OKAY...where were we? Oh yes, this is part II of a III part Series about my destination wedding experience. I discuss booking/planning and arrival in this POST if you want to read the first part.
The resort offered several ceremony sites and you have the option of choosing your time of day. The evening / sunset times are more expensive so keep that in mind. I chose the beach location and a late afternoon time and I was very happy with it. I wanted time to get may hair done before so I did not want to do too early in the day and at the time the sunset photos were not that important to me. Now that I am a more seasoned photographer, I can see the appeal of that time. It was also very hot at the ceremony time we chose and I started to sweat because my dress was heavy and very fitted (little breathing room).
Perhaps I should have gone for a flowy dress but I tried the dress on and HAD TO HAVE IT! Now I know why they say not to try on dresses outside of your budget...agh. Oh well, it was totally worth it!!
The officiant was the cutest little man names Rev Rose. A couple that traveled with us had a destination a few years earlier at a different Couples Resort down the beach and Rev Rose married them as well. He was very sweet! The best I could have asked for considering he was a complete stranger. :)
There are different reception options depending on the size of your wedding, food requirements, music, and length of reception. We opted for a small cake and 1 hour for the reception. We got a small cake and champaign for our guests in a small setup just up the beach closer to the resort. There was another wedding the week we were there and they opted for a big reception under a tent on the beach. They had music, food, and a dance floor. It looked like a blast. That couple had a lot more guests than us and definitely partied it up!! (On a side note, it took the resort crew 3 days to put that tent up. It was easy a 3-4 hour job but,...Yeah, mon, that's Jamaica, mon.)
After the reception, we took some photos with the resort photographers. They offer this service for free and then they offer viewing of your photos later that day and you can purchase the photos that you want. If you missed part I, I explained that I had viewed the resort portrait gallery ahead of time and their images were just not the style I was looking for in my images so I brought a photographer friend, Amelia Protiva.
We went with Amelia to take additional portraits after the reception. (Keep in mind, they do charge you to use an external photographer.) We actually had to go back to the room for a bit so that I could cool down because I was getting so hot in my dress. Amelia was a good sport and super patient. I am very glad that we decided to spend the extra money to pay for her to come. She was awesome and I love the images we got.
Jarrod & I and our guests changed and all went to dinner afterwards in one of the nicer restaurant options at the resort. It was a beautiful day and it went very smoothly. It was a quick ceremony and a breathtaking setting. Plus, I got to marry by best friend! It is easily one of the best days of my life. I think we will have to plan an anniversary return very soon!!!
I hope this is helpful if you are considering a destination wedding. Stay tuned for Part III Pros & Cons!
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