Aruba offers travelers an ideal destination wedding setting with beautiful white-sand beaches, beautifully rugged landscapes, diverse activities and romantic sunsets.
The Dutch Caribbean nation also features an international airport that doubles as a regional flight hub, enabling guests from different cities to attend the nuptials. In addition, it’s also home to a diverse group of full-service upscale and luxury resorts with dedicated wedding planners.
We spoke recently with Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority, to discuss Aruba’s destination wedding amenities and services and learn more about the “Caribbean’s Largest Vow Renewal” ceremony, the country’s original destination wedding event, which celebrated its third year in 2019.
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TravelPulse (TP): Are you noticing new trends in the people traveling to Aruba for destination weddings?
Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes (RTAC): Travel in general has become increasingly “experience-driven” in the past few years, and this sentiment has poured over to destination weddings. Travelers are looking to explore destinations more deeply and participate in experiences that align closely with their personal interests and motivations behind their travel.
We are also seeing interest in more off-the-beaten-path wedding destinations. While beach and sunset continue to be popular, unique locations in nature are beginning to trend. For example, opting for a desert oasis setting in our gorgeous Casibari Rock Formations.
While traditionally destination weddings were thought of as smaller affairs, we’ve started seeing larger wedding parties recently. We used to see smaller gatherings of family and friends, but now we’re seeing bigger destination parties that stay post-event for their own vacation while the bride and groom are [on] their honeymoon.
While we do offer weddings for many budgets on-island, we are also seeing a trend of couples picking Aruba due to our upscale and luxurious beach weddings.
TP: What else does Aruba offer these trend-conscious travelers?
RTAC: Aruba has a broad range of accommodations to choose from—it’s a great destination that can cater to any couple. With more than 30 hotels and resorts, Aruba has venues that appeal to both the value-driven as well as the luxury-minded couples.
Also, as it’s located outside the hurricane belt, there is less risk of couples having to worry about their big day being affected by inclement weather, no matter which month they choose to tie the knot. In addition, safety and the friendliness of our people—we are ‘One Happy Island’ after all—are a reason people choose us over other destinations.
There is also the convenience factor. Aruba has direct flights to many major U.S. cities, so couples and their guests can board a flight and be in paradise in no time. There are many other tangible factors [including] experienced wedding planners available on-island [and] easy-to-understand legal requirements for civil weddings.
TP: What are the most popular periods for destination wedding travel in Aruba?
RTAC: End of summer and early fall have become the most popular times for couples to tie the knot, so we do see a lot of interest right now. However, Aruba is an ideal wedding destination year-round due to the incredible weather we experience all year.
TP: What is the “Caribbean’s Largest Vow Renewal” all about?
RTAC: We hosted the first Vow Renewal in 2017. The idea was to share, give back and inspire more couples to choose Aruba for their nuptials by hosting a complimentary vow-renewal ceremony for all on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Eagle Beach. Last year, we had more than 200 couples.
The third annual Vow Renewal was on August 21 and more than 250 couples from all over the world celebrated the special night. In addition to the vow renewal ceremony, participants enjoyed champagne, local bites, and a “Hora Loca” celebration following the ceremony.
TP: Are there destination wedding packages available from island partners?
RTAC: Yes, exclusive love-inspired vacation packages are available from more than 15 on-island hotels, and many of the deals are available until late into the year. The Ritz-Carlton Aruba is offering an “I Do Vow Renewal Offer” featuring overnight accommodations, daily breakfast for two, a couples’ massage and a sunset sail for two starting at $389 per night.
The Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf Aruba is offering an “I Do Vow Renewal Offer Romance Escape” with daily breakfast for two, 50 percent off golf fees, a complimentary couples’ foot massage and free pickup from the airport for $290 per night.
Also, the Divi Phoenix Beach Resort Aruba is offering five- and seven-night “I Do Vow Renewal Offer” packages starting at $840 per person and $1,148 per person. They include one-bedroom suite accommodations, daily breakfast for two, romantic candlelit beachside dinner for two and a first-night welcome turndown service with romantic touches.