20 Years of Travel #11: Jamaican Wedding

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When my husband and I first got engaged in 2010 and started talking about our wedding that would be in 2012, we found ourselves gravitating toward the idea of doing a destination wedding. Our family is scattered around the country, so it would be difficult to pick one place to actually get married, so we decided to pick a place where no one we know lived and was a new travel destination for us. I’ve always loved the beach and water, so I really wanted to find an island destination. We chose Jamaica as a great island destination that we had never 457676_10150795098582986_668210987_obeen to and would also be close enough for our immediate families and closest friends to travel to. It was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives and is why it is being featured on our 20 Years of Travel series.

Once settled on a destination, we had some help picking a resort and settled on Couples Resort in Negril, Jamaica. I always hear stories about how stressful the days leading up to a wedding are, but I never experienced that. I only experienced sun, swim-up bars, beach bonfires and karaoke.

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The resort set up all the wedding details. I just had to approve of flowers. While we loved spending time with our family and friends who made the trip to Jamaica, the resort also set up some private time for us, such as a candlelight romantic dinner and a couples massage. Outside of the many restaurant choices, pools and bars, the resort also provides many other activities. Some of our group went on a nighttime snorkeling adventure. Basically, we told our family and friends that they had to be at the wedding ceremony and dinner that night, but for the most part, we let them know where we would be if they wanted to hang out, but otherwise, they could do their own thing and have their own little relaxing vacation.

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We were drinking in the pool with our friends when the wedding planner (from the resort) scolded us on not being ready as we only had one hour before the wedding ceremony. I guess it was time to get out of the pool. We got ready and then all headed to the beach for our ceremony (see setup picture above). While this has been a great story to tell, if you don’t want your wedding party (and occasionally the groom) to be giggling460833_10150784920972986_248609937_o during the ceremony, make sure that your ceremony is not placed right next to a nude beach. It was actually difficult to get pictures of the ceremony without getting photo-bombed by a nudist. After the ceremony, we did a sand ceremony (see picture on the right) and then had cake with our friends and family. It was simple and lovely and stress-free. I wouldn’t change a thing about  having made Jamaica our wedding destination.

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6 thoughts on “20 Years of Travel #11: Jamaican Wedding

  1. Wow, this is an incredible experience and the sunset is sooo romantic. It is definitely an unforgettable moment that you guys would share for a lifetime. Congratulations! @ knycx.journeying

    • Good question and one that influenced our decisions. We decided to keep our wedding small with only immediate family, a couple of close friends, and our small wedding party. We had about 20 people total. If you choose to invite a large number of people, do not be disappointed that some may not be able to come. We also sent out Save the Date notifications to those invited almost two years in advance to give people time to either save up or let us know they couldn’t afford to do it. Jamaica was chosen because of its affordable flights, and Couples Resorts was really inexpensive for being all-inclusive. I did pay for my bridesmaids’ dresses to help offset costs. My advice is that helping people monetarily come to a destination wedding has to be a personal choice. For the most part, our guests just used this event as a vacation. Some spent a week at the resort. Some could only stay for a couple nights. To be honest, even if we had gotten married at home, many people would have had to travel to our wedding, including our immediate families, so we just decided we should pick a tropical destination for fun.

  2. I love that your groom was wearing flip-flops with his suit! When you said you were able to relax on the days leading up to your wedding, I thought, “That’s one great resort and wedding planner!” Oh how wonderful that would have been! Congratulations on your wedding, by the way; I hope you keep doing the things that keep you close as a couple.

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