Well ladies, Iâ€™m back! We stayed at GBP from January 14-21, 2012 and got married on the 18th. We certainly had the most beautiful day to get married...hardly any wind at all. I donâ€™t want to repeat everything that some of the other ladies have said to Iâ€™ll just do some highlights.
We met with Chandlyn the day after we arrived. She had placed a note under our door the night before to let us know when our meeting with her was booked for. At the meeting she pretty much had everything written down that I had emailed her about. Just a few last minute corrections. Since I hired Paula and Damian from Sungold to do our pictures I told Chandlyn I did not want the resort photographer present and that I didnâ€™t need the 5 free pictures that come with the package. Since I was skipping the pictures she offered to give me an extra layer of cake for free. Then I gave her our wedding favours and we paid for everything on credit card and we were set.
Our ceremony was at 4pm. I almost wouldâ€™ve preferred a 3:00pm ceremony just to have a little bit of buffer time between the ceremony, pictures, and dinner. I felt a little rushed trying to freshen up before dinner. We were supposed to eat at the Grill but they moved us to the Palmyra (buffet restaurant) which was okay since it was much quieter than the Grill. Despite the change in location we were still able to eat the food I had selected from the Grill (chicken Caesar Salad, beef vegetable soup, mix grill, and cheesecake). The food was good, people swapped parts of the mixed grill amongst each other to get more of what they liked which worked well. My favourite was the soup. They had the cake table there and brought out the cake once everyone was finished their main course. Since we were only a group of 23 we all sat at one long table which felt less formal and as such more comfortable for us. After dinner we went back to the gazebo for dancing, drinks, and entertainment. We hired the bartender who was really nice but doesnâ€™t stock Red Stripe, so if you have lots of beer drinkers you might want to skip the bartender (I wish I had now that I know). We also hired the hat field dancers, who do some fire dancing, to perform. I would give them a 3 out of 5. They werenâ€™t super but it was still entertaining to watch. It also filled up some of our dance time which was good since we donâ€™t have a lot of people in our group who like to dance. Overall the wedding was great, and our guests said everything was lovely. The only one who noticed anything wrong was me because I put so much time and effort into planning everything.
Things that went wrong:
They delivered all of the flowers to my room, and because I was busy getting ready I didnâ€™t realize until it was too late that they had left the menâ€™s bouts in my room too. I panicked but thankfully our photographer, Damian from Sungold, offered to run them down to the guys at the gazebo. Crisis averted!!
I had given fans to Chandlyn at the meeting to be placed on the chairs at the gazebo. I guess she had given them to Donnalee and then Donnalee gave them to a â€œtraineeâ€ to hand out. My guests never did get the fans. Turns out the â€œtraineeâ€ gave them to the bride that had her ceremony at 2:00pm instead of my group at 4:00pm. Needless to say I was REALLY ticked off! It was frustrating sorting this out as Donnalee insisted that they had been given out. After talking to her about it a couple days after the wedding she still insisted that she didnâ€™t know what happened but offered to have our marriage certificate mailed to us express post.
I paid the resort to provide the chair ties. I gave explicit direction on what the color should be (purple in the same shade as my orchids). They ended up using a much darker purple which I wasnâ€™t really thrilled about. They also decorated the gazebo in the same color but then tied lime green bows at the bottom of the pillars, which I thought was hideous and still have no idea why they did that.
My wedding cake was 3 tiers. I had asked for coconut, chocolate, and vanilla raspberry. I ended up getting 2 layers of vanilla raspberry and one layer of chocolate. I complained about this to Donnalee and she said she was going to check into it with the pastry chef...but nothing ever happened.
We had the DJ play music for the ceremony. While he played the right songs at the right places, I assumed that he would fade out the songs before turning them off. Wrong again! As soon as people got to their spots the DJ abruptly turns off the music. So if you want a nice fade out perhaps burn the CD that way.
Aside from the wedding, we went to the Japanese restaurant 2 days before the wedding where the chef burned my face with hot oil. He didnâ€™t even ask if I was okay, just looked over and then kept going about his business. The other 9 people around the table saw what happened and were shocked but at least showed concern and asked if I was okay. Had I not been wearing my glasses my eyes wouldâ€™ve been burned. I didnâ€™t report the incident right away and then when I did bring it forward the woman from PR basically called me a liar because I hadnâ€™t reported it sooner.
Things to Rave about:
Damian and Paula from Sungold are AMAZING! While they are somewhat expensive I thought (and hubby thinks too) that they were worth every penny. Damian was so kind when I had a bit of a freakout about the flowers before the ceremony and tried to help in any way he could. His eye for detail is second to none. Heâ€™d always make sure my necklace was straight and that â€œthe girlsâ€ (since Iâ€™m busty) were always properly covered, and that I was looking perfect all day. We did a next day trash the dress shoot at Coyaba gardens, and Damian and Paula picked us up from the resort in their own vehicle and drove us. I was feeling really sick that day and both Damian and Paula were so sweet. Theyâ€™d stop the car occasionally to let me out for some fresh air and even stopped and bought me a drink to help settle my stomach. The few pics that I saw on their camera were phenomenal! I really canâ€™t say enough about them. They are truly gifted photographers and are just fantastic people all around.
Rashel Edwards is undeniably gifted at what she does. I had her do my makeup for my wedding and next day TTD session and I felt like a beauty queen both days. She was definitely worth the money! If youâ€™re unsure about hiring her, just know that she will make you look flawless for your wedding. She was also so pleasant, patient, and understanding. I was really late for my appointment with her (I mixed up the time I was supposed to meet her) but she just waited for me (thank god!) and quickly got to work once I arrived. She really is a gem and her work speaks for itself!
Overall we had a nice vacation. The resort is huge but has lots of options for things to do. I had read in some reviews that the bugs were bad but we didn't notice this to be a problem. The best place to eat is Don Pabloâ€™s (get the chateaubriand). The best snorkelling is by the wedding gazebo. The best sand for the beach is towards the nude beach. Relax, explore, and enjoy! Know that not everything will go according to plan but just roll with it and youâ€™ll still have fun. If anything is wrong talk to your travel rep right away and hopefully they can get you some type of compensation.
If you have any questions just ask!