When we learned that Nicole Fleming and Adonis Fleming both born and raised in Berks County, Pa said their “I do’s” in Jamaica we wanted to share tips with our readers. Here are Nicole’s tips.
Preparation & Over-Communication: Be flexible and open-minded, especially if you’re not able to travel prior to the wedding. I sent plenty of visuals and look-alikes of everything I wanted to the wedding coordinator, but I knew it wouldn’t be an exact replica but close to it. Also, over-communication and schedule as many meetings as you need to. Make sure your questions are answered and everything you want is included. Create a list and go through it multiple times! Lastly, when you arrive at the property review everything with the coordinator on the property like (cake testing etc…) before your big day to eliminate stress, anxiety, fears, etc.
Budget-Friendly Tips: Bring your own faux flowers! If you buy the right ones, they look real, and you save A TON of money since real flowers are expensive on the islands. My bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, the mothers’ corsages, and the boutonnieres were all faux flowers and brought in a suitcase!
All-Inclusive & General Tips: Our all-inclusive included the guests’ stay & food! They paid for their flights using my travel agent Shelby Morris who helped with all contact between myself and the resort, guest payments, and flights! Due to having so many guests, we had to create a contract with the resort to ensure the rooms did not sell out since it was a holiday day weekend! A typical destination wedding has 30-40 guests, we had over 100!!!
Make sure your marriage license is accepted in the United States. Since Jamaica is, we didn’t have to get married at the courthouse here in the US, then again in Jamaica (we saved a step).
Use a reputable travel agent who can help with communication between you and the resort. When something didn’t seem right, Shelby was willing to talk with the resort and higher-ups on our behalf, which helped a lot. Most resorts will only allow their hair and makeup artists/photographers/videographers on the resort to work with you. If you want a particular person, pay for them to travel as one of your guests!
If you love to travel, hands down choose a destination wedding! It’s more cost-effective in today’s world. We did, however, go from 400 to only 100 guests. The only regret was not having my pop-pop there who is 89 years old due to travel —just something to keep in mind!
A local wedding would be about $70,000, mostly due to food costs. Jamaica was nowhere close, and we had the beach as a ceremony backdrop, a saxophone player, a steel band at the cocktail hour, a beautiful tent along the water for the reception, fire dancers, etc. It was breathtaking!!! With the exception of the uncertainty of not knowing how it would all turn out; I would recommend it to anyone.
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