Is there anything more romantic than a beachy destination wedding?  I mean, jetting off to paradise with your nearest and dearest, saying “I Do” seaside and frolicking in the sand post-nuptials can be pretty darn magical, don’t you agree?  Especially when that destination is the ever-amazing Costa Rica and that wedding is one planned and styled to absolute perfection by Tropical Occasions… that’s a romance-fest to the extreme.  Andi Hatch Photography captured every last moment between these lovebirds and it’s a day that is seriously brimming with pretty.  See even more in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… Josh and I met almost 10 years ago in Boulder, Colorado, where we both attended college. We quickly became close friends and almost two years later, and after many platonic sleepovers, we officially transitioned from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend. Over the years, travel and adventure have become a hallmark of our relationship. Our first trip together was to Costa Rica during our junior year in college. During this trip, we fell in love with the people and the “Pura Vida” lifestyle they embrace. Years later, when Josh wanted to propose, he appropriately decided to do it on a trip to Bocas Del Toro, Panama. For all these reasons, when we had to make the decision on where to get married, nothing conventional felt right. After much debate, we somehow convinced our amazingly supportive parents that the most appropriate place for us to be wed was the small town of Santa Teresa, on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Aside from the pristine beaches in Santa Teresa, one of the many reasons that we loved the idea of having our wedding there was that it would force the adventurer out of each of our guests. Most would end up taking one or more international flights, then a tiny puddle jumper followed by a one hour bumpy car ride along dirt roads to attend our wedding (and this was the easiest travel option available). Somehow we convinced 100 of our closest friends and family members to make the trek, and in retrospect, I think all would tell you that it was well worth the journey. At first, we didn’t really think how difficult it could be to coordinate vendors for a wedding in such a sleepy little town, but fortunately, through a series of coincidences, we stumbled upon Aimee and Anahi of Tropical Occasions and Santa Teresa Beach Weddings. By the end of the wedding I felt like they, along with Andi Hatch, our extraordinary photographer, who we managed to recruit all the way from my hometown of San Francisco, were part of our family. I always had a vision of what my dream wedding would look like but I never thought it would, or even could, be executed with such perfection. Aimee and Anahi literally transformed the space into my dream wedding – all of which required rentals, lighting, sound equipment and a range of other items to be transported from every corner of Costa Rica. Now that I more fully understand the complexity of what Tropical Occasions is able to pull off, I am literally left in awe of how they manage to do what they do and I am confident that they could both maintain a successful career in tactical operations.

The wedding was set on a large, densely forested, beachfront property with two homes. Guests entered the ceremony through Casa Java (a 200-year-old home imported piece by piece from Indonesia), the house where Josh’s family was staying. Just next door was Casa Capitan, the villa where my family lived and the eventual site of the wedding reception. When the time came, guests walked out to the beach from Casa Java, and we had a stunning sunset ceremony followed immediately by cocktails on the beach. After cocktails, instead of walking back up the path that they came down to get to the ceremony, guests began to walk up the sprawling sand walkway to Casa Capitan. Here we dined at two long tables under the stars — it was absolutely breathtaking. Once we finished dinner, guests made their way up to the pool area at the main house for dancing and dessert. This way, we kept guests moving and discovering new spaces at every turn (this was Aimee and Anahi’s idea). For dancing, we had an expat band out of Tamarindo. They played until 11 when we surprised guests with an incredible fireworks show on the beach – guests then returned to the pool deck at Casa Capitan for a DJ dance party that went late into the night.  By the end, the dance floor was swamped, and some ended up in the pool to cool off. We ended the night by inviting guests down for a bonfire on the beach with a little touch of back home – marshmallow s’mores! Throughout all of this, Andi moved seamlessly through the crowd, capturing every moment without anyone noticing.

Wedding Photography: Andi Hatch Photography / Wedding Venue: Casa Capitan in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica / Event Design + Planning: Tropical Occasions / Floral Design: Stylos & Flores / Catering: Ono Cuisine / Lighting Design: Cabo Luna Event Rentals / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Tropical Occasions is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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