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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Inspo & Advice for an Aruba Wedding

Words by Courtney Cox

It’s day four of our Destination: Aruba week and hopefully you’ve got your bags packed and your passport in hand to say “I do” on the Caribbean’s happiest island. On Monday, one of our favorite destination wedding photographers and Aruba local, Laura Dee, shared her must-see’s around the island and her dream itinerary for any visitor. She obviously has the inside track on the best places to photograph around this tropical paradise, so on Tuesday, Laura Dee shared her top 10 Most Photogenic Spots in Aruba. Yesterday’s post featured a real-life wedding in Aruba – “An Alluring Aruba Wedding.” For the latest installment of Destination: Aruba, we’re sharing some inspiration of our own, a helpful resource from the Aruba Tourism Authority, as well as some sound advice from destination wedding industry professionals, former visitors and enthusiastic locals. 

More Photos

Handpicked Pinterest Inspiration

Now that you’ve (hopefully) decided on this “One Happy Island” to host your destination wedding, we’re bringing you handpicked inspiration in the form of our Destination: Aruba Pinterest board! We scoured the Net for some of the latest and greatest for tropical, beach weddings and the Aruba board includes inspo for details like your dress, centerpieces, ceremony décor, bouquets and more. You can also find additional ideas for your Aruba wedding on our Destination Wedding Dresses board, Stationery board, Bridesmaids Dresses board and Florals/Bouquets board. But, before you get sucked into the amazing, all-encompassing world that is Pinterest, might we suggest that you finish reading this helpful post?

Straight From the Locals’ Mouth

With the help of the fabulous Laura Dee, we’re sharing some of Aruba’s most talented locals’ advice on hosting your wedding away on this beautiful Caribbean island.

LD: What is one piece of advice you would give any couple getting married in Aruba?

Melyn Dankerlui (Photographer): Don't just stay at your hotel. A lot of couples and vacationers don't leave the hotel property, but you should totally rent a car and go explore. There are many hidden beaches and romantic spots on the island and you can't get lost, it is too small for that.

LD: What makes Aruba such a great place to get married? 

Ronchi de Cuba (Local Fashion Designer & TV Personality): Aruba is where happiness lives; that alone is the perfect reason to tie the knot here! The weather is pretty much perfect year-round! And beyond that, the Aruban people really care, and will go above and beyond to help you make your wedding day super special. We Arubans are always very honored whenever someone chooses Aruba as their wedding destination and we will do anything to make it as perfect as possible.

LD: What do you suggest couples do to give their wedding a ‘touch of Aruban flavor?’

Melyn Dankerlui (Photographer): Bolo preto – a fruity and tasty piece of cake that we hand out when people arrive at the party/reception, along with a glass of Champagne. You can only eat a small piece because it is packed with booze! This is without exception a staple at every single local wedding on the island! Ask your planner to find you a bakery to bake you a bolo preto, and hand it out to give your wedding that little Aruban touch.

Your First Stop for Research

Once you’ve decided to host a wedding away, it’s important that you do your research in selecting the right destination for you and your guests. One of the first places we recommend you check out is the destination’s visitors bureau or tourism authority website. For Aruba, that means hopping on to Aruba.com – the official website of the Aruba Tourism Authority. Thankfully, they recently launched their very own blog, beachbrides.com. Considered Aruba’s official wedding blog, the site offers forums for couples, planning tips and inspirational content.

The blog specializes in wedding options unique to Aruba and can connect you with expert, local vendors. It’s updated twice a week and will also include testimonials from real Aruba newlyweds and the latest trends in destination weddings. “Wedding planning has evolved significantly over the years with the introduction of new technologies and social media sites – and so we are excited to explore how Beach Brides, Aruba Tourism Authority’s latest digital innovation, will add value to the already dynamic on-island wedding experience,” said Sanju Luidens, CMO of Aruba Tourism Authority. Visit beachbrides.com to check out the blog or follow ATA on Twitter via @aruba or Instagram via @arubatourism.

Real Aruban Reflections

Thanks to the help of Laura Dee, we’re sharing the experiences of past couples who chose Aruba for a romantic getaway or special occasion. Here’s what they had to say about the island.

“My wife and I went and we absolutely loved it! What struck me most was all the wonderful and polite islanders and all the beauty of the island. Favorite experience? Too many to list, but probably the day we rented a Jeep and rode through the national park. Also, relaxing on the beach with the new wife, and the Jolly Pirates! We would go back tomorrow if we could, it’s such an awesome island with tons of activities and festivals!” ~ Sean Suits

“My husband and I loved it. We would totally go back. We brought our oldest when he was a baby and we felt so safe. Everyone was so nice, people left their front doors open, and you never got hassled like you do in a lot of tourist spots. We went horseback riding and the owner of the ranch insisted on driving us to drop us off at dinner rather than us get a cab. The hubs and I have been to a lot of places in the Caribbean when we were in the Coast Guard and on our own time, and Aruba was our favorite.” ~ Colleen Pomranky

An Industry Professonal’s Practical Tips

The helpful folks over at destinationweddings.com are experts when it comes to all things destination weddings. When we mentioned our Destination: Aruba week to them, Megan Velez was kind enough to share her expert advice for any couple choosing to say “I do” in the Caribbean paradise!

  • “Traveling to Aruba for a wedding is simple for everyone involved. The island is accessible from all major airports in the United States and is a short 4-hour flight from New York City. The short and affordable flight is not only great for couples, but for traveling guests as well.”
  • “Aruba is the perfect choice for couples who want a beachside wedding. With the ideal weather and climate year-round, newlyweds and their guests can enjoy paradise in any season! The island is also outside of the hurricane belt, so there’s no need to worry about anything other than where to take in the beautiful sunsets.” 
  • “If you’re tying the knot in Aruba, determine early on whether you plan on having a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony. Civil marriages are performed regularly throughout the week at the historic Civil Town House, whereas religious celebrations will need some advanced planning. Catholic priests and rabbis are available at Aruban churches and synagogues, but there will be some documentation required as well as some research to finding the best fit.”

Please stay tuned tomorrow for the finale of our Destination: Aruba week and another gorgeous, inspirational real-life wedding!

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Aruba Tourism Authority (1st-3rd), Alexsandra Wiciel Photography (4th), Laura Dee Photography (5th), Nicole Babcock Photography (6th), Ashley Lynn Photography (7th) & Pinterest.com (8th).

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