Tag Archives: beach wedding

Real Wedding | Jennifer + Daniel | Tamarindo, Costa Rica

When Jennifer contacted me to plan her wedding, I liked her immediately. Warm, kind and confident. Jennifer wanted an intimate wedding with her closest family and friends. Classic, elegant, timeless was the style she wanted to reflect on she and Daniels’ wedding day.

Everyone who met or saw Jennifer was stunned by her beauty.  The vendors that witness many weddings secretly voted her dress the best of the year and Jennifer the most beautiful bride. Our efforts to realize the setting she dreamed of were definitely out-shined by her beauty. This was fine with me.. all eyes are supposed to be on the bride!

Deep purple Calla Lillies, ivory Roses and pale-green Hydrangeas were used in the floral details. Pura Vida Weddings is proud to present highlights of this special wedding.

 

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Jennifer + Daniel
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Many thanks to:

Colette’s Florist, Jesse Bishop on guitar, Eventos Artesanos for the beautiful tables and lighting, Maravilla Makeup Tricia Espinoza, Juan Carlos with El Velo Photography for capturing the memories.

Weddings in Costa Rica Color Palettes

Choosing your wedding color palette is one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding. For a wedding in Costa Rica the choices are endless. Most color experts will tell you to make sure you consider your venue colors when selecting your wedding color palette. When hosting your wedding in Costa Rica the venue colors are the colors supplied by nature and there are no colors that that clash with nature. Your Costa Rica wedding venue will offer you the back drop of aqua blue of the ocean, the pale beige of the sand, the multi shades of green of the foliage and the reds, purples, yellows and fuchsias of the surrounding tropical flowers.
So now that you know that the sky is the limit for your Costa Rica wedding color palette let’s take a look at some of the colors trending for weddings in 2014.
Coral- The hottest color trend of 2014. What’s not to love about the many shades of coral? It’s vibrant, festive and tropical. It pairs beautifully with greens and yellow. Coral looks great on all skin tones from dark to fair. See more at: The Perfect Palette.

coral wedding coral 1 Yellow-Nothing says happy tropical wedding day like the color yellow. The color yellow set against the blue of the ocean and the sky is an unsurpassed and the perfect pick for a tropical color theme. Yellow works well with all the tropical floral colors.

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Green-Make it serene and use the color green! Green is just one of those colors that no one dislikes because it has so many hues. When planning your wedding in Costa Rica consider the lighter, cooler shades of green. Mint is very hot for 2014. It’s sweet and sophisticated. Green pairs beautifully with just about any other color and green gives a feeling of coolness which is awesome in warmer climates such as the tropics of Costa Rica.

costa rica wedding green color palette Orchid-The orchid is Costa Rica’s national flower and they are plentiful and available in an array of hues from pale crème to the darkest richest royal purple. For you wedding in Costa Rica why not take advantage of these abundant tropical beauties and consider an orchid color palette for your wedding.

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Tamarindo Wedding-Suzanne and Kris

Suzanne and Kris met in Canada while working together.  Suzanne lived in Costa Rica as a child and during those years her family regularly vacationed on Tamarindo beach. It had always been her dream to be married in Tamarindo.  Enter tropical beach wedding at sunset!  Suzanne choose her family’s favorite Tamarindo beachfront location, Casa Cook, for their beach ceremony and poolside cocktail hour and then on to Hotel Capitan Suizo for the reception festivities.

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Suzanne choose a contemporary color palette of navy blue and yellow.

navy and yellow wedding colors The couple exchanged their vows under a bamboo canopy accented with tropical flowers on one of Costa Rica’s prettiest beaches against the stunning sunset.

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Suzanne’s bouquet featured yellow calla lilies, white lilies and Star of Bethlehem.

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The reception was held on the beach in front of Hotel Capitan Suizo lit with twinkle lights and lanterns.

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Escort cards were held by mini pineapples the perfect tropical touch

escort cards tamarindo wedding A Local guitar trio serenaded the crowd with Latin music, adding an authentic Costa Rican touch to the ceremony and cocktail hour.

trio Being an accomplished pastry chef the wedding cake was high on Suzanne’s list of priorities. She choose a cake featuring tall tiers of various favors of  accented with bold sugar ribbons of navy and white strips.

susies cake Wish lanterns were lit and released after dinner, the perfect time to get great photos of this lovely tradition.

costarica wedding sky balloon Many thanks to the very talented Robin Jolin who captured this wedding with incredible photos.

Costa Rica Wedding Planning-The Advantages of a Beach Wedding

As a wedding planner in Costa Rica I have found that the number one location choice for a wedding ceremony in Costa Rica is the beach at sunset. It’s hard to find a more scenic and romantic setting than the beach with the tranquil sound of the ocean, gentle breezes and the sunset creating a spectacular red glow on the ocean and the tide pools that set the backdrop for the wedding ceremony. However there lots of other benefits that have made the beach the most popular wedding location for a wedding in Costa Rica.

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1. A beach eliminates much of the stress that’s involved with planning a traditional wedding. One of the primary reasons for this is that a beach wedding is quite casual and more simplistic. The back ground for a beach wedding is less involved because it’s created by nature and this   eliminates much of the stress involved in creating a traditional wedding setting.

2. A beach wedding is a much more cost effective choice than a traditional wedding for several reasons. There are no site fees to be paid. There is no need for costly décor. Additionally your wedding attire will be casual, and less costly than tuxedo rentals and expensive attendants dresses purchased at a bridal salon.

3. A traditional wedding setting is usually in a church or in a public venue. A beach wedding is truly unique. A beach wedding allows you to personalize your tropical wedding theme with endless and creative options.  

A beach wedding in Costa Rica is romantic, cost effective, stress free and the perfect way to begin your lives together!

Boutique beach hotel, Nicoya Peninsula

Wedding in Costa Rica-What to DIY and what to leave to your Costa Rica Wedding Planner

Adding DIY touches to your wedding is not only a popular trend but also a great way to personalize your destination wedding in Costa Rica.  When planning a wedding in Costa Rica the DIY elements you add will require some special consider because they must be brought in your luggage. Therefore keep in mind that your items need to light weight and they need to travel well. Before you go through the Pinterest boards and pull out craft supplies consider your DIY choices wisely. Many times doing it yourself can cost you more than relying on your Costa Rica wedding planner to supply those extra wedding details.

As an experienced wedding planner in Costa Rica Here are 3 useful DIY suggestions for your wedding in Costa Rica and the 3 wedding elements that are best left to the professionals.

Love this article about DIY and Pinterest 

What to DIY 

1.Invitations- Making your invitations and save the dates are the perfect way to begin adding DIY elements to your Costa Rica wedding and using your DIY wedding skills to save money. Embossed invitations with elaborate font are very costly. Consider making your own invitations instead and give them your personal touch. Make use of some creative craft store papers, a photo software program, and PhotoShop, making your own wedding invitations will save you money and is great way to show off your creativity. For inspiration in creating your Costa Rica destination wedding invitation we like Martha Stewart.

 

2. Table favors-Let your creativity shine! Pack these little table additions in your luggage and show your guests how artistic you can be. Check out Intimate Weddings – for an idea to make your own coffee bag wedding favors -perfect for a Costa Rica wedding! coffee-favor-bags-1-pic1

3. Welcome gift bags– For your destination wedding in Costa Rica nothing says “I’m so glad you’re here” like a welcome gift bag in their accommodations when they arrive. Make the bags yourself or buy bags and add your creative touches. Fill the bags with handy things your guests will use during their stay and don’t forget to include a personalized welcome note to each guest.

Leave To The Professionals 

1. Wedding Photography-You’ve been told that many of your guests will be taking pictures during your wedding and some of them have really great cameras and a photographic eye. There are many of advantages to hiring a photographer. A professional photographer won’t be socializing or drinking at your wedding and won’t miss any of the important moments or details. A photographer who is experienced in shooting sunset weddings in Costa Rica knows where the lighting is best, what time of day is the best for different kinds of shots, and has a repertoire of tried and true wedding beach photos.  Money spent on a professional wedding photographer, who has experience shooting destination weddings in Costa Rica, will ensure that the photos you will treasure for a lifetime are picture perfect.

2. Music- Of course it’s easy to make a wedding playlist, put it on your ipod, rent a small speaker system and try to provide the music for your wedding. However hiring a band or DJ has a presence, and adds lots of personality to your wedding. They take requests, make announcements, set the pace of the wedding, and watch the crowd to change the types of music they’re playing based on how many people are up dancing. Your ipod playlist is simply…your ipod playlist

3. Wedding Planning and coordinating- Of course you’re organized and have lots of friends and family members who are offering to help you to organize your own wedding. Trying to plan and coordinate your own wedding in a foreign country is a DIY mistake. There is a huge difference in a destination wedding that is self-made and one that’s been planned and coordinated by a professional Costa Rica wedding planner. Having a DIY planned wedding may sound fun, but having a professional wedding planner in Costa Rica coordinate your wedding will provide you with an impeccably organized event and a stress-free wedding day.

For more information about where to spend your wedding dollar and where to DIY check out  what Rustic Wedding Chic has to say.

 

 

 

 

Wedding in Tamarindo Costa Rica-Jill and Jack

This charming couple from Illinois chose one of our favorite wedding venues, Hotel Capitan Suizo to exchange their vows in a simplistically tropical wedding setting surrounded by their family and friends on December 7. Working with Jill in planning her Tamarindo wedding was a complete pleasure. She selected Costa Rica as the location of her wedding because she wanted the naturalistic backdrop of the sand and the surf to showcase her wedding and its yellow color palate which was stunning.

Thank you Jill and Jack for letting us be a part of your wedding day!

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Wedding Planning-Save money on your destination wedding in Costa Rica

Weddings should always reflect the individual personalities and priorities of the couple getting married. In our opinion there is no need to go into debt when planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica. The most important factor is to make your wedding personal and meaningful to the couple saying their vows. As experienced Costa Rica wedding planners, we have worked with lots of couples on a budget. To help you get started on saving money with your wedding in Costa Rica we’ve compiled some of our favorite cost effective strategies for making your special day memorable while remaining within your budget.

1. Trim your guest list. This will slash your catering and bar costs, save on invitations, the number of centerpieces, wedding favors. Avoid the pressure you may feel to invite distant family members, work colleges and any one you haven’t stayed in touch with for the past 3 years.  And, recommend an ICT approved travel agency so you won’t have to worry about their itinerary.

2. Invitations are definitely an area where DYIers can show off their skills and save lots of money. Print and include in your invitations a newsletter an explanation of how guests can make their room reservations at the resort where your wedding is taking place and the room rates. Also make your own escort cards, menus, and wedding favors.

3. Music- Consider a DJ instead of a live band. This will save you hundreds of dollars. The advantage of a DJ is you get a master of ceremony to move the reception along and they are much less expensive than a band. If you truly want only live music, consider a band native to Costa Rica such as a salsa band. A rock bottom budget option is to rent speakers and use your ipod playlist.

4. Attire-Try not to shop at a traditional bridal salon. Consider sample sales which provide an array of designer dresses with deep discount pricing.


5. Location-Host your ceremony on the beach which is free (and it doesn’t get much better than that!) Hold your ceremony and reception at the same location or within walking distance—this will cut travel time for the vendors we pay by the hour and eliminate the cost of transporting your guests. A reception at a resort or hotel venue will always cost less than a reception at a villa or house. This is because if the space is not equipped to cater a large party, extra costs are incurred for bringing in tables, linens, place settings, or even a kitchen.

 

6. Bar- Alcohol will be one of your biggest wedding expenses and can put a huge hole in your budget quickly. Limiting a traditional full bar to two or three hours can substantially cut costs. Cost cutting alternatives include serving beer and wine only. Consider skipping the champagne toast. For cocktail hour choose to serve only a signature cocktail made with a local alcohol.

7. Flowers- Reuse some of the ceremony flowers for the cake table. Flowers that decorate the ceremony chairs can be put in vases and turned into centerpieces. Choose local flowers which are always less expensive and will add a real Costa Rican touch to your event. Avoid cascades and instead consider small, hand-tied bouquets for the bride and attendants―cascades require a lot of wiring, and more labor means higher cost.

8. HIRE a wedding planner in Costa Rica-One of the most overlooked and misunderstood budget crunching tactics is to hire a wedding planner. Some couples think that when their wedding budget is already stretched thin, a good way to cut costs is to try to handle planning and coordinating the wedding on their own-NOT TRUE. What many couples don’t realize is that working with a wedding planner will always save you a significant amount of money — and at the same time take away the stresses that go along with trying to plan a destination wedding on your own. Hiring a wedding planner in Costa Rica will insure that when you arrive for your wedding all you have to do is…relax!

Tamarindo Wedding

Hotel Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo provided the perfect pristine, tropical setting for the wedding of Katrina and Neal. The November weather cooperated and Mother Nature did her part by contributing an incredible, red lit sky at sunset.  Our very best wishes to this amazing couple!

Photography by El Velo

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Potrero Wedding –Kristen and Lawrence

On July 21 Kristen and Lawrence said their vows in a beach front wedding ceremony at Hotel Bahia del Sol in Playa Potrero surround by their family and friends from California.

The bride chose a Tiffany blue and deep purple color palette which was complimented with simplistic table arrangements and bouquets of purple lisianthus, hydrangea, dendrobia orchids and deep purple calla lilies.

A release of sky lanterns on the beach made the perfect ending to a perfect day. Thank you Kristen and Lawrence for sharing your romantic wedding day with us!

Photography by El Velo

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Selecting your Beach Wedding Gown

Every bride is excited to purchase her wedding dress and knows the moment she puts on that special dress that “this is the one.” Brides planning beach weddings have some special considerations when selecting the perfect beach wedding dress before they say “yes to the dress.”

So what makes a great beach wedding dress?

The first consideration when choosing your beach wedding dress should be the fabric. A fabric that is light weight will help keep you cool, comfortable and looking fresh all day. Crepes,  Charmeuse 09-Romantic-Beach-Wedding-Dress-2013 glamboxweddings , chiffon, voile and georgette fabrics are light weight and flowing. These fabrics also pack well for destination beach weddings and usually do not wrinkle as much as a silk will.

Another important consideration is the style of the dress. Ball gown styles and dresses with long trains work best in more formal settings. For a beach wedding choose a dress with a casual, timeless elegance and a breezy style. These styles also look best with sandals or bare feet. Short trains and sheaths also work well.  Strapless dresses and those with one shoulder offer an a great look for beach weddings and will show off the your tan.

When purchasing a wedding dress for a beach wedding keep in mind that the beach is sometimes windy so avoid styles that could get blown around. If you choose a short style dress pick one that is fitted so it won’t get blown up in the mind. Remember that the beach can be very hot. Try to select a style that’s light in weight and doesn’t have a multitude of fabric layers, one you’re comfortable in and keeps you feeling and looking cool.

And what’s the perfect accessory for your tropical  beach wedding dress? A beautiful fresh flower in your hair!

Tamarindo Wedding-Jay and Mariana

Joined by friends and family from all over the world, Mariana and Jay were married with an interactive spiritual wedding ceremony which they had meticulously planned themselves. Guests gathered in a circle which was designated with flower pedals around the bride and groom as they said their vows. The ceremony included a very touching water and a flower offering in which all the guests took part.

The bride showed off her creativity with her DIY project of making escort cards using antiqued paper. The escort cards were then attached to the straws for the coco locos served during cocktail hour. The tables were numbered using frames made locally from banana leaves.

Mariana choose a deep brown and white color palette with floral arrangements of orchids, lilies, hydrangea twigs and hanging candles- the perfect detail for this beach wedding.

Many thanks for allowing us to be a part of your wedding day!

Photography by Perry Carlile

Venue- Hotel Capitan Suizo,Tamarindo

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Costa Rica Elopement-Chris and Aruna

When Chris and Aruna decided to be married in Costa Rica they knew that a large scale wedding was not what they were dreaming of.  They wanted a private, sentimental wedding ceremony on the beach at sunset followed by a romantic candle light dinner for two. When they arrived back home they planned incorporate sharing their elopement photos at a more traditional reception they were hosting for their families and friends. Congratulations to a wonderful couple!.

Photography- El Velo

Venue-JW Marriott Hacienda Pinilla

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Marty and Leo

 

Sometimes when I’m planning destination weddings in Costa Rica, I come across a couple that stands out and who I have an immediate connection with. That’s definitely true for Marty and Leo, who were married at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel in March.

What struck me most about their wedding planning was Leo – the groom’s – involvement. Right from the start, Leo got himself involved in the planning and decorating for their day, whereas often, I don’t hear from the groom at all.

Probably his biggest contributing factor to the decor of the wedding was putting together the table designs and centerpieces at the reception. He is really interested in and knowledgeable about lighting and that shone through (pardon the pun) when he put together white branches and marbles inside glass vases, which were lit by LED lights. The result was gorgeous.

Leo also had a hand in selecting the menu for their night.

Naturally, Marty was a huge part of the planning and design as well. Some of the elements she chose for the wedding were visually quite different from what I often see. For example, Marty’s dress was a drop waist with a voluminous, ground-skimming skirt and a gold and cream shimmery bodice. She held a bouquet made solely of baby’s breath.

At the ceremony, guests sat on chairs draped in white, and colorful paper parasols were placed next to each row, which made for some great pictures.

As a side note, the two best men at their wedding gave an excellent toast at the reception. It was like a comedy routine and had the whole crowd roaring!

All photos by photo by John Williamson: www.weddingphotoscostarica.com.

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Courtney and John

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Courtney and John’s wedding is a great example of how the simplest detail can become inspiration for a beautiful event. Courtney found a lovely print paper in charcoal and yellow and based the design for their day off that theme. The colors worked wonders together.

 

Courtney had her hands in many aspects of the wedding and was a true DIY bride, creating the invitations, the reception seat markers, welcome gift bags made from Costa Rica T-shirts, and painting the placemats at the rehearsal dinner herself. She was very detail-oriented and it paid off on the couple’s big day. Communication was a big part of making this wedding come together perfectly, especially with the DIY elements – the bride and I spent many hours on the phone to come up with ideas and how to pull them off.

 

In addition, the wedding was a 4-day affair, including activities and entertainment for the guests in addition to the big day. These included a luau, and re-creating some of the couple’s favorite hangouts from her younger years, including tie-dyed clothing, decade-specific music and food stations featuring some of the pair’s preferred eateries as high school students in New York.

 

The wedding included several Jewish traditions, but a family friend officiated rather than a rabbi. The ceremony was stunningly decorated with pretty yellow flowers settled in paper cones, attached to the seats along the aisle and white and yellow petals decorated the sand leading up to the veranda where the pair said their I Do’s.

 

Courtney’s dedication and involvement in putting together the personal touches and details of this wedding made it stand out not only to me as the planner, but certainly to the bride and groom and to their guests.

Shoes by Christian Louboutin. Dress by Winnie Couture. Flowers by
Artflower . Photos by Julie Comfort/Comfort Studio. Venue: Cala Luna

 

 

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Beach Wedding Color Palettes

One of the aspects of wedding planning that brides enjoy most is selecting their wedding color palette. Keeping your wedding location in mind when doing this is important. Burgundy and taupe look great in a country club setting but for a tropical beach wedding consider those vibrant colors that reflect in the sunset, the sea and the tropical flora and fauna. Popular palettes I’m seeing for the upcoming wedding season include the orange/coral and fuchsia palette. This combo works so well with the native tropical flowers which are so abundant in Costa Rica and serve as a natural backdrop for weddings taking place here. I love designing the floral bouquets, the decor and the wedding cakes around these palettes because the choices are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you cannot go wrong by including one of the many shades of aqua/turquoise into your beach wedding color palette. Tiffany blue has always been a great wedding color. For a vibrant beach wedding theme try pairing it with a coral/orange or fuchsia. If you prefer a beach palette that’s more serene, pale aqua blue and sand is a longstanding winner.

Rachel and Sandy

I completely enjoyed working with Rachel. She had a vision for her wedding and was a DIY bride. What creativity! The theme was feathers and Rachel used them to decorate her shoes, the wine bottles and did feathers on fish line to “float” surrounding her ceremony decor. It was a joy to be able to experience a couple so in love. Thanks for letting me be a part of your wedding day and thanks to Sylvia Guardia Photography-I love working with you Syl!


(originally published: August 20, 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keri and Angelce

Sometimes you totally connect with a couple and they become truly memorable. This was the case for me with Keri and Angelce married on the beach on July 3 at Hotel Capitan Suizo.Their laid back attitudes and sunny dispositions made them a perfect match. I wish you guys the best life has to offer and hope to see you again very soon! Love the photos-Thanks Margaux Photography.

(originally published: July 17, 2012)

Eleanor and Andrew

A wonderfully simple and chic wedding hosted at Cala Luna by Eleanor and Andrew of San Francisco took place on July 1.  This couple’s love of fun was expressed with lots of pre wedding day planned activities and by ending the evening with a photo booth. A big “Gracias” to JC of El Velo Photography  for capturing the mood perfectly! Eleanor’s dress by Jinza Couture. Shoes by Brian Atwood.

(originally posted: July 13, 2012)

Sarah and Cole

Sarah and Cole, of Wisconsin, were joined by their family and friends for a heartfelt Christian wedding ceremony, including selected readings done their guests at Bahia Del Sol Resort on June 16. Sarah chose calla lilies as the signature flower for her wedding and a white and mahogany color scheme for the ceremony. To provide guests the opportunity to send them a wedding wish, we did a message tree accented with dendrobia orchids to coordinate with the table pieces.

Fishing trips, a spa day and lots of party time at the pool kept guests quite busy during their stay.

Sarah and Cole, we wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Sarah’s dress by Nicole Miller, shoes by Grace. Many thanks for the great photos to JC at El Velo Photography.

(originally published: June 19, 2012)