It just so happens that I was in Ocho Rios almost 5 years ago on my honeymoon, so when I saw a destination wedding in Jamaica with Lauren Fair Photography on the agenda today, I had some pretty high expectations. And leave it to Lauren to completely blow them all out of the water. She captured the wedding (and the island) flawlessly and as luck would have it, it’s all right here.
From the stunning bride… Kyle and I decided to have a destination wedding because it would’ve been impossible to throw a fete as nice at home because the groom comes from a very large family. We knew right away that the most important aspects of our wedding were him and I. After perusing website after website, we came across Couples Tower Isle, a resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica with one very special feature… it’s own private island. In addition, the resort was a hot spot for hollywood royalty in the 50’s and featured art deco styling and clean lines. It reminded us of our favorite hotel back home (The Chelsea in Atlantic City, NJ). I knew we had found our venue! We selected 10/4/13 as our wedding date, our dating anniversary was 4/10 so we felt it fitting. Working with the hotel staff was great, I received phone calls from the wedding manager multiple times in the weeks leading up to our arrival to iron out details and to assure me that everything was going to go off without a hitch!
We traveled to Jamaica and were joined by 26 friends and family members and 4 very talented vendors, Lauren & Tim of Lauren Fair Photography and Greg and Olivia of Willow Tree Films. Photography and videography is extremely important in a destination wedding since not everyone was able to travel with us. There was an itinerary for the weekend including rehearsal dinner on Thursday night, the wedding on Friday and a farewell sunset cruise on Saturday. The hotel catered to our group and surpassed every one of our expectations.
We started our Friday with a quick breakfast, then Kyle and most of the wedding guests went out on the early morning snorkeling trip while I relaxed on the beach for a bit. I think that’s the best part of a destination wedding, I was laying on the beach the same day I said “I do”. There was no stress, no pressure, everything was laid back and it felt amazing! I then headed off to the spa for my hair and makeup appointment. My mom came by a little later and Lauren and Olivia showed up to capture getting ready. After that, we met up with Greg and Tim and ate lunch at the buffet before getting into my dress. After changing into my dress, we set off to meet Kyle for our first look. I was on the verge of tears as I walked towards my groom, so happy that this day had finally come. We then took our formal pictures in the jungle in front of the resort and out on the beach before heading towards the private island.
Kyle and the guests were the first ride over to the island, I would be the last boat to go over. While the guests were on the island waiting for my arrival, the sky above the resort looked as if it might storm, but when I arrived on the island the skies cleared right up. I was given one of our signature cocktails when I got off the boat and a few minutes to sip before walking down the aisle. The music began and I started to head towards my groom. Tears immediately started falling down my face. I don’t think there was a dry eye on the island. What an incredible moment to share with an intimate group of people. Kyle and I wrote our own vows, and tearfully recited them to each other, exchanged rings and the traditional “I Do’s” and sealed it all with a kiss.
The sun was setting on the other end of the island so we raced toward it for some beautiful pictures. I didn’t hesitate and jumped right in the water (only up to my knees) and Kyle needed some more coaxing, but eventually he joined in. I’m so glad he did because those pictures are among our favorites!
Cocktail hour began immediately and flowed flawlessly into dinner and dancing. We were careful to include some traditional Jamaican wedding traditions. Our wedding cake was covered with a ‘veil’ and our mothers lifted the veil to reveal our peach colored cake to our guests. After that, we fed each other pieces of cake from his lips to mine and back.
My favorite detail was my wedding bouquet which was placed inside of a conch shell. I had small and large white orchids with purple hydrangea interspersed. The conch shell made a wonderful souvenir since flowers cannot be brought back from Jamaica.
Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Videography: Willow Tree Films | Wedding Dress: White By Vera Wang | Ceremony/Reception: Couples Tower Isle | Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co | Sea Shell Jewelry Holder: BHLDN