Just wondering if anyone who has been married at the City Hall in Aruba knows if the building is handicap accessible? Specifically, if there is either a ramp, elevator, or some kind of wheelchair access to enter the building. And if not, any ideas how many stairs one would have to go up/down to attend a wedding ceremony?
Robert is correct. The Town Hall (Civil House) is not handicapped accessible with many steep stairs. I do know for sure that the civil cermonies cannot be performed at other locations except the civil house. Is an immediate family member (parent, sibling or grandparent) physically handicapped or is either the bride or groom? If that be the case, maybe the Civil Registrar would perform the civil ceremony in the small shaded garden on the side of the civil house. If you or if you have a wedding planner explained the situation, they just might allow the civil ceremony to take place on the grounds of the civil house. I have never seen this question posted on the message board, but it seems to me in cases such as yours, there should be some flexibility on the part of the Civil Registrar.
Hi Karen, thanks for the reply! Its actually the father of the bride who is handicapped and unable to walk up stairs.
Since we're planning a spring 2011 wedding and we still have a considerable amount of time to plan, I don't have a wedding planner (or even a location) yet... the lack of accessibility at the Town Hall has made me question if Aruba is even the right place. I'm actually considering having the legal ceremony here in the States and then having the beach ceremony/reception/etc in Aruba just so that my father can attend both. But, if there may be a way to have the ceremony outside in the garden of the Town Hall in Aruba, that would be fantastic. I'll have to keep that in mind, and once we have a wedding planner, see if special arrangements can be made.
Thanks again for your input.. its greatly appreciated! :-)
I know the Civil Registrar very well and will be in Aruba for two weeks, November 7th to November 21st. I understand your concern for your Father as I have a handicapped Son that lost his leg to severe complications of diabetes a few years ago. We have been coming to Aruba several times a year for almost 32 years. We had bought timeshare at that time so that our children would have a wonderful vacation on a beautiful tropical island like Aruba. Our son was joining us with his brother and sister for years until he got married 19 years ago. Because of his leg loss and eventually having to go on kidney dialysis 3 times a week, also because of the complications of diabetes, it was then very difficult for him to come to Aruba. However, the point I am trying to make is that 3 years ago, he was able to come to Aruba for a week and able to receive dialysis in Aruba. As far as beach, he was in a wheelchair part of time, but we managed and stayed by the pool deck at our timeshare. Then, our grandson and daughter-in-law wanted to go on a catamaran to go snorkeling. We managed as well because one of the catamaran companies was kind enough to assist him by pulling his wheelchair through the sand to the pier where the catamaran left from. From the pier, they lifted him and his wheelchair up on the catamaran. My belief is that where there is a will there is a way. Even though your wedding is taking place in 2011 it is not to early to find out. Personally, I think in special situations such as yours regarding the civil house having many stairs and no ramp or elevator, there is no reason why the Civil Registrar wouldn't mind going outside to the gardens to perform your wedding ceremony. The Civil house as you have seen from the photos is very beautiful and the ceremony is very different and very beautiful then having your civil ceremony in your home city and state. By the way, the Civil Registrar is very hard to reach, but if you like, I would be happy to find out for you when we are in Aruba in November. Please feel free to send me further details in a PM. Lastly, there are a few resorts in Aruba that have a few handicapped rooms with roll in showers so your Father will not have a problem in that respect. And....there is a company in Aruba that rents wheel chairs, walkers etc. for guests that are handicapped.
alternative location civil wedding, accessibility civil house
I know for a fact that they would perform weddings at another location that is not the civil house, but there is a process in the request you can check with them. One of my friends had her wedding at home and another had hers at the Wilhelmina Park. Yours is not a case of luxury, but of necessity and I believe they could assist you in accommodating your ENTIRE family. (I know how it is planning a trip/restaurant visit, etc. around finding wheelchair access, my mom is also in a wheelchair)
Also, talk to them, because I am not sure, but there might be an alternative entrance by the civil registry (the buildings are connected), but I don't know if there are stairs/elevator or some other access.
Good luck! May you have the most romantic, blessed marriage.