In 2015 Ali Williams met Christopher Stuart through a mutual friend who thought they might hit it off.
The friend was right. And a year and a half later, Chris proposed and Ali accepted!
They are both New Yorkers, but agreed they would love to be married on a beach somewhere tropical. “We decided on a destination wedding because we always loved the idea of getting married on the ocean,” said Ali. “So many people had told us ‘we really wanted to have a destination wedding, but couldn’t because of xyz…’ and we didn’t want that to be us. We felt that a destination wedding is the best way to prolong a celebration that’s usually over in a blink of an eye.”
So how did they choose Aruba?
Ali explained, “Several of my family members own timeshares on Aruba, and my mother had been trying to persuade me to come with her for ages. So I finally went in 2015, and instantly fell in love with the island.”
When it came time to choose a tropical destination for their wedding, weather was also a factor and Ali knew that Aruba’s weather was year-round perfect. So she realized she had to introduce Chris to the island. And when she did, sure enough, he was as instantly smitten as Ali was. She said, “We scouted a few locations during our prenuptial trip in 2016, and both agreed that the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino was ideal. Also, we instantly connected with their bridal specialist, Lisa Dammerman, and that also played a huge part in our decision to choose the Hilton.”
They began planning right away to give family and friends ample time to make arrangements. Come 2017, the couple decided to get married legally in New York by Ali’s uncle who is a justice of the peace. But they also planned to have another ceremony on Aruba performed by their good friend and ordained minister Phyliss Juliano.
Ali said, “When we first arrived, we had preparations to take care of, so we weren’t able to spend as much time with our guests as we would’ve liked. But they didn’t seem to miss us! In no time, the different groups bonded with each other. I think this is a very unique aspect of a destination wedding, and it was a beautiful thing to witness.”