By: Ruth Jordan
So a few months ago my Twin (my best friend ever), asked me to accompany her to her sister’s destination vow renewal in Jamaica, and of course I said, “YES !”. It was to be held at an all inclusive resort named Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Montego Bay, Jamaica on October 13th 2018. And yes, it was truly all inclusive, stay, dining, on-site actives, and even liquor. Unfortunately, I waited too long to prep for the trip, as I began too look for a few refresh summer items a few days before October. (There it is, the first DON’T, don’t wait until the LAST MINUTE to prepare for an International getaway.) This was the first time ever, I waited so late to prep for a vacation, or anything fashion related for that matter. Two weeks before the wedding, I scrambled to look for a beach wedding theme style dress, and to my surprise I saw barely a decent thing I liked. I mean it was my own fault to wait until the last minuet, not to mention summer shopping in the middle of fall who was I kidding, I was lucky to find a short sleeve shirt amongst all the winter layouts.
After circling the Bloomingdales’ sales floors about 30 times I found one dress I loved but they no longer carried my size, needless to say this triggered a hunting game that began that night and spanned for a week. I enlisted my mother in the search for the perfect dress, which included a few online searches and a few calls to representatives from Bloomingdales, (SB: They have real live people at anytime of the day that can help if you need, no automated BS.), as I didn’t have much time to run around to search with my crazy work and school schedule. (A big DO that I promote is asking for help, sometimes we think we have it all covered, but a little help could really go along way.) The day before my flight, my packages arrived including a mystery box that I knew nothing about. The mystery box was sent from my mother, a perfect yellow, pleated, floor length dress from Joie, which completely blew the other dress I ordered out of the water. I only mention that it would be perfection when she sent me the link a few days prior, but they only had a size 4 (that I surely am not) in stock. Using her awesome search tactics she found it at another store, and had it sent without saying a word.
Now that the anxiety of not receiving my dress or swimsuits on time was over, the big challenge was packing up my entire life into a carry-on bag and personal bag, not to mention get to the airport in less than 12 hours. My trip to Bed Bath and Beyond the day before was a life saver because I was able to grab all of my essentials like, Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes, Off Deep Woods spray, Toothpaste, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, Purell, and Tate’s cookies all in travel size and hair ties all for $21. Shoutout to those Bed Bath and Beyond mailers, I used a $10 off a $30 purchase! Definitely freed up some room in my carry on for more clothes. When packing I am a roll and tuck it type of person, I promise it saves more space that just throwing everything in there. Fast forward 12 hours, JFK’s TSA, the flight that I slept the entire time for, we reached Jamaica safe and sound and I had one thing on my mind getting a tan.
Over the course of the 4-day get away, I packed in as many sun rays as I could to get the tan I missed over the summer. The days started by getting ready, choosing which bating suit I was going to wear for the day, followed by applying Copertone 50 SPF sunscreen & Banana Boat Tanning Oil as a top layer for sun protection, (which is reapplied every 2 hours), then heading to grab breakfast before starting the day swimming & baking in the sun.
For lunchtime everyday they cooked a feast right on the sand, with a menu that switched everyday so you always got a chance to try something new. I was sure they were trying to fatten me up!
The 1st night we attended a bonfire and went to a theater show that was so funny the whole crowd was in stitches, the 2nd night we switched it up by going to Margaritaville where locals and tourist gathered to enjoy the dance floor. It was pretty dope watching real Jamaicans dancing and choreographing moves on the spot, as i would learn and imitate them through all the years of my youth.
On the 3rd night the entire wedding party and guests attended the rehearsal dinner at the Steakhouse on the resort. That night everyone shared stories about the couple and toasted to 10 years of their marriage and for many more to come. Also the best man made a surprise proposal to his girlfriend, which was the calmest and sweetest gesture I’ve ever seen.
The 4th day was the big day, the vow renewal! That day there was no swimming, only laying out in the sun because I refused to wash and dry my hair in order to get ready for the big event. My Twin and I laid out on beach chairs soaking up the sun, while talking it led to an impromptu photo shoot, and talking to some of the locals. ( SB: The entire staff was amazing, polite, attentive, and genuine the entire trip.) With 2 hours to be sitting in our seats, we rushed back to our room to get ready for the ceremony and back down to the beach.
The rain was set up in the sky and we just prayed the sky wouldn’t release over the joyous occasion, though there was a back up inside location just in case. It was absolutely gorgeous the ceremony, the bride, the dress, the wedding party, the guests and the location. Dinner followed and the Gourmet restaurant on the resort where no phones were allowed at the table as per the couple’s request. (Which many found hard to uphold, but I held my hand from touching my phone by leaving it locked in my bag.) We then moved to another section of the resort for the reception party, it was so thoughtfully decorated wit photos of the couple for when they started dating 16 years ago, their first marriage 10 years ago, as well as all the memorable events to this point in their lives. They also created a collage of all the guests that flew out to make it to the occasion as surprise. It was truly a memorable night as the couple, their family, and friends danced into the night, love was bursting at every seam. May the Jack-Sampson’s though strength, continue their loving bond for many more decades to come.
The wedding was gorgeous, the memories made with my extend family will becherished, and the stay may have been short but much needed to recharge my batteries. Thanks again to the Jack-Sampson family for including me in you special day, and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites you guys are truly a top contender in service! To all our Ambitchous Girls, remember not to wait to the last minute to prepare for a trip, don’t be afraid to ask for help, keep calm things always fall into place, and Bed Bath and Beyond always has a hook up on savings you can always sign up online.