Hello All! I am getting married September of this year and wanted to start getting all the necessary documents together for us to have our Civil Ceremony in Aruba. When I talked to our wedding planner, she recommended working with a consultant agency to assist us. After speaking with the representative, she informed us it would cost almost $500 to use their service! This seems a little outrageous to me so I wanted to ask my fellow Aruba brides what their experience was like getting legally married in Aruba, how hard it was to obtain the correct documents, what costs they incurred, etc. Getting married in another country and seeing all the documents we need is extremely intimidating and I am not sure if it is really necessary to work with an agency.
Their fee includes the following: documentation handling, booking of date, coordination at the town hall, legal wedding ceremony itself, round trip transportation for 2, translation of wedding certificate and legalisation of the certificate. Meet and Greet before wedding day.
Also, if I get all the documents together, shouldn’t our wedding planner be able to handle the rest with scheduling the date and getting the documents to the town hall? Any information would be greatly appreciated!!
Your wedding planner should be able to handle the document processing for an Aruba Civil Ceremony and should be with you the day of your civil ceremony. Is your planner from the resorts or an independant planner?
Our planner is with the hotel. When I asked her if it was really necessary to have the agency do it, she responded that the hotel does not handle the legal ceremony part and the most she can do is call on my behalf to check if they received our documents, if everything is in order and confirm the date and time. She also stated that it is difficult to get through to the town hall so that’s why they recommend going through the agency (to make it smoother for us). I know we have a little running around to do here at home to get the documents together, I just want to make sure the documents we have are accurate and correct for what they need. I just keep questioning whether peace of mind with an agency is worth $500 and wanted to see what other brides have done and how difficult it really was. Our planner is making it seem pretty difficult.
Most of the hotel resort wedding planners use certain independant wedding planners to handle the documentation. Yes, these days it is extremely difficult going directly through Aruba Town Hall for your document processing and booking a date for your civil ceremony. I do not live on the island, but visit Aruba several times a year for the past 36 years and do know what goes on with regard to the happenings at the Aruba Town Hall. Some times it is hit or miss to get anyone to help you and the agencies that are the direct liaision between the couple and Aruba Town Hall tell me that it is a big hassle for even them to get the process taken care of with long waits at the Aruba town hall offices and once the civil wedding takes place, the couple receives a wedding certificate written in Dutch which has to be brought to another location to be translatd into English and receiving an Apostle stamp which can be time consuming with running back and forth a couple of times. The $500 for an agent to handle the documentation for you is well worth it in the long run. Whoever your planner is, I am 100% positive that they can lead you to an agent that will handle the documentation for you and advise you if anything is missing.
Yes, you do need to pay $500.00 unless you want to do it my way and pay more than $1,000 (mostly long distance to the civil registry). My guess is that Arlette is the one they gave you? She did wonderful for us. . .especially considering my documents were in the civil registry building somewhere waiting for a wedding planner to come forward and claim them and we were a week and a half out from the wedding. I think I wasted $500-at least in long distance, extra mailings etc.
Now early on and with plenty of time, Karen tried to nicely pursuade me to get some help and I know she acts as a civil wedding coordinator, but I couldn't understand the need. Trust me, the need is there. . . .its the Aruban way. . .whether you use Karen, Arlette or another. . . . the money is insignificant compared to the stress of having paid and planned the beach wedding and being worried about being legally married so that you could have it.
Best of luck! My parents were just in Aruba for 2 weeks and mom said that every night at 6 she would go outside and see if there was a wedding. . .. . it truly was a dream come true!
Just to make it perfectly clear, some (not all) of the larger hotels hire specific local independant wedding coordinators who live in Aruba to handle the civil ceremony documentation for the clients that are having their beach wedding and reception at said hotel. As mentioned in yesterdays thread, it is very difficult for a couple to handle the process of having their documents processed all by themselves. Yes, it can be done, but the frusration of getting a hold of the proper individual can involve several long distance phone calls to get their civil wedding ceremony scheduled and many times the couple does not have all the necesssary documents when they fax or fedex and have the same frustration of completing the documentation and either re-faxing or sending another fedex and making sure that the proper person receives them and all is in order. Not an easy task!
Yes, Aruba's civil employee's do a great job and I happen to know many of them. However, many times there is a communication gap with trying to reach them! When couples are so busy with their jobs, family matters trying to plan their wedding from so far away from Aruba, plus the expense of long distance phone calls, faxes, express mail, FecEx etc.it is far better for them to get the help they need from someone experienced in these matters to make the process of documentation seamless and not give the couple any more worries then they already have.
Thank you guys for the information. We just want our day to go as smooth as possible and if we dont have proper documentation we won't even be able to get legally married there. I know there is a lot of stress with running around to get the documents together, making phones calls, mailing, faxing etc, but I know in my heart when we are on the beach saying I do, all our worries and stresses will go away
We'll try to get everything together on our own and like Jason said we always have that number handy just in case. I am not worried about getting the documents here, I am more worried that I will not have the correct document.
Copies of long form birth certificates
with both parents names
Apostles for both bride and groom. Apostles are required for birth certificates
Letter of non-impedement for both bride and groom. In essence, there is a search going back x amount of years that is a certification that
will show that there is no record of marriage for either bride and groom.
Apostles for both bride and groom for Letter of non-impedement
Copies of final divorce decrees if previously married
Copies of death certificate if spouse is deceased
Copies of passports (front and back page) for both bride and groom
Copies of witnesses passports. There must be two witnesses for civil ceremony
Copy of form sent by Civil Registrar to be filled out by both bride and groom with names of former spouses if previously married or divorced
Originals of above documents should not be sent to civil house by FedEx as they can easily be lost and very hard to replace.
Originals should be brought to Civil Registrar for review on day of wedding
Copies of documents are best scanned in and emailed to Civil Regisrar as
faxes of document copies many times do not come out clear
Documents must be received by Civil Registrar 30 days before the wedding
For USA couples, if you do not know where to obtain apostles or letter of non-impedement, call your Secretrary of States office who will guide you to the location to obtain these douments. Ask the person that you speak to what kind of ID that you have to provide as well of the cost of each document and if they accept cash only, checks or credit card.