Thinking about getting married in the Caribbean? We highly recommend Sandals resorts

Hello everyone and welcome to my very first blog post for Stylish Events! For those of you that don’t know, my name is Marina and I am Event Manager and Russian Wedding Planner at Stylish Events.

As I’ve just returned from a luxury all-included Sandals dedicated WeddingMoon® educational trip to Jamaica, I thought this would be an ideal subject for my first blog! The trip was packed and impeccably organised by the lovely Kerrie-Anne Ford, who is the UK Weddings Supervisor for Unique Vacations UK Ltd (Global Representatives  for Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts), and Marsha-Ann Brown, who is the Director of Romance at Sandals Resorts International for Sandals & Beaches WeddingMoons®.

WeddingMoons®s is the division of weddings and honeymoons at Sandals Resorts across the Caribbean including, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados and many more amazing locations.
Sandals WeddingMoons Logo

Below is part one of my Jamaica travels which talks about my experience at Sandals Whitehouse in Westmoreland, part two will follow very soon and will cover the other hotels we visited.

This was my first trip to Jamaica and I am already dreaming of being back there again. I was very lucky to have won the sunny study trip at the annual UKAWP Mix and Mingle last year. The UKAWP (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) is an organisation which promotes professionalism in wedding planning and we are very proud to be members.

Each year one of the members organises the UKAWP Mix and Mingle event which is a social event for wedding planners and suppliers which gives us all a chance to talk through trends and tips and have a good catch up over a glass of wine.

I somehow managed to win first prize in the raffle, make new contacts and secure an internship at Stylish Events! I’m still regretting not going to the Casino that day!!

So here we are ready to take off, I travelled with Bernadette Chapman of Dream Occasions, also director of UKAWP, Jessica Barrie of Diamond Rose Events, Kerrie-Anne Ford from Unique Vacations UK Ltd, Dilara, Germany’s representative for Sandals & Beaches Resorts, Wedding planner Rhian, and two Lovely UK Tour Operators Maria and Sam.

Sandals WeddingMoons trip to Jamaica

So the main focus of this trip was to see ideal venues for stunning weddings in Jamaica and learn more about destination tropical ceremonies.

Our first stop was the beautiful Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa which is surrounded by impressive gardens with luscious greenery. Within the complex there are three European inspired villages – Italian, French and Dutch. All of which have ocean front rooms and suites offering the most amazing views overlooking the two mile long beach, and the top tier suites come with a personal Sandals’ Butler Service!

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Sandals Whitehouse Europeanean Village & Spa rooms

rooms

a personal Sandals’ Butler Service

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

Stylish Events in Jamaica

There are seven restaurants in this lovely hotel serving mouth-watering gourmet cuisine from around the world.

Giuseppe's - Italian R

Sandals food

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

There is lots of entertainment available to suit everyone, ranging from a sophisticated piano bar to bonfire beach parties at night and volleyball, tennis, pool and many others during the day.

Sandals sports activities Sandals Nightly Entertainment

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

I was enjoying my view at the Beach front Grande Luxe Club Level Suite every morning and saw a few weddings from my balcony.

Sandals Whitehouse viewWedding in JamaicaJamaican Wedding

Jamaican weddings are relaxed and simple but at the same time very beautiful and romantic. For those of you considering a destination wedding, here are three great reasons to help you make up your mind:

1. You can save money

2. Avoid the unpredictable weather in UK

3. The opportunity to combine the hen and stag ‘do’, ceremony and honeymoon

What I really liked about Sandals is that they offer a new tool on their website which allows you to design your own custom wedding “Your Wedding. Your Style”. This allows you to have a wedding created by you and sealed with your personal touch, which is what planning your special day is all about!

“Your Wedding. Your Style” takes you through the entire design and styling of your day from table styling and floral centrepieces, your bridal bouquet, cake design and flavours and your wedding breakfast.

Sandals Wedding table styling

Table styling

Weddingmoons kindly showed us a few of their table set ups to give us a feel of the table styling and centrepieces available. This is one of my favourite parts of being a wedding planner, it’s an opportunity to get creative and show your personality. The combination of the flowers you choose for your centrepieces is what truly makes them uniquely yours. Once your centrepiece is in place, it is time to have some fun. You can add elegant pillar candles, hurricane lamps, vases and seashells or sea glass crystals.

Sandals table styling pink Sandals table styling white and gold Sandals table styling orange Sandals table styling grean

Your Bridal Bouquet

From the flowers to the finishing touches, everything about your bridal bouquet should reflect your personality and sense of style and compliment the mood of your wedding. WeddingMoons work with you to create your perfect Bridal Bouquet, each arrangement can be wrapped in raffia or double-satin ribbon, or adorned with bows or seashells and they can also supply any type of flowers. However, I would advise taking the hot weather into account when selecting your floral!

Sandals wedding bouquet

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

I personally fell in love with this stunning shell bouquet called Seaside Orchid Elegance.

sandalsshellbouquet

Pictures courtesy of Sandals

Wedding Cake

The wedding cake tends to be one of the main focuses of a wedding and our brides are spending more and more time designing and creating their perfect cake to fit the theme of their day. For many of our couples, the flavour is as important as the design and I have to say, this is definitely another ‘perk of the job’ as we get to taste a lot of cake!

Marsha-Ann, the Director of WeddingMoons® very kindly talked us through design and cake flavours and we all got to taste the cake flavours available; Red velvet, chocolate, vanilla and Jamaican fruit cake. The wedding cakes very elegant and a two tier White fondant cake topped with magenta Dendrobium orchids is included within the Free Beautiful Beginnings WeddingMoons® package.

wedding cake white

Pictures courtesy of Sandals

sandals white cakes

Wedding Breakfast

The dining experience at the Whitehouse truly impressed me, the setting, the service, the entertainment and of course the amazing food that we ate! For your wedding breakfast there are so many different cuisines that you can choose from; Tuscany, France, the Far East, the Caribbean or something more eclectic.

On our second night we were served a delicious dinner which we ate on the beach. The setting was amazing and the attention to detail was second to none. The staff were so accommodating, getting to know all of our dietary requirements and ensuring we were very well taken care of. I would like to say a huge thank you to the all of the lovely team at the Whitehouse for looking after us!

Diner at Whitehouse Jamaica chicken chocolate desert

But we didn’t just eat at our wedding seminar, so I’ve got some important information for you:

Marriage requirements:

Couples can be married 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica providing application 60 days in prior. Sandals & Beaches advise to arrive 48 hours before the ceremony (so that you can have your on resort wedding consultation).

The cost of a license is four thousand Jamaican dollars (approximately £37-£40).  Sandals & Beaches charge a fee for government and minister fees which includes the license fee. In Jamaica this fee is $95 US dollars (about £57 pounds).

Unlike many countries, Jamaica does not expect you take a blood test before getting married. However, the following documentation is required:

  • Proof of citizenship – certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name.
  • Parent’s written consent if under 18 years of age.
  • Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce with court stamp).
  • Certified copy of death certificate for widow or widower.
  • Name Change Deed Poll if applicable

That’s all for part one, thank you so much for reading. I would like to say a very special thank you to some lovely people before I go…

As a group, we experienced great care and attention from all the  Sandals Whitehouse hotel’s staff I will definitely recommend this lovely place to all my friends and brides.

I would like to say thank you Sandals and WeddingMoons.

If you would like to know more about their wedding packages, please visit the Sandals website.

Great respect and massive thank you to Marsha-Ann Brown, Director of Romance for SandalsResorts, BeachesResorts and WeddingMoons, for her energetic and informative seminar.

Thank you Andre Wade, Director of Industry Relations at Unique Vacations Inc. , and Jeffrey Burke, Sales Manager of The Sandals Whitehouse, for entertaining and taking such great care of us.

And of course, I would like to send my love to Kerrie-Anne Ford, UK Weddings Supervisor and Certified Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist, for making this trip happen and being such an amazing host!

Thanks to UKAWP for giving  us this wonderful opportunity once again. Of course it’s one of the main benefits of being a member.

It was a very special experience. I am so pleased to now be a Certified Sandals WeddingMoon® Specialist!

Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist - Marina Ionina Stylish Events

 

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