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

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Thanks so much for posting everyone! Even though we are eloping, a lot of this is VERY useful info!

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Originally Posted by ButlerGirl08 View Post
What I would do again...

Destination Wedding
This was absolutley the best idea that we could have ever came up with. It was easier, more simple, and less expensive that what I would have thought and exceeded all of my expectations. Choosing a DW allowed only the close family and friends to attend because they really wanted to be there for us. It "weeded" out those who were just there for the show.

Riu Ocho Rios
The resort was gorgeous and was alot of fun. There was alot to do and the food variety was great. At first I was a bit uneasy because I was going site unseen, but after reading tripadvisor.com and from being on BDW, I was convinced that I had made the right decision. All Inclusive is the way to go.

All White Affair
I was so impressed with how the "All White Theme" played out. Everyone participated in it and it made the pictures look like everyone was a part of the wedding. As hot as it was, anything else would have made folks hotter and the light fabrics complimented with the beautiful background of the beach.

Doing my own hair and makeup
I thought I was going to be stressed, like usual, especially about my hair and how it didn't get along with the humidity. But everything was fine. At one point in time, I was just like who cares...the wind is going to be blowing anyways. And with the makeup, I absolutely couldn't allow anyone else to do my face...only because makeup is my thing. I was so comfortable that I did my mother's and 2 of my BM's makeup as well.

Using the iPod and Bose Soundock as the DJ
This was the greatest idea ever. We invested in the Soundock because it was something we always wanted and it was the perfect time to get it for the wedding (and we got a great deal at Best Buy.) We were able to take it with us wherever we set up. If we all sat at the beach or in the lobby we would have nice soft music playing in the background. Really set the mood.

Having a friend videotape
This idea was a good one as well. It meant alot more to me to have all of the uncensored and unedited takes because those are the funniest. It was priceless. When we got back to the states, a friend of ours took the footage and developed it into an actual DVD with the menus and music and was able to put our pics on in seperate chapters. Very nice.

Using Michael, despite what other's said
Michael the photographer was great and I was so glad I didn't go through the hassle or the extra expenses of bringing in another photographer. Michael did a great job and in the end his photoshop team offered me a great deal on some pictures.

Having very minimal decorations
I just couldn't see myself spending so much money on decorations when the ceremony is ON THE BEACH. It was so beautiful in itself that it needed no decorations. Besides, that's not what's most important. No one remembers that stuff...

Bringing my fake flowers from home
I made alot of things throughout this wedding, and my flowers are something I take true pride in. I got all my supplies from Michael's and Hobby Lobby and made a masterpiece. Whenever folks look at the pics, they always comment on my flowers and now I can have them forever.

Using a TA
This made alot of things easier because they dealt with everything and set everything up. I pretty much showed up and married my best friend. I couldn't have done it without my TA, they were awesome.

What I wouldn't do again

Bring so many clothes
I don't know why I brought so many clothes, maybe it's just me being a woman... but I could have done without half of those clothes because alot of the time I wore a bathing suit with a cover up dress... And as far as shoes go, I only really wore a few pairs...

Get the Jacuzzi Suite
I wanted the nicest suite they had, because of course it was my wedding/honeymoon. We should have just stuck with the deluxe suite because we did not use the jacuzzi on the balcony. However, we did use the tub in the room, but the Deluxe had one too...so that would have saved us some dollars.

Past up the chance to participate in more activities
We were so trying to save money, that we passed up on some of the things I said I wanted to do...like Parasailing for one. I wanted to do that so bad at first, but then once all the guests left, all I wanted to do was just relax with my hubby and drink Pina Coladas and tan...

AHR times 2
I don't really know if this is a "would do" or "wouldn't do." Right now it is a wouldn't do because I don't want to do it anymore now that the wedding is over and done. But I guess we will see on July 26th and Aug 9th if is is a true wouldn't do...lol

Other than those 2, there is nothing that I wouldn't do again. Everything was perfect and I am so happy that everything went so smoothly...

I love the advice of buying the Bose system... I have a few questions, if you don't mind:

1. Did you use the speakers for your ceremony AND your reception?
2. How long did the battery last?
3. Did you have any issues with the sound levels?
4. Did you buy the Bose Sounddock specifically for the iPod with the remote control?

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This thread should be required reading for all Noobs! It certainly helped me when I was planning my wedding, and I still check it out now and then to see what other experiences couples have had. Spread the word to your buddies -- this thread is a wealth of information.

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Originally Posted by Jamaica0619 View Post
It is fun to give back on the threads that were so helpful in my planning process now that I'm married.

Things I would do again

Video - I actually hate watching myself on video and have yet to watch the entire video because of that. But, I'm glad I have it for those that could not attend the wedding.

Pro Photographer - I'm so glad we hired a team of local photographers to come to Jamaica. While Photoshop took some good pictures, they would not have satisfied me.

Beach Reception - This was not something we planned to do when we left for Jamaica. But, it was the only way to have a private reception as the restuarant was not available for a private reception. I'm so glad we did this. It was probably one of the best things we did besides get married on the beach.

Bouquet - I'm so glad I ordered a real touch bouquet. People did not even realize they were not real, and they were absolutely gorgeous. It was one less thing to worry about when I got to Jamaica.

OOT Bags - I spent more on the bags then we budgeted, but given how much my guests like them and thier contents, I'm really glad I did.

Steel Drum Band - I only hired them for an hour and I thought they suited the ambiance of Jamaica perfectly. They were just a nice touch.

Things I Wish I Did

Prepare a dance mix on my iPod - After we booked the beach reception I wish I would have prepared a dance mix on my iPod. We had to keep searching out dance music on my master play list. It was not that big of deal, it would have just been nice.

Given myself more time to get ready - I started getting ready around 10am for the 2pm ceremony. I wish I had started around 9am. I was really rushed at the end.

where did you order your real touch bouquet?

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This is one of my favourite threads so I had to add to it. Here are my do's and don'ts, hope it helps:


Would do:

  • A destination wedding! Best choice I've ever made. We were pretty stress free when the wedding rolled around- it was a great feeling. It was so nice to have a week to spend with our closest friends and family- it was the best time of my life.

  • Take a limo to the airport. We got some friends together, brought champange and had a little party on our way. It started the trip off right- we had a blast. We figured that just because we were having a DW didn't mean that we shouldn't get a limo ride!

  • Go with a simple dress. I love some of the more elaborate and fancier dresses out there, I second guessed my choice a few times, but after carrying mine on several planes I was glad it wasn't heavier. I also think I would have roasted in anything bigger, honestly. Plus, the corset and slip were built in so I had less to pack.

  • Have the spa do my hair. I brought a few pictures with me, but I was pretty laid back about the style and it turned out really well, and didn't move all night. They did an awesome job and it was one less thing for me to worry about.

  • Do my own makeup. I wanted to look like myself, just a bit more "done." I invested in some good quality makeup before we left and it turned out well.

  • Have my wedding later in the day. We got married at 5:15 (well, maybe 5:30 or so because it ran late) and the worst heat of the day was over. Plus the light was softer for the pictures. We had plenty of sunlight for pics afterwards, and our guests weren't waiting around too long for dinner. Plus we had all day to get ready and relax, which was nice.

  • Travel mugs! I didn't do OOT bags and I don't regret it but the mugs were a huge hit. My guests used them the whole time and actually had other people at the resort ask them where they could buy them. Go with the insulated ones if you can- they were great for keeping drinks cold.

  • Cigars! We handed them out after dinner and they were a huge hit. Cubans, naturally! Even my mother was puffing on one. Made for great pictures.

  • Hang out with my MH the afternoon of the wedding. We stayed out of the sun, did our nails and toes and just relaxed. My advice is to pick someone (one or two people, you don't want a big group) who wont stress you out and just hang out with them before you have to get ready.

  • Delegate! The week after my wedding I saw a bride all done up in her dress/ hair/ etc... setting up her favours and table settings herself before her wedding dinner. Ladies- you are not going to want to do this on your wedding day, trust me. I had a few things for my tables and I asked two guests who I trusted (FI's brother and a good friend) to make sure they got to where they needed to go. They didn't mind a bit (actually, they really hit it off, wink wink) and I wasn't worried about details. Don't try to micromanage- it's not worth it.

  • Bring my photographer. Best investment ever. She was awesome, got along great with our guests, put everyone at ease and I felt like I was in great hands. I am so glad that we did this- if you are on the fence about it, I'm telling you you won't regret it. Pictures are one of the only things that you'll have to keep once the wedding is over (aside from a husband, of course).
  • Trash the dress! Do it- it was so much fun. My husband wasn't sure about taking more pictures but he got right into it and we had so much fun. We actually ended up doing two trash sessions- one in the water and one in a little Cuban town- and he was the one who wanted to do the extra session.

  • Relax and enjoy yourself! It's out of you hands on the actual wedding day, so why worry? Let it happen as it happens and you'll have a better time. One of my friends told me she couldn't believe how relaxed and happy I was. Of course I was- I was marrying the man of my dreams in paradise!! Another girl said to me: "I saw a lot of other brides this week, but they looked stressed. You were the only girl I saw smiling." Be the bride who's smiling- just keep reminding yourself how lucky you are!

Wouldn't do:

  • Have my hair appointment only two hours before the wedding. The spa was running late and then I was running late. It was the only thing that was a bit stressful about the day. If I could do it again I would have my hair done earlier and then I would have had more time.

  • Party too much the day before. Yeah, I was a bit tired, and I tried to have a nap but I was too worked up to sleep. Go to bed early!

  • Kick FI (husband, now) out of our room earlier in the day. I'm glad we spent the night together, but he was a bit nervous on the day and it was getting on my nerves. He was making phone calls all morning to check on people and make sure they knew where they were supposed to be and when and it was annoying. He was all wound up- he told me later he wanted everything to be perfect for me and he didn't want anything to stress me out so he was trying to make sure it was all going well- silly boy. I should have sent him to his BM and his brothers right after breakfast so he could relax. I think this is the real reason they say not to see each other before the wedding- one of you will be stressed and then stress the other one out.
  • Forget my cake topper. I brought it all the way down and then didn't use it! Not a big deal, but I should have gotten all of my wedding stuff together the day before and then it wouldn't have happened. Maybe make a list before you leave of things that you'll need on the day.
  • I should have brought a picture of the bouquet I wanted. I assumed that they wouldn't have much available for flowers at the resort, boy was I ever wrong. They did all kinds of different bouquets, I could have had whatever I wanted. I described what I liked but there was a language barrier. My bouquet was still gorgeous, but I would have picked out something a bit different if I'd been thinking.

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For those of you who didn't use a DJ & used your IPOD, how did you & your guests know when Father & Bride, Mother & Groom, etc. dances were?


I don't really want to hire a DJ, for the sake of costs. But, don't want to miss out on those important things.



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What I would do again:

1-Destination Wedding all the way - everyone had a great time!

2-Not have a bridal party! My friends wore what they wanted, were comfortable, and were still there for me.

3-BIG CUPS IN THE OOT BAGS-The hit of the bag and a must have at an AI resort with "drinkers'. Everyone loved them, and mine were glow in the dark!

4-Hair done at the spa 4 hours in advance. I cannot do my hair anyway but one way - I wanted it more "done" and the girl did a great job.

5-Spend so much time on BDW - I LOVE THIS SITE and all of the helpful women here pinkie.gif

6-Tried ziplining - what a rush.

7-Splurge on the photographer - The house photographer's pictures were not good, and although i'm still waiting for the pro pics, the teaser I got was amazing.


What I wouldn't do:

1-Not pay enough attention to the wedding coordinator - I thought I was having a private reception with music - I wasn't. We still had a beautiful wedding but I was very annoyed with her.

2-Not let my FI help a little more. He probably would have been better with some of these things.

3-used a different TA - DestinationWedding.com -TA Sally was horrendous. I'm so sorry I didn't use one of the BDW TAs.

4-Dunns River - it was so far from our resort and just kind of a let down.

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