I recently had my wedding at the Jellyfish and wanted to share some details with you to help towards your planning. I found this forum extremely helpful during my planning stages, so I would love to give a little back to all you curious brides out there.
Wedding day: May 10, 2013
Ceremony and Reception: Jellyfish
Guest count: 95 people
Resort: Melia Caribe Tropical
Photographer: Katya Nova http://katyanovablog.com/
On my wedding day it rained heavily for most of the afternoon. We managed to capture some outdoor shots on the resort while it was still sunny, but the thunder kicked in and it started pouring when we arrived at the Jellyfish for our beach shots. My ceremony was scheduled to start at 5pm, but was delayed due to the rain. Mayte was very reassuring about the rain and promised it would stop within the hour. She took control of transportation and delayed the coach pick-up, so that my guests could stay in the hotel bar having drinks while they waited out the storm. Miraculously, the rain stopped at 5:15pm and the sun came out. I managed to grab a few beach shots before my guests started to arriving. Mayteâ€™s staff were amazing, I saw them working hard to wipe down all the chairs, so that all the seats were dry and ready for the ceremony. Lucky for us, it did not rain again, the sun came out and we had a lovely breeze for the rest of the night. The ceremony and cocktail hour went perfectly; my guests loved the bacon wrapped butterfly shrimps, ricotta and spinach hot pockets and the risotto balls. I was able to take more photos with my wedding party and my guests. We were behind schedule by about 30 mins to an hour at this stage, but Mayte told us not to worry about the timing, we had the venue as long as we needed it.
The MC was extremely friendly; he approached us during the cocktail hour to take down the names of our parents and wedding party, so that he could announce them during the wedding entrance. He provided great suggestions on the order of certain events. My only suggestion for the MC would be to have him be a little more forceful when managing the crowds and not necessarily wait patiently for the crowd to quieten down each time. To his credit, it was a pretty large crowd he was trying to control. For the wedding reception, we kicked it off with a wedding entrance dance and Mayte surprised us with sparklers for my wedding party to hold while my husband and I did our first dance. We paid for the projector set-up, so that we could put up a slide show of photos, all we had to do was give Mayte a DVD and she had everything set up against the back wall. Dinner was great; everyone loved the food, particularly the chorizo starter. We also had the Caesar salad, followed by an entr©e of Chicken Supreme, Sea Bass or Arugula Fettuccine. Each table also had the Chefâ€™s Pasta to share. I particularly loved the parmesan cheese on the Caesar Salad and the Chefâ€™s Pasta; it had such a creamy and rich taste. The dinner orders went seamlessly, I didnâ€™t even notice the waiters going around taking all the orders. The food came out quickly and was cleared away promptly for the next course.
After dinner, we were over an hour behind schedule. The kids were feeling sleepy at this stage, so although the babysitters were a great idea, weâ€™re not sure whether the little ones had enough energy for them. I did see some of the little ones with paint on their faces, so Iâ€™m sure the babysitters did a great job. The fire show entertainers had been waiting around to do their bit for quite some time, so we quickly cut the one tier wedding cake and asked the MC to tell our guests to grab a cupcake and head out on the beach for the fire show. Cup cakes were a great idea, they definitely helped to expedite things and allowed our guests to get up from their seats and move around. Everyone loved the fire show, definitely worth it, because the pictures look amazing and it gets all the guests in the mood for dancing.
We gave the DJ an IPod full of music to play. He tried to slip in his own tracks rather than play all the music from the IPod, unfortunately the majority of my guests are from the UK, so we were very specific about the music that we wanted to dance to and had to tell him to stick to the tracks we had provided. You canâ€™t blame the DJ though, it canâ€™t be much fun to just stand there and run through an IPod playlist. Dancing on the sand was amazing, the rain had created a lovely breeze and cleared the skies, so we could see all the stars. The breeze also helped keep the mosquitoes at bay. The sand was cool to the touch and great for dancing wacky on or bundling and falling over on. Since we had such a large group, we had coaches departing at 10pm, 11pm and midnight. Make sure that you make an announcement to your guests to let them know that the last coach does not mean the end of the party. We extended our open bar for an additional 2 hours after a quick headcount by Mayte and did not leave the premises until 2:45am. We would have stayed later, but there was another wedding the next day and the staff had to be up early to prepare for that. We chose the Melia Caribe Tropical due to its proximity to the Jellyfish and had a fantastic walk back along the beach to the resort (5-10mins) at the end of the night.
Mayte was fabulous; we had visited her a year ago to check out the venue and to taste the food, other than that we had very little communication with her during the year. I probably sent her three emails in total with a few pictures from Katyaâ€™s blog of other Jellyfish wedding themes that I liked and to ask her to book the DJ, flowers, projector, babysitters, cake etc and she took care of the rest. We visited her twice during the week before the wedding to finalize the menu, pick our cocktails, make payments and to go through a rehearsal, which is another reason why staying at a resort so close to the Jellyfish is a good idea. There really isnâ€™t anything to worry about, Mayte is creative, reassuring and has a ton of experience with weddings. Everyone loved the set-up, she prepared all the centre pieces, menus and escort cards. She had a plan B in case the wedding was rained out; luckily I never had to find out what that would be. We provided some feedback to Mayte about managing the expectations of brides-to-be, maybe just to send a quick email to reassure brides-to-be that your email questions will be addressed, because there were many comments on this forum about Mayteâ€™s response times to emails.
My photographers Katya and Rob were also amazing. They were married at the Jellyfish and I love their photojournalist style, so I was confident that they would be perfect for us. Katya is so friendly when she emails you, I was a bit lax and did not contact Katya after I had paid the initial deposit, so the week before the wedding my fianc© started to get concerned and wanted me to call her, but when we visited Mayte, she told me that Katya had been at the Jellyfish the day before discussing the logistics of my wedding, which put my mind at ease. Mayte and Katya have a great relationship; they work seamlessly together to make your day perfect. Katya and Rob were very comforting about the rain and told us not to worry and even gave me tips about how the rest of the night might go if the rain didnâ€™t let up. They are so cool too, it was so much fun having them around to direct us and give us helpful hints all night. They carry around a music player and speakers, which is great for setting the mood for posing for pictures. Due to the rain delay, we didnâ€™t get through all the wedding events before their coverage ended, but Rob let us know that our coverage was coming to an end and whether we wanted an extra hour of coverage, which we definitely wanted in order to capture the fire show and some dancing on the beach. I would highly recommend them. The wedding was very recent, so we donâ€™t have any professional pictures yet, but Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll be up on their blog soon enough.
Let me know if you have any specific questions or details about my wedding that you would like to know more about. Iâ€™d love to help put your mind at ease.