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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

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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.


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 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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Intimate + Romantic Nicaraguan Beach Wedding

Having met while in Nicaragua doing mission work and maintaining a long distance relationship for years set the stage for this deeply intimate and organic celebration of love for the beautiful Bride and her Groom. With Lora Grady snapping every moment – and even helping with these gorgeous florals – we’re transported to a real life fairy tale that is one perfect example of the power of love and fate.


From Lora Grady… This organic, intimate destination wedding took place on a secluded beach in Pochomil, Nicaragua. Ashlyn, the bride, met Gabe while traveling abroad in Nicaragua. Here’s what the bride has to say about her wedding day – 

From the beautiful Bride… Gabriel and I both met in the beautiful country of Nicaragua. Over a two year long distance relationship, we were able to marry in his beautiful country. Our friendship grew into a love that has deeply rooted itself. It was important for us to be married in the country where our love began, and with the presence of our families.

After living in Nicaragua for six months, the country became my second home. Nicaragua inspired me completely with the natural, organic feel. Gabriel and I have a favorite spot on the beach, where he proposed to me. Since then, our wedding plans began to be directed by the naturalistic theme of the beach. I wanted to orchestrate as much Nicaraguan details as possible. Our reception table linens were handmade from the Nicaraguan market. The beautiful handmade, wooden arch was made by Gabriel and his closes friends. They physically put in the hard work of cutting down the trees, to enable a ceremony arch. The calligraphy name stones were found at a local river Gabe would visit, when he was a child. The Mariachi band played traditional salsa and romantic Nicaraguan music, as we walked down the aisle and at the reception. Gabriel also created the feet washing bowl while his father built the wooden bench we sat upon. Our vows were read in our heart languages of English and Spanish.

My favorite decor was our calligraphy sign that says; Two Nations Become One Today. I never imagined that while doing mission work, after nine years in Nicaragua, that I would have met Gabriel. Though we come from two different nations, we pray to always be united.

The planning experience was adventurous as I relied upon Gabriel for a lot of the work in Nicaragua. I visited once before the wedding, but had to do my best by planning in the United States. I wanted the whole planning experience to be relaxed and not stressful, as we kept in mind about what this one day truly means. We ultimately wanted our wedding to be a reflection of Christ and the gospel, so we aimed to do all we could in order to orchestrate everything in order to give him the ultimate glory. There were things beforehand that I knew were more important to me than others. I also kept in mind that we were having our wedding in a country where it can be so relaxed, that different aspects may not go as planned. I knew that this could only happen if we both kept the mindset of what this wedding was truly meant for.

The actual wedding day was a complete dream, as I look back at all of the events leading up to the one special day I become one with my husband. All of the hard work Gabriel and I did together was a great reminder and reflection of what our marriage is: full of hard work in pursuing a godly marriage. Much of the morning was spent with decorations and finishing any other details; such as the beautiful flower arrangements Lora helped with! All of the beautiful hands that helped were truly craftsmen in helping with the creation of our wedding day. I remember a moment, before I was about to walk down the aisle, when I first saw Gabriel standing at the alter. God’s presence was so overwhelming as he has had his hand over our marriage this entire time. The joy of our long distance relationship coming to an end with a marriage to last eternity, was rewarding. The reception was perfect, as we wanted our two families to share their first meal together. We wanted complete relaxation and time to spend with both of our families before leaving. The reception gave such a romantic and elegant feel, as it was lit with bistro lights and candlesticks on brass holders. Our wedding day could not have been any more perfect.

Photography: Lora Grady | Cinematography: Sara Klepacki | Floral Design: Bride & Lora Grady | Wedding Dress: Dreamers And Lovers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dress Up Boutique | Calligraphy: Sarah Mecke | Venue: Pochomil Beach, Nicaragua | Decor Inspiration: Host And Toast | Ribbon: Silk And Willow