Valaya and Johnny wed on September 8th on the beautiful Caribbean island of Aruba. They selected that locale because of the bride’s love of the area, “I went to Aruba on a girls-only vacation two years prior and I absolutely fell in love with the feel of the whole island. The island motto is ‘One Happy Island’ and it is just that! I’ve done some travelling before but this island stole my heart during my first visit. When my husband and I talked about how we wanted our wedding to “feel” like, we agreed that we wanted a very private, low-key and family-like atmosphere. We wanted our guests to feel like they were a part of one big family vacation so we chose a place that we would consider bringing our families to.” In order to make it that much more intimate, the couple chose the Renaissance Resort on Renaissance Island as their wedding venue. “We both decided on the Renaissance Island because of its privacy and it worked out great! The boat ride to the island was fantastic and our guests had a blast just running through the water.”
To kick off the festivities, the couple sent this adorable map themed invitation to get guests excited about the adventure!
“Renaissance Island actually has 2 sides to it – Flamingo Island and Iguana Island. Our ceremony took place on Flamingo Island where there were flamingos walking around all along the beach. They were beautiful pink against the clear blue waters. Many of the guests were daring and actually went up very close to them for pictures.”
What a great ring pillow idea – a wooden airplane from your little man to fly down the aisle (and it doubles as a toy for him during the reception)!
The palette was bright yellow, white and a few soft natural greens – all complimenting the island and not distracting guests from the natural beauty around them.
The bride wore a one shoulder Maggie Sottero gown while the groom dressed in a white linen suit.
And all her gals dressed in yellow!
The bride and groom used the beautiful surroundings as the focus of the event design. “Our inspiration was the beach and its simple beauty. We had a few elements at our wedding for our guests to enjoy – yellow and white sunglasses for our guests to wear during the ceremony, grey and yellow pashminas and fans for guests to cool off. We didn’t go overboard with details…we wanted the natural backdrop to be the main piece of our wedding and kept everything else to a minimum.”
What a spectacular ceremony site at sunset!
In lieu of a guest book, family and friends imprinted a rendering of a tree with their fingerprints in the coordinating wedding colors.
Many of the unique elements were made by the couple, with the help of some hard working bridesmaids. “We made the details we did have for the wedding light enough to pack and easy to assemble upon arrival (like our DIY welcome bags, that we gave out during our welcome dinner prior to the wedding day, which had only a few essential items like pretzels, SPF, aloe lotion and a DIY emergency first aid kit). Keeping things simple and minimal for a destination wedding is worth it in the long run!”
And as dark fell, the reception heated up!
“Our reception took place on Iguana Island named after the blue iguanas that are found on that part of the island. We did have a minor issue with uninvited sand fleas that appeared during sunset. It was chaos for our guests for a good few minutes as it really did take us by surprise but as the sun disappeared, they were gone and everyone was happy again.”
“By the end of the night, some of the guests got too happy and started to throw each other in the ocean to cool off – including the bride and groom!” A great way to end a wonderful celebration!
Congratulations Valaya and Johnny!
Destination Wedding Photographer: Courtney Davidson
Wedding Vendors: Location: Renaissance Resort / Renaissance Island, Dress designer: Maggie Sottero, Florist: Renaissance Island florist, Invitations, Welcome Bag, Welcome Booklet: DIY, Wedding Cake: The Renaissance Resort, Makeup Artist: Loretta Tong / Embellir Artistry