Congratulations! You’re engaged! You’ve decided that Costa Rica is the perfect location for your dream destination wedding. Let the planning begin! Setting your priorities early in the wedding planning process will insure your plans will go smoothly and with much less stress. In my experience as a wedding planner in Costa Rica for almost 10 years, the best advice I can give you to begin is- take a big breath, then sit down as a couple and make lists. Then prioritize the lists together.
Begin by establishing your wedding budget. The key here is to begin by deciding what your overall budget will be for the all your wedding costs. Then make your list-photography food, bar, flowers, music etc. Then prioritize the list to spend more on things that are truly important to you and less on those that don’t matter as much. There’s no need to become too detailed in this beginning phase. Your wedding planner will help you to fine tune your list and add all the details as the planning progresses.
This is an area where you’ll find you and your fiancé may have some differences so go through your list together and first star the “must haves” you both agree on. After having done that prioritize the remaining components with a number.
Next, work on your guest list. You’ll need to have a fairly good idea of the approximate number of people attending before you decide on a venue. Begin your guest list by writing down everyone you would like to include. Then prioritize the list with levels. Immediate family, bridal party and best friends at level one, secondary family and close friends would be level two. Level three can be composed of your coworkers, family member’s friends and acquaintances. If you need to abbreviate your guest list, begin at the bottom and work your way up.
The next step will be to select your venue. Your wedding planner in Costa Rica will be a very valuable resource for this. Your Costa Rica wedding planner knows that the best venues and that they book quickly, especially for weekend dates. Therefore working with you to select the perfect location and securing your venue for you will be her priority and the first thing you’ll be working together on. Previous to discussing venues with your wedding planner, you’ll need to make a list of your venue priorities and have an idea of your guest’s accommodation budgets. Then make a list of the things that you want in your location. Do you prefer a remote rustic location? Or a beach front resort within walking distance to activates? Are you looking for an open air venue? A venue with a view?
With these three important aspects of your wedding planning in place you’re ready to begin working on the fun details of your wedding with your wedding planner. For additional advice on wedding planning priorities we like this article in Real Weddings and this local travel agency.