Let’s talk destination weddings… a destination Sandals wedding… in Montego Bay, Jamaica
I had never thought of doing a destination wedding myself. I wanted the huge party with all of my family and friends. However, that planning got overwhelming, and at points, I dreamed of a microwedding or elopement somewhere warm. Although I never acted on it, I now know that Sandals Montego Bay (my honeymoon location) fit the bill. I could’ve had a Sandals wedding and had it all take place at one location!
I’ve been going to Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica since 2017. What started as a honeymoon turned into almost yearly return trips. Why? Because we have found the most amazing human beings that work on resort, and we just can’t wait to go back and see them. They become friends, and it completely adds to the experience. Not to mention the absolutely stunning grounds and backdrops. Sandals Jamaica is *cue Michael Scott singing* paradise! Honestly, this resort is everything it’s made out to be = absolutely magical.
Although, if you’ve found my blog, it’s not likely that you are simply looking for travel recommendations. You are planning a destination wedding. First and foremost, congratulations! This is likely going to be the most fun (but potentially stressful) experience of your life! Good news – there’s help for the stressful parts.
The Sandals Difference
Sandals is a well-oiled machine when it comes to weddings; they have multiple weddings daily at each resort. Now, I can only speak about Montego Bay (MoBay, for short), but they have definitely got it going on. I have watched around 15 weddings on resort, and I have photographed one wedding. Check that wedding out here. If you choose Sandals Montego Bay to celebrate your Weddingmoon, the most stressful part of the planning will be to get you on resort. Once you’re there, no problem mon!
You are even given the option to come down to the resort at a lower cost to scope out the wedding planning process, venues, etc. With airline prices what they are, it’s not a bad idea at all. Let me give you all the details about weddings at Sandals Montego Bay!
First things first…
If you book a stay that is three days or longer, you can receive a free wedding. Yep, that’s right – FREE. It’s pretty amazing. You are given the options of a few free locations. You can also pay a small fee to upgrade the space, like adding flowers, lanterns, or draping. This does not apply to a Retie the Knot ceremony – that costs additional.
This first option is one of my favorites. It’s private and has absolutely stunning views. It provides some shelter from that spicy Jamaican sun, while still providing those views. This particular wedding added the drapery for a small up-charge. If you want to see a real wedding, check out April & Chris’ wedding blog post here.
This option is perfect for just you and your person! It’s the smallest venue, so it’s perfect for just you and your person! (and your photographer – don’t forget about us!) There are a couple “cons” to this location. 1. If it is windy, you will hear the flags banging around on the poles. 2. It is directly off the main beach, so you’ll have some people watching. It can be also tough to hear depending on how loud the daily music/activities are on the beach. It is, however, truly beautiful.
On the Beach
I mean, you’re in Jamaica. One of the best options for your wedding ceremony is right on the beach. I’m talking toes in sand, ocean lapping by your feet, salty breeze in your hair.
This is a perfect option if you want the beautiful views, but don’t feel like being in the center of the resort action. This venue is tucked behind a restaurant (Tokyo Jo’s) and the Almonds building which houses many types of rooms. However, since there is no beach directly in front of this beach, it is usually very quiet during the day. It even provides a little bit of shade, while adding the peaceful swaying palm trees. FUN FACT: This can also be a reception location, even if you choose to have your ceremony at a different location.
If you want to have the classic church experience, you’re in luck! You can get married inside the chapel at Sandals Montego Bay. It is surrounded by lush green gardens, and it has the most beautiful stained glass. Although I couldn’t get a photo of the inside of the chapel, check out my Pinterest board here to see Sandals own photos of the chapel.
Okay, so this one is the best-of-the-best. You get the church, the ocean, a literal wedding bell to ring, and the privacy of being separate from the beach. This location does cost an extra $750, but to me, it seems very much worth it. I’ll just let the photos do the talking.
Things to Consider…
- If you don’t know, Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica is right next to Sangster International Airport. It is wonderful for travel time, but can be tricky with saying romantic vows to each other over the water. The sound only lasts 10 seconds, and then it’s back to the waves lapping on the shore. Just be prepared to perhaps pause your vows for a second if needed. The planes are active daily between 9:30am and 7:00pm. If deciding on when to have your ceremony, check out Flight Aware to see how many planes fly out on your chosen day/time to have an idea of what to prepare for.
Here’s the thing: Jamaica is in the tropics. The weather is unpredictable. It will be sunshiny & perfect 99% of the time, but then a storm rolls off the mountain with no warning. The good news: the storms are quick and can make for some awesome photos. Here are a few from a wedding I photographed in 2021. When it started raining right after their ceremony, they decided to make the most of it.
Test Drive Your Day
Sandals offers a test drive program, where you can come to the resort at a discounted rate before your big day. You get to look at the locations in person, meet with your wedding coordinator, and pick out all of the options for your big day!
If you have any other questions, reach out! I’d love to chat with you about destination wedding options at Sandals Montego Bay.
Feel free to check out more of my weddings on my portfolio.