Why Romance Travel Group? Our original wedding date was set for June 11, 2020. We had been planning our destination wedding since November 2019 with another travel agency. We had a terrible experience and I had felt as though I was basically planning the travel on my own. When we had to cancel the first date due to COVID, I knew I wanted to go another direction with my travel agent. When we began to replan for our second date, I researched online for a travel agent that would be suited for us. I came across Romance Travel Group on the wedding website theknot.com and it was clear they would be the perfect fit! I received quick responses from them and was set up with my amazing travel agent, Ashley Jackson.
Why a destination wedding? Steven and I had talked about what wedding we wanted before we even got engaged. We both disliked that with traditional weddings, the focus is mostly on the guests and worrying with what they want. For us, it was especially important that our big day was about what he and I wanted every step of the way. So, we decided a destination wedding with our closest friends and family was perfect!
Biggest fears about a destination wedding? Steven and I had never flown internationally so our biggest concern was the logistics. Will our wedding be legal in the US, can I transport my wedding dress and decor safely, will we find a resort we feel safe at, etc. Then COVID happened and everything changed. Countries began implementing travel restrictions and had requirements of paperwork to do before traveling. Jamaica was no exception! The process was stressful but thanks to Ashley, we were able to enter the country safely and have the wedding of our dreams!
Wedding coordinator at the resort? For anyone planning a destination wedding I absolutely recommend Sandals resorts. I worked with a wedding planner remotely leading up to the wedding where I was able to detail exactly what I was looking for. Once we arrived on site with met with our wedding coordinator who was a dream come true! She walked us to our locations, discussed all our concerns, and went through every detail of wedding day. On the day of the wedding she was there the entire day, from starting our hair and makeup at 10am until after the reception ended at 8pm. She was there to pour us mimosas during our spa time and even helped carry my wedding dress train to the ceremony and reception areas (which were a bit of a walk between). She handled every detail of our big day flawlessly and I can’t say enough how thankful I was to have her! There were a few hiccups, but I never knew about them because she handled it all with ease.
Booking process for guests? Firstly, I would like to say that thanks to my travel agent, Ashley, I was able to have the wedding of my dreams! Without her this would not have been possible. She helped Steven and I, and our ten guests book their rooms and flights with ease. She provided charts with room options and pricing so each person could choose a room that fit their needs. She also kept me updated on who had booked and who she was still waiting to hear from. Everyone was appreciative for her prompt responses, as we were all rebooking this trip due to COVID and it was exceedingly difficult for everyone to get ahold of our previous travel agent even before COVID. Ashley gave everyone tremendous customer service and made each person feel like they were her only client. Not only this, but Ashley was able to get everyone room upgrades because we had to change resorts three weeks before the wedding due to COVID as well. I can’t speak highly enough of her!
Biggest fears as wedding date drew near? All my fears were COVID related, as the date drew nearer Jamaica began requiring new documentation and approval to enter the country. Each person had to be COVID tested within a certain amount of days before arrival and an online travel authorization form filled out. Once that was received, Jamaica would approve each person to enter the country. This was the most stressful part of the experience, as I felt responsible for all 12 people in my party. Once again, Ashley went above and beyond to relieve my fears. She spent countless hours on the phone with the Jamaican board of travel, even having multiple calls the day before our arrival to ensure our groups paperwork was all clear. I can’t say enough that without Ashley this wedding trip would not have been possible!
Guests wowed by all inclusive? I can speak for my husband and I, as well as each of my guests when I say Sandals Montego Bay absolutely wowed us! For most this was a first all-inclusive vacation, and it went above and beyond expectations. We were catered to from the moment we arrived to our transport back to the airport. Not only was the all-inclusive perfect for our guests, it really made our wedding day top notch. For our guests who had previously been to an all-inclusive they said confidently those other resorts did not compare to the service, food, and amenities that Sandals offered!
Easy/difficult traveling with wedding dress? I fell in love with an A-line gown that had a lot of volume and a long train. As such, I knew this wouldn’t be an easy gown to travel with. I couldn’t put it in a soft garment bag because the dimensions were too big so instead, I chose to fold it and place it in a carry-on. I was terrified to check my wedding dress so for me, a carry-on was the easiest way! The airline ended up making me check the bag at the gate because the dimensions were too big, but I informed them it was my dress, and they ensured it stayed safe.
Did you plan traditional wedding elements? We had a traditional wedding that would have been like one at home. Our ceremony was at an over the water chapel, followed by a cocktail hour at our reception area overlooking the ocean. After cocktail hour we had a sit-down dinner followed by drinks and dancing. The entire day was an absolute dream!
Best part of destination wedding? I loved that our wedding experience wasn’t just one day, it was for a week! Our guests also had an amazing all-inclusive vacation along with attending our wedding! We created memories with friends and family that will last with us for a lifetime. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a single thing, this destination wedding was perfect!
How did Romance Travel Group make everything less stressful? Romance Travel Group, and specifically my agent Ashley made the entire experience less stressful. She was always kind and prompt with responding to me, even when my anxiety was getting the best of me. I am so thankful I chose this travel agency to plan my destination wedding as they made my perfect day possible! She handled every detail with Jamaica’s COVID travel requirements, booking my guests rooms and flights, and ensuring we had all proper documentation for travel. She did a million other things that helped take the stress off me so I could look forward to the wedding of my dreams!
Would you recommend Romance Travel Group? I will ALWAYS recommend Romance Travel Group to anyone planning a destination wedding. I can’t say enough how great of an experience I had, especially in comparison to when I originally planned with another travel agent. Ashley was with me each step of the way, and even in the middle of a pandemic I had full confidence she would make our big day happen. For any brides planning a wedding during COVID, the best decision you could make is to have Romance Travel Group by your side to make your dream wedding happen!
Congratulations, Whitley & Steven!!!