Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wedding in Jamaica? Yeah Mon!

I'm planning a destination wedding in Jamaica for some clients, so I've had sun and surf on my mind for the last few weeks!  I just had to post something on my blog about sunny Jamaica!  Thanks to Moore Photography for the awesome photos!

Jamaica's 'no worries mon' laid back attitude makes it a very popular choice for destination weddings. Their easy going marriage laws mean you only have to be on the island 24 hours before you can get married, and there is no blood test required like most other destinations like Mexico.

The first thing people find out when they choose Jamaica, is it's far more complicated then just choosing Jamaica!  There are so many factors to consider.  First off, what part of Jamaica?  There are 3 main tourist areas on the island - Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios.  Negril has the best beaches and a laid back atmosphere.  Ocho Rios offers the best tours, including a swim with the dolphins experience and the famous Dunn's River Falls.  Montego Bay is the main hub and is closest to airports, and offers a large variety of resorts.  So you first have to consider what you and your guests are looking for in a location.

You then have to decide on a resort that fits you AND your guest's budgets.  You don't want to pick a resort that is too far out of everyone's price range - you really have to respect the budgets of your guests.  All-inclusive is definitely the way to go for destination weddings as it is easier for guests to budget and plan for.  It is also easier if you are bringing a wedding planner or photographer from your area, as they usually charge their fee plus travel and accomodations.  You also have to consider the type of resort - couples only, family friendly, types of night clubs and restaurants you enjoy. 

Then it's about the wedding!  What types of wedding packages does the resort offer?  In my case, my clients are looking for something more personalized and not so 'cookie cutter', which is often the case at resorts.  Ask the right questions - how many weddings does the resort do in one day?  Will you have a private area for your wedding?  Can you customize your package?  Off site locations like plantations and villas are also available to book for weddings if you want something more private.

Destination weddings are often week long affairs - so put welcome baskets in everyone's hotel room, and plan fun group excursions!  Also take the opportunity to have Trash the Dress photos taken the day after the wedding on the beach.  That's why it's a good idea to bring a photographer from home because they can capture all those special moments with your guests - not just the wedding day itself.

Jamaica - great wedding destination, yeah mon!

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