As a wedding guitarist, I have played at many weddings all over the island of Jamaica. I also recently got married and experienced what planning a wedding was like, thus I would like to share some tips that could help you to know what to expect before you start planning your Jamaican wedding.
There is no going wrong in selecting Jamaica for your destination wedding, as there are many great venue options on the island. Visiting couples tend to go for beach weddings, and we have many hotels and villas that have beautiful scenery by the beach. Some venues are more private and tranquil, than the standard options. I have played at many of these lovely venues - Laughing Waters, Whispering Waters, Goldeneye, Royalton Hotel, Spanish Court Hotel,Rose Hall Great House, Round Hill hotel, Goat Hill Villa, Borghin Villa , Shaw Park Gardens, Llantrissant Beachcliff Villa and more.
In selecting Jamaica as your wedding destination, you may have imagined getting married outdoors on a beautiful, warm sunny day, but the truth is that the weather in Jamaica most of the times may be either hot or rainy . I have done afternoon weddings ( about 1pm - 3pm ) where the sun was very hot, leaving some guests feeling a little uncomfortable. My suggestion is to have a tent on standby , or have the wedding a little later in the evening maybe 4pm , and take pictures at sunset.
Jamaica also usually receives a lot a rain during its hurricane season - June to November, and this is the season when most weddings take place. I recently did two weddings in St. Ann, a week apart . one was on a rainy day and the other was on a sunny day. The one which took place on the rainy day, had the couple a little on edge as they hoped for the rain to stop. Luckily it did! The one on the Sunny day was hot, and I felt some sympathy as I watched the bride take pictures in the boiling sun before the wedding ceremony, but as evening came things were better.
Venue & Vendor
Some couples choose to work solely with hotel packages, while others prefer to search for various vendors ( eg. musicians, photographers, florist etc). The main issue with hiring vendors directly, is that some hotels have a vendor fee which is sometimes exorbitant. In other words, you will have to pay extra money to use other vendors aside what the hotel offers. There is the option of using a private villa as you work alongside a wedding planner who will mediate between you and your selected vendors. Various vendors can be found on www.weddingwire.com, where you can see samples of their work and read reviews from past clients. Others may be found on social media sites or by just googling a particular service.
Once you have selected an experienced wedding planner, to guide you, you will be fine, however, don't expect the day to be totally perfect, as every detail may not go as planned, but keep positive and enjoy the day you have invested in.