Shana and Eddie’s Renaissance Aruba wedding was the perfect destination wedding, complete with roaming flamingos, delicious island food, carnival dancers, and the most wonderful guests! While planning this wedding was made a bit stressful due to travel restrictions changing from week to week, it was so worth the extra planning to have their wedding in such a beautiful place.
I first met Shana and Eddie for their engagement session at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago last summer. We had a great time walking around getting to know each other. They casually mentioned that they were considering a destination wedding at this amazing resort that they had previously visited, and of course I casually mentioned that I love to travel for weddings. Within a few weeks, they had booked me as their wedding photographer. I am so honored that they chose me to travel with them to Aruba to capture their wedding day.
On their wedding day, I arrived at Shana’s suite where she was getting her hair and makeup done. Several of her closest friends were hanging out with her and I had a blast getting to know them. What a bunch of fun, sweet ladies! That is always one of my favorite parts of the day, just capturing the girls having fun and hyping up the bride. Shana and Eddie exchanged letters, which was an emotional time for both of them. Shana tried to convince me that she was not a crier, but I definitely saw some tears as she was reading Eddie’s sweet words. I headed to Eddie’s room to capture some photos of him getting ready to find that he, along with Shana’s brother and stepdad, were wearing matching flamingo socks. You’ll understand why as you read further and scroll down for the pictures. We also had to help Eddie pick out his tie, which I think we did rather well.
When it was time for the ceremony, all of the guests and the couple were transported over to the private Renaissance Island by boat. Talk about the most beautiful location! This island is owned by the Renaissance and consists of Coral Beach, an adults only beach that is home to roaming flamingos, and Iguana Beach, the family friendly part of the island that is home to, well, you guessed it, a few iguanas. While we thankfully didn’t see any iguanas during their wedding, we did get to see the flamingos walking around during the ceremony and reception. In fact, one flamingo decided he (she?) was going to greet the wedding guests by waltzing up and down the aisle just as it was time for Eddie to escort his mother down. Of course, all of the guests enjoyed it and had their cell phones out to capture it for themselves.
The ceremony was held in a secluded part of the island, along the crashing waves and palm trees. The view was absolutely breathtaking! Following the ceremony, guests made their way back to the reception location where they enjoyed signature cocktails, sushi, and great music, all along the beautiful beach. I spent some time wandering the island with the newlyweds taking photos as the sun set.
Once Shana and Eddie were introduced at the reception, they danced their first dance as husband and wife. Shana danced with her stepdad, as well as her brother, while Eddie danced with his mom. There was a special song paying tribute to Shana’s late father and a sentimental speech by Shana’s brother before everyone was treated to a delicious buffet dinner. One of the biggest highlights of the night was a surprise that the couple planned for entertainment. Shortly after the dancing started, the music quickly shifted in style and carnival dancers arrived. In their brightly colored attire, the dancers entertained and danced with the guests for several songs. It was definitely the most unique reception entertainment that I’ve experienced, and the guests seemed to really enjoy it.
Shana and Eddie, I am so happy for you and honored that I got to celebrate this day with you!
Venue: Renaissance Aruba
Venue Coordinator/Planner: Gabriela
DJ: DJ Tino
MUA: Marta Collell MUA
Hair: Trisha Sipple
Bridal Boutique: Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Essense of Australia
Planning your own destination wedding and want to chat about my special destination photography packages? Interested in having me photograph your own Renaissance Aruba wedding? Contact me today!
Karen Shoufler Photography serves the Chicagoland area and is available for travel worldwide!