As you may or may not know, Mark and I are getting married in Montego Bay, Jamaica this year. We’ve been to “MoBay” many times both together and separately with our families as kids, but neither of us had ever been to the actual resort where this is happening. So we figured maaaaaaybe we should check it out. Maybe. We’d heard good things. So we were off!
We headed out Memorial Day Weekend to check out the scene, meet with our on-staff planner, and taste the food that we’d already selected for our menu. The weekend started off with some good news/bad news:
Good news: We were traveling business class, and while we technically weren’t supposed to be allowed into the Delta lounge at Detroit’s airport (because it wasn’t a transatlantic or transpacific international flight), the lady at the front desk thought we looked okay so she let us in. Score – free (good) coffee!
Good news: Welcome mimosas on the plane!
Bad news: Guy in front of my spilled his mimosa down the side of his seat and the wall, and I didn’t notice that my purse was wet and smelled like sour baby barf until just before we landed. Ick.
Bad news: The lady behind me had a persistent and hacking cough. And I had just contemplated taking expired Airborne the night before, but decided I would probably be fine and threw it out instead. Double ick. (Luckily I didn’t get sick, which is like, the first time ever.)
Okay, so we got there in pretty much one piece, and the rest of the weekend was smooth sailing minus a crazy amount of bug bites. Note to self: bring mosquito repellent!
Since our planner couldn’t meet with us until Monday because they had 3 weddings on Saturday, we had Saturday and Sunday to ourselves to relax, eat lots of good smoked jerk chicken and pork, and scope out the other weddings. We didn’t actually go in and crash them, but we hovered on the periphery, noting the ambiance, lighting, etc. So far, so good!
View from our balcony. Lounging on the beach.
We met with our planner on Monday for a full day of meetings (with the florist, DJ, lighting guy, booking agent, etc.) and cake tasting (YES!!!!) and actual food tasting (everything was so so good; I’m so excited). We made a lot of decisions, and I think we were able to better show and verbalize our vision for the event (okay, let’s be honest, my vision and some of Mark’s input too….I think he was incredibly bored at the florist 😀 ).
We had new one hiccup: the issue of a tent vs. no tent. We were planning on going no tent…what’s the point of being outside if you’re just going to be in a tent? And they have done it without a tent on the property before, and it looks lovely. So that’s the assumption under which we were operating coming into the weekend; it wasn’t even an open question. But then we met with the Food & Beverage Manager, and he basically told us No you must have a tent. Huh? As he explained, with our particular situation (plated dinner, over 80 people), they wouldn’t be able to move us indoors in case of rain (because that’s too much food to move across the property to a ballroom, as opposed to a buffet where they could just pick up the chaffing trays and run, and the pavilion right next to our lawn doesn’t hold that many people). And even if it didn’t rain during the event, if it rained during the afternoon, the team wouldn’t have time to set up. Hm. Makes sense. Just frustrating though that this is coming to light NOW, when we are down there….if we haaaadn’t gone down….okay I can’t go down that train of thought.
Tents are not cheap by the way. It’s not like, oh okay, here’s five dollars, please set up a tent.
After much contemplation, back and forth, and heartache at losing the stars and shelling out more money, I think a tent will give us peace of mind in the end. However, don’t be surprised if you show up and there isn’t one. Or surprised that there is one.
Other than the tenting debacle, everything shook out pretty nicely. My mom was super excited to learn that the lighting guy plays in the band for Toots and Maytals (one of her favorite Jamaican bands). If you don’t know their music, listen to some of their greatest hits and tell me you don’t want to at least tap your foot, if not break into a full-on step-together-step.
Since the weather’s now warm here in Michigan (dare I say it’s actually summertime?) and generally State-side, you won’t be too jealous of these tropical pics. Enjoy!
Sugar Hill restaurant is the resort’s best restaurant, located across the street beyond their golf course. The free shuttle will take you there, where you can eat on the porch or have a cocktail at the indoor/outdoor bar. There’s an old water wheel, stone well and canon.
Our lizard friend, Richard (according to the bartender at the Cedar Bar off the main hotel lobby.)
Lovely evening on the beach.