Jamaican destination wedding ideas and advice
Cristina and Andrew’s Jamaican destination wedding kicked off with a welcome dinner for everyone at 3 Dives Jerk Centre, a local jerk chicken shop, and ended with the bride and groom in their wedding attire plunging hand in hand into the Caribbean sea. The couple hosted their wedding weekend at the Rockhouse Hotel, a small boutique hotel featuring 34 rooms and villas. Celebrating with 52 of their nearest and dearest, their group was able to take over the whole hotel for three days! Unfortunately, due to the Zika scare, they had a few guests drop out, but the couple covered the empty rooms in order to maintain their privacy at the resort (since they didn’t have to pay any resort fees to get married there, they felt like it was a small price to pay for complete privacy—and it was totally worth it). Total privacy allowed them to have the DJ playing until 2:00 AM and late nights at the pool without disturbing anyone.
Cristina was thrilled that most arrived as strangers and left as friends (isn’t that one of every destination wedding bride’s dreams?). While DIY wasn’t high on their list (after all, they’d have to schlep anything they made on the plane with them), that didn’t stop them from DIYing a full candy bar—complete with 60 pounds of candy that they brought with them to their Jamaican destination wedding!
Bride’s Name: Cristina
Groom’s Name: Andrew
Ceremony Venue: Rockhouse Hotel
Reception Venue: Rockhouse Restaurant
Location: Negril, Jamaica
Wedding Date: October 29, 2016
Bridal Gown Designer: Monique Lhullier
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ceremony by Joanna August
Menswear: Pants/Coat/Shirts – Perry Ellis, Shoes – Margaritaville, Ties – The Tie Bar
Florist: Floral Fantasy
Photographer: Team DWP Studios by Dwayne Watkins
Catering: Rockhouse Restaurant
Wedding Coordinator: Lici Eastwood
Music: DJ – Sound Illusion
Stationery: Beacon Lane
Honeymoon: Hilton Moorea and St. Regis Bora Bora
How did you and your husband meet? I was born in Maine but only spent a few years as a child there and then moved away. Andrew was born and raised in Maine. He grew up with Peter, who became close with my brother as adults when they ended up dating sisters. I started going back to Maine with my family for the 4th of July week about 7 years ago and became good friends with Peter through my brother. 4.5 years ago, Peter brought his friend Andrew out to the bar, and the rest is history! I now live back in Maine and we often laugh how life turns out sometimes as I never in a million years would have predicted this!
How did he propose? We are huge water people and spend our summers on the lake in Maine so when Andrew proposed on the boat on the last day of the season, it was perfect!
Describe the theme of your wedding, and how you executed on it. The theme was tropical elegance. We wanted to have a fun-filled weekend in paradise, but also wanted it to be classy and beautiful. Because Jamaica is so pretty already, we kept our colors very natural with small pops of mint green. We loved how our Jamaican destination wedding turned out.
Did you include any DIY details? Because we did a destination wedding, it was difficult to do anything ourselves as we would have had to transport it down, but we both love candy and wanted a candy buffet, so we took 60 pounds of candy with us to Jamaica and skipped the cake!
What’s the biggest thing that went wrong (or an unexpected event that occurred) on your wedding day, and how did you deal with it? The rain was our biggest issue. The forecast had said there was an 80% chance of rain for our wedding weekend, but that is typical with the Caribbean and we weren’t worried about it until we arrived. It rained every night we were there, including at our rehearsal dinner. It came down hard and fast out of nowhere so the wedding planner said they wanted to move our reception from the pool deck to the restaurant. After seeing what had happened Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights with the rain, I knew that it was the right call and honestly, it turned out for the best. We got to have our ceremony and cocktail hour outside, and the restaurant turned out amazing. The decorations worked perfectly, everything was so beautiful, and we were still able to eat on the deck. When the rain did start to come down at the end of dinner, we had plenty of cover to move to and it got our guests up and dancing right away.
What were your favorite or most memorable aspects of your wedding day? Everything! From spending time getting ready with my girls, to seeing Andrew for the first time at our first look, to the ceremony and the incredible party. We literally danced for almost six hours and barely stopped to rest. We also loved how much fun everyone had the whole weekend. All of our friends from all over the world met as strangers and left as friends. Seeing and hearing how much fun they had made the weekend everything we had hoped for and more.
Oh, and jumping off the famous Rockhouse bridge in our dresses and suits! We had jokingly talked about doing this during the day (it was my mom’s idea; she loves photography and said it would make a great shot), but I had decided that since the photographers were leaving at 10 PM, and our reception would run until 2 AM, that I didn’t want to look terrible and/or ruin my dress. Well, around 9:30pm, after some serious dancing, we were really hot, the bottom of my dress was black, I was tripping all over it as I had changed into flip flops, and the two hooks that kept the neck closed on my dress broke. So we decided to go for a jump! I went and got the photographers and we snuck away (the band was doing a dance lesson for the group, so it was perfect as no one even knew we left!).
Taking the plunge (literally!) with my husband into the Caribbean was so perfectly us and the pictures turned out amazing. Two guests had gone back to their room which was next to the bridge and got the whole thing on video as well. They’re memories for a lifetime! We changed (neither of us had anything planned, so we improvised!) and got back to the dance floor feeling refreshed and so in love! It was the perfect day.
Were you a Weddingbee member/reader? If so, how did Weddingbee help you plan your day? I have been a reader and occasional commenter on Weddingbee for years. Finding past Jamaica brides and looking at real weddings for inspiration were all so helpful. It’s a great community and even though I was often just a reader, the plethora of information on all things wedding was so helpful.
If there was one thing you could have done differently, it would have been… Nothing. We wouldn’t change a thing!
Do you have any advice for future brides? Don’t stress about the small things. When the day comes, the people you are with are really all that matters and all those little details you worried about for months don’t matter to anyone but you. I’m pretty sure the tiny things that go wrong aren’t even noticed or turn out to be funny memories. We had ordered dinner menus for the rehearsal dinner online at the very last minute and I never opened them when they came (the front looked perfect). I gave them to the wedding planner who put them out for the dinner and it wasn’t until guests started asking that I realized there was a back…and since I skipped over that section of the customization as I didn’t know it was there, we had a nice message from “Sylvia & Ryan 03-05-XY” on them. It was actually pretty funny and we even got some wedding cards addressed to Sylvia and Ryan! My best advice is to relax, have fun,and enjoy every second!
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