Planning a destination wedding can be taxing, especially if you're not familiar with the exotic destination you have in mind. One of the hardest parts about planning a destination wedding is selecting the perfect location. If you're thinking about planning your nuptials on the beautiful island of Jamaica, we've done the hard work for you! The Tryall Club, in Montego Bay, Jamaica is an absolute gem and a couples dream destination wedding location. The Tryall Club is known as one of Jamaica’s premier destinations that offer luxury accommodations and the hospitality of a true villa lifestyle. There is an ideal villa for everyone: families, couples, single friends and more. Guests may choose from among 75 privately-owned Estate villas, each offering its own distinctive style and charm. We got a chance to catch up with Melissa Forbes, who oversees Tryall’s wedding planning process, to get the 411 on how to plan an amazing destination wedding. Check out Melissa's top destination wedding planning tips below!
Full Name: Melissa Forbes
Name of your business or company: The Tryall Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica
How long have you been in the industry? 2 years in the weddings industry
Specialty: Weddings & Events
1. What kind of wedding services does The Tryall Club offer?
The Tryall Club offers personalized wedding services and helps turn each brides’ unique vision into reality! We take care of every aspect of your wedding day from exotic locations with panoramic views, to breathtaking centerpieces for floral & décor, rhythms & sounds of Jamaica for your entertainment, as well as tantalizing creations from our culinary experts served by our experienced professionals.
2. What’s included in the most popular wedding package?
We don’t have packages as we believe in creating unique one-of-a-kind weddings with whatever our brides desire. Our talented team will work together with the bride to create the ambiance and theme she wants. With only one wedding per day, we are able to give personalized service with our entire team dedicated to the bride ensuring her day is a flawless production!
3. What should brides know before they start planning a destination wedding?
It is AMAZING and EASY! Not only do you have all your favorite people in one place celebrating your special day, but this wonderful occasion has brought family and friends together that you may not have seen in years! Some other tips are:
- If possible, be flexible with your dates
- It’s cost effective
- Most destinations have first class vendors with international experience so no need to worry!
- Ask a lot of questions and read reviews
- Once you find a great destination/property like The Tryall Club – no worries — trust your planner who will guide you and give you expert advice.
4. What are the first steps in planning and how do you assist new brides who are not from the area?
The first step for me is always listening to the bride to understand her vision and then making recommendations to turn her dreams into reality. Pictures help! Many of my brides have never seen the locations prior to arriving on island for the wedding; however, I send pictures of the locations so they can see what it looks like as an empty space as well as when it is “all dolled up”
5. What are some tips that you have for brides looking to have an amazing destination wedding on a budget?
- Start planning early, this way you can take advantage of discount opportunities as well as lower fares for advanced bookings
- Book during the off-season, rates are much lower and hotels have less persons in-house which makes it feel like you have the property to yourself!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount
- Keep it “small & sweet”, if possible! Reduce your guest list, the more persons you have the more of everything you will need
- Share your budget with your planner, and listen to their recommendations. They may be able to identify areas you can save on without compromising the look and feel you want for your special day
6. How far in advance should couples start planning?
As far in advance as possible! Earlier is better to secure locations, preferred dates and vendors. Plus once you have an idea of pricing you will have time to save for extras.
7. What time of year is the best time to plan a wedding? Can couples save money by marrying during the off-season?
Yes they definitely can! Some other considerations are hurricane season or planning a wedding in fall as it is much cooler in Caribbean destinations. Holidays are good options, so invited guests will actually have the time off from work/school.
8. How should a couple go about sourcing vendors in a foreign country?
Talk to your planner and read the reviews! Does Tryall assist with that? We definitely do! The Tryall Club chooses the “best of the best” in their field to ensure that our brides and their guests have an amazing day! Our vendors are not only the best at what they do but are also flexible and easy to work with!
9. What kind of activities should couples consider for their guests pre and post-wedding?
A welcome cocktail is a must! This allows everyone to meet and greet and a great avenue to communicate the activities of the next couple of days (in addition to the itineraries in the welcome bags /packets). Tours are another must, from Catamaran Cruises, Ziplining or Horseback riding. Get the family and friends out to explore the destination, this adds to the memories!
10.What are some of the best locations on and off site to get married?
We have amazing options here at The Tryall Club. The Great House with majestic views of the lush landscape and turquoise waters of the ocean. Beach options that offer “your toes in the sand” or the gentle waves as a backdrop for the exchange of vows or a Gazebo stretched out over the Ocean caressed by the Caribbean breeze.
11.Will the onsite wedding coordinator take care of all of the planning and production or should couples hire their own planner?
This depends on the property that you choose; however at The Tryall Club, I handle the planning and execution of the wedding day! My aim is to make the planning process and the wedding day as stress free for the bride as possible by fine tuning all the details months in advance and being the go-to person for all things wedding. I handle all vendors prior to and on the day this way the bride only has think about remembering to say “I do!"
Are you thinking about planning a gorgeous destination wedding? For more information on how to plan your wedding or special event at the The Tryall Club, visit www.tryallclub.com or contact reservations toll free at 1.800.238.5290 or e-mail Melissa at [email protected]. Be sure to keep up with The Tryall Club on Facebook and Twitter!
Melissa Forbes oversees Tryall’s wedding planning process, from the initial consultation with a bride to every conceivable detail on that most important day. Whether a bride prefers an elegant affair or a casual celebration, Melissa provides the insight, and the expertise, to make that vision a reality. She has years of experience working as a wedding planner and events coordinator, bringing skills honed from managing hundreds of events.