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Thread: My September 25th Hyatt Regency Aruba Wedding (Long)

  1. #1
    Member JenniferLeigh's Avatar
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    My September 25th Hyatt Regency Aruba Wedding (Long)

    I first want to apologize as this is a very lengthy review but I wanted to include as many details as I could.
    Pinchos Bar & Grill: After reading many amazing reviews, I decided to contact the owner of Pinchos, Anabela, for more information on group events- and I am so glad I did! From the beginning, Anabela was extremely friendly and easy to communicate with via email (I live in the US so it was much easier than racking up costs to call international). We had the option of a group sit down dinner for a set price per person, which provided 4 different menu options, or a standing reception with food served butler style. Since we had a group of 30 people, we decided to have the standing reception so that everyone could mingle and enjoy the night the way they pleased. When we arrived at Pinchos, we were taken back by how beautiful the restaurant is! It is located on a pier right over the water with amazing sunset views! We arrived at 6:00pm, which was enough time for us to get settled, order some drinks and then watch the breathtaking sunset. When the sun goes down, the entire bottom of the pier lights up underneath, creating an incredibly intimate feel and allows you to see all the fish swimming under the pier. The entire staff at Pinchos was incredibly accommodating and friendly. We ended up ordering 8 different “pinchos”, which are pass around bite size snacks (including chicken satay, shrimp ceviche, stuffed dates, etc). The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was full at the end of the night. I would highly recommend anyone looking for a romantic intimate dinner experience as a large group or as a couple. Everyone truly enjoyed this restaurant and I can’t wait to go back when we visit Aruba again!

    Fantasy Tour Transportation: Since our wedding group was staying at the Hyatt, I needed to hire transportation to get us to Pinchos Bar & Grill. Our wedding planner recommended Fantasy Tour. To make things easy for us, we decided to book Fantasy Tour for all our travel for groups of 4 or more. Every schedule we made, they were early for pick up at our hotel. The busses were air conditioned and the drivers were extremely friendly. We mostly dealt with Jackie. Their pricing was very reasonable for roundtrip transportation for our group of 30. However, we felt that they were slightly over priced for the smaller group transportation. We had a group of 4 that needed roundtrip transportation from the Hyatt to Carte Blanche, which we didn’t realize how close it actually was to our hotel. We were charged $25 total; however, we found out from another couple that they took a cab from the same location for only $6 (which would only be $12 roundtrip). Although the pricing was a little high, they were always at our hotel early waiting for us and were very accommodating.

    Hyatt Aruba Resort & Casino: This hotel and the property are absolutely gorgeous and the hotel staff were incredibly nice and accommodating. Right upon arrival, we were greeted in the lobby by our planner, Rosy Nuboer and the Director of Catering and Convention Services, Flo Stadwijk with champagne. We were checked in within seconds and went right to our beautiful suite overlooking the ocean. Our wedding ceremony on the beach in front of the Hyatt and our reception was under the two large Palapas on the beach so we were able to look down on both locations from our room and enjoyed unbelievable views from our large deck. It was very cool to get ready in my room and watch them set up the arch, chairs and decorations for our beach ceremony. Our suite had more than enough room to accommodate myself and 7 girls to get their hair and makeup done. It was comfortable, relaxing and very roomy.
    Our chair set up and arch was done beautifully. Our florist’s name was Greta and she was recommended through the Hyatt. She decorated our arch with drapery and flowers and also did my bouquet and my husband’s boutonniere. The flowers were everything we wanted. I provided my own chair sashes because they were a lot cheaper to purchase here than through the Hyatt. I also purchased our napkins, table runners, drapery and centerpieces (lanterns with candles). I needed 2 suitcases for all our supplies- one that came with us and one I gave to a relative to bring for me. Neither of us had any issues getting through customs.
    Our officiant’s name was Virgil who apparently is the husband to our florist. He was a very nice guy but seemed very nervous during our ceremony. We also found it odd that instead of him standing under the arch facing our group; he stood in front of us with his back to our group. The only complaint we received was he blocked us a lot during the ceremony and stood very close to us so our family had a hard time capturing pictures without him being in it or blocking one of us out.
    We hired a steel drum solo for our beach ceremony, which really set a nice tone. The Hyatt hired him and we were charged $400 for one hour (seemed high to us). He played music when my guests first started to arrive, played the song I chose for when I walked down the aisle and played after the wedding while we were taking pictures and our guests were enjoying cocktail hour. Although it was a bit pricey, I am very happy we went with the steel drum. It was such a good feeling to hear my song being played in Caribbean style while walking down the beach barefoot to my future hubby waiting for me J
    Our planner Rosy Nuboer , who works directly for the Hyatt, was amazing. She made sure that every detail we asked for our special day was taken care of. On the day of the wedding, she would contact me immediately if a problem arose and even came up to my room to check on me while I was getting ready. The only real “problems” were that one of our lantern centerpieces glass broke- no biggie they fixed it, and also our candles for the lanterns wouldn’t stay lit due to the wind so they used fake ones. I wouldn’t even call these problems but she made sure to fix them immediately. She even wore a purple outfit because that was our wedding color!

    DJ Tino (Cyclone Productions): I really loved DJ Tino. I found his information on this forum and decided to contact him because of his good reviews. I am so happy we decided to hire him. I created a list of songs that we wanted to make sure were played on at wedding (as well as a Do Not Play List) and he made sure that every song I wanted was played. We scheduled a meeting with him for when we got to Aruba and he was right on time. We went over our songs and the details of the wedding- what an incredibly friendly guy! He had an amazing sound system and made sure our wedding was a party! He also did our introductions, entrances, announcements, etc. Everyone loved the music from start to finish and Tino had a smile on his face all night. I would highly recommend him.
    Anyone who is in the process of planning a wedding in Aruba, I have a few tips for you:
    When we were a year out, it would take some time for our planner to get back to us. We were getting nervous that planning would be an issue, but as we got closer to our date the communication definitely picked up dramatically. As long as you have someone on the island helping you, your wedding will turn out great. I communicated mostly through email with my planner and vendors and had zero issues. The few months leading up to our day, our planner would get back to us within 1-2 days.

    If you hire your own vendors, I do recommend reaching out to them a week before your wedding just to confirm everything (if you scheduled meetings, event times, etc). It really helps with peace of mind.

    Once you arrive in Aruba just RELAX! Some things will go wrong but DO NOT let it interfere with your big day. You are getting married on a gorgeous island with friends and family that love you. You could be in a trash bag eating on the sand and it would still be magical.

    Do your research way in advance. That’s how I picked all of the restaurants we went to all week, picked my vendors, etc. You will be very happy you did your homework. Don’t be scared to not go with someone your planner recommends. Some things were easier for me to just have the Hyatt book, others I did my research and found who I thought would be the best choice. I also saved money this way.

    On your wedding day, try to take everything in as best as possible. Once the time arrives, everything seems to go very fast. My husband and I pulled away from the group for a few minutes just to stand by the ocean and let is all hit us. We really just got married, on this beautiful island, with our amazing friends and family and couldn’t be happier!

    If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message! I would love to help in any way that I can!
    Last edited by JenniferLeigh; 03-25-2013 at 08:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Awesome !!!
    Thank you for sharing your wedding with us.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hockeymom's Avatar
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    This is why your wedding was such a success! You seem to be a very reasonable, optimistic person. Congratulations on your beautiful wedding - it sounds magical. It was such a pleasure to read your trip report. I felt like I was there. Best wishes to both of you.


    Once you arrive in Aruba just RELAX! Some things will go wrong but DO NOT let it interfere with your big day. You are getting married on a gorgeous island with friends and family that love you. You could be in a trash bag eating on the sand and it would still be magical.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclone promotions's Avatar
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    Hey JenniferLeigh
    thanks for the great review it was my plasure to DJ at your wedding
    Congrats one more time and all the best in the future
    Professional Island DJ's
    For All Your Weddings And Party Needs.
    We Create Your Party
    DJ TINO
    https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/dj-t...472c213ea.html

  5. #5
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    Hi Jenniferleigh.

    I am new to this forum and happy to find this post. Congratulations and I am glad you had a great experience! I am also having my wedding at the Hyatt on November 2013. I just got more excited after reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

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    Hi Jennifer,

    I am currently in the very beginning stages of planning a wedding in Aruba. I initially was 100% behind going to Renaissance Island ( we want it to be as private as possible), but the reports of bugs scared me off a bit (my last trip to Aruba I was eaten alive and the welts from the bites didn't go away until a week after we'd returned home).

    I was just wondering if you or your guests had any issues with bugs or being bitten at your ceremony or reception? I still want a beach wedding/ reception and I am wondering if the bugs reported by Renasssaince Island guests are specific to just that island or if other beach weddings have had the same issue. Did the Hyatt do anything to help prevent bugs during your wedding celebration?

    Any information or insight you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks so much and congratulations!!!

  7. #7
    Member JenniferLeigh's Avatar
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    Hi BrklynLuv,

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I am very excited for you- Aruba is an amazing place to get married

    I have never been to Ren Island, but when I first starting looking at hotel options I read the same reviews about the bug issue, which unfortunately steered me away.

    As for the Hyatt and Palm Beach as a whole, we never had any type of bug issue the entire time we were there. Our guest never complained either. The only “bugs” I ever saw were actually dragonflies and they were pretty amazing!

    We did have our rehearsal dinner at Pinchos, which is near the airport (I believe Ren Island is located near the airport but I could be wrong) and we didn’t experience any bugs there either. We also had dinner at Madame Janette’s one night and ate outside and again no bug issue.

    I hope this helps and good luck with your planning! Let me know if you have any other questions

  8. #8
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    I'd love to get more information JenniferLeigh! I'm torn in so many different directions as to what to do LOL! Is the hyatt on Palm beach? were there alot of people on the beach when you were doing your photos / wedding, etc?

    What time was the ceremony? I cant decide whether to go with a resort and use their planner, or use an outside planner. IT's alot of information!
    Thanks
    Jenn

  9. #9
    Member JenniferLeigh's Avatar
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    Hi Jenn,


    Planning a destination wedding can definitely be stressful! Yes, the Hyatt is on Palm Beach- gorgeous property. Some people did gather along the sides during our ceremony, but to be honest I didn't even notice them. I was so focused on my husband that everything else around us seemed to be blurred. We fortunately didn't have anyone that disrupted our wedding in any way. When we were taking pictures along the ocean, we did have a few people walking behind us saying "sorry" but that was about it. You take a chance we a beach wedding because it is public property and people are going to be curious and want to watch the wedding. I think in most situations people have respect and stay in the distance.


    The ceremony was at about 5:45pm. We were originally going to have it at 6:00 but were afraid we would lose the sun too quickly so we moved it 15 mins earlier. That gave us enough time for the ceremony and then to have some breathtaking sunset pictures. Once the sun starts to go down though, it does disappear quickly. We took the rest of our pictures in the Hyatt lobby.


    The Hyatt does have its own "romance planner" that is included in their weddings.


    When are you getting married?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Karen Lutzker's Avatar
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    Hyatt Wedding

    If a couple is planning their wedding in Aruba and are concerned about Mosquitos at their wedding ceremony or outdoor reception, might I suggest that as one of the items included in their guest gift bags is that they include a couple of Off Insect Repellant Wipes. I checked on Google for Off Insect Repellant Wipes and found that www.Amazon.com sells the items in medium and large packages. Discount Stores such as Cosco, Sams Club or even Dollar Stores might have them as well. In keeping with the theme of items to put in a Guest Gift Bag although off the topic of Mosquitos, how about including a few shout wipes in the guest gift bags just in case someone drips food on themselves.
    http://www.cayenaweddings.com
    Aruba's First Destination Wedding Planner
    Specialists in Wedding Coordination and Vow Renewals

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