What to expect at a Jamaican Wedding

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Jamaica is one of the most popular destinations for a wedding from the United Kingdom. Particularly when combined with a fantastic Jamaican honeymoon.

Jamaica has a lot to offer as an island, with calm, welcoming vibes, traditional jerk food and infectious reggae tunes. Not to mention the endless beautiful beaches and spectacular waterfalls to explore.

If you’re planning a Jamaican wedding, you’ll want to incorporate all of the island’s traditional flavors, such as curry goat.

You should embrace everything Jamaica has to offer during your preparations by incorporating local flora into your décor. There should also be a menu that allows your guests to indulge in local food. These include wedding favorites like jerk chicken and curried goat.

In the past, couples would pick the goat to be served at the reception together, and it would be slow-cooked for hours to tenderize it. Today, wedding caterers recreate the flavorful slow-cooking of the curry goat and prepare spicy jerk chicken over a BBQ. This eliminates the need for the couple to visit the farm prior to the wedding!

Don´t just focus on the food though. Have local beer and, of course, a rum in the other hand – the true taste of the Caribbean.

Guests should expect a welcome reception with rum punch and possibly rum shots for toasts.

A show-stopping cake is a part of every excellent wedding, and nothing beats a Jamaican Black Rum Cake.

Traditional Jamaican wedding cakes are soaked in rum. Both moist and flavorful, they are baked with a delicious blend of aromatic spices. The dried fruit in the cake has usually been soaking in rum since the engagement. You can imagine how powerful it is!

The wedding cake is traditionally hidden under a veil to keep it disguised until it’s time to be sliced. It’s a photo opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Because your guests will be coming from all over to attend your destination wedding, extend the celebrations beyond the wedding day by preparing a traditional Tun T’anks Sunday.

The wedding celebrations don’t finish when the reception ends. Guests continue the celebrations the next Sunday with cake and, you guessed it, more rum!

The couple and wedding party attend church together on Tun T’anks Sunday, the Sunday after the wedding. Following that, everyone returns to the bride’s home for a second reception, which is typically even bigger than the first! Another rum cake is usually served, with the top tier going to the host.

Another rum cake follows that one with the top layer going to the vicar. The second layer is for the newlyweds.

Because Christianity is the predominant religion in Jamaica, the wedding ceremony will be identical to that of the United Kingdom. You can have a civil ceremony and a celebrant-led wedding. Albeit the legal element of the wedding will have to be done separately for a celebrant wedding).

The only difference is that the bride is given away. Both of her parents usually do this. You’ll see the bride go down the aisle with her mother and father.

Often, the reception will last all night, with attendees dancing and drinking until morning.

You’ll also want to incorporate some Caribbean music. Have a steel drum band for arrivals, a reggae band for cocktail hour, and a local DJ for the reception.

You might imagine a Caribbean wedding as a large gathering of friends and family. Modest weddings are equally common in Jamaica though. For a private, personal vibe, you can marry in one of the numerous little chapels scattered over the island. Or pick for a remote alternative such as a wedding beside a waterfall or on the beach. Many resorts will offer specialized wedding areas, such as gazebos in the gardens.

Uninvited visitors frequently show up at local weddings to join in the festivities. This is anticipated and welcomed. If you’re renting out a neighborhood pub or restaurant for a dance party, expect a few more to show up. After all, the more the merrier, right?

Wedding favors are a newer tradition, but you can incorporate some traditional Jamaican goodies in yours.

Little bags of Blue Mountain Coffee, some of the world’s rarest coffee beans or bottles of local rum are excellent wedding favors. Your guests will love arriving at their hotel to find a few chilled cans of Red Stripe beer waiting for them.. You could also have some extras like banana snacks and tamarind balls.

Just because you’re on a Caribbean island doesn’t mean you have to wear your bathing suit. For weddings, Jamaicans usually dress up, and bright colors are frequent. What you wear is entirely dependent on the invitation’s dress code.

Remember to bring a jacket or wrap to cover sleeveless or strapless dresses if the wedding is in a place of worship.

A destination wedding is for more than just a day.

Your Jamaican destination wedding will be more than simply sun, sea, and sand (though it does sound appealing, doesn’t it?). If you´re etting married in Jamaica you should visit the island’s stunning lagoons, waterfalls, and lush landscapes.

Because locals frequently have a lot of celebrations leading up to the wedding, having dinner and drinks the night before and planning activities and excursions for guests staying at the hotel is a terrific idea. Dunn’s River Falls, the capital Kingston and the Bob Marley Museum, hiking in the Blue Mountains, and spending the day at pubs like the famed Rick’s Café, known for its cliff jumping, are just a few of the must-see places in Jamaica. If you’re a night owl, there’s plenty of great nightlife to choose from.