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We live in Toronto and we wanted a destination wedding outside Canada for several reasons. We were looking for a quiet, intimate wedding with a fantastic view for unbelievable pictures. A place where we could chill-out and have a fun reception. Also, just after the wedding, we wanted a vacation with the closest people in our lives along with some personal honeymoon time at an exotic location. We considered Mexico, but there were some concerns about crime. Dominican was not at an option, as my brother Sid got married there and most guests had already been there. Therefore, we settled on Jamaica due to its easy accessibility for guests, and the beautiful yet not-hugely-expensive resorts for stay.

 

The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa

The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa was a much newer resort with several gazebos to meet our needs. And we had read some great reviews on their food, rooms and service. Some of the rooms had ocean views but all the rooms, which were very spacious, had a jacuzzi hot tub there as well. Also, we found out that this resort has hosted Indian weddings, and has a restaurant to cater to Indian lunches and dinners.

The Wedding Planner

Lorainne Yap, the wedding coordinater from the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa helped us coordinate the wedding. She was fantastic in helping us accommodate last-minute requests from the priest and the families.

The Functions

Welcome Dinner
On our second night at the resort (and first night for some guests), we had a dinner on the beach- our party got to mingle and get to know each other followed by a few games which the resort organised- where the bride and groom participated, bringing laughter to all. After the event, we met at the Infinity bar to tell guests the program for the wedding day and most of us had an early night.

Wedding (January 7th, 2012)
We had a Hindu ceremony with a simple white decor at the garden gazebo which was on the edge of a cliff facing the ocean and several mountains. We wanted the view to be the highlight so we didn't go for elaborate decor - a combination of red and blue flowers to match the bride's outfit, a gorgeous blue and red lehenga.,

Reception

Our reception started with a cocktail hour with only sangria to ensure our guests arrived on time. Since Jas was wearing a beautiful peachish pink lehenga, we decided to have our flowers with a peachish theme and our cake with peachish flowers to match. Our table set-up was u-shaped to ensure our guests could see our program agenda (a few heartfelt speeches by close friends and family along with a touching video) while they enjoyed the dinner. After dinner, we proceeded to cut our cake and have our first dance. After which, we played our music, customized by DJ Double A, a well known Indian Canadian DJ.

For the wedding Gautam wore a Sherwani while Jas wore a blue lehenga by Reeta Shahani (reeta.shahani@gmail.com). For the Reception Gautam wore a Harry Rosen suit with a matching peachish-pink tie and pocket square while Jas wore a peachish pink lehenga saree by Reeta Shahani.

Recommendations/ Advice
1.If you can, organise a Destination Wedding, to ensure your family can enjoy a vacation and get to experience a new place.
2.A destination wedding can be expensive and time-consuming for guests, so please thank them with special, memorable token of your appreciation. We gave our guests an iPod Shuffle (engraved with our initials and wedding date) with 6 hours of our reception music so they can remember our big day.
3.Spend time on deciding on the wedding photographer. We went with Jamie Dimitry(www.jamiedimitry.com) who specializes in destination weddings, he clicked some amazing pictures, we shared some wedding pictures at the reception, and it was a big surprise for the guests.
4.We personally felt that the combination of the Jamaican landscape and Indian outfits make pictures standout and look gorgeous.
5. Please give your guests sufficient notice so they can save the date and plan time off accordingly.

Gautam is an IT Project Manager at Procter and Gamble in Toronto and Jas is a student at Humber College for a post-graduate accelerated Child and Youth Worker Program

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