Are you planning to get married but afraid of the attendant headaches? Or, do you simply wish for a dream wedding in some exotic resort which combines the ritual and a vacation in one?
Several Jamaican tourist resorts are currently offering what might be your perfect package – a wedding/honeymoon combination which is revolutionary and romantic.
It is one of the latest and the fastest spreading vacation innovations in Jamaican tourism. The success of the concept is encouraging more and more resorts to introduce it.
Current leaders are the SuperClubs’ popular North Coast resort, Couples; the relatively new Swept Away, in Negril and, the Sandals chain. These hotels employ co-ordinators who often go overboard in ensuring the fulfilment of their guests most pleasant anticipations in tying the knot.
“We have weddings every day except Sundays,” says Margret Anderson, public relations and sales co-ordinator at Couples. “And that’s only because it’s hard to get a minister away from church on a Sunday.”
Margret also noted that the ministers will perform marriage ceremonies anywhere on the hotels lush acreage, except on Nude Island, a private islet reserved for “au naturel” sunbathing: “The ministers just won’t go there,” she said.
Swept Away’s executive assistant manager, Janice Hall, boasts that there is a special welcome for lovers of all ages and a bonus for those who get married there.
While Couples boasts as many as 10 weddings per day, Swept Away, she says, is no wedding factory. It has limited its programme to two weddings a week, on average, in recent months and says there are no couples standing in line to make their vows.
Ms. Anderson thinks that Couples is so in demand for weddings because they do everything for the pair: “We do everything, including the stamp duty.”
The hotel covers the minister’s fee, the license fee, champagne, flowers/bouquets, cake, marriage license. The couple is only required to take care of the video shooting and photographers.
“We usually try not to do more than six weddings per day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but as you can see tomorrow we have 10 and they will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Mrs. Anderson. The weddings are usually about an hour apart. Incidentally, the hotel also employs a saxophonist from the resident band, Stars Inc., to blow some romantic notes while the ceremony goes on.
Guests who wish to get married must bring or fax their identifications including a passport or a copy of birth certificate. Divorced persons need to provide copies of decrees and widows/widowers need to provide copies of death certificates. The minister at Couples, Rev. Adrian McLean, goes to Kingston every Friday to collect marriage certificates and bring them back to the hotel. If the guests have left, the hotel sends the certificates to them by Federal Express.
At Swept Away, the hotel offers the whole ceremony, the bridal bouquet – made from freshly cut flowers from their lush tropical gardens, the wedding cake, the minister’s fee, two half-hour massages and champagne.
Couples getting married at Swept Away can choose the location for the ceremony, anywhere on the 20-acre property.
Many guests here choose to be married Oceanside at sunset, some prefer the privacy of the south lawn where the property’s tropical forest opens to admit a spread of sunlight. A thatched roof wedding gazebo has also been built. The guest will have to check the nearest Jamaica Tourist Board office for the legal requirements though a staff co-ordinator will help give assistance.
These hotels are also perfect for honeymooners, as well as those who just at the planning stage of tying the knot.
Couples offers one of the most romantic vacations in the world: “We go out of our way to make our guests happy,” says general manager, Joe Issa.
It is the only super-inclusive (meaning that everything is paid for upfront, including tips) for couples only.
“Every pleasure in paradise is yours for one single price. Every room has been lavishly and luxuriously redecorated: Romance blossoms in our lush tropical gardens,” say the hotel’s brochure.
Every Tuesday, Swept Away hosts a party just for honeymooners, featuring Swept Away’s prime time entertainer, “The Ultimate”, the weekly treasure chest drawings take place and the prizes include a one-week complementary return stay.
It is said that at Sandals all you need is love, but there is a lot more to offer including fine food and a wide variety of water and land sports, not to mention its sports gym which ranks second to only Swept Away’s exceptionally well equipped sports complex.
So you see there’s no need to any longer dream about the magical wedding or honeymoon or even the combination, because top local resorts are putting it together for you.
Source: The Flair Magazine