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Weddings that Give Back: Natasha and Alexander- St. Elizabeth, Jamaica

Today’s Weddings That Give Back feature is one for the nostalgic destination wedding record books. Full of Jamaican voluntourism, supporting local farms, businesses and artisans, sustainable intentionality, this couple truly embraced their wedding day as an opportunity to serve those that have inspired their lives greatest! 91600002 Alex’s mother grew up in Jamaica, and Natasha’s family traveled to Jamaica frequently and she even studied abroad there. After their summer living in the parish of St. Elizabeth on the South Coast together, and working at BRED’s Treasure Beach nonprofit foundation, this place in Jamaica was forever sacred in their hearts. dscn2661_27937538083_o - Photo Credit- Betsy Basset E9ram91610004 The couple and their family and friends stayed at Jakes Hotel, Spa and Villas throughout the week leading up to their wedding. The hotel is known for its funding of the BRED’s Treasure Beach Foundation (where Natasha previously worked), and its focus is  devoted to improving the community. In lieu of gifts, the couple asked for donations to BRED’s. Volunteering was also a major facet of the wedding. Family and friends spent some time painting schools and coaching sports to the children of the Treasure Beach community, as part of the BRED’s foundation. They had a full week itinerary with optional activities for guests (a trip to YS falls, a boat trip to Pelican Bar, lunch at a local jerk hut, bike tours, etc.) Photo Jul 01, 1 15 02 PM Photo Jul 01, 1 34 20 PM IMG_2992 - Photo Credit- Betsy Basset IMG_2996 - Photo Credit- Betsy BassetIMG_5163-189 They also had gift baskets for all the wedding guests, with goodies curated and sourced by local business owners and artisans. Photo Jun 28, 9 48 57 AM Photo Jun 28, 9 49 24 AM Alex went on an epic beach walk with his friends to find the branches that they built into the hoopah. They made the big wooden piece that has their initials carved into it with seashells they found on the beach-this was a total surprise! (It’s now hanging in their Brooklyn bedroom.) All the jewelry Natasha wore and gave to the women in the wedding was made by Veronique, a local artist making amazing pieces from natural elements she finds in Treasure Beach. DSC_4042 - Photo Credit- Betsy Basset DSC_4115 - Photo Credit- Betsy Basset   DSCN3181 DSCN3194      IMG_4630-82 - Photo Credit- Daniel Sharp IMG_4644-96 IMG_4646-98   88670006 - Photo Credit- Daniel Holzman 88680012 dscn2856_28553174375_o - Photo Credit- Betsy BassetIMG_3872-48 88700001 All the kids in the wedding went to the local boutique store Callaloo, where they all picked outfits to wear for the wedding. The table cloths were also made from West African fabric the couple found in NYC, their friend sewed it together, and they brought it all the way to Jamaica. IMG_4736-188 - Photo Credit- Daniel Sharp IMG_4895-347 IMG_4337-161IMG_4920-372 Venue | Food | Florals: Jake’s Hotel, Spa and Villas  | Videographer : JussBuss TV | Jewelry : Veronique | Kid’s Clothing: Callaloo | Photography : Crowd sourced

Honeymoons with Purpose: Rockhouse Hotel (Negril, Jamaica)

One of my personal favorite places in the whole world: Jamaica! Home of jerk chicken, Bob Marley and the best beef patties this planet has to offer. Also home to some of the most amazing people I’ve ever come to know and a few dear, dear friends. Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica is today’s featured Honeymoons with Purpose or destination wedding location! 1weddin3 Rockhouse Hotel is a stunning and unique hotel combining natural beauty, strong architectural design, local materials and craftsmanship, excellent service and a relaxing, fun, and authentic Jamaican experience. Originally developed in 1972, Rockhouse was one of the first hotels on Negril’s West End. Early notable guests in the 70’s included Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. In 1994, the property was purchased by a group of Australians who continue to reinvest in its evolution and expansion while maintaining the original vibes. 12486078_10153912129349322_7607585099806904398_o 1979991_1229815707033614_1364472515746896_o 12377678_1233509549997563_6897805194697983987_o Their goal is to responsibly and sustainably balance the interests of all parties – giving guests an amazing boutique hotel vacation, making their awesome Jamaican staff partners a part in their success, taking care of the environment (Rockhouse is Green Globe Certified), and giving back to the community through the Rockhouse Foundation.
Rockhouse Hotel is Green Globe Certified and strives to achieve the best environmental practices across its entire operation. The hotel minimizes its use of natural resources, air emissions, and hazardous materials, and monitors and records environmental performance relative to its goals with a continuous commitment to improved practices. 12377678_1233509549997563_6897805194697983987_o The design principles behind Rockhouse Hotel evolve directly from the natural surroundings. Emphasis is placed on simple and strong forms and the hotel is designed to be a harmonious and respectful insertion into its jungle-like environment. Choice of materials was also critical – local timber and thatch were chosen to merge with the fully-grown garden. The use of stone was inspired by the surrounding volcanic rock landscape. energy In 2009, Rockhouse Hotel established the Negril Area Green Globe Quiz, an annual competition amongst local schools to enhance the students’ environmental awareness. For the past six years, the schools have competed by answering environmental and sustainability questions in a game show format.  Each team of four competitors between the ages of 9 to 12 years are cheered on by teachers and students from their schools. The annual event, created by Rockhouse, has been a great success in raising environmental awareness amongst the children.
11230580_1143925025622683_4762781223829783348_n The Rockhouse Foundation transforms the places where Jamaica’s children learn and supports the people who teach them. Nearly ten years after its inception, almost $3 million has been invested in transforming and modernizing five schools that were in desperate need of support, in addition to the complete renovation and expansion of the Negril Community Library. The Foundation’s 2015 project is focused on developing the region’s first special needs early childhood education center. The Rockhouse Foundation directly impacts the lives of thousands of children and their families everyday. The Rockhouse Hotel and its owners underwrite all of the administrative expenses of the Rockhouse Foundation, an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so that every cent of every donation directly supports its projects. 12401644_1250163088332209_8186164991587969072_o Visit Rockhouse Hotel for more information and book your Honeymoon with Purpose today!