Where it all Started
Jennifer and Patrick first met through an online dating site, but when they first locked eyes in real life there was an instant chemistry. Jennifer, a registered nurse, and Patrick, a police officer, nursed their drinks for hours, surprised that they had so much to share. Not long after they met, both knew that this relationship was something special. Jennifer loved how thoughtful, considerate and loving Pat is – particularly with her children. Pat knew that Jennifer was “his person” after just a couple of months.
After two years of building a new life together, Pat took Jennifer on a trip to Mexico. They spent the day on a romantic catamaran excursion, and then moved onto a candlelit dinner on the beach. Over a delicious dinner, Pat popped the question under the moonlight, and Jennifer was thrilled. At the end of the night after the excitement of the engagement (which was shortly followed by a fire show), they enjoyed another catamaran ride back to the resort. It was truly a night to remember.
Planning the Wedding
Both Jennifer and Pat love to travel, especially spending time on sandy beaches under a warm tropical sun. So, a destination wedding seemed like the obvious choice when they started planning. They chose Jamaica for a number of reasons, including the ease of obtaining a legal marriage as a Canadian couple. Also, they hadn’t visited the island before and loved the idea of spending some time exploring a new and beautiful place. Riu Ocho Rios – a massive and stunning resort overlooking the Caribbean coast – was the perfect choice and the couple couldn’t have been happier.
On February 10, 2017, Jennifer and Pat exchanged vows in front of an intimate group of just thirteen friends and family. Everything had been perfect up to that point: Sunwing took great care with Jennifer’s dress on the flight down to Jamaica, and they were treated like royalty at the airport. When the couple finally made it to their beautiful beach-gazebo venue, they were accompanied by the sound of a steel drum band – the exact local ambiance they were looking forward to.
For both Jennifer and Pat, their favourite moment was exchanging their respective, very heartfelt self-penned vows. The wedding, decked out in white and red decorations, was both casual and cozy. The small wedding group moved on to the resort’s steakhouse for dinner. Then, after a wonderful week with friends and family, Jennifer and Pat moved onto the adults-only Riu Palace in Montego Bay to relax in the privacy of a Jacuzzi suite.
Wedding Day Wear
Jennifer’s gown: The bride’s sweetheart neckline dress (with pretty layers of tulle) was by Judi’s Wedding World in Moose Jaw.
Jennifer’s shoes: White flip-flops
Jennifer’s accessories: Foot jewelry from Etsy and headpiece purchased at a wedding store in Moose Jaw.
Pat’s attire: The groom wore tan linen pants and an ivory short-sleeved shirt.
The bridesmaids wore: Jennifer had one bridesmaid, and she came to the wedding with her seven-week-old baby. She was given an open choice to wear whatever she was comfortable in. She chose a soft gray draped gown – perfect for a casual beach wedding.
The groomsmen wore: The same attire as the groom, including tan linen pants and an ivory short-sleeved shirt.
Wedding bands: Purchased at Michael Hill.
Flowers: A tropical bouquet with red, orange and cream flowers
Photographer: Irie Images, the resort photographer (who was awesome to deal with)
Hair and makeup: Renova Spa (the resort spa); hair was an updo with fresh flowers
Stationary and invitations: Invitations were sent out online.
Favours: Hand-held fans in case any guests got too hot during the ceremony.
Welcome gifts: We made welcome bags for the guests with a beautiful beach bag, lip balm, hand lotions, beach themed wine stopper and bottle opener, etc.
First dance: A steel drum band played “Is This Love” by Bob Marley.
Tips for Brides and Grooms
- Using an on-site wedding planner at the destination site makes all the difference. Our planner, Keisha, was so helpful with the last-minute details and really put our minds at ease.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are getting married in paradise!