Haven’t been to Jamaica yet? Well, let me tell you, you need to get there! The laid back people, the flame grilled jerk chicken, the lush Blue Mountains, the white sand beaches, the Blue Mountain coffee, the mouthwatering mangos (I over indulged during my most recent stay)…are just a few of my favorite things about Jamaica. Having a destination wedding in Jamaica is even better.
Here are 8 reasons why you should have your destination wedding in Jamaica:
Sure there are plenty of amazing beaches, but if you’re looking for something more than just a beach, this is your place. The island is lush and tropical with mountain and ocean views. Negril, is known for the famous 7 Mile Beach, which is a powdery white sand beach on clear blue waters. Montego Bay has more smaller beaches on inlets rather than one long beach lined with resort. This can be a positive if you’d prefer a more private ceremony on the beach.
Insider tip: the resort with the most mountainous views is Secrets St James & Wild Orchid.
It’s fairly accessible with daily direct flights from most major US cities. Southwest Airlines (my fave airline) has direct flights from Chicago a few times a week. This is a plus, since lots of people want to use their points!
Montego Bay is a short 15-30 min drive to most resorts in the vicinity. If you stay in Ocho Rios or Negril, expect your drive to be an hour to an hour and a half.
There are plenty of resorts to choose from for all different price ranges, amenities and styles. There are boutique properties, like Sunset at the Palms, with only 85 rooms or Secrets Wild Orchid/St James that is on the larger scale with 500+ rooms. Therefore, there’s a resort for everyone!
If you’re looking for an adult only resort, with no kids, you’ve come to the right place. Jamaica invented the adult only/ couples only resorts so they do it right and there are dozens to choose from.
Altitude, rooftop restaurant at Breathless Montego Bay
4. No Residency Period for a Legal destination wedding Ceremony in jamaica
If you want a legal wedding ceremony (where you officially get married on the island) it’s one of the easiest of the islands to do so. You can be married in less than 24 hours after your arrival, providing prior application was made for a marriage license. Jamaica doesn’t have a residency requirement. This means you can get married the day after you arrive! Just apply online here and submit the required documentation before you travel. And no blood test like Mexico! Easy peasy!
5. Foodie’s Paradise
Are you a foodie or just really enjoy good quality food? Well, Jamaica is the place for you! Every meal I’ve eaten has been pretty outstanding and I am pretty picky. Especially if you love jerk chicken! Oh, and the Blue Mountain coffee is to die for!!
Insider tip: If you want to bring some of the coffee home with you, buy it at a local shop (or on the hip strip in Montego Bay) because it’s so much cheaper than at the airport. On the other hand, the jerk chicken seasoning and hot sauce is actually really cheap at the airport stores.
Mr Sunshine at Zoetry Montego Bay
Insider tip: Go off the beaten path and eat at Scotchies, the original jerk chicken restaurant.
6. Unique Culture
You’ll never be bored on this island, as there are so many activities to do, and not just water activities! Zip lining, food tours, appleton rum estate, cool runnings, Martha Brea rafting, horseback riding, Rasta stuff… I could go on.
Ocho Rios & Montego Bay are closer to all the adventurous activities. Where as Negril, has more beach focused activities rather than adventure. The most popular thing to do in Jamaica all over the island is to go on a catamaran cruise around the island. They’re so much fun – think booze, snorkeling and jumping off a giant yacht (if you’re not chicken!).
7. English speaking
Everyone on the island speaks English so there’s no language barrier. Jamaicans do have their own slang that they speak to each other in. It’s fun to listen to Jamaicans speak and try and figure out what they’re saying. Some of the slang words you might here are…
‘Weh Yuh Ah Seh’ = What are you saying?
‘Wah Gwaan’ = What’s up? Or How are you?
‘Irie’ = Everything is alright and fine
‘Ya Mon’ = no problem or okay
8. Legal marijuana
Hey, to each their own! If this is something you believe in, then have at it! You can smoke it legally on the beach and there are plenty of people that sell it on the island. If you use it medicinally, then even better… you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation pain free!
Let’s Get your wedding planning to jamaica started!
I know you probably still have a lot of wedding planning to do, but reminiscing about Jamaica makes me want to catch the next plane out of Chicago! If you’re still deciding on a date for your destination wedding check my post on Fun 2021 Wedding Dates, and then give me a call or book a time to talk. Making magical weddings happen is what I do, and I would love to be your destination wedding expert.