Love, Beauty, and Romance in Jamaica: Kayla & Brandon

When love finds its way into our lives, it often leads us on a remarkable journey. For Kayla and Brandon, their love story began during college and continued to flourish over the course of nine incredible years. Finally, the time had come to embark on a new chapter of their lives together with an intimate destination wedding. They decided to take that step on the breathtaking island of Jamaica, while entrusting the team at Sandals Resorts to make the details of their dream wedding a reality.

The beginning of forever

Kayla and Brandon’s paths intertwined during Kayla's freshman year and Brandon's senior year of college. The connection was undeniable. After college, Brandon would drive 120 miles just to spend a few precious hours with Kayla. It was during these visits that Kayla knew she had found her forever partner.

“Brandon always puts everyone before himself,” she says. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without his unconditional love and support. He’s my best friend.”

Brandon made those long road trips because he was equally enamored.

“Initially, I was drawn to Kayla’s beauty and genuine personality,” he says. “As I got to know her more, I saw a person who loves helping others and cares deeply for her family. We met as kids and I still love her like the first day we met.”

Choosing a destination wedding

Kayla and Brandon envisioned an intimate wedding surrounded by their closest family members. They wanted a tropical destination that would be as alluring to their guests as it was to them, a location loaded with excitement and anticipation to gather and celebrate.

After hearing rave reviews from Kayla’s co-worker about Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, the couple felt a strong pull towards this idyllic Caribbean island. They heard about its friendly people, laid-back vibe, and lush rainforests. They could envision the diving, snorkeling, and personal island tours that make it such a fun destination for wedding groups.

Then Kayla and Brandon heard about the service from the wedding team.

“We were told the wedding planners at Sandals thrive on bringing dreams to life,” Kayla says, “so we went online and saw pictures of the new Sandals Dunn’s River Resort. That was it. We knew this was exactly where we wanted to be married.”

align="center">The newest resort, Sandals Dunn’s River, is situated on the north coast of Jamaica in Ocho Rios, inspired by the landscape bursting with tropical forest, waterfalls, and rivers. The location was selected by the company’s founder due to its unspoiled beaches, pure beauty, and his own family’s history here.

Family and friends' perspectives

Kayla and Brandon felt their family and friends’ support, even from afar. “They all understood that we wanted to keep our celebration small, so they showered us with lots of gifts and a beautiful bridal party before we left.”

Beauty in the details

The Sandals wedding team helped Kayla and Brandon choose celebration décor inspired by the island itself. Dunn’s River Falls is among the most iconic natural wonders on the island. With rich rainforest surrounding them, they’re considered a national treasure.

Teeming with bright colors such as coral, magenta, and kelly green, the couple’s color scheme seamlessly matched the backdrop of the resort.

The wedding ceremony was a breathtaking celebration held on the sandy shores of Sandals Dunn’s River. An A-frame arbor adorned with beautiful local plants and flowers in yellow, pink, and orange hues created a threshold for the couple to stroll toward an endless view of the Caribbean Sea. “We scheduled the wedding for twilight,” Kayla says. “It’s the ideal time with the sun setting, the perfect breeze, and the day’s last gentle waves rolling in the background.”

The reception mirrored the ceremony's beauty and theme, with one long table nestled amidst palm trees as the late rays of sun painted the horizon. Wicker lanterns hung above the reception table, giving off an enchanting glow while complementing the tropical floral arrangements. Natural materials such as rattan chargers and a neutral-colored linen tablecloth were united with contemporary white plates, gold flatware, white candles, and low-set, brightly colored centerpieces.

*The table-scape was reflective of the resort itself — modern and natural.*

The wedding planners at Sandals effortlessly brought the couple's dream to life, bridging formal and tropical for a reception that perfectly encapsulated the beauty of their surroundings.

*Guests never lost touch with the Caribbean culture. They sipped from personalized coconut cocktails, snacked on authentic artisan Jamaican chocolates, and indulged in delectable rum balls. To complete their experience, they all took home gift bags full of Baronhall Farms Jamaican hot sauce, [Blue Mountain coffee](, and engraved Jamaican pottery.*

Pre- and post-wedding celebrations

Before their ceremony, Kayla and Brandon exchanged heartfelt letters, a touching gesture that brought tears of joy. The wedding team at Sandals suggested a local tradition — the pouring of unity sand. It became one of the most cherished moments of the entire week. "We combined our personal sands to symbolize becoming one,” Kayla says. “And now we have the combined sand on display as a keepsake in our home, so we can remember the moment and the beautiful Caribbean destination every day.”

After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with their family in an intimate reception, sharing their first dance to Stephen Sanchez’ “Until I Found You,” and then cutting the wedding cake created by the Sandals culinary team. After the cake cutting, the group sat down to a special four-course dinner, serenaded by the talented guitarist and musician, Moses Beckford.

*The night was filled with dancing and a silent disco where all guests donned headphones so they could continue the party. To top it off, the group marveled at the extraordinary skills of local fire dancers.*

A stress-free experience

Planning a destination wedding can be a daunting task, but Kayla and Brandon experienced the true spirit of the Caribbean from start to finish — no stress and pure joy.

They entrusted Sandals Resorts' wedding planning team to bring their inspirations to life — even better than they expected. From the initial discussions to the final details, the planners' expertise and attention to detail allowed Kayla and Brandon to do what all couples should do: enjoy the journey and each other.

For Kayla and Brandon, the Sandals wedding experience started with the recommendation from a friend. Now, they are outwardly doing the recommending. “The Sandals team is so dedicated and talented. They care as if we’re family. That’s the only way they could create a wedding experience better than we imagined.”

Favorite moments (and a piece of advice)

Kayla and Brandon find it challenging to choose a single favorite from so many extraordinary moments. From their arrival at the resort to the live entertainment after the ceremony, every instant holds its own place in their hearts. When pressed a bit, they admit their most cherished moment was being on the beach, surrounded by loved ones, as they exchanged vows and became husband and wife.

As they continue to reflect on their unforgettable experience, the couple has this bit of advice to share: “After everything we experienced, we wouldn’t trust anyone else for the most important day of our lives. When we say they’re amazing, we mean it. The planners. The photographer and videographer. They all made our wedding stress-free so we could fully enjoy it.” And isn’t that what dreams are meant to be?

Idyllic wedding, idyllic honeymoon

Following the departure of their family, Kayla and Brandon continued their stay at Sandals Dunn's River. “When we saw the pictures, we instantly knew that’s where we wanted to go. It was a ‘this was meant to be’ moment for us.”

With all-inclusive packages that extend to the neighboring property, Sandals Ochi, couples can enjoy 28 restaurants, 22 whirlpools, 13 different pools, and 20 bars — all with round-trip transportation included. Unwinding from a wedding couldn’t be more relaxing, or more fun.

Forever after

Kayla and Brandon's destination wedding at Sandals Dunn’s River was a testament to their enduring love. With the support and expertise of Sandals Resorts' wedding planning team, their dream became a breathtaking reality. Ensconced by the stunning Jamaican landscape, their intimate event will always reflect their love and commitment to each other.

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Kate Darnell

About Kate Darnell

Kate Darnell is a creative writer with a penchant for travel. Her love of weddings and experience exploring the globe combine to produce a shining talent for writing about both travel and matrimony.