Alas, wedding month has come to a close. We hope you’ve enjoyed the little detour as much as we have! Today we’re throwing in one last wedding (a destination one!) from reader, Rachel, over at The Avid Appetite. Check out her “island elegant” affair:
Bucking the Jersey tradition of lavish factory-type affairs with everyone we’ve ever met, my husband Shaun and I decided to go our own way and got married in Aruba at the Westin Aruba Resort, a family vacation spot for years. We planned a long weekend filled with fun activities and of course, a sunset beach ceremony. And since we have such wonderful family and friends, we had a whopping 80 guests in attendance, one of the biggest weddings Aruba has seen. To plan from far away did mean relinquishing the power of options (minimal photographers and bands to choose from), but just because we got married in a far away place didn’t mean sacrificing an ounce of style or personality.
Since it was a beach wedding, it was easy to carry my favorite color through each and every detail, starting with the invitations which were dark blue, light blue and white.
The week kicked off with the rehearsal dinner that Shaun’s parents hosted for everyone. It was a beach BBQ complete with twinkle lights, bare feet and a DJ. For an extra twist, they handed out pirate gear – bandanas, eye patches and fake gold hoop earrings. After all, nothing says ice-breaker like pirate paraphernalia! Even our dads joined in the fun. By the end of the night, everyone pretty much knew everyone else – a wonderful way to kick off our wedding.
Since we were getting hitched in a foreign country, the powers that be demanded that we make it legal at the county courthouse. The morning of our beach wedding, Shaun and I taxied over with only our parents and siblings for a private ceremony at a gorgeous building in town. My dress for the ceremony was classic, simple and crisp white by Sophia Tolli while Shaun wore a light brown suit. Bonus: I got to rock not 1, but 2 wedding dresses throughout the day!
The theme of the wedding was casual…or island elegant, as I like to call it. It meant no suits but also no shorts. We tried to keep some sense of formality while still taking to the elements. The beach was set with white covered chairs with blue and silver sashes along with a flower-crested archway at the end of the aisle.
I chose shiny, strapless light blue dresses by Jim Hjelm for the bridesmaids while the groomsmen wore dark blue Tommy Bahama shirts with light blue details. The guys wore dark brown boat shoes and the ladies ditched their shoes at the top of the aisle for a barefoot beachy vibe.
Inside the reception, the beach theme carried through to all the details. The flowers were a mix of coral, blue, white and purple, the perfect complement to the girls’ dresses. Table assignments were written on sand dollars and each table featured flowers reminscent of the girls’ bouquets plus blue and white starfish that I had shipped down for the occasion. We even did the matchbook thing, once again showcasing starfish as the signature icon of the night.
The cake was fun and playful in our signature colors. The top was adorned with an H monogram, signifying our last name. The flavor? My favorite chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.
We knew that a simple favor just wouldn’t do the trick to thank all of our fantastic family and friends for not only attending our wedding, but spending more than a couple of days with us in paradise. In welcome gift bags, we supplied custom t-shirts (which everyone dutifully wore the morning after), bottles of Arubian water and a framed photo of an Arubian Divi Tree, which is a signature icon of the island.