Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

A self-described Type A, control-freak bride will choose the perfect wedding location, be super organized and get all of her plans in place way ahead of schedule, feeling content and on top of things and ready for a blissful weekend in Jamaica with everyone she loves.

And then the Zika virus scare will take out 20% of her guest list, including some of her closest friends. And the wrong wedding dress will arrive without time to reorder the right one. And a hotel staff member will accidentally tell her fiancé the wedding gift she was going to surprise him with (which was our videographer, Vlad). Then she’ll wreck her car the week of the wedding. And it will rain on her beach bonfire welcome party. Oh, and then the coordinator will tell her that she can’t locate the band she hired for the welcome party.

“At first it was, ‘why me?'” Kara told me. “I tried not to have any bridal meltdowns. I tried not to be that girl.” But after hearing the band wouldn’t show up, she finally broke down into tears.

But you know what? That was it. Kara and Chris got all of the potential setbacks out of the way right at the start, and the rest of the weekend, at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, was perfection. Kara thought about the real reason her friends couldn’t make it due to Zika, which was that they were either pregnant or trying to be, which made her so happy for them. The dress shop was able to quickly deconstruct and rebuild their sample dress of the one Kara had purchased, and get it as close as possible to the original. She wasn’t hurt in the car accident beyond a few scrapes and bruises. The welcome party was moved under cover, and the planner scrambled and got a replacement band to show up within half an hour.

This was our second time shooting at Half Moon (see Whitney and Russell’s Half Moon Resort wedding), and we know from experience that you can’t NOT relax at Half Moon. There are too many Red Stripes to drink, too much good music to dance to, beautiful water to swim in, and moments to be had with the people you love. Kara’s favorite moment from the whole weekend was one she never expected to have. Even though tradition says you’re not supposed to stay together the night before your wedding, she and Chris did, and spent the evening talking, sharing their fears and excitement, and having one of the best bonding experiences of their relationship.

Our photographers Ben and Mauricio went all in for this wedding, and in Mauricio’s case quite literally, when he stripped down to his underwear on the wedding day to get in the ocean for a unique angle on a portrait. Vlad created a gorgeous, funny, authentic story of this unforgettable wedding weekend. Watch the highlight film herewhere you’ll see hilarious footage from the reception and other shenanigans (instigated mainly by Kara’s mischievous live-wire of a father – yes, that is him putting a pig’s head in a groomsman’s bed).

After everything Kara and Chris went through in trying to plan the perfect wedding, they look back now and realize the most important thing is having the people you love most there with you, whether in person or in spirit.

“We could have had it in a backyard with a keg and had just as much fun,” Kara said. “But… obviously good music, a beach, and your own pool and butler doesn’t hurt.”



Authored by: Photographed by: Ben & MauricioCategory:  WeddingsTag:  destination wedding; outdoor weddingDestination:  Montego Bay, JamaicaSetting:  Island WeddingVenue:  Half Moon Resort