White weddings remain a strong tradition but couples planning an overseas ceremony or honeymoon can go green in the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.
With its year-round sunshine, Aruba is an ideal wedding or honeymoon destination. It is a major part of business for many of its resorts, a number of which have adopted an adults-only policy or have couples-only floors or wings to create the right ambiance for those looking for the perfect honeymoon, a romantic or celebratory break.
One of the most popular is the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, the first of its kind in Aruba - a luxury boutique property catering exclusively to adults and couples. With just 104 guest rooms/suites, the hotel, located on majestic and spacious Eagle Beach, is also acknowledged as one of the Caribbean’s pioneering green resorts.
It has just added to its list of environmental accolades, having been placed by the leading digital newspaper Caribbean Journal in its top 10 list of greenest hotels. In placing it third in its rankings, Caribbean Journal, noted about the property: “One of the Caribbean’s pioneering green resorts, sustainability is present at every level of the property. And it’s green down to the details: recycled linens, reused key cards, solar water tanks, TVs on timers - the list goes on and on. The property even sponsors the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba.”
With constant sunshine and warm weather year-round, Aruba is becoming an increasingly popular wedding and honeymoon destination for British couples, with a number of UK operators offering specialised packages.
While the majority of couples opt for a barefoot-on-the-beach ceremony, lovebirds can dare to go beyond the beaten path to discover the island’s hidden gems, including secluded coves and natural bridges, brilliant underwater reefs, hilltop panoramas and jagged rock formations.
Brides and grooms appreciate the diverse array of hotels, romantic dining options and land or sea activities available for the wedding party to enjoy, leading up to the special day. There’s everything from a sunset catamaran sail rehearsal dinner and an off-road ATV bachelor party, to a golf course hilltop reception and more.
And Aruba’s online celebration registry allows families and friends to think outside the box when choosing presents for the happy couple. Spa indulgences, jeep safari adventures, romantic dinners on the beach and many other island-specific gifts can be bought in advance for the couple with the click of a mouse.
With weddings such big business in Aruba, it follows that there is extensive professional help available to plan the big day. Certified hotel and independent wedding planners can help with every detail of the couple’s dream destination wedding - from legal ceremony documentation and coordination to the ceremony officiator, flowers, limousine service, photography and more.
The Aruba Weddings Association is soon being launched as a ‘wedding authority resource’. This association includes Aruba’s top professionals in the wedding field with years of experience and close working relationships with the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA).
Aruba is also a top choice as an intimate honeymoon retreat and offers an added-value, One Happy Honeymoon package. The Aruba Tourism Authority has partnered with resorts, hotels, restaurants and other businesses across the island to offer room upgrades, champagne, massages, dinners and more.
When booking, couples should let participating hotels know the trip is a honeymoon to receive preferred check-in service, bottle of champagne upon arrival, honeymoon gifts, discounts and special offers on activities and attractions, and a free night when returning for their one year anniversary (in conjunction with a minimum five-night stay).