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Riu Palace Wedding

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#1 bchamp22

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    Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:21 AM

    Hi Ladies!


    I found this site and looked around on it for a few months while planning my wedding in Aruba.  Our ceremony was SUPER simple because we did not have any guests come along.  We were looking for a nice intimate beach ceremony at a nice all-inclusive resort so we chose the Riu Palace.


    I do not have experience with many vendors (only a photographer) or other things that go along with a bigger, more detailed ceremony but I can give a little bit of insight on the Riu and its services if anyone is interested!


    I'll start off with saying that I am a very laid back, small town girl and am not hard to please, nor am I an avid traveler (I have been a few places here and there but am usually always amazed at sun and sand). I absolutely do not have sky-high expectations and am as easy-going as they come. With that said, I thought the Riu was amazing! The facilities are always clean and odor free, despite the fact that smoking is allowed in some areas. No complaints with housekeeping, front desk staff (they are awesome), or any other services. The reservation restaurants were fun to try but the buffet was where we liked to dine -- their food was always nice and hot and a huuuge variety! Fresh fruits and vegetables always, salad bar, and breakfast was delicious. Pool chairs are relatively easy to come by but finding shade on the busy public beach is a different story.  The grass huts were always taken by early morning. Overall, we were very pleased with the hotel itself.


    As far as wedding services go, the wedding coordinator is very nice and friendly, although a bit hard to track down once we were actually in Aruba. She seemed to come and go at different times and was hard to catch in her office.  All of our details were taken care of but I believe this is largely attributed to the fact we had no guests and just wanted the very basics. A few negatives we experienced -- 1. I was to be called in the room to come down to the beach to start the ceremony.  Apparently, the ringer on my room phone was broken and they were calling and calling for 20 minutes and nobody thought to just come to the room to look for me. 2. The song I requested would not play, but they found another song very promptly and it was one I loved just the same. 3. (This was a big one for me) NO PRIVACY WHAT-SO-EVER. Our ceremony was in a small gazebo right next to the hotel pool. My groom was standing and waiting on me and in the meantime about 75 half-naked onlookers gathered their pool chairs and sat around to watch.  I am super shy and I was terrified at the fact I would have to walk straight through the pool area to meet him while all these people were watching! It was nice, however, there was a huge applause and whistling as I walked down the aisle.  HUGE NEGATIVE is that there are a ton of strangers in the background of all my pictures. Apparently there is no way to "rope off" or seclude a section of the resort/beach because it is a public beach. Not sure if there are options for the ceremony to be in a different area of the resort or inside somewhere.


    Don't get me wrong, my ceremony was not horrible and I enjoyed it very, very much.  The important part was that we were there, together, and it happened with only a few minor flaws.  Roll with the punches! :)


    Our photographer was Jason Margarita and he is a big hit on the island for good reason! He was funny, energetic, creative, and very easy to work with.  He got our pictures to us very promptly and we had a great experience with him.


    Sorry this was so long but I just thought I'd share an experience at the Riu! I'm not sure I would choose the Riu as a wedding ceremony destination but a honeymoon here would be wonderful.


    Happy planning!

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