Say “I Do” in JAMAICA
Couples flock to the country of “One Love.”
BY JANEEN JOHNSON
Jamaica’s idyllic beaches and panoramic mountain views set the tone for planning the ultimate destination wedding. The island’s exquisite collection of luxury resorts, boutique villas and venues offer limitless opportunities to design your version of happily ever after. Imagine exchanging vows under a pergola draped in hydrangeas as your loved ones watch adoringly from their garden seats. Or perhaps a beachfront ceremony for two is more your style. There’s a wealth of talented event planners on the island that can make your dreams a reality.
Married in Montego Bay
All-inclusive resorts like Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa have wedding planners on staff to manage all the details of your big day. Their packages cover everything from catering and décor to the officiant and photography. This family-friendly resort is an ideal choice if you have a large guest list. Their grand ballroom accommodates up to 450 persons. One special feature of the Jewel Grande is their online honeymoon registry. Your loved ones can enhance your destination wedding experience by gifting room upgrades, spa treatments and even off-property excursions.
Whether your dream wedding looks like an intimate gathering or a big blowout with all the trimmings, there’s a wealth of talented event planners on the island that can make your dreams a reality.
Excellence Oyster Bay, Jamaica’s newest resort, has attractive options best suited for wedding party sizes of fewer than 20. The chic adults-only property is set on a private peninsula bordered by the Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon. Opt for a cocktail reception on the rooftop terrace, then ease into the honeymoon phase with rose petal baths and sparkling wine breakfasts in bed.
Couples in search of bespoke experiences will appreciate the exclusivity of a wedding at Round Hill Hotel and Villas. Located within 30 minutes of Montego Bay airport, the Hanover-based property is amongst the most sought after wedding destinations in Jamaica. The catering and sales team works closely with couples to ensure that everything matches their expectations. Round Hill employs a strict one wedding per weekend policy, to guarantee couples their undivided attention. Plans for the “perfect” day are set in motion at least a year in advance. From the initial consultation, couples are matched with suitable vendors. The team then handles all the fine details to provide a seamless experience for their clientele. Round Hill prides itself on confidentiality. It is a popular vacation choice for Hollywood jet-setters and highnet-worth individuals.
Saying “I Do”in South Coast
For two years in a row, the World Travel Awards has recognised Sandals South Coast as the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort. The property oozes romance with its Over-the-Water Butler Bungalows, fire pits and private beachside cabanas. Another very popular feature of the South Coast property is its Over-the-Water wedding chapel.
“We do not just focus on the wedding day,” says Shaday James, a wedding planner at Sandals Resorts International (SRI). “Our focus is on the overall experience.”
Embrace Jamaica’s idyllic tropical setting and opt for beachside ceremonies and outdoor receptions lush with local flora and fauna.
Thirsting for a taste of real Jamaica? Skip the traditional Champagne toast and opt for Appleton Estate Rum. Visit the estate in South Coast for an authentic and multi-sensory tour complete with a rum tasting experience.
For SRI, their entire business model is built on love. The brand has an appointed director of romance who oversees the Destination Wedding programme for all Sandals and Beaches Resort properties. “We wanted to create an atmosphere where folks understand that the centre of who we are is really based on love,” says Marsha- Ann Brown, SRI’s director of romance. “We’re involved in every aspect of romance travel.” Sandals offers services that are designed to celebrate a couple’s journey from engagement through to anniversary. In addition to “weddingmoons” (weddings and honeymoon), some properties have Engagement Concierges to organise surprise proposals. To celebrate anniversaries, couples are invited to “Retie the Knot” with a special vow renewal ceremony.
The Aisle to Isle programme is another element of SRI’s Destination Wedding experience. Instead of wedding packages and themes, couples are given inspirations to help them visualise what their dream wedding could look like. The bride and groom are encouraged to experiment with different colours and décor to identify their style personality. With Aisle to Isle inspirations, the wedding team can create a more customised experience.
Rose Hall Developments in Montego Bay has a destination relationship manager on staff. She works closely with photographers, caterers and other vendors to create tailor-made weddings for clients. Rose Hall operates some of the most prestigious venues in Jamaica, including the Rose Hall Great House and the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course.
In Kingston, properties like Strawberry Hill and the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel can coordinate an elegant brunch or a poolside cocktail reception with delectable local and international cuisine options.
People of various faiths can easily find experienced wedding planners to cater to multicultural celebrations. There are Hindu priests, rabbis and other licenced officiants available on the island to perform faith-based and nondenominational ceremonies.
The abundance of picturesque locations contributes to Jamaica’s popularity. For a truly stunning backdrop, the views of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains from Strawberry Hill can’t be matched. The property seems made for romance, and can accommodate parties of three to 150 in various spaces including the Yoga Pavilion, which offers unparalleled views of the Blue Mountain peaks; its lush Main Lawn and Adinkra Lawn; and elegant villas and private dining rooms. Exclusive wedding packages and individualised Honeymoon Registry make it easy for couples to plan the wedding of their dreams.
Cayman Airways offers daily nonstop flights from Grand Cayman to Kingston and twice-weekly flights from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay. To book your visit, contact us at 1.800.422.9626 or go to caymanairways.com.