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Thread: Wedding Reviews & This Category

  1. #1
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Arrow Wedding Reviews & This Category

    A review is one person's opinion and I will accept it at that. A good experience is someone who gushes over "x".

    X = YOUR favorite restaurant, resort or activity.

    A negative experience will detail what was "wrong". A great review finds balance between the two, however many are one or the other.

    By posting and reading reviews, let us learn from others experiences, again keeping in mind that persons expectations may be different from yours.

    When someone has a fantastic wedding experience, take away from the review the positive to build the base of information for your wedding day. In the same token, when there is negativity, take note of what wrong to either anticipate or correct. For example, what happened when it began to rain? It is life, just know what to expect.

    You and I do not know what the person's expectations were beforehand. Brides and grooms have no frame of reference for Aruba destination weddings. Neither do we have any knowledge as to why they chose this specific spot. What may be perfect for someone, may be absolutely unacceptable for others.

    The bashing of Americans or any other group, is problematic here on the entire forum. In order to keep things civil and within the rules of the forum, please refrain. Everyone has cultural, ethnic, and economic prejudices. For example, one person's idea of a "perfect destination wedding" may be a beautiful sunset and simple exchange of vows, while another is a flower petal strewn white aisle runner with only invited guests and a 4 piece classical quartet.

    As a personal note, I know what worked for my dh and I for our destination wedding and it would horrify some brides and grooms. However, we planned a simple wedding that satisfied us. It was our day and we planned it the way we wanted. What we wanted is not the same as what you may want. I will not criticize you for wishing to make your own choices.

  2. #2
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    "You and I do not know what the person's expectations were beforehand."

    Arubalisa,

    I think you are so right on this and this is so important.

    The basis of every one of our reviews is how it compares to our expectations.

    On my part, I don't think I expected nothing. I had expectations. I also had prior experiences in Aruba and with the Marriott. I read alot here! I read alot here!

    I stand by my review of my wedding and the actions of those involved, but I will also admit that I was predisposed to have a great time. I am not a young bride. . . I spent a long time being a bridesmaid and I had been an attendant at "good" weddings and "bad" weddings. I was blending two families--two families who were happy to be blending and who were wanting to have a great time in Aruba. Lucky Bride, eh? I wanted for everyone to have a good time, that was important to me. Besides, I was busy fending off my fiances attempts at chartering a boat for Venezuela (just kidding, although there was much joking about this).

    I am not going to go into the details about finances except to say that I did the BOE/pro forma. For my wedding, I am the only person who knows what was paid for each item of the beach wedding and what I paid for the civil. And I feel like I got a great value (and I probably should say we because my parents and spouse paid for the reception, a lot of the extas, others and are still trying to pay for the alot of the wedding itself). For me, there was alot of comparison between dollars and product and I am thrilled with the comparison.

    "In the same token, when there is negativity, take note of what wrong to either anticipate or correct."

    So true. So true. I'll be the first to admit that when I saw a bad review I emailed Simone to make sure I had things "right"--the time of the dinner, etc. Had I not read here, I wouldn't have purchased a full run through on may hair. I have to admit, however, that my idea of my hair was not complimentary to me. Daly who was from Colombia spoke Spanish, which I anticipated. I don't speak spanish. We worked through it, not under time pressure, not on the wedding day, and I know we got it right.

    IMO, for new brides, the negatives are a path and the positives are light. Love you all (even if I don't know you) and best wishes!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by richandliz View Post
    "You and I do not know what the person's expectations were beforehand."

    Arubalisa,

    I think you are so right on this and this is so important.

    The basis of every one of our reviews is how it compares to our expectations.
    Imo, the money BEST spent in planning an Aruba wedding is to visit the island in advance and meeting with all prospective vendors and visiting the venues.
    IMO, for new brides, the negatives are a path and the positives are light. Love you all (even if I don't know you) and best wishes!

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    i cannot imagine the brides and grooms "NOT" doing a site visit.
    such an important detail.

    most would never buy a car w/out a test drive.....shoes without trying them on.....
    a multi thousand dollar wedding!! OMGosh, site visit is so important, meeting all of the vendors is so very important.

    imo a site visit is imperative. but that is just me, an overplanner and worrier.

  5. #5
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    I do agree that a site visit prior to booking anything for your destination wedding would be ideal but for some of us, not really an option.
    I think for a majority of people that don't do a site visit prior, the reason would be for either financial reasons or lack of time off work.

    Aruba isn't one of the cheaper Caribbean destinations, so going there 2 times may not be within people's budgets. Also getting the extra time off work to be able to go down for a trip prior could be an issue depending on how long ahead you plan your destination wedding.
    We were not able to go down to do a scouting mission ahead of time. It was for a bit of both reasons, wasn't in our budget and with me in Afghanistan for over 6 months of the year and her teaching it wasn't really an option for us. In hind sight I don't believe it would have made much of a difference in our decision as the RIU Resort itself is a great resort and were very happy with the resort. I even think meeting the planner ahead of time wouldn't have done us much good since she seemed nice enough in the beginning. Hard to tell what kind of work the person will do when the time comes to do it instead of talk about it.

    Anyway I think there is enough resources on the internet to get yourself informed enough to make a decent decision. This forum alone is a great place for information on pretty much everything Aruba has to offer.

  6. #6
    Member JenniferLeigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    i cannot imagine the brides and grooms "NOT" doing a site visit.
    such an important detail.

    most would never buy a car w/out a test drive.....shoes without trying them on.....
    a multi thousand dollar wedding!! OMGosh, site visit is so important, meeting all of the vendors is so very important.

    imo a site visit is imperative. but that is just me, an overplanner and worrier.
    Andrea- I agree 100%. My fiance and I are getting married at the Hyatt and did a site visit over Labor Day weekend (Friday-Monday). It was not a long stay but was completely worth it! I can't imagine not visiting the place where you are getting married beforehand... you wouldn't do that if you were getting married locally. Looking at pictures and seeing it in person were nothing alike and the resort felt and looked completely different at night. I actually fell more in love with the Hyatt when we were out on the beach at night versus the day (which pictures would never be able to capture). It was also great meeting our planner in person and creating a relationship.

    I truly believe if you plan it in advance you can really keep the cost down for a site visit. Since we planned over Labor Day weekend, we did not have to take any time off from work and the hotel made sure to accommodate us since we were visiting for our wedding planning (which I am not sure what the other hotels do, but this seems pretty standard). We really only needed to worry about airfare and food. I think when you plan a destination wedding you should try to budget a site visit into your wedding budget. I understand this may not be possible for everyone (as most do a destination wedding to keep cost down); however, from my personal experience earlier this month, I would definitely recommend a site visit!!

  7. #7
    Junior Member sera1124's Avatar
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    We are hoping to get a site visit in before the big day, but it hasn't happened yet. I've heard that planning 12 months in advance is the best practice for your guests, so they can plan appropriately. What happens if you can't plan a site visit until 6 months in advance?

  8. #8
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    sera,
    i did my visit 8 months prior and everything ended up just fine. see if you can preliminarily book the sites you are considering if you are set on a specific date to not lose them. we had 3 sites "reserved" before our visit. I'll tell you it's a very smart thing to visit. We ended up in a completely different location we thought we'd be at, based on things we uncovered while there. Even a location that i have visited before and really liked, fell short. Visiting ahead of time and meeting people in person will also save you money as you can negotiate with resorts and possibly get the cost lower than you could just over email. As for our hotel, i actually was told by my choice hotel to wait with booking until about 5 months prior to wedding so that was not a problem either. i'm glad you're able to go - that's something i would recommend to everyone.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milacik21 View Post
    As for our hotel, i actually was told by my choice hotel to wait with booking until about 5 months prior to wedding so that was not a problem either.
    If you have a specific date in mind, would it be that easy for each and everyone of the resorts?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Arrow

    A gentle reminder.

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