Jamaica Destination Wedding
I recently visited Jamaica for the first time, hired by a Texas couple that realized hiring a professional photographer was the only way to go, after getting shirked by “friends with nice cameras”. We met over Thai food in downtown Austin, consuming spicy noodles, while talking logistics. I’m a highly experienced traveler, so that wasn’t what worried me. I was eager to add the 25th country to my passport! What concerned me was whether or not I could fit all of the lobster possible into my belly.
Jamaica gave a lot of blessings and a lot of frustrations. I found a surreal familiarity in the country, having lived in Hawaii for ten years, but couldn’t hold back my shock at some of the prices of things.
We’re going to discuss three upsides and three downsides to a Jamaica wedding today, hopefully to prep you for all of the facets of this delightful country!
I’m genuinely puzzled why taxis are so much. A taxi from Montego Bay to Negril is $100. To travel three miles down the road can cost up to $20, in a car that may have seatbelts or not. I read that a taxi from Negril to Kingston is $400! ONE WAY. I think about $300 was spent in taxis, for only five days and minimal traveling.
Welcome to Island Time, mon. You’d think with the average cost of tours being around $110 per person, that service would be impeccable, but you’d be wrong. My couple chose an all-inclusive hotel, something I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but worked for their wedding of 40+ guests. However, it almost seemed as if there was resentment from the residents of the country, common in places with stark poverty. Jamaicans earn an average of $75 for a forty-hour work week, while our tours cost double that for a couple hours of thrills.
Where does the money go?
I was also double-charged for an ocean view upgrade and it was made clear that if I didn’t pay, I would have the cops called on me. My complaints and one star reviews did nothing to remedy it. Another $200 down the drain.
I chose the good parts for last, because who wants to end something as a Debbie Downer?
All in all, I do think that Jamaica is a great location for weddings. While it’s VERY similar to Hawaii, the Hawaiian islands don’t have an all-inclusive resort anywhere, so that is something Jamaica has over them! Please, don’t let my fair review of Jamaica frighten you off.
—Jenna Avery, Creatrix Photography