When it came time to plan our wedding, we decided we wanted get married in Jamaica. Having both planned events in the past, we knew that the task ahead would be something we could successfully take on, and even better, ENJOY!
We had a very specific vision in mind for our day. Rather than getting married at one of the beautiful hotels in Jamaica, we opted to take our guests off of the resort. After researching countless venues, there was one we absolutely fell in love with: Firefly Estate. Located in the hills of St. Mary, overlooking Oracabessa Bay, Firefly offered the most stunning views and was surrounded by the lush flora and fauna indigenous to Jamaica. The beauty of the location made up for the fact that holding an event at Firefly would require bringing up all the essential elements for the event (When we say “all”… we mean ALL – from generators, to lighting, to a station for food preparation, etc… But, to us it was just that beautiful!). Most importantly, Firefly allowed something that seemed impossible at the local resorts - the ability for us to fully customize our wedding and provide our guests with a more local experience.
Over the course of several months, we planned what ended up being our dream day.
After getting married in Jamaica and planning a wedding abroad, that process solidified our desire to come together and create The Blue Hummingbird - a Toronto-based planning and events company.
Below is a list is of details and elements we arranged for our wedding day along with a selection of photos:
We custom designed our monogram and all stationary including the save the date, invitations, programs, and seating chart.
Instead of a traditional guestbook, we opted to have a photo guestbook. Guests were given a chalkboard to write a special message and photos were taken of them with the message in-hand.
A close friend of the bride provided stunning vocals for the processional and signing of the registry, accompanied by one of the best men on acoustic guitar.
The aunt of the groom, a local reverend, assisted in officiating the ceremony.
Janice Garel, Toronto artist, and also mother of the groom, provided paintings of local flowers to serve as table numbers, that one lucky person at each table got to take home. She also provided prints of a painting of the view from Firefly for all guests to take home as a favour (lucky us, we received the original as part of our wedding gift).
While we took on vendor selection, planning and many aspects of coordination, we would be remiss not to mention An Affair to Remember, who not only coordinated and provided all rentals (including the tent, tables, chairs, linens, generator, lighting and etc.), but also set-up and decorated the venue beautifully, and provided excellent day-of-coordination. They took on all of requests and brought our vision to life!
An absolute must for us was good food and drink, and lots of it! So we were thrilled when we found Anna-Kaye Tomlinson of Miss T’s Kitchen in Ocho Rios, who was not only a charm to work with, but provided delicious and authentic cuisine for our rehearsal luncheon and wedding.
Photographs are one of the few physical things that you get to take away from a very exciting and memorable day. Your photographer is also one of the vendors you will spend the most time with on your big day. With this in mind, choosing the best wedding photographer was of the utmost importance to us. We selected Dean Clarke Photography based upon not only his excellent portfolio, but in meeting with him beforehand, he was very professional, yet fun, and it was evident he had a passion for photography.
Another absolute must for us was a hoping party, the key to which is held by the DJ, of course. With that in mind we sought out one of Jamaica’s best and busiest, DJ Smoke.
We retained local musicians including violinists to play leading up to and during the ceremony, and a steel pan player to play during cocktail hour.
We wanted a simple and elegant cake that was, of course, also delicious! For this we turned to KukUp Kreations.
We retained Tai flora to provide all floral items for the day including, bridal party bouquets, altar canopy and flowers, and table centerpieces.
Given the remote location, we chartered private coaches to take our guests to and from Firefly Estate.
Last but not least, Marie Odorizzi of Travel Only, was a godsend! We had over 120 guests attend our wedding, most of which traveled from Canada. Marie looked after all our bookings and to this day, not only do our guests compliment her service, but return to her for their own personal travel.
Amanda & Patrick
The Blue Hummingbird