When Tim and I got engaged in Aruba in July 2009 (at Madame Jeanette’s), we quickly decided that we would get married in Aruba. We have come to love the island for many reasons.
I had always wanted to go on a family vacation (as adults) ever since I went to Disney World with the family when I was about 13 years old. It was always difficult as everyone always had an excuse for one reason or another. When we announced that we would be getting married in Aruba, my siblings and parents were all in. Tim and I decided that is would be less of a hassle to have just family and not hurt anyone’s feelings. .
When starting to plan, we decided that even though it was a small group, it was important to use a planner to help coordinate everything. That is when I joined the forum. The forum has been such a wonderful place to obtain information and is so helpful.
Our first decision to make was where to stay. Tim and I had previously stayed at the Bucuti twice in the past and love it there but because I had three younger nephews and a niece attending we had to find another location as the Bucuti is not “kid friendly.” It was important for us to remain on Eagle Beach because we love that is less crowded and is absolutely beautiful. We also did not want to do all inclusive in Aruba because there are too many wonderful restaurants and the island is safe so you do not feel that you have to stay on the properties. After some research, we opted to stay at The Amsterdam Manor Resort. They gave us a great rate for the “wedding party” and it was in a perfect location. This is further down on Eagle Beach from The Bucuti towards the high rise. It is located next the La Cabana and has two gorgeous divi trees in the front, which is great for pictures.
The hotel was awesome. We arrived to the hotel not knowing anything about it. I had read a lot of comments about the beds being hard and uncomfortable but I found them to be fine. We stayed in a superior suite. All the rooms have a kitchen equipped with toasters, blender, glasses, plates, etc. Our room was cleaned early every day. At the Bucuti, we would sometimes have to call them at 4 pm and ask that our room be cleaned. The hotel staff was wonderful and friendly! In the end, we decided that when we return to Aruba we will stay at the Amsterdam again.
The upper deck bar at the hotel was not open during our stay. When I asked why, I was told it was because the hotel was not full. The hotel was in fact full, so I am not sure what the reason real was. We were making our own cocktails and sitting up there in the evenings. The seating was comfortable and the view was lovely. Hopefully, it will be open during our next visit. We made great use of the handy ice machine they have on premise. In addition, the hotel has washing machines and dryer. I will definitely pack even lighter knowing that they have laundry facilities.
After looking at the wedding packages and menu options offered through the hotel, we quickly decided that we would not go this route. We are both in the food business and are very picky and not fans of buffets so we decided that our “wedding dinner” would be at restaurant. We could have picked a set menu at the restaurant as well but decided it would be best to let everyone choose what they wanted off the regular menu with no restrictions. We could have had the dinner at Passions, however, we figured since we were all staying there we could have dinner there any night during our stay. Some of our guests did have dinner there on their last night and enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and did not make it to dinner at Passions during this trip.
Through the forum, I found Edwina Werelman of E2 Events. She coordinated everything for us. We had a conference call with her in the very beginning stages and felt comfortable enough that we decided to use her services. Much of our communication was done through emails. At times, the response time was slow but I eventually got any answers I was seeking. Edwina will let you know what you need to send to her for documentation and will get it all filed in Aruba. She will coordinate photography, hair, transportation and anything else that you need. She is very accommodating and if there are particular colors that you want and she does not have, she will do her best to get exactly what you want.
Tim and I arrived in Aruba on a Friday and our guests were arriving on Sunday. That gave us a day to run around to purchase our wedding bands (Kay’s Jewelers….awesome) and get additional items for our welcome bags. We had Bully pick us up early Saturday morning and he took us to Bright bakery where we purchased some local cookies and candy for our bags. He also took us to Lings to pick up some necessities. This is also where i purchased some Aruba Aloe to put in the welcome bags.
When we arrived back to the hotel after leaving Bully, we met Edwina for a “meet and greet” at the hotel. It was a pleasure to meet her and she does have a lovely young intern from Germany working with her now. We reviewed everything from transportation, location, hair and makeup, documents and photography. It was here we reviewed the final details of the big day settled our contract.
We had originally booked Angela Muzenhofer as our wedding photographer. Due to personal reasons, she was unable to take our photos. We were referred to Diane Keijzer. We are happy that with Diane and her work. I will get some pictures posted for you to see soon. She was absolutely wonderful.
Edwina picked us up at the hotel and took us to the Civil House, where we met our photographer. We took several pictures before the ceremony. We had just our witnesses attend the civil ceremony and chose to have our ring ceremony done during the beach ceremony with everyone in attendance. Diane took some amazing pictures and then took us to the divi trees in from of the Amsterdam Manor. These are some of my favorites.
As coordinated by Edwina, my flowers and the hairstylist promptly arrive at the hotel by 2 pm. My flowers were simple but beautifully done just as I wanted.
My hair and makeup were done by Jennifer Croes-Veeris, also known as Jennive and her assistant, Alan. My hair and makeup came out beautiful. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my hair. Jennive started with one style and was not happy with the way it was turning out so she started all over. I had picked a few flowers off a tree at the hotel that I thought she may be able to use in my hair. She told me they were called milk flowers. She asked my niece to go get some more. Jennive’s web site is wwww.jennive.webs.com. I was so pleased with how everyone looked and loved that they came to the hotel and we did not have to go to a salon.
Diane arrived to the hotel at 4 pm and started to take pictures of us getting ready and then left to go to the beach where the ceremony was held.
The transportation arrived and took everyone to the beach. My parents stayed with me and we went down shortly after with Edwina. Everything was perfect. Reverend Alexander Adoptie performed our ceremony. It was beautiful. It seems like such a blur now so I am hoping Edwina will be able to get me a copy of it.
We were so happy to see that Bully came to the beach ceremony! Bully was so wonderful to us and my family. I can’t say enough good things about Bully. Thanks Bully!
After the ceremony, we all went to Marandi restaurant and had more pictures taken. Once this was done, we had an incredible meal. The setting was perfect. We fell in love with this restaurant last year and that is why we decided to have our dinner there after our ceremony.
We could not be happier with our choice to have a destination wedding in Aruba. We loved every aspect of it. We met with Diane the night before we left to come back home and she had a beautiful album put together for us. In addition she gave us three discs so we can print out additional pictures.
I apologize for such a lengthy review but wanted to make sure I tried to cover everything, which will hopefully help any of you along in the process of planning your dream wedding.
thank you so much for sharing.
more than ANY other bride or groom...........you included us for a long time!
we all felt as if we were with you on your special day.
during your mom's illness and all that transpired, we too were nervous wrecks because we were involved.
i am so glad all worked out.
speaking for myself, (the others can speak for themselves) i am honored that you chose us to share all of your planning experiences.
thank you and many blessings for long and happy wedded bliss.
Golf at Tierra Del Sol
Beachfront at Casa Del Mar
Casinos, casinos, casinos
Many congrats to you on now several months of wedded bliss! Thanks so much for your feedback as I am also using Edwina and having ceremony on Manchebo and reception at Tierra del Sol. You did contact me earlier in the summer when I was having some anxiety about how the planning process was going. We are now less than six months away (getting married March 11th, 2011) and I am starting to simply accept that things will get done if even if it isn't happening in "a new york minute". We have the locations and photographer (Angela) confirmed/deposits intact, and expressed our opinions about all the other items we would like, and now just wait for things to get finalized. I never thought I could get used to adjusting to island time when it came to planning a wedding, but it seems I have! I intend to use your recommendations for hair and makeup and I hope that my experience is as wonderful as yours! Thanks for sharing all your details. It really helps.
Glad your wedding day was perfect in every way Yes, Edwina Werleman is great at what she does. She had been my Aruba representative for many years and she and I have worked together many times through the years. Having me in the United States and Edwina in Aruba has always been benificial for our couples as when our couples had any questions or concerns and Edwina was out of the office, they could reach me by telephone. Best of luck and much happiness now and in the future.