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Secrets St. James Weddings


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#1 kris10kay

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    Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:32 AM

    I am new to the website and I haven't read much about Secrets St. James. We are looking to stay there and get married there with one of the package deals. Does anyone know how the WC is that they offer? Or any other info about the hotel (likes, dislikes, ect) and same with the wedding packages?!

     

    Thanks!



    #2 BlueMoonGirl

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      Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:18 PM

      I don't think I've seen any forum discussions here about Secrets resorts, which are relatively new resorts in Montego Bay. I did some research on Secrets St. James and its sister hotel Wild Orchid earlier this year, and you can find a lot of travelers who got married there who have posted on Secrets' Facebook page and on TripAdvisor.com. Perhaps you can contact those travelers? Hope that helps.



      #3 futuremrstgun

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        Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:18 PM

        kris10kay....i haven't heard anything either..some folks have gone over there post wedding...i bet you can find info on tripadvisor or even random google searches... good luck and happy planning!  R~



        #4 RobSylvia2012

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          Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

          I am getting married next year at Secrets Wild Orchid in July 2012.  I have been looking at videos on Youtube to see pictures of the wedding.  Hopefully, there will be other brides posting on this website their reviews and pictures.  Good Luck with your wedding.



          #5 Nurseabc

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            Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

            I am about to get married there and want to back out, they do not try to please the bride! The package I am getting is top of the line they totally take advantage and try to get every penny they can out of you! My wedding is cost me 4,000 more than I want to spend, customer service is awful! I'd recommend couples my friend just married there.

            #6 gs02dnj

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              Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:02 AM

              Feeling the same way Nurse. I'm so over budget dealing with their nickel and diming. Like "20 guests" include the bride and groom slim paying an extra $160 for me and my groom to eat at the reception. If it wasn't for us they wouldn't have the other 30 people. One thing you can do to help cut cost is to work directly with the florists and not through the hotel. Saved me $1,300 and I will pay the $300 vendor fee. I know a few people who have stayed here and they say it's great, my only response is "you didn't plan a wedding there". I'm still hopeful though. Great family and friends and a great fiancĀ©. I won't let them ruin it. When is your date m under 60 days. I will share my experience afterwards.

              #7 semisweet

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                Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

                I'm having the same problem with Secrets! I'm planning my wedding there for October 25 of this year, and the hotel does not seem to be working with us at all; and everything we want to do has an extra cost associated with it. You would think that since we're bringing so much business to them they would try to work with us more!

                 

                Anyway, I don't really have any vendors booked besides the hotel. You said you're not using the hotel's florist, so would you be able to tell me who you are using? Are you using the hotel's photographer and DJ?
                 



                #8 gs02dnj

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                  Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:17 PM

                  Tai Flora is the florist the hotel uses. After receiving quotes from the hotel I randomly reached out to Tai Flora and asked for a quote. In the end I told Vanessa at Tai Flora to prePare a quote that did not include the hotel. That's when the $1,300 difference came in. Net savings is $1k after adding the vendor fee back in. I am using their DJ because I was afraid to hear they would charge a fee for an outside DJ to hookup his equipment. So I'm biting the bullet on that one. I will let you know how he is when I return. I hired a photographer, but have made it clear that I want their photographer here as well. If I'm paying for it I want the photos. I figure he can focus on the pics off guests. I agree they have made this process frustrating. I have 15 rooms booked and the max package. I'm still paying them over $2k over the package price an that doesn't include the florist.

                  #9 kaycag

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                    Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

                    Originally Posted by gs02dnj 

                    Tai Flora is the florist the hotel uses. After receiving quotes from the hotel I randomly reached out to Tai Flora and asked for a quote. In the end I told Vanessa at Tai Flora to prePare a quote that did not include the hotel. That's when the $1,300 difference came in. Net savings is $1k after adding the vendor fee back in.
                    I am using their DJ because I was afraid to hear they would charge a fee for an outside DJ to hookup his equipment. So I'm biting the bullet on that one. I will let you know how he is when I return.
                    I hired a photographer, but have made it clear that I want their photographer here as well. If I'm paying for it I want the photos. I figure he can focus on the pics off guests.
                    I agree they have made this process frustrating. I have 15 rooms booked and the max package. I'm still paying them over $2k over the package price an that doesn't include the florist

                     

                     

                    Congrats on your wedding being in a few days!!! Please make sure you post plenty of pics and and advice or insight you may have! Thanks in advance!!! 



                    #10 gs02dnj

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                      Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

                      I will statrt by saying overall I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed our ceremony and reception. We were blessed to have 30 people in attendance. It rained that morning and everyone thought we were in the clear.after the ceremony, Rocio came back and asked us to consider moving the reception inside. If a Jamaican says move the ceremony, move it! We finished the cocktail hour outside and moved into the ballroom and not even 30 minutes later it was pouring. Best decision ever though,it allowed us to have a more intimate reception and I saw people dance in my family who would have never done so outside on the beach. Memories from my reception are forever engrained in my memory.   Now on to what you want to really know and if I leave something out just shoot me an email or reply back to the thread (email for the fastest response). I will even try to remember to post the emailed questions back on the forum.   Florist: Tai Flora I have already shared how we saved money by contacting Tai Flora directly. I will say they are overpriced as well. I only went through with it because my mother was dead set on decorating the gazebo with flowers. The arrangements were really nice and really set our wedding apart for the 3 weddings I saw before ours. However, in the end I was a little upset to learn that we were "renting" the vases and we were asked to leave them after the reception. Now I'm fully aware that you can't bring the flowers back to the US, but I wanted our parents to have fresh flowers in their room until they left. Luckily, someone came and said we could take them to the room, but we needed to leave them in the room when we checked out. I only make this fuss because the centerpieces were overpriced at $120 each. Note they did make the gazebo decorations so that they would come apart and we used them to decorate our sweetheart table and around the DJ area/dance floor.   Wedding Coordinator Rocio was our lead coordinator at the hotel. I suggest if you are getting married here you try to get her or Lisa-Marie (the Manager), Simone comes across with a little attitude. Rocio is very kind and speak very good English. I realized it's not the staff that is the real problem at the hotel, it is the nickel and dime policies they have to enforce. When we arrived there was letter in our welcome kit informing us of the wedding meeting time. Which was about 30 minutes after we check in. (Check in is about a 20 minute process). They keep up with dang near every email you send so sometimes she didn't respond as quickly as I may have wanted, but she did respond. I never sent the same question twice.   The Meeting was not very long. We met the photo shop manager. All I can say is know what you want going into the meeting. We didn't have a chance to circle back with our photographer before the meeting and the manager was a little pushy about what they were going to do. Including being the lead at the ceremony, which was NOT going to happen. Ultimately we only let them cover the cocktail hour. The videographer didan okay job. We will probably re-edit the video. Just note I'm picky about stuff like this, I work in the cable industry.   We did leave with our video and pictures (the ones taken by the hotel photographer) which is definitely a plus. They also copyright release providing you the ability to use the pictures for personal use. Not bad photos overall.   Minister We met with the Minister at the meeting. Pretty funny guy and we were happy to meet him, except he was not the minister performing our ceremony. He told us that day there was a possibility he couldnt be there. The minister who performed the ceremony wasn't bad, he just kept screwing up my name even after I corrected him.   Hair and Makeup...after feeling other stuff was going wrong I didn't want to chance them screwing up my hair and makeup so I passed.   Wedding Rehearsal Not worth the money. Just meet up with your wedding party and let them know what to do. It didn't help my people were late, but if you have been to a wedding then you know what to tell people to do. The Minister said where he wanted us to stand exactly, that was probably the most useful info we got.   Preferred Club Room Great Staff! They do whatever they can to accommodate you. Was it worth the money, I would say no. It's not restricted access so we had guests knocking on the door like crazy at one point. We had to put a stop to it. I will say the Wild Orchid PC is better than the St. James side. They don't have the swim out option and it's on the furthest end of the property. We got dressed over there and it was hike to get there. The wifi is free in PC rooms too, just know it can only be used on one device at a time.   The Not So Good 1. The Groom was suppose to get a separate room the night before...didn't happen.   2. I ended up having to talk with Robert, the Preferred Club Manager after learning that we (the ladies) were all getting dressed in our Jr. Suite. I felt the area was way too small for 4 ladies and a photographer to be in comfortably. The wedding staffwas no help on this. Robert landed us a Master Suite for a few hours. I was willing to pay, but he said that my wedding was bring in over $25k to the hotel (wedding cost and all the rooms) and he would work it out. Someone who understands business, I like Robert!   3. The Ultimate Package comes with a Mento Band. Once you get to the meeting they tell you the band is boring and you should consider upgrading to the astern Drum band. My husband thought it as better to go ahead and upgrade, but noted the bait and switch tactic.   4. Decorations: We brought most of our own. The hotel will charge you starting at $50 to put them out. I had a great group of friends who went down at 2:30 and started putting everything out. They told me the staff asked to help, but they were afraid they would charge me so they politely declined. They helped in the end anyway. When I say I took everything I mean everything. I refused to pay $45 per table cloth to the hotel. So I brought tablecloths, chair sashes, and napkins. May sound like overkill, but do the math when you have 30 people and it adds up when you get the stuff on your own for cheap. Just make sure you have a point person whose willing to put the stuff out and collect it.   5. After the wedding we didn't hear from the Wedding Team. So if you want your top layer of cake I will let you know you have to contact room service. Honestly, the cake wasn't good so we are headed back without it. And I haven't clue where to get our toasting flutes from. I sent an email hopefully I will get a response soon.   6. Look at your wedding invoice carefully. At some point, I thought I indicated our photographers were staying at the hotel but 2 day passes ended upon the bill. We didn't catch it Neil it was time to pay. Also, make sure when you pay the front desk the deposit has been deducted. I also would advise you not to pay until the bill is correct. The last thing you want is to pay the correct amount and hope they credit the account before you checkout.   Overall, I can't say I recommend this as a good wedding hotel, especially if you havea group. it is great as a honeymoon spot. Now if you are a very very simple person it could work or if you are having a small ceremony, like 2-10 people. Know the packages are very basic. You aren't getting tropical flowers so don't even think about it. The day before the wedding another couple who renewed their vows their told us they asked for daisies and their coordinator Simone showed up at the room with carnations and told her, we ran out so you have to take these or nothing. Not much you can do in that situation.   I am sure I left out a lot and will be happy to answer your questions. I want more than anything for people to have what I didn't have before I booked all the intel they can get about the hotel so they can make an informed decision. My words to the wedding staff and Robert were, people don't care if they end up going over budget when they feel like they are getting something, but I paid twice the amount of the package and I feel like I got absolutey nothing but headaches.   I'm writing this as we fly back so I will post pictures later.





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