I ran into an interesting wedding article the other day. While most articles talk about many different locations to go to, their advantages and disadvantages,, this one talked about wedding planning tips to help you with your destination decision – no matter where it was that you decided to go. In reading it, I thought how nicely Costa Rica fit into some of their advice and cautions.
The article starts out:
Here are the top tips for a destination wedding:
1. Pick the perfect spot
The location of your wedding determines not only the mood (rustic, sophisticated, beachy), but also the travel, time and budget required to pull it off. You want your guests to walk away from your wedding weekend saying, “That was so them!” Your wedding elements – not just location, but also activities and overall vibe – should say something about your personal style and your passions. Did he propose on vacation in Paris? Then why not host a swank wedding in the City of Lights? Are you foodies? Think about gathering your crew in a place like Tuscany or California wine country. Or if you love outdoor adventures, consider Costa Rica, where guests can zipline through the treetops before the rehearsal dinner.
Read the complete wedding tip article here.
It was interesting to me as a wedding coordinator, that out of all the places in the world to get married, Costa Rica was mentioned by the author! I feel the same way.
Having your wedding at a small resort gives both families a chance to really get to know each other. Learning how to river raft on world class rapids or having the opportunity to explore the forest canopy is a once in a lifetime experience that is unforgettable.
So, let me go through the remaining twelve points as to why I see Costa Rica as such a viable alternative, especially for those living in the US or Canada.
With reference to tip #2 – “Time it Right”, while Costa Rica’s high season does rotate more around the drier parts of the year, even the rainy season is not rainy each day or all day long. In addition, the climate is opposite from the Pacific Ocean side to the Caribbean side, so selecting the right coast can assure better weather depending on the months.
Regarding tip #3, “Take a Trip,” Costa Rica is close, and in fact, non-stop from many points in the US and Canada. Getting here is easy for a wedding location inspection, or your guests. Your guests will have the opportunity to expand their vacation to explore other parts of the country. Costa Rica is more than just pretty beaches. The Caribbean has a laid back vibe where you’ll be more apt to hear reggae than salsa. We have active volcanoes with the added plus of hot springs. What a treat to swim in the mineral springs or take a mud bath. There are parts of the country where you’ll be able to walk for miles over a suspended bridge system over the jungle canopy.
#4 “Factor in the Extra Expenses”. The extra expenses for a wedding in Costa Rica would basically be the air fare because most hotels here would be less or comparable to US locations. Plus, guests benefit from a tropical getaway vacation!
#5. “Research Local Marriage Requirements”. The requirements for getting married in Costa Rica are some of the easiest in the world – the ceremony just has to be performed by an attorney who is a notary to have the authority to marry. Your wedding planner can easily take care of all those details beforehand.
Your attorney will send you a questionnaire before you come via email, asking for some general information about yourself and your spouse-to-be (i.e. occupation, parent’s names, age, birthplace, etc.). You will need to send copies (scanned attachments) of your passports . During the ceremony, the lawyer will have all the necessary information in
a sworn statement that you will sign. Once everything is processed, your lawyer will forward your legal documents to you in your hometown. You’ll also need 2 witnesses and they will be required to send copies of their passports as well. Marriages in Costa Rica are recognized world wide.
#6. “Get Help”, and as the article says, “Control freaks, beware: If you’re hosting a wedding in a distant locale, you will need to entrust at least part of the planning to someone else’s capable hands. A wedding planner can shoulder the burden of researching and securing local vendors.” Don’t worry at all, as I have successfully planned and coordinated over 200 wedding celebrations! I work with a team of the top vendors in the country and it’s taken me years to put this group together. I want to ensure all goes as planned on your wedding day. I may not be able to control the weather but I want the top people working with you so the experience of your wedding day will last a lifetime.
#7. “Remember: You’re on Island Time”. (What the author means here is “tropical time” as in the case of Costa Rica, it is not an island!) Ah, yes, Costa Rica is “Pura Vida”, but in terms of the ceremony and reception, the vendors I choose and rely upon are punctual and professional…only the best. Our officiate will work to create vows that have meaning for the two of you. The band or DJ will be able to work on a playlist with the music you like, as the worst thing that could happen would be to have a DJ play country western music when you want to hear ol’ time Rock & Roll.
#8 “Vet Vendors Carefully.” Absolutely! There is a difference between promises and performance, but that is where I, as a wedding planner, have the experience to make your wedding day one of perfection to your expectations. The florist, for instance, will be able to create individual designs based on what you want. The best thing is that we have tropical flowers and beautiful orchids. You get to design your own wedding and not have a cookie cutter wedding package that a resort has planned.
#9. “Forewarn Your Friends.” Yes, some may not have the financial wherewithal to travel, so before you ask your friends to attend the bridal party or as guests, tell them that you plan to be married in Costa Rica. Most will welcome the vacation! Once you chose a location there are hotels with different price points to accommodate all budgets of your guests. I can make suggestions for the best value.
#10. “Mind Mother Nature”. As mentioned in #2, it doesn’t necessarily rain every day in the rainy season, or all day long, and the two coasts tend to be opposite in weather conditions, so let me recommend from my experiences what would be best for your wedding. In addition, if planned properly, an unexpected turn in the weather can be mitigated by a protective area nearby in which to have the ceremony, or in some cases, with the proper sun shade cover of colorful sunshade “tents”, no one will have to move. In Costa Rica tropical showers can be 30 minutes sometimes and then the sun returns. When planning your wedding, though, I always have a plan “B” in place.
#11. “Take Care of Your Guests”. Yes, those little goodies like gift sachets of essentials help in arranging their room bookings, etc., is something that your wedding planner can help you with. Our dedicated travel agency will work with each of your guests to ensure they have everything taken care of from airport pick ups, hotel reservations and additional travel.
#12. “Dress the Part” Good advice! Although Costa Rica does not reach anywhere near the temperature extremes of summertime beach temperatures in Florida, we are much more temperate, still, you do want to consider dressing comfortably. The dress code is normally casual.
#13. “Get a Move on It Already” In other words, start planning early, or as the author says, “Not to stress you out, but you’re basically competing in the Olympics of wedding planning – the long-distance affair. You need to be twice as organized as a local couple and pre-think everything.” Once again, that is where a wedding planner, can handle all preparation for you. Remember, I’m able to work with my vendors to ensure the best pricing and top quality. I’m your bridge between the vendors and you, I speak Spanish, as being bilingual is essential.
So, if you’re planning on getting married, and you want one of the most romantic, tropical places on earth, and you’re just thinking about maybe Costa Rica, just contact me and let’s see if Costa Rica is right for you – the best destination for the most important day of your life…one you’ll never forget.