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KJT1985

KJT1985's Breezes Runaway Bay Wedding Review - 2/23/10

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WHAT A BLAST!! Hopefully I remember to include all the details...

 

Travel Agent: - Ellen Kerella, Special Occasion Travel, Centennial, Colorado: D

Probably the only reason i'm not giving her an F is because everything was booked appropriately and not having to deal with the confusion of booking flights to puerto rico for the cruise we went on the second week was a burden off my shoulders. I used her as a TA because her website makes it sound like she really specializes in destination weddings. She did NOTHING to help with the wedding or anything more than a "regular" TA would. Things would come up with the wedding coordinator at the resort and when i'd call her for help her answer would be "well try this and if it doesn't work I don't know what to tell you". Totally and completely useless. I wish we hadn't sent her info out in our save the dates. Luckily only one other couple booked with her. I know her information doesn't really add anything to BDW but maybe there's other brides in Colorado who might come across her website and should avoid her. I also never met with her in person so maybe it's different then.

 

American Airlines: A-

Our flight leaving Dallas was 3 hours late because of weather in the area. Nothing they can do about that really. It was a pain but oh well! I only give them a minus because they don't even give you peanuts on flights that are over 3 hours long and charge ridiculous amounts for food! I was able to lay my dress out in an overhead compartment which was awesome.

 

Breezes Runaway Bay: Overall: B+

I've only stayed at one other all inclusive resort and it was in Costa Rica (4 star). Overall, Costa Rica was by far a better resort but we also spent twice as much to stay there for a week. However, I will say that the Jamaican people are WAY happier and seem to enjoy their jobs much much more. The grounds of the resort were kept clean and beautiful. I think I heard that the resort is 40 years old and it certainly shows in some of the architecture and design. They've done updating but it's just not quite like the other huge resorts in the area. It's also a lot smaller. BRB only has 266 rooms total so it's a really small resort. I actually really liked this because it made it super easy to find guests and family. It was also really easy for everybody to move around the resort. My husbands aunt is in a wheelchair and to my knowledge there was never any issues getting her places. The relaxed atmosphere does affect customer service every now and then. My husband had some internet issues a couple times and would go ask the front desk for help only to have her go to the internet room, tell him she'd be back in a minute and never return. I'm more understandable about these things (maybe she was the only one working and got distracted checking people in or something) but it annoyed my fiance. Everyone seemed more than happy to do their jobs, even if it took a bit longer than you'd have liked to get it done. Some property photos:

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Click the image to open in full size. (best part of the room!! there were two more of the showerheads seen above and below the temperature handle on the opposite wall - 6 shower heads in total!!)

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Click the image to open in full size. front lobby

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The weddingA++

But how could it not be?! As some additional info for BRB brides. We had 26 guests and ended up spending an additional $175 on cake and champagne, $6 for them to turn the one flowers in my bouquet pink instead of purple, and $275 on hair for 4 people.

 

Wedding officiant my grade: C husbands grade: F----

To keep a long story short, because of some annoying details we were not able to make the wedding in Jamaica legal. I had some issues sorting this out with the wedding coordinator because they "only" offer a wedding or vow renewal and for the renewal you need to provide a previous marriage license. Finally we were able to reach a compromise - paying a civil officer $100 to perform the ceremony with no paperwork.

 

The coordinator had me email her my ceremony script ahead of time so she could send it to him and make sure he was ok with what I had written. I never heard from her so a week before we left I checked in. She hadn't heard from him and said she'd contact him and get back to me. I never heard back. Come wedding time it was obvious the civil officer had never read what I wrote. Mostly it wasn't a problem until we got to the sand ceremony. We were to have the mom's pour the foundation layer of sand. In the script I had it laid out so he would "warn" the moms by saying something like "in a minute i'll ask the mothers to come forward" then he would explain the meaning, ask them to come forward and a song would start to play while they did their part followed by us. Instead he read "in a minute i'll ask the mothers to come forward" and then proceeds to stop and make the moms do their sand part after which he motioned to us to do ours. In my head i'm thinking ("no no no" but we went with it and just figured we'd skip the sand ceremony song). After we all poured our sand he read the meaning behind it (a guest later told me they were confused till he clarified) THEN proceeds to go ahead and ask the moms to come forward again!!!!! Ahaha so they stood up before I could say anything and he goes "moms, the song?". Maybe this is partially my fault because in the copy I emailed the coordinator I had *in different font and color to "start song #3, title and artist" and it's this copy that she printed out and gave to him. It just made an awkward moment when I had to tell the moms to sit down and that song #3 needed to be skipped.

 

The sand ceremony was at the end of the whole ceremony and it just so happens that the wedding coordinator in charge of running the music was in the back texting when this whole thing was going on. She didn't know she missed the sand part and we ended up walking out to our sand ceremony song while our guests walked out to our song. It was slightly annoying that we paid him $100 for 20 minutes of his time and he couldn't even be prepared. I wasn't so upset about the song thing either but my husband was pretty upset by it all and really wanted to complain to somebody about it. But in general we had an amazingly beautiful ceremony, the weather was awesome and our guests loved it all. We all just ate dinner together at the buffet - no big reception for us and nobody seemed to mind.

 

On another note. When you contact the resort and are dealing with the wedding coordinator, you always talk to Keisha Richards. Keisha only seems to answer emails regarding weddings and when you get there you actually work with Victoria and Pat (at least I think that's their names). This was annoying to me because I felt like maybe some things were lost in the middle man explanations. My husband thinks we didn't get much attention because we weren't spending thousands of dollars - even though we spent quite a bit!

Here's some of my favorite ceremony pictures....

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To be continued....

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Reception: A

I actually wasn't expecting much for this included "mini reception" but it actually turned out to be really really nice! They set up tables and chairs in the garden gazebo and we had a more formal reception with cake, champagne and the traditional cake cutting and interlocking arms drinking for a photo op. I had the WC set out our guestbook pages here and I think the guests really enjoyed filling them out while eating cake and having champagne! They also played our wedding music on repeat during it, wish I had made more of a playlist! Reception picts...

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Carriage RideA

The resorts also includes a complimentary carriage ride which was fun and makes for cute photos! During the ride they also give you more champagne...

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photographer: Crazy J (Jariel Morris) - A+

J was so much more fantastic than I ever thought a resort photographer could be. He's actually a member on the forums and I had talked to him before heading down there. He sent me his website which made me feel much more excited about working with him. Jarmor Photography :: Portfolio He can also shoot at other resorts in the area so anybody getting married near Ocho Rios should definitely contact him!! J made everything fun and relaxed. He took so many photos and all of them are fantastic (not his fault my husband seems to blink in half the pictures, haha). He seemed to really love his job and would always stop and talk us when he saw us around. When I paid for our photo package before the wedding, I requested that we work with him. The lady told me that he had been booked for the wedding right after ours but that all the other photographers were great. We saw him later and he told me that he didn't know the other bride and had been talking to me on the forums so he was not doing the other wedding and would do ours. This was the nicest thing!!! I'm so happy he got out of the other wedding, haha! More photos from him:

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Photo shop: B

I guess I only give them a B because of the price of things. We got the most basic package and it was $380. At BRB you don't pay for the photographer, just for the pictures you purchase. If you don't purchase pictures ahead of time, I guess you don't get a photographer! Our package included 30 images on a cd and your choice of ten 5x7's and two 8x10's from those 30. They also give you a copyright waiver so you have no problem printing the other 30.

 

To be continued...

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You can see all our wedding photos here, there's alot: Wedding photos - Jamaica 2010 pictures by Katie_T85 - Photobucket

 

I guess I should have reviewed my dress

A+++++

It's a replica of Maggie Sottero's "Lavina" which I fell in love with but was $1200 and way out of our budget for the dress. I got it from china, gianinarbridal who sells on ebay or can be contacted directly. I sent them photos of the original, picked the color and material (cheapest or the more expensive, I went with the cheapest). I sent them a $40 deposit and after about 35 days they sent me proof pictures and asked if I wanted anything changed. It was perfect so I didn't and I had the dress by the end of the week I think. It doesn't have the quality that the MS would have but it's beautiful and costs $180 with shipping. I was ecstatic with the result and felt really beautiful.

 

Hair salon - A

The resort spa did a fantastic job with our hair. Everything looked beautiful. There was only one person doing it and it took about 3 hours to have 4 girls's hair done. All throughout, one of the resort staff kept bringing us drinks from the bar. We had an awesome time but I bet they were glad when we left! We were pretty loud and crazy! I chose to have it all pulled back because my hair would have been straight before the wedding if I had left it down - curls fall out too easily especially in humidity. It did pretty well but the wind did start pulling it out fairly quickly. You can tell in some of the photos but oh well!

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I guess the only other thing I can think to comment on was the cruise we took after our week at the resort.

Carnival Southern Caribbean cruise - B

I was really excited about the cruise. My husband had been before but I hadn't. He kept telling me how amazing the service and food was. We were on carnival victory leaving out of san juan, puerto rico - 7 nights. While I can't really complain about anything, I sorta wish we'd stayed in Jamaica for the other week. The service was fine but not 5 star like my husband had experienced 4 years ago. The food was ok too but honestly, the resort food was pretty darn good! Desserts were better by far. I don't think I liked having SO many people around all the time - no privacy even in your bedroom because the walls are so thin. I also felt really stressed that I had to be doing something all the time since we were only at places for one day. Then while we were out I was worried about getting back to the ship on time so we didn't miss it. Just more stressful than laying on the beach all day. Haha So I don't think I'd recommend cruises as a honeymoon and we probably won't be going on one again. It's also not as cheap of a vacation as it seems when you book - excursions with the ship are ridiculously expensive!

 

Ok so if I missed anything you're interested in just ask! Thanks for reading ladies, and like I said in my planning thread - couldn't have done it without BDW brides!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by momichele View Post
I love the top of your dress. Very unique
Thank you! It's a Maggie Sottero replica and I love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by luciel2820 View Post
Wow your pictures are beautiful, Im sorry your wedding officiant messed up some parts but your pictures still look amazing :)
Yes! I'm very very happy with the pictures. I can go with the flow alot easier than my husband. Nothing is ever perfect so our ceremony was unique, i'm ok with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shae View Post
you look absolutely beautiful! i think i would've had a hard time leaving that amazing shower :P
Thank you so much! :-D I felt really beautiful and then I saw how much my fat was hanging over my dress. Haha Guess I should have pulled it up tighter, oh well. And yea...the shower was to die for! HAVE to get that in my house!

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