Elegant, romantic, and elite are words that come to mind when you think about Aruba. The Dutch Caribbean island boasts miles of white sandy beaches, clear waters, and a tropical climate year-round. Its dreamy setting makes this island the perfect place to have your destination wedding.
Having an Aruba wedding doesn’t have to be complicated or daunting. Our comprehensive guide explores everything you need to plan the perfect wedding, including the legal requirements, how to get there, and some of the best resorts/venues to consider.
About Destination Weddings in Aruba
Why Get Married in Aruba
Some of the reasons to choose Aruba as your destination wedding island are:
Spectacular Beaches and Tropical Weather All Year
Aruba is one Caribbean island blessed with naturally beautiful beaches like Palm Beach, Mangel Halto, and Arashi Beach, which have the clearest waters and pristine sand. TripAdvisor ranked Eagle Beach as the fifth best beach in the world. Having an Aruba wedding allows you to get married by the beach as you enjoy the cool breeze with your guests.
Additionally, the island has easy waterport access, and you can explore hidden gems surrounded by mangroves.
You also don’t have to worry about the cold weather ruining your big day, as Aruba has warm weather throughout the year.
Myriad Activities Await
Planning an Aruba wedding also gives you time to explore plenty of activities. Popular beaches provide equipment for hire for water sports like kitesurfing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and more.
You can also explore and walk in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. The colorful city is easily accessible and safe. Get to sample local delicacies in restaurants, enjoy live music in lounges, or learn more about Aruba’s history by visiting historical attractions and museums. Aruba’s nightlife consists of daily happy hours, beach barbeques, live-action karaoke, and more to make your experience memorable.
Friendly Locals and a Rich Culture
Arubans are friendly people, and you’ll feel it once you step into this beautiful island. They’ll welcome you in different languages and are happy to be of service whenever you interact with them. Get to learn more about Aruba’s rich culture with the walking tours.
Average Cost of a Destination Wedding in Aruba
On average, the cost of a destination wedding in Aruba is $5,000. You can expect to spend less than $10,000 if you include your flights and the honeymoon.
Aruba has something for every budget. You can find high-end wedding resorts that charge a premium depending on what you’re looking for and some budget resorts that offer all-inclusive and affordable packages.
The Best Aruba Wedding Venues and Aruba Wedding Packages
Some of the best Aruba wedding venues fn wedding packages are:
Dreaming of getting married in paradise? Divi Aruba should be top of your list. The all-inclusive resort has different tropical wedding venues for your big day. It’s only 20 minutes from the AUA airport, which makes it convenient.
Nestled in the white sands of Druif Beach and surrounded by tropical gardens, the resort has wedding ceremony and reception venues that accommodate up to 800 guests. Divi Aruba also provides wedding planning services, ensuring you don’t have to lift a finger whether you’re planning a simple civil wedding or a grand Aruba wedding at sunset.
The resort’s fantastic room options allow you to choose between beautiful and suite options. You can opt for a room that has a spacious balcony, stocked mini-bar, and WiFi or an oceanfront suite for group guests.
Enjoy your day exploring different watersports, stretch at the oceanfront fitness center, or kick back and relax at the Sea Spa as you receive a post-wedding couples massage. With over eight sensational bars, various restaurants offering different cuisines, and many activities to explore around the resort, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
A standard wedding package at Divi Aruba includes
- An indoor or beachfront wedding ceremony
- Fresh bouquet and boutonniere
- Non-denominational service and minister
- On-island wedding coordinator
- Champagne toast
- A one-tier wedding cake
- One hour of photography
- Room upgrade to a one-bedroom suite
- Turndown service on the wedding night
- Champagne and flowers on arrival
Riu Palace Antillas
RIU Palace Antillas redefines the Caribbean experience. It’s set on a beautiful Palm beach surrounded by stunning tropical foliage. The adults-only resort has different wedding ceremonies and reception sites for you to choose from.
After your wedding, you can chill back and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment, try windsurfing or kayaking, explore interesting hiking routes, or watch the sunset as you walk around the beach. There’s also a golf course for golf enthusiasts.
The resort has three thematic restaurants and a buffet restaurant offering Caribbean cuisine. You can also make a reservation for a romantic dinner on the beach. The resort has various dances and shows for you to enjoy at night.
Riu Palace has a Caprice wedding package that includes:
- Bridal bouquet with matching boutonniere
- Upgraded lavender decoration
- Recorded music
- A minister for a symbolic ceremony
- Private dinner at a select restaurant
- Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast at the reception
- Private cocktail after dinner
- Surprise gift and romantic room decoration
- Room upgrade and late check-out depending on availability
- Wedding night turndown service
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Get a feel of the private island at Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino. The resort has two sections, one that is family-friendly and the other for adults, depending on your preferences. With over 40 acres of pristine beachfront, couples can choose whether they want an indoor ceremony like the ballroom overlooking stunning ocean views or a relaxing ceremony by the Coral beach.
Relax and unwind at the Oceans Spa, swim in one of the outdoor pools, go for a workout at the fitness center, or explore jogging trails, horseback riding, and snorkeling. Golf enthusiasts will love the Tierra Del Sol Golf and Country club, or try your luck at either of the two casinos. Guests with children will love Iguana Beach, which provides activities for guests of all ages.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino has the Mi Dushi wedding package that includes:
- A bridal bouquet and boutonniere
- Religious blessing on Renaissance Ocean Suites Beach
- Location fee
- Set up and labor charges
- Wedding coordinator services
- Bottle of champagne
- Dinner for two on Renaissance Ocean Suites Beach
Barcelo Aruba should be on your list if you’re looking for an exotic island getaway on your special day. The luxury resort is nestled in the magnificent Palm Beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea, providing the perfect setting for your Aruba wedding.
Couples can have a wedding at the romantic gazebo, grand ballroom, garden setting, or romantic oceanfront. The five-star resort provides an on-site wedding coordinator to accommodate your requests whether you’re having a symbolic or religious ceremony.
Delight your senses at one of the seven restaurants or sip some beverages at one of the six bars. Explore a variety of watersports, endless nightly entertainment, or try your luck at the on-site casino.
Each wedding package at Barcelo Aruba includes the following:
- An on-site wedding planner
- Recorded music during the ceremony
- Special turn-down service on the wedding night
- Honeymoon amenity gift
- Guaranteed room upgrade
- Customized decoration for the ceremony
- Champagne and in-room honeymoon breakfast the morning after the ceremony
- Late checkout based on availability
Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort
Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort provides the perfect setting for your Aruba wedding. Its pristine white sandy beach, turquoise water, and beautiful greenery provide a fantastic backdrop for your ceremony.
With over 70 rooms, the Amsterdam Manor Resort allows guests to choose from one-bedroom suites and luxurious penthouse suites that accommodate up to six guests.
Spend time exploring Eagle beach and learning about Dutch colonial history. You can also enjoy a crisp, cool morning swim in the pool, snorkeling, watch nightly movies on the beach, or rent a bike and explore the different trails. The resort also offers horseback riding, private island tours, golf, and submarine excursion.
A simple, elegant beach blessing package includes
- The services of a non-religious or religious officiant
- Commemorative blessing certificate
- Bridal bouquet and matching groom boutonniere
- Administration and coordination fees
- Unlimited email consultation with a wedding planner
Aruba Destination Wedding Legal Requirements
Aruba has simple legal requirements. Some resorts provide a wedding planner who can help you with all the requirements and answer any additional questions.
Legal Weddings Vs. Symbolic Weddings
Aruba is a fantastic destination for either a symbolic or legal wedding.
A legally-binding ceremony means you have to follow the legal requirements in Aruba. The requirements will differ depending on whether you have a secular or religious wedding. Opting for a legal ceremony allows you to have everything done in one place, which includes applying for a marriage license and getting the marriage certificate.
Couples who’d rather not go through all the legal requirements can arrange a civil ceremony in their home country and have a symbolic ceremony in Aruba.
Required Legal Documents & Cost
Aruba has a straightforward process if you plan on having a legal ceremony.
The only difference compared to other Caribbean islands is that you need to hold a Civil ceremony in Oranjestad Town Hall before having a beach or religious ceremony. Alternatively, you must prove that you were legally married in your country before proceeding.
Note that the requirements for a religious and civil ceremony are different.
Required documents for a civil ceremony are:
- Valid Passports
- Original birth certificates with apostille certification
- Deed Poll has changed the proof of name
- A death certificate if either party is widowed
- Decree absolute bearing a seal of the court of divorce if either party is divorced
- Certificate of no impediment for bride and groom or an affidavit from a lawyer/registry confirming the fact that both bride and groom haven’t been previously married
- Parental consent in the form of an affidavit if either party is under 21
- Two witnesses over 18 years with passport picture pages or a valid state-issued picture ID
It’s possible to have local witnesses provided at a fee if you plan on traveling alone. You must fax all documents for review and submit them by courier at least 30 days before your wedding date. A wedding planner can handle this for you.
Civil ceremonies take place from Monday to Friday from 10a.m-11:30 am and 2 p.m.-3:30 pm. There’s a Saturday service at an extra fee between 10 a.m-12.00 pm.
Required documents for the religious ceremony are:
- Permission from your priest to be married in Aruba
- Proof of attending pre-marriage counseling
- Local priest to provide an official declaration that neither party has been married previously in a church ceremony
- Copy of wedding certificate to show you’ve been married legally in your home country
- Confirmation and baptismal certificates of both parties
- Copies of passports or ID cards
When holding a religious ceremony in Aruba, you need to meet all the legal requirements in advance. Additionally, you must submit all documents four months before the wedding date.
Furthermore, your wedding needs to take place inside a Catholic Church building. If you’re a protestant or methodist, you can have the ceremony in a church building, on the beach, or where you prefer.
Couples receive a marriage certificate from the registry’s general office. You’ll receive a certified marriage certificate with an apostille within 12 weeks from the wedding date.
There is a $100 fee for civil service, marriage license, and marriage certificate. A $150 surcharge for Saturday civil service and a religious ceremony for $200-$300. A Local witness is $75 per person.
Legal Marriage Timeline
Aruba has no minimum residency requirement for you to get married. However, arriving at least two days before your civil ceremony is best to review the details and ensure everything goes as planned.
Aruba Destination Wedding Planning Tips
Thinking of planning an Aruba wedding but need help figuring out where to start? Here are a few tips on how to get there and what weather to expect.
How to Get There
Aruba has one international airport, the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad.
Airlines like American, Delta, JetBlue, and United all have direct flights to Aruba. Eighty flights run weekly, which is subject to holiday and weekend schedules.
Flights from Chicago take 8 hours, Newark 7 and 28 minutes, and New York 7 and 21 minutes. You can also fly from Philadelphia for 7 hours and 2 minutes or from Houston for 9 and 13 minutes.
Aruba has consistent weather throughout the year, unlike most islands in the Northern Caribbean. The island has an average temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
The months of October to Mid December experience rain at an average of 18 inches a year. Nevertheless, you can expect short bursts and erratic rains. From mid-December to March is summer and the least likely to rain.
Expect trade winds around May to October, which makes the heat more bearable.
While Aruba attracts many tourists worldwide, you may be worried that the Caribbean island could be beyond your budget. Fortunately, you can still plan an Aruba wedding on a budget.
Below are some budgeting tips to ensure you have a wedding dream without spending a fortune.
Plan Your Wedding Off-Season
Aruba is blessed to have great weather year-round. That means you don’t have to schedule your wedding during the peak season. Planning your big day off-season allows you to get great discounts on accommodation and activities around the island. You also get enough attention from staff involved in the planning process as they don’t have a lot of people to handle.
Opt for An All-Inclusive Wedding Venue
Planning a wedding can be tedious, especially in a foreign country. You have to find vendors, the perfect venue, a wedding planner, a photographer, and all that, which can be tedious.
Going for an all-inclusive wedding venue allows you to choose from several wedding packages, including a choice of wedding ceremony location, photography, catering, decor, and more. That will save you money and allow you to focus on enjoying your special day as the rest of the team handles the details.
Explore Activities on a Budget
You don’t have to pay for costly excursions if your pocket doesn’t allow it. Aruba has plenty of activities you can do on a budget.
Take free time to learn about Aruba’s culture in the National Archaeological Museum, visit Arikok National Park and check out the natural caves and pools for $11, or explore Oranjestad by foot and get to see what makes the capital popular.
Best Time of Year to Get Married in Aruba
The best time to have an Aruba wedding is from Mid-December to Mid-April. It’s warm throughout and is considered an excellent time for beach lovers. Aruba’s capital is also abuzz during this high season, and you can expect a lot of people around popular beaches and restaurants.
However, you can expect to pay top dollar for accommodation, food, and activities around the island as most tourists flock in during this time. It’s crucial to make reservations and plan months if you plan on having your wedding from December to April.
Nonetheless, if you’d rather have fewer crowds and save some coins, you can plan your wedding from Mid-April to August. It’s shoulder season in Aruba, which translates to cheaper rates and fewer people around beaches, restaurants, and tours. Expect short showers and trade winds during this season.