Is there anything as iconic as a destination wedding in Jamaica? Claire and Ethan’s intimate celebration gave their closest friends and family the chance to relax with tropical cocktails and gorgeous views. Their wedding was as sweet and intentional as this amazing couple.
Planning a Destination Wedding in Jamaica
I first met Claire and Ethan in 2020 when they answered a model call. They’re not big on being in front of the camera, but I have lots of practice putting my clients at ease. We clicked and ended up having a really great time together!
Once Claire and Ethan got engaged, they inquired with me to photograph a Buffalo reception that they expected to host after their destination wedding in Jamaica. Eventually, they scrapped the Buffalo celebration and focused their energy and budget on their Jamaica trip. I’m so grateful they asked me to come along to document it!
Claire and Ethan are avid travelers, so a destination wedding in Jamaica was perfect for them. They love to explore new places and balance that with evenings enjoying Ethan’s home cooked meals and their favorite shows. Their wedding in Oyster Bay had that same mix of excitement and intimacy.
Excellence at Oyster Bay
When you’re planning a destination wedding in Jamaica, there seem to be endless resorts to choose from. Claire and Ethan held their celebration at Excellence at Oyster Bay. Oyster Bay sits on the northern coast. The white sand and turquoise water are exactly what you picture when you imagine Jamaican beaches. Excellence is a large resort with a spa on site. Several of the wedding packages include hair and makeup at the spa as well as florals. Having details like that taken care of means you can focus on enjoying your trip.
This wedding really was intimate with just 18 friends and family members joining Claire and Ethan. The night before the ceremony, they held a welcome party so everyone could settle in and connect. I got to know everyone and documented some candid moments in the sun. Then we took advantage of the time to get some formal photos with family and friends. Afterward, the nearlyweds headed out to explore the resort and take some more photos.
The next day started with Claire and several family members at the spa. Everyone soaked up the peaceful energy and relaxed while getting hair and makeup done. I asked everyone what they were most excited about for the day. Their answers were really lovely. Claire’s stepmom couldn’t wait to see her husband’s reaction to seeing Claire. She said, “I know he’s going to cry!” Claire told me how excited she was to hear Ethan’s vows.
Once Claire was ready, we did a first look with her dad. It was a beautiful moment full of waterworks. Then I met up with Ethan, his mom, and cousin for some getting ready moments. I love these candid interactions.
Claire and Ethan are such giving people. They had gifts for all of their family members. Even through planning a destination wedding in Jamaica, they made sure to take care of their people.
Claire and Ethan’s Intimate Celebration
Like a lot of resorts, Excellence has staff photographers. Thankfully, they were respectful and let me take priority during the beach ceremony. Ethan’s cousin Michelle officiated the wedding beautifully. Claire and Ethan shared personal vows to one another. The ceremony ended with a first kiss and a petal toss.
After the ceremony, we took some time for family photos on the beach. The newlyweds and I even recreated some engagement photos at sunset before heading to the reception space. A steel drum band entertained the guests on the rooftop bar during cocktail hour. It was the perfect tropical touch for this destination wedding in Jamaica.
The reception space was outdoors and just right for the twenty-person party. The evening started with a delicious dinner followed by a speech from Claire’s dad. Next came the first dance and parent dances. Once the dance floor was open, everyone joined in the mix of sing-alongs, fun conversations, and precious dances between parents. The bartender fueled everyone with fruity shots. This may have been a small wedding, but everyone brought big energy to celebrating Claire and Ethan.
Are you looking for a photographer for your destination wedding? I’m a Buffalo wedding photographer ready to travel to document your love! Inquire with me here.