"Getting married at an all-inclusive resort was the best decision that we made."
Getting married at an all-inclusive resort was the best decision that we made. Upon our arrival, we set up snorkeling for the entire wedding group. We really wanted everyone to go. Once we found out that snorkeling was down on a glass bottom boat, we were thrilled. We pitched the idea that even if people didn’t want to snorkel, they could still see everything just by being on the boat. Since our family was so large (30 people), we had the entire boat to ourselves. Big plus! Also, the boat had a canopy, so the sun wasn’t glaring down on us. Our family thought (besides the wedding, of course) that this was the BEST event. I wish I could describe how incredible it was. I got back on the boat and was just like “WOW.”
Honestly, when I arrived at the hotel, I was really disappointed. I just didn’t like the looks of the buildings – bright green, blue, yellow, red, etc. I thought I had made a mistake. However, the following morning, we met with our on-site wedding planner and she showed us the different wedding locations. My jaw dropped. I immediately picked the gazebo to get married at and chose the beach hut for our wedding reception. My disappointment quickly left me. [For the record, I was 100% that I did not want to get married at the gazebo before we got to Jamaica. My advice to brides is to wait until arrival to make any decisions about where she wants to get married.]
The on-site wedding planners were FABULOUS! Our only comment is that some of the stuff we sent to Jennifer didn’t make to the hotel (seating charts, numbers, etc). It just seemed like it had gone through too many people – Jennifer, then Florida, then the resort. We totally understood how things got lost in the mix. Looking back through my emails, I saw where I had requested wrist corsages vaguely. However, the corsages were pin on. I should have been more specific. In all honestly, I didn’t care, but the moms had a hard time because their dresses weren’t strong enough. I had told them wrist corsages.
VIPs assistance was crucial. I found Jennifer and the company by the luck of the internet. I am very picky and organized, and VIP was the right fit for me. In the beginning, I was very on top of things. Jennifer and I worked well together sending multiple emails daily. Towards the end, I got burnt out of wedding planning. Luckily, when our family members had questions, Jennifer was able to answer them quickly. Her knowledge of the particular resort I was getting married was a GREAT help. I could definitely tell that her and her team had been physically been to the resorts and knew what they were talking about. Also, if Jennifer didn’t know an answer to my question, she would quickly find it out for me. My husband and I can’t say enough great things about VIPs assistance. Without a doubt, we would recommend VIP to any engaged couple.
Also, having a big group proved to be challanging. I would caution couples against trying to have dinners together besides the rehearsal and wedding reception. Even though we had reservations in restaurants, we still had to wait anywhere from twenty to fifity minutes for our table. Luckily, we and our family are very relaxed and didn’t mind waiting. I would recommend either eating separate or in small tables (6 or less).
We had no problems using the shuttle service between hotels. We even walked from hotel to hotel. However, be careful of local Jamaicans when you are off of property. Adam got slipped many different types of drugs. The best part about the locals is when you put your foot down and say no, they move on very respectfully.
The only thing that Adam and I would caution other couples about would be transferring from one hotel to another. We got married at Beaches Negril and then transferred to Sandals Negril. The front desk and bell hop were not on the same page. We were told we were leaving at 2pm, but after an hour of waiting, the bell hop finally realized who we were once we asked when the taxi was going to arrive. He was told that our transfer was at 4pm. It took five minutes for them to call a cab, but waiting by the front desk for an hour wasn’t too fun! Upon arrival at Sandals Negril, it was evident that our room wasn’t ready. We only had to wait about 15 minutes before our butler arrived to escort us to the room. BIG PLUS – Since our room wasn’t ready, we were upgraded to the Honeymoon Penthouse Beachfront One Bedroom Crystal Lagoon Suites. This was a huge upgrade. We were very pleased with the room. As the butler was showing us around the room, he asked Adam when he wanted to do the candle light dinner. I guess the message wasn’t relayed that it was a surprise! Adam was pretty disappointed, but I was thrilled to know that he had planned that for us. There was a lot of confusion about that dinner – they had it scheduled for June 7, instead of my birthday, but after a few minutes on the phone with sales, we got everything sorted out. Also, our wedding dinner and breakfast was a big hassle. Beaches Negril promised to send over our pre-picked menus, so we wouldn’t have to do it again at Sandals Negril. Unfortuntely, the hotels seemed to miscommunicate. It took about thirty minutes to do it over again.
For this email, I had to dig for criticism. Adam and I keep talking about the wedding and how we wouldn’t change a SINGLE thing about it. If we could do it all again, we would do it the exact same way.
Jennifer, everything was perfect. Thank you, VIP team, and the rest of your team for everything. Sorry this email took so long. I really had to take some time to sit down and write everything out. I will email you the pictures tonight.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!