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What I would and wouldn't do again...


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#801 LisaJoy

LisaJoy
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  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
  • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:09 PM

@Melissa14 - you don't need anything. Save yourself the money and enjoy what nature has to offer. I just got back from my wedding in Jamaica. I am SO GLAD we went simple and save the money.

#802 LisaJoy

LisaJoy
  • Newbie
  • 64 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
  • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:49 PM

SECRETS WILD ORCHID WEDDING - 7/1/13 (hopefully some helpful tips) Fresh off the plane from Jamaica with many flight delays back to SFO. My heart goes out to the two teenage girls lost in the crash at SFO. 1. It was nice to experience the Romantic Private Candlelight Dinner on the beach the night prior to our wedding. We choose the 6:45pm start time to catch sunset and avoid people hanging out on the beach. The earlier start times were not so private. Definitely take advantage of this dinner for all you Secrets brides. Our server LENWORTH (Lenny) was awesome. 2. So so so glad I brought bug spray for the mosquitos. I would have been dinner for the mosquitos every night as they love my sweet blood. :/ 3. Expecting the normal 10 minute rains, it rained for a solid two hours (hard downpour) right up until our 4:00pm wedding. The wedding crew moved my husband inside the ballroom while I was still getting ready. Thank goodness he and I (and our photographer) were on the same page. I was willing to walk in sprinkles in order to use the gazebo. We didn't pay for Jamaica, wait a year only to be married in some ballroom. Though we had to insist many times, we were relocated 15 minutes after our start time. Though our wedding was 45 minutes delayed, it was well worth the stinkin' humidity and hot sunshine that followed. :) Sweat and all....we had a perfect wedding. 4. A must see romantic and chill show is SHYAM MOSES on Sunday nights in the Outdoor Theatre at 7 or 8pm. We danced to such romantic music. Get up and dance even if you are the only couple out there. We did!!! 5. Going into our meeting with the wedding coordinator, two days prior to our wedding, I was a little clueless to the wedding day process. Had I not done research and asked a lot of questions prior to arriving in Jamaica, I didn't feel very "guided" by the wedding department. Thank you to all the former Secrets Brides who paved a smooth road for me!!!! Everything turned out perfectly. 6. I negotiated with the cost of flowers. Secrets uses Tai Flora as their flower vendor. I looked at their options, asked for a quote, then opted to remove several types of flowers to lower the cost. I mean, who wants to pay $300 for a bouquet you use for 20 minutes? After it was all said and done, I negotiated an even lower rate of $185 for my bouquet. LOVED IT!!! It was beautiful and I saved money. Win win!! 7. Keep your wedding decor simple. There is no need to go crazy and spend a lot of money. Not to mention the cost and stress of getting it all there! 8. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE WEDDING COORDINATOR to NOT hang your dress out in the open once pressed!!!! Though I was pre-warned by another bride and made sure to state it needed to be put in the closet in the garment bag, my entire day was almost ruined. My husband and I were walking out the door when they arrived with our pressed attire. They had my dress in a CLEAR trashbag then proceeded to walk to the bed frame to hang it in all its glory!! I almost had a fit! I yelled at my husband to close his eyes and quickly instructed them to shove it in the closet. Ay yi yi!!! Oh, and my husband's garment bag was never returned to us. 9. Ask for JOAN if you get a massage at the SPA. She was amazing!!! And jump in the Ice Bath....it was awesome. 10. We choose the Bourdeau Restaurant (french) for our reception dinner. Saved the money on a $2,499 or $2,999 reception and ate a wonderful free dinner in a romantic air conditioned restaurant. Talk to the restaurant manager, in advance, to save a table. 11. Take lots of $1.00s for tips. We were there 10 days and ran out of the (50) $1.00s we brought. The staff does an amazing job. You are going to want to take care of them back. 12. Last thing, prior to your check out day, review your bill. I found a couple errors on ours. You can charge everything to your room. After so many days, you start to forget what you bought. 13. Use Jamaica Limited Tours for any excursions. We used Island Routes and found it to be very disorganized. Received the same feedback from others. Jamaica Tours is actually located on site for easy sign up on excursions. http://www.jamaicatoursltd.com/ All future weddings coming up....ENJOY your moment!!!! :)

#803 Bridetobe2014

Bridetobe2014
  • Jr. Member
  • 161 posts
  • Wedding Date:April 12, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Akumal Beach Resort

Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

@Melissa14 - you don't need anything. Save yourself the money and enjoy what nature has to offer. I just got back from my wedding in Jamaica. I am SO GLAD we went simple and save the money.

 

That is exactly what I think. I am going to use that money towards a better photography package and to spoil my bridesmaids :P

I am excited to marry the most loving man I have ever met and to become part of his amazing family.


#804 Peach

Peach
  • Sr. Member
  • 1,293 posts

    Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:07 PM

    Originally Posted by Bridetobe2014 

     

    That is exactly what I think. I am going to use that money towards a better photography package and to spoil my bridesmaids :P

     

    Yup, that is what we did... only now we ran into a snag... we spoiled our guests so much, we now have tons of that stuff to lug down with us! Ugh. At least we got it packed up into 3.5 suitcases... and it will not be returning home with us.



    #805 Melissa14

    Melissa14
    • Jr. Member
    • 304 posts
    • Wedding Date:July 27, 2013
    • Wedding Location:Dreams Los Cabos
    • LocationLos Angeles, CA

    Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:22 PM

    Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

    @Melissa14 - you don't need anything. Save yourself the money and enjoy what nature has to offer. I just got back from my wedding in Jamaica. I am SO GLAD we went simple and save the money.


    Thank you!!! Congrats!


    Marrying My 5th Grade "Boyfriend"...Life has a funny way of working itself out


    #806 Bridetobe2014

    Bridetobe2014
    • Jr. Member
    • 161 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 12, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Akumal Beach Resort

    Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:19 AM

    Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

    SECRETS WILD ORCHID WEDDING - 7/1/13 (hopefully some helpful tips) Fresh off the plane from Jamaica with many flight delays back to SFO. My heart goes out to the two teenage girls lost in the crash at SFO. 1. It was nice to experience the Romantic Private Candlelight Dinner on the beach the night prior to our wedding. We choose the 6:45pm start time to catch sunset and avoid people hanging out on the beach. The earlier start times were not so private. Definitely take advantage of this dinner for all you Secrets brides. Our server LENWORTH (Lenny) was awesome. 2. So so so glad I brought bug spray for the mosquitos. I would have been dinner for the mosquitos every night as they love my sweet blood. :/ 3. Expecting the normal 10 minute rains, it rained for a solid two hours (hard downpour) right up until our 4:00pm wedding. The wedding crew moved my husband inside the ballroom while I was still getting ready. Thank goodness he and I (and our photographer) were on the same page. I was willing to walk in sprinkles in order to use the gazebo. We didn't pay for Jamaica, wait a year only to be married in some ballroom. Though we had to insist many times, we were relocated 15 minutes after our start time. Though our wedding was 45 minutes delayed, it was well worth the stinkin' humidity and hot sunshine that followed. :) Sweat and all....we had a perfect wedding. 4. A must see romantic and chill show is SHYAM MOSES on Sunday nights in the Outdoor Theatre at 7 or 8pm. We danced to such romantic music. Get up and dance even if you are the only couple out there. We did!!! 5. Going into our meeting with the wedding coordinator, two days prior to our wedding, I was a little clueless to the wedding day process. Had I not done research and asked a lot of questions prior to arriving in Jamaica, I didn't feel very "guided" by the wedding department. Thank you to all the former Secrets Brides who paved a smooth road for me!!!! Everything turned out perfectly. 6. I negotiated with the cost of flowers. Secrets uses Tai Flora as their flower vendor. I looked at their options, asked for a quote, then opted to remove several types of flowers to lower the cost. I mean, who wants to pay $300 for a bouquet you use for 20 minutes? After it was all said and done, I negotiated an even lower rate of $185 for my bouquet. LOVED IT!!! It was beautiful and I saved money. Win win!! 7. Keep your wedding decor simple. There is no need to go crazy and spend a lot of money. Not to mention the cost and stress of getting it all there! 8. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE WEDDING COORDINATOR to NOT hang your dress out in the open once pressed!!!! Though I was pre-warned by another bride and made sure to state it needed to be put in the closet in the garment bag, my entire day was almost ruined. My husband and I were walking out the door when they arrived with our pressed attire. They had my dress in a CLEAR trashbag then proceeded to walk to the bed frame to hang it in all its glory!! I almost had a fit! I yelled at my husband to close his eyes and quickly instructed them to shove it in the closet. Ay yi yi!!! Oh, and my husband's garment bag was never returned to us. 9. Ask for JOAN if you get a massage at the SPA. She was amazing!!! And jump in the Ice Bath....it was awesome. 10. We choose the Bourdeau Restaurant (french) for our reception dinner. Saved the money on a $2,499 or $2,999 reception and ate a wonderful free dinner in a romantic air conditioned restaurant. Talk to the restaurant manager, in advance, to save a table. 11. Take lots of $1.00s for tips. We were there 10 days and ran out of the (50) $1.00s we brought. The staff does an amazing job. You are going to want to take care of them back. 12. Last thing, prior to your check out day, review your bill. I found a couple errors on ours. You can charge everything to your room. After so many days, you start to forget what you bought. 13. Use Jamaica Limited Tours for any excursions. We used Island Routes and found it to be very disorganized. Received the same feedback from others. Jamaica Tours is actually located on site for easy sign up on excursions. http://www.jamaicatoursltd.com/ All future weddings coming up....ENJOY your moment!!!! :)

    Your wedding sounded beautiful. I am sure the location was amazing.


    I am excited to marry the most loving man I have ever met and to become part of his amazing family.


    #807 pzl101

    pzl101
    • Jr. Member
    • 281 posts

      Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:34 AM

      Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

      SECRETS WILD ORCHID WEDDING - 7/1/13 (hopefully some helpful tips) Fresh off the plane from Jamaica with many flight delays back to SFO. My heart goes out to the two teenage girls lost in the crash at SFO. 1. It was nice to experience the Romantic Private Candlelight Dinner on the beach the night prior to our wedding. We choose the 6:45pm start time to catch sunset and avoid people hanging out on the beach. The earlier start times were not so private. Definitely take advantage of this dinner for all you Secrets brides. Our server LENWORTH (Lenny) was awesome. 2. So so so glad I brought bug spray for the mosquitos. I would have been dinner for the mosquitos every night as they love my sweet blood. :/ 3. Expecting the normal 10 minute rains, it rained for a solid two hours (hard downpour) right up until our 4:00pm wedding. The wedding crew moved my husband inside the ballroom while I was still getting ready. Thank goodness he and I (and our photographer) were on the same page. I was willing to walk in sprinkles in order to use the gazebo. We didn't pay for Jamaica, wait a year only to be married in some ballroom. Though we had to insist many times, we were relocated 15 minutes after our start time. Though our wedding was 45 minutes delayed, it was well worth the stinkin' humidity and hot sunshine that followed. :) Sweat and all....we had a perfect wedding. 4. A must see romantic and chill show is SHYAM MOSES on Sunday nights in the Outdoor Theatre at 7 or 8pm. We danced to such romantic music. Get up and dance even if you are the only couple out there. We did!!! 5. Going into our meeting with the wedding coordinator, two days prior to our wedding, I was a little clueless to the wedding day process. Had I not done research and asked a lot of questions prior to arriving in Jamaica, I didn't feel very "guided" by the wedding department. Thank you to all the former Secrets Brides who paved a smooth road for me!!!! Everything turned out perfectly. 6. I negotiated with the cost of flowers. Secrets uses Tai Flora as their flower vendor. I looked at their options, asked for a quote, then opted to remove several types of flowers to lower the cost. I mean, who wants to pay $300 for a bouquet you use for 20 minutes? After it was all said and done, I negotiated an even lower rate of $185 for my bouquet. LOVED IT!!! It was beautiful and I saved money. Win win!! 7. Keep your wedding decor simple. There is no need to go crazy and spend a lot of money. Not to mention the cost and stress of getting it all there! 8. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE WEDDING COORDINATOR to NOT hang your dress out in the open once pressed!!!! Though I was pre-warned by another bride and made sure to state it needed to be put in the closet in the garment bag, my entire day was almost ruined. My husband and I were walking out the door when they arrived with our pressed attire. They had my dress in a CLEAR trashbag then proceeded to walk to the bed frame to hang it in all its glory!! I almost had a fit! I yelled at my husband to close his eyes and quickly instructed them to shove it in the closet. Ay yi yi!!! Oh, and my husband's garment bag was never returned to us. 9. Ask for JOAN if you get a massage at the SPA. She was amazing!!! And jump in the Ice Bath....it was awesome. 10. We choose the Bourdeau Restaurant (french) for our reception dinner. Saved the money on a $2,499 or $2,999 reception and ate a wonderful free dinner in a romantic air conditioned restaurant. Talk to the restaurant manager, in advance, to save a table. 11. Take lots of $1.00s for tips. We were there 10 days and ran out of the (50) $1.00s we brought. The staff does an amazing job. You are going to want to take care of them back. 12. Last thing, prior to your check out day, review your bill. I found a couple errors on ours. You can charge everything to your room. After so many days, you start to forget what you bought. 13. Use Jamaica Limited Tours for any excursions. We used Island Routes and found it to be very disorganized. Received the same feedback from others. Jamaica Tours is actually located on site for easy sign up on excursions. http://www.jamaicatoursltd.com/ All future weddings coming up....ENJOY your moment!!!! :)

      thanks for the tips. I just sent an inquiry to Secrets - it's our top choice for our wedding next May!



      #808 LisaJoy

      LisaJoy
      • Newbie
      • 64 posts
      • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
      • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

      Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:06 AM

      Thank you @Bridetobe2014!! @pz1101 - I don't think you will be disappointed. After seeing other resort when we drove by, Secrets is BY FAR the nicest and most private resort in my opinion. Even my step brothers who stayed at Iberostar said Secrets looked nicer. Iberostar actually (and I am not kidding) had a drug house "shack" on the beach next to the resort. Classy! If you have any questions, please let me know.

      #809 Canadagoose

      Canadagoose
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      • 29 posts

        Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:55 AM

        Originally Posted by LisaJoy 

        Even my step brothers who stayed at Iberostar said Secrets looked nicer. Iberostar actually (and I am not kidding) had a drug house "shack" on the beach next to the resort. Classy! If you have any questions, please let me know.

         

        Hi Lisa,

         

        I'm really not sure what to make of your comment.  My first thought was to be absolutely terrified, as I will be getting married at one of the Iberostar resorts.  The thought of a drug shack on the beach?  Yikes!  I definitely don't want to have anything to do with drugs.  What have I gotten myself into?!  Maybe I should back out before it's too late.

         

        After some careful thought I realized a couple of things...

         

        A) That's a very serious claim that you are making, especially without it being your own personal experience. 

        B) You never specified which Iberostar you were talking about.  It only took me a quick Google search to discover that there are at least 7 (possibly more) Iberostars scattered between Mexico and Jamaica alone. 

        C) Although I have traveled extensively through Asia, as well as Southern and Eastern Africa, I have never been to Latin America before.  I have also never been to an all-inclusive resort so I really have no idea what to expect.  I do, however, have difficulty believing that there would be a drug shack on the beach at one of these fancy hotels.  But like I said, as I have no first-hand experience I really have no idea one way or the other.

         

        On another note, your wedding sounded beautiful, and I'm glad that it was everything that you wanted it to be.

         

        Deanne



        #810 LisaJoy

        LisaJoy
        • Newbie
        • 64 posts
        • Wedding Date:January 7, 2013
        • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, JAMAICA

        Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Canadagoose 

         

        Hi Lisa,

         

        I'm really not sure what to make of your comment.  My first thought was to be absolutely terrified, as I will be getting married at one of the Iberostar resorts.  The thought of a drug shack on the beach?  Yikes!  I definitely don't want to have anything to do with drugs.  What have I gotten myself into?!  Maybe I should back out before it's too late.

         

        After some careful thought I realized a couple of things...

         

        A) That's a very serious claim that you are making, especially without it being your own personal experience. 

        B) You never specified which Iberostar you were talking about.  It only took me a quick Google search to discover that there are at least 7 (possibly more) Iberostars scattered between Mexico and Jamaica alone. 

        C) Although I have traveled extensively through Asia, as well as Southern and Eastern Africa, I have never been to Latin America before.  I have also never been to an all-inclusive resort so I really have no idea what to expect.  I do, however, have difficulty believing that there would be a drug shack on the beach at one of these fancy hotels.  But like I said, as I have no first-hand experience I really have no idea one way or the other.

         

        On another note, your wedding sounded beautiful, and I'm glad that it was everything that you wanted it to be.

         

        Deanne

         

        :) Deanne, you are correct! I did not stay there myself. Just noted the picture my family took and from what they saw. My brothers are police officers. It was the Montego Bay Iberostar. I will add from reading reviews, panhandlers will approach you on the Seven Mile beach in Negril (?) and offer you drugs. It would not stop me from staying there. At our resort, Secrets Montego Bay, two employees "referenced" weed to my husband to see his reaction and/or interest. So I am in NO WAY trying to discourage anyone from staying at Iberostar. I was just a little surprised with the picture my family showed me. The resort was very nice. I merely preferred Secrets for my own reasons, that is all. :) I've seen many wedding pictures from Iberostar and they look amazing! I'm sure Mexico is going to be amazing!!

        I HIGHLY recommend All-Inclusive resorts! Secrets Montego Bay was my first experience with one. Not having to worry about carrying cash (other than for much deserved tips) it was nice to feel taken care of. We are already planning our first anniversary at Secrets in either Cancun (Maroma) or Punta Cana (Royal Beach.)

        Growing up in a 3rd world country myself, local people will do anything to make money. They often have no choice. And unfortunately people buy so there is a business. I am in no way judging, it is more an is what it is situation.

        Congratulations on your upcoming wedding in Mexico!! I know you are going to have such a blast, everything will be perfect!





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