Hello everyone. It's been almost a month since our Aruba wedding, so we better write about it - before the memories begin to fade.
Our wedding took place at Eagle Beach, away from the resorts in a very private area. The setup was very simple and elegant - dozen of chairs, palm fringe isle and a beautiful arch decorated with fresh flowers. I wouldn't change a thing.
My bouquet of white roses and tropical flowers was all I ever dreamed off. All men received boutonnieres, which were the usual pain in the chest to put on (luckily I had a safety pin to lend to my father), but the flowers were very nice and lasted the whole evening! Our moms received corsages and maid of honor - a single rose. All of the flowers were very pretty and lasted a very long time! I wish I could bring the bouquet back with me, it was still in perfect condition after 6 days (no they were not plastic)!
The transportation is the only negative thing that I can mention, everything else was absolutely perfect. That is the only thing that I would change - I would ask for a coordinator or assistant to stay and wait for the limo to pick the bride up after the main party leaves. My ride was thirty minute late for a number of reasons and I was sure that my wedding was not going to happen... Luckily, it worked out and seeing my beautiful husband waiting for me at the altar - melted away all my worries. :-)
Our wedding planners Edwina Werleman and Karen Lutzker took care of all the details, working out all the little quirks with me, and even accommodating my last moment request to play a song form a CD!
Reverend Gibson gave a very touching speech and I can see why he was so recommended! I wish I could thank him personally; he had to leave quickly for another wedding. I've heard it many times before, but never believed it - time flies at your own wedding, I wish I remembered all the little details!
The guitarist and a steel drummer duo were lovely. They played Caribbean music before and after the ceremony. Our wedding song was "Lucky" by Jason Mraz, Edwina was able to record it on CD and play it as a surprise for my husband.
Our favorite part of the event (besides each other) was photography. Diane Keijzer was outstanding! Not only she was able to capture our special day, she was able to work around all of our family full of amateur photographers, which is a challenge in itself! She is very patient, works very hard, loves her job and loves people. The pictures came out beautifully! Based on all of the reviews, I had high expectations, but Diane exceeded everything we’ve ever dreamed off.
One of the smart things that we did was - prepare a photography list (my husband's idea, of course). As I said, time flew by so fast, but we managed to take pictures with all the people and combinations of people that we would ever want to.
After all of the group pictures on the beach and our first dance as a married couple, we were presented with champagne and cake. Our cake was chocolate with fruit filling and white icing. I am neither champagne nor cake person - but I was surprised that both were quite good! We decided not to freeze and bring cake back home with us, and will just instead buy/bake ganache cake once a year on our anniversary.
Finally, right before the sun disappeared from the horizon; we drove to the divi divi tree in front of the Amsterdam manor and took a few pictures there. This was again, my favorite armature’s idea which worked our perfectly. We were told that our photos from there look like a postcard!
After the sunset, we were brought to the Mathew's restaurant where we had our wedding dinner. The food there was excellent, the service top notch and the prices - very reasonable. Everyone was happy with their food choices and some of us even went back next day for another meal!
We are very happy with our decision to have a destination wedding; I simply wouldn't have done it any other way. This was a wonderful opportunity to give our family a vacation of the lifetime and start off our life together in a beautiful place.
We are also very glad with our choice of the vendors - Karen, Edwina, are both experts in their field. Karen has so much experience and so many ideas and Edwina is very organized, resourceful and creative. They were both very patient and very prompt in replying to my emails and phone calls. We would recommend them to anyone; they will work with you and make your dream wedding come true! And, of course, I would definitely recommend Diane as a photographer; she is the artist - our pictures are living proof of that!
If any of you have questions – I would be happy to answer them. Thanks again for all of your suggestions, this forum is a gem!
Last edited by ArubaSky; 06-16-2009 at 09:27 AM.
Reason: Added planner last names
I am just starting to toy with the idea of a destination wedding in Aruba. I am totally overwhelmed right now with all the different options. I have never been to Aruba. I am looking to communicate about specifics ie: cost, details etc.
It is just my fiance and I paying for the wedding.
I am wondering more about Mathew's restaurant and why you chose it. Where did you stay and did you stay in Aruba for your honeymoon. Where did your guests stay. I want the trip to be somewhat cost effective for my guests but I do not want to sacrifice quality. The hotel reviews are throwing me for a loop. Everyone has so many opinions.
Mathews Restaurant is located by the Beach at Casa del Mar Beach Resort. For those of you that are not familiar with Casa del Mar Beach Resort, it is a timeshare resort with one and two bedroom suites with full cooking facilities. I am very familiar with Casa del Mar as I have owned timeshare there in May and November since they opened many years ago. Mathews has had other owners with different names. Before the owner of Mathews bought the restaurant and totally renovated, the restaurants were not very successful. The owner of Mathews was the former owner of Rumba Restaurant in the town of Oranjestad. Beides Mathews, he recently opened a very successful small Dutch style restaurant up by the high rise hotel area called Rembrandts. This restaurant is more geared toward a small group for maybe a small welcome dinner or after dinner drinks. Rembrandts has nightly music and Karaoke in the evening either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. Getting back to Mathews, the food and service is outstanding! It is a covered but open restaurant with beach and sea views. They will close the restaurant for a large group. However, if your group is smaller, the owner will make up a table or tables closer to the beach side. Very pretty atmosphere at night. However, if your wedding group is smaller, your reception will not be totally private. But you will receive extra special attention and the staff will go out of their way to make sure that everyone is pleased . The beach is not alwlays recommended for a wedding ceremony due to the beach being very short during certain times of the year. At other times, the beach is very long and then I would certainly recommend Mathews beach for a wedding ceremony. If you do decide to have your wedding reception at Mathews, I would highly recommend Eagle Beach for your beach wedding ceremony.