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Costa Rica Wedding by A Brit & A Blonde

What does a madly-in-love couple who met on a study-abroad program in Costa Rica do when they are ready to tie the knot? Why head back to the land of their fateful meeting for some gorgeous beachside nuptials of course. A Brit & A Blonde were on hand to capture this happy bash full of love, sun and surfboards. Is there anything better? See the whole gorgeous day right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Jessica of A Brit & A BlondeCourtney and Adam exchanged “I do’s” on the sunny beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, at the wonderful Playa Cielo hotel on Dec 30, 2011. They actually met eight years ago in Costa Rica while both on a study abroad program, so it was the perfect place to share their big with all their family and friends. Santa Teresa is renowned surf town, very much off the beaten path and full of character. They rented an absolutely amazing vintage surf board and a great bike with “Just Married” on the back for their couples portraits. So fab when couples incorporate objects into their wedding day that have a real personal meaning and connection it makes it so much more powerful and a great memento. Adam’s mom was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease so being able to capture these precious, once in a lifetime moments took on a whole other meaning that day.

From the bride and groom… We met eight years ago during a study abroad trip to Costa Rica. We were only in country two weeks before we were inseparable. We spent the next four months exploring the less than pristine city but charming (to us at least) city of Puntarenas, traveling throughout the rest of Central America, growing as individuals and as a couple and trying to figure out how a girl from the Northeast and a guy from the South were going to be able resume our current love when we made it back to the States. Well, as you can see, we made it happen. While it was tough at times, our friendship and love was robust and established on a firm foundation. We attribute a portion of these strengths to our time spent together in Costa Rica. We were able to share an important time of transition in our lives where we slowed down and realized what was important to us in our lives. We are always able to remember our bike rides, nightly beach runs, sunsets, long talks between ourselves and among friends, introductions to new cultures, and reaching beyond our borders, both actually and metaphorically, among other things to bring us back to where we need to be.

One common theme that runs through many of our stories about the time we spent in Costa Rica includes bicycles. We can’t look through our old photos without almost every third one including a bike. Courtney first told her friends that she was interested in the “cute blond-haired, blue-eyed boy with a Texas drawl” when I rode by the group of them lying on the beach. I first expressed my attraction to Courtney when she rode by me and my friend staring down at her from a balcony while she zoomed past on her bike carrying a pineapple in her basket. One story that Courtney recalls is when I was riding my bike through the Puntarenas’ neighborhood balancing an ice cream cake in 90-degree weather that I had made for her birthday. Our bikes became a representation of a transition that she and I made while we were living abroad. While riding a bike in the heat may not be as ideal as driving an air conditioned car it helped us slow down and enjoy the more important things such as each other. 

Wedding Photography: A Brit & A Blonde / Wedding Venue: Playa Cielo / Event Planning: Mal Pais Green Weddings & Events / Catering: Soma / Custom Wedding Dress: Jeanine Hines of Pure Bliss / Groom’s Pants + Vest: J.Crew / Groom’s Shirt + Tie: Billy Reid / Flower Girl Dresses: Yaga Clothing / Flower Girl Shoes: TOMS

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Costa Rica Wedding by Ale Sura Photo

I’m totally convinced that Costa Rica is one of the coolest destinations for a super fun, super relaxed wedding like this one by Ale Sura Photo. And this outdoor loving couple is convinced too. They chose this gorgeous beach location because of its lack of big, high rise hotels and, of course, the amazing surf. Their guests enjoyed a totally relaxed, totally eco-friendly, totally gorgeous day and I promise I’m only a tad bit jealous. Click here to see even more!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Ale of Ale Sura PhotoEven with their super-busy schedules, this couple of doctors are traveling fans. From the coolest weather to the Caribbean they just love having adventures, practice surfing, snowboarding, horseback rides, river kayaking and anything else you can think of. It was more than appropriate for them to find a little hidden paradise like Nosara to tie the knot. If I had to think on a phrase that describes their style and theme I would have to say “The good life.” Every single detail in this wedding evoked this feeling — I mean, what else comes to mind when you see a sunset in Costa Rica, beer holders, a yummy pig roast, surfboards and cigars?

From the bride and groom… Nosara is a small jewel we’ve found located on the Nicoya Peninsula in Northwest Costa Rica. The actual town of Nosara (where the locals live) is set back from the beach, but the “gringo” center is around Playa Guiones. Nosara is touted as “eco-friendly” with a 300 foot perimeter of protected jungle along the edge of the beach. We love Nosara because it lacks the big hotels and high-rises of explosive, unplanned development that has plagued other Costa Rican towns. Also, the waves here can get very large but are also very gentle and rolling … a great place for beginners to learn to surf (basically, I, as a beginner, can catch waves here, and Mike, an expert, can have lots of fun too)!

Wedding Photography: Ale Sura Photo / Wedding Venue: Tierra Magnifica in Nosara, Costa Rica / Flowers + Wedding Coordination: Nina Arias of Nosara Weddings & Events / Wedding Cake: Creative Cakes by Jessica

Costa Rica Wedding by A Brit & A Blonde

Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of my favorite destination wedding locations… and with insanely gorgeous affairs like this one captured by the oh-so-fabulous A Brit & A Blonde filling my computer screen, it’s downright impossible not to head over heels in love with this Central America wonderland.  Yes, the gorgeous inspiration is pouring from every nook and cranny of this stunning affair… and so are the breathtaking views.  Plus, with moment after moment of sweet, sweet details, the pretty will literally fill your entire afternoon… and more.  Click here for all of the lovely.

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From A Brit & A Blonde Chelsey and Dylan are probably the raddest and most chilled out couple we have ever worked with. Dylan is a musician and Chelsey is a yoga instructor and they live in LA. They have been together for over a decade, gotta love that. Neither of them had ever been to Costa Rica but they are adventurous types and wanted something different. So they chose amazing Manuel Antonio for their big day.

The whole vibe was a hippie love bird type feeling. Which goes perfectly with their relaxed style and Costa Rica as the back drop. Their day started off chillaxing in the beyond awesome villa that they rented in Manuel Antonio: Casa de Las Brisas. And then the girls headed over to Si Como No Resort Spa & Wildlife Refuge to get all beautified and this is where the ceremony and reception would take place as well.

Si Como No is such an amazing venue – their view and grounds are out of this world. Plus they are extremely eco-conscious and have received a 5 Green Leaves rating for their sustainability efforts – the highest you can get. So we love ‘em even more for that! Did I mention they also have a butterfly garden right across the street that you just have to see to believe how magical it is? Totally Alice in Wonderland. So of course we had to take them there for some fab photos.

Since Dylan is a musician – music was an important part of their wedding – obvs! His best man is in the band Hoobastank. As a sort of nickname Dylan is also known as Bob – as in Bob Dylan – when I saw the sign her friends created that said Congrats Chelsey and Bob – I had to ask who the heck is Bob? Chelsey’s sister is an opera singer and blew us all away with her incredible voice during the ceremony. The ceremony music was all Beatles based – fab touch. As Chelsey walked down the aisle their friend Tim, who also happens to be a Grammy award winner for a song he co-wrote with Jason Mraz (ridic right!) played “Stand by Me” on the guitar. And there was a full on dance-off that would put the walk-off scene in Zoolander to shame.

Chelsey’s bridesmaids knew that the whole vibe was hippie chic and found the really unique yellow flowy cute bridesmaid dresses and then Chelsey found super cool earrings and feather necklace and cool ring bauble to top off the look. Her details were super cute but did not break the bank at all. Her shoes which were super cute were less then $40. Crazy. Her fun hair accessory was from Target! Who knew! The guys also had great style, topped off with the customary Vans.

Chelsey and Dylan have a great sense of humor – so for the seating cards with LoveBirds, instead of just writing each person’s name – they wrote the nicknames they have for them. Which was really cute especially because they have hilarious nicknames for everybody. But it really gave it that personal touch and the guests loved it. They had the lovebirds on their wedding program and on top of the cake as well.

Since their 2 babies (their dogs) were not able to make the journey down to Costa Rica – Chelsey made 2 little love birds out of origami which she put in her weddings dress (that’s right her dress had pockets, gotta love that!). That way even though they were not there with them, they were represented still which was super sweet.

Wedding Photography: A Brit & A Blonde / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jen’s Pirate Booty / Bridesmaid Shoes: Jessica Simpson / Bridesmaid Feather Earrings, Necklaces + Rings: Sam Moon / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: Make Me Chic / Hair Accessory: Target / Groom’s Suit + Shoes: Macy’s / Groomsmen Outfits: Milanoo / Groomsmen Shoes: Vans / Bird Seat Cards: Timeless Paper / Wedding Program: Wedding Paper Divas / Wedding Ceremony + Reception Venue: Si Como No Resort / Accommodations: Casa de Las Brisas

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Costa Rica Wedding by Comfort Studio + Tropical Occasions

Having a destination wedding in Costa Rica is sure to pack on beautiful views and lovely cultural traditions and that is double with today’s gorgeous feature shot by Katherine Stinnett of Comfort Studio. Every image is swimming in loads of fab details crafted by Tropical Occasions
and these beauties are ever so smitten-worthy. From the baby’s breath seating cards right on through to the kissing hammock, we’re slapping those babies in our Favorites folder. (Side note: It is just a regular hammock but the Bride and Groom ARE kissing in it so today, we’re calling it such. Deal?) Cozy on up to the gallery for lots more!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…My DIY projects for the wedding were the invites and thank you cards, the table escort cards, the frames with the table names, and the biggest job was the magnets. I made those from beads and random jewelry pieces. They were made in honor of my mother-in-law, who loves to collect magnets whenever she travels. I thought they would be a nice gift for our guests to remember the Costa Rica wedding they attended. I wanted them to look a bit like brooches, and I thought they would be pretty on the table settings. I am OBSESSED with terrariums right now, so one of my favorite details of the wedding were the glass jars with the orchids in them. Tropical Occasions really made that happen for me! Aimee’s vision for the wedding was perfect for Mario and I…her inspiration was Cartagena. Very romantic, and true to us because the first time Mario took me to Colombia, we stayed in Cartagena. She suggested the Senor and Senora chair decorations, which I ordered from Etsy. I also mentioned that I love baby’s breath (which I was a little embarrassed to admit, because it always makes me think of cheesy 80’s wedding), but she made the flowers so fresh and modern.

Mario and I moved to Albuquerque at the same time, back in 2006. His job brought him here, and my pediatric residency did the same. We met about a year later through friends. They arranged for us to be dance partners in a salsa class. We’ve been together ever since. Although I always have to mention that we still can’t salsa dance. I knew pretty early on in our relationship that Mario would be a great husband. He took care of me during my pediatric residency in a way that no one ever has. I knew he loved me when he fixed my broken car window (after someone had broken it early one morning to take the CD player), drove it to the hospital so that I would have it to drive home after my shift, and then walked home. He always made sure I was OK. And the fact that he is hilarious and a beautiful singer is just icing on the cake.

I knew the engagement was coming up, because Mario is a planner and he asked me what type of ring I would like. That being said, he still wanted to surprise me, which he certainly did. I came home from work one Saturday, put on some grubby clothes and we watched TV until I fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up, he told me that he put together a slideshow on his new iPad. This is classic Mario…he is a computer nerd to the max. I didn’t suspect anything because he had just gotten the iPad and was trying out all the new features. He named the presentation “Oh, the places we will go”, and put together all of the places we’ve talked about visiting in the future. At the end of the slideshow, it was a picture of Albuquerque. He then started to talk about how it’s not just where we’ll go, but when we will start our adventure. He then had an “X” on the screen and he said something like “X marks the spot”, and when he touched the screen, the “X” traveled to the edge of the screen, where he pulled out the ring that he had been holding the whole time. He then got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.

That is one reason we chose Costa Rica…Mario came up with the idea and really felt that it would be symbolic of our commitment to travel. Also we really wanted an intimate, personal ceremony. There was family pressure to get married in Colombia and there was pressure to get married in the states. We had never been to C.R., but we had only heard great things and felt we couldn’t go wrong. (Boy, were we right!) We chose May 24th as our date because my grandparents (both deceased) got married on that date. They were married for 60+ years and had a huge family. We both wanted to honor our grandparents and family that day, so I carried my other grandmother’s rosary with the bouquet and Mario had his great grandmothers rosary (his GGM passed in January). We had “Tita”, his grandmother say one of the readings during the ceremony (on an iPad; Mario was very proud). Our friend, Teresa Vigil, married us. It was her first wedding and she was able to do it in Spanish and English. Perfect for our guests.

The song that Mario sang was a surprise to me. He sang the song from Juno…it’s a Barry Louis Polisar song…”All I want is You”. That was my favorite moment because I LOVE it when he sings and plays the guitar. The harmonica was new…I had never seen him play before! It was such a beautiful day, from start to finish. I hope I never forget that feeling when I saw the church with the open doors, and the flowers hanging down from the ceiling, and I could feel our family’s and friend’s love and positive energy. It was overwhelming (thus the crying that took place, glad I was able to pull it together for a little bit). Such a sweet moment. I ADORE the pictures Katie took because even though I could feel everyone’s presence, the only face I saw the whole time I was in the chapel was Mario.

Wedding Photography: Katherine Stinnett of Comfort Studio / Event Design + Planning: Tropical Occasions / Floral Design: Stylos y Flores / Location: JW Marriott Guanacaste / Lighting: Cabo Luna Event Rentals / DJ: Costa Rica Wedding DJ / Ceremony Music: Josh Hoke / Rentals: Costa Mesa / Stylist: Fernando Hidalgo Fallas / Carriage: Hacienda Pinilla / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Veil: Bridal Ambiance / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie / Groom + Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew / Ties: Cyberoptix Tie Lab / Chair Decorations: My Primitive Boutique

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Wrap It Up Pretty Destination!

Wow, another week of breathtaking destination weddings to fill my wanderlust heart.  It takes a lot of will power not to head on over to a travel agent and start booking flights after all the pretty places we feature each week!  We are scratching our virtual travel itch next week with some even more beautiful, far-off places filled with sweet details like the romantic Costa Rica elopement by A Brit & A Blonde we were gushing over this morning.  These two lovebirds obviously have a wonderful sense of adventure and humor!  The following day the small group gathered back at the beach for some fun trash-the-dress photos in the ocean!  Have a great weekend!  We’re going to whisk you off to France on Monday so make sure you’re back bright and early!

Photography: A Brit & A Blonde

If you missed any, here are all of our pretty posts from the week:

a seriously stunning soiree in Wakikii, Hawaii
a fun, bright and modern wedding in Key West
a sweet celebration in the south of France
a magical sea-swept Prince Edward Island photo shoot
a romance-filled Costa Rica elopement

Some fabulous links from around the web:

a super fun outfit and some accessories for a trip to Rome at coco + kelley
host a movie night like Bash, Please at design*sponge
more nautical goodies from luna and chloe

Have a glorious weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo.

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