Localise Your Wedding Celebration
Pan Chicken served at wedding (Photo: Sandals)

Jamaica is one of the top destinations in the world, not only for vacations but also for weddings. The island offers a variety of food, beverages and talented artisans that are perfect considerations for inclusion in various aspects of your wedding.

Many couples choose to host weddings away from their current resident hometown because they want their special moment to have a memorable sense of uniqueness — new sights, sounds, a vibe that you can only get by going somewhere else.

There is nothing more exciting than planning a destination wedding. This also applies to Jamaicans who live abroad and want to showcase their island home to their international wedding guests, as well as international couples who want to get married in paradise.

Weaving your wedding celebration into the culture of a particular destination that you may or may not have personal ties to allows a couple to share local traditions, trends, and hot spots with their guests. Whether your guest list is filled with people who live nearby or you're inviting a lot of out-of-towners, incorporating a variety of things that your wedding destination is known for is a fun way to make your entire celebration stand out even more.

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider incorporating local products and curating the perfect elements for your destination wedding in Jamaica and ways you can interweave some of the island's best items to the experience.

Spice up the welcome bag

When putting together a welcome bag of items for guests to enjoy on arrival, I always recommend that they stock them with essentials that people will need throughout the entire weekend, from snacks to mini bottles of water. Additional treats like local banana chips, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, local insect repellant packed in a local woven tote bag can set the tone for your wedding festivities and will make your guests feel appreciated and cared for.

Create a map of the town

When your guests have downtime between your wedding events, they might be on the hunt for fun and exciting things to do. Create a map that includes special spots around the area for them to check out, from historical locations to popular restaurants to unique shops, as well as activities that create lasting memories. That way they can explore the area before and after your celebration.

Hire unique local vendors

Jamaica is known for many special and unique things; choose vendors that hone those sights, sounds and experiences. Whether it's a certain type of live music, decor or performance, you can add a unique spin to your wedding by hiring local vendors. That way your guests can experience a piece of the culture that the island is famous for while at your celebration. Think: a reggae band, customised fresh coconuts, a steel pan band, or even a fire dancer.

Add local elements to the menu

A delicious way to add local flavour to one of the events, perhaps your welcome party, is to incorporate an ingredient, menu item or sweet treat that's peculiar to the island eg local fresh seafood, our famous "jerk", or items infused with local fruit.

Pull in local décor

I'm big on this one. When you're thinking about all the parts of your venue décor, tap into the colours, patterns, and any other visual elements that make the island's flora come alive. Bring in some of those bold designs for your centrepieces, wooden or woven elements, napkin design, or even on your wedding day signage.

Why go local?

How to achieve this and find the right details? Choosing local products for your destination wedding can add a unique and meaningful touch to your special day. Including local products in your wedding can give your guests a taste of the destination's culture and authenticity. It's an opportunity to showcase the local flavours, scents, and craftsmanship that make the destination unique. Whether it's locally made snacks, sweets, or handmade souvenirs, including local products can provide a genuine experience for your guests and create lasting memories of your wedding and the destination. It also shows support for local economy: When you choose local products, you're also supporting the local economy and the community. By purchasing items from local artisans, farmers, and small businesses, you're contributing to the livelihoods of local people and helping to sustain the economy.

Sustainability: Choosing local products can also align with your sustainability values. Locally made items typically have a smaller carbon footprint as they require less transportation compared to imported products. By opting for local products, you're reducing the environmental impact associated with shipping and promoting more sustainable consumption practices.

Customisation: Local products allow for customisation and personalisation. You can choose items that are specifically related to the destination or that hold sentimental value to you and your partner. For example, you can include locally made jams, spices, rum, coffee or treats that are your childhood favourites.

Practicality: Local products can also be practical for your guests. For example, if you're having a beach wedding, including locally made sunscreen, beach towels, or even flip-flops can be useful for your guests during their stay.

Consider going local when curating your destination wedding and create an unforgettable experience for your guests! Happy wedding planning!

Customised fresh coconuts (Photo: CoCo & Co0
Welcome bag (Photo: Brides)
Map of Montego Bay (Photo: Pinterest)

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