Ruba in Aruba: Q & A With the Bride

Bride: Ruba
Groom: James
Resort: Divi Aruba 
Agent: Alyssa

What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

I’ve always dreamed of having a beach wedding since I was a little girl, but since there aren’t any beaches in Dallas where I live, I had to look elsewhere!

What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue?

I decided on Aruba for a few reasons. First, my name is Ruba – I know it is silly but I’ve always wanted to go there and it seemed like the perfect opportunity! Second, my friend had told me how she had just attended a wedding in Aruba and how wonderful it had been so it got me even more interested. I’ve also had family who had visited before who also had great things to say about it. Third, when I was reaching out to venues in Aruba, I heard back from an event planner in Aruba who showed me pictures of all the amazing weddings they had hosted at the venue that she works out of, and she showed me what she could do which gave me more faith in having the wedding in Aruba. 

What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding? 

Trying to get guests to RSVP on time – there were several who didn’t bother to tell us no so it was hard to get an accurate estimate on number of attendees. Without an estimate, it was difficult to assess how many goody bags needed to be prepared, how many guests would need transportation to the hotel, how many for the rehearsal dinner, how many meals were needed, etc.

If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?

I would tell her to pick a place that isn’t too expensive for guests to fly out to.

 

What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

The highlight was seeing all our friends and family coming together and having a great time meeting and hanging out with each other in such a beautiful setting. This was most apparent when we booked a sunset cruise for all the guests two nights before the wedding. Everyone was relaxed and dancing since it was a vacation for all! We got to spend real quality time with everyone before the wedding which doesn’t typically happen at a non-destination wedding. The biggest surprise was seeing all the cactus growing in Aruba!

How was the resort and your Onsite WeddingCoordinator to work with?

My event planner was amazing! She is based out of the resort that we had the wedding at so she knew all the staff and had all the hookups. She was very organized as well. The resort where we had the wedding was very beautiful! There was a great place for the beach ceremony, and then the reception building was only a few steps away that also overlooked the ocean.

Was there anything that you would change looking back?

I would still probably do a destination wedding, but I would probably choose a more affordable/closer destination for the guests. I also probably would have moved us to a different resort after the wedding so that we could have a true honeymoon to ourselves – we kept running into the guests after the wedding since the resort was so small.

Is there anything else you want to add about the resort or your booking agent?

I think having a travel agent made travel arrangements much easier as there was less to worry about when it came to the hotel, flight, etc. I also think it encouraged people to come who otherwise wouldn’t have if they had had to book everything themselves. The resort we stayed at was perfect for the event – small enough that we could spend time with all the other guests staying there, but big enough to accommodate all of us at dinners, beach, pool, etc.

Photobook: Jessica and Elias at Dreams Tulum

Bride: Jessica
Groom: Elias
Resort: Dreams Tulum

Agent: Terrah

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“I loved, loved everything. My parents loved it so much that they want to go back the week before thanksgiving with a group!”

-Jessica

Tammy & Les Tie the Knot at Grand Velas Riviera Maya!

The bride and groom: Tammy & Les
The resort:  Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The photographer:  Resort Photographer – DreamArt Photography
Travel agent:  Terrah Rominger

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Best Wedding Chapels for Destination Weddings

At Legacy Travel, we often help arrange destination wedding ceremonies in chapels.    Here is a collection of some of our favorites around the globe in no particular order.

 

1)    Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa – All-Inclusive in Tulum, Mexico

The intimate and vibrant chapel at Dreams Tulum is just steps away from Tulum’s white sanded beach.   This chapel can hold up to 40 guests inside with extra chairs outside if needed.

 

Source: Dreams Resorts

Source: Dreams Resorts

 

 

2)  Paradise Maroma, All-Inclusive in the Riviera Maya of Mexico

This beautiful beachfront chapel is nestled right on Maroma Beach, which is named Top 10 Beaches in the World by the Travel Channel.   This chapel can accommodate up to 90 people.

Source: Elizabeth Medina

 

3)  Iberostar Paraiso Resorts & Spa – All-Inclusive in the Riviera Maya of Mexico

This chapel is located right in the heart of the amazing golf resort Iberostar Paraiso.   This resort is perfect for multi-generation groups due to the diversity in hotel options.  It can hold up to 60 people but with extra chairs can hold 200.

Source: Iberostar

Source: Iberostar

 

4)  Moon Palace Gold & Spa Resort – Cancun, Mexico

This large resort has a beautiful chapel that can hold 60 guests seated or 80 guests standing.   It has beautiful views of the Caribbean sea.

Source: Palace Resorts

Source: Palace Resorts

 

 

5) Chapel of Guadalupe – Xcaret, Mexico
As an important part of the “Hacienda Henequenera” Mexican complex the “Guadalupe’s Chapel” is located, its Neoclassical architecture of the 20th century makes it seem like a country rustic chapel.

Capacity: 360 people.

Resource: Xcaret

Source:  Xcaret

 

6) St. Francis of Assisi Chapel – Xcaret, Mexico
The uniquely shaped Chapel is perched on the highest point in Xcaret offering guests spectacular ocean views and natural scenery.
Capacity: 200 people.

Source: Xcaret

Source: Xcaret

Source: Xcaret

Source: Xcaret

 

7)  Valentin Imperial Maya, All-Inclusive Resort in the Riviera Maya of Mexico

Source: Valentin Imperial Maya

Source: Valentin Imperial Maya

 

8) El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya of Mexico

This beachfront wedding chapel is located at the gourmet all-inclusive resort The El Dorado Royale. It can fit up to 80 guests.

Source: Karisma Hotels

Source: Karisma Hotels

Source: Karisma Hotels

Source: Karisma Hotels

 

9) Majestic Elegance All-Inclusive Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Source: Majestic Resorts

Our friends as Majestic Elegance have a chapel that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

 

10) Altos de Chavon chapel at Casa de Campo Hotel in La Romana, Dominican Republic

Source: Casa de Campo

Source: Casa de Campo

The romantic 16th century style St. Stanislaus Church in Altos de Chavon overlooking the river valley and the Caribbean Sea. The ambiance of the resort is naturally romantic, on an Island covering 7,000 acres. The chapel can hold 80 guests.

 

11) Barcelo Bavaro Palace in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Source: Majestic Resorts

Source: Barcelo Resorts

 

Source: Barcelo Resorts

Source: Barcelo Resorts

 

12) Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica

Source: Sandals Resorts

Source: Sandals Resorts

 

13) Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo, Mexico

Source: Pueblo Bonita Resorts

The chapel will sit 60 guests comfortably plus in the courtyard another 20-30 guests.

 

14) One & Only Palmilla in Cabo, Mexico

Source: One&Only

Source: One&Only

Located on a hill overlooking the resort’s tropical grounds and beaches, the chapel is in traditional Mexican style, whitewashed with arched doorway and windows.
Capacity: 44 (indoor), 150 (outdoor)

 

15) Cabo Azul in Cabo, Mexico

Source: Cabo Azul

Source: Cabo Azul

The El Corazon Chapel can accommodate up to 125 guests.

 

16) Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu, Hawaii

Source: gohawaii.com

The freestanding, two-story Ocean Crystal Chapel at the 22-acre, 2,860-room Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu accommodates up to 80 guests and features floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean views. From the first level, nestled amid waterfalls, you’ll ascend a landscaped stairway to the airy, light-filled second-story chapel.

 

17) Grand Wailea on Maui, Hawaii

Source: Grand Wailea

 

18) Turtle Bay on Oahu, Hawaii

Source: Turtle Bay

Source: Turtle Bay

 

19) InterContinental Bora Bora in the South Pacific

Source: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa

Source: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa

 

20) Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Source: Four Seasons

Source: Four Seasons

Now you can walk down a glass-bottomed aisle in a chapel that is just a few feet over the stunning blue sea.  This freestanding pavilion is accessible by boat only and is in an intimate 485 square feet – large enough for the couple and up to 16 guests.

 

 

If you are needing assistance with your upcoming destination wedding call one of our Destination Wedding Consultants today to have the stress-free experience you deserve.

Aimee and Jeff tie the knot at the Secrets Silversands!

Bride: Aimee Pinson
Groom: Jeff Simington
Resort: Secrets Silversands
Agent: Leigh-Ann Scroggins

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What made you decide on having a destination wedding?
I have always loved the ocean and the beach. My dream wedding has always been to stand on the sand with my love and pledge our life to each other.

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 What made you decide on the destination, venue?
I have been to Mexico several times, and the beaches are beautiful, and the people at the resorts are so nice. I decided on Secrets Silversands because I wanted to be surrounded by luxury settings, and to have my guest that traveled with us be well taken care of. The package price for our wedding as well as the price that my guest paid was a very good value for the wonderful luxurious hotel we stayed at.

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What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
The biggest difficulty in planning our wedding was getting the exact time I wanted the service to start. I wanted a sunset wedding, but the officiant was not available at that time.

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What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The highlight was being in such a beautiful place, my wedding party was treated like VIP guest, and the biggest surprise was the hotel threw in a honeymoon suite. It was absolutely stunning!

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How well was the resort and your Wedding Coordinator to work with?
They were wonderful! They were there to meet me as soon as I arrived at the resort, we went over all the final details, and I didn’t have to worry about another thing. I really enjoyed how our wedding coordinator was always in the shadows just in case I needed something, but I never felt like she was intruding on our event.

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What is your advice to future brides?
My advice is to use the free Honeymoon Registry! They give you access to a free website to post about your upcoming wedding to keep your guest informed and the Honeymoon Registry gave our friends and family that were not going to be able to attend the option to give us a gift. My husband and I used the money towards our expenses and excursions, what we didn’t use was transferred into our bank accounts.

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Was there anything that you would change looking back?
Not one thing!