My husband and I exchanged our vows at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Faith Chapel on December 20, 2010 in front of a group of about 80 family and friends. To give an accurate account of all of the work and planning that the staff executed to make our day the most enjoyable day of our new lives together, I'll describe the experience in a fragmented manner and provide ratings from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. The hotel gets a 4.5 overall score. The staff was/are amazing.
Pre-Planning Score: 4.5
I did not hire a wedding planner and handled most of the planning details in conjunction with my mom and godmother. The reason that the hotel gets a pre-planning score of 4.5 and not 5 is because while they did a fabulous job with their end of the planning, I served as my own chief planner. This is not a swipe at the planning staff, however, as I chose to do my own planning independantly and that is no reflection on the hotel or the staff- at all. We booked all vendors with the exception of the catering a la carte, including the jazz band, florist, photographer, and my uncle who is a miniser served as our officiant. Cricket Elrod, as the on site logistics manager, worked tirelessly to answer our questions, resolve outstanding details, and she actually gets a score of 5 for her response time to inquiries throughout the process and for incorporating last minute details and requests in a quick and flawless professional manner. Any questions that we had about the reception set-up, providing information during our tasting procedures (which was very, very nicely done, set-up and scheduling- DO NOT NEGLECT TO DO THIS B/C IT IS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE), accounting updates, etc. were handled with the highest level of professionalism. Beth spearheaded reservations and she was great as well in communicating contractual obligations and tracking them as they were met. Jessica was also awesome as Cricket's right hand.
Miss Nancy and Jessica were great before and after the reception. They went over the details with me the day before the reception to make sure that everything was in place. They discussed the arrangements of the tables, the ambiance of the room, and they even threw in a few unexpected details to create the right atmosphere with lighting and candles....and I had a Sunday afternoon wedding. Absolutely Fabulous. We ended up needing new place cards because the cards that my mom made were no longer applicable with last minute changes. All I had to do was ask and Jessica made it happen - the day before. Miss Nancy is a sacred institution and should be cloned. The air of experience is all around her.:) The banquet manager was very accomodating and he was constantly checking with me to ensure that everything was being done to standard and helped with the logistics for cutting the cake (who knew that there is an actual hand-placement that goes with cutting the cake?);). Also, I had an uninvited guest take a seat at my reception and the banquet manager made sure to speak with my mom to get an assessment of the situation and how to handle it instead of simply putting a plate down for someone who was not on the guest list and charging me. This act has earned him my highest regards and an outstanding score of 5 for professionalism, ethics, and integrity. The reason that catering gets a 4 is because the banquet staff, while nice, didn't seem to have everyone served in a timely manner. We had a table of close family friends who were without food for about 15 minutes before the staff was prompted and to correct the error. Also, we requested lemonade as an additional drink option and many of the guests were not informed until we were well into the reception that lemonade was a drink option. It was also possible that because 1 or 2 of the servers did not speak English very well, there might have been miscommunications. However, both errors were corrected with a small degree of prompting and the reception overall ran smoothly. I received all of my heirloom items back (cake knife, server, champagne flutes) clean and intact. Cleaning is done by the staff so we didn't have to worry about that and the Banquet Manager had my gifts and heirlooms sent to my room and they were there when the Groom and I retired for the day. Neither the lemonade, nor the hiccup on the food should reflect poorly on the overall great job done by the people in charge.
We received well-appointed and regal accomodations. I was in a Deluxe King Suite in the San Souci building on the 3rd floor with a magnificent view, hard wood floors, a fireplace, and a nice bathroom. The wardrobe was okay as a closet, but more investments could be made on this end. I didn't mind the stairs because a bellman helped to bring everything up and take everything down to the car. However, do not try to have a batchellorette party here because the other guests will hate you for it and security will be called to tone you down. Lol The maid staff was nice and helpful.
Faith Chapel: 5
Faith Chapel was beautifully decorated for the holidays, with bows on the pews, candles in the windows, and a Christmas tree. All we had to do is pay the fee to rent the chapel. It's so gorgeous, nothing else was needed. All of my guests talked about how beautiful the Chapel was. Also, a special thanks to Clint (the manager of the Chapel) for accomodating us on the additional time needed for pictures after the ceremony and for handling the associated accounting logistics through the hotel. He was also golden on responsiveness and taking care of personal details associated with our particular ceremony in conjunction with Cricket. Great teamwork!
Hotel Grounds and Wow Factor: 5
The grounds are immaculate, and particularly for a Christmas wedding, you will feel like my hair stylist who said, "What kind of fairy land have I stepped into? This is beaaauuuutifullll." This place is absolutely dreamy during the holidays- blue lights and all! For the rehearsal dinner, we were in the federal reserve room and you could see the christmas decorations on the hotel verenda through the many windows and there was a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the room. The food was excellent (the catering manager came up with it as relayed by my in-laws). My husbnad's family was in charge of the rehearsal dinner and they had nothing but praise for the staff (Cricket, catering, etc.) and the actual dinner was above and beyond our expectations for decor, accomodations, food, the relatively close location of the bar, and just overall atmosphere. The glow of the lights in a cozy room overlooking a beautifully decorated verenda, eating great food with friends and familly. Priceless.
Would I have my wedding here again if given the choice? That is an emphatic Yes!!! I would not have my wedding at any other place, especially in my home state of Georgia. This was a fantasy and dream come true. Would I do anything differently? Yes, if I had had the money to spare, I would hire a Chief Planner to manage all of pre-planning logistics. The only reason that I was able to do it is because I have flexible and sound employment and it made sense for me. If you have a stressful job and a rigid schedule, you will definately have trouble pulling this off.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Rated among the top 500 resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure, the Jekyll Island Club offers superb resort accommodations, outstanding service, and an unforgettable landmark experience. The Jekyll Island Club Resort is the perfect destination for a Georgia beach vacation, a romantic getaway or family vacation. The resort offers truly exceptional dining choices ranging from the elegant Grand Dining Room to casual fare at The Wharf, Pool House and the bakery-delicatessen Club Café. Nine miles of beach, bicycling, 63 holes of golf, tennis, historic tours, horseback riding, and much more ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy. History This historic hotel was originally built in 1886 as a hunting retreat for America’s wealthy elite including J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Joseph Pulitzer, as well as the Vanderbilts, Goulds and Astors. Restored to its original splendor in 1986, it is now a National Historic Landmark and a member of Historic Hotels of America. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jekyll Island Hotel
- Jekyll Island Club Hotel Jekyll Island