I am so sorry it has taken me so long to write this, but life has been a newlywed blur of holidays, birthdays, retirements and celebrations since the moment we returned from Aruba!!! Our wedding was on October 1st 2010, held at the Divi AI, and it was NOTHING short of phenomenal!!!! To all of you brides to be out there, don't give it a second thought!! Just trust that Aruba will be PERFECT!!!
I guess I will start with the planning, we are in Ohio, and ALL of the planning was done via email, with maybe, one or two phone calls . I chose Aruba Weddings For You, and would reccommend them to ABSOLUTELY anyone!!!
Yes, the emails are not always answered immediately, but they are always answered!! My wedding cooridinator was Caroline, and she was WONDERFUL!!! We both truly wanted to pack her up in our luggage and bring her home from our trip ( but would never subject her to Ohio when she is living in the most amazing country in the world!!). We both still talk about her almost daily! A big joke between Kurt and I now is when Caroline speaks she always says "Yes?" after every statement, and we now do it too to the laughter of those around us! She would say "The flowers are to be pink. YES?" "You had a good dance! Yes??!!" always in the sweetest most melodious voice you have ever heard!! But, I digress....
We left Pittsburgh on a cold damp morning with 30 guests and all arrived in beautiful Aruba on a sunny, happy. beautiful afternoon!! We were greeted at the check in at the Divi AI with cold refreshing alcoholic beverages, as well as welcome bags, and super friendly smiles!! We have never been anywhere that we have felt so welcome!! It was like traveling to meet family that had been waiting for us for months!
We arrived in our room (we stayed in the Lanai building), and there were chocolates, cold champagne and wine waiting for us!! The room was awesome, not fancy , but SO comfortable, beautiful queen sized COMFY bed, everything was clean, a note from our maid to welcome us and congratulate us on our upcoming wedding, and fresh BEAUTIFUL flowers on the table in the room as well as in the bathroom. I will say here that I am quite spoiled in the bed department, One of our best friends bought us a Tempurpedic when we bought our house, and it is Absolutely amazing!!!but,,,, our Aruba bed was SOOOO COMFY!!! We both loved it! The view was absolutely beautiful, we were steps from the beach, as well as the beach bar. That night we enjoyed the room for awhile, sat on the lanai for awhile watching the ocean, then showered and headed out for a night of fun with our guests!!
Thursday we woke up early, walked out of our front door, took a quick swim in the ocean and then headed for breakfast. Here is where I will say that breakfast was always my favorite meal of the day while in Aruba!! But I am a breakfast person!!! Made to order eggs or omelets, and they had the most amazing baked and stuffed tomatos !!!
After breakfast was our first "face to face" meeting with our wedding coordinator, "Caroline" after so many emails, it was like meeting my little sister for the very first time! Immediately LOVED her!! That afternoon she took Kurt and I, as well as my two Matrons of Honor to pick the actual wedding site. It was so much fun, we all rode in a golf cart around the resort while she showed us the common sites for ceremonies. Eventually we chose the very last site she showed us, On the beach in front of the Divi Rocks
!! Before this moment I had told her I was sure I DID NOT want to have the ceremony on the beach. I was WRONG!!
Site picked we dropped the Matrons of Honor and the husband to be off to party with the rest at the Divi beachfront bar, and I went back to the office with Caroline to finalize the plans for the next day!
Friday morning---- Kurt and I wake up and head to Breakfast, of course seeing Many of our friends, a few Mimosas, a bunch of congratulations!!! We head back to room, get in to our suits and are happily playing in the most beautiful ocean with our family and friends when we hear calls from the beach bar " BRIDE!!!! BRIDE!!! Where is the bride???!!!!!! She needs to get ready for the WEDDING!!!" The most wonderful Aruban woman was ready to my hair and makeup!!! It was about 12 noon at this time, and the limo was set to pick us up at 3!! I'm thinking" I know I'm old,,,, but how much time does she think I need to get ready??????????????"" LOL
I run up the beach, let her into our room, call the girls, and it's GAME ON!!! Unfortunately I can't remember the wonderful sweet woman's name, but she was sent to me from AWFY!!! She did my hair and makeup, as well as one of the Matron's of Honor hair, and one of the flower girls!, and We looked GREAT!!! The "getting ready time" was also great fun!!! All the girls were there getting made up, the hotel sent us pizza and beer and champagne, and we rotated between the room and the Lanai where we could see all of our friends (as well Was the groom) having fun in the ocean and at the beachside bar!!
WE ARE READY!!!!!!
A Beautiful, fully loaded hummer limo picked us up in the lobby of the Divi AI to transport us to to the courthouse!! We all had a ball!!! I beg ALL Aruba brides to be NOT to skip this!! DO NOT get married in the states for fear of the paperwork!! You need the same EXACT paperwork to get married anywhere in the states!! And the ceremony is SPECIAL!! And sweet, and meaningful, and unforgetful! The courthouse is so quaint and pretty and picturesque! I beg you not to miss this part of your Aruban wedding!! You will never forget the words spoken!
We chose to take our four witnesses (we had two best men and two matrons of honor), as well as my parents and Kurt's brother and sister in law to the courthouse with us. Kurt's parents werent able to come to Aruba with us, and my brother was happy to stay on the resort getting his kids (my niece and nephew) ready for the beach ceremony.
The limo took us back to the Divi AI lobby, where Caroline was ready to corral all of the guests to the beach ceremony!
The ceremony was beyond my imagination!! When I walked out to the site I was breathless!! Covered chairs on the beach, a groomed sand walkway, flowers more beautiful than I could have imagined, steel drum band as I walked down the aisle with my dad. The words spoken by the Reverand will NEVER be forgotten, it sounds cliche,, but he truly made us cry, and made us laugh, and made us feel like the most special two people that have ever been in love!
After the ceremony!!!!!! much champagne on the beach where one of our best friends sang a song for us, pictures in front of the most amazing sunset ever seen, cutting the cake,,,, and off to the reception!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AWFY had taxis waiting to take all of us to the Divi Phoenix for our reception in front of the pool!! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! The DJ played all of our favorite songs, the food was FANTASTIC!!!!! The waitresses and bartenders were beyond belief!! They treated us like royalty!!!! We had decided on just canapes for the food at the reception, I thought they would just be set on a table for people to help themselves,,,, but,, no,,,, the waitresses brought each canape out on giant silver serving trays and took them around to each guest! I felt like a princess!! It was truly a fairytale!!!! I should mention here too that I have a seafood allergy, and the resort was made aware of that, but I didn't want to exclude ALL seafood because I knew many of the guests would really enjoy it,,,, EVERY SINGLE waitress would come to me and say, "No, No, elbrido, this one BAD!!!" They were so SWEET,!!! Not to mention beautiful!!
I forgot to talk about the CAKE!!!!! THE BEST TASTING AND BEAUTIFUL WEDDING CAKE EVER!!!!!!
The cake was banana flavored cake with pineapple filling, and was AWESOME!!!! It was so pretty too!!! decorated with shells instead of flowers! There was cake left over, so we took it back to our room and every morning of the honeymoon we would have cake and coffee at the beach bar with all of our friends!!! ( Old and NEW )!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Which also reminds me that our little flower girl was given a beautiful basket filled with tiny sea shells to drop down the aisle (instead of flower petals)
I also must say that my flowers were the most beautiful I have EVER seen!! Basically all I told Caroline about flowers was that I like pink and orange, (before the planning I didn't realize that there aren't ANY flowers indigenous to Aruba), so I told her to just make sure they were pretty! THEY WERE BEYOND PRETTY!!! They also made my mom a bracelet of flowers to wear, which also were amazing!! ( I didn't think she would want to mess up her look with a corsage).. AND She was thrilled with them!!!
As a second note, our maid at the Divi AI put my beautiful bouquet in a new vase of water with a special congratulatory note EVERY SINGLE DAY! As we were leaving I tried to give her a tip ,,,, and she WOULD NOT take it!! She said "Be HAPPY" "COME BACK"!!!!!
We will be back!!! (If you have your wedding at the Divi AI they give you a coupon for a free nights stay for your first anniversary)
The wedding was held on Friday, Us as well as most of our guests stayed until the following Wednesday.
We all spent that remaining time pretty much doing our own things, ( I WAS on my honeymoon),,, but would meet up at the bars and partys and at the casino! some did diving trips, went into town, did the Balashi tour, ) and then on our last night in Aruba we all went .....
on the Kukukanooko!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
None of us have stopped talking about it yet!! What great fun!! What a great way for all of us to spend our last night in Aruba! If you go to Aruba,, Don't miss it!
Sorry this turned into a novel, there just are'nt enough words to tell what our trip to Aruba was like, and we have been to alot of places, Mexico, the Dominican, Bahamas, other Caribbean destinations, there just is nothing like Aruba!!!
As far as getting married in Aruba, the best way I can describe it to any nervous brides out there .....
When I would lay down at night and dream about the absolute perfect wedding day,,, I couldn't have ever even dreamed it, it was PERFECT!! In every way.............
WOW! We're looking at getting married at Divi and after reading this I'm glad we've chosen it as our location.
Thanks for a perfect review and hopefully I'll be able to write my own in the near future.