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Jamaica Wedding at Hummingbird Hall by Rebekah J. Murray Photography

When dreams of a big city soirée came up over budget, this DC bride went south (literally!) to plan her dream wedding for 50 at the Hummingbird Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Guests came from accross the globe to celebrate with the bride and groom, and the tropical locale gave everyone a chance to relax and enjoy the view. Put on some sunscreen and bask in the gorgeousness by Rebekah J. Murray Photography in the full gallery!

From the Bride… Rob and I met in December 2005 on a cold, snowy evening in Newark, Delaware, at a bar where I was celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday. I was a college senior, and he was a first year grad student. We talked a lot that night, and I ended up giving him a ride home. As he got out of my car, he got my number and thanked me profusely for driving him. “I owe you dinner, or my life!” he said. After that, we were pretty inseparable. He’s from California and I soon moved to DC for grad school, so there were some tough times when it came to tackling the distance. However, meeting a best friend and a soul mate makes any distance worth doing! DC has become our home now, and we got engaged here at the Lincoln Memorial in 2010.

I’d been planning an elaborate DC wedding in my head for ages, but the cost just rendered my dream wedding unfeasible in DC. It made sense to have a destination wedding, as my family is on the East Coast and in England, and Rob’s family is in California — everyone would need to travel somewhere regardless. After doing a lot of research on destination venues, we stumbled upon Hummingbird Hall in Jamaica, and it was our dream come true. Hummingbird Hall made the planning so completely simple, and it made it possible to have my dream wedding in a dream location! I would communicate with them often on design elements that I loved about other weddings, and the team worked with me to create a vision for my day. We also made the decision to bring our amazing photographer with us — no regrets there!

The wedding day was absolutely perfect. We didn’t have a wedding party, as we were only having 50 guests, but we each still had some of our closest friends come with us to get ready. It was such a low-key day; we sat around and laughed, exchanged our gifts, drank champagne, and waited for our ceremony! Rob and I did a first look, which both of our mothers hated, but we really enjoyed having a few calming minutes with each other pre-ceremony. The ceremony was short, informal and sweet, with four readings by close friends (mostly from children’s books!) and our own vows. Guests sat on chairs adorned with ribbon streamers and could pass the time with program fans that had games on the back of them. We had a cocktail hour with a steel drum band, drinks with striped straws (my favorite!), and guests had a chance to sign our guestbook: a vintage map of Jamaica. Our reception featured more ribbons, with ribbon runners on the tables, fresh flower and fruit centerpieces and custom-made ribbon chandeliers on the pool deck. After a traditional Jamaican buffet dinner, there were toasts, lots of dancing, cigar-smoking and even some illicit pool-diving.

I honestly adored my wedding and the planning process. Having a venue that was so hands-on with the planning was fantastic, and they always made me feel like everything would be okay. It gave me the opportunity to concentrate on all the wonderful friends and family who traveled to be with us, which was the best part about having a destination wedding. There is nothing like being surrounded by people who are genuinely happy for you, and who can make your reception a party even in small numbers! Rob and I were so grateful for all of the love and support, and couldn’t have imagined a better start to our life together.

Wedding Photography: Rebekah J. Murray Photography / Wedding Venue: Hummingbird Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica / Event Coordination, Floral + Event Design, Officiant, Band + DJ: Hummingbird Hall / Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Wedding Dress: Wtoo Brides / Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri / Hair Flower: Bella Mia Design / Bride’s Makeup: Jessie, A Friend of the Bride

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Jamaican Resort Wedding by Kjrsten Madsen Photography

Poring over weddings filled with pretty sea-scapes is one of our favorite past times. It’s a sun + ocean + beautiful backdrop for vows and merry making kind of thing. And one we’ll never ever get sick of. Especially when that merry making is captured in such a beautiful way. In other words, Kjrsten Madsen Photography rocks our Jamaican wedding socks off. Set your sights on the full destination dream right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Choosing a destination for our wedding was one of the most important choices we’ve ever made. We wanted something small, intimate and romantic, in a place that meant something to us and with a handful of loved ones present. We wanted this wedding to be more than a “one day” event — we wanted to really celebrate our love and everyone that loves us. The most important thing to us was looking at our parents and drawing inspirations from their love. When looking at Chris’ parents, we see what love is truly about. And although my father is no longer here, the love that he and my mother had will always live in my heart. We wanted our guests to feel that too, so during our ceremony we had my brother and my mother place the infinity flowers that my parents used during their wedding mass around us (in Hispanic tradition, it’s called a Lazo and signifies the union and bond of a marriage that can’t be broken). This was a surprise for my mother. On our guest book table we placed a picture of Chris’ parents on their wedding day kissing. Lastly, to honor my father and grandmother who are no longer here, we decided to have a poem dedicated to them next to their pictures. These touches were the inspiration for the day which really made it even more special.

For my look the day of, I didn’t want a traditional “destination” wedding dress. Again I wanted something romantic. I love classic and timeless wedding dresses, so I obviously ended up with lace. I have to say that I felt that my dress was PERFECT. I truly had that “moment” when I chose it. I knew it was the one, and the sash that comes with it … I still love it! I wanted to add a pop of color and bring in some glam, so opted for a pair of sea foam Badgley Mischkas. Tying in my look, making me feel romantic and beautiful, was my great friend and hairstylist/makeup artist Joyce Castaneda. She did a fabulous job of making me look natural and giving me a timeless hairstyle that perfectly matched my dress. It was important that Chris look and feel just as great as me. He wore a Hugo Boss suit from the 2011 summer collection. It was perfect with my dress, light in color and weight for our perfect 85-degree day. He also opted for a pair of Silvano Sassetti shoes, which kept his look classic.

And we can’t forget about our fabulous photographer, Kjrsten Madsen! Definitely one of the best choices we made was having her be part our special day. She captured the most beautiful moments, not only on our wedding day but also during our before and after celebrations. Our favorite moment with her was during our first look shoot that was located in the same spot that Chris proposed to me. Ultimately having our families and closest friends there was the one thing we wished for and received. Now we will forever have Jamaica in our hearts, not just for one day, but several days filled with love, food, drink, sunbathing, laughing and just celebrating with the people we love.

Wedding Photography: Kjrsten Madsen Photography / Wedding Venue, Planning, Cupcakes + Floral Design: Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay in Montego Bay, Jamaica / Wedding Invitations + Printed Materials: Sugar Press / Wedding Dress: Enzoani / Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Thread / Hair + Makeup: Joyce Castaneda / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Groom’s Shoes: Silvano Sassetti / Groomsmen’s Suits: Michael Kors

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Jamaica Wedding by SB Childs Photography

Two words came to mind when I first saw this dress – hubba hubba.  It is a total wowzah, showstopper, jawdropping number like only Vera Wang can do and perfect for this destination wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  The glamor did not stop at the gown but continued with a mix of modern luxury and historic charm at a breathtaking seaside ceremony location.  SB Childs Photography beautifully captured both the old-world loveliness and the modern elegance throughout this magical day.  Click here to see even more!

Click here to see the entire image gallery!

From the Bride… I couldn’t be happier with our decision to have our wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Everything turned out just as I had hoped.  We had just over 50 people, our families and closest friends. It was exactly what we wanted.

When picking a location, I used a wedding planning company who sent me many recommended properties. While their suggestions were nice, none of them really “wowed” me.  I did some internet research and fell in love with the aqueduct at Rose Hall Resort and Spa.  The aqueduct was built in 1837 and had an archway cutout overlooking the ocean. It was perfect for the ceremony.  We had minimal flowers, the aqueduct and surrounding landscape were all we needed.

The reception immediately followed the ceremony, in the courtyard of the Three Palms Restaurant.  We had a steel drum band during our cocktail hour to enjoy some local music, followed by dinner and dancing.  About a half hour before the reception ended, it started to rain.  We had been so lucky with the weather up to this point.  Taking pictures outside, the outdoor ceremony, dinner in the courtyard.   As I looked around at my friend and family on the dance floor in the pouring rain, everyone was still dancing and having a great time.  It was a moment I will always remember. Everything was perfect.

I’m so thankful to have captured these memories in pictures from SB Childs.  Stefanie and Brock are not only talented, they are such sweet and genuine people who were amazing to work with.  My friends and family instantly connected with them, too and I felt like they were guests at the wedding, not our photographers.

Wedding Photography: SB Childs Photography / Event Design & Coordination: Luxe Destination Weddings / Wedding Ceremony Location: Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa (Aqueduct) / Wedding Reception Location: Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa (Three Palms Restaurant) / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groomsmen Suits: JoS. A. Bank / Bridesmaid Dresses: Vineyard Collection by Priscilla of Boston / Floral Design: Grande Garden

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For membership information, click here