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Soraya & Kellan: From Saving Lives To Sharing a Life Together

Story by Tina Causey-Bislick / Images by Demian Gibbs

Soraya Alavarez, born and raised in the Bronx, and Kellan Squire, a Florida native now living in NYC, spend their days saving lives working for the FDNY—she as a paramedic, he as an EMT. This dynamic duo fell in love on the job, and once engaged, decided that a destination wedding in an exotic locale would be the ideal alternative to their hectic city lives—a place their close family and friends could enjoy as well. Aruba’s reliably sunny weather sealed the deal!

Soraya’s organizational skills and attention to detail prompted her to shoulder much of the wedding planning herself. She researched wedding styles and trends and decided on a rustic décor softened by a blush pink color scheme. The bride did her homework to find just the right place that could bring her vision to life, deciding on the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. “I was referred to Jessika. She made everything so much easier for us—everything was literally one email away,” Soraya enthused.

wedding arch at Aruba Marriott Resort on beach - Aruba destination beach wedding

The Décor

Soraya’s ideas for a rustic beach wedding came to life with a dark wood pergola-style arch draped in sheer white fabric. Matching wood chairs and lanterns lining the aisle finished the look.

wedding arch on beach at Marriott Aruba - Aruba destination beach wedding

The Attire

The bride wore an all-lace, mermaid-style dress that was originally strapless, which she custom altered to have an open back with spaghetti straps. The ladies in the wedding party, who went barefoot with foot jewelry, wore short dresses in a blush pink color. The groom and the men in the wedding party wore light-beige linen suits, accessorized with cool sunglasses and matching watches gifted to them by the couple. This modern couple bucked convention, with Soraya having a “man of honor” and Kellan a “best woman,” as her best friend is a man, his best friend a woman.

Aruba destination beach wedding at Marriott Aruba Resort
groom getting dressed at his Aruba destination beach wedding - Marriott Aruba
bride and her bridesmaids at destination beach wedding in Aruba
groom and his groomsmen at destination wedding in Aruba
couple getting married on the beach at Aruba Marriott Resort

The Reception

There were 21 guests plus the couple, so Soraya and Kellan wanted an intimate setting for the reception. One white-washed long wood table with a burlap runner was set up on the beach under a large, canopied pergola enhanced with white lights. Lanterns and compact centerpieces with white and blush flowers adorned the table. Guests dined on fresh red snapper and tenderloin. The two-tier wedding cake was vanilla with cannoli filling.

Aruba beach wedding venue with long table and lanterns - Marriott Aruba
Aruba destination beach wedding venue - Aruba Marriott
Aruba destination beach wedding venue - Marriott Aruba

The Details

Wedding Planner: The wedding team at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Ceremony & Reception Location: Beachfront at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Flowers: Shar’s Flowers

Décor: Letz Aruba

Wedding Cake: W Cakes

Music: Steelpan by Sharp

Photography: Demian Gibbs

Food & Beverage: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Aruba destination beach wedding - sunset

Notes from the Couple

We rented a modern six-bedroom home for ourselves and the bridal party for six nights, which is a bargain for those looking to budget certain aspects of their wedding. I created an itinerary of what we were doing day by day, including all the times and prices of everything, for those who wanted to join us on our excursions.

We are so happy to have had the opportunity to be able to share our experience in Aruba, as it was breathtaking! We loved the island and hope to visit again.

couple on the beach at sunset at their Aruba destination beach wedding at Aruba Marriott Resort
Aruba destination beach wedding group shot