Where does a high-end New York wedding planner go for his own destination wedding?
Good question. With many of his guests also in the wedding business, and his parents in the travel business, our son, along with his fiancée had to find something unique to “wow” guests who thought they had seen it all.
They wanted the wedding to be somewhere tropical, yet accessible to guests from all over the country. After looking at all the possible locations, they settled on Jamaica – in particular, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Reasons included accessibility, friendly people, common language, lots of venue choices, excellent weather, beautiful beaches and Caribbean ocean, wonderful food with naturally healthy drinking water and plenty of varied activities and excursions for guests.
We went to Jamaica in March of 2015 and after visiting a handful of resorts including two Sandals resorts, Jamaica Inn, and two Couples resorts, we all decided on Couples for the November wedding. Any one of the other resorts would have provided an excellent wedding experience and we have stayed at each of them as a couple and have nothing but raves for them, their management, and staff (See our reviews on TripAdvisor and in more detail right her on our Blog). But our couple wanted something absolutely unique, with a cliff-like ceremony and a sandy beach reception. Turns out using Couples Tower Isle for the ceremony and Couples Sans Souci Sunset Beach for the reception fit the bill perfectly – and was less expensive than the other resorts.
Couples Tower Isle has a private island a short four minute boat trip from the resort itself, which provided the unique cliff-like, castle setting for the ceremony.
Couples Sans Souci had the amazing Sunset Beach, famous for its incredible . . . you guessed it . . . sunsets. Perfect for our sandy beach reception.
So if you plan a 3:00 ceremony on Couples Tower Isle’s private island and a reception on Couples Sans Souci Sunset Beach about a half hour before sunset (exact time depending upon the time of year), you get the best of both worlds.
Now, this happened to fit our couples’ vision of their wedding, but you don’t have to do it this way. You can easily use one resort or the other for both the ceremony and the reception. For a larger group, you may want to go with Couples Sans Souci, because it is a larger resort with a more expansive beach. They have also recently completely refurbished the rooms facing the beach as well as one of their main restaurants, "The Palazzino," which overlooks the beach and Caribbean Sea. But I would do what we did which was to visit both resorts ahead of time and then make your decision.
Although unique and considered by everyone (including our wedding pros) to be the best wedding they had ever attended, using two resorts presents logistical complexities you can’t imagine and must be handled by a travel agency like ours with personal experience in doing this. We know every “nook and cranny” of this plan and how to anticipate and facilitate its smooth outcome because we planned our son’s wedding and we have just been through it, personally and on premises. We also know and have worked with the people on the inside who will assure you a fabulous experience. Whatever you choose for your venue, we would urge you to contact us on our dedicated phone line 516-300-9924 and let us guide you with your particular needs. If you get a recorded message on this number, try 516-338-4420.
The GMs of both Couples’ resorts are fantastic – Mr. Leonard Henry of Couples Tower Isle and Mr. Pierre Battaglia of Couples Sans Souci. GM, of course is the abbreviation for General Manager, but I referred to them as Great Magicians, as they can make the seemingly “impossible” happen. We have experienced the work of both these gentlemen and they are truly amazing.
Accommodations at both resorts are outstanding as is the food and the staff. Our wedding guests stayed at Sans Souci, since this is where our reception was held. Special mention of the Sans Souci staff goes to:
Creshena House, wedding coordinator and Georgette Hyde, the new wedding coordinator who both stayed on top of all our wedding details from beginning to end.
Guest Services Manager, Nicola Barker along with Tasha-Gaye Braham and Tanesia Thomas were outstanding in coordinating golf reservations, excursions and transportation.
Deluise Fung– who prepared the gift baskets, was professional, accommodating, even with the last minute changes to the gift basket quantity.
Milton Lewinson, entertainment coordinator – provided talented entertainment nightly and at special events.
Roadian Slue – with an unforgettable smile and laugh, he was fun, outgoing, and seemed to always be there whenever you needed him. He was very helpful at our reception getting our lanterns to fly and even gracing our guests with a quick break-dance performance
Oshane Wright – super attentive, friendly, and polite.
Here we are with our pals, Roadian and Oshane:
Because guest were staying a Couples Sans Sousi, Couples Tower Isle, and Riu (those with children), transportation to and from the airport as well as to and from the two Couple's resorts for the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and reception, was a complexity in and of itself. All transportation was flawless carried out by Karandas Tours. The buses were immaculate, the drivers professional and courteous, particularly Warren, and the prices were competitive.
The owners, Dwight and Maureen Soares are serious about maintaining an excellent reputation. You can check out their TripAvisor reviews here. They are responsive, responsible and are personally delightful. Karandas Tours can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 876-974-2063.
Their website is www.karandastours.com/.
THE DRESS REVEAL AT COUPLES TOWER ISLE
THE CEREMONY AT COUPLES TOWER ISLE ISLAND
THE RECEPTION AT COUPLES SANS SOUCI SUNSET BEACH
A magical moment captured on video:
Please feel free to call us at 516-300-9924 to book your dream destination wedding.
We look forward to speaking with you!
Gary de Sesa & Kita de Sesa are travel agents and owners of Gary D Travel. Contact us at 516-300-9924 or
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