Oh, the destination wedding. It’s a ceremony and honeymoon in one, a great way to vacation with your nearest and dearest and absolutely perfect for travel-loving couples. The destination at the top of many marrying couple’s lust lists is Jamaica. The resplendent Caribbean island that gave us reggae music, Red Stripe beer, jerk sauce, is known as one of the happiest places in the Caribbean and has been crowned World Travel Awards’ leading wedding destination on four occasions.
To help you plan the Jamaican wedding of your dreams, we talked to luxury travel expert Dr. Terika Haynes. Read our recommended wedding locations below along with a few professional planning tips.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Terika Haynes has been in the travel industry for over 12 years. She is the owner of travel consultancy Dynamite Travel, which plans luxury destination weddings, honeymoon escapes, and LGBTQ+ getaways around the world.
Choosing Your Jamaican Wedding Venue
Paradise-loving couples won’t struggle to find a wedding location in Jamaica that wows. According to luxury travel consultant Dr. Terika Haynes, couples should think about timing, costs, and even the type of photos they’d like. "How many guests would you like to have? Would you like to have your wedding on a resort property or at a local venue? Do you want to have an adults-only wedding or have it open to all ages?" she asks.
Your budget will also certainly impact selecting your perfect location. Haynes notes that a modest-sized wedding in Jamaica costs between $10,000 to $15,000 but that some resorts do offer free wedding packages if the couple can meet their requirements. This is usually a minimum stay or minimum guest requirement. "Couples might also be able to obtain lower pricing if they choose an off or low season like fall," she says.
Now, read on for nine of the best locations for a Jamaica destination wedding.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
If a free wedding sounds appealing, have your ceremony at the sought-after all-inclusive Sandals South Coast. Three nights at this ravishing resort gets you a complimentary wedding including floral arrangements, cakes, marriage document preparation, a personal wedding planning team, romantic turn-down services, and a luxurious oceanview venue.
At Sandals, there are stunning wedding venues abound but the jewel in the hotel’s crown is the one-of-a-kind Over-the-Water Serenity Chapel. Any closer to the water and you’d be in it! Make the Caribbean Sea the backdrop of your dream day at this open-air, customizable site with see-through glass aisles and 360-degree panoramic views. Dr. Terika Haynes recommends this venue for couples with a small guest list that want a truly unique wedding experience.
Couples Resorts has four romance-ready all-inclusive properties in Jamaica: Couples Negril, Couples Swept Away, Couples San Souci, and Couples Tower Isle. The latter beckons lovebirds with the promise of your own private island to exchange vows. Just 100 yards off the shore, this seductively secluded location is a dream come true and is all yours for $4,750. Couples Tower Isle is the resort’s flagship retreat where beachfront ceremonies and opulent oceanfront garden gazebo parties are also on the cards.
Your wedding guests will be thoroughly entertained at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, which has a theater, shopping center, casino, spa, dive center, and an impressive eight bars serving top-shelf spirits. This AAA Four-Diamond all-inclusive resort has a delightful menu of romantic wedding packages. The 10-guest Wedding in Paradise package is complimentary for couples staying seven nights in the required room category; otherwise, a $999 fee applies. The Intimate Weddings Package at $2,999 caters to parties of up to 14 people. Secrets of Love includes all the bells and whistles for up to 30 guests at a cost of $3,399 while Secrets Ultimate ($3,799) goes further with ceremony décor, a cocktail hour with live music, private dinner reception with the hotel’s Gold menu, and many more magical touches.
Celebrity following? Tick. Glittering restaurants and a bar with over 100 rum varieties? Why not. Swimming with horses? Affirmative. Falling for Half Moon’s charm is near-inevitable. You’ll be please to be tipped off about this idyllic Montego Bay hotel that’s set on two miles of crescent-shaped beach. Half Moon has created two wedding offerings: Just the Two of Us for elopements with up to four guests and One Love, which is ideal for micro-weddings including an officiant, wedding planner, one-tier cake, live music, photographer, and webcast of the ceremony.
The resort is partitioned into three distinct areas. Eclipse, Founders Cove, and Rose Hall Villas, which has 24-hour butler service, a chef, private pools, five to seven-bedroom accommodations and is great for bridal parties and groups to stay and play together.
All Couples Resorts wedding packages include a personal wedding planner to ensure a stress-free spree. Brides, grooms, and their guests can enjoy endless luxuries at this all-inclusive Ocho Rios destination including unlimited premium bar selections, unlimited water sports, and 24-hour dining.
For nuptials, this all-suite, all-inclusive dreamboat destination has storybook venues like cliff-side gazebos overlooking the turquoise-tinted Caribbean. Betrothed twosomes can opt for the complimentary One Love package that’s already included in the rate. With this, a professional photo shoot, marriage certificate, wedding officiant, sparkling wine for up to six people, and a wedding cake are all thrown in. Upgrading to the elopement-friendly Runaway Bride package costs $350 and you’ll relish in a tender 25-minute massage for two after all is said and done. You can put your own spin on things, too, as all Couples Resorts wedding packages are customizable.
You’ve found someone that wants to love you and treat you right. Now take that special someone to Jamaica and tie the knot at one of the island’s most celebrated all-inclusive resorts: Jamaica Inn. Even Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller honeymooned here. Couples can take advantage of special packages including Wedding Bells for Two ($1,500, including tax and service charges) or wed at sunset with the Elope in Paradise package, which is $950 with a required five-night minimum stay. Jamaica Inn certainly wins in the looks and romance department.
Sandals Montego Bay is one of the six all-inclusive Sandals properties in Jamaica—all of which offer the aforementioned complimentary ceremonies with three-night stays. Staying longer opens up even more perks like room upgrades, photography and video credits, and discounted candlelight dinners under the stars. Weddings at this adults-only resort can take place in the Caribbean-caressing Over-the-Water Serenity Chapel, on the beach, in the garden gazebo, or at an oceanfront gazebo. Sandals Montego Bay was the first Sandals resort ever opened and it’s the only one with an on-site stained glass window chapel to exchange vows intimately.
From the very first time you bless your eyes on Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, you’ll be enamored. This five-star all-inclusive resort has beautifully landscaped grounds, the largest swimming pool in all of Jamaica, and perfect places for a reception to remember. Venue options for the ceremony include the dramatic Angels Atrium, which impresses with grand columns, marble tiles, sparkling pools, and gardens. Couples seeking that toes-in-the-sand experience should seek out the Beach Pergola while the Sunset Cove Gazebo is private and glamorous. All are wonderful locations for your once-in-a-lifetime event.
Right next door to sister property Secrets Wild Orchid, Secrets St. James Montego Bay has indoor and outdoor wedding venues including the St. James Ballroom that’s suitable for larger soirées. Couples can also say "I do" right on the seashore or in a magnificent wedding gazebo. You’ll have the support of a wedding coordinator throughout, dine on gourmet food and enjoy the best of the Caribbean under the stars. After your ceremony, you might just want to enjoy the 15,000 square foot Secrets Spa by Pevonia for rested luxuriating too, because having a ball at your dream wedding can indeed be serious work.