Ben & Isabel 03/10/12 at CSS
Just wanted do a quick share about our experience getting married at CSS on Saturday 03/10/12.
When we became engaged, we knew we didnít want a big wedding/reception. This was going to be the second marriage for the both of us and having been there and having done that, we didnít want the hassle of having to plan a big wedding. After some research and reading a lot of reviews, we agreed on CSS for its beautiful surroundings, intimate layout and laid back atmosphere. We were not disappointed!
We decided on the One Love wedding package (the free one) and were more than happy with it. We went with the resort photographer. In order to include our families back home, we chose to do the wedcast and we are so happy we did! Our families were still able to share in the day without having to get out of their PJs. :) We also got a copy on DVD of the webcast. This isnít a high res wedding video and we knew it wouldnít be but wanted to include that here in case others think they would be getting a professional looking wedding video complete with whatever special effects are usually included in those. To close our special day in style, we chose to have a private dinner in the wedding gazebo later that evening which was totally worth it!
We met with the wedding coordinator, Karla, the day after our arrival at the resort. There was very little for us to do and the wedding planning was done in about half an hour. All we had to do was confirm the wedding location, pick the color of the flowers and the cake flavor. By the way, if you havenít had Jamaican fruit cake, it is delicious! We chose it because we never had it before and since it was just for us, we didnít have to worry about guests not liking it. Note for future brides, if you want, you can bring your own songs to be played during the ceremony. We didnít think about that so we let Karla choose the music for us. We also gave her a short list of locations where we wanted to have pictures taken and she took care of giving the list to our photographer. Karla gave us a checklist which included my salon appointment, time and location for the groom to meet with her and the minister as well as the time when she would meet me back at the room to help with the dress and get me to the wedding!
Karla was also kind enough to book my hair & make-up appointment for me ahead of time so after our brief wedding planning meeting, we headed over to the Salon to meet with Tessa who was to do my hair and make-up the morning of the wedding. Tessa did a great job! We ran a bit late because of the amount of work that went into getting my hair right but it was worth it. Also, Iíd like to say that Judith, who also works at the salon, was a lifesaver when she was kind enough to stay in late working on my nails the day before for an emergency nail repair!
On to the wedding day! While I got all prettied up, the groom waited back in our room until it was time for him to meet Karla and the minister at her office a half hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. Karla gave the boutonniere to the groom, and then left to escort me to the ceremony location. The minister was already in the office waiting for the groom. He attempted to put the boutonniere on the groomís shirt, but itís probably best left to a person with a better eye for that kind of thing. In our case, Delsena the photographer showed up shortly after Karla left and she pinned the boutonniere onto the groomís shirt. The minister confirmed the spelling of the brideís and groomís name for the certificate, of which there were three copies; one for Jamaican officials, one to be sent to U.S. officials, and one for the bride and groom to keep. After pre-filling out the three marriage certificate copies, the minister, photographer, and groom walked to the wedding gazebo where they waited for me.
As mentioned earlier, the ceremony was shown live in a webcast. This service is ďfarmed outĒ by Couples to a company called Island Multimedia Solutions, owned by Carey Wallace. Carey is a very nice person, and did an excellent job. He was waiting, set up and started the webcast and recording for the DVD as soon as the groom arrived at the wedding gazebo. I was very pleased with the level of service that Mr. Wallace provided, and can recommend him with confidence to anyone interested in soliciting his video services.
We were married in the wedding gazebo at 10:00 am. The weather was gorgeous although a bit windy during the ceremony and it was also hot and humid during our photo session but it is the tropics so it was expected! The ceremony, mini reception and the signing of the official documents went by fast but smoothly and beautifully. Note for brides afraid of how youíll manage to get to your wedding location without tripping on your dress or working up a sweat before saying ďI DoĒ, donít worry, Karla makes arrangements for you to be driven closer to your location so the amount of walking you have to do will be less than you might think.
After the official duties were taken care of, we went on to take photos around the resort. Delsena was our photographer and she was great! Sheís so super sweet and easy to work with. She did an amazing job and we are very happy with how well the photos turned out. There are so many great spots throughout the resort and having someone who knows the resort well and knows the best way to get from one spot to the next is a plus! She even had tissue handy to dab at my face when it would get too shiny.
Brides, really consider going with a simple sheath for a dress. Trust me, the less fabric, the better! By the end of our shoot, I was ready to strip right there on the beach! Grooms, even if youíre only wearing a linen shirt and arenít used to wearing undershirts, do make an exception and wear an undershirt. It gets hot and you will sweat and having an undershirt will help soak up some of that sweat and keep your shirt from sticking to you.
The private dinner was the perfect way to end the day! Delsena met us there without us expecting her and took some additional photos for us which turned out so well, we ended up buying an additional photo package for resort photos. Luckily these are priced lower than the wedding photos are. Our waiter, Wray, was amazing! The setting, the food, the service, everything was just perfect! We went back to our room drunk with joyÖand maybe some wine too. ;)
In the end, we are so very glad we chose CSS for our wedding/honeymoon. It was everything we wanted and so hassle free. Canít wait to go back to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! :D