My husband and I recently (June 27 2013) got married at ClubHotel Riu Negril. I felt like the resort offered a great package at a great price. We opted for the "free" package which is really the $500 package. With this package you get to have 10 guests at no additional charge. Every guest over 10 people is $10.50. Children are cheaper (5 and under are free, 6-12 are half price). The resort's preferred photographer is True Colors Photography. If you choose not to hire True Colors Photography you can use a separate vendor but then the resort charges you a $350 fee. I used a separate vendor for photography and videography (Alain Hottat www.jamaicashoots.com). Alain paid half of the fee. Even with the fee I paid less to use Alain and received more time (5 hours for $1,400) than I would have received from True Colors Photography. So don't be afraid to check out vendors outside of the resort if True Colors isn't a good fit for your needs. The free package includes your ceremony and dinner at the Steakhouse. In the evening the steakhouse is only open to weddings. There was one other wedding group there with us, but we truly didn't even notice them so it felt private. Before the wedding I found out the price of all of the upgrades, etc so I could figure out a way to make things in my budget. The resort wanted to charge me $15 for a bag of flower petals that I was going to use on the walkway. Instead I purchased 6,000 artificial petals on Ebay for $25. The flowers covered the aisle and the resort cleaned them up afterwards for free. I didn't add any extra decorations other than the petals because the site is beautiful so you don't need to add a lot. The free arch is green and red. The free chairs are brown. So for my colors I did red, orange, and brown so everything coordinated with what the package offered. I don't remember how much bouquets and boutonnieres were, but I remember it was more than I wanted to pay. So my girls carried parasols ($8) which were cheaper than flowers and shielded them from the sun. I made the guy's boutonnieres (starfish with red and orange ribbon). Getting your hair done at the salon is very expensive and takes a long time. I'm a plain jane and am not very good at doing my hair, so I paid the salon $125 to do my hair. Typically it would have only taken 30 minutes to do an update on my hair, but the salon took an hour which wasn't a problem and fortunately I had planned on the extra time. The coordinator (Dionne) was great to work with. She always typically responded to my emails in a timely manner (1-3 days). Some brides suggest combining all of your questions into one email so you email her less often, but I found the more questions that I received in an email would result in not all of the questions getting answered so I emailed her more often with less questions in each email. We met with Dionne the day before the wedding to go over final details and everything went smoothly. We had our weddingon the beach at the end of the resort. It is in the fish sanctuary so nobody is supposed to swim there. We did have 1 random guy swimming in the water in the background, but it didn't bother us. This spot is at the very end of the resort with nothing nearby (i.e. grill, bar, lobby, etc) so most people don't have a reason to go down to this end of the beach unless they are staying in building 3 or 4. The gazebo is in the middle of the beach (near building 2) so it is closer to the main resort area and more people are around. People stand around and stare when they see a wedding going on, so I was glad we didn't choose the gazebo. The free package says that you don't get a free upgrade, but my hubby and I did and we didn't even ask for it. We got an ocean view room. This was great for the video because it gave the videographer the opportunity to do an overlook scan of the property for our video. Other than that it didn't matter to us that it was ocean view because you don't spend a lot of time in your room. We had 16 guests who stayed the entire week so we were only in our room at night.
According to the message boards a lot of brides have had a problem with receiving their wedding certificate in a timely manner. I planned for this delay so when we got back I went onto Jamaica's Registrar website and paid $85 to have 2 copies or our certificate rushed to us. I received them in the mail within 2 weeks. http://apps.rgd.gov....Application.cfm
Attached are some pics to give you an idea of how things turned out. Happy Planning!