Where to go for what when getting married on island

FLOWERS FIT FOR ROYALTY. In the process of shooting the wedding edition for Island Temptations Magazine we were looking for a florist for wedding bouquets. Only one name came up in conversations with local wedding planners: Shar’s Flowers, in Tanki Leendert. So I called and talked to Sharon, a super friendly person and on the designated day, Saturday, went to pick up my order. Wow. Shar’s Flowers operates out of Sharon & Reggie Chatram’s home, and when I got there they had their two grown kids, a number of neighbors, and friends, all working on these humongous flower arrangements for a wedding at the Ritz Carlton. They were incredible pieces, all white long stem phalaenopsis orchids and white Hydrangea, with pale pink roses, heaped, and I mean heaped, as center pieces, for the beach ceremony and the later party. There were hundreds of orchids, shipped from the Netherlands, ready to cascade over the wedding arch and many dozens baby roses braided into hair wreaths for bridesmaids. Most importantly, a wedding bouquet to end all wedding bouquets with even more orchids and roses. Impressive. Sharon says she started her flower shop in 2005, but she has been working with flowers for 26 years. She recruits friends and family members on rush days, and they all work together, surrounded by blooming beauties. Her secret? She goes the extra mile, and she really cares about her clients. Not surprisingly later in the week with met Sharon & Reggie at the Ritz Carlton and at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean where the message became even clearer, Shar’s Florists are the florists of choice of our hotels, and there’s a good reason for that. sharsflowershop@hotmail.com, also amazing website with great pictures, so you can see for yourself, http://sharsflowers.com

HORSE & CARRIAGE. The Kathy & Yhmil Muyal, Mundoequinoaruba@hotmail.com, operate the horse and buggy rides at Paseo Herencia. This is a family business and I have known the patriarch Camilo, even before he used to operate the horse and buggy rides around the Seaport Marketplace. Now it’s the younger generation’s turn. Kathy and Yhmil are not part of an established ranch, they only do the nightly horse drawn carriage rides on Palm Beach. For our wedding photo-shoot we had a choice of white or red interiors for our romantic carriage, and we picked red, so our bride popped in the pictures against the backdrop. The Muyales showed up on time, in town, with a super friendly and well behaved white horse by the name of Emperor, nicknamed Party Boy because of his frequent party invitations to weddings and children’s events. Emperor accepted an apple from me and proceeded to bite little bits off, and leisurely chew the treat, as if he gets apples all the time. He does. says Kathy, the tourists are very generous and feed him nightly, and he prefers apples to chocolate. Kathy brother was the dapper coachman, with the equestrian hat. The pictures came out perfect!

WEDDING WARDROBE. We dressed our grooms at T.H. Palm & Company, street side at Playa Linda Beach Resort, in khaki and white pants, and long sleeve guayabera-like shirts. Just right for jumping the broom in the tropics. We also found a Bohemian chic, off the shoulder dress which we loved, and it might end up on our cover. More non traditional bridal wear came from Loft, Palm Beach Plaza Mall. The store had a number of lovely short and long styles, appropriate for the memorable occasion. The more formal dresses came from Creation Aimee, in Ponton. Jewelry by Little Switzerland, all gorgeous and at a helpful price range.