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So here we go...
When we decided to have a Destination Wedding, I instantly took on the motto "No Worries". I was going to have my dream wedding on a beach and with the laid back mentality of the island ways... I wasn't going to let myself stress. We booked our June 2011 wedding in early November 2010. At that time, Nina was the coordinator and though emails took anywhere from 2-7 days, she was always helpful and answered my questions. I believe it was around January when Natalie Green took over the wedding department and again was very happy with her communication (same response time). About 2 months prior to our wedding, I was given Nekeisha Reid as my wedding coordinator. Again, same response time, but she was amazing! If she had any questions, she would actually call me. She even called me just to see how things were going. :)
We arrived 3 days prior to our wedding. The resort is just breathtaking! You can definitely tell it’s a new resort, everything looks so new and fresh! Our room was absolutely fantastic! We were upgraded to the 1-bedroom suite and we were right on the water! Our view was stunning! The room and bathroom were HUGE! No complaints! Very happy we chose the resort for our guests, the accommodations were just over the top!
I knew beforehand that we would have a letter waiting for us to let us know when we would meet with Nekeisha (she told us about the letter during a phone call), we didn’t have a letter at check-in or in the room. I wasn’t going to let this bother me, so we just took the initiative and went to the Wedding Department. She was off that day, but was told our meeting was set up for the next day. When we met with her she gave us a tour of the resort, the backup ceremony location and our actual beach location, plus reception. Everything was beautiful, even the backup location at the spa! We went through the details one last time and we really didn’t have any questions, I left feeling good, no worries! She informed us that our guests would need to be outside their Villas 15 minutes prior to the ceremony (groom and groomsmen included) for a shuttle and that my shuttle would arrive 5 minutes prior.
We decided to have a Welcome Dinner for our guests the night before the wedding. Since we had a large group (42+) our only option was a buffet, since no other restaurant could accommodate a group our size. We spoke with Maria, Customer Relations, beforehand and she made sure we would be fine. We had a section off to the side at the buffet and had 2 waiters, no issues.
Our makeup artist and hair stylist arrived at 11am. Since they weren’t from the spa, I won’t go into detail here, though very happy with the results! While we were getting ready, I chose to have the Bridal “Tea-Party” for myself, bridesmaids, and mom. Lots of chocolate and champagne! Great to calm the nerves, that and the Red Stripes in the fridge! About 2 hours prior to the ceremony, my bouquet was delivered to the room (I brought the rest of the flowers from home). 10 minutes prior to the ceremony we received a call letting us know the shuttle was on the way. The rest went by so fast and was like a dream!
We arrived and the Steel Drum band was playing (guest said they were great!). The ceremony site was decorated exactly as I wanted and looked amazing (that's my cousin in the background, not a random resort guest)!
Only 1 mishap during the ceremony… the officiate went out of order. I created programs, so I wasn’t so happy about it, but it was definitely nothing to ruin the wedding. We provided our own vows and ring exchange wording. We're both Catholic and since we weren't getting married at a church, we still wanted to incorporate our religion.
Oh! Strongly suggest the sand ceremony! Our ceremony would have been rather short if we didn't do it. Besides, it was fun! We provided our own script and vases.
No resort guests interrupted our ceremony, they were far in the background, but all were respectful. Some watched, some took pictures. All kept a great distance, I only noticed after the ceremony. No complaints.
The reception was soooooooooooo much fun! We had a DJ w/MC and the Zurielamaka show. Highly recommend all 3! I honestly don’t know how the reception would have gone if we didn’t have them. The MC ran the show and was very entertaining (he's in the cake picture off to the side). If you have a fun crowd, definitely do the Zurielamaka show! You won't regret it!! I'm not posting pictures because I loved not knowing what was coming next in the show! Definitely worth the money!
Food was good, fish was a little spicy and the filets were rare for some people. Cake was a little dry, but wasn't that bad since it came out with the dessert (grilled pineapple and ice cream); together it was fabulous!
Another mishap… I created menus and the salad they served was NOT the one I chose or listed on the menu. Oh well, again such a small detail, no worries. The set-up was exactly what I wanted and looked beautiful!
The next day, so many of our guests said it was the "best wedding they ever went to", "very hard to top!" I couldn't ask for anything more! :)
Overall, I am very happy with the wedding! Wedding coordinators, resort, food, communication… a stress-free wedding in paradise was want I wanted and it’s exactly what we got! My advice… book Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa for your wedding!!! Just remember, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! You’re having a destination wedding in paradise, no need to worry! Love GP!!