I've been on the site now for about two months and this has been such a helpful site. We have heard nothing but great reviews about Aruba and wanted to have our wedding somewhere different. We are looking at August 2011 (the month we met and began dating) and we had the whole hurricane season in mind when we decided that Aruba would be a nice fit. Initially we thought the RIU would be nice but after our recent stay at the RIU Montego Bay we decided that their beds are way too hard, they do not offer real premium alcohol (we are drinkers), the food was just average, and their wedding locations are not private at all.
Reading this thread has been really helpful in narrowing down our choice to the Renaissance for our wedding and ceremony. It would be a truly unique experience for all. Now we just have to get a price quote for rooms and see if it is feasible to have our guests stay there. The great thing is that we do not have to necessarily stay there to have our wedding there so our guest can have options if they chose to stay at different resorts. I'm hoping to at least get solid rates from the Ren which includes breakfast daily for guest that way they can venture out for lunch and dinner to experience Aruba.
For all the Renaissance brides, generally what price did you pay for the ceremony/reception side based on your guest number? I see there are packages but they are mainly for the ceremony and maybe a cocktail hour. I'm trying to get an idea of how much it would cost for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception for under 60 people. I would like to keep my wedding budget at under $10,000 (not including our travel). Also, did anyone receive the free honeymoon deal?