Winchester, Massachusetts, residents Jeff Macklin and Shannon Reed – who married on Jamaica’s south coast at the Villas on Bluefields Bay – are typical of the couples who choose the island for their big day. “We liked that Jamaica isn’t just a resort island,” Jeff says, “but rather a country with a thriving local culture. Shannon and I love the music, and music is everywhere you go in Jamaica. Like many couples, Jeff and Shannon had each visited the island during college and after graduation. It was during a weekend trip about three months before their marriage that they realized Jamaica would provide exactly what they wanted for their wedding in terms of atmosphere, logistics, and price. “By taking advantage of the off-season rates,” Jeff says, “we were able to make the trip reasonable for everyone.” Two months before the August 2001 event, they got wedding guests into an island mood by mailing their invitations in bottles filled with sand and shells. Some of their friends expressed concerns about the island’s safety, but Jeff and Shannon quickly soothed those fears.