The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Venues in Aruba
Posted in Destination Weddings on January 19, 2016
You want your wedding to be a beautiful, special day. Why not hold the event in a beautiful, special place? The island country of Aruba is a tropical paradise with 80° weather, beautiful beaches, casinos and resorts. Perfect for both wedding ceremonies both large and small.
Planning a wedding in Aruba isn’t nearly as expensive, or logistically complicated, as you might think. Check out our complete guide below for everything you need to know and a fine selection of wedding venues in Aurba. You could soon say “I do” in the wedding destination of your dreams.
A Bit about Aruba
Aruba is a flat island in the southern part of the Caribbean. Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The people there are Dutch. With an overall population of around 100,000 – concentrated in the city-like districts of Oranjestad and San Nicolaas – the island is modern but spacious. The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento but you can easily get by with English.
The climate is tropical and semi-arid with an average temperature in the low 80s. Pleasant trade winds constantly blow in from the Atlantic Ocean, and there’s very little rain. Plus, the country is very welcoming to tourists, including those who come to marry.
In Aruba, you can enjoy all the benefits of a tropical island with none of the drawbacks such as heavy rain, crowded beaches or complicated logistics.
Perfect Places for a Wedding
There’s really no wrong way to have a wedding on Aruba. Up to 75% of Aruba’s economy is based around tourism and related activities, including weddings. The island sits outside the hurricane belt and there is no monsoon season or threat of tropical storms.
Aruba is home to many world-class resorts, hotels and casinos. Basically all of them can host a wedding party of practically any size. Specialized staff will work with you on every aspect of your wedding including providing a banquet hall, catering, photography and many other services.
You can also have a ceremony in pretty much any public place on the island. This includes beaches, national parks, historic grounds and more. Have your ceremony at dusk, dawn or whenever you like
Here are 10 wedding locations worth looking into:
Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
Romance for you and your new spouse, with plenty of fun for your guests no matter their age. Adults can enjoy the new H2 Oasis Adult Exclusive Pool and the Stellaris Casino. The whole family can enjoy the members-only beach area, the spacious guest rooms (complete with Revive bedding), and the fine dining, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Newly marrieds will enjoy the Grand Romance room, complete with champagne, breakfast in bed and special gifts. You and your guests will be treated to the beautiful white sands of the island’s famous Palm Beach. Also available are six restaurants, five bars, pools, a casino and nightly entertainment.
Riu Pallas Antillas
This adults-only resort is right on the white shores of Palm Beach. Lounge around in the sun by the beach or the pool. Or get more active with windsurfing, snorkeling and kayaking. Since the resort is for adults age 18 and over, this is the perfect spot for small weddings or weddings where the guests love a good party!
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino
At Hilton Aruba, “your special event is [their] main event.” The expert on-site team can help create the wedding of your dreams. Romantic beachfront dinner is yours at the La Playa Torchlight Dinner. Or dance and drink on the beach with your entire wedding party at Gilligan’s.
Renaissance Aruba Hotel and Casino
This luxurious resort offers a variety of private beaches and conference rooms. You can also experience the ultimate in seclusion on Renaissance Island, the resort’s private 40-acre island. Large wedding parties can all have fun. Adults can play in the casino and enjoy the adults-only Renaissance Marina Hotel. Next door, the family can stay at the Renaissance Ocean Suites, where every room is a suite suitable for both adults and kids.
Start your new life together standing on top of Mount Jamanota, Aruba’s highest point. Enjoy spectacular views of the entire island from 620 feet above sea level. Mountaintop is easily accessible by car or bus.
The second highest point in located here, in a volcanic formation whose name means “Haystack.” Located in the center of the island, the top is 587 steps tall, with the peak sitting at 540 feet. You can see all over the island and, on a clear enough day, even over to Venezuela.
Arikok National Park
This beautiful park covers roughly 18% of the island’s total land area. Located in the north-eastern part of the country, Arikok National Park practically has it all: sand dunes, beaches, hills, natural pools and volcanic lava formations. Families of all ages are welcome as the vast majority of the roads are accessible by regular car. For the more athletic, there are also hiking trails and guided tours.
This small beach is perfect for small wedding parties and families. To get to the shores, you’ll travel to the Southeast end of the island. Baby Beach has warm, shallow water which is perfect for snorkeling and hanging out. This is a relatively secluded spot both romantic and fun.
Aruba’s “hidden pool” requires a 4X4 vehicle to reach, but the sights are worth the journey. Surrounding rocks block the rough seas and create a tranquil pool. Although you can’t swim in the pool when the waves are high, a small wedding party can enjoy this out-of-the-way locale any time of the year.
Finding a Wedding Planner on Aruba
Most of the large resorts and hotels offer wedding planners on-site. This is usually the best way to go, since the wedding planner will understand the capabilities of the hotel and know the staff personally.
When you use the services of a resort, you often have a variety of resources at your fingertips. You can rent and/or hire a banquet, photographers, caterers and whatever services you’ll need. Plus, you’ll often get a price discount by using the resorts services.
While you can have a wedding ceremony practically anywhere on the island, you still have to file some legal paperwork in order to marry legally. You can either do this in your home country at the county clerk’s office or in the Oranjestad Town Hall in Aruba.
In 2002, Aruba made it legal for tourists, visitors and non-Arubans to marry on the island. Most resort wedding packages include a service which will guide you through this process. But the process is pretty straight-forward and you can easily do it yourself.
The bride and groom each need to bring:
- Birth certificate (a copy is fine)
- Passport or U.S. state ID
- A “single status report” or “negative statement of marriage” (this is obtained in Aruba)
- Two witnesses (can be provided for a fee)
Getting to the Island
Located in the Caribbean, Aruba is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the U.S. Flights from New York and Los Angeles are both roughly four and a half hours. Once you land, you certainly won’t have many problems getting around.
Taxis and rental cars are abundant. Many resorts will also provide transportation to and from Queen Beatrix International Airport, which is located in Oranjestad.
The official currency is the Arubian florin, which has an exchange rate of 1.19 florins to one U.S. dollar. Because of this relatively straight-forward exchange rate, and the popularity of tourism, you can use U.S. dollars in the vast majority of places.
Embrace Love, Embrace Aruba
Your dream wedding in Aruba is far more obtainable than you probably thought. The climate, the landscape, the people and the culture of Aruba all perfectly set the mood for love. Your entire wedding party will find fun and adventures. Start married life off right… in Aruba!
Try our Aruba wedding venues section for many great venues on the island.