people, perhaps you could assign two or three guys to be in charge of bringing down some of the beer that you collect from your rooms and getting the bartenders to mix you up some jugs of rum punch or something.  With only 16 of us, to lose 3 people to get drinks would have really toned down the fun! The wedding planners will provide ice and cups along with a table if you want to do that, so that's definitely a possibility to save money. 

                   

                  If you want my honest opinion, I would pay the $500 for the gazebo and DJ and figure out the drinks yourself.  Then you get your full evening reception and can just get a few guys to get drinks.  You only get to do this once, so make the most of it!  Hope that helps! 
                   



                   


                   

                  LOL...acw,

                  I don't think anyone's age matters on here, it's what you have to offer and I'm sure everyone would agree that you have soooo helpful. 



                  Originally Posted by acw271011 

                  awww. that's really a shame. it's awful when you don't feel well while on vacation. I've had that happen and it's really no fun.  there was only one person from here that was there at the same time I was and I managed to just see her walk down the walkway, then I had to run for my trial hair appt. the FI took some pictures though. her colour was aqua too and it looked beautiful. there are only a couple more that I'd like to see the reviews from then I guess I'm all through with this site. I'm the old lady here I think and I'd like to see how you girls make out with your weddings before I sign off lol  we're already planning to go back to the resort in October for our first anniversary and have now fallen in love with Jamaica. congrats again!  oh - by the way, my son lives in parkwood hills on Meadowlands.

                   



                   



                   






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