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Thread: Wedding Planning HELP!!

  1. #1
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    Wedding Planning HELP!!

    Hi everyone,

    My fiance and I are looking to be married in Aruba in May 2011.
    I have read alot of other posts and am still left unsure on what venue I would like for my wedding. I need some help.

    Our options have been narrowed down to the Marriot Stellaris, Radisson, The Westin, Renissance Island and Bucuti Beach. We are looking to have approximately 40 guests. Ceremony and reception, I would like a dancefloor area and maybe a lounge area for people to mingle.

    Here is my dilemna...

    Marriot looks incredible, prices are a little more than the others but may be worth it. I would like to keep room rates reasonable for our guests and their rooms are much more than others.

    The Radisson has great pricing but I feel it may not live up to my expectations. I want the venue to be chic, trendy and elegant. Im worried the Radisson may not have that to offer???

    I love the idea of Ren Island, the privacy, flamingos etc. But I dont like that the hotel has no beach. I feel our guests may find that to be a hassle. I also feel that the interior of Ren Hotel is a little lackluster. Any insight?

    The Westin seems to be great, but I have had trouble getting info and menus, any insight about their facility?

    And lastly Bucuti Beach, I love the rooms at Bucuti and they have a great planner that responds very promptly to my emails. My only concern is that it may not be lively enough for my guests and far from the rest of the island. But I like the idea of a less crowded atmosphere.

    Our guests will range from 26-65, mostly friends and family in their late 20s and early 30's.

    One more question... What are everyone's feelings on a buffet dinner? I have never been a buffet person myself but I feel like it might be nice for people to have the option of eating as they wish and to be able to dance and drink* without having to sit for a dinner. Tacky? I dont want people to think we went cheap on the reception and they spent so much money to go to our wedding..

    I would also like to arrange to take our guests for a private sail and have drinks and apps as a welcome party, do we do a rehearsal dinner, and how about a going away brunch? Any suggestions on venues or who to contact?

    Any insight is appreciated, I am a little scatterbrained right now and need to make some decisions to relieve some stress. LOL

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    my opinions are in red have yu visited all of these places or are you getting your info from this forum or other forums?

    Quote Originally Posted by agraz0213 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    My fiance and I are looking to be married in Aruba in May 2011.
    I have read alot of other posts and am still left unsure on what venue I would like for my wedding. I need some help.

    Our options have been narrowed down to the Marriot Stellaris, Radisson, The Westin, Renissance Island and Bucuti Beach. We are looking to have approximately 40 guests. Ceremony and reception, I would like a dancefloor area and maybe a lounge area for people to mingle.

    Here is my dilemna...

    Marriot looks incredible, prices are a little more than the others but may be worth it. I would like to keep room rates reasonable for our guests and their rooms are much more than others.marriott is lovely and in a good location, beach is crowded and congested. a woman named christene who was married in october at the marriott had a GREAT experience. marriott as you know is no bargain.

    The Radisson has great pricing but I feel it may not live up to my expectations. I want the venue to be chic, trendy and elegant. Im worried the Radisson may not have that to offer???radisson is doing a big renovation and chic and elegant are words i would use to describe the radisson. it is a lovely place.

    I love the idea of Ren Island, the privacy, flamingos etc. But I dont like that the hotel has no beach. I feel our guests may find that to be a hassle. I also feel that the interior of Ren Hotel is a little lackluster. Any insight?
    renaissance is awesome. their private island is terrific. (be forewarned sometimes there are many mosquitos at dusk) but imo if i wre to get married again, renaissance island would be just the ticket. and the beach is amazing, for the guest to be unhappy with having to shuttle to the beach.........well then i am without words.


    The Westin seems to be great, but I have had trouble getting info and menus, any insight about their facility? another spot, resort that is terrific

    And lastly Bucuti Beach, I love the rooms at Bucuti and they have a great planner that responds very promptly to my emails. My only concern is that it may not be lively enough for my guests and far from the rest of the island. But I like the idea of a less crowded atmosphere. it is a quiet place. it is elegant. it is classic. it is an adult only resort. it is located in a quiet section, but less than 2 miles from hi rise area and less than 2 miles from downtown.

    Our guests will range from 26-65, mostly friends and family in their late 20s and early 30's.

    One more question... What are everyone's feelings on a buffet dinner? I have never been a buffet person myself but I feel like it might be nice for people to have the option of eating as they wish and to be able to dance and drink* without having to sit for a dinner. Tacky? I dont want people to think we went cheap on the reception and they spent so much money to go to our wedding.. it is YOUR wedding. a buffet will NOT be tacky.

    I would also like to arrange to take our guests for a private sail and have drinks and apps as a welcome party, do we do a rehearsal dinner, and how about a going away brunch? Any suggestions on venues or who to contact?contact Jolly Pirate for private sail or Red Sail sports for private sunset sail.

    rehersal dinner a good spot might be TULIP AMADEUS MATTHEWS PINCHOS COOKS

    you certainly are covering all bases.
    imo a going away brunch is just too much.
    you do not have to do so much.

    again, if it were me in this order i would choose renaissance, bucuti, westin, radisson,

    and have you looked into AMSTERDAM MANOR? quaint, comfortable, awesome beach, really a very nice place.


    Any insight is appreciated, I am a little scatterbrained right now and need to make some decisions to relieve some stress. LOL

  3. #3
    Member Sheree10's Avatar
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    I understand your dilemma! I was in the same position about one year ago. There are so many beautiful options on the island- how can you chose one! Well I think you have a great list to go by. I've heard of positive experiences about weddings at the places you listed. I think you will just have to decide what you're looking for when making up your mind. From what I hear, you can;t really go wrong with any resorts you placed on the list. Of course, there will be minor things that are not perfect but think about the bigger picture... is this where you would like to get married?

    As far as the buffet, I notice that a lot of DW's have buffets. I dont think it should be a problem just as long as the food is good. We're having a buffet and I'm so glad because I didn't want to have to worry about meal selections etc.

    Weigh your options and see which place is the best. One of the main reasons we selected the Renaissance because we wanted a private location. Plus, whenever I saw pics of weddings there--- they all looked different. I loved the idea that we would have so much freddom to do what we wanted. Yes I've heard about the lackluster rooms and mosquitoes but it will be an experience like no other for our family and friends.( and us!)

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Member jingle96's Avatar
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    We got married at the Westin and we had a wonderful time! Check out my site for all reviews and pictures: http://allaboutjingnjeff.weebly.com/

    or you can check http://www.ourarubawedding.com/ another blog by a bride who got married @ the Marriott

    Hope this all helps you! Any questions feel free to ask!

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Thank you

    Thank you so much for all of your input, I really appreciate it. I have now narrowed it down to Bucuti and The Westin. Ren Island looks and sounds wonderful, although the lack of beach by the hotel, the mosquitos and the boat ride to the island may be too much for some of the older guests.

    Jingle, have you posted any pics on your blog? I didnt see them and would love to take a look. I really want to see how they set up the reception area. What location did you choose?

    Again, thank you everyone and any other info or suggestions/recommendations would be MORE than welcomed!!!!

  6. #6
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    I definitely understand what you are going through. Picking a resort was a huge decision for us and it wasn’t easy since there are so many to choose from and my FI and I have never been to Aruba. In the end we chose The Westin. We felt it had everything we were looking at and the prices were great. And our wedding coordinator Patrick has been amazing and everyone we have dealt with so far has been great. I have some of the information they send you when you inquire about having your wedding there, but it is all the 2009 information.

    Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Karen Lutzker's Avatar
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    Westin

    I just love the Westin and have worked with Patrick. He is a great guy and works very hard. Best of luck on your wedding :-).
    http://www.cayenaweddings.com
    Aruba's First Destination Wedding Planner
    Specialists in Wedding Coordination and Vow Renewals

  8. #8
    Member jingle96's Avatar
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    There are tons of pictures on my blog. I did a site visit to in Aug and posted pics from that too!
    Check the blog here: http://allaboutjingnjeff.weebly.com/my-blog-spot.html
    I'm still working on a couple of blog post so stay tuned for that too!

    You really won't be disappointed in The Westin!

  9. #9
    Member oneeyejack's Avatar
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    our guests LOVED the buffet for our wedding. they had more than enough to eat and the food was great. check out the link in my sig to get more information about our wedding at the radisson. i would totally recommend the radisson!! if you have any questions about the radisson after reading my review, feel free to ask me. =)

  10. #10
    MK1
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    Hi,
    Have you decided between the two yet? I recently got married at the Bucuti and it was AMAZING. Beyond amazing. The beach there is incredible! I was also worried that it might not be lively enough for friends (age range 25-29), but was completely and happily surprised. The bartenders were really great and the DJ was super. After a while I asked the DJ to only play songs we could dance to - and it was an instant club on the beach

    Nashette is also amazing - I was completely stress free during planning, thanks to her attention to detail. There was never an email that I sent that went unanswered for more than a couple of hours. If she couldn't answer back immediately, she always let me know that she would look into it and reply back soon.

    Let me know if you have any questions on the Bucuti! I'm happy to help.

    MK
    Aruba trip #1: Jan 2010
    Aruba trip #2: May 2010
    Aruba trip #3: coming up!

    Aruba

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