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sxcT, 

I always thought aruba was expensive also...we just went for Labor Day Weekend ( my birthday:)) and we paid half the price then high season! we stayed at the hyatt and even got breakfast included...the place is beautiful and worth the trip..plan for August, I think that's when you find good deals...even other guests were saying how much less it is during August then the winter/spring months...good luck! and if you go definitely go to The Flying Fishbone!!

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do you have any photos to post? I would love to see...we are still looking at destinations and we love Aruba..the Marriott is beautiful there...If you have any advice/suggestions please let me know...did you do a dinner reception and how many guests? thanks!

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Hi Everyone!!

 

I am getting married at the Divi Phoenix in Aruba on  Aug. 10,  2012.  Does anyone have any feedback on their wedding in Aruba??  Any helpful hits or words of advice??  Thanks!!

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Hi everyone,

 

I just had my wedding in Aruba on 7/15/11. It was wonderful, better than I could have imagined, and I hope that those of you considering a wedding in Aruba do not get discouraged (as it seems some have based on past posts on this thread).

 

Some basic details: We chose the Divi family of resorts. The ceremony was on the beach at the Divi/Tamerijn All-Inclusive. The reception was across the street at the Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort. We had 50 guests. We then honeymooned at the Westin.

 

I could write a book about all of the details, but I'll try to help with some of the recurring issues that I noticed on this thread.

  • Legal aspect: I am a U.S. citizen. Though the U.S. recognizes civil weddings performed in Aruba, there are some formalities to the process that made me decide to do the civil/legal thing at home. (My husband and I dressed in shorts and t-shirt and only rbought our 2 required witnesses with us so that the civil wedding did not take away from the one we planned in Aruba. No rings or anything. It was just an item on our to-do). Some of those formalities include paperwork and having to physically go to the courthouse in Aruba (I didn't want to leave the resort for the wedding). I think that http://www.aruba.com/ may be able to help or at least get you on the right path.
  • Travel: We used an ACE (Aruba Certified Expert) travel agent to help us arrange the travel. You can find a list fo them on http://www.aruba.com/. I don't necessarily recommend the person I used. I chose her becuase she was very repsonsive and knowledgeable. However when it came down to the wire, she ended up getting confused and needed a lot of management.
  • Coordination with the hotel: I looked into 4 all-inclusive resorts (Divi, Manchebo, Amsterdam Manor, and Occidental). Each resort's webiste gave the contact information of a wedding planner for any inquiries about having your wedding there. We ended up choosing Lissy Lampe of Ceremonies and Celebrations (candcaruba@yahoo.com). SHE IS AMAZING! I cannot say enough about her. She is responsive, organized, helpful, well-connected on the island... She actually was not the wedding planner listed for the Divi. but after we met her and immediately took to her, we asked if she could possible plan a wedding at the Divi and she could! I highly suggest that one of you main focuses is find a wedding planner that makes you comfortable. This will make a huge impact on your coordination with the resort and all the other vendors for your wedding. If you do contact Lissy, you can tell her that Julia Mastrapasqua (maiden)/Garcia (married) recommended you.
  • Other: I recommend 2 books. Bridal Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields and The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings by Carley Roney and Joann Gregoli.

 

Please feel free to reply with any questions, as specific or general as you like. After going through this process, I feel like I have a wealth of knowledge and would love to make someone's life a little easier by sharing it!

 

Good luck ladies!

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I have heard many great things about Lissy Lampe. I was already in the planning stages with Inge from the Westin. Lissy was fantastic with response time, etc. I had wished that I had heard of her before I started contacting the resorts directly. She said that she plans weddings all over the island. Glad to hear everything went well, any words of advice??

Originally Posted by jmastr05 View Post

Hi everyone,

 

I just had my wedding in Aruba on 7/15/11. It was wonderful, better than I could have imagined, and I hope that those of you considering a wedding in Aruba do not get discouraged (as it seems some have based on past posts on this thread).

 

Some basic details: We chose the Divi family of resorts. The ceremony was on the beach at the Divi/Tamerijn All-Inclusive. The reception was across the street at the Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort. We had 50 guests. We then honeymooned at the Westin.

 

I could write a book about all of the details, but I'll try to help with some of the recurring issues that I noticed on this thread.

  • Legal aspect: I am a U.S. citizen. Though the U.S. recognizes civil weddings performed in Aruba, there are some formalities to the process that made me decide to do the civil/legal thing at home. (My husband and I dressed in shorts and t-shirt and only rbought our 2 required witnesses with us so that the civil wedding did not take away from the one we planned in Aruba. No rings or anything. It was just an item on our to-do). Some of those formalities include paperwork and having to physically go to the courthouse in Aruba (I didn't want to leave the resort for the wedding). I think that http://www.aruba.com/ may be able to help or at least get you on the right path.
  • Travel: We used an ACE (Aruba Certified Expert) travel agent to help us arrange the travel. You can find a list fo them on http://www.aruba.com/. I don't necessarily recommend the person I used. I chose her becuase she was very repsonsive and knowledgeable. However when it came down to the wire, she ended up getting confused and needed a lot of management.
  • Coordination with the hotel: I looked into 4 all-inclusive resorts (Divi, Manchebo, Amsterdam Manor, and Occidental). Each resort's webiste gave the contact information of a wedding planner for any inquiries about having your wedding there. We ended up choosing Lissy Lampe of Ceremonies and Celebrations (candcaruba@yahoo.com). SHE IS AMAZING! I cannot say enough about her. She is responsive, organized, helpful, well-connected on the island... She actually was not the wedding planner listed for the Divi. but after we met her and immediately took to her, we asked if she could possible plan a wedding at the Divi and she could! I highly suggest that one of you main focuses is find a wedding planner that makes you comfortable. This will make a huge impact on your coordination with the resort and all the other vendors for your wedding. If you do contact Lissy, you can tell her that Julia Mastrapasqua (maiden)/Garcia (married) recommended you.
  • Other: I recommend 2 books. Bridal Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields and The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings by Carley Roney and Joann Gregoli.

 

Please feel free to reply with any questions, as specific or general as you like. After going through this process, I feel like I have a wealth of knowledge and would love to make someone's life a little easier by sharing it!

 

Good luck ladies!



 

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Hmm... words of advice...

 

I would say to compile a list or bunch of prints of pictures that you'd like to take. For me, the beach ceremony took place and finished a short time before sunset. This left a short time for the photographer to take pictures with the ideal lighting. I wish I had thought about the pictures I wanted ahead of time instead of deciding on the spot.

 

Also, make sure you know who will be responsible for table numbers. I asked the food and beverage manager if he had them, and he said yes. They turned out to be hand written in pencil on graph paper and then stuck into plastic frames. Since then, many other brides have told me that they were specifically told to bring their own. I could have easily printed my own ahead of time or even at the hotel business center.

 

One thing that we did right was to provide the DJ with a VERY comprehensive list of songs. The music at our wedding was just what we wanted and everyone had a great time dancing. We didn't get to meet our DJ in advance to discuss our musical tastes, so I think it really helped to have sent that list of songs.

 

Another planning tip is to keep the wind in mind. Aruba has constant trade winds that blow over the island. This affects lots of elements of the wedding: hair, veil (or no veil), tall center pieces, place cards, etc. There are solutions to everything, but it's good to be cognizant of the wind and its effect on the wedding.

  • Hair: I assume that you'll be getting your hair done by a hairdresser in Aruba. The hairdresser that I used there brought with her a CHI brand hairspray called Helmet. It was great and kept everything in place. Other brides that I encountered while I was there said that Helmet was also used on their hair. I did notice that all the brides (myself included) had their hair done so that at least the front was pulled back. Mine was 1/2 up, 1/2 down. Others had total up-dos.
  • Place cards: Our place cards were the tented ones. Our wedding planner has 2 large "kayaks" that she filled with sand. The place cards were then stuck into the sand (arranged nicely) to keep from flying away.  The "kayaks" both fit on a cocktail table and were placed at the entrance to the reception. I have also seen small frames that can be used to hold each place card, and then also serves as the favor.
  • Center pieces: We had low, square vases filled with water and clear marbles. Then the bridesmaids put their bouquets into the empty vases when we all entered the reception. The wedding planner has told me that tall vases would not be ideal because the wind would blow them over.
  • Veil: I never wanted a veil, so this was not an issue for me. However, the wedding planner showed me a picture of a bride who insisted on wearing one. They had to pin it to the back of her dress. But then from the point where the veil was pinned, it shot out horizontally from behind her. It looked odd in the picture.

 

My last reminder would be to keep in mind that you will need to ship or bring your weddings supplies. I specifically avoided large, heavy, liquid, or breakable items. Our favors were donations. We prepared a card that we tied to a rubber awareness bracelet with ribbon (light and compact). Our welcome bags contained SPF chapstick, band aids, individual packets of Advil and Tylenol, after sun aloe wipes, a deck of cards (which no one used), a packet of gummies, a packet of information on Aruba, and a letter from us to our guests. I avoided liquids and foods that could be crushed (like chips, etc). I didn't bring toasting flutes or cake cutters (breakable, heavy). We gave the wedding party their gifts before coming to the island. We found a pretty gift bag that we used to collect cards at the reception instead of a box (light and compact). And even with all these preparations, we still filled 1 1/2 suitcases with our wedding supplies (which our families graciously checked onto the flight as their own).

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