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Thread: My wedding in Aruba - 10.9.10 (Renaissance Island)

  1. #1
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    My wedding in Aruba - 10.9.10 (Renaissance Island)

    First and foremost, I have to say that my wedding day was amazing and that I would do it all again. That being said, I would have a couple of recommendations and precautions to any brides that are thinking about getting married on the island of Aruba.

    1. Marriott Renaissance Island - Flamingo beach, was the location of my ceremony. It was absolutely gorgeous. I had a vision of what I wanted as far as the setup and a platform for myself and my husband to be married on. I would say besides worrying about rain (which everyone says it never rains, but did for about 4 days during the week of the wedding), the majority of the stress was mainly due to the wedding coordinator, Juney (Rafael) Jones. He wasn't very much help and acted as if I was more of a pain than anything. During a visit to Aruba before our wedding week, we met to discuss things like flowers, decor, and the officiant. We went to visit his preferred florist, which I wasn't happy with. His style of vases and overall ideas, weren't what I wanted and I so I reached out to another contact that I had. During the week of my wedding, we met to check out the beach situation (as the 5 weeks of storms had eroded a lot of the beach), he was rude and seemed put off that I chose to work with someone else. In addition, his lack of response and timeliness (I realize that the American perspective on email and phone call returns of a faster pace), but I would wait 2 to 3 weeks on some emails that were important to me. Another situation occured Friday morning before my wedding, he supposedly ordered a carpet, which was to have been taken care of over 3 months ago, and basically emailed me saying that the carpet had not arrived. The Friday morning before my wedding I would have preferred a phone call (I have both a landline and cell phone in Aruba) and atleast a solution to the situation, he gave me neither. Luckily, my chosen florist had come through and was able to remedy the situation. Saturday morning, I sent a quick confirmation email about things and he informed me that the videographer was not setup. We ended up getting someone, but it wasn't the person who I met a few months earlier and was told would be all set for that day. And lastly, for the bride who may have younger siblings or inexperienced bridal party, Juney did absolutely nothing to usher, tell or guide our bridal party. My sister-in-law was the person who was showing our guests where to sit. I was just disappointed with his overall lack of attention to detail and excitement. I realize what this sounds like, probably Bridezilla, but your wedding day is important and the people planning and being apart of it should make it feel special as well.
    2. Driftwood Charters were used for our bridal party transportation. We got the beautiful Driftwood II and I couldn't have been more happy with Herbert Merryweather Jr. and the entire crew.
    3. Reception location was at Marandi. IT WAS AMAZING! The staff was literally waiting in hand and sent us off with drinks. The food was spectacular and the service was truly the best I've ever had. A huge thanks to Luc Beerepoot (now manager of Barefoot, got to visit his new restaurant) Annemieke, Paul, and the entire staff of Marandi. You guys rock!
    4. DJ Tino was the entertainment. Tino was great. The only thing I can say was that he didn't recognize when to start our bridal entrance song and so my mom had to get off the boat and get him to cue the music.
    5. Floritek by Wilson was my florist. He was truly amazing. He was prompt through emails and over the phone and really nailed the ideas that I wanted. In addition, he came through with a covering for our platform. Best florist, hands down on the island.
    6. Pelican Tours was our tranportation for our guests. We used a large catamaran to take our guests from the Westin dock area over to the island and then over to the restaurant on the water, Marandi. My only suggestion to brides is if you do decide to get transportation for your guests that will have a bar on board, is make sure you speak with the crew and are able to communicate the "atmosphere". We wanted more of a sunset cruise, whereas the crew attempted a spring break style booze cruise, which left a few of our friends a little bleary eyed. Honestly though, I'd rather hear that than they were boring.
    7. Aruba Gone Wild was our bus transportation home. AWESOME! Just an fyi, I love loud crazy techno and pop so this isn't a bus for everyone. We had a couple of older people that I'm pretty sure had ringing in their ears next morning. For a good last hour or two, this was the best for mainly young crowd.
    8. Rehearsal dinner was at Pinchos Grill. The food is awesome and the staff is great. We had a group of about 23 or so and it was really perfect. If you are looking for an intimate, elegant, small place, this is it. Annabella, the owner, was amazing through email and was very involved in getting us the food and decor we wanted. My husband was mainly the point person on this and I sent him a picture of flowers for the tables and she delivered the exact setting.
    9. Officiant Geoffrey Banfield performed our ceremony. He was readily available to meet with us and deal with any changes that we wanted to make to the script. In addition, he was amazing at his own add-lib and was creative and really made our ceremony both deep as well as humorous. I read about Geoffrey on this forum and I am truly impressed. He really made our ceremony what it was. Arlette, his manager, was also extrememly helpful. Geoffrey was not able to be on-hand for our rehearsal, so she stepped in to give our bridal party and us an idea of his usual process. Thanks so much to Geoffrey and Arlette.


    Lastly, brides, if you are picky about certain aspects, things will be stressful. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted so if you're not sure, I would be clear about getting some more ideas from your coordinator. Most of the people I dealt with were Aruban and are usually not on a strict time schedule. So if you have a deadline, I would stress the importance as you wouldn't want to wait on an email or phone call any longer than you need to. I would stress the importance of confirmation and making sure to meet with people. Certain language barriers can sometimes pose problems that will drive any person crazy. Lastly, Aruba is truly amazing so if you decide to get married there, enjoy it...

    Please reply to this thread if you have any questions and I will try to answer them.

    One last thing, I visited Barefoot, the new restaurant on the beach by Pinchos and Havana, it was amazing, so if you have a chance to stop in there, you will not be disappointed.

    T

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for your post.
    very interesting comments re: juney jones. i had never heard anything negative about him before.

    i am so glad that the weather cooperated and all went well.
    many good years to you and your groom.
    thanks!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Totally surprized with your somewhat negative reports about Juney also. I have only heard OUTSTANDING reports of his work. As an owner/lover of Rennaissnace suites/private island I am frankly surprized. All other reports have been outstanding.
    I hope you at least enjoyed some part of your wedding on the island !!! :>)
    My 2 daughters, when the time comes, will be getting married there...

  4. #4
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    With regards to recieveing a few personal messages that reflected my comments and feelings, I have to say that I feel as alot of the people who comment on these forums do not always communicate the truth. If you are reading this forum, you will notice who's on here to provide useful and truthful knowledge and who's on here to promote themselves or someone else (referring to vendor services here). The Renaissance Beach is such a beautiful and private beach location and anyone who's even considering it should have full knowledge of what they're getting into. Again, I stress, to take my comments coming from a bride, who's been coming to the island of Aruba for 10 plus years and who's family owns a vacation home and comes 4 to 5 times a year. I wrote this message as my experience from my wedding only.
    Last edited by tifger37; 10-20-2010 at 08:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    My 2 daughters, when the time comes, will be getting married there...
    You have to hope that their husbands to be will agree!
    happiness is going to Aruba with your adult kids because they still want to come with their parents

  6. #6
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    Just to comment on Tfiger37 post, I will be getting married in August 2011 so I haven't had the full experience yet; however, I can say that there is a serious delay with Juney as well as Annie (the hotel coordinator) returning phone call and emails. often, days and sometimes weeks go by prior to me getting a response to a question that is important to me. I have been waiting on my reservation number for my guest for two months now! I hope in the end that I have all good things to say because this is my dream wedding but as of now, I get frustrated and annoyed

  7. #7
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    tfiger37 do you have pictures of your wedding?

  8. #8
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=tifger37;187342]With regards to recieveing a few personal messages that reflected my comments and feelings, I have to say that I feel as alot of the people who comment on these forums do not always communicate the truth. If you are reading this forum, you will notice who's on here to provide useful and truthful knowledge and who's on here to promote themselves or someone else.

    Not here, have no need to promote myself or anyone else.
    Love the island, its people as you do.
    Best wishes on your marriage.

    :>)

  9. #9
    Aruba since 1979
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    thank you for the editing/clarification.
    much appreciated.

    re: vendors ranging from restaurant owners, taxi operators, photographers, DJs, florists, wedding planners, etc.... This forum has many postings from those mentioned. Most of the postings are legitimate and perfect and much welcomed. Sometimes those folks though, are self promoting blatantly with disregard for rules. It is with great care and thought, lisa and I go through the posts and scrutinized whether they are self promotions or not.

    lisa and I read EVERY post.

    in my post following this, i am going to post the entire rules as they are listed on the left side menu. the rules are quite clear about self promoting/advertising and signature lines.

    most instances of difficulties, we the moderators have encountered is in re: SPAM and Self Promoting.


    Quote Originally Posted by tifger37 View Post
    With regards to recieveing a few personal messages that reflected my comments and feelings, I have to say that I feel as alot of the people who comment on these forums do not always communicate the truth. If you are reading this forum, you will notice who's on here to provide useful and truthful knowledge and who's on here to promote themselves or someone else (referring to vendor services here). The Renaissance Beach is such a beautiful and private beach location and anyone who's even considering it should have full knowledge of what they're getting into. Again, I stress, to take my comments coming from a bride, who's been coming to the island of Aruba for 10 plus years and who's family owns a vacation home and comes 4 to 5 times a year. I wrote this message as my experience from my wedding only.

  10. #10
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