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Costa Rica Wedding from Ale Sura Photo + Costa Rica Destination Weddings

When people ask me for advice on planning their big day, I always say – hire people you absolutely love, trust and admire and you won’t have to worry about a thing. This couple researched away until they could do just that, and came out with a team of talents including Ale Sura PhotoCosta Rica Destination Weddings and Art Flower that made their dream destination wedding a reality. It’s too gorgeous to miss, so join me in getting lost in all the lovely – right here.

From the Bride…Our wedding theme revolved around the colors Coffee, Wood and Green Apple. These are all colors that reminded us of this great country, and joining together on the sand, under an open sky. We were very, very, very picky about our service providers – with the actual attitude of a company mattering just as much as the aesthetics of the event. Relatively simple meetings would turn into 5-hour conversations with companies like Arte Flor (the best Floral company in Costa Rica!). We didn’t want cheesy, overly melo-dramatic wedding photos, so we went with the coolest photographer who basically told us “just let me do what I do and you’ll like the result”. Cool. Sold. We chose a club DJ to do the music at our ceremony. And so on it went. From the smallest detail to big decisions like table settings, we went out of our way to choose something that reflected how unique – and overly picky – we both are.

Despite all this though, we realized that the most important thing for us was that our wedding was FUN. We set up a stand for people to get pipas (think coconuts), a photo booth for silly pictures, a fun lounge for the older attendees, burlap bags of lavender for people to throw half at us as we walked down the aisle and keep half for their baggage. We made everyone a jar of homemade Guava jam. The music started as soon as Mike walked down the aisle and didn’t stop until late at night. At around 10 o’clock we had a Costa Rican specialty – the Carnivale – where costumed dancers, drummers and trumpet players play Rumba music in the midst of the crowd. It got everyone out of their seats, and for the first time ever saw our mothers dancing like they were teenagers.

The weather was perfect. Sunny skies and a light breeze greeted guests throughout the day. Right as the Pastor began to speak the clouds opened to reveal a gorgeous sunset. Some guests even gasped. If we could give any advice to couples looking to get married, it’d be to handle as much yourself as you’re comfortable with, and then trust the people you hire. After all, you know better than anyone what your special day will look like, so fret the details but then as it gets close to the wedding day, relax. It’ll all go awesome. Also, don’t listen to anyone who cares more about selling you stuff than about the love you two share.

Finally, just know that it really is all worth it. As we lay in bed the morning after, slightly hungover but happy as can be, we smiled and said to each other “we did it.” We had gone through all the trials and tribulations a couple could go through: distance, difference of cultures, work issues, illnesses, money problems and still managed to have the perfect Wedding. Moving outside to the balcony we sat on our deck chairs and closed our eyes, the sound of the waves crashing against the beach in our ears. With a lot of work and a lot of help, we did it. 

Wedding Photography: Ale Sura Photo / Wedding Venue: Langosta Beach Club in Tamarindo, Costa Rica / Event Coordinator: Maria Eugenia Roldán from Costa Rica Destination Weddings / Floral Design: Art Flower / Cake +  Pastries: Victoria Zoch / DJ: Marcelo Matos / Wedding Dress: Kitty Chen Couture / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Island Importers / Groom’s Shoes: Kenneth Cole

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Costa Rica Wedding from Ale Sura Photo + Weddings Costa Rica

When you spend your days traveling the world, it only makes sense that you would land on the lovely paradise of Costa Rica as your wedding locale, an insanely beautiful country that makes for the prettiest of Big Days.  Especially when you are these two stunning sweethearts, who, with the help of Weddings Costa Rica, filled every last second with special details highlighting their globetrotting status, like gorgeous lanterns from India and dazzling crystals from Hong Kong.  Thank goodness Ale Sura Photo captured every moment, because this is a gallery you just can’t miss.  Join me there for more.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Ale Sura PhotoJennifer and Rodolfo’s wedding was a celebration of two cultures coming together in a huge celebration on the shores of Costa Rica. Talk about worldly! The couple are true globetrotters, exploring new countries whenever they can. As an international MBA student, Jen has studied in many exotic locales all over the world, and during her travels, she picked up a number of great additions to her wedding, such as the star lanterns from India and real crystal strands and sky lanterns from the markets in Hong Kong. But the piece de resistance had to be her custom-made cheongsam, created for her by the seamstress who has sewn clothing for her family since Jen’s childhood. Those funky tablecloths were a find at Anthropologie, and all the little airplanes that were seating cards and dance floor decor were painstakingly made by the bride and groom. The adorable cake topper was made by Jen’s brother and captured the joie de vivre of this outgoing couple. Family from Puerto Rico flew in for the fun and what fun! A crazy photo booth, thoughtful welcome bags, dancing galore and a high-energy comparse (carnival dancers and drummers) made this one wedding no one is sure to forget (or top!).

Wedding Photography: Ale Sura Photo / Wedding Venue: Hotel Sugar Beach in Playa Pan de Azucar, Guanacaste, Costa Rica / Wedding Coordination: Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica / Floral Design: Florestieria Cristal / Wedding Cake: Sweet Constructions / Guitar Trio: Jorge Jaen Trio / DJ: DJ Levento / Rentals: Eventos Boadicea / Lawyer: Ana Castro / Hair: Xinia Chacon

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Costa Rica Wedding from Comfort Studio

Fair warning: this next wedding will leave you with an insane desire to jump on the next airplane to Costa Rica. We’re seriously loving the laid back, nature vibe this bride and groom created. Think intimate dinner by candlelight, surrounded by their closest friends and family. It really doesn’t get any better. Comfort Studio captured all the magical moments and you can see more right here. 

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Robert and I have been together for a long time, and when we started to plan our wedding, we had three main goals: keep it small, bring our families together, and find a great destination. Our friends and family would be traveling from all ends of the world to attend, and location was sooo important to us. We love to travel, and Costa Rica was on our hot list to visit, so we figured why not make it our wedding destination?! One highlight was Villa Paraiso, the villa we rented for our immediate family to stay in and also our reception location. Waking up every morning to the breathtaking views of Tamarindo’s bay was worth the bumpy ride up a steep, dirty hill. The villa turned out to be the central meeting location for the week, and our friends and family came by to swim in the pool, enjoy a cocktail and relax around the open-air villa. Knowing how beautiful our reception site would be, we wanted our ceremony to be off-site and chose a small private farm with old, twisty trees and horses.Many couples travel to Costa Rica to get married on the beach, and we wanted to be different. Also, we wanted our guest to have a “local” Costa Rican experience. We chose a late afternoon ceremony so we could arrive back to the villa together and enjoy a beautiful sunset over hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and Brazilian music.  Robert and I loved looking around to see our friends and family dancing, dipping their feet in the pool, taking photos and making new friends.

As much as we love to travel, we also love to experience food, so we approached our reception as though we were throwing a dinner party at our home. Our wedding was meant to be small and intimate, thus we wanted everyone to be together to share the experience, moments and emotions of this day. We decided to create one long table setting with candlelight. Robert and I sat on opposite ends of the table so we could look across at one another, smile and watch everyone having the best time of their lives. We have the wonderful Julie Comfort to thanks for capturing the details and special moments of our day.

Our wedding was a success, and as our friends and family packed up for their journey back home, everyone asked, “When we can we do this again?!” As important as our wedding was for us, it was also important to bring everyone together and kick back in Costa Rica! 

Wedding Photography: Comfort Studio / Reception: Villa Paraiso in Tamarindo, Costa Rica / Event Planning: Four Winds Weddings & Events /  Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Save-the-Dates + Place Cards: Designed + Assembled by the Bride & Groom / Menus: Designed, Printed + Assembled by the Bride & Groom / Rentals: Eventos Artesanos /  Wedding Dress: Casablanca Bridal / Bride’s Jewelry: Family Heirlooms / Bride’s Shoes: Banana Republic + Custom Embellishments by the Bride / Engagement Ring: Designed by the Bride & Groom, Using the Bride’s Grandmother’s Stone / Groom’s Suit: Custom by Winston Co. in Hong Kong

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Costa Rica Wedding from Tropical Occasions

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.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

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

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Costa Rica Wedding from A Brit & A Blonde

Get ready to smile. Like cheeks hurting, teeth-flashing, ear-to-ear grin, because this cheer inducing Costa Rica celebration is as sweet + happy as they come! With a ceremony in a coconut grove and a reception held at the ever gorgeous Casa Batik, this yellow + grey fête gave photographers A Brit & A Blonde about a million opportunities for the breathtaking images they’re known for! Top it all off with a bride rocking head to toe BHLDN and I promise you’ll be grinning all the way to the gallery!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From A Brit & A BlondeHilary and Kevin met in 2006 while both working for Neiman Marcus in Texas. Kevin was head of jewelry, and Hilary was head of lingerie. The sunny colour scheme for their big day was yellow and gray. The ceremony was held on the beach in a coconut grove. A handmade driftwood arch featured a yellow garland of sunflowers and gerberas (the yellow flowers in season). Guests were served during cocktail hour from a natural driftwood bar — local coconuts and Costarican rum make a nice refreshing drink for such hot weather. All the signs were hand painted on driftwood too. The reception was held at Casa Batik, and the garden of one of the houses was used for the dining area. The lighting was natural , and recycled jars were hung in the trees and bushes around the garden to create a magical ambience. The centerpiece was three white wooden boxes in different sizes with only yellow flowers (gerberas, sunflowers and billy buttons), which were placed on gray and yellow runners that overlapped each other. Simple yet so perfect. At the back of the garden there was a table for kids. In the center there were yellow flower pots full of crayons, glitter, glue and stickers — lots of arts and crafts for them to have fun with. The seating chart consisted of an old wooden ladder with the place cards attached with jute rope and clothespins. The lounge was cleared for the dance floor and featured Chinese lanterns in yellow and white. The table in the lounge was used to place the guest book and camera for guests to sign. The beyond-uber-cute flower girls wore J.Crew Crewcuts dresses. The program that doubled as a fan was designed by a friend of the couple. And Hilary’s dad’s company is the one that created those great customized beer koozies in yellow and gray. Hilary looked super gorge, and her whole outfit was found at BHLDN: dress, jewelry and shoes!

Wedding Photography: A Brit & A Blonde / Reception: Batik Costa Rica in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica / Event Design: Malpais Green Weddings / Floral Design: Floristeria Crystal / Officiant: Terri Zacanti / Catering: Soma Chef Services / Favors: Houston Advance / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Bride’s Shoes: Chie Mihara via BHLDN / Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN / Flower Girls’ Dresses: J.Crew Crewcuts / Groom’s Attire: Q Custom Clothier

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Costa Rica Wedding at La Mariposa Hotel by Amanda Megan Miller Photography

Picture this.  A glorious Costa Rica setting, a breathtaking barefoot ceremony and an amazing First Dance in the sand.  Sounds romantic, no?  Well, prepare yourselves, SMPers, because that’s just the beginning of the lovely coming to us straight from this gorgeous Manuel Antonio soiree.  I’m talking an adorable Mr. and Mrs., a lovely chiffon gown and the fab stylings of Supreme Weddings – all wrapped up in ah.mazing images captured by Amanda Megan Miller Photography.  Elegant, intimate and downright dreamy – the perfect destination day.  See it all here.

 

From Amanda Megan Miller PhotographyJamie and Kevin’s destination wedding in Costa Rica was such a magical occasion. From their Manuel Antonio beach ceremony to a barefoot first dance in the sand and the beautiful lanterns they sent off into the night sky at the end of their wedding, everything was so special and so very them. With 30 of their closest family and friends by their sides, Jamie and Kevin were married under a gorgeous canopy of white tulle, right on the beach. The invitations stated it was a barefoot wedding, and that it was! With their toes in the sand, a cool breeze blowing and the waves softly crashing on the sand, Jamie and Kevin promised to love each other forever. Before being pronounced as husband and wife, they invited all of their guests up to partake in a special ritual of putting a scoop of pretty, colored glass into a vase, that would be later made into a beautiful, hand blown-vase to remind them of all the love and support in their lives. Guests threw flower petals in celebration as they walked down the aisle. After a champagne toast, they made their way to the water’s edge as Dave Matthews’ “You and Me” began to play. A first dance on the beach, with the water gently lapping at their feet. It couldn’t possibly have been any more beautiful or touching!

Following their first dance on the beach, everyone headed back to La Mariposa for the reception. Guests watched the gorgeous sunset during cocktail hour before heading to the large table for dinner. (The staff had created a large square of the tables so all the guests could face each other and talk over dinner. And that they did, regaling stories of Jamie and Kevin and reminiscing.) After dinner, Jamie and Kevin treated their guests to music by a local Costa Rican band and dancing by some local dancers! Everyone got in on the fun and you could tell this was a night that none of their guests would ever forget! Finally, to cap off their magical wedding, Jamie and Kevin sent off illuminated sky lanterns into the night! Holding onto them together until they were ready to go up in the sky, their faces glowing by the light of the lantern, they were so blissfully and completely happy. Each married to their best friend, surrounded by all their favorite people in one of the most beautiful places in the world, creating once-in-a-lifetime moments! And this was just the beginning!

Wedding Photography: Amanda Megan Miller Photography / Ceremony: Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica / Reception: La Mariposa Hotel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica / Event Design + Planning: Supreme Weddings / Wedding Invitations: J.O. Design / Wedding Dress: Unknown Designer