In a recent blog, I explained that I will be sharing my 👰🏽 wedding countdown with you. So this is about my destination wedding.
Growing up, I always thought I wanted a big white wedding. You know the church style, fairy tale ones. Where I wear a big white toilet roll holder type of dress, with an army helping to carry it. A bit like the below 😂
However as I have grown, my preferences in life have changed, and that couldn’t be further away from what I want now.
The most important factor for me, is sharing our day with our nearest and dearest family and friends. The rest of celebration is a nicety.
My partner is originally from Jamaica. All of his family are still residing over there. It’s important to us to have both sides of our family present. However it’s not as simple as just buying a plane ticket for them to come over. Unfortunately they would need a visa to enter the UK and that is not always a straight forward task. There are risks of not getting them. That is not a stress I want leading up to our big day.
I have a very big family on both my mum and dads’ side. The majority are in the UK however a large number of them are stateside. Whilst it’s logistically easier for them to fly to Jamaica, (no visa required for both) it’s a big expense. Also with deep vein thrombosis running in my family, long distance flights are not recommended. For that reason a number of my family in the UK would not be able to travel far.
So what do we do? A wedding in England where all my family and both sets of friends can attend, but none of my partners family will be there. Or a wedding in Jamaica with his family, some of my family and our friends? As much as I would love all my family to attend, it’s important that our day is shared with both families. So it’s a no brainer for us…we are off to the beautiful island of Jamaica to get married.
The beautiful thing about a destination wedding is you’re more likely to have lovely weather. Perfect for pictures and enjoying the day. These weddings are generally easier to plan. Less to do, which means you can actually just focus on your vows and having a good time, whilst having a holiday as well. Such a bonus.
There are several tour operators you can book with. Once you have a destination in mind, shop around and do your research before booking. It’s a huge milestone in your life. You want it to be perfect, so don’t rush into selecting any company. You need to ensure the company you book with have great reviews and feedback, with weddings. The idea of booking your wedding through a tour operator, is so that they can take away the stress of planning and organising your day. This is extremely helpful especially when liaising overseas. Trying to do this yourself direct with a venue could be more difficult, with time zones, language barriers or even end up more expensive.
One vital part to consider is whether or not you want the legal ceremony to be abroad. Not all destinations can actually perform a legal wedding. That is something to think about when choosing your destination. However if your chosen destination does not do the legal ceremony and you have your heart set there, then you could always do the legal part in a registry office in the UK before you do your wedding overseas. So you still have options. That is another good reason to book through a reputable tour operator. They know all the legal requirements. They can also point you in the direction of recommended local vendors for any extras you want to add to your wedding.
We booked our wedding with Thomson Weddings. Generally speaking, weddings abroad should cost you less than in the UK. However it depends on what you want, how many you are catering for and whether you want a private reception or not. The majority of packages are a set price for 10-20 guests. If you have more than this number you will need to pay additional amounts per person. If you want a private reception dinner, this will also cost you additional amounts per person. The amount all varies depending on what you select. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend having s small standard intimate package, without adding any extras. Then on your return home, have a party where even more guests can come to celebrate.
I had my heart set on one hotel in Jamaica, The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton. After one visit, we were both sold. It’s set in an area called Lucea which is about half an hour from Montego Bay. The grounds are impressive, the room suites are perfect, staff incredibly friendly and facilities to keep the whole family entertained. Just what you want for a wedding destination. Although this was the hotel I wanted, we did look at others in Jamaica. The beauty of Jamaica, is most hotels are amazing, so you’re spoilt for choice. However, none quite did it for us like this one. So wedding hotel booked! The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton it is. Next on to making it our own. #NevandaWedding
Stay cool, stay safe, stay blessed and most of all stay being you.
First Lady Randz #FLR