I’ve dreamt about my wedding day since I was just a little girl…
Just kidding, that wasn’t me growing up. I didn’t have my entire wedding planned out at 13 years old. Let’s be honest, what did you really know about planning a wedding at that age anyway? I just figured that when I met the right guy, my dream wedding would come to life.
So, you’re probably wondering how I came to choose a destination wedding, right? In my early 20’s, when I began traveling more often (especially to tropical destinations) I fell in love with the experiences, excitement and the people everywhere I went. On all these trips, I would see at least one beach wedding. That opened my eyes to the idea of having my own destination wedding one day. The thought of being surrounded by all your close family and friends, not only on your big day, but for a week or so just sounded way better than going bankrupt planning a New York Wedding. I’m also a very stressed and indecisive person in general. So I figured being in a tropical paradise would wash the wedding day stresses away.
How I came to choose Montego Bay, Jamaica was mostly due to the great experience I had at an all-inclusive resort. The Iberostar Rose Hall Resorts have a great combo of delicious food, cocktails and a friendly staff. Not to mention a gorgeous and fun atmosphere that always had me coming back. Besides the great rum drinks, my favorite thing about the resort is the staff. They become your friends and get you involved in their daily activities. The relationships you build really make for lasting memories.
This particular resort is actually made up of 3 sister hotels all adjacent to each other. They all range in price, so this was perfect for my guests to choose their spending level. For our wedding we chose to have it at the nicest resort of all three, which was the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand (Adults Only). The Rose Hall Grand offers you a personal butler, room service, stocked mini bar, and access to the spa. It also has the nicest beach area and restaurants in my opinion. What’s also great is that you get access to the other two sister hotels. So if you have any guests staying at those properties, you could visit anytime.
This resort goes above and beyond to make sure everything is perfect for your wedding day. Especially the wedding coordinator I worked with, Syrecka. She was amazing, and put me at ease. If any problem popped up she was quick to solve them.
My wedding day was a literal dream, lived out to perfection!
We opted to have our ceremony on the beach and our reception in an open-air restaurant on the beach (Port Maria). During our ceremony we were lucky to have the perfect sunset. The sky was the most beautiful cotton candy pink and purple. Besides staring at my husband, I couldn’t help but stare at the sunset as well. I was one happy girl! Everything went pretty smooth for the entire day. We were extremely content with the results and staff at Iberostar Rose Hall Grand. Our guests also had a great time at the wedding and resort. I would definitely recommend this hotel as an option if you were looking around.
Scroll down to the bottom for helpful tips/advice and links to vendors, décor and excursions in Jamaica.
We did a ‘trash the dress’ photo shoot the day after our wedding, at sunrise. Which yes, was a little exhausting but well worth it! We had so much fun playing in the water and getting more intimate and relaxed photos. I think it was great to have these extra memories to commemorate our wedding week. We chose to stay on our hotel property for the photos. If you are more adventurous there are plenty of waterfalls you can visit in Jamaica to get a photo session in.
All my photos were taken by The DVimage
If you are looking to get married in Jamaica, I’ve gone ahead and listed outside vendors we used. Check with your resort before booking, as some vendor fees may apply.
- Flowers: Floral Fantasies (Contact: Chantal)
- DJ: Jamaica Wedding DJ (DJ Dutch)
- Videography: Roxroy (Contact: Roxroy)
- Photographer: The DVimage (Contact: Danny) (Not local -We flew him down)
- Favor Supplier (Rum & Jerk Bottles): Wedding Belles Jamaica (Contact: Jo-anne)
Helpful Tips / Advice
- Use a travel agent. This way you have someone to direct all your guests’ questions to. They will block off rooms for you and possibly get you a lower rate. If your guests wish to book on their own, that’s fine as well.
- You can save a lot of money bringing your own decorations.
- It’s never to early to start packing, especially if you do choose to bring your own decorations.
- Don’t stress over your guest list. Those who matter will find a way to be there and the more intimate the better.
- Don’t be surprised if anyone drops out due to the Zika virus. If anyone of your guests are planning on getting pregnant, they most likely will not be coming to a tropical location.
- Carry on your dress and ask your airline if they have a closet you can hang it in. If not it will be perfectly fine in the overhead storage. Just fold it over once and lay it flat.
- Check with your resort about their policies. Some properties don’t allow drones and requiring to use biodegradable decor if you are having it on the beach.
- Every resort offers a different type of package so check around before you make a final decision.
- Do a site visit if you can! If you do this, take plenty of photos and videos. This way you have them to look back at during the planning phase.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for floor plans to use for seating charts.
- Check when the sun sets for the time of year you are getting married. Most likely the wedding coordinators will inform you the best time to have a ‘sunset’ wedding anyways. This is very important if you want to get those beach portraits with the hubby!
- A lot of resorts will most likely have a small salon. Be sure to coordinate appointments early for you and you bridal party if necessary.
- Plan on heading down a few days earlier then your guests so you can iron out any last-minute details and spend more time having fun with everyone!
- Ask your wedding planner or vendors if they can video chat before you head to your destination. This way it’s fewer meetings for you when you arrive. It will also put you at ease since you most likely won’t meet face to face until the week of your wedding. I did this with my videographer and DJ and was so happy I did.
- Enjoy every minute! It goes by wayyy too fast. Soak up all the quality time with your guests and take a second to realize how lucky you are to be there!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Here are a few links to my dress, decor and bridal party attire:
Excursions in Jamaica:
- Iberostar Rose Hall Resorts
- Sandals Good for your Honeymoon or Weddings as well! The Montego Bay Location has over water bungalows!
For more photos of my wedding, check out my instagram page!