Lately I’ve been thinking back to my wedding and the whole experience. In the planning phase I had many requests for me to take you on the journey with me. At the time trying to document it in blog form seemed overwhelming but now I’m settled in my marriage and ready to share what I learnt planning a wedding in Jamaica.
Related: My Wedding Story: Corona Edition
If you’re thinking about planning your own wedding in Jamaica, the first thing you need to know is planning a wedding is hard work. But if you’re organized and on a budget with heaps of loved ones to lend a hand it may just be the best option for you.
Should you plan your own wedding?
To help you decide if planning your own wedding is right for you I’ve compiled a list of my pros and cons.
- you’ll save money on hiring a planner
- you can be as innovative as you’d like
- you’ll have a closer eye on the budget & spending
- it’s more flexible
- your wedding can be whatever you want it to be
- Can be stressful
- It’s time-consuming
- It may take some of the magic out of the experience
- You may spend full price for products/services a planner would otherwise have discounts for.
- You’ll need to be very organized & detail-oriented
After you’ve decided if planning your own wedding is something you’d like to do here are all the things you need to know.
You need a budget
Before you start wedding planning establish how much you are willing to spend. Don’t know what weddings are supposed to cost? Don’t worry I’ll give you an idea.
A small wedding in Jamaica with all the trimmings can run you about 1million dollars.
Trimmings = decor, dj, venue, catering, flowers, centerpieces, backdrop, ceremony & reception… etc.
If you’re looking for something more affordable or more luxurious many wedding vendors have catered packages to suit your needs.
Recommended wedding vendors
- Mona Visitor’s Lodge
- Caymanas Golf Club
- The Chapel ( @ The UWI)
- Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa
Friendships will be tested
This was probably the least expected lesson I had to learn during my wedding. I had watched a few YouTube videos on crazy bridesmaids experiences but I never thought I’d have a story of my own.
While my friendship survived it’s definitely something to bare in mind when planning your wedding.
Weddings are expensive
If you’re planning a wedding I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Despite setting a budget, weddings are expensive. At every turn, there’s a new cost for that additional product/ service you’d love to have. Also, everything is more expensive because it’s for a wedding. That’s why having and sticking to your budget is so important.
Vendors typically charge based on the type of event and saying you’re shopping for a wedding will often double the price.
Quick tip: if you’re on a tight budget avoid using the word ‘wedding’ when shopping around you just may save yourself some cash.
Don’t be swayed by the suggestions and inevitable targeted ads that will be bombard you trying to shift your vision. Remember every new thing you add will cost you.
Also remember to stick to your guest count. Every additional guest multiplies your wedding spend exponentially.
List all the things you need to make your wedding a reality and stick with it. The Knot is a great resource for keeping track of your wedding planning.
Everyone has something to say
The input will be endless. Take what you need and let the rest roll off you. For the most part, they mean well and are excited for you. But some people may overstep and volunteer advice you don’t need.
Counseling is extremely powerful
One of the best things I did for my wedding and marriage was premarital counselling. It was emotional and connected my husband and I in a way I didn’t know we needed. I would always recommend marriage counselling before the vows.
Learning from a successful marriage counsellor to ask the right questions of yourself and your partner is life-altering. It sets you up for success.
Wedding expos are your friend
While dating my husband and I were clueless about wedding planning. We had no idea what went into it. That was until our friends got married one summer and we had the shock of our lives. It was a good shock though because it made us aware of what a reasonable budget would be and we were able to prepare.
However, if this is your first rodeo and you aren’t sure where to start attending a wedding expo is a good introduction to the wedding world. You get to meet a variety of wedding vendors with special discount offers for having attended the expo. Overall it’s a good starting point in getting to know what things are likely to cost in the wedding world.
These were some of the most important lessons I learnt while wedding planning in Jamaica. If this was helpful don’t forget to leave me a comment. Are you planning a wedding? Did you get married recently? Tell me what were some of the lessons you learnt on your planning journey.
Have a great week!
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