The only logical way I could think of to begin planning a destination wedding and travel theme wedding was to TRAVEL to my destination wedding location.. ARUBA!
Destination Bride Problem: How do I find someone 'at the destination' that will do as an amazing job, if not better than back home? (For me this would be rough because I am very good at what I do (not to pat myself on the back), I love my brides. Who will love me and care for me as much as I do for my brides back home?) So,of course being that I won't be planning my own wedding, I turned to our planning partners in Aruba (I trust her with my life!)
If you are not as lucky as me I would suggest planning meetings in Aruba. If you are one of our destination brides we would speak about all of our options prior and then I will schedule you to meet our onsite planners. By finding the perfect sources right away we then had plenty of free time for 'so many activities'! We rented a UTV. I recommend this to all. We will be doing this with our group when we are there for our wedding week. We rented the UTV (no tour - tours are for boring people). We took a map, packed a ton of water and some snacks, lotioned up and hit the road! We ventured through the dessert, rock formations, passed by my friends at the Donkey sanctuary and made our way to the National Park. In the national park we went to the natural pool. Oh my goodness what an amazing experience (I added pictures below). We cooled off, jumped off the cliff, looked at some fish, grabbed a fresh cut coconut to drink and hit the road again. We were exhausted but of course had time to go to my FAVORITE restaurant on the island - Wacky Wahoo. From the fresh catch ceviche to our fresh catch entrees.. my mouth is watering thinking about it - THE BEST FOOD EVER. Of course a night is not complete without ending it at Moomba Beach. We decided that our after party will be at Moomba Beach (also pictured). This is a bunch of giant palapas set as a bar on the beach. They have the friendliest bartenders, great live music and you walk a few steps and you are back on the beach! AMAZING.
So in between our fun we were still there on BUSINESS. We have this wedding to plan!
Tuesday we met with our amazing team. We stopped by their shop to look at their gorgeous hand crafted arches, tables, chairs, centerpieces, signs, you name it! I is an event planner heaven. We then went to my favorite caterer to grab some lunch to take to the beach where we would have our potential wedding spot! Outstanding. I am not sure if it was the gorgeous Eagle Beach setting, the breeze, the amazing flavorful tastes, the company, or the sun.. but I consider this an AMAZING success.
We were so blessed to partner with these amazing locals to create the greatest destination wedding experience.
What we have decided we want to do for our wedding since our engagement-moon:
- Recommended Restaurants: Wacky Wahoo (obviously), Flying Fishbone -for some romance, Casa Tua - for a taste of home, Bennihana, Driftwood, Screaming Eagle
- Recommended Hotels for our guests: Marriott for our adult travelers, RIU Palace for our friends coming to the wedding that would like all inclusive.
- Activities: Renting UTVs and ATVs to discover the island, Jet Skiing, Tubing, Snorkeling
- Rehearsal Dinner: Sunset Dinner Sail
- Event Location: Eagle Beach
- After Party: Moomba Beach (my fiance wants fireworks too)
What I don't have a clue and everyone keeps asking me.. THE DATE
It is so hard to plan a destination wedding date with a big family. Aruba weather is ALWAYS gorgeous so at least that helps but when to accommodate everyone's schedules? I have no idea! This must be a common situation for brides and grooms planning a destination wedding.
Until the next step of our journey...