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Newbie - Planning a DW at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton - May 23, 2012

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Hey everyone... just got back from the GPLH!!! We were married on May 10.. ceremony at the gazebo and reception in the blue lagoon!

Very impressed with the resort and big shout out to wedding coordinator Nekeisha!!

The resort is beautiful and perfect for our group of 48!


My reccommendations:


1. STEEL DRUM BAND! Didnt hear any weddings do this for the ceremony but ours.. and it was soooo worth it! Our guests thought it was included and didnt realize we paid $500 for the hour.. but oh well.. it MADE the wedding ceremony. After all... we were in Jamaica!!! Was not a fan of the wedding using ipods and recorded music for the ceremony.. it felt too stiff and uptight.


2. ZURIELEMAKA (spelling?). This show was INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We decided to do this show after our main course and before dessert. It was nothing short of AMAZING!!!! They included guests and the bride and groom for a few things and it was definitely the highlight of our entire wedding!!!!!! People will be talking about it forever... and every one of our guests said it was the best show they had ever seen!!!!!! I can't say enough about the talent of these people and the culture they brought to our wedding. Fun, fun and FUN!!!! People from all over the resort were coming to try and watch it. Since we were in the blue lagoon we had people hanging over the railing from the Infinity bar above to watch it. Kind of annoying since we paid $900 for it and other people were photo bombing and video taping it... but oh well. we DEFINITELY made it a wedding to remember! We even heard random people talking about it the next day in the pool and the beach.


3. GAZEBO. This is the BEST location for the ceremony. Our room was right above the beach location.... which was really small and the entrance for the bride is really awkward and short. We watched a few weddings here from our balcony and soo many people were photo bombing it. We actually did too without realizing it. We went out to the reef behind the beach location to take post-wedding pictures and there was a wedding going on...so im pretty sure we photo bombed their ceremony.. but oh well we were on a schedule too!!! The gazebo is VERY private and secluded in a garden.. right on a cliff between the adult beach and sunset cove beach. The aisle was very long and the walk was just beautiful. Gave everyone enough time to take pictures and me enough time to control the tears and take it alllllllll in!!!!! The guest area is partially shaded by trees. Our ceremony was at 2pm so it was blistering hot and part of the guests were in the sun. A 4pm wedding would be mostly shaded here.. which is a huge factor to consider for your guests.


4. Blue Lagoon. The ONLY 2 restaurants i would reccomend for dinner would be the blue lagoon as #1 and poisedon #2. Poisedon is great and VERY private...it would be best if you can rent out the entire restaurant...cause it gets realllllly cozy if you dont. the sun sets directly infront of the restaurant and you will get amazing photos!!!!! I really liked how private and secluded this place is... but be aware you WILL need to shuttle out here... its a far walk for guests... esp. if staying on the jamaica side. The blue lagoon was fabulous!!!!! We did a sweetheart table (head table of just bride and grrom) and then we had 7 other tables infront of us. The wedding party and guests sat directly infront of us with parent tables on each side. we had direct access to everyone. It was perfect. We used the other wing for dancing and the zurielemaka show. Be aware... however... that the Infinity bar has a reggae band EVERY night... and they start up around 9pm... so you WILL NOT be able to hear ANYTHING other than this band. We didnt know this.... and our first dance and ipod music during dinner was realllllly affected. Our speeches were also slimmed down and if we would have known how loud the reggae band was... we TOTALLY would have changed our schedule. My dad had a huge speech written and could only say part of it. Also.. our first dance was pretty bad.. no one could hear the song which made it hard for guests to pay attention. We knew though.. so i didnt care! :)

Note that you ONLY have until 10pm... and they WILL start ripping everything apart at 10pm SHARP. TIMING IS HUGE!!!!! We started dinner at 7pm. I would DEFIINITELY recommend dinner at 6:30pm at the LATEST. Due to the show our dinner ran later than expected and we had to move our first dance over to the side because they had started ripping our reception down. So that was distracting too but everything worked out.

I also would NOT recommend wasting ANY MONEY on a DJ. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not worth it!!! There really is ZERO time for one... and trust me you will be very disappointed for wasting a boat load of money when all you need is a playlist and ipod during and after dinner.

We also didnt use a microphone or rent a MC ... we just yelled and spoke really loud for speeches and it was PERFECT. Our bartender helped out huge and acted as an MC too .... so im very glad we didnt waste mmoney on that becaues they did it anyway!!!!!!!!! They announced our bridal party for entrances and announced the show and the cutting of the cake. It was awesome!!!!


5. FLOWERS. Okay... so I actually had fake f,lowers made before we left. I paid $200 for my bouquet, 1 bridesmaid and 3 bouts .... NOT WORTH IT!!!!!!!! I ended up using the resorts FREE one.. it was STUNNING.. and my bridesmaid bouquet.... ha! we ended up piking flowers from the resort and shoving them into her bouquet to cover up the fake ones. The tropical flowers around the resort matched her dress PERFECTLY! we were laughing because it was one of the FEW things we tried to pre-plan.. and it wasnt worth it!!!

DONT WASTE MONEY on fake ones unless you absolutely want a specific type. I didnt use my bouquet at all... haha what a waste!


6. REMEMBER: NO WORRIES MON!!!! NO PROBLEM IN JAMAICA!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything WILL work out and EVERYYYYTHING is done on JAMAICAN TIME!!!!!!!!

Its amazing how much i learned in jamaica. If you have never been...like us.... it is a country of peace and no stress. The people are beautiful and the island is beautiful.

Jamaicans are VERY polite and respectful. They are hilarious and veryyyy relaxed. I was NEVER stressed out about anything before during or after my wedding... and once we got to Jamaica my guests started to understand why. No worries. Everything is IRIE!!!!!!!!!!!!



If anyone has any questions pleae let me know! ill try and get some pics up too...


CHECK MY PROFILE... the site wouldnt let me post pics on ere... but i uploaded a few on my profile.

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Alysia85 congrats!!! Your pictures are beautiful and thank you thank you for that review! It's almost exactly what I want, with the steel drum band and the show afterwards. Did you walk down the aisle to the steel drum band? The gazebo looks great,  but we really want to get married on the beach.


Does anyone have pictures of the Waves of Love package at the beach? The website pictures look awesome, but I want to see a real wedding picture at this location please.


Also, I read somewhere that the Hors d'Oeuvres Reception at Your Ceremony Site was enough food to feed guests, even enough for leftovers. . . .I am thinking of having my whole reception at the beach. After our ceremony, have a signature cocktail for guests while we get a few formal pics taken, and then introduce us, speeches and a few dances while hors d'oeuvres are being served, and then have the  ZURIELEMAKA show?!?!?

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We got married May 8th at the Grand Palladium.We had a mix of experiences here, at the time we arrived we were advised the resort had been over booked which meant that purchased rooms were not received for our guests as well as my husband and I. This wasn't a problem until we were faced with short tempered front desk staff who were down right rude for no reason. Once we had moved past the experience with them it got better. Our wedding coordinator was sooooooooooo nice and warm and made us feel so welcome, Omeshia.


We chose to have our wedding ceremony at the angel atrium as I needed protection from the sun to avoid getting a migraine, which I ended up with anyway so I am thankful we had over head coverage. This is also the "back up" site for rainy days. It was beautiful! And the breeze that comes through the atrium is remarkable so I wasn't even hot in my north american wedding dress. And our guests appreciated the break from the heat.

The atrium is a far walk from the grand palladium side which means a long walk in the direct sun at 2pm however the wedding coordinator is wonderful and she arranged for all of our guests to get picked up at their villa at 1:30 so that they would have transportation to the ceremony site. They also provided transportation for those requiring it back to the main resort after the ceremony.


The DJ for the ceremony is included and the acoustics in the atrium made for a magical experience when our music was played to accompany us down the isle.


The second he started to play my heart fluttered. I will never forget that experience.


There are endless opportunities for photo opp's at this hotel, everyone more beautiful than the next.


Our reception was at the blue lagoon and as you can see in the picture below, you don't need decoration when you have a view like that. However, the hotel moves all of the flowers from the ceremony site to the reception so this made decorations easy and beautiful. We also purchased centre pieces for each table which were glass vases with floating candles. They were simple and pretty, I had no idea that you don't rent them but you purchase them so they tell you you can take it all away with you.


If I had more time I would have found another bride on the resort to donate them to however the reception staff were on a strict schedule so there was no time for that.


For our sound equipment we brought our own including speakers and microphone, in theory at home this worked amazing. However, in the chaos of the day making sure everything ended up at the right location at the same time was a task and a half.


And don't forget technical issues... oh those technical issues... if I were to go back and do it again I probably would have gone with the PA that I was told "wasn't worth it and didn't work great" because then atleast they would handle any technical glitches so that I didn't have to. However, we made it through those issues and everyone had a great time.


As the reception staff are on such a tight schedule and our speeches went longer than expected we didn't get to much dancing other than the traditional dances. The other reason for this is that we decided to release sky lanters on the beach after dinner/speeches. We released sky lanterns for my parents as they've both passed away and I welcomed the other guests to release one with a wish to any of their loved ones. This was an incredible experience and capped off the evening in a magical and important way. It allowed me to take a moment specifically for my family as my brother was the only person on my side that attended.


It was talked about by all of our guests as well as other guests around the resort and I overheard some people talking about it the next day in the pool.


We also did pictures with sparklers which was fun and pretty.


All in all the wedding was everything I dreamed of. The scene is set by the beauty of Jamaica and the vibe is fun and easy going aside from a few less than desirable moments. However you will find this everywhere you go.





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