To follow in Sheere's footsteps, here is my review or our Renaissance Island Wedding.
Wedding Coordinator: Raphael “Juney” Jones and his assistant Mayline
Wedding Date: Friday July 31, 2010
Ceremony and Reception: Renaissance Private Island
Guests: Bride & Groom + 36
Wedding Location/Renaissance Island, Aruba, coordinator/Juney Jones
This being my second marriage I knew I wanted a Destination wedding and after reading several reviews about Ren Island and being there in 2007, we decided this would be the place.
Here's a pic of the beach ceremony set up:
We went with a very simple set up. I had the white chair covers with Royal Blue sashes. On the tables we had white linen, white chair covers with the Blue sashes. For the centerpieces we went with a basic lantern that Juney provided. I didn't think it was worth the extra money to have fresh flowers on the tables. The Island is so beautiful I just wanted it to be simple and I think it came out great. For my favors I bought star fish at my local Christmas Tree Shop (6 for $3) and tied each couples seating assignment onto the starfish as well as white chocolate starfish favors. See the pic below:
The Bride and Groom table:
A view of our guest tables:
A pic of the starfish seating assignments:
A pic of the starfish favors:
FOOD: We also asked Juney for a food tasting and he was happy to accommodate us with one (free of charge). We LOVED the food and finished everything on our plate. It was just out of this world!! We went with the "Renaissance buffet" and there was more than enough food and dessert for everyone. We thought we'd make some changes to the menu, but after the tasting we just couldn't believe how delicious the food was. The food at the reception was excellent! Everything was hot and fresh.
**I can't find any pics of the food from my candid pics** bummer because it was so good...
The cake was also wonderful. I ended up getting 3 different layers of different flavors: here's a pic of the cake:
COCKTAIL HOUR: The only bad thing I would have to say, and it's not even "bad" is during the cocktail hour when the bridal party was taking pictures we had to ask a few times for some drinks/apps to be brought over to us. As for the cocktail hour food, the feedback we received from our guests was that the passed h'ordeuvres were unbelievable as well as the fruit and cheese display we had. Our guests raved about the h'ordeuvres.
BUGS: Well, the reviews were correct, the mosquito did come out in full force. Just apply the bug spray that Juney supplies and you'll get through it. It was only for about 10 minutes but with such a beautiful sunset we just swatted them away and went on with our pictures.
WC: Emails with Juney were sometimes slow but after reading the reviews and hearing such great things about Juney I knew I'd hear back a day or two later and I always did. (It is Aruba after all )What else can I say but Juney is the best and knows how to make any wedding an unbelievable experience!
REVEREND: We had originally asked for Rev. Gibson to preform our ceremony. I asked Juney about having Rev. Gibson and he said it was no problem and to contact him myself. I did and all was well until I sent an email to Rev. Gibson a few weeks prior to the wedding to touch base. Well, long story short he said he would not work with the Renaissance anymore and that he will not be preforming my ceremony. I had a total freak out and emailed Juney for clarification as to what was going on. Juney and I worked it out and he ended up supplying me with Rev. Geoffrey (I can't seem to find his full name). He was EXCELLENT and I'm so glad he was able to preform our ceremony. Our guests loved him and said he was one of the best they've seen. In the end it all worked out and Geoffrey awesome. I would recommend him to anyone!!
In this picture you can see the Geoffrey stands where the guests are seated so the Bride and Groom face the crowd!! They enjoyed that they could see us and not our backs..
STEELE PAN PLAYER: I'm not sure who it was but we got him for both the ceremony and cocktail hour. The only thing was, when we went to take a picture of my groom with the Steele pan player he got upset that we wanted to take a picture with the Groom hitting the Steele pan. We understood it was "expensive equipment" and just took a pic with me and the groom holding the sticks
DJ- TINO - He ROCKED!! He had sent me a list of his top 200 song playlist and I think I crossed out about 100 of them... I added some top 40 type music and Tony just added them right in. He was great with requests and of course he got a lot of them. Thank you to Tino for rockin the house that night. My guests had a ball!! You can't go wrong with Tino he kept the party going all night long!!
Hair Makeup: Jennifer Veeris-Croes (Jennive)
I also used JenniVe. I wanted someone on the island that spoke English and someone who's work I could see. I ended up finding her by a review on this forum. I did a google search and first found her on Facebook. I sent her a message and she was quick to respond via email. I asked her about her makeup and sent her a few pictures, but in the end, I left my hair/makeup in her hands. She makes you feel so at ease, you feel like you've known her for years You can see pics of my hair for both days here:
Hair Salon in Renaissance
Photographer: Angela - Bella Aruba
Angela by far was THE BEST photographer!! When we arrived on the Island she came to our hotel to meet with us. I had already spoken to her several times via email and phone. Well, after she showed us her work, my FI was convinced he LOVED her work. Angela, went over the events of the day in detail with us and made us feel like she would capture every moment. (Which she did and more)!! The day of the wedding I came up with an idea...I said to Angela, all the girls and going to change into bathing suits and the guys bathing suits and we want to take some fun pics during the last hour of the reception. She was thrilled and thought it was such a fun idea..Let me just say to all you girls, this was the funnest thing we could have done. We went from being all fancy , to smoking cigars (we even had a cigar table which was a BIG hit) to changing into bathing suits at the reception. Angela was there to capture it all.
We even had a Trash the Dress session with Angela. We went on the 4 hour Island tour and boy was it worth it. Angela took us to the several locations and got some excellent shoots. It was like hanging out with one of our friends..I can't recommend her enough.
Here are a few from our TTD session taken with my camera:
I'm sure I left out some details but if anyone wants to PM me feel free.. All in we have the best wedding and all our guests loved the private island.