Well one thing I don't like is the plastic 'slip-covered / sashed' chair look. I wanted simple chiavari or folding chairs. Marriott had neither. Edwina had just purchased some really nice new white resin folding chairs that we used. We used them on the beach and then they moved them back to where dinner was. I thought it looked a lot classier than many of the set-up photos I saw.
Also, we wanted our dinner on the lawn but wanted to create some intimacy with an open fabric canopy, which Edwina also has. It was beautiful and made dinner really special. We dined in the open air and had this pretty sheer fabric fluttering around us. I also loved the way the light bounced off the tent. And we used Edwina's bamboo and fabric arch to get married under - it was beautiful.
One other thing is I wanted some nice, contemporary polished nickel lanterns which she had. There were smalls and 'minis' for the tables, and others up to 2' tall for the 'lounge space' we created. We ended up with a little of the 'Miami Beach' vibe we were looking for. I think there were like 35 of them total. I love those lanterns so much - it was something I had my heart set on and Edwina chose to invest in them for us.
We also hired our videographer through Edwina because Marriott was a lot more expensive.
Marriott handled the entertainment, food, and all the other details like delivering welcome bags, seating guests at the ceremony, all the set-up except the chairs and tent. They even helped me out bringing a box, wrapping paper, scissors and tape to me at the last minute as I had forgotten to wrap my husband's gift! And the Marriott's food blew us and our guests away! People are still talking about it. It was amazing, especially since several of the items they prepared were not on their catering menu. We customized a lot when it came to the catering.
The only thing I do not recommend about the Marriott is the Mandara Spa - my experience was not very good. Everything finally turned out great in the end, but I had to go for two trial appointments and it caused me a lot of stress. Carmen was a very sweet lady and very patient and I know she tried hard, but I think I would have been better off with a stylist that spoke english. I thought it was enough to have a picture with me, but the pictures (hair and make-up), were not of much help.
Have fun planning! There will be a lot of ups and downs but it will all be worth it. I might still have a couple of photos posted under my profile as well as in other posts.
Originally Posted by katym
thanks - you all are very helpful!
Christine - what you did for your wedding seems exactly what we are looking for - from the beach, lawn and poolside area! what did you have to hire Edwina Werleman for? what extra decorating and rentals did you need that Marriott didnt have?
There are so many beautiful wedding options for you in Aruba. We chose Rennaissance island. You just need to create a list of things you would like for your special day and compare it with what each place has. Speak to Aruban brides and get feedback on why they choose their location and how the wedding turned out. Hopefully this will help make your decion easier. ALso, think about the wedding coordinator, is this someone who you would like to work with? what "vibe" do you get from this person? or will you have to choose a resort and get another outside planner( like Christine). There are so many options.