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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?

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#4131 cherri

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    Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

    Hi ladies, I am looking to book out wedding for November of this year and was wondering how you girls got your dates reserved? Does anyone know how many weddings a day they have just curious? I am really hoping to book our date soon with a resort and this resort looks beautiful. Also does anyone know how long of a drive from the Montego airport it is to the resort? Would love to be able to hear what you ladies have been through.

    #4132 JayKay

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

    Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

    Yes, I was able to change everything with it.  Once I changed my drivers license most places only wanted to see my name changed on my drivers license and didn't even ask for that peice of paper. Honestly, everyone from those places looked at it and then asked where I was married and they had no idea it wasn't the 'real thing'.

    Originally Posted by FutureKeese22 

    With insurance, my drivers license, bank info, social security card etc yo can use that piece of paper?


    To resvere your wedding date you can email the wedding planners or call them.  Its probably faster to call them as it takes them awhile to get back via email.  The do 3 weddings most days, but not everyday.  Honestly, I didn't even notice there were any other weddings on my wedding day.  The drive from the Montego Bay airport to the resort for us took about 1hr20mins.  It really all depends on traffic and if its day time or night time


    Originally Posted by cherri 

    Hi ladies,
    I am looking to book out wedding for November of this year and was wondering how you girls got your dates reserved? Does anyone know how many weddings a day they have just curious? I am really hoping to book our date soon with a resort and this resort looks beautiful. Also does anyone know how long of a drive from the Montego airport it is to the resort? Would love to be able to hear what you ladies have been through.

    #4133 Koolaide

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      Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

      Originally Posted by Stay cee1 


      The oot bags I got last summer for $1 each at DollarRama...lol.  To be honest, they were perfect, I can inbox you a picture if you want.  I went with the survival kit (alcohol swabs, antibacteria, kleenex, bandaids, Tums, and advil).  Additionally I am doing iron-on transfers to t-shirts and a baseball cap for the men, I created the design using Powerpoint, to match my invitations, and just have to watch for the sale before buying the iron on paper for printing...I'll throw some snacks in closer to the time of travel, and we also plan to get on the island ahead of our guests,so we hope to find some island themed items down there to add in too.  Let me know if you need any more info...ie: contact for local printer/cardstock and so forth as you go about your planning.  Best of luck!!!

      Hi There,


      Would you be able to inbox me a pic of the survival kit?  I like the idea...I'm also doing a welcome bag and need some ideas what to put in it.  Thanks

      #4134 SarahInNS

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        Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:57 AM

        EEK! We're going for a week on vacation from Feb 15-22 to the GBP :)  Getting married there Nov 13. We figured we'd take a vacation now, and what better than to check out the resort! So excited!

        #4135 cdnbridelinzy

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          Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

          Originally Posted by FutureKeese22 

          Did you ladies order the wire free sky lanterns off justartifacts.net?


          Have any of you used the chair sashes the hotel provides? I need coral chair sashes & my parents would rather pay per sash rather than bringing our own down.

          I got mine off of that site, I liked that they were biodegradable. I ordered the "medium" ones, and they were the size that I thought the large ones would be.  


          I would still by your own sashes, and bring them, when they sent them to me in the mail, they were packaged super tight, and took up no room at all, and were very light, mind you we bought the organza ones, so they are very lightweight. I paid less than i dollar each for them and that was with shipping. I believe it was through table cloths factory. I believe they charge 2.50 to rent them through the resort. I guess it all depends on ho many guests you have, if its not many, you might be better off renting them, but if you have quite a few, that would add up.

          #4136 cdnbridelinzy

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            Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

            Originally Posted by belledame 

            Does anyone know if you have to pay for dinner per person in addition to the $1700 to shut down Pices restaurant?

            Yes you do, it all depends on what package you decide to go with. We went with the "free" package, which was far from that lol. So we had to pay on top of whatever number of people the package did not cover. eg: as far as I remeber, the free package covered 17 people, and anything over that number, we had to pay $20 per person, so we had to pay for 44 people at $20 per person, our costs of dinner on top of the $1700 rental fee was $880. and then you have to consider if you want an open bar, or just beer and wine served. Because they charge $16 per person, per hour for open bar.  But I think because we had such a large number of people she only charged us $23 per person and for 50 people, so that was an extra $1150. Lots of different costs to consider.....


            It is good to know though that the charge for chair covers and linens are included in the $1700 costs of renting the pisces. 

            #4137 cdnbridelinzy

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              Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

              Alright ladies, this is gonna be a loooonnnngggg review, I made a huge cup of coffee before sitting down to do this lol. I am going to try to give as much detail  and answer as many questions as I can. I also have to apologize that this review may be a little all over the place, as I will just add things as they come to mind!lol

              The absolute biggest piece of advice I can give you guys, is not to stress. I planned ALOT down to the last detail, all my friends thought I was kind of defeating the purpose of doing a destination wedding, with all of the work I put into everything. But in my mind, I had 61 people coming, and paying a heck of alot of money to be there for our wedding, so I wanted them to feel special. Also, my background is design, so I couldnt help but add my own "flair" to everything. With that being said, once we got there, I had to let it all go and hope that it would turn out the way i imagined in my head, and they did an amazing job!!! Dont sweat the small stuff, there were a few smalls things that only I noticed, that noone else would have known any better. We brough quite alot of decorations with us. I brought centerpieces for all of the tables, paper lanters, strings of lights, fire lantersn, chair sashes, sand ceremony frame, menus, candle holders, a couple of banners, silk flowers, cake topper, napkins printed out with our names and date, disposable cameras for the tables. Like i said, down to the last detail. I was lucky enough that one of the groomsmen(Well, my bridesman- one of my best male friends was part of our bridal party, but stood up on James' side) travels light. So he had all of his stuff in his carry on, and I was able to get him to check a whole suitcase full of decorations, and my dad took a carry on for me with all of the glass stuff, my sister took a carry on with all of the flowers, and we dispersed a few things throughout everyone suitcases. The two of us checked 3 suitcases between the both of us, one being 35lbs and full of the OOT bags. With air transat, we were able to get an extra 10 kgs each, so we had a total of 132 lbs of baggage allowance.

              When we were there, it was fairly overcast, and the day before the wedding, it rained non stop, they said they have never seen that much rain come down for a day straight, so we were a little concerned, but the day of the wedding, the weather was perfect!  We did the rehersal inside, since it was raining, they do have a back up for if it rains, definately not as nice, but there is a back up.


              Check in was fairly quick, as far as I know, I dont believe anyone had any major issues checking in. I know quite a few ppl had issues throughout the trip with their cards not working and having to trek all the way back to front desk. This happened to us our wedding night.


              Everyone got really drunk and we all partied quite late the first night.  Then we met with Chandlyn the next morning to iron out all of the details.  I think she eliminated some of the fees for us such as the vendor fee for the makeup artist and hairdresser, because we were paying for so many guests for food drink, etc. Our photographer, Genevieve Albert had us pay for her weeks stay which was part of her rate, so we told Chandlynn that my cousin was going to be taking the photos-which was Geneieve and they had no problem with that. They also had their resort photographer take photos for us since it was included in the package and they turned out surprisingly well.

                We got bouts for the groomsmen, which were $15 each from the resort, and I bought all of the bridesmaids flowers and mine and my dads, and James' bouts from etsy from an amazing seller: http://www.etsy.com/...=af_you_favitem her shop is kate said yes. The girls bouquets were $30, and mine was $120 I believe, and they bouts were around 10-15$ if I remember correctly.

              We paid to have an open bar for 2 hours and instead they had the bar open and set up for us all evening which was great, because I was a little choked about having to pay so much for booze at an all inclusive resort.  Rather than the resort charging us $16 per person, per hour, they charged us $23 per person, and charged us for 50 people.  Again, i think it was because we had so many guests.

              We went with the "free" package which was not so free, lol.  It covered 17 people for dinner, and we had to pay for the remaining people at $20 per person, so it worked out to $880 for dinner. 

              They allowed us to put the cost of the minister of $250 on our credit card, i know previously they wanted it in cash.

              We also hired the steel drum band for an hour ($400) for the ceremony, so they played when the guests were being seated and then after the ceremony for champagne. Seems like quite a big cost that we probably could have gone without, but we werent there for most of it, so thats probably why i would say that.



              When we were checking in, it was quite busy and when we asked if they could give out all of the OOT bags to the rooms, they said that we would have to bring them to the front desk the next day, so when we saw Chandlyn we brought her the suitcase and she handled having the deievered, most people got them by evening time that day and soe the next day. We originally wanted to have them all put into our guests rooms before they got to their rooms, but that was one of hose little things that we just let go, because no one ever would have known. REally once you get there, there are No Worries Man!!!

              Anything that we asked of Chandlynn, she was able to accomodate, I was slightly worried becasue everything I asked, she just said mmm hmmmm, and I was hoping that she wasnt doing that just to shut me up hahaha, but everything we asked, she delievered on. We had asked for a seperate table to be set up for shots, we wanted people to do a shot for us to kiss, rather than clink glasses. And she set up another table for our guestbook and a candle we wanted set up in memory of people that couldnt be there .Alot of little things we asked for were all done!


              I also took a few pics of how I wanted the centerpieces set up and some of the decorations to look, so that I knew they would be set up the way I envisioned. And made a list of where I wanted things set up, since we had brought so many decorations down with us. 


              The day we had our consultation with Chandlynn, Jan.11th, I also had my hair trial with Sophia, the hairdresser that works with Rashel. I am soooo glad I did this, as I wasnt too sure how I wanted my hair, she an was absolute pleasure to work with. It helped knowing exactly how my hair would look the day of the wedding, and it also sped things up the day of the wedding knwoing exactly how she was going to do my hair. I know all of the brides say it is windy down at the gazebo, but it is unbelievably windy, she sprayed the crap out of my hair, thank god, and it stayed all day and all night. If you plan on wearing a veil or birdcage, I would strongly suggest reconsidering, I was originally going to wear a bird cage, but am very glad I didnt. Unless you can tell that its not a super windy day, which ours was. It gets crazy windy down there by the gazebo.



              Excursion:We got in on the 10th, and gave our guests a day to relax and then had a group excursion booked for the 12th.  We went through Jaital tour, also know as Juta. And I have to say I was very shocked that every one of the 51 people that were going on the excursion showed up at 9:30 that morning considering how hard everyone partied the night before. I organized the excursion before I I left Canada with Jaital online, through email.  They quoted me $89 per person for a private excursion, they picked us up at the resort at 9:30am, and took us to Dunn River Falls, and split us into 2 groups since there was so many of us, after we climbed the falls, we got on the 2 buses they had for us and went to the river tubing excursion which was a blast!!! We floated down the river and about half way through it started pouring rain on us, which was sooo cool. I cant explain how awesome this experience this was with 50 of my closest friends and family, just us and the tour guides! They then took us to the ruins, which was a restaraunt with an amazing buffet which everyone loved(this unlimited food was also included in the cost) After that they took us to the Taj Mahal, which is a touristy kind of market, here you can buy all of your souveniers, and you can barter here too. Then he was going to take us to a beach afterwards, but everyone was pretty beat after that and it was pretty overcast so we had the take us back to the resort. I think after all of that, we got backto the resort probably late afternoon.  The guide that we had was fantastic, his name is Alphonso, and he gave us his number in case we wanted to go on another excursion. We called him our second week there, and the remaining 9 of us went on another excursion with him, which he did privately for us. The nice thing about this company is that it isnt a set excursion like all of the other companies, so you can tailor it to what you want to do. We wanted to go to Bob Marleys house on the second week, and the tour operator through the resort charged $90 to go there and back, and we call Alphonso and he took us there, and to an actual Jamiacan market, not the touristy one(Even though they still had all the same stuff the Taj Mahal Market had) and to Margaritaville and to a fabric store and then we originally planned to go to the beach too, but it was super overcast that day too. We were gone all day long, and he took s wherever we wanted to go, all for $70. He was great, but I do have to warn you, they drive verrryyy different there. I have traveled all over Europe and to many other countires, and I think this was the scariest, was driving up to Bob Marleys house through the mountains and in downtown Ocho Rios.  

              With our large group excursion they would have charged us $89 per person if we brought cash, but they let us pay online in full beforehand with a 4% fee, which I just added to each of our guests  fee. Everyone emailed transfered us money before hand and whoever paid us, we sent that money in full online to Jaital. So it was all paid for in full when we got there, and that way people werent able to ditch out since they already paid. the website that you can email and get a quote for what you want is :  http://www.jaital.co...-jamaica-1.html .

              And if you want to organize something once you get down there, call Alphonso directly: (876)480-5320. You can call directly from your room, but keep in mind all local calls are $1/minute.

              #4138 cdnbridelinzy

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                Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

                Wedding day:  James and I were going to sleep apart the night before, but I figured that I would get a better sleep th night before the wedding if I felt comfortable, which meant him being there with me. Not that we got to sleep early, our neighbors were out all night and their alarm was going off and it took forever for the hotel to finally get it shut off. It was soooo loud.  I called front desk and they said they couldnt just go into someones room without them there. So I threw the "Im getting married tomorrow, and I need my sleep" card lol. So they said they would send security, which took forever, so I went to find security and they told me the same thing, and that they would have to get maintenance. At this point I was almost in tears just needing to get some sleep, not knowing if that dam alarm would ever get turned off. Finally after about 1am they finally got someone in there to get it turned off. 

                As soon as I woke up that morning, i kicked james out and took a shower, which is a great idea,kinda calms your nerves and so refreshing first thing. My 4 bridesmaids showed up, and we went for breakfast. Then we headed back to the room, as Rashel and Sophia were showing up at 9, because they were doing my hair and makeup as well as my 4 bridesmaids and my moms too. I totally reccommend hiring them, as it is so nice for all the girls to hang out and drink chamnpagne in the room as we were all getting dolled up, rather than waiting our turn to go to the salon. It was really lax and chill which I think helped me not be nervous before the ceremony. I beleive the makeup was $65 per girl, and $70 for hair. I think my makeup was a little more though, but I would say extremely good quality and even cheaper than the resot. But she books up FAST.  The photographer came and took pics from 11;30-12:30 and then went to take pics of the guys getting ready and then came back to our room to take pics of me getting into my dress and my dad showing up to see me for the first time.  Then we went don to meet the golf cart at 1:45, as the ceremony was at 2. I have to say I did SOOO well, I thought I would be a wreck and same with my parents. But we just kept laughing and cracking jokes to keep it light and we all did really well, James on the other hand, was a mess, which was so cute. Everyone thought I would be the worse, and my mom, but James couldt even form a sentence without choking up or tearing up. Chandylnn met us at the top of the stairs leading to the aisle when we got to the ceremony. I gave my brother my ipod with our music that morning and asked him to fade the bridesmaids song in and out and my song too, so that they didnt just skip to it abruptly. Chandlynn queued the groomsmen and bridemaids when to walk down the aisle and made sure that I was hidden. At that moment as I was about to walk down the aisle with my parents she asked where the other color sand was for our sand ceremony. We had black a one, and were wanting to use to sand from the beach for the other, which must have gotten lost in communications. So I told her if we couldnt get the sand, then we wouldnt do the sand ceremony. But by the time the sand ceremony came up, she had the beach sand ready to go in the vase for us :). I had the biggest perma smile on my face and then started tearing up once I got right up to the back of the chairs where all of our guests were. 

                Like I mentioned before, it was crazzzzyyy windy, and I dont think most of the guests even heard any of the ceremony, they need a cover for the mic to cut the wind. I would reccommend one of you suggesting that to them. You would think with how windy it is down there and the having about 3 weddings a day, they would have that done already. We had re-written the ceremony because the two of us are not that religous. A very big thankyou to JayKay for giving me a hand with this.  

                Because of Chandlynn getting the sand off of the beach by the gazebo, there were alot of rocks in it, so our sand ceremony that was supposed to be short, took ALOT longer than we anticipated as all of the rocks kept getting stuck in the funnel. The minister was so sweet and was helping pick out the rocks, but he was determined to get all the sand in there. After he introduced us as husband and wife we got champagne and went off to the side to have people congratulate us. We didnthave a formal recieving line, we just visited and hugged everyone. Then they got all of us together for a big group shot. As we were doing this, they were changing all of the tulle color to pink for the next wedding. Once everyone left we started tking pics with the bridal party nd got kicked out shortly after since there was another wedding starting up. we then went and took bridal party pictures elsewehere on the resort and then pics with just James and myself. Which we finished at about 5:30 and guests arriving at the picses at 6. I asked the girls to go take a look at how everything was set up while James and I were off taking pictures. She said she went by at about 4:30 and the snack bar was still open with people till eating in their bathing suits, and they didnt start setting up until 5. So ourselves and the bridal party were supposed to show up at 6:15 and it started a little later than we would have liked, which meant we missed having any pictures with the sunset in the background, as it was completely dark when we showed up.


                We had my uncle MC, and he had chandlynn help him set up a makeshift podium out of some boxes and crates and threw a table cloth over top lol which worked fine. Dinner was great, and everyone loved it! Like I said before, they were supposed to only have an open bar for the dance for 2 hours, but they opened it up as soon as people  got there and all night long. We wanted to have speeches and dinner and the fire lanterns all done by 8, but because it started a little later and speeches went longer, we werent done till about 9.  Everyone loved the fire lanterns and said it made the night extra special. We got 1 lantern for every 2 people, and bought lighters from the dollar stoe and brought them with us, so people didnt have to fool around with matches trying to light them. If it is windy, do not do this, we had one that did not light quite right and started falling back towards the resort and we were freaking out that it would land on the super dry palapas at the pisces and that would have been BAD, but it landed on the roof of the italian...phhewwf!! All of the rest took of beautifully!! I know a few brides were worried about the bugs, we even had a station with bugspray set up saying"be smitten, not bitten". But it was not needed. A few of us had a few bites around our ankles over the whole trip, but no worries about the bugs if you get the pisces :).Then we did our first dance, and then the father-daughter dance, and then a bridal party/everyone slow dance. We had our whole playlist worked out, so that there were some older rock songs in there for our parents and older folks, but the dj kept playing the in random order, so I asked him leave it in order and not the touch it lol, then he kept adding really terrible sound effects to all of the sounds which was really annoying. I thought it was one of our super drunk frinds that got ahold of the mic and making stuppid sound effects. So one of my bridesmaids went and asked him to stop doing that. I felt kind of bad, cuz he just sat there all night, but thats how we wanted the music.  I was inda bummed because it was only like an hour and a half of dancing before we were supposed to get shut down. But I had mentioned to my uncle, that "I wonder how much we could pay them to play a bit longer". Then he cam back and said that we were good to midnight!! So I dont know what he paid them, but they kept the bar open and the dj going till midnight, which really got things rolling. The night wouldnt have been quite the same if we didnt get to stay there longer.  We also tipped the servers and bartenders well, so I think thats why they were ok to stay.  My best advice for tipping them, is to go up to all of them and give the money to one of the workers and say that it is for all of them to share. I guess if you give it to the supervisor, the rest of them will not see it. Or if you give it to one of them and tel them to share it, they will keep it for themselves. Once they shut us down there, mostly everyone headed to the disco. I went back to my room to get out of my dress and air out in the airconditioning and then put it back on, which was a good idea.Then headed to the disco. We lost a few of the super hammered ones after that. We shut the disco down and my brother had grabbed a bunch of bottles of booze from the recption, so a bunch of people grabbed cups and pop for mix, and we heded down to the gazebo. Which the lights were still on which worked perfect for us, cuz they would normally turn them off late at night. One of my unlces has a great bose dockin system and we kept partying down there all night, I think about 15 of us made is down there after the disco. At this pont it was probably about 3:30, so the troopers held strong, and we partied till about 5:30 am there. The bottom of my dress was absolutely black, and it got kind of snagged on the front, I tried so hard to keep it from getting wrecked :(



                By the time we dropped one of our friends off at her room, cuz she couldnt walk lol, we got back to our room and our key didnt work, so at 5:30 am we had to trek across the resort. So we probably ended up getting to bed at 6:30, we were troopers!! and it was sooo much fun partying all night with everyone.


                There was also another night that noone was using the gazebo for a reception and my brother found the power box and figured out how to tun the lights on, and we bought a few bottles of vodka rum and my cousin and brother  got a whole tray of pop and cups for mix and we partied down there all night again  That night and the wedding night, security showed up, and we tuned down the music when they came, and they were  like"what are you doing?? turn the music back up!" They just came to check on us, cuz a few people were getting quite close to the rocks by the ocean. We made them a couple of drinks and they hung out and chatted for awhile. Its pretty hard to get into trouble on the resort. there was about 10 of us partying on my uncles balcony ate one night and we were singing sweet caroline really loud and they came by ad told us to sing quieter lol. 


                All in all if you are considering the pisces, it is sooo nice to have it compeletly private and go from dinner righ to the dance, not to have to move everyone.  But also keep in mind, it is a huge space, it made look a little funny if you have a small group of people. But it is your day and is up to you! Just know that everything will be perfect as long as you dont stress the little things. I am soo excited for all of you and hope that helped you guys. Hope I wasnt rambling too much, just wanted to get out as much info as possible!!




                I know someone was asking if it was a new photographer on the resort, and I believe it is. I think thats why they incorporated an $800 photographer vendor fee, becasue they have a good photographer onsite now, and want brides to use them instead.



                As for decorations, Im not too sure what they supply, since we brought everything with us. In the pisces pictures the fabric on the insode of the palapas is included and the lights wrapped around the trunks of the palapas. We brought a bunch of string lights and that sure lit things up beautifully. I reccommend bringing a few boxes of those if you want o keep the decorations minimal for travelling. I didnt get back all of the decorations though. Half of my paper lanterns were not returned, which she said they probably got damaged while being take down, but I was missing 15 of them. I also didnt get back any of my beige metal candle holders, which there was a dozen of them, or any of my battery tealights . Let me know if any of you see them there ;) which kinda bugs me since we are most likely having an AHR, but I guess thats bound to happen. I got most of it back.



                I will try to answer as much as I can for you guys, hope this helped!!

                #4139 cdnbridelinzy

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                  Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

                  Here is a few pics of the picses, once I get the pics back from the photographer, I will post more as they will have better lighting with her flash and camera.








                  #4140 FutureKeese22

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                    Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

                    Thanks for all the info! Did you order the wire free sky lanterns? There are two different kinds? Wire free/and wire.

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