Jamaica: One of the Top Destination Wedding Places on the Planet
Couples around the world are reimagining wedding plans in this new landscape and while they are opting for smaller, more intimate ceremonies, their desire for a stunning and unforgettable venue for the big day remains the same. With Jamaica’s borders now open to international visitors and a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols in place, travellers dreaming of an idyllic destination to tie the knot need look no further than the island’s pristine beaches, tropical waterfalls, world-class accommodations and renowned hospitality.
“As the leading wedding and honeymoon destination in the Caribbean, we are thrilled to safely welcome couples to Jamaica to celebrate their big day,” says Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “In addition to our array of natural backdrops for every type of ceremony, we have an impressive roster of wedding and honeymoon experts on island available for brides and grooms.
“With strict protocols in place at our accommodations and attractions, the destination remains a top choice for couples around the globe.”
Here’s a roundup of the latest wedding news and offerings at some of Jamaica’s most romantic properties. I’ve visited all of them and stayed at three: Sandals, Jakes and Jamaica Inn.
Marsha-Ann Brown Donaldson, Director of Romance at Sandals Resorts, recently shared that “Love is not cancelled” with the phased reopenings of the Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril properties. Since the opening in June, Sandals has hosted a total of 55 weddings across its properties as couples seek out more remote and intimate celebrations.
At all properties, the wedding guest capacity has been cut by 50% to ensure the protection of all travellers. To improve the wedding experience, several new safety protocols have been implemented, including an 18 Touch Point of Cleanliness practice on all properties, virtual pre-planning sessions to assist in wedding coordination, buffets switched to a-la-carte menus, and physical distancing during wedding ceremonies and pre-wedding activities.
Couples can also look forward to the reopening of Sandals South Coast on October 1, 2020. The property recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that includes the addition of a new modern wedding venue at the resort’s Italian Village wing, 20 of the world’s first-ever Swim-up Rondoval™ Suites, and renovated Dutch Village Suites. The refurbished suites are now accepting reservations for arrivals beginning December 10, 2020.
A spectacular setting in Ocho Rios for a destination wedding or vow renewal, Jamaica Inn offers unparalleled views of the sparkling Caribbean Sea and Jamaica’s majestic mountains. Since the destination’s reopening, the classic property has introduced a new level of a safety and cleanliness for couples, wedding guests and staff alike. The property requires a 50-person maximum capacity for events, masked staff and temperature checks, among other measures.
In keeping with travellers’ demands, the property offers even more personalized services catering to couples who want a smaller, more customized ceremony with the help of an on-site Wedding Specialist. Jamaica Inn is now offering a 20% discount on wedding packages and a special group rate on accommodations for wedding guests.
In the heart of Jamaica’s South Coast, Jakes Hotel on Treasure Beach is a boho-chic boutique hotel comprising colourful cottages and bungalows with seaside views. Jakes prides itself on being authentically Jamaican by curating intimate wedding ceremonies for couples on the legendary Treasure beach, or in a gazebo overlooking the beach.
Honeymoon stays are common additions for wedding packages at Jakes, with couples opting to extend their wedding getaway in oceanfront bungalows complete with massages at the Driftwood Spa. Since the reopening in July, Jakes has implemented several health and safety protocols including mask requirements for all staff, temperature checks for staff and guests and hand sanitizer stations installed around the property.
GoldenEye Resort has been the epitome of 1950s glamour since James Bond author Ian Fleming first built the lush estate in the town of Oracabessa on Jamaica’s North Coast. It is also a premier choice for small, private wedding ceremonies accommodating up to 10 guests.
Couples can also choose from a variety of other intimate options including locations at the Private Fleming Beach and Sunken Garden, each area housing up to 30 guests. Protocols implemented at the property for wedding ceremonies include the installation of hand sanitizer stations, mask requirements for all staff, and rigorous daily cleaning procedures of all areas, among other new policies.