Jamaica Wedding Recap

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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!

PaleOMG Wedding Recap PaleOMG Wedding Recap PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

But our real first kiss was epic. He totally must have planned that out in his head. That little slick Rick.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

My veil hit every single person in the face while I walked down the isle. That was epic too.

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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!

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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!

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

Can we talk about the length of my maid of honor’s legs? They’re are at least 8 feet tall here. At least.  PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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.

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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!

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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!

PaleOMG Wedding Recap

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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142 thoughts on “Jamaica Wedding Recap”

      1. Hi Juli, belated congrats on your wedding! If I may ask, is there a reason why there isn’t one picture with your husband’s full face? All pics only show his back or the side of his body while his face is obstructed…Just curiosity >_< no offense meant by asking

        1. i just decided a long time ago to keep that part of my life private. i get blasted so much on the internet and i don’t think i would be able to deal with it if someone ever said something about my husband in a negative light. and it’s nice to have at least one private thing in my very public blog life!

  1. How lovely and beautiful! I’m so happy that you had your dream wedding! Now let the fun house planning begin – that’s what I did too and now we’re in the middle of a major kitchen renovation lol.

    As far as the slow food – we were warned about this going to Montego Bay (we stayed at a different resort). Many people told us its just island time, and they weren’t kidding. We stood in line at customs for 2 hours and watched as TSA staff played on their cell phones. The staff at our resort were super friendly (rose hall suites) – we were also there for a wedding. I agree about the food tho. We went to a hibachi place and they put jerk seasoning on the fried rice haha!! Not very Japanese. I’m with you though – I hate complaining about vacation – its just nice to get away and be able to afford a trip like that!

    1. i was warned too which is why i brought snacks on the trip lol i feel lucky that our customs experience wasn’t the same, it took us about 20 minutes to get through it. but it’s definitely island time over there!

  2. I think this is my FAVORITE post of yours, ever! I just told my friends (also fans of yours) how happy I am that you admitted drinking too much and not eating enough and that pic of you is the BEST!!! I don’t know a bride who did eat enough and didn’t drink too much on her wedding day which is why this story is just so great! Also, I got married at 27 right before pinterest came out (I’m 32 now, wah) so there was a lot of spreadsheet and website favorites in my planning and when the wedding was over, I too was like “what’s next? I need something to do” lol. Decorating and landscaping your new home will fill your void, I’m sure!! Your wedding week looked epic and beautiful!!! I wish you guys many many years of happiness!!

    1. right?! so many women say the same thing. i had all the food right in front of me but was distracted so easily but photos and friends lol! there is a picture of Brian eating his dinner and me running out to my friends taking photos. it’s a recap in one photo of why the night went down how it did

  3. Absolutely beautiful wedding and you made a gorgeous bride! Congratulations and enjoy it all! Loved all of your swimsuits too, all so cute!!

  4. Congrats! Your wedding looked gorgeous and that dress ????!
    My husband and I went to that resort for our honeymoon 2 years ago and our only complaint was the food as well! We usually skipped lunches and ate at the snack shacks! Fruits and jerk chicken!

  5. Congrats!!! I wasn’t super impressed with Secrets Montego bay but if you ever decide to try another Secrets, try the one in Punta Cana!! The food there was amazing! We had our destination wedding at Excellence in Mexico, so nice to see other brides do destination weddings!!! Loved reading this post!! Again, congrats!! You were a gorgeous bride!!

    1. Oh yes, we highly recommend the Excellence Resorts. They are all inclusive, adults only. We have been to both in Mexico and the one in Punta Cana. Great experience every time. We will never give another dime to any Sandals resort.

  6. Congratulations–what an amazingly beautiful day!! I am getting married in a few months in Hawaii (destination) and absolutely agree we are able to pull off our wedding for less money than we would in the DC area, even with out flights and honeymoon included!

  7. This was so great to read! I’m having my destination wedding next month at a Secrets in Riviera Maya and can’t wait to be with everyone, drink in hand, basking in the sun. I too have never wanted to plan a wedding (or cared about the details) so I recommend it to everyone, especially with the money you save!

    Did you have a DJ? We are just renting a sound system and loading up a playlist so I’m hoping that works out ok and that I have enough music!

    Congrats on a beautiful wedding!

    1. we were going to just rent the sound system and we had a playlist ready to go but then for about the same price, we could hire a dj. so we decided to do that last week and just gave him our playlist to pull from and he ended up being amazing!

  8. Congrats Juli! Your wedding looked like so much fun, which is the most important part. You can genuinely tell how happy you are! I feel like destination weddings are the way to go…saving money and you get to party on the beach with your friends and family. I think my boyfriend’s parents would have a heart attack if we ever engaged and tell them we are having one haha! Also, I need that orange swimsuit, it is amazing!

    1. i don’t think my parents were exactly pumped about us doing a destination wedding but at the end of the day, we paid for it and it was OUR wedding, so they knew they didn’t have a say in it haha

  9. Congratulations, so glad it all worked out perfect. I will miss your wedding post updates.. they were very entertaining.

  10. Congrats! I was married at Secrets Wild Orchid in November 2015 and I share the same sentiments as you! It was truly the perfect day. So perfect, I ended up in the ocean and the pool in my wedding dress. Darn those shots! 😉 We too, have many of photos with half naked bodies in the background! hah! So glad you enjoyed your day as much as we did!!

  11. So happy for you! I love weddings and marriage and this all made me feel so sappy. 🙂
    This is not a tropical destination, but one of my favorite trips with my husband was to Sedona AZ. It is so stinking beautiful there, and we had a great time relaxing and just being together. There are lots of things to do outdoors too; we can’t wait to go back someday!

      1. Creepin’ on the comments here… I live in Flagstaff, which is 20 miles from Sedona so I go there all the time. It’s great if you’re up for doing an assload of hiking but there’s not much else to do. You can go for pretty cheap! You can fly direct from Denver to Phoenix for like $100 (my sister lives in Denver). Then you just have to rent a car and drive ~2 hrs to Sedona. It’s hot in the summer (~90 and full sun) and totally infested with tourists seriously everywhere, but it’s baller in the spring and fall. And of course, Flagstaff is nice too, but pretty different. Northern AZ is underrated for a vacation spot, especially since you’re so close by!

      2. Chiming in on the Sedona thing, totally beautiful there! It’s defiantly more of a long weekend/active vacation spot with super scenic (and hard!) hikes. Just visited my brother in Phoenix in February and they took us on a day trip to Sedona. Wish we had more than a day!

  12. I think the food is slow on every island. We stayed at the Atlantis in the Bahamas and my gluten free food took forever to come out every time. My husband and kids who ordered off of the regular menus where always done eating long before my food came out. I ate by myself at every meal! But the food was good and I hate to complain about food that won’t make me sick. But truly so so slow.

  13. I’m in the middle haha. We had a destination wedding, but it was still in the US. So it cost essentially what a traditional wedding costs but everyone was down with us at the beach the week leading up to the wedding. I loved it! We also went to Montego Bay (but at Sandals) for our honeymoon and it was amazing! Part of me still wishes I did what you did and just had the wedding there but it’s done now. I’m so excited for you and glad it turned out well 🙂

  14. Congratulations on your wedding, it looked awesome! My cousin had a destination wedding and it was just THE BEST.

    Just a note about the slow and unfriendly service you experienced. I live in the Caribbean and unfortunately, it is something that we battle throughout our beautiful islands. As a stateside person, it can be very frustrating (I deal with this in my everyday life, think KMart and the Post Office and the worst ,THE BANK) and I hate to see it deter people from visiting or enjoying the paradise that we call home.

    I found your blog/Crossfit/Paleo when I first moved here and at first it was REALLY HARD to find the ingredients necessary to make the recipes I wanted to. Over the years it has gotten easier to find ingredients but it is still super difficult to find quality food like organic produce and grass-fed meats that are affordable.

    The best advice I give people who are coming on vacation, especially if staying at an all-inclusive (which obviously isn’t serving up the highest quality cuisine) is to bring snacks with you and drink your usual libations (instead of the sugary rum drinks). Obviously your trip is over but for anyone else head to the islands, take note!

    Thanks for the awesomeness that is your blog! Oh, and your snaps. Ha.

  15. So happy for you, congratulations! Your dress was AMAZING and you looked incredible! As for another trip, you need to get your butt overseas. Somewhere in Europe…France? Italy?

    1. i’ve been wanting to go to Greece so that’s probably our next overseas adventure. i just hate flying so the travel is what holds me back from booking it

  16. CentralCaliGuy

    Juli-

    Congrats again on the nuptials, and all kinds of happiness to the both of you! All of pictures you are posting are absolutely beautiful! Looks like a storybook and so perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    I am a little biased, but there are some wonderful places on the Central Coast of Cali (think: Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, etc). It can be a little pricey during peak. Then again, that’s the price you pay for paradise.

  17. OMG! I am showing my fiance this post! We are getting married in September and I had wanted a destination wedding all along- and he wanted a traditional wedding because he thought it would be CHEAPER! I tried to tell him that it wouldn’t be – and since I have been planning the costs have just ballooned! Tablecloths, dessert spoons, and all of the other ancillary stuff doesn’t come cheap! And I would rather make 3 decisions about flowers, food, and cake versus the 1,000,000 for having a traditional wedding. Ah well, our day will still be fun and awesome – pros and cons to both I suppose. Anyway, you looked absolutely stunning and so glad you enjoyed your day with all of your family and friends! It looks like it was magical! Wishing you many years of health and happiness!

  18. Everything looked so perfect, Juli! I love following your blog and snap chat! I am getting married in June in Mexico at Dreams in Riviera Maya. I have been contemplating planning a Catamaryan Cruise. Was it worth it? Your picks looked like it was a highlight of the trip!

    Congrats!!

  19. Of everything I just read and envisioned, this quote stuck with me the most: “So I just pulled them off and through them in the sand. Like a real classy broad.” BAHAHAHAHA!!!! Thank you so much for sharing with us your wedding details and pics. I adore you, Juli, and you make me smile every.single.day! Congrats to you both!

  20. Beautiful pictures, your dress was amazing and you were a stunning bride! Seeing this makes me really think destination is the way to go, but I may have some family that cannot travel. Congratulations!!! I took my boyfriend to the Keys for his birthday in October for four days and it was perfect! Neither of us are huge drinkers, but still had a blast, I would highly recommend it!

  21. Congratulations Juli! I leave Monday for my destination wedding in Mexico on the 29th so have been following along with your planning! We are getting married at the Excellence Riviera Maya – if you love all inclusives it might be worth checking out they have two in Mexico and one in Punta Cana. They have TONS of GF options and even ask you at each meal when you sit down your food allergies. I’ve been to about 5-6 all inclusives and their chain (and our particular one) is my favorite. For friendly staff and REALLY good food. Thanks for your recap. I’m with you and agree 100% on all the reasons to get married out of the country. I’d much rather save some money and enjoy all the time with my guests/hubby to be! You were beautiful, thank you for sharing your wedding story!

    1. We love Excellence as well! Excellence Riviera Maya was our first trip as a couple, so it is special to us 🙂 I hope you have an amazing wedding!

  22. Destination Weddings are the best! Your were a beautiful bride and I loved all the pics. We got married in Jamaica too. BEST. DECISION. EVER!!!! Your recap totally took me back! Since our wedding almost 5 years ago we’ve traveled all over the world, I hope you guys have a wonderful time exploring. And I hate flying too – Xanax is the only way I can fly (panic attacks and crying part way through an 8 hour flight is not fun for me or hubs).

  23. My husband and I did a destination wedding as well and I absolutely could not agree more with you!! It is so the way to go! I’d rather be having fun and partying with my closest family and friends for a week than stressing out and worrying about every detail of just one day. Not to mention paying a butt load of money for one night that most people will forget about anyway. Anyhoo, Congrats to you and your husband! You looked absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your beautiful day!

  24. First off, you made an absolutely stunning bride, congrats to the both of you!

    We are doing our destination wedding in 20 days in Puerto Rico! I can concur that the planning process has been a breeze, and you just can’t beat being with the ones you love in paradise. I too plan to do my own hair and makeup, you did a great job on yours 🙂 How did your makeup do with all the sweating? 🙂

    I have to say, we travel through the Caribbean often, Montego Bay is our least favorite place we have ever been. The only place we will never go back to. We went for my best friends wedding and I was her MOH. We had a terrible experience with the staff coming in at the airport in customs and baggage claim. We stayed at the Sandals there and we had a maybe 1/4 of the staff were friendly experience. They messed up our room reservation halfway through our stay and had someone come out to the beach where we were hanging out to tell us we had to come pack up all of our stuff because they had overbooked our room. In the end they made it right by putting us in an amazing villa, which we were overly appreciative of. We went on an excursion on horseback, which was amazing, but everyone short of our guide was extremely rude. I just think it may be their way of life there. Unfriendly, never in a rush to do anything, disorganized- all things I don’t want to have to deal with on a vacation we saved our hard-earned money for. You live you learn….

    I live in Nashvegas, and you should come. We have a pretty good restaurant scene here now. Not sure if you do music festivals but we have Bonnaroo about an hour south of us in a few months, really popular. It’s not just country music anymore 🙂

  25. Charleston, SC is a solid next destination choice 🙂 and thanks for sharing your day(s) with your readers. Super fun to see it all go down!

  26. Congrats Juli!!! I followed all your Snapchats so I saw some of your special day but it is so nice to see all the pictures and happiness!! You looked so gorgeous and I’m so glad it went so well. We also did a “destination” type wedding but it was in Monterey CA not anywhere tropical!! But destination weddings really are the way to go. It’s so nice not having to worry about so much planning and having a small wedding was perfect for us as well. Enjoy being able to call you special guy your husband now and yourself a wife. I loved when I was finally able to call my husband my husband for reals! 🙂

  27. Thank you for allowing us to see a snapshot of your important day. It looks like a total dream! You are beaming with happiness! Glad your wedding was stress-free. This makes me want to have a destination wedding!

  28. beautiful!!! I’m getting married in 2.5 months and as the expenses keep ticking up, I can’t help but wish we did a destination thing! Seeing all of you pictures makes me SO EXCITED to get married so soon- thank God I don’t have to wait a long time!

  29. Congrats! You were the most beautiful bride! A month from tomorrow I will be having my destination wedding at the Riu Palace in Cabo San Lucas. Do you have any tips on how to keep your composure and not be a bawling mess the entire time…I’m already losing it and tearing up just thinking about it!

    1. deep breaths lol. but emotions are high in that moment so just go with it. embrace the crazy emotional moments because you’ll never get those back!

  30. Congratulations! As for your next trip – Bora bora is da bomb! But for a more budget friendly option Maine is great too. Love the pictures and wedding recap!

  31. That looks awesome! Congrats!

    I know I’m in the minority, but I’m anti-destination wedding. As a guest, there’s no way I could afford to go, even for my brother or sister. My brother got married last year and was looking into a destination wedding. It would have cost my hubby and me close to $6K because of the travel expenses with kids. One of those adults-only places would have been a no-go for us because the only people I’d trust to watch my kids for a week would have been at the wedding! (I’m really selling you on how awesome kids are, aren’t i?)

    1. hahaha yeah our resort was adults only. there was even free porn on tv…which was really freaking weird. i totally get that part and two of our friends couldn’t come for that reason which sucks. but at the end of the day, it’s the person’s special day so you gotta support them in whatever they want to do, even if you can’t make it

  32. Congratulations, Juli and Brian! Ahh I’ve been waiting for this recap! Sounds like a freaking awesome time. Tad bit jealous.

    You looked absolutely stunning, but I knew you would be.

    This looks like so much fun. I always said if I ever got married, I’d want it to be a destination one, but my boyfriend wants the complete opposite, so we will see. I’ve been to 2 of them and they were a blast. It’s usually the people you are closest to that come to them and it makes it so much more of an awesome experience spending more than just a few crazy hours celebrating . It’s always such a blur from what I’ve heard. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go on a celebratory vacation?!

  33. Congrats Juli you looked beautiful. I got married at secrets in Jamaica also in January. It looks like you had beautiful weather. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate the day of my wedding and a storm came in so I didn’t get the sunset photos I wanted but we still had a blast I guess that’s the gamble you take getting married in a tropical place but like you I wouldn’t have changed doing a destination wedding. It was the best!

  34. Congrats! Have been following your blog for a few years now and am so thrilled to hear about your experience with a destination wedding. As for trips to take with your mans – my boyfriend and I have traveled quite a bit domestically (taking our first international trips together this year), but a few fun places we really enjoyed are Nashville, New Orleans, Texas Hill Country (Fredericksburg (hike Enchanted Rock), New Braunfels, Gruene, Wimberly…fun summer trip, you can float the river, it’s AMAZING!), Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama (sounds odd, but we went for a wedding and I’d really like to go back – lots of cute culture and shops.)

    Best of luck in the future and looking forward to seeing excitement on your Snaps!

  35. Congrats and thank you for sharing! You always make me laugh-you are so freakin’ witty! Your day looked so amazing, your dress is stunning, and for all the reasons you said, now I am totally wishing we had done a destination wedding! That’s actually the resort we had our Honeymoon at, and I absolutely loved it! My favorite was definitely the jerk chicken cart! But that was 5 years ago and it sounds like things have gone a little downhill, sorry to hear! We have vacationed at other Secret’s Resorts and had good experiences, but I agree the food could be better. Best wishes!

  36. Congratulations!! I was so pumped to see all of your fun photos!! And that dress… good grief you made such a gorgeous bride. Question, My fiancé and I are planning a destination wedding at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya and I’m so far down the rabbit hole. Did you use a travel agent or coordinator to handle booking for a group, or did you do it all yourself through the resort? Any tips for planning this business would be *greatly* appreciated! Congrats again!!

    1. yes, we used a travel agent to put it all together! i would highly recommend it! she put together a list of all sorts of resorts and i picked my favorite from there then she helped us set it all up! we use beach bum vacations!

  37. Love this post!!!! So happy you had such a great wedding. Destinations are by far the way to go! All of my friends are like, “after hearing about your wedding in Italy I wish we would of said screw it to the big wedding too.” locations in Colorado literally costed 10,00-15,000 just for the venue, no chairs, no nothing! That was the budget for our entire Italian wedding and it was BOMB! Foreign countries don’t jack wedding prices which is awesome. Sure, it was an added cost for or guests, but they all dreamt of going to Italy anyway and we gave them a reason to and showed them one hell of a time! Can’t say we went hungry (holy sh$# do Italians know how to eat) but it was AMAZEBALLS!

    Are you feeling the after wedding gloom at all? I missed Italy and our friends so much it was a few weeks of stumbling through life before I snapped back into reality. I definitely would say planning a few trips to look forward to helps big time 🙂

  38. OMG I knew it! When I first saw some of your pictures on Snapchat I was like… I think that’s Secrets! I went there with my now husband in 2011. We absolutely loved the resort but yeah… the food was lacking. I definitely got super drunk in that crappy night club the first night and then never returned lol.

    Glad you had a good time! Congrats again <3

  39. Congrats on the wedding, it looks like it was perfect! Traveling with my husband is my favorite thing to do. New Orleans is one of my favorite places! I also absolutely love Hawaii. I am always bummed when vacation ends, but I was legit sad for days when we got home from Hawaii.

  40. Ahhhhh such beautiful photos…I’ve been dying to read the wedding re-cap! My boyfriend is like, you don’t actually know her, Katie…..but I feel like I do after following you for the past few years lol! Huge congrats to you…I’m so glad you have found your other half and you guys had such a an awesome time on your special day/week! You looked stunning!! Congrats, Juli 🙂

  41. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been anxiously awaiting some wedding details! It’s kinda like waiting for your friend to post something special. As fas as another trip goes….NOLA!!!! I went for my husband’s bday in the fall with a handful of our besties. It was so much fun. We spent most of our time in the French Quarter…not on Bourbon St (gotta mention that because that’s what most people think of when they think of NOLA and Bourbon St. just wasn’t our thing). It is just a really great city!!!

  42. Yay!!! You looked perfect and your entire trip looked amazing! I was reading your post like, “yep….yep….” because 9 years ago we did a destination wedding that was so similar in so many ways! Wouldn’t trade it for anything and to this day our friends swear it was the best wedding ever. CONGRATULATIONS! You earned it! Love your blog!

  43. Congrats, Juli!!
    Love your story- and your dress!! I’m really lucky and think many miss the mark (I’m the girl who has been to 45 weddings!) but, you nailed it!!
    Agree with destination- perfect! Can’t wait for mine!
    ????????????

  44. Holy gorgeousness…from the dress to the wedding party!!! It looked like perfection. my sisters and I are going to do a destination “anniversary” trip next summer. All four of us, our hubbies and our parents. That water trampoline adventure has my name all over it. The more bruises the better. So happy for you and your husband. What an amazingly blessed day. Many happy years to you guys!!!

  45. I love love love this post! You were a beautiful bride and now you have me wishing I would have chosen a destination wedding to eliminate the stress I’m currently feeling!

    I also want to say how encouraging and positive you are. I just saw some of the comments on the Facebook picture you just posted and I really don’t know how you do it. People are so nasty, negative, and discouraging. I’m so glad that through all that you still find positivity and continue to share your life, recipes, workouts, and fashion!

  46. Congratulations – so much gorgeousness!! I just love your personality – you’ve got me inspired to get that 6 pack (abs) that I’ve always wanted – there!! I’m holding myself accountable – HA! ANYway – other vacay ideas: we LOVE CABO and go EVERY year! The locale, food and people are AMAZING! Everyone is soooo friendly – we call it our home away from home.:) If you ever go – I can give you a list of awesome places to eat:)

  47. Beautiful wedding. I too just had a destination wedding in the Grand Caymans and it was also perfect. Secrets in Cozumel is the best resort I have stayed at with wonderful food, so it must be the location. Enjoy being married!! Also, Nashville is a very fun city with great boutiques and a fun party vibe.

  48. Congrats on your wedding, you were stunning! And, add me to the list of brides who did not eat any dinner and TOTALLY FORGOT TO EAT A PIECE OF MY CAKE wtf… and drank too much. Best day ever.

    My husband and I went to Sedona for our “mini honeymoon” right after the wedding. We stayed at The Enchantment, which honestly, was fucking bomb. Check it out for sure!

  49. okay so i am relatively new here and this may be a dumb question, but do you intentionally not put your (now) husband’s face on here?

    1. yes. i’ve dealt with enough trolls on the internet saying mean things about me, i like to keep that part of my life and his life private and out of any sort of spotlight.

      1. what kind of dipshits would say mean things about you?! you are literally my favorite blogger. i love reading your blog and watching your snapchats haha

        1. awwww thanks so much, Jess! there’s actually full forums out there talking sh*t about me lol so i want to keep my husbands life out of those forums

  50. Katelyn Groves

    Ahhhh this is just so amazing!!! I love how you recapped everything. You are just stunning, and that dress fit you perfectly. That back though! I have just under 2 months until my big day so all of this is so helpful. Love everything about your blog, keep it coming!

  51. Congrats Juli! You looked absolutely amazing! I LOVE your dress. I’ve been creeping your blog for sometime, and I bloody love your humour.

    I’m getting married in Mexico in 5 weeks (destination wedding from Australia!) and I’m so excited to spend time with our closest family and friends, destinations are the way forward!

    Random question- can I ask where you got the cooler sleeves as your wedding favours- I LOVE them. Great idea.

    Good luck with the landscaping and the non-baby making- I like your style 😉 xx

  52. Congratulations Juli!
    I’ve followed your blog for so long now I feel like I’m watching my lil’ sister grow up!! Your wedding looked perfect and I’m so glad that it was everything you hoped. Wishing you a ton of happiness in your marriage.

    We live in Australia- a trip down under should be on your bucket list- we have everything food, beaches, sunshine and some seriously good times!!!

    You could even come over to ours for dinner but I’d probably be making your recipes but probably not as good as you!!!

  53. So in love with your dress! I am obsessed with Katie May and have been dying to know which dress you picked!

    My boyfriend and I have already been discussing a destination wedding so loved your input. We love to travel! We took a trip to Europe last summer and it was incredible! Paris, Vienna, Munich and Amsterdam. Loved them all and would highly recommend.

    Also, congrats on your wedding. I’ve been reading your blog since the man hating days and it is obvious how truly happy you are. 🙂

  54. Congratulations Juli! Looked like such an weekend!
    Enjoy married life 🙂

    In all honesty tho, I think u and hubby should take trip over here to Australia 🙂 🙂

  55. Juli.. Congtatulations to Vous n Your Fiance… what a wonderful day!!!
    I think of moi special day almost 4 years ago when I married the man of moi life and I was almost double your age!!! I took care of moiself and outta the blue he came along!!! Knowing who we are are at whatever age is the KEY to A LIFE worth living… not saying we have it together each moment or hour of each day.. but knowing what is most important and WHO is most important at the end of each day helps us get up and greet the next day!! Moi friends who were there always as I was for them as I see YOU are there for them… YOUR LIFE is what counts!!!
    Thank you for the encouraging words and real life each day to help know we are all here to support one another is what is it allllll about!!!! Thank you so much and allllll the best to You and your dearest husband and Jackson

  56. Hi!
    These photos are great and it looks like so much fun! Everyone looks so happy! I checked the fashion fridays post, but wondered if you could share the brand of suit your friend has on? I love the blue patterned bikini with straps under the top. Do you know where she found it?

      1. Thank you! I read through alllll the comments just to see if anyone asked that exact question… that suit caught my eye too and looks tooo comfortable!
        Thanks for all the wedding saga updates Juli, I too have been waiting eagerly for all the dress photos and recaps. Now looking forward to hearing about the landscaping!!

  57. Beautiful wedding! Love how honest and candid you are, haha!
    I was wondering if it is a coincidence or intentional that there are no pics of your man’s face?? Does he prefer to not be pictured on your blog?
    Huge fan of you and your cookbook!!

  58. Beautiful wedding and you made an absolutely beautiful bride. I love your blog and love your candor- the part about drinking too much and not eating enough is awesome. I also totally respect your self-imposed boundary about keeping your husband’s identify/face private…. Gotta have something when you’re posting so much of yourself for everyone to read. Just wanted to throw some positive words your way and tell you I love your blog because I know you get a lot of haters out there.

  59. Congratulations Juli!! Before this post, I wondered if you were at Secrets St. James because I recognized most of the places you were at in previous pictures. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon back in 2013 and had THE best time. I agree with you, the Italian Restaurant and the Hibachi grill were amazing! I have two friends doing destination weddings next year and this blog got me super pumped for them!! I’m so happy for you and your hubby! Thanks for the wedding recap, it was so fun to read!

  60. Congrats Juli!! Your pictures are gorgeous! Before this post, I wondered if you were at Secrets St. James because I recognized most of the places you were at in previous pictures. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon back in 2013 and had THE best time! I agree with you, the Italian Restaurant and the Hibachi grill were amazing! I have two friends doing destination weddings next year and this blog got me super pumped for them!! I’m so happy for you and your hubby! Thanks for the wedding recap, it was so fun to read!

  61. That’s awesome! Congrats! We had a destination wedding on the beach in Florida and it was the BEST decision. We had a blast! Glad you had such a fun week to celebrate life and love! 🙂

  62. Biggest congratulations to you. We also had a destination wedding to Kauai. I also had a Katie May dress, the Poipu which was also the name of the area in Kauai we were married in. It was the most perfect thing. If I could relive that day 1000x over I would. You looked incredibly beautiful and happy. The best is still yet to come!

  63. OMG that dress! It was made for you! You have such an amazing figure and it showcases it perfectly – especially your back (totally jealous!). Congratulations!!!!!

  64. Congratulations on your marriage Juli! This is such a beautiful post–I hope you had an incredible experience that you will cherish forever!

  65. Congratulations Juli!! You looked stunning. I wish you both a lifetime of love, happiness and great food!! I too always take snacks on any vacation for fear of not having food that I can eat. We had a destination wedding in Maui, Hawaii & it was absolutely wonderful. I agree that a destination wedding is much cheaper & so much less stressful. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful pictures. You’re a beautiful person, inside and out!!

  66. Congrats, girl! You are embarking on a grand adventure filled with some tough sledding and some mind blowing highs. I and my missus are approaching our 34th anniversary, so I know that when you have hooked up with the RIGHT ONE there is nothing you can’t overcome together. Just REMEMBER to put each other first and ALWAYS have each others back. The rest is just noise. The world is your oyster so go out and shuck it! Together! Peace and joy be with you today and ever after. Amen.

    1. awwww love this, thanks so much JC. I’m a realist so I tend to fear about the tough sledding we have ahead of us so hearing this from someone who has kept strong for 34 years is pretty awesome

  67. Here is another testimonial that love & friendship between a husband and wife can endure. My husband and I just celebrated 39 years together and 36 years married and we still are best friends and I think our love and respect has even grown as the years have passed. Pretty good for a girl that never wanted to get married. As long as you consider and respect each other you can get through anything.

    Everything looked lovely and fun!
    Congrats!

  68. Congrats Juli!! We decided on a destination wedding as well. June 4 will be 6 years for us! We headed off to Hawaii with 29 of our closest friends and family. We spent less than $10k for everything (10 days, 2 islands, food, attire, drinks, hotel, etc.) and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Thank you for sharing and all the best to you and your new hubby!!

  69. Looks like the perfect destination wedding to me. I’m not sure why more people don’t go with this option. As you said I would much rather spend the money for an entire week of fun with friends and family as opposed to one day or evening. Makes more sense to me. I really enjoyed your snap chats during the wedding week. You are hilarious! I loved the video of you singing with your Dad and brides man by your side and then you yelled “that’s my dad!” and then “that’s my brides man!” I was cracking up! Loved the picture of your veil hitting everyone in the face while you walked down the aisle. LOL Your dress was beautiful on you and I am so happy for you and wish you many, many years of love and laughter. Happy Birthday!!
    Dawn

  70. Congratulations Juli!! You look so beautiful! My husband and I did a destination wedding on the beach also! It’s 100% the way to go! I hope you had some yummy jerk chicken while you were there!

    Glad you guys had a blast and hope your enjoying the newlywed life! <3

  71. Dear Julie,

    I am so happy for you, thanks for all the inspiration, you are a beautiful soul and inspiration…

    Hugs,
    Cheryl Evenich

  72. I honestly have never read a lifestyle blog post of yours. Just some recipe ones and I have to say, I feel like I can feel your personality in this one and I loved reading it! Made me laugh…. a lot! And very relateable. Especially the “tucked in by 930” part. Now you make me wish we would have stuck to our guns and done destination style. Instead we are doing our backyard in two months. Also a cheaper route! Glad you had an awesome time! You looked AMAZING!

  73. Hi!! Congratulations, you looked INCREDIBLE. So happy for you.

    Random question: How did you keep your back from getting tanlines, AND still managing to have an incredible tan on your wedding day? I LOVE backless dresses, but have yet to manage your level of awesome tanline-free skin. What’s your tanning/self-tanner secret?

    Ps. this post definitely has me considering a destination wedding, even though Savannah is a beautiful place to call home!

    1. i tanned in a bed before i left. a self tanner would not cut it when it came to jamaican sun and not burning before our wedding day! i’m so glad i did because everyone else burned and i never did! i’m obviously not a fan of a tanning bed on a regular basis but i was happy i did it before that event.

  74. Congratulations! Beautiful wedding and dress 🙂 I’m from the Cayman Islands, but haven’t explored all of Jamaica (which is right next door!) Definitely got to do that soon 🙂 Congrats again.

  75. So I just started shopping for my wedding dress this weekend and ended up at a cute boutique in San Francisco that sold Katie May dresses. They are f-ing gorgeous! I think I tried every single lace one they had in the store. I even ended up trying on your dress. I think you pulled it off much better than I did. It ended up up being wayyyyy too boobalicious on me.

  76. Totally cool if you’d rather not get into it, but my SO and I just got engaged, and although I”m planning on veering a little away from a full-on destination wedding (i.e. I may be having a private ceremony state-side with just family beforehand and then just making the destination part a reception with friends who can make it), I’ve been trying to get an idea of what it will all cost. Would you mind telling me what the 10K included (aside from wedding attire)? I would love to be able to cover some portion of travel expenses for guests, but so far most budgets I see don’t tend to include that, so I”m trying to get a feel for what the budgets actually include. If yours didn’t include guest accommodation, would you happen to know how much each guest paid a night? Thanks for any info you’re willing to provide!

    1. I have no idea what they paid per night, but I think they paid about $2000 for 7 days with flight, hotel and all food and drink. does that help?

  77. I’m new here… Just found your blog as I was searching for recipes. Very lovely photos, wedding looks like a blast. I like the fact that you “shield” your hubby from public criticism. It is so thoughtful of you. But having married centuries ago in New York City, I spent a small fortune for family and friends to be there. Destination weddings don’t really seem “cheaper” – you just aren’t accommodating (paying for) your guests like you would having a wedding locally. Your invitation is for people to take a vacation with you on your wedding day and pay their own way. It’s fine, but it can’t be compared to a traditional wedding. Just my two-cents.

  78. I am so late to this post, but I follow your recipes and remembered you mentioning a destination wedding so I did some creeping in your blog lol, I recently got engaged and even before getting engaged I stressed out a LOT about how to possibly plan a wedding, because I have a) been a bridesmaid 100 times and seen so many brides completely freak out, and b) I have a gigantic family. But my fiance and I have been talking about doing a destination wedding for a while and ever since we settled on the idea and I did more online research I have felt SO much more relaxed about the whole thing, and reading this really got me even more excited! We’re looking at Las Vegas so it won’t be a week long party on the beach, but the ease of decision-making and lack of stress is soooooo appealing to me. The only downside is that our dog (a frenchie!) won’t be there. And your wedding was gorgeous!

    1. a destination wedding is SO EASY!! it seriously takes out all the stress! i hope your wedding goes super smooth so you can just enjoy every minute of it!

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