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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#3721 lenyblair

lenyblair
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    Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

    I got married in April at the Gran Bahia Pricipe in Jamaica. It really was the best day of my life.

     

    We arrived in the evening on Saturday and they had a separate area set up for my group. We had about 60 ppl with us so it was nice to have our own area to check in.

     

    We got a note under our door stating when our wedding was scheduled for and when to meet with Chandalyn. The note said that our wedding was for 11 am on the Thursday which freaked us out because we were supposed to be married at 4 pm...so Chandalyn met with us immedietly to clear things up and reassure us that the 11 am was a typo. We sat with her for maybe 15 minutes and went over everything we wanted regarding food, flowers, decorations, cake, music, etc...the meeting was so quick, it was nice but worried me at the same time. I gave Chandalyn a bag of the stuff I brought down with me and she assured that it would be at the reception. I had no choice but to trust her and enjoy my days before the wedding.

     

    The night before our wedding we had a rehersal dinner booked at the steakhouse (awesome) and met with Donnalee to do a run through of the ceremony. Donnalee is great she explained everything that was going to happen, we did a quick run through. we gave her our cd with the songs on it for the ceremony and then we were done!

     

    On the morning of the wedding it was pouring rain and our room flooded, we had to switch to a new room so we were running around like crazy. It all worked out and at 11 my MOH and I went for mani/pedi and the rest of the bridal party joined so we could all get our hair done.

     

    The salon did a great job on our nails and hair, we opted out of makeup and did our own, but the girls I saw for the wedding before me had their makeup done and looked beautiful.

     

    We were told to be in the lobby at 3:45 and Donnalee on the golf cart came to pick us up. She was right on time with the golf cart decorated for us to ride down on.

    We chose not to pay for many extras but the gazebo was decorated with tulle and black (my bm dresses were black) and the chairs had a white cover on top.

    The ceremony went off without a hitch,and  the songs were all played perfectly. When the ceremony was done, every guest was greeted with a glass of champagne and the dj played some background music while we all mingled.

     

    Most of our guests took time to go to the lobby bar where we got pictures taken. The lobby bar is where we seemed to congregate all week and it is huge and open air so it was a good choice after the ceremony.

     

    The reception/dinner started at 6 pm. We chose to rent out the Dolce Vita and this was the best choice ever. It was cool and air conditioned and decorated nicely. I gave Donnalee some battery operated tea lights before hand and some crystals for the table and my seating list and they did the rest. It was beautiful. They had little menu/programs made up for each place and the tables were perfect. They had round tables for our guest and a long head table.



    #3722 lenyblair

    lenyblair
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      Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:05 PM

      PRESSED ENTER TOO QUICKLY....FULL REVIEW!!!

       

       

      I got married in April at the Gran Bahia Pricipe in Jamaica. It really was the best day of my life.

       

      We arrived in the evening on Saturday and they had a separate area set up for my group. We had about 60 ppl with us so it was nice to have our own area to check in.

       

      We got a note under our door stating when our wedding was scheduled for and when to meet with Chandalyn. The note said that our wedding was for 11 am on the Thursday which freaked us out because we were supposed to be married at 4 pm...so Chandalyn met with us immedietly to clear things up and reassure us that the 11 am was a typo. We sat with her for maybe 15 minutes and went over everything we wanted regarding food, flowers, decorations, cake, music, etc...the meeting was so quick, it was nice but worried me at the same time. I gave Chandalyn a bag of the stuff I brought down with me and she assured that it would be at the reception. I had no choice but to trust her and enjoy my days before the wedding.

       

      The night before our wedding we had a rehersal dinner booked at the steakhouse (awesome) and met with Donnalee to do a run through of the ceremony. Donnalee is great she explained everything that was going to happen, we did a quick run through. we gave her our cd with the songs on it for the ceremony and then we were done!

       

      On the morning of the wedding it was pouring rain and our room flooded, we had to switch to a new room so we were running around like crazy. It all worked out and at 11 my MOH and I went for mani/pedi and the rest of the bridal party joined so we could all get our hair done.

       

      The salon did a great job on our nails and hair, we opted out of makeup and did our own, but the girls I saw for the wedding before me had their makeup done and looked beautiful.

       

      We were told to be in the lobby at 3:45 and Donnalee on the golf cart came to pick us up. She was right on time with the golf cart decorated for us to ride down on.

      We chose not to pay for many extras but the gazebo was decorated with tulle and black (my bm dresses were black) and the chairs had a white cover on top.

      The ceremony went off without a hitch,and the songs were all played perfectly. When the ceremony was done, every guest was greeted with a glass of champagne and the dj played some background music while we all mingled.

       

      Most of our guests took time to go to the lobby bar where we got pictures taken. The lobby bar is where we seemed to congregate all week and it is huge and open air so it was a good choice after the ceremony.

       

      The reception/dinner started at 6 pm. We chose to rent out the Dolce Vita and this was the best choice ever. It was cool and air conditioned and decorated nicely. I gave Donnalee some battery operated tea lights before hand and some crystals for the table and my seating list and they did the rest. It was beautiful. They had little menu/programs made up for each place and the tables were perfect. They had round tables for our guest and a long head table.

       

      The waitstaff was great, they served dinner quickly and it was amazing....especially the pasta!!!!!

      After dinner we had speeches and cut the cake which they served with dessert. The cake was kinda lopsided and ugly but it was DELICIOUS!!!!

       

      I think the dolce vita was such a great choice because we had the dinner in the main restaurant and then off to the side is the round room where we had our dance party set up.

      After dinner we migrated over to the round room to do our first dance, father/daughter and mother son dances. The we danced the night away!! The DJ was great, dj was included in the closeout fee for the dolce vita so we decided to take a a chance and go with it. We have no complaints he took requests and played great music for dancing.

       

      We had an open bar but we didn't pay the 20 something pp for it. We spoke directly to one of the bartenders and he set us up with a bartender for the night and all the booze we needed for 300 bucks. We tipped him well and our guests did too. We had over 50 adults who like to drink and we didn't run out of booze.

       

      At 11pm we finished our reception where we went outside to let off chinese lanterns. After that we had some ppl go to bed and some off to the Karaoke bar.

       

      But all in all it was the best night of our lives!!!!



      #3723 lenyblair

      lenyblair
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        Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:13 PM

        Originally Posted by Kristo 

        Oh and if you can, book your a la cartes a week in advance.  If you don't, you might find that they have no availability once you get there or there are really late times available.  You can book those through prexecutivebpjam@bahia-principe.com

         

        And our room was upgraded to the 5th floor, with a great view of the gazebo so I was able to see exquisite02's  wedding and her pics afterwards!  They looked great and their colours were amazing!  I ran into her the next day, right before I was getting into the golf cart to get married… she was just back from her TTD session and she was wet from head to toe!  But she still looked beautiful!  Glad I got to meet them when we were down there as we've been talking for about a year now. 

         

         

        I booked a bachelorette party dinner and rehersal dinner before hand using the email above and by doing so it didn't use up any of our a la carte allowance. I also found that if you booked a la carte once you got there and booked for 4 ppl then the other two ppl in your group didn't use up an a la carte. So if friends take turn booking then you can get more meals. A few of us ate in the a la carte restaurants every day there!



        #3724 lenyblair

        lenyblair
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          Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

          I am getting an error when I try uploading pics...can anyone help?



          #3725 ChelseaW

          ChelseaW
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            Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:15 PM

            That's so smart! I'm getting married Dec 6/12 and booked Merrick Cousley as my photographer. He's going to be staying at the resort and as one of our guests, we should be able to avoid the vendor fee! Fingers crossed they don't give us too much trouble about it!



            #3726 ChelseaW

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              Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

              Originally Posted by Kristo 

              Nope, didn't have to pay it.  First, they never questioned me about my photographer when I was there, but my wedding planner here in Canada had already contacted Chandlyn about it and they agreed that I wouldn't be charged the fee as I had booked my wedding last April, BEFORE they new fee came into place. 

               

              And second, my photographer ended up booking a room there for the night, so even if they had questioned me about her, I would have told them my photographer was one of my guests at the resort.  So it all worked out!

               

              That's so smart! I'm getting married Dec 6/12 and booked Merrick Cousley as my photographer. He's going to be staying at the resort and as one of our guests, we should be able to avoid the vendor fee! Fingers crossed they don't give us too much trouble about it!

              Our wedding has been booked since March, and if the vendor fees don't come into effect until August then hopefully it should be a non issue anyway since we booked before they instituted vendor fees. But I called the GBP yesterday and talked to Donna Lee, and she was pretty adamant that everyone from this point on would have to pay vendor fees, so who knows.



              #3727 ChelseaW

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                Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:25 PM

                Oops, that was supposed to be in reply to Kristo's post about vendor fees! I'm new! lol!



                #3728 FutureKeese22

                FutureKeese22
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                  Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:52 PM

                  How many songs do you need for your wedding? Just burn them on a cd and give it to the dj? We are hiring the steel drum band to play as well. Will we need music on a cd if we are having the steel drum band play? We aren't doing a private dinner so can we bring stuff to put on the tables? What do you brides recommend for a guest book? Any recommended websites? My wedding isn't until June 22, 2013 so I have a little over a year, but I just want to be prepared! Any suggestions or websites on what to do for out of town bags? Or should I skip out of town bags? I found someone on etsy who would make custom mugs for the pool for all my guests for around $150. Thanks ladies!



                  #3729 JayKay

                  JayKay
                  • Sr. Member
                  • 3,472 posts
                  • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
                  • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
                  • LocationSouthern Alberta

                  Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:30 PM

                  If you are having the steel drum band you probably dont need a CD of music unless there are songs you want that they cant play.  I'm sure you can put stuff on the tables even if you arent doing a private dinner, I'm not positive though, as we never brought anything for our tables, just used what the resort provided.  For our guest book we used a fingerprint tree that we did after the dinner.  Everyone thought it was a great idea and I love the fact that It now hangs in our house and we get to look at it every day.  Our guests loved their OOT bags, I would suggest doing them if you can.  I also think custom mugs are a great idea.  Thats one thing I wish we would have done, but it just wasnt within our budget.

                  Originally Posted by FutureKeese22 

                  How many songs do you need for your wedding? Just burn them on a cd and give it to the dj? We are hiring the steel drum band to play as well. Will we need music on a cd if we are having the steel drum band play? We aren't doing a private dinner so can we bring stuff to put on the tables? What do you brides recommend for a guest book? Any recommended websites? My wedding isn't until June 22, 2013 so I have a little over a year, but I just want to be prepared! Any suggestions or websites on what to do for out of town bags? Or should I skip out of town bags? I found someone on etsy who would make custom mugs for the pool for all my guests for around $150. Thanks ladies!



                  #3730 acw271011

                  acw271011
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                  • 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 June 2012 - 10:17 AM

                   Congrats Krista!!  I'm so happy it all worked out for you!!  It sounds like you had a fabulous wedding.  I sent you a text but I think you had already left the country by then, so I hope you still got it!!  Can't wait to see your pics!!  I don't generally stop here anymore, but I knew your wedding was coming up so I wanted to see how things had gone.

                   

                  We're almost 8 months married now and are going back to the resort in October for our first anniversary. I can't wait. I still look back on our pics and love them. Our photographer did a wonderful job. All the reviews about Stacey on this site were great so I'm sure your photos will be fabulous!

                   

                  Originally Posted by Kristo 

                  Ok here it is.. my review.. FINALLY!!  Sorry for the delay!

                   

                   

                  Let me first say that no matter what happens while you're down there, or how stressed you might get, you're going to have a perfect day!  Even if something is slightly off, it won't matter, because you're marrying the man of your dreams!

                   

                  We met with Chandlyn two days after arriving.  Meeting with her was great, but it seemed VERY rushed and a little chaotic.  We were literally sitting in the lobby, going through our suitcase of all the wedding stuff we brought down and pointing out what we wanted done with everything.  She made notes, asked questions when needed but never looked stressed of frazzled (like we did!).  So after a 20-30 minute meeting, we walked away a lil worried and questioning whether it would all work out the way we planned it in our heads.

                   

                  She did have to look into a couple things and get back to us on some questions and requests we had.  She had the wrong a la carte booked for us in her notes, so she was checking on the Dolce Vita for us.  And she had mentioned the $250 fee that all brides are being charged and we questioned it as we had never received ANY communication from them regarding that.  (We later found out that she had emailed the communication to an incorrect email address, but they wouldn't budge on it, and basically told us that we had to pay it if we wanted to get married). 

                   

                  We had purchased the Unforgettable package.  We chose that package mainly because we were having 31 people so it worked out cheaper.  There were some freebies thrown in that we never received (romantic dinner for two, Jacuzzi at the spa and a couple other small things) because of conflicts and the wedding coordinators not getting back to us or returning phone calls.

                   

                  I had my hair trial the day before the wedding and took my ipad in with a picture of what I wanted.  She pretty much recreated the style I wanted and I was VERY happy with it.  She did my makeup as well, and I'm very picky but it turned out ok.  I ended up going back to my room and adding to it a bit and was happy with the outcome. 

                   

                  The day of the wedding, I went down with my bridesmaids and we all got our hair done.  They did the same to my hair again, and added some fresh flowers free of charge.  I had brought a fake flower that I wanted put in my hair but she opted in putting in fresh orchids and they looked amazing!   Also, their hairspray is truly AMAZING!!  Ladies, you'll have nothing to worry about.  I got married on a windy day and it still didn't budge!!!

                   

                  Went back up to my room and started getting ready.  I was sooo excited, not nervous at all!  I hadn't seen my fianc© since the night before and I was just so excited to see him and tell him everything that I've experienced!    I think the best feeling in the world is walking down from your room to the front lobby where they pick you up with the golf cart!   Everyone stares, wishes you good luck and tells you how pretty you look!  That's such a confidence boost right before your special moment!  So we got taken down to the gazebo (oh and I forgot to mention, they threw in the steel drum band for free for us.  We brought steel drum music to play and to walk down the aisle to but the band played music till we arrived, and then played after while we had champagne and took pictures!) and it was nice and cool and windy.  It was challenging on those stairs, so I would advise you ladies in heels to try it out a couple times in the week before you actually walk down in your dress.  The walk is long but before you know it, you're at the gazebo, with your friends and family looking on and your husband-to-be waiting to take you into the gazebo.

                   

                  The whole thing was magical!  I just couldn't stop smiling!!!  I don't think I've ever felt love so strong, right in that exact moment!   My fianc© just stood there, holding my hands and smiling, he was giddy!!  All he could say to me was "Wow!"

                   

                  The ceremony itself was good, the minister read what we asked him to read, and we did the sand ceremony as well.   Right after the sand ceremony my sister told me there was a rainbow in the sky, and it was the first one we saw all week long.  The rainbow was so symbolic for me as my Mom had passed away six years ago and it broke my heart that she wasn't with me on my special day.  But she truly was, as the rainbow appeared and a list misting of rain fell.  It was a magical moment that everyone noticed and my photographers caught on camera! 

                   

                  Aside from the photographer we hired (Stacey Clarke Photography was AMAZING and I would strongly recommend her to anyone!  Google her…  she is so friendly, and so accommodating!  Her packages were too high for our budget so I told her what we COULD afford and she worked within it.  We got her from 3:30-6pm on the wedding day and 1.5 hours the following morning for TTD - all for $850!!) we also had the resort photographer (which we received 15 photos from - they aren't bad at all, see some of them below) and my bridesmaids husband did the rest of the photography for us.  So we were WELL covered the whole day!    I haven't gotten anything back from Stacey yet, so all the pics I have are from the resort and my friends husband.  And if these pics are any indication on what my professional pics will look like, I can't wait!!!!

                   

                  After many congrats and pictures we went to the Dolce Vita for our reception dinner.  It was just perfect!  Private room, overlooking the ocean, but there were a few mosquitoes.   Our dinner was lovely, and very yummy and in between courses we did speeches.  It was the perfect sized room for 31 people with a head table and 3 tables full of our guests.    We cut our cake, which was delicious  and looked a lot better than some previous brides cakes, so I was quite happy.  We also set up our fingerprint tree in there and all our guests left behind their fingerprint and their name on the tree.

                   

                  After the dinner we all headed back down to the gazebo for the party!  We didn't hire the dj, nor did we hire a bartender.    Instead we just paid the $250 for the gazebo rental and brought our ipod full of music with a special playlist for the wedding especially.  Some of our friends had gone into town that morning and picked up lots of rum, vodka, beer and wine and had it all ready to go for us down there.  The only problem was there was no ice (that Donnalee had promised).  So after they ran back a couple times to find out where it was, they came down and delivered it to us.  While we were waiting for that though we set off the sky lanterns that we brought down.  They were a HUGE hit and everyone just loved them!  Some didn't quite make it up in the air and crashed into the ocean, but people still had a lot of fun doing them, taking pictures of them and making wishes. 

                   

                  Next was our first dance… it was beautiful!  We had provided everyone with sparklers and while we were dancing we looked around the entire gazebo and saw them all a glow!  It was another magical moment for us! 

                   

                  When you rent the gazebo you're only supposed to have it for 2 hours… they kept the lights and power on till midnight for us, which was great!  After that, some people called it a night, while others changed and headed to the disco!

                   

                  Our room was decorated when we got back with rose petals, towel swans in the shapes of heats and another bottle of Moet champagne (we had received one earlier in the week as well).   It was so pretty!   It was an amazing end to a long but amazing day!

                   

                  The next morning we got all dolled up again for our TTD session with Stacey.  Again, walking from our room down to the lobby was amazing as this time everyone was congratulating us and telling us how great we looked!  I remember a little girl stopping me and just staring with an open mouth and she finally said "You're soo pretty!"   Awww…  it just makes you feel amazing and I wanted to wear my dress every day for the rest of the vacation!  hahaha!

                   

                  So our TTD session was so fun!  Lots of cute pics with the bright blue sky behind us, and my dress standing out so well on that backdrop.  We took pics around the resort, down by the gazebo and then finally went into the ocean.  She left it up to us to be spontaneious and have some fun with it.   It was just a wonderful experience and if you keep an open mind and run with it, you'll have a blast getting your dress all dirty!

                   

                  Overall, there were some bumps and hiccups along the way, but the end result was a magical day we'll never forget.   We had a group of 31 with us, and you get pulled in a lot of different directions during the week.  Between friends, family and the wedding, you're VERY busy!  So try to make time for everyone, even if it's for brunch, or a drink at the pool bar, but just reaching out and spending a little bit of time with everyone goes a long way!   Also make sure that you make time for yourselves as it can become very overwhelming!  Just remember that you're in this together and no matter the stress level, you have each other to lean on.

                   

                  So to end the review, I just wanted to say that I can't tell you how much love I felt that day, and how much more I fell in love with my husband!    It truly was a dream come true and the perfect wedding!    I would do it again in a heartbeat!

                   

                  I'm sure I've missed some things, so if you have questions, just ask!


                  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/

                   

                   

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