It’s November everyone, and we are so delighted to not only welcome this lovely month, but to also introduce you all to our bride of the week, Amber! Her Ocho Rios wedding to her handsome husband Jason, was filled with endless inspiration, love and every bit of destination wed magic that we love so much *guilty*. Inspired by their parents long and beautiful marriages, and their love for the Caribbean’s luxurious beaches and excursions, they worked with the amazing team at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande to create their perfect wedding day.
FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
Amber and Jason both have unique, personal styles- that much was obvious to me ever since we shot their “Spectre” inspired engagement session at the sand dunes. I met them in Jamaica a few months later for their intimate destination wedding in Ocho Rios.
Amber and Jason wanted more than a day celebrating with their closest family and friends. They spent the entire week enjoying the beautiful beaches, luxuries, and excursions offered by the 5-star, all-inclusive Moon Palace Jamaica Grande.
The night before the wedding, we gathered on the resort’s private beach for their rehearsal dinner under the market lights. Amber and Jason wanted to dedicate their day to their parents who have both been married 20 and 30+ years. Amber’s parents gave a warm welcome toast to kick off the festivities, then the rest of the evening was spent eating and socializing.
There were storm clouds looming on the day of the wedding. The morning started off quietly, with Amber and Jason getting dressed and prepped in their separate hotel rooms. We staged their first look on the grand staircase leading down to the dining hall.
I led them to a secluded spot overlooking the ocean, just past the resort. A tour boat honked and cheered for them as we took their couple’s portraits. Then, quite suddenly, the skies turned grey on us and it started to sprinkle. As soon as we made it back to the room, the tropical storm hit and it started pouring.
The little gazebo overlooking the ocean offered no cover from the rain and we were forced to wait out the storm to start the ceremony. The ceremony time was originally supposed to line up with the sunset, but it was dark by the time the rain let up. Still, the sparkling lights from the hotel in the background were quite romantic after night had fallen.
Luckily, the skies remained clear for the remainder of the reception. Amber and Jason wanted to use live entertainment rather than a DJ. They hired a solo guitarist to play during dinner, a jazz band, and ended the night with what was called a “traditional folk show.” This included a dance show, a man who danced with 3 very large burmese pythons , the “Jamaican James Brown”, fire dancers, and fire eaters.
We rolled with all the punches mother nature gave us that day. The next day was perfectly clear and beautiful, so I joined their family on an excursion to Konoko Falls and Park near the resort for some day after photos. Konoko Falls is nestled in the hills of St. Anne overlooking all of Ocho Rios. The park is home to a climbable waterfall, animal sanctuary, and botanical garden.
We met on eHarmony, and fell in love instantly. We had long decided that we wanted to get married. We wondered into a high-end vintage shop one Sunday afternoon on a day trip to Solvang, CA to celebrate my birthday, and ended up at the jewelry counter and found a beautiful diamond ring from 1950 that neither of us could take our eye off of.
We left the store ,and spent the day in the quaint little downtown. On our way back to the car to head back to LA, we walked passed the vintage store again. Jason stopped, turned and walked back into the store and bought me my dream engagement ring. It was a perfect day!
I wanted to feel like a bride but I also wanted to look like myself. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a very simple dress as far as materials went. I didn’t want lace detail or bling, but not too simplistic in the design either.
I also knew I wanted to finish the look with an amazing shoulder piece. I found my dress on the first day I went dress shopping, would you imagine! A beautiful strapless satin gown with awesome tulle detail at the bottom.
It took me 6 months, but I finally found the perfect crystal bolero by Hayley Paige to finish the look. I wore my hair down, wavy and messy which is my signature look.
Though we wanted a formal wedding, we knew from the start that we didn’t want Jason in a tux, but rather a perfectly fitted suit. We were both drawn to a bright blue color we had seen in a magazine or advertisement of some sort and we went on the hunt for the perfect blue suit. Once we found the suit, we paired it with a white and blue graphic shirt and thin black tie. He finished the look off with classic black & white chucks.
Though we were having a beach wedding, we wanted the decor to feel very luxurious. We did this through our color story, table settings, adding additional florals, a string light canopy, and a white dance floor with pin lights.
The most special moment of our wedding day was that my Mom married us.
Since we were required to choose a decor package that was provided by the hotel, we purchased additional florals, white roses in tall glass vases, to add a more high-end and elegant look to our reception.
We dedicated our wedding to our parents, who have both been married 20 and 30+ years. Unfortunately, the dedication we framed for our parents got rained on and washed out, so we weren’t able to use them.
We really wanted our wedding to feel like a huge celebration of love, family and friendship. We wanted to use live entertainment rather than a DJ, so we hired a solo guitarist to play during dinner, a jazz band, and we ended the night with what was called a “traditional folk show” which included a dance show, a man who danced with 3 very large burmese pythons , the “Jamaican James Brown”, fire dancers, and fire eaters.
Our main reason for choosing to have a destination wedding was that we wanted more than just the one day with our family and friends. We wanted an entire week of travel, beaches, luxury and excursions, to create memories with all the people we love that we know will last a lifetime. Our wedding day theme was Beach Metals. We used a color palette of beachy peaches and blues accented with beautiful metallics in rose gold, gold, and silver.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEWLY-ENGAGED COUPLES?
Breathe. On my day, everything that could go wrong did, but in the end, it was still the most perfect day. And all the near disaster moments only made it better!! Just be in the moment, because it truly is so fleeting.
Thank you so much to the sweet couple for sharing their love story with us, and the amazing Paige Nelson Photography for these drop dead gorgeous images.
Photography: Paige Nelson Photography | Venue: Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa | Dress Designer: Alvina Valenta | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Men’s Apparel: Express & Ted Baker | Wedding Dress Store: Lovella Bridal | Coordinator: Nischelle Serju, Moon Palace | Crystal Bolero: Hayley Paige | Officiant: Vickie Bailey (Bride’s mother) | Photobooth Company: Freeze Frame | Wedding Favors: Welcome Bags (Created by Bride) | Invitations: Carlson Craft | Bridal Clutch: Betsy Johnson | Resort Decor: Pure Package | Additional Decor (string light canopy, dance floor, florals): The Destination Collective | Submitted via Two Bright Lights |