Valaya: Destination Bride

In less than 2 months, I’ll be walking down the aisle on the happy island of Aruba! How did time fly so quickly?? I have tons of things to do and less than 2 months to go. You know what that means – crunch time! But first, let’s get to know each other …

Bride Thongs

Hanky Panky's "Bride" Thongs

Hometown? Queens, New York

When did you get engaged? November of 2010.

When is your wedding date? September 8th, 2011.

Where are you getting married?
Renaissance Private Island, Aruba.

Estimated number of guests? Approximately 80.

Why did you choose Aruba? I fell in love with Aruba a few years ago when I went on a girl’s trip. It’s no wonder why they call this island “one happy island” – it really is a very happy island! Aruba quickly became one of my favorite places out of all my travels and it was hard not to imagine myself getting married there. My fiancé and I pretty much knew early on that we were going to have a destination wedding. We only wanted a few things – 1.Sand 2. Water 3. Super casual, intimate setting. We want our wedding to feel like one big family vacation so we wanted to consider places that we would want to bring our families to. Aruba was on the top of my list and although he never visited the island, within minutes of doing some quick research on the internet, he agreed that Aruba would be the best choice for us.

Any advice for future DW brides? Start early! We got engaged in November but I started researching and making phone calls in January and most of our original dates we requested were all booked up! After you book the venue, it gets a lot easier but do be patient. Like others have said before, they do run on island time so e-mail responses might take a few days. The good news? Most hotels/venues offer packages that already have flowers/cake options/dj/officiant. It’s like a one-stop shop! You don’t have to opt for a package, of course, but it can make life easier for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding their own vendors. It also helps that a lot of the details of the wedding won’t have to be finalized until a few weeks prior (headcount, menu option, decoration.) Destination weddings can be as stressful and non-stressful as you make it out to be. It can be hard to plan a wedding without physically being there but do remember that there will always be certain things you have to compromise on no matter where you hold your wedding! Take your time to enjoy it!

I’m a bride who’s determined to make it work even with a limited budget.  It requires a lot of do-it-yourself projects but that’s the whole fun of it.  I absolutely love DIY challenges and what a great way to bond with my bridal party, pouring out creativity and ideas together.  Stay tuned for more ideas and projects!

–Valaya

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About Hanky Panky

Over 30 years ago, in 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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