Would you prefer a wedding at Dunn’s River Falls or in Spain? Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

I am quite pleased that I don’t have to plan a wedding or foresee planning one in the near future because while I love love, I just want to show up and have a grand time.

As a lifestyle journalist, who once had a specific interest in weddings, I’ve learnt – after the hundredth ‘I Do’, or writing about them once per week for the greater part of four years – that weddings are no cakewalks.

By several accounts, planning a wedding can be a chaotic, headache-inducing, mess. The stress, uncertainties, and numerous (sometimes uncontrollable) moving parts tend to bring out the worst in some, leaving others to give up and call it quits.

Some even describe weddings as “just funerals with cake” (there are Google forums about this), but I digress, tie the knot, jump the broom, or elope, and be merry!

When you do, however, ensure you’re well-equipped with the right team of experts, and all the support you can get because you will need some of them the closer you get to the big day.

For this reason, Loop News brings into focus unique wedding ideas and concepts courtesy of three leading wedding vendors.

The ladies each pitched their own version of bliss, so, if you’re impressed with their idea, you know who to call.

Jamaica Wedding Concierge Principal Franciene Foster

Franciene Foster, the founder of Jamaica Wedding Concierge, based in Montego Bay, likes her weddings sensual, intimate, and a long-lasting experience for guests.

Sunrises are beautiful; they symbolise birth, growth and new beginnings of all kinds. The team at Jamaica Wedding Concierge believes that a sunrise wedding would be absolutely unique.

Imagine, starting forever and a day surrounded by your family and close friends at sunrise. As you walk down the aisle, filled with lit candles, sprinkled with fresh rose petals, you inhale the clean crisp air as the birds chirping signal the start of a brand new day.

A melodious choir sings As by Marsha Ambrosius ft Anthony Hamilton and the love of your life happily waits for you at the altar.

I envision a ceremony filled with lots of candles and at a location that has exquisite sunrise views. When the sun rises, the couple exchanges their vows, and in their recession, loved ones shower them with rice.

A rice toss at weddings is a symbolic wish to the newlyweds for a life of prosperity and fruitfulness.

Post ceremony, the couple takes professional photos, and at this time, the lighting should be optimal, allowing for amazing photos. Guests are mingling while having tea, coffee and breakfast pastries.

By afternoon, everyone is invited to a beautifully designed tent for brunch. Fresh tropical flora and fruits go down the centreline, ivory linens cover the tables and the immaculately polished gold cutlery are laid out for the delicious four-course meal to come.

The formalities are proceeded by cocktails and partying at a tastefully designed lounge. Drinks are flowing, guests are dancing and having a whale of a time.

As night falls, a bonfire is lit. Guests are invited to make their own s’mores from the bite-sized fare. As the couple gets ready to leave, they have one final dance surrounded by their loved ones.

Tie Di Knot Events Planning Managing Director Shelle Parchment

For Tie Di Knot Events Planning Managing Director Shelle Parchment, a wedding at the Dunn’s River Falls is the order of the day.

Shelle Parchment, founder/managing director of Tie Di Knot Events Planning, a devoted destination wedding planner,is riled up with excitement to share her dream concept.

“Engaged! Yes! Well, as a wedding planner/conceptualiser we should be able to immerse ourselves in our client’s vision.”

“99.5 % of my clients request destination weddings, they want to get married in Jamaica not just because it’s less expensive but also because of our beautiful beaches and its organic, natural beauty.”

For this reason, Shelle ensures her d?cor is done in a way that complements the space she creates for her bride and groom, whether “the wedding is by the beach or river”. “It’s so easy to work with nature,” she added hastily during our interview.

It’s as if she slipped in and out of a daydream describing the Dunn’s River concept. “My vision is to one day be able to have a wedding on the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls…lol…still trying to figure out how we gonna block out the noise, but we will…one day,” she says as she zoned out to her wildly creative headspace.

“Weddings are for celebrating love with close friends and family, and whether it’s a Bridgerton-, Cinderella-, or a Carnival-themed wedding, as planners we have to be able to execute our clients’ dream, period!”

Bliss Bridal Ja Founder/Owner Sara Stanford

Sara Stanford, founder/owner of Bliss Bridal Ja eyes Italy for her dream wedding.

Sara, her hubby Brian, and their team at Bliss Bridal Ja operate aboutique bridal shop that’s world-class (they’ve got the awards to prove it) and in great demand.

And in her 10+ years’ experience, Sara has noted that travelling beyond our comfort zones for a wedding is not the norm.

“After being in the business and seeing all the brides come through my store,” – Sara tries to find them the perfect dress, together they talk about the wedding plans, and so on – “90% of the couples don’t even leave their parish to get married.”

“I think the idea of going somewhere else or out of the country is a great one, a creative one, and a unique one,” Sara told Loop News.

After being married for ten years and having a big wedding at the time, I’m now a huge fan of small, intimate ceremonies.

I think a destination wedding – in whatever country or city the couple finds special or unique, somewhere they’ve never been or roads less travelled.

“If they’re in Jamaica they could go for something quaint in Portie, for example…so many different ideas”, she urged.

The key to adding that unique/creative side is to find a venue/city/country that is special to the duo.

“My husband and I did the big wedding here in Kingston at Boone Hall. But, looking back, I would’ve loved it if he and I would’ve been able to go to Barcelona and maybe just have 10-20 of our close family and friends there and make it a weeklong experience for everyone (touring the city, celebrating with us on our wedding day, sightseeing, maybe have a party after, to really make the wedding an experience, not just a day or a few hours…”