So you’ve always pictured a Jamaican wedding on a white sandy beach, the sunset as your backdrop, the breeze blowing through your hair and your guests enjoying the time of their life. The planning has started, and already you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the logistics suddenly staring you in the face. We’ve heard all the horror stories and we’re here to help you avoid all the mistakes that you’re likely to face when planning a Jamaican destination wedding. In this 2 part series, we’ll tell you the top 10 things to consider to ensure you have a memorable Jamaican destination wedding.
1. Your Budget
This may sound cliché, but we can’t say this enough when it comes to weddings, especially destination weddings. No matter how much you think you can spend, penning a budget is essential. Websites will give costs as low as U$1,000 for a Jamaican wedding and it’s easy to get swept away with thoughts of sun, sand and sea. However, this figure does not include hotel stay, airfare, ground transportation, gratuities or other off-site activities. We recommend that you craft a realistic budget and be open-minded. Solicit information from other Jamaican destination couples you may know, bearing in mind that each circumstance will be different. Reach out to a few local planners and get their expert advice. They’ll only be too happy to hear from you.
2. Your Date
It’s almost certain that you’re going to be hung up on a date that has some special significance or it’s just a cute hashtag. But before setting your wedding date, check the local calendar of activities for conferences, major holidays, sporting activities or reggae festivals that may be happening around the time of your wedding date. These events will affect available flights, hotel accommodation and rates, or choice of venue. Not to mention, that awesome venue with the waterfall backdrop you’ve been dreaming about may already be booked. Yikes! Special days such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day significantly affect the availability and cost of flowers. You may wish to consider dates that are a couple of weeks before or after these special events or if possible, incorporate it with your destination wedding activities. Again, do your research – it won’t cost a thing and it will save you much heartache.
3. Jamaica’s Climate
Nothing is more disheartening to know that you have made all your plans, sent out invitations, and confirmed your bookings only to find out that the time of year is most likely to have rainfall and you’re having an outdoor wedding! While Jamaica is mostly sunny all year round, the island does have seasonal rainfall, including the much talked about Atlantic Hurricane season.
Some fast facts on Jamaican weather are:
- January through March have the lowest rainfall.
- September and October (the peak of the Hurricane Season) are the rainiest and least popular months to visit.
- Temperatures in July and August are often uncomfortably hot.
- March and April have the best combination of low rainfall and warm temperatures.
It’s best to do your research and have a contingency plan in place such as tents or an indoor alternative.
4. Your Dress
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Jamaica is sunny most of the time and it can be especially humid in the resort towns that are popular for destination weddings. Nothing is more uncomfortable than standing on the beach (a popular choice for a Jamaican wedding) in a dress made of heavy fabric (or a suit for that matter!) in humid weather with beads of sweat running down your back. Choose your dress carefully and also determine how you will travel with it to avoid damage. Of course, if your wedding will be late afternoon or mostly indoors, you should be comfortable enough. When booking your airline ask if your dress can be hung in the business section of the plane.
5. Your Guests
Oh yes! Planning for your guests and bridal party is a must! Remember they will be spending a lot on airfare and hotel accommodation to attend your wedding, so make it worth their while to come all this way for you. Arrange for welcome bags with appropriate items from the island to be placed in their hotel room on arrival. This could include savoury sweet treats, hangover kit, sun shades and sun screen and, ofcourse, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ note’. Check out this page for great Jamaican welcome bags and souvenirs. Keep your guests informed and entertained with the various activities that the hotel or surrounding town has to offer. These should include activities they can do with you as well as on their own. Well thought-out gifts for your bridal party is a definite winner!
We hope you found some helpful tips. Post your comments and tell us if you considered any of the suggestions we made. Stay tuned for Part 2 when we tell you more that you need to know about the island itself when planning your Jamaican wedding.
If you found this post helpful, please like it or leave your comments below. Happy planning!