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  1. #1

    Default Bonnie & Keith 12/18/08 @CSA




    I remember constantly checking the message board before our wedding and I promised myself back then to do a review (good/bad) when I am done for the future brides. It has been a busy couple months for us but finally here it is, enjoy!

    There are already tons of posts praising Couples, so I am going to focus on little tips to help prepare for the trip/wedding.

    Be prepared for the long bus ride. We thought we were ready but we weren't. We arrived at MBJ in the late evening so we rushed to get on the last bus ride without getting any food (turned out we didn't have to because they would wait for all the guests before leaving). The driver didn't make any pit stops and I was too shy to ask him to stop the bus when everyone else was sleeping. Be sure to grab some snack and go to the bathroom before the ride.

    Wedding Attire:
    Hand carry your wedding attire and anything you must need for the wedding. We met some couples there who had lost their luggage and it is not uncommon. Call the airline ahead of time to check restrictions or space availability. We brought a travel steamer/iron and found it handy. Pick a light dress. It is HOT and HUMID in Jamaica.

    Shoes:
    Go with sandals or barefoot. I brought a pair of flat sandals, high-heels, flip-flops for the wedding. I tested them out on the beach before the wedding and found sandals best fit the beach setting. I took them off almost immediately after the ceremony because barefoot is just soooooo comfortable =]

    Beauty:
    Drink plenty of water. Put on tons of sunscreen. Never put makeup on without sunscreen under the sun because freckles and wrinkles are guaranteed. Most of us are from the Northern America or Europe I assumed. The beauty products we use back home are normally too oily for the tropical weather. Get a set of travel size oil-controlled skincare products would be helpful.
    Use the salon for your wedding day makeup and hairstyle. I say this because I was too paranoid to let others touch my face or hair. I had been very calm planning the entire wedding until an hour before the ceremony, I was a nerve wreck and had no idea what I was doing. If you do decide to DIY, just remember two things. (1) makeup setting spray (2) hairspray.
    Veil or not? no if you don't absolutely love your veil because it can get really windy. I knew this ahead of time and paid special attention, but my veil still fell half way as soon as I walked up to the altar (it wasn't even THAT windy).

    Bugs:
    I am not a bug magnet but somehow tons of them (sandflies? not sure what they are) got trapped between the satin and organza layers of my dress. You can see a funny picture of my guests pick up my dress trying to get them out in the online album. Use bug spray or something.

    Room Service:
    Call ahead to have your room made up for picture taking. Schedule the maid to come soon after you get up to get ready and call them again if they don't show up within the scheduled time. It is very hard to get ready when they try to clean your room at the same time.

    That's all I can think of right now. Feel free to contact me for any questions. Good luck =]

    Wedding Pictures
    http://picasaweb.google.com/pinkicat...ingInParadise#

    CSA Pictures
    http://picasaweb.google.com/pinkicat...lJamaicaDec08#

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  4. #4

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    REPOST

    Iluvchenny - Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 - 11:31 pm:
    wow, great photos! we are getting married in mid-july and can't wait! i have been looking for sandals and yours look just like what i've been searching for...do you remember where you got them? also, you mentioned a make-up setting spray, who makes that product? thanks and congrats!

    Hi Iluvchenny, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, it's right around the corner. My sandals were plain white sandals from H&M (discontinued) and I decorated them with silk flowers matching all the other stuff. You can make them with any sandals, it is very easy. As for the makeup setting spray, mine was from Sephora. You can try it out before buying. Other brides have raved about Model in a Bottle, but I couldn't find it in the stores and it was too late to order online. Good luck!

  5. #5

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    Kkbon,

    WOW......Your wedding and photos are absolutely beautiful. You looked stunning

    Thank you so much for posting a link to your photos and providing tips/suggestions. Trust me, I wrote them all down...lol. I do have a couple of other questions.

    1. I love your bouquet especially the pearl rope so you can hang it around your arm. Did you pick it through Couples or did you purchase it elsewhere and bring it with you??

    2. I also loved your sand ceremony tools. Was it easy to find shells that big?? If so, where are some recognized (larger chain) stores I could find them? I fear it may be a little too late to really order anything online as my wedding is next month.

    3. Did you use the house photographer??

    Thanks so much for any additional insight you can give me!!!
    Married Soon @ CN on August 29, 2009 @ 11:00

  6. #6

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    Feli_Derrick - Congrats on your upcoming wedding and thanks for the compliments!

    1. I brought my own bouquet and had it custom made since I didn't want the wedding coordinator to hold my bouquet as we were exchanging rings. Leave me your email and I could give you more details.

    2. It was fairly easy for us to find the shell since my husband proposed on the beach. You can try craft stores like Michaels or even home deco stores like IKEA, they usually have shells in the summertime. If not, they can be easily bought in Jamaica, so no worries.

    3. I used Damian from Sungold Photography. We were as nervous as anything but no one could tell from the pictures. He made us relax and capture the most natural moments. Highly recommend

    Good luck!

  7. #7

    Default beautiful pictures...

    Kkbon...I remember seeing your pics posted on the old MB and they turned out really beautiful! You gave a great review and i used some of your ideas. Like you, I couldn't see myself spending $60 to some of these company's online selling the vessels and sand for the sand ceremony, so i also bought mine from Pottery Barn. I was on this MB daily before my wedding date trying to gather as much info as possible. I'm still waiting on my pics and i will post them when they arrive.

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    Mssandy - I am delighted to hear my info is helpful to you. It is not like I can use my wedding planning experience in the future (not that I would like to anyway), so why not share it with others? Can't wait to see your pictures and review! Congratulations once again

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Sand Ceremony

    I just wanted to say I love your pictures...you could tell you were sooooo happy...
    I am curious where did you get the glass bottle that you used for your sand ceremony? Also, was the shell large enough to hold all the sand you needed or did you have to refill them?

    We are getting married 9-9-09 at CSA..Did you have a difficult time deciding on a photographer? I have finally made a decision, but I would say as of the late...that has been my number one stresser.

  10. #10

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    Hi Baha Girl - Thanks! The bottle is from Pottery Barn and the shells were not large enough, we had to refill them.

    We didn't have a hard time at all. It took a bit of time to gather information. Once we have everything, we compared the price, package, and style. We narrowed it down to Sungold and Sabb quickly, we picked Sungold because we get copyrights of all the pictures taken. What makes you stressed when you have already made a decision? If it is because of budget, trust me... photographs is the only thing you will have left after the wedding (other than wonderful memories) and good pictures will let you savor those precious moments for many many years to come. Good luck girl and relax, your big day is right around the corner =)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    41

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    Bonnie, did Sungold pay any of the $500 vendor fee?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    15

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    Thank you kkbon for getting back to me. I went to Pottery Barn's website and didn't see the exact one you had, but I did see another one that I thought might work well.. I also went to hobby lobby and found two clear bottles that I might use...just need to decide on which one..
    Thankfully I'm not stressed about the pictures any longer..I went with Michael Chen he is locted in Montego Bay so he will have to drive over, which is no big deal. I think it was just coming down to the final decision..and hoping I had made the right one..but if you look at his website I think he does an awesome job...
    Again...thank you for all the information, very helpful...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    21

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    kkbon,

    I really love the idea of having the pearl strand on your bouquet so you were able to hold it during the whole ceremony. I've been studying all of your pictures with the bouquet in it to try and figure out exactly how and where that pearl strand was fastened on but I'm having a hard time getting a feel for it. Could you help me understand a little better so I can try and do the same for my bouquet? I saw that you told someone else that it was 'custom made'....did you make it yourself or have it done professionally? I am going to try to make my own and if turns out even half as beautiful as yours I will consider myself lucky

  14. #14

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    Brynn - No Sungold didn't pay for it because we only joined their "Intimate Special" package. It might be negotiable if you are going for a more expensive package. If I remember correctly, vendor fee is included with the "Platinum" package (but then see... that's a few thousands $ more, haha).

    Baha Girl - Just shop around in furniture stores, we saw so many pretty glass bottles after the wedding (Of course we went crazy hunting for the right one before the wedding and could hardly find anything). Michael Chen's name came up somewhere during our planning too, I am sure you'll get some wonderful pictures. It is hard not to with such a beautiful backdrop Remember to do a review when everything's done. It's good to see other photog's works other than the usual ones.

    Cougchick5 - When I asked the florist to put the pearl strand on and she was like What?! Why?!, guess it's not a typical request. I would refer you to my florist but she doesn't take international orders (my friend over there shipped it to me). It looks like the strand is tied at the stem (the base of the flowers), where the bow is in the following picture. Sorry, I am probably not helping much because everything is glued and covered, it's hard to tell. Even the florist had a hard time making it work back then, but good luck! Share pictures if you succeed


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    Your pictures are breath taking! I feel like i was there already. I know a lot of time and energy has gone into this. Thank you!!!

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    apurposefullife - Thank you! We had a blast

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    For any of you who are curious at the actual ceremony, here is a non professional video. Sorry about the quality because we shot it from a digital camera and my husband forgot to put the mic in his pocket. I have no experience in video editing, so the quality seems to have decreased dramatically when I compressed it to upload on YouTube. My husband specially requested the minister to speak slowly because we were both super nervous and could barely talk. The minister usually ask you to repeat after him every sentence instead of every two words This is the vows exchange part, then we proceeded to the sand ceremony and signing the marriage certificate. We gave the tape from the video camera to a company to have it professional edited for our back home reception, so I might upload that version when it is done.

    HTML Code:
    <object width="340" height="285"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/M2pRhUhHk8Y&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/M2pRhUhHk8Y&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="340" height="285"></embed></object>
    My first attempt to post a video on MB, hope it works. If it doesn't, you may watch the video HERE. Enjoy

  18. #18

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    Boni,
    Thank you for all the wonderful advice! Your wedding was perfect in every way. I remember your review and pictures from the old message board. I just watched your video and although you were nervous it doesnt show at all. I cant wait for my own wedding in Feb! Thank you for all of your posts they make planning so much easier!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22

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    Bonnie!!! I need your help! Could you please email me when you get a chance at deshaunmccormick@hotmail.com?! I went to Michael's to get everything to decorate my cake like yours...b/c your cake is absolutely gorgeous! I just wanted to know if you mounted the flowers and letter on the cardboard topper or did you just give the flowers and letter to the resort? If you did it yourself can you tell me what size was the round board topper? Also how did you do the ribbons? I mean I was going to hot glue the flowers to one end, but since I don't know the width of the cake leave it loose, but does the resort glue it together? (I know these questions may seem crazy but my brain is dead now...we leave in 13 days and I just want to have this done right.)

    You have been such an inspiration!!!!

    Thanks,
    Dee

  20. #20

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    Dee - I just sent you an email with all the answers (hopefully). Please let me know how it turns out!

    candace_darryl - Thank you! It is always a delight to know my experience can help others. How is your wedding planning going?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    328

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    Bonnie and Keith, - Wonderful job on helping all of the soon to be married couples. We were looking at your wedding pictures/video the other day and wanted to let you know that we will have a drink to celebrate your (our) aniversary at CSA in the near future. Hard to believe that it's almost been a year.

    By the way, we are expecting you to return "home" in a year or two, so we can celebrate in person. Best wishes for a happy first anniversary - Mike and Monica

    Mike and Monica
    Jamaica Soon Come.
    CSA Torch Holder 2012

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Wow!

    Your wedding was beautiful. I am getting married a CSS on September 25. I feel somewhat nervous and not prepared. Your stuff was stunning. Your bouquet was beautiful, and I would love something simular to that and as for the cake...amazing! Please give me more details of how you pulled that off....I'm down to the wire now.

    Cathy
    cathy_broyles@sbcglobal.net

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    Mike and Monica - You guys are awesome!!! Thank you so so much again for the wonderful pictures you took for us. Are you guys going back to CSA every year to celebrate? Jealous much! Because of the relocation, we are now a 30+ hour flight away from Jamaica, but Keith and I are dedicated to make it back to CSA before our 5th anniversary, let's keep our fingers crossed.

    CHarper - You've got mail

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    20

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    wow, beautiful...finally pics of everything to help me make my decision...thanks sooo much

  25. #25

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    Kkbon, I was wondering if you could email me information on the decorating of your cake? stephanie.bowers@live.com

    Thanks,
    Stephanie

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