Did you know that a symbolic wedding in Aruba is different from a civil wedding? Both types of ceremonies are usually practiced in this wonderful island.

If you are willing to celebrate and witness a beautiful union between two people, you should definitely know its main aspects.

This way, you can make the best decision and choose the ceremony that best suits your needs.

What is a symbolic wedding ceremony?

A symbolic wedding in Aruba, also known as a humanist ceremony, is an event performed by a wedding celebrant.

Here you have every right to express your tastes, values and personality. However, it has no legal value.

As it is not recognized as a legal wedding, it offers great flexibility. For example, it can be held in any location, be it outdoors, in a garden, etc.

It can also include any type of thematic content that expresses the personality of the bride and groom.

Although it has no legal value, the ceremony must contain everything in accordance with the official character of a wedding.

In addition, a wedding ceremony of this type gives you the opportunity to make statements outside or related to traditions. It also allows you to maintain a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Who can opt for a symbolic wedding ceremony?

A ceremony of this style is ideal for couples who meet these criteria:

  • They desire a romantic outdoor or resort wedding.
  • They do not want to get married in a church, either because of religious beliefs, being of the same sex, among others.
  • They believe that the wedding ceremony is impersonal or too traditional.
  • They wish to get married in a certain region, such as Aruba, but cannot because they are not residents there.

Since this type of ceremony is a recent development, not many know about the place where these services are offered. The reality is that the celebrants of these wedding events can help you.

Thanks to the increasing demand for these events, the profession of wedding celebrant has been accepted in the last decade.

The professionals who are dedicated to this offer a safe and reliable ceremony, adapted to the styles of the bride and groom. This enhances all expectations.

Something important to note is that this type of celebrations include an organization similar to traditional executions. For example:

  • Entrance of the bride.
  • Wedding vows.
  • Exchange of wedding rings.

In addition to this, the bride and groom can choose to create fun events that include surprises, religious or non-religious rituals, games, among others.

A symbolic wedding in Aruba is also an alternative for the bride and groom to interact with their guests and have them participate in the ceremony.

Differences between symbolic vs. civil wedding ceremonies

Both celebrations highlight the wonderful presence and union of the newlyweds. However, each requires different planning. Let’s see.

Symbolic Ceremony

As we have already mentioned, this type of celebration has no legal considerations. However, it has other characteristics, for example:

  • It does not need the translation of legal requirements and the fees represent a lower expense compared to legal celebrations.
  • There are more alternative locations to choose from, which means more flexibility and customization.
  • Special themes can be incorporated without departing from traditional celebrations.
  • The vast majority of regions do not present exaggerated requirements, such as arriving the day before to attend the wedding.
  • A legal marriage must be completed prior to the symbolic wedding ceremony.
  • It may seem counterproductive for guests to attend a ceremony that does not represent legality.
  • No religion is professed, no civil events are celebrated, but it does reflect the love between two people.

Civil ceremony

Consists of the traditional ceremony, in which the bride wears white or an appropriate dress depending on the time and day. It contrasts with the symbolic wedding in the following aspects:

  • Some regions require the bride and groom to arrive early for the wedding celebration.
  • Legal documents must be handled and marriage prerequisites must be met. However, the bride and groom can experience more time in Aruba.
  • The bride and groom have a unique date to remember a legal marriage.
  • Each guest can experience the legal union of two human beings.
  • Participants can experience a traditional and cultural wedding.
  • Before leaving for the destination of origin, legal requirements must be completed.
  • If you are coming from abroad, a translator is required to translate the legal documents into the native language.

Where can symbolic weddings be performed in Aruba?

A symbolic wedding in Aruba can take place in several locations. Often the bride and groom choose locations for a specific vision.

Although there are packages prepared precisely to make the plans simpler, they do not always apply to everyone. It depends on the prospective bride and groom.

Most brides and grooms prefer to use their creativity to develop a celebration that shines through. And some of the best places are:


Aruba is a tourist destination, so you have many options to choose from. This guarantees varied themes and impressive geographical spaces.

Example of this destination are its beaches, such as:

Eagle Beach

It is one of the best choices to get married in Aruba. Considered as one of the best beaches in the world, it is home to trees, wide stretches of white sand and more.

Its waters are turquoise and sparkling, a magnificent place to have a great time. Here you can photograph an excellent sunset.

In addition to this, Eagle Beach is a romantic and ideal place for those celebrating a symbolic wedding in Aruba.

As if that were not enough, here you will find very elegant boutique hotels, with some of the best attention. Perfect for accommodating guests.

Palm Beach

Also called Lidbom, it is a beach chosen by many brides and grooms who wish to get married in Aruba.

It is considered a family beach, with an environment rich in white sand and an extension of about 3 km.

Here you can find some of the best hotels in Aruba, as well as casinos, piers, bars, stores and restaurants.

A wedding in this place would be ideal, especially if the bride and groom like water sports and palm tree extensions.

Both before and after the wedding, you can enjoy a walk along the coast. It doesn’t matter if it’s at sunrise or sunset when the sky turns tangerine.

Hotels and Resorts

Hotels and resorts are also an alternative for getting married in Aruba. Let’s see:

Ritz-Carlton Aruba

Here you find a Caribbean oasis that consists of hundreds of rooms decorated for you to enjoy an elegant wedding.

Everyone can head for the balconies that combine aesthetics with Aruban tradition. Of course, you must choose from any of the packages offered to help you with your wedding.

In the case of this hotel, you should consider that each package includes a limit of guests and the Wedding Planner.

Aruba Marriott & Stellaris Casino

It consists of a resort with more than 400 rooms and private balconies. You can enjoy a wedding under bamboo arches and beautiful floral decorations.

In addition, this resort is located right on a beachfront, so anyone can look out at the ocean and feel the peace that comes with it.

As if that weren’t enough, you can enjoy the bars and restaurants available, as well as the casino, all ready for before or after the ceremony.

Holiday Inn Resort

This is a major resort with amazing wedding packages. You can have an interesting and magnificent day.

With 597 rooms, you can have an amazing wedding in one of the most outstanding areas of Aruba.


This is the capital of Aruba and is a perfect destination for its enchanting coastal scenery.

It features colorful Dutch architecture and white sandy beaches. In addition, friendliness and courtesy are the order of the day.

Here you will also find ideal places to take pictures, stroll around or keep your guests enchanted, both before and after the wedding.

North Coast

For those who wish to plan symbolic weddings in Aruba, you always have the option of choosing a quiet and comfortable location.

Aruba National Park, on the north coast, is a choice for brides and grooms who are not interested in arches and venues. The soothing sounds of the sea are enough.

Getting married in this park represents a ceremonial responsibility next to nature.


Although it may be a high cost, for many it is really worth it. A catamaran equipped with all the luxuries can provide an excellent symbolic wedding ceremony.

There is nothing better than being near the sea and having the wedding you have long envisioned.

What rituals can be done in a symbolic wedding in Aruba?

In symbolic weddings you have the opportunity to celebrate certain rituals. These add a touch of originality and emotionality.

Among the most prominent rituals are the following:

Light Ceremony

This is a ritual that has been practiced since the 1900s. For the members of the couple, it symbolizes the union between the spouses.

This ceremony attests to the creation of a new family. It brings transcendence to the moment and romanticism to the celebration.

Generally, it is usually composed of three candles or white candles. Although they can be combined with the tones of the floral arrangements.

One of the lights symbolizes the groom, the other the bride and the last one the new life they will have together.

Ritual of foot washing

It is a Christian ceremony that demonstrates humility, fidelity and mutual service. It represents the promise of unity and service.

As Jesus demonstrated with his disciples, this ritual represents unconditional love.

The performance of this symbolic ritual requires removing the bride’s slippers and gently washing her feet. Afterwards, the same should be done with the groom.

Planting Ceremony

This is a romantic and meaningful ceremony that represents the symbolically charged act of love.

Basically, the bride and groom should plant a tree while the guests stand as witnesses.

In theory the planting expresses the seed of love, which will grow healthy and strengthened.

Wine Ceremony

The wine ritual is to represent the union of the spouses. This provides an original and spiritual character to keep as a pleasant memory.

To carry out this ritual it is only necessary to have a wine decanter with red wine, another with white wine and four glasses.

The spouses should take different wines, mix them in the empty decanter and fill the four glasses with them. Two are for themselves, and the remaining ones for two witnesses.

Afterwards, they should make a toast and raise the glasses as a symbol that both families will make a unique union.

View Aruba Wedding Photography Portfolio

Now that you know more about symbolic weddings in Aruba, their difference from civil weddings and some of the rituals that can be done, nothing better than to analyze them in pictures. 

Here is a portfolio that can help you make the best decision.