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ROR 6/24/10 Super Long Review w/Pics

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#1 Shakara

  • Jr. Member
  • 193 posts

    Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:41 PM

    Okay Girls so this is it.... my Review of my wedding on June 24, 2010 at RIU Ocho Rios.

    First and foremost, of course I need to thank this forum because not only did you guys help with my planning but you helped me find the most amazing travel agent ever. Maureen is seriously absolutely fantastic. I don’t even know how to begin to thank her for everything she did with getting me and all my crazy family to Jamaica. Every problem that occurred Maureen handled instantly without any question. I even had a family member spontaneously decide to go at the last minute… I mean REALLY last minute… I didn’t even know about it! Maureen handled everything for me amazingly. I am so thankful and if you girls read my initial bestdestinationwedding.com/beaches fiasco you will really understand. So thank you so much Maureen! You are GREAT at what you do. I would HIGHLY recommend her to any bride!

    I seriously brought everything down to Jamaica except my kitchen sink. I brought gazebo decorations, bouquets, candles, centerpieces, chair ties, guest books, souvenirs, OTC bags, etc…. I mean seriously ladies a TON. I ended up with a total of FOUR big suitcases, ONE small carry on suitcase and my dress and a huge purse. My Bridesmaids and Judd and I decided a while back that we wanted to be the first ones down before everyone so we can set everything up. HOWEVER, due to the fact my husband is active duty military he had to wait to get his leave approved and he wasn’t able to fly down until the day before our wedding. So it was me and my two bridesmaids. We flew Air Jamaica, thank GOD they allow two checked luggage at no charge up to 50lbs. Surprisingly all my bags weighed between 48-49. They each checked one for me and I checked two. One of them took the carry on and I took my dress and purse. It was a BREEZE! Our flight was at 6am, there was hardly anyone on. We had the last two rows to ourselves and were passed out. When we arrived to Montego Bay we want to baggage claim to get our bags and we COULDN’T BELIEVE what we saw! A man was standing there with all SIX of our suitcases on one of the cart things ready and waiting for us. We were in absolutely shock, we were soo happy we gave him a TEN and then tried to figure out how the heck he knew the three of us were flying together? Anyways it was great, everyone was helpful and friendly and we had the bus to RIU basically all to ourselves… and passed out again.

    RIU was Great!.... Beautiful resort, very big place. The girls checked into their room, standard, and I checked into my junior suite. When I went into my room there were two double beds pushed together. I called the front desk and requested a room change. They said NO PROBLEM and switched me to the room next door with a king the next day, which was fine…. I didn’t sleep in the suite until our wedding night…. I was with my bridesmaids. We got married on Thursday. All our guests arrived on Wednesday. We had also pre-arranged the Welcome dinner on that Wednesday at St. Anne’s so I went to the front desk and requested that they tell each of our guests checking about it. They had a list of all our guests arriving because they were all booked through Maureen with Apple vacations. They even gave out a little invitation message card to them which was really nice and everyone got the Memo.

    Wedding Coordinator
    Prior to going down I confirmed everything with Chandlyn including the initial meeting at 5pm on Tuesday, the day we arrived. We were at the RIU by noon and we had nothing to do so we thought we could maybe get the meeting over with while we were waiting to check in. So we walked up to her office and she (Tina) looked pretty shocked to see me, she was standing there with two other guys. She did NOT introduce herself so I did. I said I’m Shakara these are my two bridesmaids, we initially had a meeting scheduled today but I wanted to if we could move it up. She said what time was ur meeting. I said 5. She said no we couldn’t move it up but 5 was fine. So we were like okay? Totally weirded out by the whole conversation… I thought they were being shady. This was before I knew about the whole Chandlyn got fired thing, I assumed she was Chandlyn because she didn’t introduce herself. Anyways we strolled around sipped Pina Coladas and saw a really pretty beach wedding. We also checked out the other wedding sites and then went to photoshop to confirm everything with Michael.

    At 5pm we went back to the Coordinators office. My mom came down the same day too, but later than us and she was there by the time we were ready to meet with the WC. We went in and the first thing she said is do you have all your documents? I said no… I confirmed with you that you received everything and I didn’t need to bring anything down. She said oh that wasn’t me, I’m just filling in because the old WC is not here anymore, we’re starting fresh because we have nothing, she took all the files/confirmation/appointments. So of course I freaked out asked why there was no email or phone or at least SOMETHING to let me know. She said its not my fault blah blah blah and so on. Anyways, the first issue was I booked the free package, but I didn’t want the cake because I had a family member bringing a cake and didn’t and bouquet because I had the silk flowers or boutonni¨re because my husband had his military blues. I had talked to Chandlyn prior to see if we could substitute a little or maybe discount off on the chairs I wanted and she said no problem. Of course this was now an issue and against policy. So I argued, my mom argued, and in the end we got the chairs with the chair covers for free! (Ladies, if you want the white chair covers they have a total of 45 just sitting there in the office! They don’t HAVE to rent them from Tai like they say, there not brand new or whatever but it saved about 180 bucks.) I brought my own satin yellow ties. That was really the only thing we ordered decoration wise because I brought all my own decorations for the gazebo. We picked the lagoon site. The second major issue was the fact that I had 9 adults and 4 children family members who lived in Jamaica who were planning to come and my mom was going to pay for them. They wanted to charge us 90pp for children and adults, I had confirmed with Chandlyn prior that it was 70pp for adults. So after arguing, we paid 70pp for adults and 45pp for children. I confirmed the steel drum band for 350 and dj for 2 hours at 300 and poolside reception at 10pp. I also got to sit with the minister, which was really nice and go through my ceremony that we had written and gave him a copy. He did an EXCELLENT job!

    St. Anne’s Welcome Dinner
    Went Great! So much fun it was sooo great seeing everyone together and hear about their flights in. they set up two long tables in the back of the restaurant for us. I handed out all my welcome bags there. The guests loved them!

    WEDDING DAY!!!!!!
    So I woke up that morning with my heart in my throat I was soooo excited/nervous/anxious! Me and my bridesmaids dropped all the reception decorations at the WC office. My mom had agreed to take all the ceremony d©cor directly to the site because she was going to help set up. Well, lets just say ladies make sure you have help because the WC did NOTHING, when I dropped off the stuff, she was like I’m not going to be able to set this up, you will need to set it up. So my amazing bridesmaids did just that later on and it was perfect. I found out that morning that they moved us from Mammee Bay to upstairs at the Plantation. We had a 2pm ceremony. Michael, photographer, met with Judd and the guys outside the bar for some pics and then he came up to our room. Michael was the one who actually walked be down to the site because he knew she didn’t really know what she was doing and it was after 2. So we all walked down. At the last minute my godfather who was suppose to walk me down the aisle got sick and my mom ended up doing it, which was perfect too. It did rain but it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t even notice because it was like I was in another world. I did notice the fans that we gave out made perfect mini umbrellas though :) My mom even got doves for us somehow but then someone screamed they can’t fly in the rain so we kept them in the box lol. After the ceremony we went to the Sports Bar and started the party then Judd and I went back to our room to relax and others did the same and some went to help set up at the plantation. Time flew by soo fast. It was definitely really nice to have that break because we partied ALLL night and probably wouldn’t have made it without it after all the stress… we could just finally breathe!

    Dinner was good! It was annoying that we had to wait soo long before they took our orders, especially since we had the DJ booked at 9, but it was fine. They did what they could. There was a total of 45 of us and I think they were understaffed because they had two more wedding receptions going on. We had a good time, my maid of honor gave an amazing speech while we were waiting. We did the cake cutting and toasts afterwards. Originally we booked the poolside but because of the intermittent rain she thought it would best to use the downstairs bar of the plantation since it was covered, which was fine. We had a great time. I brought my IPOD too because we had MUST HAVE songs that we wanted to here and the DJ was very good at switching back and forth. The bartenders were great we all had a fantastic time. I had a very drunk but in depth talk with the DJ who was saying Chandlyn was his friend and was fired because she was too nice. The night ended with us going over to the disco until 2am! It was GREAT! Best time EVER! Absolutely perfect!

    Oh yea they did break our cake toppers!!! Which I am very upset by because I asked them to be very careful and told them I Would take them off myself but they did anyways. I’m going to discuss this with the head over there at RIU because they were expensive and custom made.

    We were in Jamaica for 2 weeks. We went to Couples Tower Isle for the honeymoon, it was soooooooo great! The attention the service…. I wish we could go back! We also went to the dolphin cove which I would recommend!..... A big tip to save money is if you don’t plan on going in with the dolphins, pay when you get there, its at least 25 dollars cheaper, also if you have little ones who want to do the kiss the dolphin thing, don’t let them try to charge you 90 bucks. I paid 160 total to do the swim with the dolphins and we brought Judd’s daughter who is 5 with us and didn’t pay anything. They let me take her down to touch the dolphin. We also went out to party at the Ruins and Margaretville, so much fun!

    Trash the Dress at Dunns River Falls…. I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND IT! Your dress does NOT get ruined! In fact it was more trashed after the wedding than after the falls.

    FINALLY the Picture link: One album is Michael’s pics and the next is some of the pics from my camera

    #2 Sax Lady

    Sax Lady
    • Jr. Member
    • 265 posts

      Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:14 PM

      great review. Sounds like you all hadd a great time.

      #3 Sheree10

      • Sr. Member
      • 1,026 posts

        Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:02 AM

        Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive review and your amazing pictures! Everything looks beautiful and you did a great job putting it all together. I love the yellow and white color sheme, cake topper and ttd @ the waterfalls. You two make a lovely couple. Congrats and many blessings to you both!

        BRIDE + GROOM + 60 GUESTS!!

        #4 hiyatran

        • Newbie
        • 4 posts

          Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

          congrats. good to know everyone had a great time.

          #5 yumyum90

          • Jr. Member
          • 183 posts

            Posted 04 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

            Thanks for writing this review. I will surely bring down all of my email documents with me. The whole Chandlyn not being there thing scares me because I have the poolside reception booked. I'm scared they will give it to someone else since they don't seem to have record of anything. But it sounds like your wedding went well and you didn't have too many problems. Congratulations.

            #6 sorord1

            • Jr. Member
            • 240 posts

              Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:18 PM

              Congratulations! You were such a beautiful bride! I am glad you guys were able to work everything out for your wedding!

              #7 Shakara

              • Jr. Member
              • 193 posts

                Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:23 PM

                Originally Posted by yumyum90
                Thanks for writing this review. I will surely bring down all of my email documents with me. The whole Chandlyn not being there thing scares me because I have the poolside reception booked. I'm scared they will give it to someone else since they don't seem to have record of anything. But it sounds like your wedding went well and you didn't have too many problems. Congratulations.
                yes bring everything! they will work with you and you will get what you want. don't worry about anything. I know it's easier said then done. Everytime you feel stressed just grab a pina colada or something.... try not to STRESS! Let me know if you have any questions!

                #8 NiagaraBridetobe

                • Newbie
                • 15 posts

                  Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:54 PM

                  Congrats and thanks for sharing your review.

                  #9 eddieandsheila

                  • Newbie
                  • 110 posts

                    Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:16 PM

                    Thank you soo much for posting a review for the new WC at ROR. I have since emailed her to make sure she has all the information Chandlyn and I had discussed before they let her go

                    Congrats to you and your new hubby!

                    #10 JennandMike08

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 166 posts

                      Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:32 PM

                      FABULOUS review!!!

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