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Destination I Do
Friday, January 10, 2020

An Aruba Real Wedding

Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Vienna Glenn Photography
"We always wanted to do a destination," the couple says. "It probably has something to do with the fact we have friends/family across the U.S., so regardless of where we picked people would have to travel. Why not go to a fun location?"

The length of time it takes to decide to host a destination wedding or not varies greatly amongst couples, but for Adam and Maura, a wedding away took no time to chose. Today, we are sharing this lovely couple's journey in planning their Aruba wedding from afar. We thought it would be special for you to get their thought processes along the way. Therefore, we've left today's story in a Q&A format so you can hear it straight from the experienced couple. Have you got a pen and paper ready? You may want to take note of Adam and Maura's tips as they share today's couple's dish!

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How did your family and friends respond to the decision? If any of them had a negative reaction, how did you resolve it? I would say it was split 50/50. For those who could come - we heard nothing but excitement as it is an amazing location and they were looking forward to making a vacation out of it. Some family and friends who were unable to come were quite bummed - some were due to financials, some were due to Zika - which never crossed our minds when we chose our destination location. We were very fortunate to have family and friends that supported our marriage from afar and celebrated upon our return.

How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them? We love the Caribbean and had never been to Aruba. Aruba is not part of the hurricane path, so we didn’t have to worry about that impacting any date we chose. The only issue was that none of us had ever been - we planned the entire wedding site unseen.

How would you describe your overall experience of planning a destination wedding? Surprisingly it didn’t seem stressful at all (probably thanks to our wedding planners). Since we were planning a wedding in a place we had never been, we kind of crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Thank goodness we hired a planner!

Did you use any resources when planning your destination wedding that you feel would be helpful to other couples? i.e. books, a wedding planner, referrals? Our wedding planners from Konsider It Done really helped to bring our vision to life. The groom had minimal requests, and we are pretty laid back as a couple, in general. However, having someone who knows the ins and outs of the wedding industry, who can clearly communicate to someone whom they have never met was a huge help! The plus with a planner is they can worry for you. They know what to ask and when, and they can advise you on what ends up being worth it vs things you won’t even notice the day of.

What were the travel logistics like for your guests? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them? Since we did choose Aruba, only one couple had a direct flight, everyone else had connections prior to getting to the island. We ended up being on the same flight from Dallas to Aruba with five of our guests and we didn’t know it until we got to the plane so that was a fun surprise.  One couple did lose their luggage. They had to buy new clothes for the wedding as their suitcases did not arrive on time. It was a bummer, but that’s a potential rise anytime you fly.  Also, customs is, of course, a worry, but that all worked out fine for us this time.

How were you able to coordinate with vendors from afar? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them? Our lead planner, Kris, was great at keeping myself and our vendors updated, and on track. Lots of emails and LOTS of pictures showing what we did and did not like helped communicate exactly what we wanted for our wedding. We did use a lot of local vendors from where we live in Arizona (i.e. photographer, dress shop, menswear, stationer), so that was super helpful.

Do you feel you spent more or less money by choosing to do a destination wedding? I think we spent more but we also spent a week in Aruba celebrating with family and friends, vs a single day. The money went further doing a destination wedding and we can appreciate that.

How do you think your wedding would have been different had you not held it away from home? We would have for sure had more guests. With more guests, oftentimes you end up with more people who are further removed from the couple (parent’s friends, extended relatives). Remember your wedding should be about what you and your partner want, not what everyone else wants.  To us, having fewer people was more important.

Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?  If you choose a destination wedding, embrace it. You will not be able to control every aspect and you just need to accept that.  Make sure you can be flexible or you will make yourself (and your partner) crazy. HIRE A PLANNER, book a stellar photographer, and speak up if you don’t like something - it’s your wedding!


Vendors: Photographer: Vienna Glenn Photography; Wedding Planner: Konsider It Done; Ceremony/Reception Site: Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort; Florist: Shars Flowers; Stationery: Minted & Freed Hands; Hair & Makeup: Vladimir Orozco & Marta Collell; Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero; Dress Shop: Schaffer's Bridal; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men's Wearhouse; Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Lulus & Men's Wearhouse; DJ:  DJ Tino Daal

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