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  1. #1

    Default 2013 Wedding at CSA advice


    My boyfriend of 6.5 years made me a very happy lady on Christmas morning and asked me to marry him

    we're planning on buying a house in 2012, so we will most likely have a 2013 wedding, but we have already decided that we want to get married abroad, since we want to have a fantastic wedding without spending the average 20k that couples spend on weddings in the UK!

    I have decided that CSA is the place for us. Neither of us have been to Jamaica before, but I've read wonderful reviews about Couples and SA looks like a beautiful resort.

    Any help/advice would be very much appreciated. Are there many couples on the mb from the UK who have gotten married at CSA?

    what's everyone's opinion on room type? Am I right in thinking that the beach front veranda suites have the best views? or are other room types better?

    We'll be booking via a travel agent, but only one (Virgin) seems to offer upgrades to the BFVS and I've read bad things about them, so I'm wondering whether it's worth the risk?

    Does it make much difference which travel agent you use? do the wedding packages/experience vary much once you get there?

    I will most likely be looking to hire a photographer, rather than using the resort photographer as the resort packages don't seem to offer many photos and that's the one thing I really do want to push the budget on. Can anyone recommend good photographers in the area? I've been reading the boards and have seen several names mentioned, but it's so hard to choose!

    also, does anyone have an opinion on what time of year is best? I was thinking December/January time as I've heard they're fairly dry months in Jamaica and not the hottest either (obviously it's going to be hot regardless, but I'd rather not book the hottest month of the year.

    I realise i'm planning well in advance, but i'm so excited and we've got a lot going on this year. Ideally, I'd like to get it all sorted and go for December 2012/January 2013, rather than waiting longer, but I've applied to go to Uni (i'm 27, but didn't figure out what i wanted to do when i was younger) to do a Midwifery degree and i need to wait until April when i find out whether I've got a place on the course before making concrete plans as I'll be restricted as to when I can go so as not to miss important lectures/placements.

    any advice would be appreciated. good luck to all you 2012 brides!!

  2. #2


    We've booked Misha Earle for photography, I noticed that the rates dropped a lot in the middle of April, so that would be the end of the high season. If I had my way we would be going then instead of June, but we had to wait for school to end.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply, Brynn

    well... i've never been very patient... we have booked our wedding! we will be getting married at 11am on New Years Eve 2012 at Swept Away!!!

    I've emailed a few photographers and will wait to make a final decision until i hear back from them. I was impressed with the speediness of the reply I got from Diana Campbell - I emailed late on New Years Eve and received a reply within a couple of hours. I know i have to take the time difference into account, but that's still impressive! lol.

    her prices seem good too, but perhaps too good to be true? she seems lovely (from her email) and seems to want to go out of her way to make our day perfect, but I've read a couple of bad reviews of her work on other sites, and i must admit, i am wary as to how she can turn the photos around so quickly - she said we'd receive them before we leave Jamaica, which would be fantastic, but very quick. and for such a great price too!

    i'll wait until I hear back from some of the others. I've also emailed Brian Nejedly, Stacey Clarke, Sun Gold, Misha Earle and I think one other, but it's all a blur now! if anyone has any opinions on any of the above, i would very much appreciate it! x

    (and Happy New Year!)

  4. #4



    We are going back to CSA for the second time in June 2012 - this time to get married! We went in Sep 2010 for 2 weeks and vowed to come back again, didn't realise then that we would be getting married there but we felt the same re the whole 20k wedding thing - not worth it for 12 hours of our lives - we are having an evening reception when we get back but the wedding/honeymoon will be just me and my man for 2 weeks!

    We stayed in a beachfront verandah and booked through Virgin last time and we have gone for the same room again as we feel it was the best room of the resort, make sure you get a room on the 1st or 2nd floor as the ground floor rooms are lacking in privacy. The Beachfront Suites are more spacious and have a hammock on the balcony etc but they don't have a TV so it's up to you which you want more, we opted for TV although we didn't spend much time watching it!

    This time we have booked directly though Couples which use Kenwood Travel Agents and so far they have been very helpful. We were put in touch with the Couples weddings team straight away and I've been in email contact with them about various things and they are also very helpful. If you want a stress free wedding I think you'll be going to the right place as every review I've read so far has been nothing but positive.

    When we booked our holiday we were told that if we chose a room that was mid grade price wise or above (BV is) we would get the One Love wedding package thrown in for free which is great. From the sounds of things on the MB's, most of the brides have upgraded their bouquet a little but it only costed $35-80 to do that. As we are travelling alone we are more than happy with the 2 tier cake that's included, we are having a private dinner on the beach in the evening of our wedding day ($170 I believe), and we are still deliberating about photographer. Not sure whether to go for the resort photographer, but you only get 36 photos max, or have heard really good reviews of Stacey Clarke and Diana Campbell so will be getting in touch with them shortly, although you have to pay a $500 surcharge to CSA to get external photographers on the resort for the day, people that have done that said it was well worth it as the packages are better and you get better pictures etc.

    Whereabouts are you from? We are in Surrey

    Good luck with the planning

    Emily x

  5. #5


    Oh....and Misha Earle looks v good also!

  6. #6


    hi Emily,

    we're in Kent so not far away. congratulations on your wedding - i'm sure you'll have a wonderful day. i've decided we're going to book Stacey Clarke. She's really lovely to speak to (she called me to discuss things) and she's offered me a really good deal too. I think she'll be worth the money.

    I ended up booking with Virgin. we've gone for the Beachfront Verandah room as I want a really good view. I'd prefer a 1st / 2nd floor room for the privacy, but my fiance would like a ground floor room for the convenience, so we'll just wait and see what we're given and at least one of us will be happy! lol.

    I booked the actual wedding directly with Couples though. still got plenty of time to get everything sorted - it feels like ages away!!

  7. #7


    Hi PD,
    Well done on booking etc! What dates did you go for in the end? How exciting!
    I've just emailed Stacey Clarke, Misha Earle and Diana Campbell so I'll see what they come back with...

    What part of Kent are you in? I know it a bit.

    I'm getting excited about it now, just over 5 months to go. I've got my dress ordered, wedding date and time booked, reception venue booked but still SOO much to do (mainly for the UK do). But still need to do birth certificates, rings, sand ceremony set, photographer, cake topper, shoes, jewellery, fiance's outfit for the actual wedding, and thats just us 2 going out for that!

    I would def recommend the upper floor BV's as everyone can see into your room if you have the curtains open on the ground floor, whereas you can have them open and privacy on the upper floors. Esp if you're on your honeymoon


    PS @Brynn - are you at CSA the same time as us? 17 June - 1st July (wedding 20th)

  8. #8


    We're near Medway.

    We'll be flying out on boxing day 2012 and we're getting married at 11am on new years eve

    I ended up booking Stacey Clarke to do my photography. She called me, rather than email, to discuss a few things and is really lovely to talk too. She's a Brit too, which obviously isn't important, but it does mean I don't have to worry about any communication issues. Her prices are really reasonable, her photos are beautiful and she seems really flexible as to how/when the hours in the photography package are used I can't wait for it to get a bit closer to the big day so that we can start to work out the details

    I've started my Wedding Dress Diet and can't wait to shed the bulk of what I want to lose so that I can start dress shopping everything is planned in my head, at least. I know what flowers I want and the style of dress etc. it just seems so far away!!!

  9. #9


    hi there, congratulations on choosing csa for your wedding, you have made a really great choice.

    Myself and my now husband were married there on 10th nov 2011 so just over 2 months ago. We booked through thomson and got the free wedding package. Everything was absolutely perfect. We had a garden verandah room which we loved, much more privacy and perfect location. We were married at 2pm on the beach, 10 min ceremony, then a private reception area in gardens to cut cake and sip champagne then more photographs with resort photographer who we did find very expensive but were very pleased with our photos. We paid $170 for the dinner on the beach package at night time which although very expensive was worth every penny and a perfect end to our night.

    I hope you have a great day and rest assured you have made the right choice. Any questions feel free to ask. Eleanor x

  10. #10


    Oh, congratulations, els! I'm glad to hear your day was so perfect I can't wait to fly out there on boxing day and start 2013 as a mrs!

    I want us to have a private beach dinner too. I think it's worth the money for a bit of luxury on your wedding day

    Did you have any family there? We've got 8 people coming, but 6 of them are staying at a different resort because we want a bit of privacy. I'm waiting for the wedding coordinator to come back to me though because the couples website just says there's a limit of 5 off resort couples allowed to attend, but the PDF details she sent me says that half of the guests have to be staying at the resort, so I'm panicking that it's all going to go horribly wrong! Not much I can do about it though, everyone's already booked their holidays and they're all immediate family, so I'll just cry until the resort give in if they say they can't come. Lol.

  11. #11


    Was just the 2 of us so i didnt have any problems like that. Really hope you get things sorted out. Alecia, the wedding co-ordinator, will try her best, im sure , to sort things out. She is really nice and very helpful.

    Lots of luck, i'm sure everything will be fine. Eleanor xx

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