We have booked our "weddingmoon" at the newly renovated Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and while I've scoured these forums and found incredible insight/tips/suggestions, I have not been able to find much in the way of experiences at this property after the renovation. And, of course, I seem to have a million questions in general. Thus, I continue to add things to my ever-growing list that keeps me awake at night. I apologize in advance it's so long; however, any advice or answers would be greatly appreciated!
1. Currently, what are the available ceremony locations? (Any pics would be awesome, especially of the beach scenario as I've heard it's rather small)
2. Is it still required that the couples take a van ride down to the courthouse in town to sign paperwork? (I had read this on other posts)
3. Do they still impose the 2-hour "pre-marital counseling" session the day before? (Also read about this on other threads)
4. Are you able to meet with the officiant prior to the ceremony? If not, can you pre-arrange with the on-site WC exactly what you would like said/read at the ceremony?
5. Can we decline to have photography/videography? Having already had our photos and footage done in the states, we'd rather keep this moment just for us without their staff.
6. If we would like to do the sand ceremony, but we are bringing our own materials are they going to try and charge us anyway for a "set-up" fee?
7. Is the location for the free 30 minute "reception" that comes in the BB package different from the ceremony location? If so, do we get to choose this? And then, will they escort us immediately over or can we have time in between?
8. And randomly, I saw a cake serving set in the upgrades package for $60. Are they really going to charge us for utensils to cut the cake or is this a keepsake sort of thing?
9. And finally, does anyone have any suggestions for post wedding/reception activities? Our ceremony is at 11am on Friday, December 23rd, 2011 and it is the two of us, his and my parents (who are staying onsite)--so, pretty intimate. We are planning at some point to walk around the property and take informal pics together since we'll all be pretty but it will still be quite early in the afternoon as all of that will be an hour and a half tops. I read that there is a Friday night beach party that's a lot of fun. Maybe schedule a nice lunch in between since we'll have only had the cheese and cracker platter plus cake?
I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE any suggestions--tips--tricks--restaurant recommendations--must see's--whatever you girls are willing to offer! I've read bits and pieces about super secluded pools/hot tubs, the activities not to miss, the excursions that are worth the money and the ones that aren't, the basic schedule on your actual ceremony day...and I would love to find out more about all of it! Thank you so much in advance for sharing! I'm so excited!!