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Thread: Eloping to Aruba!

  1. #1
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    Red face Eloping to Aruba!

    Hi Everyone!
    I am new to the Forum and this is my first post. Although, I have been reading many others, and I truly appreciate all the helpful information and tips all of you provide.

    Well, here is my situation: my bf and I are thinking about eloping to Aruba. We are not engaged yet, but know we want to get married sometime next year. We are thinking of having a civil ceremony locally with our immediate fam (just to get the legal part out of the way and save the hassle of doing it abroad), then doing a beach blessing ceremony (just the two of us) and honeymoon in Aruba. We would have a party for close fam and friends a few weeks after we return. I absolutely LOVE this idea b/c it cuts down on the stress and craziness of planning a traditional wedding--which neither of us want to do. It also saves us money b/c we both have very large families and we could not get away with having a wedding w/ at least 300 ppl! Our thought was, even if we did do a wedding at home and tried to scale it back, we would be leaving someone out and hurting their feelings. Not to mention, we would like the money we save to go toward a house/condo or moving. So that's the plan!

    Now the dilemma is--where should we get married in Aruba?? In trying to narrow it down, I thought about what is most important to us: Relaxation is number 1; a quiet, intimate, peaceful and romantic atmosphere; FOOD (definitely important to him!), beautiful beach and scenery.

    We have never been to Aruba, so no idea what to expect or what it is like. I have only heard things...and mostly all good! I just started doing some research this past week, and keeping in mind what we want, here is what I have come up with:

    1) The low-rise section appears to cater to couples, romance and honeymoons so I am thinking we want to keep our choices there.
    2) I would like a package that can possibly give us a FREE wedding w/ a 7-night honeymoon (I didn't see that offer on the low-rise section??)
    3) B/c my honey is a foodie...and drinkie (lol), it would definitely need to be an all-inclusive resort.
    4) A place with not a lot of children (we don't have any and it's our honeymoon)
    5) We do like to venture out so possibly an AI that includes some activities or at least in a vincinity where we can walk, sight-see, explore, etc...
    6) And probably the most important factor...MONEY! A place where we can get the wedding and honeymoon under or around $3000!???

    Ok, with all of those considerations, here are the choices I like so far:

    a) Divi-All Inclusive. PRO: AI options (lots of restaurant choices) wedding pics I have seen, beautiful beach, and other nice comments I have read. I saw that they are also partnerned w/ Tam (sp?) and that we could venture there for food, entertainment as well. Don't really know of any CONS... does anyone else??

    b) Renaissance Resort. PROS: adult option of one of the hotels and the private island for weddings. (Possible) CONS: no beach at the resort, not many restaurant choices

    c) Bacuti Resort. PROS: beautiful, uncrowded beaches, no kids, romantic. CONS: appears to be pricey, only one restaurant choice (and the meal around program seems over-priced)

    Ok, that about sums it up with my research and choices so far. My biggest questions are, what are Aruba weddings really like?? Has anyone gotten married at the places I mentioned or any other place that matches my criteria that I just may not know about? Did anyone get a wedding AND honeymoon in my price range ($3000)?? Has anyone eloped (just the two of u) to Aruba, and if so, where and how was it?? Lastly, is the beach wedding really private...are ppl just kind of randomly hanging out at the beach during your wedding or get in your pics or just otherwise kinda interrupt your moment? I guess w/ it just being us, we really just want it to be us!

    That should do it--sorry for the length! Any help, thoughts, advice, tips you all have would be absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much!!
    Last edited by lovelife; 09-02-2010 at 01:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    For a honeymoon the Bucuti is the way to go. If your bf is a foodie you will want to be sampling Aruba's many restaurants each evening, so all inclusive may not be your best choice.

    For a free wedding check out the Holiday Inn.

    For all inclusive within your budget there is the Divi but there will be kids. Food is very good but a "foodie" may very well be disappointed.

    Your only two options for no kids are the Bucuti or Renaissance Marina Tower.


  3. #3
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    Great tips, thank you! I will keep it in mind. It seems like a toss up b/t Divi and Renaissance...

  4. #4
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    Also, I did read about the Holiday Inn doing a free wedding w/ a honeymoon. What is the Holiday Inn like? Is it as nice as some of the other hotels I mentioned?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovelife View Post
    Also, I did read about the Holiday Inn doing a free wedding w/ a honeymoon. What is the Holiday Inn like? Is it as nice as some of the other hotels I mentioned?
    I am going to say, imo, no matter where you stay you will get what you are paying for. There are no 5 star resorts on the island, but look at the underlying tiers of resorts and there is something in every budget, it is just dependent upon what your needs are.

    If you are going to be legally married in the states, and there are just the two of you in Aruba, ask yourself, what will you need for a "blessing ceremony".
    Do you need more than the basics: flowers, officiant and photographer?
    For just the two of you do you need a cake, champagne toast and decorations?
    If you do not require the frills you would have more money to spend on the honeymoon hotel, food and activities itself?
    Can you coordinate these on your own or do you need the assistance of a wedding coordinator/planner?

  6. #6
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i am going to be the one that says DIVI all inclusive may be the way to go.
    the restaurants buffets and ala carte restaurants on the divi and tamarijn properties are good. there is also an option where one can dine at Windows On Aruba for an up charge of $30something pp.

    Depending on the time of year, the DIVI AI has the lesser amount of kids than the Tamarijn.
    If you chose to be in Aruba during a non school vacation period, the kid issue at Divi would be minimal.

    I think your idea of "eloping" to aruba is very logical and makes SO MUCH SENSE.
    Keep it simple or just create your own vows and do your own thing on the beach at sunset without much fanfare..............as lisa says, an officiant and a photographer needed.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    I am going to say, imo, no matter where you stay you will get what you are paying for. There are no 5 star resorts on the island, but look at the underlying tiers of resorts and there is something in every budget, it is just dependent upon what your needs are.

    If you are going to be legally married in the states, and there are just the two of you in Aruba, ask yourself, what will you need for a "blessing ceremony".
    Do you need more than the basics: flowers, officiant and photographer?
    For just the two of you do you need a cake, champagne toast and decorations?
    If you do not require the frills you would have more money to spend on the honeymoon hotel, food and activities itself?
    Can you coordinate these on your own or do you need the assistance of a wedding coordinator/planner?

  7. #7
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    Thank you for your feedback! Also, does anyone know if I am only doing a religious ceremony in Aruba, is there a required length of time that I have to be on the island before we can have our wedding? I saw something about that for a civil ceremony, but I wasn't sure about a religious one...?

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    if you are doing your legal ceremony in your hometown (or as you said locally) then the ceremony in aruba you are looking for is a blessing ceremony?

    i do think you should contact rev gibson.
    here is his website
    http://www.arubaeloquent.com/

    and check out this link
    http://www.aruba.com/SpecialVacation...uirements.aspx
    Quote Originally Posted by lovelife View Post
    Thank you for your feedback! Also, does anyone know if I am only doing a religious ceremony in Aruba, is there a required length of time that I have to be on the island before we can have our wedding? I saw something about that for a civil ceremony, but I wasn't sure about a religious one...?

  9. #9
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    Rev Gibson!

    His site is fantastic! Thank you for the info. I just emailed him and look forward to his response

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