This acclaimed Caribbean island nation is a dream site for couples wanting their wedding to be backed by lush mountains and rainforests, and set on reef-lined beaches. Another dream feature of this tropical utopia is the wide array of all-inclusive resorts, many of which feature British-colonial architecture and offer free wedding packages in exchange for a booking. And of course, the soothing, feel-good rhythm of reggae music is flowing through almost every corner of the island. In addition, water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving add a splash of adventure to this stunning getaway. If you and your partner are planning a Jamaica destination wedding, here’s our guide to get your started.
Most Popular Venue: Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
Located on over a half mile of pristine, private beach on the Montego Bay peninsula, Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay offers a luxury setting for couples desiring a quintessential Caribbean ambiance on their special day. The resort offers three all-inclusive wedding packages, which include a wedding coordinator, ceremony, bouquet and boutonniere, wedding cake, spa discounts, and so much more, depending on the package you select. In addition, they provide a specialized package for South Asian weddings that includes Indian cuisine, a ceremony that honors the couple’s traditions and customs, and specialized décor. Ceremonies can be held on the beach or gazebo overlooking the water, and receptions can be held in the ballroom, or on the terrace or beach.
Beyond your special day, Secrets Wild Orchid will make you feel pampered every day of your stay with their seven gourmet restaurants, nine bars and lounges, Secrets Spa by Pevonia, a golf course, the option of booking a swim-up suite, and seemingly endless additional amenities. For those that want a one-stop-shop for serene nuptials, this resort will be a dream.
Typical Cost: $1,000 to $12,000
Bonus: The Wedding in Paradise Package is complimentary when you book a Junior Suite Preferred Club Ocean View category room or higher, for a minimum of seven nights, or a minimum of five rooms (of any category) for a minimum of three nights.
Most Scenic Venue: The Caves Hotel
Weddings don’t get much more scenic and unique than being celebrated from within a seaside cave, which is exactly what couples can expect from nuptials at the aptly named The Caves Hotel. Set amongst caves nestled in limestone cliffs, this natural preserve turned exotic getaway offers a setting that features the best Mother Nature has to offer, especially because the caves look out on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The basic wedding package includes a minister, wedding license and marriage certificate, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, a bottle of champagne, small wedding cake, and a 30-print photography package.
Enhancing couples’ overall experience at the resort are 12 bright and airy cliff-side cottages, a grand villa, two dining gazebos, private caves and the acclaimed Blackwell Rum Bar. In addition, guests can unwind at the spa, or in the Jacuzzi, sauna, or saltwater swimming pool.
Typical Cost:Starts at $1,000
Bonus: The service is superb. And for those staying in the grand villa, you receive the luxury of a private butler.
Most Affordable Venue: Sandals Royal Plantation – All-Inclusive Beach Resort
Set on a snow-white beach on the vibrant north coast of Jamaica, the all-inclusive Sandals Royal Plantation resort and spa offers one of the most accommodating, exquisite and (shockingly) affordable wedding experiences on Jamaica. This resort is known to be an intimate world unto itself, as almost every conceivable need a guest could have is accommodated on-site – this is especially true for guests tying the knot. While there are a range of wedding services Sandals provides, the standard wedding package includes a wedding planner, wedding team, ceremony site and reception for six guests, bouquet and boutonniere, white fondant cake, a wedding gift from the resort, a mimosa breakfast-in-bed, honeymoon dinner and more. There are numerous other packages that provide additional features.
In addition to the wedding perks, Sandals creates an extraordinary travel experience with its ocean-view suites, bluff-top freshwater pool, whirlpools, butler service, award-winning cuisine, golf, and a comprehensive water sports program, which includes scuba diving.
Typical Cost: Free (not including food and drink) if you book three nights or more at the resort. You receive additional complimentary perks for the more guests you bring in, or the more nights you stay.
Bonus: The wedding packages includes a foot massage for the groom and manicure for the bride.
Recommended Photographer: Phillip Lynch Photography
With over 15 years of experience, Phillip has mastered the art of capturing candid moments that emulate the essence of a moment, in addition to posing couples in a way that looks authentic to their personality. In addition, his in-depth knowledge of the area allows him to have a score of gorgeous locations to take wedding parties for truly unforgettable photos. But what might be the crowning feature of Philip’s services is his personality, as all clients rave about his professional, yet laid back nature, which allows photo subjects to relax and bring their best selves forward. If you want photos that tell the story of your big day, all while (literally) casting you in beautiful light, consider the support of Phillip Lynch Photography.
Typical Cost: $1,450
Recommended Florist: H.O.F. Décor
As a florist known for their luxury bespoke creations, H.O.F. Décor can accommodate almost any request, from centerpieces composed of a rainbow of roses, to vibrant foliage adorning a wedding arch. Because they pride themselves on creating unique designs that suit the couple’s exact style, it’s best to thoroughly communicate with them, expressing your vision, and even sending inspiration photos to ensure they know the ambiance you’re hoping to create. Whether you need bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, unforgettable floral creations lining the aisle, or almost any other plant-related feature, H.O.F Décor will take care of you.
Typical Cost: Starts at $150
Recommended Caterer: Caribbean Pantry Catering & Events
For those wanting to treat guests to the deliciousness of Caribbean fusion cuisine, Caribbean Pantry is a top-notch option, as they utilize an eclectic mix of ingredients that reflect the multicultural nature of the region. This family run business works with clients to craft their ideal menu, and offers a wide variety of menu options that can be served through stations or plated dinners. With favorites such as honey jerk chicken, fried plantains, cucumber smoked marlin canapes, orange ginger chicken, coconut crusted fish and other flavor-filled dishes, this esteemed caterer is a sure way to infuse your wedding with Jamaica’s vibrant culture.
Typical Cost: $25 – $60 per person
Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.