High school sweethearts Michelle and Andreas beat all the odds of long-distance love. They fell in love in Plano, Texas in their tender teen years, and stayed together throughout college while the groom attended Baylor and the bride went to TCU. Once the happy couple was engaged, they knew they wanted to exchange their vows in a sunny location. They began planning for an intimate destination wedding on the beach.
Though the couple leaned toward Hawaii for its stunning landscapes and serene beaches, nearly half the guest list would be traveling from Sweden. So, the couple began to investigate alternate destination wedding locations to shorten the travel time from Europe. Once Michelle and Andreas discovered the Renaissance Aruba Resort, they knew it was the perfect solution. The Caribbean offered a closer destination for European guests, and the resort offered a private island beach (complete with roving flamingos!) for an intimate beachside party uninterrupted by vacationers.
The couple woke up to a glorious sunny, breezy island wedding day. After getting ready, the group journeyed to the resort's private Flamingo Island in dedicated boats. One flirty flamingo gave the guests a hearty welcome, wandering through the middle of the beachside ceremony with a resounding playful “honk!”
As seen here on Destination I Do
After the ceremony, guests took a sunset walk to "Iguana Island," a soft sand beach where they discovered an al fresco dining experience bordered by palm trees wrapped in twinkle lights. Three long, white tables with matching white chairs and a minimalist sprinkling of votive candles, flowers and greenery set an elegant, understated scene for the party to come.
The groom's cousins from Sweden serenaded guests as the sun set over the Caribbean sea. Meanwhile, servers passed trays of rum punch and tropical bites like prosciutto with melon and succulent lump crab cakes with coconut relish.
The new Mr. and Mrs. Hjalber enjoyed a romantic dinner under glowing bistro bulbs with guests who flew from all over the world to celebrate their love. The leisurely al fresco meal featured pan fried sea bass and grilled petit filet mignon. Dessert included key lime pie and sweet red velvet wedding cake, a southern favorite of the bride's that gave a nod to Texas from the islands.
Guests danced for hours beneath the palm trees and twinkling lights. As the evening drew to a close, loved ones surrounded the couple with a sparkler send-off and boarded their boats for a starry evening cruise into the warm Caribbean night.
Destination wedding vendor team:
Event Stylist: Meggie Francisco at Meggie Francisco Destination Weddings
Wedding Planner: Emily Scott at Luxe Destination Weddings
Ceremony/Reception Site: Renaissance Island at Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino
Florist: Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Hair & Makeup JenniVe
Bridal Gown Designer: Martina Liana
Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse
Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse