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SMP Blogger Bride: A Dash of Detail’s Costa Rica Honeymoon

When the wedding’s over there is only one thing left to do: Honeymoon. It’s Ali from A Dash of Details back to share all the details on our amazing Honeymoon at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica. We spent a few extra days recovering in Arizona before we jetted off to Costa Rica to enjoy the amazing sunshine and beautiful beaches on the Peninsula Papagayo.

When deciding on a spot to celebrate our Honeymoon, we had two things in mind: Travel time and relaxation. When we found out that Costa Rica was only a four hour flight, we knew it was the perfect destination to unplug and relax! When we arrived at the Four Seasons Costa Rica we were greeted with mango smoothies, cool towels and a beautiful and completely renovated lobby. For a girl who loves interior design, the mosaic wall and contemporary furniture were major eye candy.

We spent most of our seven days enjoying our bungalow, at the beach, in the pool, and the spa completely unplugged and in newlywed bliss. While we planned to fill most of our days with relaxing activities, we did schedule some fun adventures while on the peninsula. The first night of our Honeymoon we tried stand up paddle boarding with LED lights to see into the water. We ventured out in to the water right after sunset and saw so many beautiful fish. I highly recommend taking the kayaks, paddle boards, and surf boards out for a spin. Another must-have adventure activity in Costa Rica is zip lining. We made it through the jungle course through in rain and sunshine. It was such an exhilarating experience! The last activity we signed up for was the adventure cycling. The Four Seasons offers free activities everyday for their guests to enjoy the full Pura Vida experience. The 4 mile bike ride through the jungle was a highlight! We even encountered a few White-Faced monkeys.

The beaches at the Four Seasons Costa Rica are so picturesque. We ended up spending most of our days on hammocks on the private beach at the Four Seasons Beach Club. We even ended up staying to witness the most colorful sunset.

After the entire wedding planning process, a relaxing honeymoon was just what we needed to start off our marriage on the right foot! Whether its a staycation or honeymoon in Costa Rica, be sure to take a few moments with your new hubby or wife and enjoy being married! I loved being able to share my wedding process with all of you lovely Style Me Pretty readers. Be sure to stay up to date on our life after the wedding over on A Dash of Details.

See Ali’s Journey down the aisle

Get to know the Bride | Engagement | Bridal Shower | Rehearsal Dinner Dress | DIY Flower Crown | Bridal fitness

Coverup: Eberjey | Resort: Four Seasons Costa Rica | Robe: Eberjey | Sandals: J.Crew | Swimsuit: L.Space

Ali Bronska

Blogger Bride
Romantic Costa Rica Destination Beach Wedding

Fair warning—this wedding is about to give you a serious case of wanderlust. Set against the natural beauty of Costa Rica, these high school sweethearts said “I do,” in a beachside wedding the Bride had been dreaming about since the fifth grade. With vibrant pink flowers, gold spray-painted flamingos and a celebratory reception back in Sioux Falls, this couple started Happily Ever After in the prettiest way possible. See it all from Jeff Sampson Photography in THE VAULT.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
BeachOutdoor
Styles
Whimsical

From The Bride… Justin and I met 10 years ago at Roosevelt High School (whoop whoop High School Sweethearts!). We happened to be in foods class together and one day after class he asked for my number. Not to age myself, but this was before all high schoolers had cell phones so I had to give him my house number – Embarrassing! He called after school one day to hang out so we got a Little Ceasars pizza and watched “The Ring”. It terrified me and I haven’t been able to watch a scary movie since. Luckily I didn’t have the same feelings about him and we eventually started dating! We eventually parted ways when he went off to College, but got back together through mutual friends a year or two later. The rest is history!

For as long as I can remember, I have ALWAYS wanted to get married on the beach. I even have it stated in a 5th grade power point presentation about ‘My Future’ that I’ll get married on the beach someday. I would’ve been happy to elope just the two of us, but Justin is more traditional and wanted a traditional wedding. Well, we both love to travel and I get uncomfortable in large crowds with people watching me, so a destination wedding with a reception back home seemed like the perfect compromise!

I started to search for locations for a wedding that were both exotic, yet affordable for our close friends and family. It was important for the both of us to have our immediate family and close friends there with us to celebrate. I always heard from other brides that the day goes by so fast, they barely remember their wedding day; so I wanted to make sure we had a trip to remember! Why limit your wedding to 1 day when you can celebrate over an entire vacation?

We decided to go with a March wedding for 3 reasons. 1) Both my sister and best friend were due with babies in November of 2014. We didn’t want them to either miss out or feel they had to travel with a newborn, so we gave them a few months to get settled. 2) If we decided to go on any anniversary trips, we didn’t have to worry about hurricane season getting in the way! 3)If we were going to travel to a tropical destination, we wanted to do it while it was still cold back in SD.

One day at work, my boss mentioned a resort brand called “Dreams” that his family really enjoyed. I checked them out online and noticed advertising for a new resort of theirs in Costa Rica. It opened in January 2015 which made us a little nervous, but you couldn’t beat the deals! So on a whim, we booked the trip and notified our friends and family of the dates. They all contacted our Travel Agent, Tracy, and she got everyone booked for us.

When trying to put together a vision for our wedding, I got lost in the wedding black hole known as Pinterest. I had about 50 different directions that I wanted to go with it. Seriously, the possibilities are endless! Finally, my MOH Jenna got after me and told me I needed to start making decisions. Everything would be easier once I picked a direction.

While online shopping for myself, I ended up finding a dress on Banana Republic that I loved and thought it would make the perfect bridesmaid dress. It didn’t look like a ‘bridesmaid dress’ and that was exactly what I wanted. It was elegant yet not overly flashy, worked for a destination wedding, and as cliché as it sounds, they could all use it again after the wedding. I had 6 bridesmaids in my wedding, and ended up ordering 15 of them in various sizes right then and there. I had all of my bridesmaids find which size worked best for them, and then mailed the rest back to Banana. I didn’t want to risk everyone ordering their own dress and then having the store run out. From that point on, everything was planned around the bridesmaid dresses. I got really lucky planning that way, because the wedding dress I ended up falling in love with, went perfectly with the bridesmaid dress. I would NOT recommend planning a wedding this way, but I’m oddly glad that I did it.

Since my dress was white, and the bridesmaid dresses were a soft gold/silver color, I decided to stick to neutral tones and then add in a pop of color with the flowers. I was originally going to go with all neutrals because it’s so trendy right now, but it wasn’t me. The more I scrolled through Pinterest, the more I realized that I had been pinning colorful flowers and bouquets. I asked Justin if he cared that we had pink flowers and he was game.

Once we had a general idea of what we wanted to do with the décor, I emailed the wedding planner in CR (Cynthia), and she made everything happen. I put together a powerpoint that included colors, flowers, chairs, lights, etc. then she would tell me what they could do that was similar. It didn’t take much correspondence before we had things figured out. Now, I will say that I tried to be as laid back as possible knowing that everything wouldn’t look exactly as I had it planned in my head, but Cynthia did an amazing job taking my vision and turning it into a real life wedding. She went above and beyond with what I had asked and couldn’t have been more of a pleasure to work with. Everything in regards to planning and set up were stress free for me, which was VERY nice!

Our next issue was planning our reception back home with extended family and friends. We hired Envision Event Planning to take care of the décor, but we weren’t quite sure how to bring Costa Rica back to SD. I wanted to avoid doing the seashells and starfish that you always see, but also wanted to make our venue feel like a tropical oasis without being too “theme-y”.

Once again, I turn to Pinterest. It doesn’t take long until I find a picture of a gold lawn flamingo. Consider me inspired. I text the picture to my mom and MOH to see what they think. Most people would say it’s crazy, but they understood my love of the tacky pink lawn ornament, and told me to go for it. So we bought about 2 dozen flamingos and my parents spent an entire weekend spray painting them gold in the back yard. Bless their hearts. We brought 2 flamingos with us to Costa Rica and used the rest at the reception in Sioux Falls. I also found the cutest flamingo cake topper at BHLDN.com. While Justin thought I was joking about the whole flamingo idea, he ended up really being a fan of it in the end.

Working with Leah at Envision for the Sioux Falls reception, she helped to pick out flowers, décor, and gave us a ton of other fun ideas to go with the Flamingos. We worked with ICON Lounge to make signature drinks (ones that we enjoyed while in Costa Rica) and that way it was like our guests could enjoy Costa Rica with us. One signature drink was called a Costa Rica Tropical which was a blue and yellow in color with a fruit garnish. The other was a Malibu Coke, since that’s what I drank at our actual wedding.

For food we decided to go with heavy appetizers rather than a sit down meal to make it feel less formal. We wanted everyone to get up, walk around, and enjoy each other’s company. We re-used the flamingo cake toppers for our reception and they looked adorable on top of our wedding cake with all of the colorful flowers. Chef April also did an amazing job of putting 5 wedding cakes together. When she asked me what I wanted all I could say was, “I don’t know.. I just want 5 cakes, and the main one has to be naked!” She helped me to pick out a variety of flavors and styles, and they all came together beautifully. Our DJ, Jake Hill, also did an amazing job. He steered clear of my “Do not play these overplayed wedding songs” list and also incorporated some of the Hispanic songs that we heard while down in Costa Rica into his playset. Thank you Shazam! It gave a nice Latin American twist to the dance and our guests had a blast!

If I were to get married again tomorrow, I wouldn’t change a thing! It was the most memorable time of my life and we were able to share it with those closest to us. We’ve got a lifetime of memories with those we love and I couldn’t be happier with how everything came together.

Photography: Jeff Sampson Photography | Event Planning: Envision Wedding Studios | Floral Design: Bella Rosa | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza (L315) | Engagement Ring: Greenberg's | Rings: Deb Blazer (Etsy) | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Banana Republic Monogram Floral Sequin Sheath Dress | Venue: Dream Las Mareas, Costa Rica | Local Reception: Icon Event Hall, Sioux Falls

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Elegant Beachfront Costa Rican Wedding

We get a lot of amazing beachfront destination weddings, but this one is truly special in its elegance, intimacy, and perfect simplicity. With fresh peach and ivory florals from ArtFlower, a gorgeous Bride and Groom, and the expert planners of Events & Weddings Costa Rica at the helm, this event is truly beautiful. Check out the gallery from El Velo Photography, and say buenos dias to this stunning beachfront affair!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Beach Resort

From the beautiful Bride… In July of 2013, Steven surprised me with a trip to Costa Rica for our four year anniversary. We were stand up paddle boarding at Sunrise in Tamarindo, when he got down on one knee on his board and proposed. We fell in love with the Costa Rican landscape, and decided to come back with our closest family and friends for a destination wedding.

We knew this would require a lot of effort from our guests, especially since our wedding would occur the day after Thanksgiving, so the wedding needed to be a great experience. We researched many of the venues in the Guanacaste area, and as soon as we saw the Four Season’s Beach Club, we knew in an instant that it was where we wanted to be married. We loved its privacy and beautiful simplicity.

It was important to us that we found a wedding planner who was able to translate our vision and work closely with us on details, and we found just that in Samantha Cohn. Samantha helped us to get started quickly, always giving us multiple options, and made our visions come to life. ‘Barefoot luxury’ was our theme, incorporating a relaxed, simple elegance to the day. We wanted everything to be intimate, timeless, simple, and to emphasize the beautiful setting that we had chosen.

I chose peach and soft neutrals as the color palette. Steven and I both are one of four and are incredibly close to our families, so we decided to have an unconventional wedding party, having our siblings stand at our sides. My sister was my Maid of Honor and the only girl in the wedding party. I also had my two brothers stand as my Bridesmen. The only decorations we wanted for the ceremony was a beautiful arch, complete with peach and off-white florals, with matching flower arrangements along the aisle seats. Bamboo fans were also provided for our guests to keep them cool.

We had a beautiful, cloudless day and made the choice day-of to not have a tent covering us during the ceremony to accentuate the beautiful surroundings. We found a simple two-man band of a guitar and drum to play Jack Johnson’s ‘Angel’ as I walked up the aisle. I wore an altered Monique Lhuillier ‘Emma’ gown, with a beaded sash made by BHLDN. Steven and the rest of the wedding party wore lightweight, gray J. Crew suits with peach custom-made ties. Marcelo Galli beautifully officiated the ceremony, and to make it more personal we wrote our own vows. Pictures were taken afterwards on the beach and in the mangroves at sunset while guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the outside Marina bar.

The dinner setting was just as magical as the ceremony. We opted for one, long imperial table for our 42 guests to add to the intimacy, and so that we could easily watch our guests enjoy the evening. We chose a clear tent to cover our dinner table, and it was decorated with lights so that it had a ‘starry night’ effect. We wanted the whole area to sparkle. The center of the table was decorated with a neutral table runner, peach flower settings, and lots of candles in mercury vases.

Surrounding trees were lit with Chinese lanterns and the patio area had luminaries and tiki torches to make it glow. As Steven and I are both surfers, we had custom-made wooden surfboards embroidered with each guests name to serve as place cards, which they were able to take as a keepsake at the end of the night.

Our wedding was beautiful, intimate, and fun. Our guests raved about the whole experience, and we have beautiful pictures captured by El Velo Photography that captured the essence of the day that we will enjoy for years to come.

Photography: El Velo Photography | Videography: El Velo Photography | Event Planning: Events & Weddings Costa Rica | Floral Design: ArtFlower | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Victoria Zoch | Lighting: ArtFlower | DJ: DJ Zach | Groomsmen's Attire: J Crew | Officiant: Marcelo Galli | Tent: Eventos Boadicea | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Playa Prieta Beach Club | Hair & Make-up: Maravilla Make-up | Music Duo: Avenida 10 | Rentals: Oceano Rentals

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