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My Beaches Negril wedding review

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#1 bosi

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    Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:01 AM

    My Jan 6 Beaches Negril Wedding review

    We had 63 guests (11 kids included) from 3 continents- Europe, Africa and North America so it was quite a task to manage everyone.
    About 5 people had to cancel the day before the wedding. But we had 3 people who we heard were coming 1 day before so it worked out well. My destination weddings.com agent has not quite recovered……………
    Please feel free to look at the pictures on:

    Picasa Web Albums - omobosola - Bosola and Vl...

    Flight was on Delta. There were no complications. I just added this segment because I took the advice of my bridal dress shop ( wedding shoppe inc) and had them fold and pack my dress in my hand luggage. It was a lot easier to carry, I didn’t have to worry about hanging it up, and it did not even need ironing when I got to the resort.
    Customs was easy. Remember to fill out everything on the arrival card. A lot of people had to get out of line to fill the whole thing out.
    The beaches /sandals lounge was easy to find. They took our bags and called us when our bus came. There were drinks and little appetizers in the lounge , and it was very cool.
    We bought a Jamaican sim card from digicel to install into our phone. They said it was $20 for 1000 international minutes and we used it the whole 2 weeks we were there. It covered the calls to the US and the UK.We had to buy more minutes for Jamaican local calls but they were cheap. Calls from the hotel are about $ 2 per call, and it is expensive to roam.

    Wedding coordinator:
    Miami: Amber was actually quite good with me. Initially, it was difficult to reach her but I would just call and have her paged and she would come to the phone.
    She was on vacation the week before the wedding though so things that I had not finalized and wanted to pay for went away with her and I had to start over again with Gretchen her supervisor with costs, and explanations etc. I was quite mad. She was really good, and friendly and explained things relatively well otherwise.

    Beaches Negril is a very nice resort. It was aout an hour’s drive away but it was interesting except for those who came at night. The porters will ask for $1 a bag but we had 6 bags and gave them $3 .
    We also had several people stay at Beaches Sandy Bay which is about a 2 min drive away. It’s a little more dated and some people had to have their rooms changed but everyone was happy in the end. It is smaller and cosier and I actually liked it quite a bit.
    Beaches Negril – we were welcomed with concierge service and they were very nice but when we got to our room, it was not what we had expected the honeymoon suite to be based on the website pix. We had booked over 10 rooms so we were to have an upgrade but they were full. We had our destination weddings.com coordinator call ( not much help) and we told the coordinators on site and we called again. The ccordinators- Nickisha and Shanakay came through for us. We got a bigger suite and it was great. We were to stay for only 2 nights and then move again but they did not ask us to , so we stayed 5 nights there.
    The rooms are nice, the chairs are leather or leather like, there are balconies to every room. Our room overlooked the gazebo so we saw a lot of weddings. It was quiet. There is an adjoining door to the next room but in the second room it was fine. In the first room, there was a Polish woman next door and I think she called home at night cos of the time difference and she made a heck of a lot of noise. We also didn’t want her to hear us during our honeymoon if you know what I mean….
    The staff was great. They knew all our names. They treated our guests very nicely. The nannies were great at both resorts. Nickisha, Shanakay and Simone of course, DJ Bryan- he downloaded 200 songs on DH’s ipod for free, O Ryan the social coordinator, Nordia and Danielle with the restaurant/kitchen/service.
    Honeymoon breakfast was fantastic. They ask you to choose before the ceremony and there is a choice of continental, American, and they even had salmon. They bring it in with champagne and you can eat on your balcony.
    Honeymoon dinner was at the Seville and it was free and just as good.
    The rooms were far from each other so it was a bit of a trek when we had to coordinate people, but all in all it was great.
    Our room was close to Couples swept away next door ,and we were disturbed one or two nights with live cheesy romantic music but we were not in our rooms a lot so, didn’t matter that much.

    On site wedding coordinators:
    I can’t say enough about them. They are absolutely the best and my wedding would never have been so successful without them. Nickisha, and Shanakay ( we did not really work with Simone but she was the third coordinator and was just as nice to us) were patient, nice, polite, kind, helpful, generous, and just amazing. They helped us with every aspect of the wedding. They designed out reception site, they advised us on different things, designed the cake, answered questions from different friends and family members, reduced cost for outside guests, changed our room, helped DH to rehearse the wedding, reduced cost for decorations, Nickisha was the MC at the reception, and they were so approachable and so very, very nice.
    The prewedding appointment lasted 3 hrs and we had to sort out some cost issues with Miami but it all worked out.
    They realy are a very great asset to Beaches Negril. I am sure they’ll do the same for you.

    Wedding rehearsal:

    We actually had a Nigerian traditional ceremony instead of the wedding rehearsal.
    It was a mixture of a traditional, beach, introduction party and everyone had a blast!.
    It was held on the beach , and because it was windy we had a tent. It was still windy but everyone tolerated it just fine except at the end when I saw a couple f people with towels wrapped around them…..
    We were a little late but they extended the food and beverage service for an hour. The provided us with a microphone, and sound system so we had music and dancing. It was really really beautiful. See the pictures.
    Dh had to prostrate on a mat on the beach to ask for my hand in marriage, proposal and acceptance letters written on scrolls were read ,I had to get advise from the older people present, everyone introduced themselves. We then ate and danced and the food was very good.
    It lasted about 4 hours and then we went to the Piazza were we just hung out a little but more, I wore a beautiful dress my MIL made for me and took lots of pictures. Some of us then went to Liquid night club were we took over and danced a lot till about 1.am.
    Hair and makeup:
    The people at the spa were really nice. They had changed my appt from 12 to 1.00 pm though cos they though it would be enough but I finished only 35 mins before the wedding.
    The did a good job though and also did an up do to my sister’s and my friend’s braids and put flowers in the little girls’ hair. Flowers were too big so they just picked some daisies from the garden and they were just fine.

    Was supposed to have started at 4 but I came back late from make up, and my sisters dress had a wardrobe malfunction- zipper tore- so she was in tears. My MIL came and sewed her into the dress but we were about 45 mins late.
    The ceremony site was the gazebo and they had arranged everything nicely beforehand. Tied cair sashes, sand ceremony etc.
    Nichisha and Shanakay came and got me and DH separately . There was champagne delivered to the room just beforehand. The flowers were delivered. We were on our way.
    The music was played appropriately, the pastor – Pastor Campbell was fantastic. He delivered the ceremony with feeling . Ask for him if you can.
    The steel band for the cocktail hour came on time and they started playing too early ( just as we were signing the register) so we asked them to stop. They had another appt and had to leave 30 mins after cocktail hour started . Too bad but guests didn’t notice. Our bank acct noticed though- $600 is not cheap.

    The reception was at the Seville restaurant as we had such big crowd and wanted to stay late. We had to pay $400 extra for the site.
    The decorations were great. The music and DJ were fabulous, the carribean fruit cake was fantastic. The food was the carribean buffet menu and our guests appreciated it as the food in the resort is really geared towards western tourists , so on only a couple of nights was carribean food available.
    They extended our food and drinks by one hour for free so we partied till 11.pm.!!!!
    Everyone had so much fun from kids to 70 yr old grandparents. We did not want to leave.
    Nickisha was the MC and announced our entry, the first dance, cutting of the cake etc. She was fantastic!
    DH had my makeup smudged on his forehead the whole time and we did not realize it until we looked at the pictures so we have about 50 pics with a brown stain on his forehead. Oh well.
    I changed and then we went to the liquid night club for a couple more hours. We left them there. My bones were really hurting at the time.
    The bed was decorated with petals and a towel arrangement. … beautiful though they didn’t last long…

    Day after: Honeymoon breakfast as mentioned.
    There was a beach party which was a lot of fun and we put tables together and just hung out.
    Photography – We had a photographer flown in from MN ( he’s a friend) and he followed us for about 4 days and got a whole bunch of pictures.. I will post the link to the pictures.If you like the pix and want his number let me know. He charged us just for the flight and room and a few more hundred dollars. We got a total of 1408 photos.
    We also bought 17 pictures from the resort photographer for $300.They gave us a discount as the videographer had been really in everyone;’ faces and blocked some shots.

    Videographer: Like I said had been in the thick of everything and in several peoples shots but he got very good coverage. It cost $500 and they sent us a DVD and video streaming. It was set to our first dance and signing of register songs.

    Transportation between the 2 resorts was every half hour either wayand was free, but stopped at 10.30pm . it was $5 otherwise. We found out however that it was cheaper if we negotiated with the driver separately. We used Triston from Triston tours a lot- tell the resort to call him or call 876 853 6349. Tell him the Nigerians from the wedding in jan 2010 sent ya. He also took people to the craft market and night clubs and picked us up.

    Out of town bags:
    We had fanstastic bags: Got a lot of stuff people had made and sent or brought from Nigeria as well as stuff we had made here.
    On traditional night- gave out notebooks, pens, survival kit with tums, hand sanitizer, etc, flip flops with our names on them, tote bags.
    On wedding day-
    Bags, Cds with our faces and compilation of Nigerian funky music which we danced to, notebooks, candy, coasters, facecloths, fans.
    My bridesmaid forgot to give the coordinators the m & ms and so we have about a 100 of them left…. I should make her eat them every day for a year…..

    We stayed another week at Couples Tower Isles Ocho rios.
    We took the free shuttle back to the airport and then the free couples shuttle to Ocho rios. They wont let you back into the arrival area so ask the security guard to let the couples representative know and they will come out and make sure you get van to the resort.
    It’s a different flavor from Beaches. Much more adult oriented and everything is white, modern, old time Hollywood glamour – pix of royalty and old Hollywood stars who have stayed there on the wall- but after the initial adjustment, we thought it was great. They upgraded our room.
    They have a lot of activities added to the cost of the room- horseback, dunns river falls, scuba, catamaran, and exchange visits to Couples san souci. They have an island with a nude beach . A lot of dancing, drinking, piano bar sing a longs, talking to other couples, etc. They had an international buffet to celebrate their 32nd anniversary and it was great. Our room 4213, was at an end unit and we fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Just blissful.
    It rained the first 3 days. We needed to rest anyway and Im glad it didn’t rain during the wedding week. There was free internet access unlike at Beaches, so we also heard about the earthquake in Haiti during our HM. It was very sad. We didn’t feel any physical tremors .

    The bottom line is that I worried too much but I am glad that I got all the details sorted out beforehand, and I knew what to ask for , and what to expect just from the information from all of you on this website. I really am indebted to you guys . Thanks so much.
    Let me know if you have any questions.

    #2 Ana


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    • Wedding Date:April 1, 2009
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    Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:09 AM

    Congratulations!! It sounds like you had a great time

    #3 sweetiecat

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    • 186 posts

      Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:15 PM


      Thank you for the review! You looked beautiful in both of your dresses. Do you think the steel drum band and the DVD were worth it for the money? Were you satisfied with the few pictures that you purchased from the resort's photographer?

      #4 Sloan

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        Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:21 PM

        Congrats! Your pictures are amazing and you are gorgeous! Talk about destination wedding too, eh? 3 different continents! That's awesome.

        #5 latoya1908

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        • 170 posts

          Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:55 PM

          Sounds like you all had a GRAND time! I swear...I just don't get enough of reading these reviews....my resort or NOT! LOL

          #6 jplovesme

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          • 385 posts

            Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:15 PM

            Congratulations and it sounds like it was beautiful! I love reading about happy experiences!

            #7 bosi

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            • 131 posts

              Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:52 AM

              Originally Posted by sweetiecat

              Thank you for the review! You looked beautiful in both of your dresses. Do you think the steel drum band and the DVD were worth it for the money? Were you satisfied with the few pictures that you purchased from the resort's photographer?

              the DVD was definitely worth it. You just dont remember so many things and this is a way for you to relive the whole wedding. It is well worth the money. And they send you streams that you can send to people as well as the CD.

              The steel band was great but they did not play for long enough because we were late.
              I dont think they were worth 600 bucks though

              The few pictures we got were great. I actually had a hard time trying not to buy some of the oictures because I knew that our phtotgrapher had taken those pictures already.
              I think they are pretty good for resort photographers.

              #8 BeachBride83

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              • 196 posts

                Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:26 PM

                Hi Were you able to reserve the locations for your rehearsal, cocktail hour and reception ahead of time before you got there? How did you ensure that you would have everything where you wanted it and the times you wanted? I am having trouble getting a straight answer on this and want to make sure if I am spending all this money that everything will be as I plan it to be. Thanks!!!
                Hey Everyone! I have booked Heather Parker to photograph my May 7, 2011 wedding in Negril, Jamaica. I am looking for someone that might want to share in the cost of her transportation/stay that will be getting married around the same time in the area. PM me if you are interested! Her work is...

                #9 msmoodyr

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                  Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:45 PM

                  Congrats!! Sounds like you had a great time!

                  #10 JenniferSS



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                    Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:05 PM

                    Hi beachbride83!

                    Unfortunately, they do not have you reserve the locations ahead of time- generally this is not a problem as there is only one wedding scheduled per hour ! So it's pretty open to each bride.

                    One of the reasons they do not pre -reserve locations for receptions is so that they can accommodate larger groups- with a destination wedding you will find some groups end up quite a bit smaller than anticipated while others end up quite a bit larger than anticipated- but there ois no way to really tell until about a month before the wedding-because there are always those last minute peopel who book!! There are limited areas for large groups ( say 50-150 ppl) so Sandals has to be sure to keep those open to accommodate them!

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