Holy crap. I cannot believe that our wedding day is over. It’s gone. Buh bye. Now what? I’m sure as hell not having babies in my womb any time soon, so what should we do instead? I guess it’s time that I finally start decorating our house. And landscape our backyard. And do stuff that’s not near as exciting as buying bikinis for beaches in Jamaica. We also need to plan another trip. But where to next? Maybe the keys? Or New Orleans? Or Nashville? I do have Austin and Vegas coming up in the next two months, but that’s without my special man. I need more trips with him. Any other ideas or places you love?!
Oh my goodness, let’s talk about this wedding trip. Because it was absolutely freaking perfect. For real. The only thing I would have changed was eating more food and taking less shots at our reception. I haven’t taken that many shots since I was in college. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, especially since I don’t drink much. Rookie move. But other than that, the wedding could not have been any more perfect.
The whole reason we decided to do a destination wedding is because you save SO much money. First, because probably half the people you invite will come. Second, because you’re also getting a vacation/honeymoon out of it. In Colorado, you’ll spend probably a minimum $30,000 for a wedding with ok food and a few hours of fun. But with a destination wedding, depending where you book, you can spend way less for a week of awesomeness. Since we were paying for the wedding ourselves, it was an easy decision for us. We paid under $10,000 for the entire trip (sorry if talking money makes you uncomfortable, just helping to put it in perspective if you’re thinking about it) and that included wedding attire as well. We had a total of 29 people come to the wedding week which was the perfect amount. I talked to the wedding staff a couple times beforehand to talk about the food we wanted and bouquet I wanted to carry and then we met with the wedding staff the day before the wedding. That was it. With destination wedding, you only have a couple things to choose from for the wedding location, reception, food and drink, etc. I never grew up having a wedding vision so whatever was on the list looked good to me and it was pretty simple to choose. I didn’t dream about a first dance song or the exact photos, I just wanted to get married to the man I love, with a beautiful background and then party my face off. And that’s exactly what we did.
The dress was probably the hardest part and it was honestly pretty easy. I tried on dresses at probably 3-4 stores, even ended up buying a dress that was on super sale. Then someone on instagram mentioned about trying on a Katie May Collection dress. After looking at their website, I instantly fell in love with this dress. Through the crazy world of social media, I started chatting with Katie May herself and flew myself out to LA to try on her collection and couldn’t get enough of this dress. I didn’t want to take it off. So I stopped looking and decided this was the one. I couldn’t have been happier with it. And when I started looking for veils, an amazing reader that I had sent a special birthday cookbook to a couple months earlier reached out to me and said she would lend me her long veil. I was so lucky to have her because it was exactly what I was looking for and loved it so so much!
For my dress, I wore a sticky bra which stayed in place great throughout the wedding and pictures. It wasn’t until I started to dance my face off and take shots like a real dumbass, that it started to slide off. So I just pulled them off and through them in the sand. Like a real classy broad.
I also did my own makeup and hair since I don’t trust others much when it comes to that. Especially on that kind of day. If my makeup and hair looks like crap, it’s going to be at my own hands. So I had my hair stylist find my hair extensions (she used the clip in extensions by Babe) and then cut and colored them to match my hair! That way I just had a fuller look on the big day! I’m linking all the makeup I used below because it looked so natural and perfect for the beach look! And I’m also linking the sticky bra I used and the floral crown I wore for photos!
Now let’s get on to the wedding already! The evening before the wedding, my now husband spent the night in another room. Adorbs. And funny since we saw each other the next morning at the gym and at brunch. But after that, we stayed away from each other the rest of the day. I had all my ladies to my room to get ready, eat snacks and drink some champagne. Obviously guys have a lot less to do so they were ready in minutes while it took us hours since we had approximately two plugs to plug our hair tools into and one mirror to shove ourselves in front of. Once everyone was ready, the guys headed out first then the ladies, then they took me in a golf cart to watch it all go down from afar. I watched my guy walk down the isle with the moms and hug all of his groomsmen as he got into place. You can see him hugging my dad below, which just warms my heart. After pulling up in a golf cart, I hopped off and grabbed my dad and immediately got choked up and had my chin quivering. But then I got my sh*t together.
We were right in front of the snack area so luckily we have a lot of half naked bodies in our wedding photos. So romantic.
When we got engaged, our friend Tommy who introduced us immediately asked if he could marry us. Of course, we said yes and the person who introduced us was there to help ring us into marriage. It was pretty awesome. He was so nervous which was totally adorable since he’s pretty over confident in most of life. He went on with his lovely speech then we stepped aside to read our vows to each other in private. We both wrote down a page full and both ended up paraphrasing because we were so anxious and excited standing up there. And effing hot. That was a sweaty moment. After our vows, the Jamaican minister pulled us aside mid ceremony to sign our marriage license. We thought this was done after but just went with it. The only thing that was weird was after we signed the documents, he had us touch lips. Not kiss, just touch lips. So weird. Especially since the “kiss the bride” moment hadn’t happened. So odd.
But our real first kiss was epic. He totally must have planned that out in his head. That little slick Rick.
My veil hit every single person in the face while I walked down the isle. That was epic too.
After the wedding, we took all kinds of photos with our guests and then they all went to snack on appetizers and drinks. Except for this little gem. My maid of honor and best friend stayed by our side to take photos, show the photographer what’s up, and to just be there for support. I couldn’t have asked for a better maid of honor. And I’m so thankful she was mine first so when her time comes, I’ll rock at being a maid of honor all because of her. And how beautiful did she look that day? So so pretty!
When the wedding team started asking what kind of bouquet I wanted, I really didn’t care. I hate that you have to spend so much money on something that dies right away. It’s annoying to me. But since Pinterest is the best tool known to man, I quickly found a bouquet that caught my eye. The one I loved had succulents in it as well but they couldn’t do that so they just stuck with the white and pink roses and dusty miller. I was super happy with how it came out. What’s cool about the destination wedding is they can really do whatever sort of bouquet you want, you just have to show an example!
How handsome is my bridesman? He went from my wedding in Jamaica to Coachella and now is in Vegas. I’m glad I got to hang out with him so much because who knows if I’ll ever see him again now. That’s a rough 3 weeks. What a sport.
We got married on the beach right in front of the ocean and our reception was right next to it! We had our own sweetheart table then 3 tables of 9 along with cocktail tables and a huge buffet. Looking back, taking photos while everyone enjoyed appetizers is probably what doomed me. I need those appetizers because champagne toasts just kept happening. Meaning, I kept toasting myself.
The food at our wedding was really good! I was super surprised. I wasn’t expecting much since it was a buffet for a small group but they served chicken kabobs, beef, pork, fish, rice, potatoes, and veggies. And when I requested gluten free cupcakes guessing they wouldn’t be able to do that, they quickly said yes! So we had a small white cake to cut into then a ton of chocolate cupcakes that were gluten free. But you know what? I partied so hard that I never even ate my cupcake. I’m so pissed. Juli was a really a true rookie that night.
So here’s the thing about our party. It quickly became a shirtless party. Sergio (my bridesman) decided it was time to pop the top…because he’s pretty much always shirtless. Then he thought it would be a good idea to take my dad’s shirt off. And before we knew it, almost all men were shirtless. You have to remember that our wedding was on the beach in Jamaica and all the guys were wearing pants. Nelly’s “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes” was the theme night of the song. One of the groomsmen also cut his pants into shorts…with a butter knife. I quickly bustled up my dress since I was dancing my face off…then broke it. So a team of friends stole a ribbon from one of the chairs, tucked up my dress, and tied it around me. I think this pictures sums up why I was in bed by 9:30.
But you know what I missed out on? DACLUB!!! I will hate myself forever about this. I never miss a night at daclub. After I thought I was going to vomit and had to be tucked in bed, a bunch of people including my mother in law went to the club at the resort (where absolutely no one was) and danced on the bar. I MISSED DANCING ON THE BAR. I haven’t done that since college and I hate myself for not doing it on my wedding night. What a shame. What a rookie shame.
I woke up with a college sized hangover in a 27 year old body. It was a tough day. I was hungover until 4pm. But the wedding was so amazing. I seriously wouldn’t have changed a thing. Except my gallon size vodka shots. Never again, never again.
Two days later, we did our excursion of the week with our catamaran trip to Margaritaville. If you’ve never been on a catamaran, it’s just a party boat that goes somewhere and you can snorkel and drink and get sea sick. Whatever you prefer.
My favorite part of the catamaran was definitely Margaritaville. You take a slide into the ocean, where you eyes fill with sea salt and burn to all hell, then you swim out and jump on trampolines and fly off the blob. Feeling like a child again is my absolute favorite. I woke up the next day with bruises all of my body from trying be a child again. I still have bruises everywhere. It was so awesome.
So let’s talk about destination weddings real quick. Would I recommend it? F*ck yes. No questions asked. It’s a week of celebrating your wedding, not just an evening. You get to hang out with your closest friends at the beach, on a boat, at the pool, eating multiple meals, having lots of drinks. All for WAY cheaper than one night back in the states. Sure, not everyone gets to come and that’s a little bummer, but I was so happy and thankful for everyone who was there. And I was super happy with the wedding coordination. I wasn’t a high stressed bride so talking to them the day before was fine with me. Sure, the photographer wasn’t very good for that special day, but I have hundreds of photos from friends to choose from.
When it came to the resort we chose in Montego Bay (Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid), I thought it was a nice resort that was really well kept. Half the staff was SO NICE and the other half was super unfriendly. You never knew what you were going to get. I loved the beaches, loved the pools and loved all the sitting areas available. The only thing I didn’t like about the resort other than some of the unfriendly staff was that I wasn’t super impressed with the food. I had a great meal at their italian, french and a great experience at their hibachi grill, but the other smaller restaurants (especially the ones for breakfast and lunch) made me feel sick even when I just stuck with meat and vegetables. It may have been the oil they used, not really sure. And it took FOREVER to get the food. I don’t want to complain too much because that could be my American lifestyle talking, but I had to make sure I had a snack every single time before I went to a restaurant because it would usually take around 2 hours to get a meal. I’ve never been to another Secrets resort so I’m not sure if it’s like that anywhere else, but that’s really my only complaint. I’ve just been to other resorts that have more gluten free options and it’s a little easier to get food! Sorry to sound like a complainer, the food component is just important to me!
In the end, I didn’t care much because I got to spend every day with my wonderful, kind and amazing husband and sip on dirty bananas at the beach and at the pool with my girlfriends. It was awesome. And I wish I could go back. A few more of my friends better get married destination wedding style because I need to celebrate another person’s wedding. Such an awesome moment and I can’t wait to watch other’s go through the same feelings and emotions that I did! PS if you want to know where any of my Jamaica swimsuits or outfits are from, you can see a whole recap here!