Aruba Destination Wedding

A married couple stands on the beach in Aruba at sunset after their destination wedding.So this was a great way to break up the long, dark, dreary Pittsburgh winter: An Aruba destination wedding!! Seriously, look at these happy folks on the beach with the sun setting over the Caribbean. Nothing could be better. The pelican thinks so, too.


A man suns his face while riding on a boat. Young women laugh while riding on a boat.

The morning before the wedding we went out to the Renaissance Resort’s private island. To get there you hop onto one of the water taxi’s that run from both of the hotels. I stayed in the adults-only hotel (I can actually act like an adult!) and the shuttle ran from a dock in the lobby. How cool is that?!?

A groom dips his bride then the couple kisses as they rehearse for their wedding on a beach in Aruba.

The wedding party did a quick run through on the island. No brides were injured during the ceremony rehearsal! Just look at those skies and the sea. Oh man…

People taking shots of tequila with tiny scorpions in them at a beach bar in Aruba

This post wouldn’t be complete without these photos from the very fun rehearsal dinner at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant. Yes, those are scorpions in the tequila shots.

Getting Ready

A bride wearing a dressing robe looks at her makeup in a mirror as she gets ready for her destination wedding in Aruba.

After months of planning the day had come for Ali and Corbin’s Aruba destination wedding! Ali and the ladies got ready in a seaside suite at the Renaissance. Lots of great natural light there.

A groom and his groomsmen put on their blue suits as they prepare for a wedding.

The guys got ready down the hall. Corbin decided on blue suits and open collared shirts. When I saw the blue walls at a bar on the island I knew that was where I wanted to put the guys for their group photo.

A groom and his groomsmen wear blue suits as they stand in front of a blue-colored wall in Aruba.

A bride stands with her bridesmaids as they wear light blue-green dresses.

After Ali was ready we did some photos of her with the ladies inside in the air conditioning. Because it’s hot in Aruba in February!

The father of the bride sees her for the first time in her dress. He cries as he hugs her.

First looks with dads are always great. This one with Ali and her dad Ron was especially lovely. I turned around and saw the reaction from Ali’s sister Erin and mom Mary. These kind of moments are so wonderful to witness.

A groom and his groomsmen wear sunglasses as they ride in the cabin of a boat on the way to a wedding ceremony in Aruba.

I headed off to the island with Corbin and the guys.

Wedding bands sit atop a floral invitation and an engraved wooden box. An arbor on the beach in Aruba, wedding flowers and a steel drum player are seen at a destination wedding in Aruba.

Some details including the rings and invitations. I got to the ceremony site early so that I could photograph it without people. It wouldn’t be an Aruba destination wedding without a steel drum player!

Time for the Ceremony!

A bride walks with her father on the sand on their way to a destination wedding in Aruba.

Ali and Ron were the last off the boat.

A groom watches his bride and her father walk down the aisle on a beach in Aruba.

Corbin waits with his guys while Ali and Ron walk down the aisle.

A destination wedding on a beach in Aruba.

What a perfect setting!

A bride looks at her groom as they exchange wedding vows on a beach in Aruba.

A couple kisses at end of their destination wedding on a beach in Aruba.

A couple raises their hands as they walk down the aisle together after their destination wedding on a beach in Aruba.

A joyful, sun-drenched afternoon wedding ceremony. Just look at how happy these guys are.

Portrait Time

A bride and groom hold hands by an arbor on a beach in Aruba after their destination wedding.

After the ceremony came portrait time. We had a limited amount of time because when the sun drops near the equator, well, it drops fast. So it was on!

A bride and groom portrait, a wading flamingo and a bride holding flowers on the beach in Aruba.

There are flamingos on the Renaissance’s private island! They’re everywhere.

A bride and groom walk on a beach after their destination wedding in Aruba.

A bride and groom sit together on a hammock at sunset on a beach after their wedding in Aruba.

I lugged a collapsable soft box all the way from Pittsburgh for these moments. I found a tall friend to act as a light stand and we worked fast! See that the sun is almost down? Well there was a whole other side of that lagoon we had to get to before it set. Good thing that the bride and groom are runners. In fact, that’s how Corbin decided to start his wedding day. At 6am. Because any later and it would be too hot. Did I get up early and join that crew? Yes, I did.

Silhouette photo of a bride and groom at sunset after their destination wedding in Aruba.

Finally, a silhouette as the sun touches the ocean.

Party Time

A sweetheart table and reception venue including dance floor and lighted ARUBA sign at a destination wedding.

No worries about the weather here. The Renaissance Aruba staff set up a dance floor under the palm trees, strung some bistro lights and we were good to go!

A couple has their first dance under palm trees and bistro lights during their destination wedding in Aruba.

Ali and Corbin’s first dance happened at twilight. Mixed with the warm glow of the bistro lights and it was perfection.

Parents dances under the palm trees on a beach in Aruba during a destination wedding.

Ali danced with her dad Ron. Then Corbin danced with his mom Linda.

Guests fill the dance floor at a destination wedding in Aruba.

A newly married couple dances during their destination wedding on a beach in Aruba.

Such a great party!

Guests dance on a beach during a destination wedding in Aruba.

A newlywed couple kisses on the dance floor as their guests surround them during their destination wedding in Aruba.

Ali and Corbin share a kiss at the end of the last song.

A bride and groom stand on opposite ends of a lighted ARUBA sign at their destination wedding.

I’m so grateful to have been entrusted to document such a wonderful wedding for two really fine folks. I’ve travelled out of the country for weddings before so I know that planning a destination wedding, even in a place as friendly as Aruba, is a challenge. My hat’s off to Ali and Corbin for all of the hard work and attention to detail that was necessary to make their dream wedding a success. Even better, once the day started they were fully present and enjoying the day while their amazing coordinator Zulaika at the Renaissance Aruba made sure that things ran smoothly.

You don’t have to go all the way to Oranjestad to enjoy the Renaissance experience. But if you do then give me a call. I’d love to go back!

P.S. here’s proof that I was out with the 6am run club:

Runners in the morning on the beach in Aruba.

We tried to get a shot with all of us jumping in the air using my iPhone’s timer. But that proved to be too hard to do that early in the morning. I had so much fun with these guys!