*Note: This article was originally published on Pride Pocket prior to merging with MyUmbrella*
So you’ve always wanted to get married on the beach.
You may or may not have realized you were LGBTQ at the time, but now you’re here, you’re queer, and you’re getting married!
I, for one, love destination weddings.
- They allow you to completely indulge in the fantasy of the best day of your life by taking you away from the daily grind.
- You’re able to control your guest list with an iron fist and no guilt. People will not begrudge experiencing your intimate Caribbean wedding via photos after the fact, but they will be miffed when missing the invite to your “local rustic backyard fete.”
While scouting for your dreamy beach destination, you’ll notice that some of the most popular beaches in the world, and many of its most popular waterfront wedding destinations, lay within the Caribbean.
You may also notice that this area of the world is not famous for its LGBTQ inclusiveness.
Jamaica recently made international headlines for the murder of Dexter Pottinger, a designer and the face of controversial Jamaican Pride.
After researching the options, from Antigua to St. Croix, I’ve found you the perfect spot.
You don’t have to take it from me. Aruba will literally tell you that it is the best LGBTQ+ wedding destination in the Caribbean. An excerpt from this page on Aruba.com sums up my #1 reason to get married in Aruba: safety.
“Our local community boasts more than 90 nationalities, welcoming all [races] and religions, and we pride ourselves on this diversity. With our Dutch roots –Netherlands being the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001- Arubans, and especially those that have lived abroad, have a cosmopolitan worldview and an open-minded and progressive mindset not commonly seen in other Caribbean islands. Here, a gay couple can walk around hand in hand, and they won’t be stopped and questioned unlike in other Caribbean islands where one can be prosecuted for this. Aruba is a safe destination overall and one of the safest in the Caribbean according to the UN.”
Any form of violence should be the last thing on the happy couple’s mind on the day of their wedding– gay couples are no exception.
Other than your safety, you simply cannot beat the combination of LGBTQ friendly nightlife, resorts, wedding planning services, breath-taking views, and easy travel accommodations boasted by Aruba for your Caribbean destination wedding.
From everything I’ve read, including this article from Frommers, you’re likely to feel safe and have a great time at any of the bars and clubs of Aruba. That having been said, it is always good to know where home is. Here are a few resources for planning your night out– can anyone say Bachelor(ette) party?
For example, the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino features a private island, adult only beaches, a casino, and an incredible service team that will ensure that all you have to do is show up. Their wedding information page explains,
“At the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, the beauty of nature swims with a fresh style and unique attitude, creating the perfect atmosphere for a wedding celebration or romantic honeymoon. Our professional staff of certified wedding planners will take care of everything so that the bride and groom-to-be can relax and enjoy. Our Caribbean location, complete with secluded beaches, gourmet dining, and touches of pure luxury offers newlyweds everything they could want in a wedding and a truly unique honeymoon.”
Also, look at this place. Gallery, here.
- I found this simple PDF guide to give you an idea of the cost.
- To be filed under “very cool”: The Renaissance provides this incredibly helpful inter-faith guide to getting married in Aruba on their site as well.
The Ritz Carlton: Palm Beach Aruba
The Ritz is a standard in style and elegance. Pair that excellence with the beauty and inclusiveness of Aruba, and you have a winning combination. In their own words:
“With an array of breathtaking wedding venues and impeccable, personalized service, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba sets a new standard of romantic elegance for Aruba destination weddings.
From bridal showers and spa pampering to island excursions and golf outings, this spectacular Palm Beach resort offers comprehensive wedding services, dedicated wedding planners, and stunning Aruba wedding venues for the Caribbean destination wedding you have always dreamed of.
Let The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba plan each and every detail of your most cherished occasion, where life is as classically simple as a day on the beach.”
- You have the option of choosing from and customizing several packages starting between $4,500 — $8,500. You can find the package and pricing guide here on their site.
- Request more information about planning your Aruba wedding at the Ritz, here.
- Their staff also encourages couples to explore their wedding newsletter.
With all that Aruba has to offer the discerning queer marriage planner, I can’t imagine a more perfect Caribbean destination to begin the rest of your life.
Send us pictures from your Aruba wedding to be featured on the blog!
Queer Travel Resources
Did you enjoy this story? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to find out when new stories are published.
Learn how to join our Writers Cohort here.
Want to continue building community? Download our iOS app.