Hello All Aruba Brides!
Okay to clear up some confusion for all of you (as I almost went insane trying to figure this out) .... If you want to have a beach wedding ceremony you can, however, it is not legal. They consider it a blessing. Your guests would never know the difference, which leaves you with 2 options.
Option #1: You can get married in your home town (at city hall or something) and bring your wedding certificate with you to Aruba. The beach ceremony will still be EXACTLY the same, vows, ring exchange, tears, for better or worse...yada yada yada
Option #2: You can get married at the Town Hall in Aruba PRIOR to your beach ceremony. You and your financee (and guests if you want) can all go to Aruba Town Hall - do the legal wedding - and then head to the beach ceremony. You can also get married at town hall the day before if you wish.
All the wedding planners that I have talked to have strongly advised getting married in your home town first...and here's why. To get married in Aruba you need to provide (2 months prior) several documentations - stamped and specially sealed from your home town Government - you also need witness information, passport copies, letter stating you are both single and so-on-and-so-on. The biggest problem with getting married at Aruba Town Hall is as follows: If for any reason you end up divorced or widowed (knock on wood) - you need to go to Aruba with the paperwork. There have been several instances of certain states/provinces not allowing the Arubian Wedding Licence as a legal document for the name change.
Obviously this decision is up to you - it took me about a month to figure it all out and understand it all!!! I hope it helps.
We are getting married on February 8th 2012 and the Occidental Grand Aruba Palm Beach. I have not seen ANY posts on here about anyone who has been married or stayed at the Occidental so if people can post some feedback that would be greatly appreciated!
Also - for you past Aruba brides - survey: Did you get married in your home state - or in Aruba Town Hall?
Thanks everyone - happy planning and I hope this helps