Jamaica Bridal Expo magazine

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fabulous florals TAI FLORA

Make your wedding day as special as the love you share by building a customized flair, inspired by your personalities and styles. Whether it’s an intimate gathering, lavish affair, traditional ceremony, or you have your own unique vision, our experienced Wedding Coordinators will handle all the details for your big day. From food and beverage options to photography, décor and entertainment, we’ve partnered with the best vendors in the industry to create memorable occasions. The first step to creating your perfect wedding is choosing the ideal venue. Chukka delivers the best of Jamaica’s natural beauty and each of our venues offer stunning scenery in which to capture this memorable moment.

Locations: • Good Hope Estate • Cranbrook Flower Forest • Chukka’s White Sand Beach Services: • Event Coordination • Music & Entertainment • Food & Beverage • Wedding Receptions • Transportation Contact Information: • Call: 550-9113 / 684-9934 • Email: groups@chukka.com


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M &


Message Jamaica Tourist Board Jamaica Bridal Expo 2014

he Jamaica Tourist Board is pleased to once again be partnering with Jamaica Bridal Expo. Through the Jamaica Bridal Expo, prospective brides are given the opportunity to benefit from service providers in the bridal and honeymoon industry that assist in making their wedding day and honeymoon an unforgettable experience. Kudos to the organizers of the Expo, as each time they have staged this event, they have implemented ways to improve on the preceding year. This year we are delighted that Brides Magazine, the world's largest magazine in the bridal industry has come on board. Such a partnership with the world’s leading bridal consultants adds credibility to the event as well as provides guidance on all things related to ensuring a memorable wedding experience.

We at the Jamaica Tourist Board are happy with the attention that this event is bringing to the wedding and honeymoon market in Jamaica. This segment of the Jamaica tourism product is very vibrant as many brides and grooms are choosing Jamaica as their place of choice for their destination wedding and honeymoon. The diversity of our product provides a range of themes that will match any bridal theme and taste. I hope that the services available at the Jamaica Bridal Expo will satisfy all your wedding needs.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Pennicook

Director of Tourism

Message Jamaica BRIDAL EXPO TEAM Jamaica Bridal Expo 2014


elcome to Jamaica Bridal Expo. Jamaica Bridal Expo is a unique networking event developed to showcase Jamaica as a premier destination for weddings, honeymoons and romance. It brings together wedding service providers, brides-to-be, friends and family members. We encourage you to be a part of the daily shows and presentations and learn about the new wedding trends. The creation of the Jamaica Bridal Expo arose from a solid collaboration between three visible and successful individuals in the event planning community. With expertise in the areas of Destination Wedding Planning, Event Design, Event Management & Production, the team came together to create the Jamaica Bridal Expo. Event Planning, Production and Technical Services for Jamaica Bridal Expo are provided by Events and Entertainment Services. The management team is truly appreciative of and sincerely thanks the sponsors and exhibitors for participating in this year’s expo; without you, it would not have been possible!

To our patrons; we appreciate your support, and trust that the expo has exceeded your expectations. To every individual or entity which has contributed in any way to the success of this year’s staging, thank you for contributing to and sharing in this experience with us. We look forward to producing the Jamaica Bridal Expo for many years to come. Sincerely, amaica Bridal Expo Team Kathy Everhart, Jo-Anne Paxton, Peter Shoucair J.P.


88 In this Issue

10 Eden Gardens– 12 Décor with yolen's events 16 eco-friendly wedding 22 Unforgettable Receptions 26 Remembering The

Kingston’s Premier Wedding Oasis

Creating Captivating Designs

Forgotten Party-

The Groom


30 Wedding Favours 101 34 Wedding Photography40 Living Financially Ever After 44 Marriage & Beyond48 10 Unique Wedding Customs

Where Beauty meets Creativity

Reap the benefits of Pre-Maritual Counselling

from around the World







34 54 Be-Jeweled– 58 Wedding Fitness 64 Stunning Bride70 Dressing the Bride73 Do You Need A

Your Gem Of A Paradise Romance

whip yourself in shape

Essential Makeup Techniques

with Bliss Bridal

Wedding Planner?


78 Resourceful Catering 82 Wedding Etiquette90 Cakes Couture93 Bridal Registries: 96 Unusual Wedding

Traditional vs. Modern

Your Ultimate in Cake Creations

Yes or no


Credits Publisher Pelican Publishers Limited

Editorial & Creative Director Meleisa Witter

Editor Alicea James

Marketing / Sales Pelican Publishers

Graphics Art, Layout & Illustration Nicole Williams Shauna-Kay Battick

COVER CREDITS Tai Flora Model/Photo Credit: Marvin Bartley/Crystal Porter-Jackson

Photography Ikon-GFX Pelican Publishers The Jamaica Bridal Expo magazine is published annually at the behest of the Jamaica Bridal Expo Team. Š 2014 Pelican Publishers Limited No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system without written permission from the publishers.


Weddings are special events and magazines are special publications. So, the production of the Jamaica Bridal Expo Magazine is doubly special- to say the least. One cannot escape the opulence and grandeur of wedding creations at their finest; this is what the Jamaica Bridal Expo Magazine represents, Jamaica at its best as a wedding destination. But, there are so many facets to a wedding it would overwhelm you to get through them all in one sitting. So we have highlighted the most contemporary, entertaining, unique and exotic features resulting in a well-rounded magazine. And, we have even more exclusives in store for 2015. We scouted the top industry experts, to deliver insider information on a variety of topics which will prove beneficial for brides- to- be, and their support groups. Bliss Bridal Boutique tackles the subject of wedding dresses, Tai Flora fawns over flowers and Cake Couture concocts sweet treats. And not to be out done, Jewel Resorts and Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, cemented their stance as idyllic wedding destinations. We are thankful to our wonderful advertisers who have brought vivacity and dynamism to the pages of the magazine. We are humbled by the honour entrusted to us by Jo-Anne, Kathy and Peter, and we look forward to future productions of Jamaica Bridal Expo magazine. And it would be remiss of me not acknowledge my creative team at Pelican Publishers Limited; Graphic Designers, Nicole Williams and Shauna-Kay Battick and Writer/Editor Alicea James, you made this look so easy... You are amazing! Brides-to-be, consider this an important tool in your wedding guide resources. It will help to steer you smoothly on to the other side of singleness.

Meleisa Witter editorial & creative director

Ed e n Ga r d e ns. . .

KINGSTON’S PREMIER WEDDING OASIS Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa is the only wedding destination in Kingston, Jamaica, that provides full wedding services. You can get everything you need, except your bride or groom for the wedding – Décor, Food, Officiator, Make-up & Spa, Scenic Venue, Stationery Designs, Entertainment, Honeymoon Accommodation and everything else! At Eden Gardens, we don’t do weddings; we create new beginnings packed with happy moments…we create once in a lifetime experiences. Staffed with professionals who believe in exceeding the customers’ expectations, the Eden Gardens team ensures that all the details of the wedding day is taken into account and whatever characteristic is considered ultra-special, or significant, is clearly defined and manifested on the bride and groom’s day. Nothing is taken for granted. We believe that the devil is indeed in the details and leave nothing to chance. From that special welcome drink that matches the couple’s wedding theme which is given to all arriving guests, the team makes the best recommendations to guide the couple's day and ensure that they are available on the wedding day to execute and assist with any challenges, unplanned activities or surprises.


Bridal Expo Magazine

Wellness is an integral facet of the operations of Eden Gardens and this is translated in every aspect of our offerings. For example, embedded into our wedding packages are premarital counselling, gym packages, and healthy food options for wedding day selections. Our foods are comprised of exotic choices that are prepared in a healthy way which does not detract from the taste. Your wedding package may also include service providers and spa services all aimed at enhancing your total holistic wellness experience. Visit www.edengardenswellness.com for more information about our services and unique offerings created to transform your life into a healthier lifestyle. We invite you to make direct contact via telephone or in person. Our professional and social wedding team is always delighted to engage a conversation and offer a tour of our scenic and beautiful property. Also, for the socially savvy, staying connected is always just a click away.

FIND uS at: 39 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica (876) 946-9981/946-9669 info@edengardenswellness.com | www.edengardenswellness.com Facebook -- Twitter -- Instagram (EdenGardensJa)

GETTING MARRIED? Everything you need and Mor E!

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39 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica (876) 946-9981/946-9669 weddings@edengardenswellness.com www.edengardenswellness.com EdenGardensJa


Creating Captivating Designs with Yolens Events Meleisa Witter Unlike most wedding guests, I do not wait in anticipation of the toasts where the ‘clinking of the glass’ signals the groom to kiss the bride. That is their private affair. What really stirs me is that moment of arrival when I see for the first time, the creativity and skill of the decorator, who was able to transform a boring, old, four walled, room into an elegant canopy of light forestry or a tinsel town with flowering beds or even a seaside scene, replete with watery illusions.



Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa | Suite 1-2 39 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica W.I. Tel: 876-978-5998/ 876-816-5389 | Fax: 876-978-5998 Email: YolensUnique@gmail.com | Website: www.eventswedo.com Facebook: YolensEvents

DĂŠcor is a great opportunity for the bride and groom to express themselves and give an insight into their personalities and tastes. A great decorator will make every effort to capture their dreams and make it into reality. One such decorator that I have the pleasure of knowing personally and admiring her transformative artistry is Yvonne Aquart of Yolens Events. Taking some time out to speak with Yvonne helped to illuminate my consciousness regarding what goes happens in the right side of the brain every time a decorator undertakes a decorating project. It usually starts with the venue, then the blend of colours, lighting is an absolute must (unless it is daytime & outdoors) and then personal, original elements, which give the artiste her distinctive look. With that settled, Yvonne then moves on to her favourite design essentials, water, plants, flowers and fabric− and the range for fabric and flowers are endless.


Bridal Expo Magazine

But, design aside, Yolens Events is a welcoming place for the person who may be a little anxious about pulling together this very important aspect of their event. Yolens is very customer centric, offering a professional, yet personal relationship, always exuding warmth and a genuine welcome to their ambient office, located at the beautiful Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa. They often go beyond the call of duty to ensure guests’ expectations are exceeded, even within budgetary constraints. Having been in business for about fifteen (15) years, Yolens Events has seen the dramatic shift in the landscape, as the dollar lost value, but most people’s earnings remained unchanged significantly. Due to this, flexibility and creativity have been hallmarks of their operational success. As a result, her clients have stayed loyal. Some of her prominent repeat clients include LASCO, Medical Association of Jamaica, Environmental Health Foundation, Eden Gardens, Pelican Publishers, West Indies Players Association/West Indies Cricket Board, and Productivity Centre MLS.

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for an

Wedding Alicea James

When we think of weddings we tend to think grandeur; large chandeliers, scrumptious food, fancy cars, exotic flowers, wedding planner-to-the stars and of course a one-of-a-kind couture dress. Yes, it’s fair to say there is much extravagance involved in wedding planning. Although it’s okay to want a perfect wedding, there are many ways to achieve this without overspending, overdoing or overindulging. So how is this even possible? Well just “think green” and no, not the color! In a quest to simplify what can be an overwhelming process, as well as to help preserve our environment and save some cash in the process, many couples are taking the eco-friendly route. And, the best part is that you don’t need to sacrifice elegance or your personal taste to achieve this. Whether you are a novice or you are versed in all things eco-friendly, here are some simple yet useful tips to help make your special day a success. 16

Bridal Expo Magazine







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LocaTion, LocaTion, LocaTion! The first step in planning this type of event is choosing an appropriate location. It is a great way to set the tone for your big day. Choosing to go the eco-friendly route does not mean that your wedding must be held outdoors –but it is a great option. If you decide to use an outdoor space, you can choose a park, a botanical garden or even the grounds of a historical home or site. If you prefer an indoor setting you can chose from a variety of places such as a museum or even an art gallery. Also, it’s best to hold the ceremony and reception in one place to cut back on travel, thus less fuel and fuel emissions.

2. 18

Bridal Expo Magazine

Re-use The Refuse What i mean is, wear your mom or grandma’s wedding dress. Yes, I know the thought seems a bit (or a lot) daunting. After all, I’ve seen my mom’s wedding dress and there is no way in hell I would be caught dead in that getup (don’t tell her I said that- as far as she knows it’s beautiful). However, you don’t have to wear the dress as is. Trust me; a great dressmaker can totally transform a hideous contraption into your dream dress. If you don’t have any hand-me-down dresses to re-use, there are places that sell used wedding dresses, so that’s also an option. Better yet, if you bought a new dress− and you’re not the sentimental type−after the wedding, you can donate it to a worthy organization for reuse.

Photo Credits: ikon-GFX




go eLecTRonic

Tons of paper get wasted during weddings as brides often require samples of wedding invitations, name cards, guest lists, seating charts etc. However, there are ways to cut down on paper use, or eliminate it completely. First, do some research online so that your wedding planner has an idea of what you want. Then ask him/her to send you these options via email; nothing needs to be printed. create a

website specifically for the wedding and post seating charts, menu, and anything else you wish to share with your guests. You can also send evites and ask them to RsVp via email.


Most people have access to the internet these days so this is a great eco-friendly option. If you have older family members (great-grandma and grandpa) that are not very ‘internet savvy’ then you can print a few invites and send them the old fashioned way. But, be sure to use recycled paper.

choose LocaL VendoRs If you want to support your local economy, and keep your emission costs low, then it’s best to use local vendors for your wedding. If you plan to use a wedding planner, find one that’s close by (walking distance would be ideal), this drastically reduces the back and forth driving each time you need to meet and discuss wedding details. Use seasonal products for both your menu and flower options, and try to source your cake, rings and other items locally.


Bridal Expo Magazine

Montego Bay Convention Centre:

The Master of Ceremonies & Receptions Weddings at the Montego Bay Convention Centre have grown in popularity over the past two years. Located in Rose Hall with breath-taking views of the ocean, it commenced operation in 2011, with its primary focus on meetings and conventions, but fairly soon couples approached the centre for weddings. The destination boasts many wonderful features, such as a professional staff, whose attentiveness is praised continually. From the initial meeting with a couple, until long after the wedding is over, we take great interest and care of them. The Montego Bay Convention Centre is strategically located and the architectural features are well planned and designed. Imagine a dramatic view of the coastline, with

a backdrop of the mountains; the grandeur of the old Georgian style public buildings seen in Jamaica, cut stone work dominating the exterior, large green plantation style shutters, yet enough glass and chrome to make it modern. There are water features – long, shallow pools, all calming and tranquil. The interior décor has Asian-influences in the cherry wood finishes, and latticework screens. Replete with super-elegant marble tiles and stylish furniture, it is the ideal venue for your nuptials. The facility offers 142,000 sq. feet in convention and meeting space with three main areas each of which can be divided to offer several options.The Exhibition Hall is massive and spreads over two separate buildings, it can accommodate 6,200 theatre style, 4,700 banquet seating, or 282 booths; the Grand

Ballroom, carpeted with chandelier lighting can seat 1,580 banquet style. On the west wing, another building houses eight (8) meeting areas, the largest accommodating up to 600, to a small boardroom. Available also, are the spacious pre-function lobby areas, with reception desks and comfortable seating, and the large, immaculate public washrooms.

General Manager, Ms. Dittie Guise, has over 30 years experience. You should contact her for some wise counsel on catering costs and venue decor. Montego Bay Convention centre is a proud member of theSMG. Get more details about this exceptional worldwide organization; visit: www.smgworld.com.

R eception How to Plan an

Unforgettable Meleisa Witter


Events are memorable when details, planning and courtesy are perfectly aligned. And planning an unforgettable wedding reception is not an exception to these rules. ‘The devil is in the details’ is a commonly used idiomatic expression which I am not sure is often thought through by the user or the hearer. It is meant to convey the idea that some small, overlooked matter in a grand plan can cause much head and heart ache later on.

And indeed, many persons will admit that they have had that experience. What are some of these little details, which if overlooked, can really spoil the day for a guest, or at times even the entire event?

A few small details to take note of when planning a wedding: Provide properly labeled foods so that guests with allergies or dislikes may be adequately informed. Ensure that the venue has ramp access in the instance that someone becomes

ill and may need to be wheeled out of the venue. Make sure adequate food is available in the event that persons who did not RSVP decide to attend anyway.

Won’t attention to detail automatically mean planning? Why are they separated here, I can almost hear you asking. Well, experience has taught that Plans A and B are just not enough. Have options extending up to plan D just to be safe. Your wedding reception is a major part of your special occasion and you should not be inclined to leave it to chance. In addition to the details, planning involves all the possible angles from which the event may be approached, the logistics of co-ordination, value to the guests and their overall experience. It takes into consideration all the details contemplated and arrives at workable solutions in the event something does go wrong, before it does.


Bridal Expo Magazine

Courtesy is almost a self explanatory concept; but I say ‘almost,’ because in the rush and excitement of the event, where the bride and groom are quite understandably the centre, often the guests are overlooked. How many times have you attended a wedding, only to sit for three hours, sometimes in sweltering heat without even a cool drink, while the bridal party goes off to take pictures?

Simple courtesies will make guests feel as though they were being thought of during the preparatory phase. These include: If possible, take photos before the big day so the photo session will not extend beyond half hour. Also, try to choose a photo venue either on site, or close by. Have a cool drink, cocktail or entertainment for the guests while they wait for your photo shoot to end.

Here are some features which will make or break your wedding reception.

1 2

3 4

Your Venue. Think location, décor and ambience. Will it be hot and stuffy or way to cold. Is the venue fairly central, convenient to reach and have ample parking? The Music: It goes without saying that music will set the tone for the wedding. Get the right mix by taking into consideration the diversity of the attendees and the time of day the event is being held.

Food: Anyone who really knows about creating memorable events will tell you that ‘food is the holy grail of exceptional event success.’ The taste, quality, quantity and service are of paramount importance when planning wedding receptions. Master of Ceremonies: This person sets the pace for the event and is often integral to the success or failure thereof. Be prepared to pay for one if you have to. It will be worth it, I promise.

If you can get the details, planning and courtesy quota aligned in a way which ensures that these four major areas are done right, especially in a timely manner, without a shadow of a doubt your wedding will go down in the annals of ‘Unforgettable Wedding Receptions.’


remembering the Forgotten Party: The

Alicea James

The cake, The dress, The bridesmaids, hair, makeup, caTering, locaTion, pasTor, yup ThaT should do iT! …waiT why do i feel like i’m forgeTTing someThing? oh well iT couldn’T be ThaT imporTanT, could iT?”

Isn’t it ironic how we tend to forget the groom, and yet without him present, everything would come to a screeching halt? maybe we should keep that in mind more often. The groom is an integral part of the wedding, but for some reason, he is usually pushed to the sidelines and temporarily 26

Bridal Expo Magazine

forgotten during the bride’s quest to create the perfect wedding. It is important to

remember that although some men may not want to be involved in every single detail of planning, it is still ‘his’ wedding too. So, until or unless he specifically asks to be excluded (after handing over the credit card of course) let’s try to keep him involved.

If you’re a GROOM and you happen to be reading this, here are some ways to adequately contribute to the wedding planning process.

Choose The musIC! This is one area where you can play a huge role. It might not seem as important as other duties but truth be told; the music can make or break the reception. After the wedding ceremony, you and your guests will want to let loose and have some fun, it should not be stuffy or boring; remember this is a celebration. Choose a reputable DJ to begin with and make sure he has a list of romantic songs to sweep your new bride off her feet. However, don’t make the songs too sappy; ensure that you include selections that are sure to make your guests get up and dance.

iT’s a parTy afTer all, wooT wooT!

Purchase gifts for your groomsmen Brides often gift their bridesmaids with trinkets as a sign of appreciation. But often times the groomsmen are left empty handed.Th is is where you, (as the groom) can step in and ensure that the groomsmen are also shown some appreciation for not only supporting you and your bride, but for participating in your wedding. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you don’t have to splurge on these gifts−especially if you have several groomsmen. If you can’t afford to gift them with new Rolexes or 14k gold bracelets, that’s quite okay. Try to think outside the box with this one, and make sure that each gift is reflective of each their personalities.

Accompany the bride to visit venDors

le vendor, You don’t have to accompany her to ever y sing hairdresser, flowers, bridesmaid’s dresses, makeup artist, is a must as but a few places wouldn’t hurt. Cake tasting on that day I’m sure you want to enjoy your wedding cake a say in the as much as she does. Also, you should have or that your menu, there are things that you might like t will ensure side of the family might not like, your inpu that all parties are happy.

Another important aspect that requires your involvement is choosing the wedding and reception venue, but this is a given right? If you so choose, you can help with the type of flowers used or the color scheme for the wedding party outfits and decoration. Other decisions such as hair, makeup and bridesmaid dresses are better left to the bride, unless of course she wants you to be involved. Oh and don’t forget your groomsmen, don’t allow the bride to just give her input in what they should wear, once you both establish a color scheme for the wedding then you and your groomsmen should have the authority to choose the style of your suits. Especially if they will be footing the bill for their own. After all, you don’t have a say in what the bridesmaids wear do you?

CAse CLoseD! 28

Bridal Expo Magazine

1 1 Wedding favours Alicea James

Wedding favors are not just tokens of your gratitude to your guests, and bridal party, they can also be used as an ideal way to personalize your wedding.


Bridal Expo Magazine

The first thing you should try to do when choosing wedding favors is to think outside the box. Opt for something different, that your guests would not expect, and even more importantly something that they are sure to appreciate and therefore keep. Here are some great pointers to consider:

Get Personal It is always best to select something that either has a personal meaning to you or the person being gifted. When choosing gifts for your wedding party, keep the personality of each individual in mind. Maybe the groomsmen were all a part of your fiancé’s college football team; if so why not give them something sports themed? −maybe a miniature football with their names engraved. Or you may have met your bridesmaids when you were all on the church choir together; in this case, gift them with a musical keychain or pendant. Something that will bring back wonderful memories When picking favors for the reception, choose mementos that have some sort of emotional meaning for you and the groom. It might be a particular color, the infinity symbol, a line from a movie or a song… Either way, just ensure that your wedding favors are deeper than just something ‘pretty.’

Choose items that fit your budGet At the risk of wanting to ‘wow’ your guest with unique or over-the –top items, don’t forget that you are working with a budget. Although party favors are a great addition to the wedding, it is really not ideal to spend most of your cash on this aspect of the wedding. And you don’t have to; there are many cost-effective options available. Do a bit of searching online and view a variety of things that suit your taste; narrow down your options and see how these fit into the finances. If you have an unlimited budget, standard gold or silver jewelry will most likely be a hit among all the participants in your wedding party. Bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks or earrings are classic and memorable gifts for members of your wedding party.

think functionaL Yes it is your day, and you have absolutely no obligation to give your guests anything except a wonderful celebration for them to attend. But since you chose to give them a reminder of the special day, give them something functional. As real estate becomes more cramped and people have less expendable time, giving favours which have no utilitarian value and which sits and collects dust is just not a great idea. Please consider things which serve some (even if) small, functional purpose.

knutSford eXPreSS ad

Let your Location guide you Your wedding location can actually be a helpful guide in choosing wedding favors. If you are planning a beach wedding, then select flip flops and cover-ups as gifts for your bridesmaids; they are sure to use these. If you choose a destination wedding, maybe India; you can include some cultural elements by way of party favors. If you're wedding is in an exotic location such as Jamaica. Ditch the traditional gift and take your wedding party and/or guests on a tropical excursion.


Bridal Expo Magazine

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PHOTO Where Beauty meets Creativity Tashika Wit ter

Photo Credits: ikon-GFX

No matter how advanced your camera, you are still responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time, and pointing it in the

right direction to get the photo you want. Ken Rockwell


edding photos are usually at the top of the bride and groom’s ‘to do’ list, and may quite often fall in the top three most expensive and time consuming aspects. Not surprisingly, while the bride and the groom enjoy having every moment captured, wedding guests are often annoyed by the dancing photographers who block kisses just to make sure they are frozen and taken at the best angle −truth is they are being paid to do so. Wedding photographs can play an essential role in passing on information to friends and family members who were not in attendance on the big day. For the bride, groom and even the photographer, wedding photos represent a moment in time where beauty meets creativity and a journey is taken into the extraordinary.



The PHOTOgraPHers’ DeligHT Lying flat on the back, falling on the side, climbing trees, fences and other objects; standing at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs and even positioning uncomfortably in bushes and on top of buildings to get the perfect shot, is a common trait among photographers. Capturing the moment is always first priority; social media demands it. If it wasn’t emphasized earlier, now is a good time to say it, “A lot goes into wedding photographs, a whole lot!” Quintessentially, much emphasis is placed on photographs of this nature owing to three critical elements: The emotions exuded on the day, the guests invited to share the moment and the ambience.

emOTiONs Photographer Erin in her blog titled “Capturing authentic emotion on the wedding day” speaks of emotional grounding; the idea of leading couples into their core feelings for each other. Since photographers spend so much time with the bride and groom during the wedding, they have a big influence on the pace and the emotional atmosphere of the day. That’s quite a bit of power! And it can be beneficial power. Erin puts it this way – what if we viewed photographs not just as a way of capturing and preserving moments, but as a way of jogging our clients’ emotions? What if photos weren’t just meant to help them remember moments as much as to re-feel moments? If photographers treat photographs as emotional reminders instead of momentary captures, then they can help clients feel and preserve their emotions more vividly. Thus, photographs become more valuable in the long run because there are stronger, richer feelings tied to them.

The guesTs Wedding guests add colourful perceptions and concepts to photographs that fulfill every photographer’s dream. Photographers visit discreet places just to capture, as best as possible, all the attendees at the wedding. They even try to capture the handshakes, kisses and varied expressions during the vows or the couple’s first kiss. The guests are integral to the wedding story that must be captured, frozen and stored for future use. One blogger in his post, ‘68 Essential wedding photography tips’ noted that more than any other complaint voiced by brides is when a photographer missed getting a certain photo (such as the bride with her high school roommate, her little sister in the pink dress, etc). The best way to avoid this is to simply meet with the bride before the wedding and have her create a shoot list. You can even bring sample photos to the meeting and have her select a few poses she really wants. Write down the bride’s shot list and mark each one off on the wedding day. I usually end up with about 15 ‘must have’ shots. www.jamaicabridalexpo.com


Wedding photography is no longer just a “thing” it’s a business and more persons are getting involved just for the love of it. Even married couples find pleasure in investing time in creating lasting memories for other couples. Shari and Wentworth Kelly of Ikon GFX both indulge frequently, using their creative taste buds to photograph weddings across the island. A short interview revealed their passions:


What goes into taking wedding photos {what do you normally look for?}

A: A whole lot…A happy, Q:How much of the bride fun couple makes the job much easier. We also take into consideration the time of day, and whether the sun will be too harsh on the couple. A good venue is also a plus, but over time we’ve come to realize that you can make almost anywhere look great if the couple looks great! We don’t generally look for “poses” because we prefer when the couple looks as relaxed and comfortable as possible. And usually when they are, we get really cool ideas as we go along and we also get the best photos!

Q:What preparations are

made prior to the wedding day?

The amBieNCe Doves, swans, gardenias, orchids, soothing instrumentals, cascading waterfalls, dancing waves, breath tak ing mountainsides, and sunsets- are just a few of the elements contributing to a picturesque and scenic wedding day. The intimate “just the two of us” moments are best experienced in an environment that echoes, “nature is in agreement with your love decision.” The most romantic bride and groom moments are captured in natural settings and encourage the unity and oneness shared by the two lovers.

A: We have a pre-wed-

ding consultation with the couple and go through what they can expect from us and what we expect from them. Where possible, we scout the venue beforehand to get an idea of what we’ll be working with. We also give suggestions ranging from the colour of the groom’s suit to the length of the kiss…!

and groom's ideas are facilitated?

A: We try to facilitate the

couple’s ideas as best as possible because we like to give our clients what they want. We tweak the ideas and make them work…

Q: Why

do we dding photo packages cost so much?

A: The main reasons …

are the time and effort that it takes, and the high quality of photos that are being produced. The quality of equipment also plays a part.

Q:What is it like working as a couple?

A: It’s pretty fun... We know

each other’s strengths and weaknesses so one can pick up where the other stops; even though we don’t always agree on everything (who does? Lol). We know how to compromise and make it work; after doing over 30 weddings, I think we’ve found the formula!

Photography & Design



Weddings, Portraits, Events

email: csappleton@hotmail.com www.sapplesphotography.com

876 322-8659




Financially EvEr aFtEr Discussing Money Matters Before saying ‘i Do’


Bridal Expo Magazine

Meleisa Witter

there is a discussion you should definitely have BEForE the big day. Statistics show that communication and money are the two leading causes for divorce. So we categorically recommend that at some point between the flash and dazzle of the beautiful engagement ring and the addition of the wedding band, you have a serious discussion about finances when two eventually becomes one.

There will undoubtedly be many discussions about financing the wedding, so I will not be detained on this matter. Instead, I will focus on other areas which newlyweds tend to bump into as they go along, because they did not think them through and worse, they did not talk about them early enough. Use this article as a gateway to your discussions.

How will you mix your monEy? There is an old saying: she says, ‘What’s his is mine, and what’s mine is mine.’ Do you and your partner share financial habits; will she want joint accounts, separate accounts or a mix. How about the bills, who will pay what and God forbid, what happens if someone is no longer employed. How will the slack be picked up?

wHoSE aSSEtS & DEBtS Know what financial state each party is looking to start this new life. Get a clear, detailed picture about your fiancées’ financial habits and situation. Are there any debts that need to be cleared; will it remain his or her debt, or will you become a team in all areas? Likewise, will the assets be merged, will both names now appear on all assets or they will continue to be held separately? If you both owned a house prior to meeting each other, which house will become the matrimonial home and why? What will happen to the other? Will it be sold, rented, kept empty for visitors? Work through these questions early, while each person wants to be gracious, giving and loving and you will usually arrive at the best, most equitable conclusions.



liFE inSurancE iS loving aSSurancE One of the most loving things a couple can do is to make provision for their loved ones. Life insurance can help to do this. A good financial discussion will include insurance plans for each other.

PrE-nuPtialS The aim of this article is to help ensure that finances in your marriage will not be the cause of divorce; but unfortunately, advice given is not always advice heeded, so a safeguard against being left high and dry in the event of a divorce is to sign a good old pre-nup. This document dating back thousands of years in its earliest format may be a good way to protect oneself− if the financial happily ever after discussion did not work.

concluSion: Get on the same page about money early. You will be better able to relax and enjoy your relationship and you will be prepared for unplanned eventualities which would otherwise cause much duress. Knowing your partner very well financially as well as emotionally, is a solid foundation on which to lay great building blocks for your marriage.

Like the family that prays together, tHE couPlE tHat SavES (anD SPEnDS) togEtHEr StayS togEtHEr!


Bridal Expo Magazine

Marriage and Beyond: Rev. Carla Dunbar

Reap the BenefitS of pRe-MaRital counSelling

I am certainly happy to be able to share on a subject that I am so passionate about, marriage preparation and sustenance. The truth is, marriage is taken so lightly these days, it’s as if individuals are shopping for a car, which when they no longer like, they can trade for a different one. For something as beautiful as shared love, it’s too ephemeral; marriage has just become too dispensable. However, there are solutions which, while I am fully aware will not eliminate the challenges, but they can at least, alleviate them as you prepare to work through pre and post-marital challenges together− after all, ‘one hand cyaa clap.’

Common Misconceptions- ‘happily ever after’ There is the fresh euphoria of love which often leaves us intoxicated and sometimes blinds us to the realities that awaits us in any close intimate relationship. Bills to be paid, house to be cleaned, meals to be cooked, diapers to be changed, jobs to be completed, medical expenses and so on throughout life. This is what you decide and commit to when you marry, and one of the greatest pitfalls of a decision is the desire to change your mind after you have made it. Kofi Annan says “To live is to choose, but to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there” and a divorce is like amputation, you survive it, but there is always less of you.



There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship with someone you love and trust, with whom you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings, cranks and fears. -Rev. Carla Dunbar


Bridal Expo Magazine

Life is too short for regrets, that’s why it is important to know who you are, what is important to you in a relationship and how you want to spend the rest of your life. This way, when things happen (and they will), good and bad, you will be able to decide what to do in the moment and later have no regrets. Learning to make decisions in a moment based on who you truly are and taking actions based on love, kindness and forgiveness, always with the highest spirit in mind is the best way to avoid remorse later in marital relationship. There is nothing more gratifying than a relationship with someone you love and trust, with whom you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings, cranks and fears. Having a partner to rely on, to have your back through life’s up and down is one of God’s greatest gifts; but choosing that person is a decision and because life isn’t like the movies− always romantic and easy with a happy ending− you have to make the decision carefully. Entering a committed relationship such as marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Till death do us part” is serious, when the novelty wears off you have to know who your potential mate is, what kind of person they are, their goals in life, their moral and spiritual beliefs, character, emotional stability, health issues etc. So in preparation, discuss things like backgrounds, emotional baggage, secrets, personality, temperaments, religious beliefs, goals, communication, expectations, teamwork, accepting

responsibility, health, parenthood, in-laws, former relationships, money and of course sex. Accept your differences, God created you this way, but sometimes introverts marry extroverts, spenders marry savers and risk takers marry conservative investors and it is not until after the wedding they discover their reality. This is why pre-martial counselling is so very important; differences can work, but “do not enter marriage lightly or without advise” so says the ‘little black book.’ Learn to accomplish amidst conflicts because it is a part of life and be committed; marriage is really based on commitment, that’s what those vows really are. When you decide to wed, you agree to a new joint production with two co-stars, a ‘tender merger’ is what I call it. The decision to love is the easiest and hardest decision you will ever make; it’s easy because when you love someone the joy you experience being around them is effortless, it’s hard because the cost of loving someone is never cheap. You can’t buy love but you must pay the price of maintaining the relationship, you commit to remaining faithful, to forgive, to serve,to love through good times and bad, through sickness and health, for richer, for poorer. You have to risk love after hurt and love gets harder as it gets older. The goal of marriage, beautiful lovers, is not to think alike but to think together; this way you will live joyfully together after, although not always happily ever after.

0 1 U nique


from around the world Alicea James

ion celebrated A wedd ing is a un iversa l tradit d its sy mbolic in many pa rts of the world , an (fo r th e m os t m ea ni ng re m ai ns sta nd ard rs drastically, pa rt). The ceremony itself di ffe and cu lture. especia lly as it relates to rel igion nsidered very Some wedding traditions are co cular culture, strange to those outside the parti has completely and the modernization of society ge rituals. illuminated many of these stran remote parts of Some are still being practiced in these unique the world. We bring you a few of wedding customs: 48

Bridal Expo Magazine

1. Crying ritual: China At least one month before a wedding ceremony in China, the bride is required to cry for at least one hour per day. Ten days later, her mother joins in the crying ritual, and ten days after that her grandmother joins in. This is supposed to be an expression of joy.

2. Spitting on the bride: Kenya


During the wedding ceremony held by the Massai people in Kenya, the bride is considered blessed after her father spits on her breasts and head. She then leaves the area with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone.

3. Drinking from the toilet: France After a wedding reception in France, the couple is sent to bed while the bridal party cleans up, by dumping all the leftovers including food, drink and trash into a chamber pot (urinal pot). They then enter the couples’ room and refuse to leave until the couple drinks the garbage from the urinal pot. Today, the soup is more commonly made up of chocolate and champagne, but it's still served out of a toilet. The reasoning behind the tradition was to give the couple fuel to have sex.

4. Kissing the newlyweds: Sweden During the wedding, if the groom chooses to leave the room for any reason, all the other men at the wedding are allowed to kiss the bride. The same applies for the bride who leaves her groom unattended; all female guests at the wedding are allowed to kiss him. (Not on the lips I presume).

5. Blackening of the bride: Scotland In Scotland, pre- wedding tradition dictates that the bride is slathered from head to toe with a variety of nauseating substances. Tar, mud, feathers, rotten eggs, spoilt milk -you name it. The couple is then paraded about, with well-wishers making as much noise as possible. Blackening the bride is carried out to prepare her for any humiliation or hardship she will endure during the marriage.

6. Beating the groom's feet: South Korea In South Korea, before the groom gets married he must endure a beating of his feet. His socks and shoes are first removed and his feet bound together by his groomsmen or family members. They then take turns beating the soles of his feet with dried fish, (yes fish!). This ritual is performed to test the groom's strength and knowledge; as he is usually quizzed during this rite.



7. M arrying a tree: India Manglik s (an

as In par ts of India, women born en Mars and Saturn are both astrolog ica l combination wh ught to be cursed and likely under the 7th house), are tho ly death. In order to counter to cause their husband an ear t be married to a tree and this curse, the woman must firs breaks the spell. the tree then cut down which

alaysia 8. H old it in:M n as northern Borne a,

ow In a sec tion of Ma lay sia kn empty their bowels for three newlyweds are not allowed to y do so it is bel ieved to be bad days and three nights. It the infert ilit y, loss of ch ild ren or luck, wh ich might result in ctice, the couple is given ver y broken union. Before the pra mbers guard their bathrooms little water and food; family me based on the conviction that around the clock. Th is ritual is urs of torment and suffering if you can get through 72 ho any thing. together, you can get through

9. Fat farms: aN orth West Afric e weight before

des try to los In many par ts of the world, bri st Africa brides do the complete their wedding , but in northwe Leblough, females from the opposite. In a custom cal led ms where they are forcef ully age of 5-15 are sent to fat far t are four times the amount fed thousa nds of calories tha es in each day. Th is results in that an adu lt bodybuilder tak the bride, the better is it for the rapid weight gain. The bigger indicative of wealth. groom’s status as a fat wife is

r: Inner 10. C hick live ina M ongolia, C he, the young couple must

dat In order to select a wedding ter a chick. The date is then take a knife and together slaugh the chick’s liver. If the liver has div ined by the appearance of they must keep kil ling chicks an unfor tunate appearance, until they find a good one.


Information courtesy of: po st. co m/ 2013/0 9/ 29/ ❁ htt p://w w w.h uff ing ton 84 4.htm l wedding-traditions_n_ 3964 .com/brides/2014011416517/ ❁ http://ww w.hellomagazine round-the-world/ unusual-wedding-traditions-a

Bridal Expo Magazine





Your Gem of a

Paradise romance


Bridal Expo Magazine


arden wedding gazebos,

oceanfront weddings on the sand, golf course weddings, and elegant ballroom weddings are only a few of the unique options at Jewel resorts. Some of its most coveted ceremony locations are the “tropical garden setting” and the Dunn’s River oceanfront pier, or an idyllic oceanfront gazebo or tropical garden gazebo at Jewel Paradise Cove, along with a trellis setting on the pier or vintage cut stone terrace also at Paradise Cove, and the infinitely picturesque wedding chapel at Jewel Runaway Bay. The wedding chapel is constructed of wood pews and features a fretwork trim carved by skilled local wood artisans. These lovely locations are truly one-of-a-kind settings, making the perfect backdrop that will be remembered for years to come.



Whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or a large gathering with family and friends, Jewel Resorts offer a great variety of wedding packages from the complimentary “Precious Gem” package to the premium “Crown Jewel” option ensuring the perfect selection for every size and budget. Most of these wedding packages include marriage certificates, flowers, hors

d’oeuvres, photographer, spa treatments and our exclusive beachfront sunset hour location. Custom weddings are also the specialty of the team at Jewel Resorts in Jamaica. The staff comprises some of Jamaica’s most esteemed caterers and wedding planners. General Managers Carol Burke, Scott

Robbins and Barbara Burton oversee a dedicated team whose goal is to make each and every wedding picture perfect from start to finish. Jewel Resorts even has its own Romance Director and a team of wedding specialists who can help you select the ideal Jewel property for your special occasion. Personalization of each wedding experience in the beautiful backdrop of Jewel Resorts, are ingredients for your perfect day. Couples who spend six nights or more in an Oceanfront View room (Dunn’s River-Diamond Ocean View Concierge, Paradise Cove-Oceanfront Concierge or Runaway Bay-Oceanfront Jr. Suite with Plunge Pool) or higher will receive a complimentary Precious Gem wedding package (a value of US$499) for the bride, groom and up to four guests, which includes:


Bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere Thirty minute reception with cold hors d’oeuvres and sparkling wine for bride, groom and up to four guests

classic one-tier wedding cake a 5x7 printed wedding photograph Private dinner for bride and groom at one of Jewel resorts’ fine dining restaurants

Each Jewel Resort has a full-service Radiant Spa, complete with hair and nail salon and an extensive menu of specialty spa and beauty treatments, with a full staff to handle wedding parties of all sizes. And, for couples that have already tied the knot, there is nothing quite like the beauty of Jamaica to keep the passion in a relationship going… and no better place than Jewel Resorts. Our uniquely designed honeymoon packages let you truly enjoy this special time with your soul mate. Plus, complimentary honeymoon packages for wedding parties with stays of 6 nights or longer, within 30 days of wedding. Jamaica’s Jewel Resorts are the ideal locations for your upcoming wedding, honeymoon or vow renewal…paradise awaits!

Call 876.972.7400 and ask to speak to the Jewel Resorts Wedding Coordinators or visit www.jewelresorts.com. From the U.S., please call 800.951.2997.

You may also email direct to salesdunnsriver@jewelresorts.com for any Jewel property in Jamaica or jewelresorts@statesideweddingservices.com.



(whip yourself in shape) Alicea James


Bridal Expo Magazine

‘Oh my, the wedding day is fast approaching and those love handles are still as prominent as ever. To make matters worse I think that cake tasting session really did a number on my waistline. How will I fit into my corseted wedding dress?’ Before you go into panic mode, just take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Now, let’s figure out how we can quickly whip your body into tip-top shape in time for your wedding day. Of course this will require a few lifestyle changes. Despite what you see on TV, there is no magic pill to make you drop the pounds in a day and suddenly develop six pack abs. If you have at least six months before your wedding day, visit medical weight loss Jamaica, the first centre in the Caribbean to offer the new medical HCG protocol. You could also try another unorthodox, yet healthy weight loss aid, natural acupuncture, offered at Daling Acupuncture located at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa. Of course for maximum effectiveness you will also need to strategically plan and stick to an exercise routine.

Now if you simply need to tone up before your wedding day, or even drop a pound or two and you have at least a month, then all hope is not lost. But, I like to be realistic, so if you are hoping to drop 20 pounds in a week, I can honestly say that I cannot help you. It is neither realistic nor healthy to drop that many pounds in such a short amount of time. Remember your fiancé met you, fell in love with you and even agreed to marry you at your current weight, so if you never lose a pound for your wedding, the world will not end. However, I do understand that you want to feel confident on your special day which is why I have a few tricks up my sleeve. That is, if you are committed, and if you’re not, that corseted wedding dress should be motivation enough. Okay let’s get started.

Pick an Area of Focus! Since you are short on time, you need to really make the most of the little time you do have. Don’t try to do everything at once, instead make a list of your problem areas so that you can specifically target them. If your dress is strapless then you might want to focus on toning your arms. If you plan to change into a short dress for your reception then you certainly want to work on those legs, and if your wedding dress is tight fitting then you better work on that gluteus maximus.



CHALLENGE: Strapless Dress FOCUS AREA: Arms Strapless dresses tend to show off your arms, back, shoulders and upper chest. So your workout routine needs to be focused on these prime areas. If you plan to exercise at home, your best bet is to invest in a pair of dumbbells; these can be very effective when used for bicep and tricep curls, which are ideal for sculpting the arms. Pushups, lateral raises and plank exercises are also great arm toning methods.

Wedding 60

Bridal Expo Magazine

CHALLENGE: Short Dress FOCUS AREA: Legs If you plan to change out of your long gown and into something short and sassy for the reception, then your legs will be on display. Plus strengthening those gams will also ensure that you can dance in your six inch heels all night long. If you really want quick results, try a few leg circles. Lunges are also great for the thighs and legs so try to incorporate as many of these into your workout as possible. If you’ve never heard of skater lunges, well get familiar; these are quite effective for working the hamstrings, quads and glutes.



CHALLENGE: Body Hugging Dress FOCUS AREA: Butt If you’ve opted for a body hugging dress for your big day, then your figure will be on full display. Fitted dresses are not the most forgiving and since all eyes will be on you and your butt, make sure it’s in tip top shape. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel let’s stick to a very old and very effective technique; squats. There are different types too; squat with kick-back, single leg squat, dumbbell squat, just to name a few. You should also incorporate a few lunges and plies. Pilates and yoga are also great options for toning different body parts including the butt, so get as much in as possible and you and your booty will be ready for your big day- no pun intended.

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Bridal Expo Magazine


Bride essential Makeup Techniques! Meleisa Witter

You look amazing! These are the three words every bride wishes to hear on her special day. After all the years of dreaming, months of planning and executing, weeks of preparing, hours of fantasizing and minutes of anxiety, those words will make her day. And no matter how much of an ugly duckling you are on any other given day, your wedding day is that occasion to be transformed into the beautiful swan. And it is the most likely day for it to happen, so please don’t let the opportunity pass you by.



Your lips are not just for kissing.


With advanced technology in the beauty and makeup industries there is absolutely no reason why you should not be beautiful beyond recognition on your wedding day. russian makeup artist Vadim Andreev is a master at creating ‘illusions’ in beauty. A must-do for any serious bride is to study his techniques, or ensure her designated makeup artist for the big day has some of Andreev’s techniques in his/her skills bank.


‘Your hair is your beauty’ is a very old saying and I feel inclined to attribute it to Jamaican prejudices; but, there is some truth to it, I must confess. As someone who alternates between fairly long, shoulder length hair and a bald head every five years, I would know. The difference is sometimes quite startling. So find that perfect style for your face and hair type (keeping in mind that hair length or lack thereof is no longer a hindrance due to Brazilian and others) and get on with the show. Whatever the option being explored, just ensure that it is clean and smells great. Elegant sparkly accessories can go a far way in making a blah hairstyle look really beautiful. Do indulge.


Your lips are not just for kissing. On your wedding day, they can play an important role in the beautification and alluring process. Lips too thin? Use a white lip liner to line the extremities of the lip then apply a light coloured lipstick and gloss. This gives the illusion of fuller lips. And, for those blessed with full lips, use a liner darker than your lipstick shade and a dark lipstick which will make the lips appear thinner.


Even if you have flawless skin, chances are, you may have a feature which you do not like. For that, there is contouring. Nose a bit too

Slenderize it by applying darker makeup to the sides and lighter color to the front. Personally, I think contouring is the long or more likely broad?

greatest discovery of this generation, and the person responsible should be awarded a Nobel peace prize.

Highlight Next to contouring is highlighting. Brighten some areas

of your face and make them pop. Play up the youthfulness by lightening above the brow bone, right underneath the eyes on the upper right cheek bones and beneath the nose. By so doing, you will draw attention to those areas which form the centre of your face and give a more streamlined, defined look.


Play up your eyes. For most ladies, when eye make-up is properly done, that is when the transformation really begins. The experts say never use only one colour. Two will of course be better, but knowing how to blend multiple colours for a seamless transition of a beautiful kaleidoscope will help to achieve the ideal look. Factor in complexion and time of day when choosing color palate. Finally, here are the top four areas which you must not overlook if you want to achieve that stunning transformation:

1. The eYe area (to include brows). 2. The lips 3. FAciAl ouTline


4. skincAre before makeup

Dressing the


with Bliss Bridal Meleisa Witter


liss Bridal opened its doors in April of 2012 and has been focused every day since then on helping brides acquire the perfect dress. But finding the perfect wedding attire is more than just trying on gorgeous gowns.

It should be an ‘experience’ and Bliss Bridal Boutique provides all their brides-to-be with a welcoming and friendly environment where experienced bridal consultants take them through this sometimes confusing process. Brides often explicate that the difference between Bliss Bridal Boutique and everyone else is the experience. The personalized, warm atmosphere sets them apart. Additionally, they have taken every step to ensure that the dresses stocked are on trend and fresh. Every year, they attend the NYC Bridal Week to scope out all the designs for the upcoming season and to keep abreast of the top designers and styles.


Bridal Expo Magazine




ara Stanford, Managing Director of Bridal Bliss Boutique has a passion for her business and understands her brides. Regarding concerns brides have when choosing their dresses, she said ‘…The most common ones I have heard are hiding problem areas on the body and ensuring the dress is appropriate for the church. If you are concerned with problem areas, let your bridal consultant know. An experienced bridal consultant will know which dresses will help to accentuate the positives and downplay the negatives. Respecting the values of your religious venue is extremely important. If wearing a sexy strapless number is important to you, then you should consider that when selecting your venue.’ Bridal trends, much like any other fashion trend change with time, but they also remain the same. Majority of brides want to be timeless; however this may differ with each bride. ‘The sexy bride’ is on trend right now and due to this, mermaid, trumpet and fit and flare gowns are very popular. Bridal lace, sparkle or ‘bling’ are always on trend. Very common right now also, are sheer necklines and sheer deep cut backs. However, it is important to note that with bridal fashion trends changing every season, each bride must remember that not every trend is for her. Think about your body type, the feel and look of your wedding, your venue and personality; not just trends, when selecting dresses. Bliss Bridal loves a bride who is comfortable with herself and is open to trying different styles to see what will suit her best for her big day. ‘I love a bride that has not lost sight of what the day is about. A bride that is concerned with the love and care of her fiancée and her family, is the bride that will always touch my heart,’ Sara said. A word of caution to brides-to-be; ‘Too many cooks can spoil the broth.’ Bring no more than 2-3 people who’s opinion you value the most. Usually, mummy, sister and best friends are good options… and grandma too. But too many opinions can definitely be confusing. Most people will try to impart their idea of what they want to see the bride in and lose sight of the bride’s needs.

Bliss Bridal Boutique rents and sells wedding gowns, with rental rates starting at $250USD and selling $750USD.

i love a bride that has not lost sight of what the day is about...

that is concerned with the love and care of her fiancée and her family, is the bride that will always touch my heart

Do you need a


Planner? Meleisa Witter

If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can't do anything by yourself. And your best teams are your friends and your siblings. -Deepak Chopra

There are some interesting ceremonies associated with weddings in the world’s cultures. From Western white dresses to Oriental Chinese qipao; from jumping the broom by Africans to walking barefoot to the chapel like the Italians, we can and will admit that a wedding is a pretty important thing. In fact, in some cultures, it is the highlight of a person’s life. Some young girls spend their pre-wedding years daydreaming about the ‘big day’; how they want to look, what they want to wear, the first dance, and that first kiss. But with big things and important things, there is usually major stress and potentially problems− unless one has been doing adequate preparatory work. Even with the advent of the internet and the vast amounts of information online, it is not an automatic translation to a stress free environment for someone who is not prepared for the reality of properly planning and executing a wedding. This is where your wedding planner comes in. In the quote above, Deepa k Chopra recom mend s siblings (especially sisters) and friends; but you may

just end up with a case of the ‘blind leading the blind’causing everyone to fall in a ditch. There are times when you need a professional. Just as how you would not take your luxury vehicle to a shoemaker to have him fix the engine, likewise you should not entrust your important day to novices. Some people opt for a wedding coordinator to assist on the big day; others take themselves out of the picture from much earlier and hire a wedding planner to oversee the process from beginning to end.

But under what circumstances should you employ a wedding planner? Here are Jamaica Bridal Expo magazine’s top seven (7) reasons:


You cannot handle stress: Without a shadow of a doubt, the moment you announce that engagement, the stress begins to accumulate. Family and friends want to know the date, vendors want in on the action. It is just a time, when instead of basking in the sensation of pre-bridal bliss, you have all these things to attend to.


You need to hear the truth:

2 . You might get exploited: A good planner will know the going rate for things and what is necessary and what is fluff. In addition, once some people hear the word ‘wedding,’ it automatically doubles in price. Leave all those cares in their capable hands.

Honesty is something most people cannot handle, though we like to think that there is nothing worse than someone lying to us. But when I absolutely love a dress (which makes me look a tad like a tart), I need to have someone honest and brave enough to say so. And since I know that is her job, she will be indemnified against my tantrums.

3 . You lack the experience: Planning a large scale event such as a wedding is not easy. You are expecting people to take off several hours to spend with you irrespective of what that opportunity cost will be. It is important to ensure that they will have a good experience. It is very easy to have a disastrous outcome, if there is poor, inexpert planning.


Bridal Expo Magazine


You need someone to uneven the score: So you and your fiancée are at a deadlock over which favour to get for guests. This is where the wedding planner comes in. She has only one vote too, so a majority and a minority will finally emerge. Winner takes it all.


You can be only one place on your wedding day and it won’t be overlooking all those last minute details. Handing over the reins to a wedding planner frees you to relax; be beautiful, calm and composed for your special moment. If at some point you become emotional, it won’t be because you forgot to take care of something and now your wedding is ruined.


You need to put in the big rocks first: With so many customs, traditions, newly emerging ideas about things to do on your wedding day, it can become difficult to choose which route to take. And it can become quite tedious with you going in circles; doing a whole lot, but not accomplishing much. A wedding planner helps to keep the plan going in a straight line.

The Wedding Planner Plus “We handle the stress, after you say Yes”

Gown Rental • tuxedo Rental (Rent 5, Get 6) • affoRdable weddinG PackaGes • cateRinG and RecePtion Venue • souVeniRs and inVitations • decoRations and much moRe

Trust her on her choices and move on. The Wedding Planner Plus | Main Street, Ocho Rios, St. Ann Tel: 876-974-6555 | 954-376-8598 (USA #) www.weddingplannerplusjamaica.com | weddingplannerplusjamaica

R esourceful

Catering Meleisa Wit ter


Bridal Expo Magazine

Resourcefulness is a word we hate to associate with weddings; especially when talking about the food. After all, it is often said that in Jamaica, the food can make or break the wedding. No matter how great everything else went, if the catering was poor, the entire wedding is remembered as being of a lesser quality. Conversely, if the food was great and everything else was a flop…the wedding will still go down in history as one to remember. Yes, that’s the power of good food! So does the knell toll for a wedding once one has to consider resourcefulness? We thought we’d explore it for you and see if indeed there could be a marriage of both without taking away from the wedding reception bliss.

Here are some


tips and tricks for resourceful catering success: Begin at the beginning Identify your budget; be completely honest and reasonable and tick off the ways that you will make it work, for both your ego’s sake and for your guests’ satisfaction.




Choose a Resourceful Caterer



Choose a venue which will allow flexibility such as external caterers on the property and no charge for corkage, etc. if you bring in your own beverages.

Choose a caterer who is not yet established- BUT whom you know has excellent culinary skills. My idea of resourcefulness here is not meant to be conflated with poor quality. If a product or service is of poor quality and you get it cheaply, then there is no bargain there, nothing to celebrate; if however, you get a product of excellent quality at a charge way below market price, then you can smile broadly, pump fist in the air and whoop “Eureka I’ve found it!”

Alternately, and quite simply ‘A sk for help!’ A family member, close friend or well-wisher may be happy to contribute in a meaningful way to your big day.



Having identified the where, who and how, we now turn your attention to the what. There are some things which are easy to prepare so you won’t need a sous chef for a very tasty, delectable version and two, they serve a large number of people easily. This combination is a must have for the person who has budgetary constraints.

Soup Chicken, beef, lentil, vegetable or peas soups are always welcome starters and will be enjoyed through the evening, once it is tasty and well prepared. The great thing about soup is to ensure it is properly seasoned. If doing chicken or beef, then all the edible trimmings from the beef or chicken meal can end up in the soup pot to bolster the flavour. It is very easy to get creative with soup.

Pasta It is just surprising how a bag of pasta can expand once hot water touches it. A common favourite, you can choose whether or not to add mixed vegetables, shredded chicken, salad dressing or other items for a tasty meal or side dish.

Sandwiches Sandwiches are bulky, filling up a plate quickly and easily. It also encourages beverage guzzling so it reduces the amount of food consumed.

Variety Just have some of this and some of that. Sometimes the diversity causes persons to despair at just how much food he will be eating, causing him to return some. At the end of the day one thing is certain, for your wedding, food must be good and plenty. The longer the event will last, the more food to budget for as some persons like to eat from the start of the festivities right until the show comes to its very end. Factor that in and start shopping. The more you get done without involving paid professionals, the more you will have to offer the guests.


etiquette Traditional vs

modern Alicea James


A set of rules or customs which control accepted behavior in particular social groups or social situations.


roper wedding etiquettes date back to its early origins during the Victorian era. Many of our 21st century procedures would not be considered proper during those times. Modern society has influenced the way we operate and many customs that were once considered improper are now totally acceptable. During the Victorian era, traditional wedding

practices focused on social graces, intelligence and education. Woman usually married in their late teens to early twenties; they had very little education and no means of income. After marriage, it was expected that they would spend their days attending social events and looking after the home.

major changes in Traditional etiquette Traditionally, weddings were funded by the bride’s father and the type of wedding thrown was an indication of the family’s social status. Most of the planning, including the guests list, invitation, location, etc. were determined by the parents −the bride had little or no say in those proceedings. Wedding traditions were strictly adhered to, and breaking any of the standard practices was considered indecorous. In modern society, most of these ancient customs have either been modified or become obsolete. Women are now educated and independent; they often fund their own weddings and have complete control over the details of same.



Traditional wedding dictated that the eldest unmarried sister must be the maid of honor/main bridesmaid; unless there were none, or all were married. In those situations, the role was then given to an unmarried relative or best friend. Today, the bride is free to choose whoever she wishes, most times it is her sister, relative or best friend. And another thing, if her best friend or relative happens to be a male, that is now quite acceptable. In this case, he is given the title ‘man of honor’ but his role remains the same. These changes would not be considered proper wedding etiquette in ancient days, but now they are considered normal.


Bridal Expo Magazine



Wedding dresses were floor length (made popular by Queen Victoria) and were always white, off-white or ivory, any deviation from these shades −which was a symbol of purity− was simply intolerable. Today however, wedding dresses can be any and every color of the rainbow. Whether it’s black, blue, red or purple; whatever color you want for your dress is now acceptable in modern society. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times (scandalous, I know!) once she wore brown, another time she wore green, and for her wedding ceremony in 1991 she wore a yellow wedding dress. Singer Gwen Stephanie opted for a white garb with a pink train, and in 1997 Sarah Jessica Parker made a complete 180◦ from the traditional wedding color by wearing black to her wedding.






Back in the old days, bridal showers were reserved for the first wedding, a bride could not wear a veil her second time down the aisle and no one was required to give a wedding gift to the same bride or groom twice. Although there are some people who still hold on to these traditions, for the most part, many do not. A second time bride can and will wear a veil for her second, third or fourth wedding if she so chooses; bridal showers are thrown once, twice or three times for the same bride; and yes if someone has invited me to three wedding ceremonies- I can and will bring a gift each and every time.

Ultimately, wedding etiquette still exists, just in different forms. If proper etiquette means we conform to a certain set of rules or traditions, then it is only fair that as these rules and customs change, we follow proper protocol and try to change right along with them. 86

Bridal Expo Magazine

Tai flora W

eddings by Tai Flora are beautiful, exotic, dream events. Decorated arches and f loral huppahs, tulles, tropical flowers, floral aisle markers, roses and hydrangeas are some of the everyday vocabulary they use. And the result is simply breath-taking. Exquisite bridal bouquets, flawlessly designed will go a far way in making your dreams come true on your special day. An unmatched selection of elegant presentations is always on offer for weddings, conferences and catering services to make your venue come alive with uber elegance and beauty. Tai Flora Services Ltd is Jamaica’s largest and most exclusive f loral provider. They take special pride in elegant and extravagant destination weddings from the ballroom to the beach, by artistically crafting each wedding design as a reflection bride and groom’s taste and style. The results are exquisite; creating feelings of momentous happiness for all who attend in the way only extraordinary floral design can. The goal is to provide unparalleled wedding flowers, distinctive designs, personalized and attentive services, and the flexibility to meet a client’s individual tastes, and needs. They design, prepare and create special events that require a

high level of expertise and creativity, always aiming for memorable events that surpass the client’s expectations. Aside from suggesting floral varieties and designs, their professionals can offer helpful ideas regarding theme, dÊcor, lighting and draping. In a world of changing styles the Tai Flora team continues to set trends by attending

wedding and design seminars. Dr. Paulette Tai Chun-Hossmann, with her Tai Flora offers a wide variety husband Sascha Hossmann and their caring of floral designs and custom staff will handle every aspect of your event, tailored floral packages to make leaving you free to experience the joy and your wedding day the most memories of this, your most special occasion. memorable day of your life. No detail is too small, no request too large for the courteous team. At Tai Flora, you're not a client, you're family. 89 www.jamaicabridalexpo.com

Cake Couture Your Ultimate in

Cake Creations


Bridal Expo Magazine

Multifaceted is the first word that comes to mind when you meet

Camille Flinn.

But for this magazine, we will explore only one side... Cake Couture. We allowed her to do all the talking. And she did.

I do anything that will create that wow factor! Wedding cakes adorned with ornate ruffles; delicate sugar -paste flowers; ‌ 3D bottles for Groom's cakes... Pretty much anything can be translated into cake! I always encourage my brides to make the cake their own unique design. Of course they can use images from other cakes as inspiration. However, if there is absolutely nothing that you would want more than that particular cake, I would more than happy to recreate it at no additional cost. I strive to make all my creations completely edible (minus a wire or two) so I make my toppers. However, if a bride already has a topper I will always facilitate its use, where possible. I do not rent the cake knives or lifters... Most brides buy their own based on their personal preferences. I do rent stands, but their prices vary.

If it's a brooch or necklace that you're wearing, the lace ruffles or pleats on your wedding dress, your wedding ring, anything that you want. If you provide me with samples of your wedding colours, I can recreate the colours in fondant as well.

Each bride is unique so I wouldn't dream of having "standard" designs. I always ask my brides to describe the theme of their wedding... Is it vintage, contemporary? Maybe it's in a garden setting, or even peacock feathers may be their inspiration ... I try to find out as many details as possible to create a cake that works in tandem with their overall vision.

The cake getting damaged in transit to or at the reception site has happened before, but I'm always fully prepared.

I carry all the necessary tools and ingredients with me, just in case! That's why it is important for the decorator to transport the cake! I would recommend that you start looking for your cake vendor at least eight months in advance. I've had brides come to me three weeks (or even less!) prior to their special day. This, of course is an unusual occurrence, and may be due to unforeseen circumstances. Please note that if you wish to work with a particular vendor, availability may be an issue, so the sooner you make contact with that person, the better.

PRicing, TasTing & TRansPoRTing Tastings are provided, and yes, at a cost.

But one thing I can say is that my clients always say that I'm worth it! Delivery fees are dependent on the destination. Corporate fees are relatively similar; however, if the cake needs to be transported out of town to say Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, then the fees would vary.

i can be contacted via:

Facebook: Cake Couture Ja Email: cakecoutureja@gmail.com


Bridal Expo Magazine

Instagram: @cakecoutureja Phone: (876) 876-561-6886

Br i d a l R e g i st r i e s . . .


Meleisa Wit ter

And lo, there was a day when a beautiful bride threw a hissy fit and her newly wedded husband was not even inclined to calm her down. Incidentally, he too was pretty mad! “Another freaking toaster oven or a blender and I am going to blow my top!” She shrilled. All the guests were embarrassed, as they wondered why they had decided to go cheapo on the wedding gift for their friend. Each believed that the other was getting the big, expensive gifts and that nobody would notice or even mind their much needed and often overlooked ‘basic’ gift. The poor bride was trying to maintain her composure and failing miserably as each gift revealed either a toaster or a blender. Trying to make light of it, her darling husband quipped, “Honey, we always wanted to go into business. We now know which one. ” What?” She turned on him angrily, “Today is my wedding day and these stupid people have ruined it by bringing these stupid toasters and blenders here and all you can talk about is business! My life is ruined! I need a divorce!” Her ingenious half sister could not help but smile indulgently; indeed, out of her half sister’s misery a new business concept was born. She could not wait to get started on this fantastic idea. Bright and early Tuesday morning, the ad hit the papers:

Brides and grooms, save yourself the embarrassment and annoyance of getting only blenders and toasters as wedding presents. Open a Bridal Registry with us today!



Very soon thereafter, the banks would catch on; after all, nobody- and certainly not a cash strapped couple about to get married- would turn down cold hard cash as a wedding gift. And let’s face it; unless you are really cheap, mean or broke, there is a certain value below which you will not want to present that gift cert to a couple. Speaking of which, some people are pretty peeved when they get that Bridal registry slip along with the wedding invitation, which should elicit images of cake eating, wine drinking and revelry. The bridal registry slip is a reminder not to show up at the wedding empty handed. For some, it is a relief to be able to give a gift that the couple has indicated that they really want. It removes the complexity of choosing a gift. For these people, bridal registries are indeed a godsend.



interesting tidbits about Bridal Registries:

The story above is not really true. Wikipedia posits that “The practice of a bridal registry was first instituted by Chicago-founded department store Marshall Field's in 1924 at its Marshall Field and


Bridal Expo Magazine

Company Building as a means for the engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends. US-based Target stores were the first to introduce an electronic self-service gift registry in 1993, using a service provided by The Gift Certificate Center of Minneapolis.



Wedding Registry is the more politically correct term to use these days. Any type of business that is willing to offer the service may be used as a registry. While convention speaks to china and crystal, a wedding registry is about what YOU want.


There is no rule about how many pieces of the same item you may choose; unless you made that rule. So go ahead and get those four matching china sets. After all, your extended family is pretty huge and you do suffer from OCD!


Think about your guests when deciding on a registry and the items to be chosen. It makes no sense to order the most pricy items when you know most of them can’t afford it. Not to say you are to encourage ‘cheapness,’ but a cheaper present is better than no gift at all.

Unusual Wedding

InvItatIons Meleisa Witter

An object was delivered to my office. It was a lovely, purple scroll with golden kessers, placed in a hollowed out coconut shell filled with sand and silvery material, and threaded through with a gartel (narrow purple and gold band string) to prevent the scroll from falling out. The coconut shell itself bore the inscription, ‘The Journey.’ Mystified, I quickly un-wrapped the scroll. It was a wedding invitation from my dear, ingenious sister, who insisted that her wedding would be anything but ordinary- from start to finish. Without a doubt, her invitation was a clear indication that she meant what she said.

It Was extra-ordInary and unusual.


n perusing blogs and other articles for more information on this creative phenomenon worldwide, I came across one blog whose writer resonated deeply with me.The Invitation Blog was spot on in its assessment when it posted ‘An emerging trend in the high-end/ luxury invitation world is using unusual materials and textures in invitations suites – everything from metal and acrylic to wood and fabric; there seemed to be an endless supply of unique invitation eye-candy out there.’ The writer, Sarah, endorsed the trend saying, ‘ I’m definitely not complaining – I love the idea of using unusual papers and other materials in creating invitations, and it’s these types of invites that will definitely surprise and delight your guests.’ Indeed, I too was delighted at the stark difference of this invitation. It presented, to my mind then, the prelude of even more thrilling and extraordinary things to come. ‘If this is only the wedding invitation!’ I recalled thinking. One thing is sure; there are certain themes, elements and ideas which will always be relevant, charming and timeless.

Some of these are:

For inv itations, once it i nvolves t w i ne, burlap, jute, fabric & lace, wood or weathered metal; think rustic. This of course does not exhaust the options for rustic or vintage. Even paper can be made to have a vintage look and feel by adding ‘texture’ and the right colours. And of course, how can we forget the message in a bottle! Eco-f riend ly is now trending. Recycling is the name of the game and it can redound to some fun, interesting projects. Imagine transforming grandma’s huge, multi-ruffled wedding gown into satiny invitations. Such fun! Like energy, we should always find ways to convert things from one use to another, rather than discard. There is nothing that you can do wrong with glass or cr ystal for me. The expert glazier can create an invitation which may also serve as the wedding favour. Classy, timeless and beautiful, glass and crystal will definitely make their own statement as invitations.

Rustic/vintage Eco-friendly Simply beautiful

Ultimately there are many unique options to choose from, and if you don’t see anything that pleases your eyes, well you can always let your own creativity speak for itself.

WOW Moments



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