Jamaican Me Crazy for a Destination Wedding

By Lesley Carter

We met in New Brunswick, Canada and visited seven countries before our three-month anniversary. After a wild engagement, a destination wedding was the best fit for us. We wanted to travel the world and live a life of adventure. It might sound crazy, but it’s six years later and we’re still doing it. Sometimes plans don’t go as expected though and the easy choice of a destination wedding turned into a whirlwind of surprises.


We worked with Maritime Travel in early October. We walked into the office and met with an agent. No appointment was necessary, and we were there for less than an hour. The agent showed us books and websites with possible options and made suggestions based on our price range, the number of guests attending (we already decided it would be an intimate experience with immediate family and friends), what type of activities we wanted included, and the type of wedding (beach, gazebo or indoors).

beach weddingShe showed us a resort in Jamaica that offered trapeze lessons, rock climbing, and jet-skiing, and the choice was obvious. We would visit a tropical paradise for a few days, learn to perform a trapeze act and perform it on our wedding day. It was completely bizarre and exactly what we wanted. Our relationship had been one crazy dream after another, so we wanted our wedding to be the same. With 20 people attending, our package was free, and our guests received a discount. We would all leave from Moncton, New Brunswick on January 1 for a January 4 wedding.

After making a down-payment, our designated wedding coordinator from the resort contacted us via email with all of the preparations. All we needed to confirm was if we wanted to get married on the beach and what music, colors, and type of cake we wanted. We had limited choices with our package, but it made the decisions really easy. It was simple, right? Well, when you put two dreamers together like Darren and I, insanity is almost expected.

Related: Top 10 Tips from a Destination Wedding Bride

By late October, only a few weeks later, my then-fiancée and I decided to move to California; however, our group was booked through Moncton. When we tried to change our departure location for the wedding, it was a problem. Everyone would lose the discount, and we’d arrive on different days. Rather than changing everyone’s plans, we decided to stick with a Moncton departure. We flew home for the holidays, allowing everyone to leave together as planned.

Lesley's wedding dress

Photo provided by Lesley Carter

On New Year’s Eve, the night before we left, my mother asked me to try on my wedding dress. Excitedly, I agreed. I had packed it in my suitcase and never worried much about wrinkles because I could steam it when we arrived in Jamaica. When I opened the bag, though, the pink dye from the suitcase had run all over my dress. It was a tie-dyed, blotchy mess the night before we left, and it was New Year’s Eve so nothing was open. My mother used a few Tide To Go pens and Tided my entire wedding dress, but you don’t want to resort to Tide pens in a last minute panic!

With a different suitcase from my mom and a bag around my dress this time, we boarded our flight to Jamaica.

Surely it would be smooth sailing from this point on, but when we were shown to our room, we realized my husband’s parents had the room next to us. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but the last people I wanted sleeping in the room next to me on my wedding night were my in-laws. A few last-minute room changes gave us some much needed privacy.

Related: The Destination Wedding Guide

We met with the wedding coordinator the day after we arrived in Jamaica, and she went over the details with us. She explained that an attendant would meet me at my room when it was time for me to walk down the beach. The wedding was scheduled for 2:00, but since the bride is the last to arrive and we were on Island Time, the attendant would take the guess work out of wondering if everything was set.

Photo provided by Lesley Carter

Photo provided by Lesley Carter

I woke up early, put on my white-again dress, and had a few drinks with my sister and friends before the ceremony. I danced down the beach and ran toward Darren when I saw him. We took ridiculous photos, performed our trapeze act, rock climbed, kayaked, jet skied and splashed in the water all in our wedding attire. You can’t get hitched without a hitch, but our wedding was as laid-back as we are in a beautiful setting surrounded by family and friends.


Follow Lesley’s globe-trotting adventures on Bucket List Publications, and look for more of Lesley’s adventures in On the Go: A Magazine for Travelers. presented by GOGO Vacations!