Thinking of having a destination wedding in Jamaica? That is exactly what Adam & I did and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Planning a destination wedding can be tricky and at times frustrating. I know from experience! We planned our Negril, Jamaica wedding from our hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin over 1,800 miles away. Here are my top 3 tips for planning a destination wedding.
Planning a Jamaica Destination Wedding
1. Hire A Local Wedding Planner
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a local wedding planner. Having some on the ground dealing with all the vendors is key. I couldn’t have done our wedding without Isabel, our wedding planner, she was a real lifesaver. Also depending on where you are getting married, the cost is relatively low. We meet with our wedding planner 1 year before the wedding when we were down looking at venues. It was great meeting the local wedding planner in advance, that way I could stress in person my likes & dislikes, must-haves, etc. Our wedding planner also dealt with the venue, band, flowers, cake, and oh so much more. We decided to have a rehearsal dinner 5 days before the wedding, thanks to Isabel being there she was able to go to the restaurant get prices, make the order, and leave a deposit.
Related Article: Jamaica Honeymoon Guide
2. Affordable Destination For Guests
If you are hoping to have a good turn-out at your wedding you have to keep it affordable. I suggest giving your guests at least a year’s notice, that way they have time to save up for your big day. Pick a destination that is special to you but always affordable.
I hoped by choosing a destination wedding we would inspire our friends & family to travel more. We took our guests to a place they maybe would never consider, maybe they thought it would be too expensive, weren’t sure about the food, or it’s safety. It seems most people have their “vacation spot” and they return to this spot year after year. Hopefully, now they will see that there are so many destinations out there, and they need to get out and explore the world! Now that all our friends & family have their passport, hopefully, they get their money’s worth and start traveling!
For those in the United States, most of the Caribean is fairly reasonable, but if I had got married in my beloved Koh Lipe or even the Philippines I would have had only a fraction of wedding guests.
3. Plan Activities Throughout Your Wedding Week
Your guests traveled all that way make sure to keep the party going all week long! We had an amazing week with our friends & family, whenever are you going to have a chance to hang out with such an amazing bunch of people for 4-7 days again? Your wedding may only be a one-day event, but your guests are more likely staying 3-7 nights. For example our first night we invited everyone to the beach bar (cash bar) for welcome drinks, hosted a rehearsal dinner (cash bar) for all guests to attend at try the local Jamaican jerk chicken, had our hotel arrange a boozy beach bonfire, and hired buses to take us to Dunn’s River Falls and out to a Pelican Bar (at their expense). Where ever you decide to get married there will several local attraction & tours, your guests will appreciate you doing the planning!
No matter what you do make sure to have fun! Adam and I stayed in Jamaica an additional 2 days after all of our wedding guests have left. That way we had a few days as newlyweds alone…in paradise. It was like a mini Jamaica honeymoon that was much needed.
When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels in Jamaica check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
Recommended Jamaica Hotels We’ve Actually Stayed At
- Riu Negril Check Online Prices | Agoda
- Negril Tree House Check Online Prices | Booking.com
- Charela Inn Negril Check Online Prices| Booking.com
- Sandals Ochi | Check Online Deals Direct
- Sandals Negril | Check Online Deals Direct Now
- Couples Swept Away | Booking.com
- Sandals Montego Bay | Check Online Deals Direct Now
- Sandals Royal Caribbean | Check Online Deals Direct Now
- Sandals South Coast | Check Online Deals Direct Now
If you have any other questions just leave them below in the comments.
Why We Choose To Have A Destination Wedding In Jamaica
We always knew the time would come where we would get engaged and then eventually the wedding would follow. Early on in our relationship our love to travel was discovered! Within 3 months of dating we were off to Panama City Beach, Florida for our senior year spring break! 2 months after Florida we were off to Hawaii for a family wedding, and 2 months after Hawaii we set off for NYC to explore the big apple!
It wasn’t until our trip to Jamaica in March 2007, with friends still in college for their spring break, that we knew we would someday get married on a beach! We both love to travel, and we both love the beach! Beach days are one of our favorites. Hannah likes to lay out and catch a good tan, and Adam lives for a good sunset at a beach bar! We didn’t know which beach this wedding would be at, all we knew was our wedding would require travel & a beach!
Fast forward 3.5 years, we are engaged, finally getting married! Since our trip to Jamaica, we had been Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, back to Hawaii, and Barbados. Jamaica kept coming back to us, it ticked all the boxes we thought would make the perfect place for us. The beach itself was the prettiest we had seen, amazingly turquoise water, and powdered white sand. The vibe is one of a kind, the people are great, the food is off the hook, and it’s affordable to travel to from the USA! What else could we ask for in a location for a destination wedding?!?!? Jamaica it was!
Everything we wanted at our wedding was found in Negril, Jamaica. We had the white sand beach, turquoise water, palm trees swaying, steel drums playing, the sun shining, 80-degree weather, great food, drinks with umbrellas, and our friends & family to share it with!