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We decided that we wanted to have a destination wedding pretty much right away after we were engaged. We looked into an at home wedding but the cost would have just killed us. Weighing the pro and cons and watching the budget we decided definately on a destination wedding. During this time our friends were planning a destination wedding at the Grand Palladium Mayan Riviera, so she was able to give me lots of information and advice on how to find a place to get married. It was a toss up between GP MR and GP LH. We figured that since we would be in Mexico in November, we wanted to make our wedding different so we decided on Jamaica. We looked into other resorts but with our friends experience at the Grand Palladium resorts we decided to book there. We booked our wedding/trip through a travel agent who was able to get us a pretty good group wait. The travel agent put me in contact with the wedding office in Jamaica and we were then on a roll:) We continued over the next 8 month to contact back and forth with any questions, concerns that we both had. I did have a few different co-ordinators but for the majority of the planning I had the pleasure to deal with Natalie Green. I never had any problems contacting her.
Next, planning for everything else had to begin. Since the resort pretty much handles everything I could relax a bit and focus on other things. Found the dress within a month after trying on many. Im not a dress person so it wasnt that easy but we did eventually find me the perfect dress. Wedding party clothing was next, and since we are very laid back people, we wanted our wedding party to be comfortable. We got matching hawaiian shirts for the guys and a sundress for my MOH. Everyone wore sandals. Next was the invites. We decided to get some very cute and flip flop themed invites, and reply cards and we were able to print them off at our own house. Flowers were next. Unfortunately the flowers at the resort are pretty pricy and the ones I wanted werent exactly available, I decided to get real touch(fake) flowers. They were just amazing. This lady really knows what shes doing. I left the music until pretty much the last month and all we had was the iPod system at the ceremony and reception. It just made it easier as I know my guest and the type of music they like to listen to.
We met with Natalie the day after we arrived for a meeting that was about an hour. We went over the details, and finalized the contract and paid everything. She took us around the resort to the site for the wedding and the reception. At this point I was still stressed but meeting with her really made me calm down a bit.
We chose to have our wedding on the beach at 2 pm. We decided to bring our own photographer as it was cheaper to pay his way then to hire the resort photographer and we were able to have our photographer with us all day! The morning of the wedding, I went to the spa and had my hair and make up done. The ladies in the salon are amazing and made me look sooooo beautiful. Back to the room to cool down a bit and start to get ready. We had getting ready photos done of the guys and the girls. The carts were planned to pick us up but since our villas were just across from the pathway we just walked. There ceremony was beautiful. They set everything up sooooooo nicely. Natalie was with us the entire time. Guiding us and watching for people to walk in the way. They barrier off a bit of the beach for the time of your wedding. We had one gentleman just wander through the procession but oh well. It doesnt really matter. Natalie was so upset tho:) The officiant Vincent was soooo awesome. Cracked a few jokes, and we shed a few happy tears. The ceremony was short and sweet. We did a sand ceremony as well and that went over very well. They served us champagne after the ceremony and had a few toasts. After the ceremony we had a few hours to spare, so we did all the group photos etc and then let everyone do what they wanted to for afternoon. The photographer, his assistant, myself and my new hubby walked around the resort taking photos. I was so surprised at how many people, mostly staff congratulated us as we walked around the resort. They are so friendly and laid back.
For our dinner we wanted to have a private reception so we chose to have the dinner at the Blue Lagoon with food from Bubbas Steak House. We had 24 guests (including us) so they set up one of the kickouts in blue lagoon especially for us. No one was able to walk through. The food was awesome and they also brought our cake out and it was so delicious. We had our iPod set up playing while dinner and it was nice and relaxing. We did toasts just before cake. After dinner we started the party music and everyone danced and had a great time. Our wait staff really made the evening. They were great, quick and friendly. They even serenaded us with songs a few times and played some of there music as well. They really made the night more enjoyable. After the reception, everyone was pretty beat from the long hot day that most of us just headed back to the rooms. And for me, the stress was over. Its alot of planning for just one day but it was totally worth it all. Even the heartburn and anxiety attacks. I couldnt have asked for a better day at all. It was everything I could have ever asked for and sooooooooooo much more.
We are so happy that we chose to have our destination wedding at this resort. The staff, wedding department, and just everyone really made our wedding so memorable. I was stressed out about having a destination wedding but everything worked out completely and I couldnt have asked for anything better. Thank you to everyone on here for the advice etc and a special thanks out to the GP LH and their wedding department and our co-ordinator Natalie :)