The wedding was absolutely dreamy! Just perfect! Our wedding was at the Marriott Stellaris. Simone was our wedding planner and she did a wonderful job! We made a few last minute changes and she didn't fret! Anyone would be lucky to have Simone! She kept in touch with us after the wedding as well and that was really nice!
Set-up: We had the the treasure ceremony with the tiki torches and flower lined walkway and shell and flower arch! Loved it! Because it was just family, our set up was kind of like in a round--all our guests sat on the front row. Rich's daughter and son were our maid of honor and best man. Rich walked mom down the aisle and dad walked me. Before this, we had my siblings walk by family down the aisle as part of the processional. That was so neat. I could only see their backs as it happened, but I love those pictures. Everyone had a flower and that was really neat. Everyone thought it was also neat that in our bathrooms are pictures of that flower. Suki from the Marriot was available when we watched the weddings and was on site during our wedding---very friendly and informative!!
Steel pan drummer: The music was great! I'll be honest, I was on sensory overload and didn't hear all the music during our ceremony. We watched two weddings on days before our ceremony and so I got to experience it more then. It was nice that I could really see the drummer because of our watching where I didn't notice him as much during the ceremony.
Flowers: Flowers, flowers, flowers. There were flowers everywhere and they were absolutely beautiful. I wish we could take them all home. Someone arranged for a large group of the ceremony flowers to presented in our hotel room and that was so nice. We enjoyed them for the rest our trip and then passed them on to mom and dad, who were staying for extra days. We used a mix of calalillies and tropical flowers. The quality was great!
Minister: Our minister was Robert Thiel. He said a wonderful ceremony and put us at ease. Not exactly under the minister--but one thing I would do differently is to either make sure the guys watched closely the weddings before ours (as I think a couple was doing during ours) or to have a rehearsal. I didn't want to do a rehearsal before hand because I wanted as much time in Aruba to be vacation, but I noticed (and Robert joked) that Rich was a little nervous. I think the guys are used to not worrying about it until the day before then being told exactly what to do at a rehearsal. I think the guys wanted to be told what to do. Thanks Robert for putting the guys at ease!
Hair and Makeup--Daly from the spa did my hair and make-up. I think there is a short run through as part of the package, but I paid for a full run through and glad I did. During the rehearsal, we kept trying to find a good up-do mix. . . and nothing looked right on me. We decided for the sides up and back down and it was perfect! All the pressure was off for the wedding day do which turned out wonderful! I thought she did a good job on my makeup---and then Rich talked all night about how good my makeup looked and I realized that she did better than good!
Photographer--I am embarrased to say that I don't know his full name. His initials are MW, if anyone knows his full name, please let me know. He was the best! Our wedding was on Saturday and I had the pictures Tuesday afternoon. The quality of the photos was great! I think he really told the story of our wedding. . it was really neat to see my feelings and remembrances in photos. And he won my heart at one point--we were trying to get a photo with a veil that my mom made and were wondering about the light--he said, "if we don't get it tonight, I'll come back tomorrow and we will do it again," I never would have had him do that, but that he said that made me feel so good.
( a little aside--probably the only other thing that I would have changed about our wedding was that we didn't quite get my dress on right--it was a tie back--not a big deal, but we should have done one or two more run throughs with the seamstress)
A couple more comments on the wedding itself:
--The cake was identical to the picture I sent. It was beautiful and tasted great! We were having the little kids at the wedding but not the reception. I was a little worried about how having the cake at the ceremony was going to go and it went very, very well!
--I had my dress (and other clothes) steamed by Arlette before the ceremony and that is a must-do! They all looked great! I'll tell you more about Arlette saving the day during my civil wedding review!
Reception: We had our reception at Simply Fish! Without a doubt, my family hearts Simply Fish! The food and drinks were delicious as always. Our service was spectacular. The staff sent us a bottle of wine and a card that was soo nice. Ok, and here is where I feel like we almost stole something. I don't remember there being live music at Simply Fish before, but my sister said she remembered it. WE GOT TO DANCE!!! I totally was not expecting it--with our small group, we weren't going to hire a DJ--but we got to dance!!! It was so neat---all of it---romantic, family everything all in one!
Lobby Bar: I can't talk about my wedding without talking about the lobby bar, our home away from home! They took such good care of us all week. . .. and then on the night of our wedding---They decorated our ROOM!! (and it might have been group work with others) The outside of the door had a bride and groom and banner, there were banners inside, towel lovebirds, beads, heart lights etc. It was totally romantic and totally unexpected. We also received a bottle of champagne and think it was from the lobby bar! Thank you guys--you know we love you!
Overall, we were treated like royalty. Everything we asked for or basically thought about was done for us. It was a little hard to leave the dream world and to come home to real life. I can say that for the rest of my life, I will remember my wedding as an absolute dream. It went perfectly!