Jamaican Destination WeddingWords by Katie Martin
Photos courtesy of Erin Johnson Photography
Jeff and Nikki got engaged and when they started planning their wedding, they decided to have an intimate nuptial experience. With this in mind, they chose a location in a place they had been to before and they said “I do” in the form of a Jamaican destination wedding.
After choosing Negril, Jamaica, where the famous seven-mile beach is located, as the place to host their destination wedding, it was time to tell their friends and family of their plan. “The main concern was money, but once people booked, they were excited,” says the groom. “We felt justified in our decision since it was unique and special for all who would attend.”
With the location set and their friends and family on board with a Jamaican wedding, the planning began. With many wedding decisions to make, the couple got help from Sandals Negril Resort, which helped to take away a lot of the stress in the process. “Sandals was very good at providing us with the necessary information to help make our decisions regarding our wedding,” says the couple. “We also had several phone meetings leading up to the wedding, which helped prepare us for the big day. Once we arrived on-site, they handled everything. It was a very stress-free experience.”
With help from Sandals Negril, the couple could focus on the small details of their wedding, including some do-it-yourself projects. “My maid of honor made two framed pictures for my bouquet,” says the bride. The photos were of two family members who had passed. “This was a very personalized way for both of them to be present with us. Also, my friend made pearl bracelets with beads for my ‘something old.’”
Now that the wedding details were figured out, it was time to sort out the travel logistics for the couple’s guests, especially since they would be flying into a country they may have never been to before. “Our travel agent gave everyone a personalized travel agenda and those who did not book through her, received a personalized travel agenda from Sandals,” says the couple. “Our guests ran into zero issues traveling to and from Jamaica.”
On the day of the couple’s wedding, the couple says, “It was not only a once-in-a-lifetime moment in our getting married, but it was also a trip-of-a-lifetime in paradise with our closest friends and family.” The couple lives in Minneapolis and if they had chosen a wedding at home, things would have been very different. “We spent more than anticipated in Jamaica, but we estimated that we would have spent double the amount if we had gotten married at home,” says the couple. “We spent more than we thought, but we had a much more memorable experience.”
The couple wanted to offer some special advice for others planning a destination wedding:
- Remember that your special day is about the bride and the groom.
- Pick a destination that you want and if people can make it, great. If not, you have to be okay with that too.
- Find a good travel agent that can help you.
- Prioritize what is important to you. Photos were the most important for us, so we hired an amazing photographer to come with us on our wedding adventure.
Vendors: Photographer: Erin Johnson Photography, Wedding Location: Negril, Jamaica, Ceremony/Reception Site: Sandals Negril, Wedding Planner: Sandals Negril, Stationery Design: Jenn Hanisch Photography, Cake: Sandals Negril, Hair: Stephanie Ranweiler, Makeup: Andrea Vierya, Gown Designer: Brides of France, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tommy Bahama, Travel Agent: Paradise Weddings and Travel
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