Tag Archives: wedding tips

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.

costa rica wedding yellow color palette
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.

purple den

 

Destination Wedding in Costa Rica-Tips for Planning

For many brides the idea of having a destination wedding has always been their dream.  I’ve been planning destination weddings in Costa Rica for many years and I’d like to share a few pointers to help those brides get started on making their dream destination wedding in Costa Rica become a reality.

1.       Weather

Know the seasonal weather changes of the country where your wedding will take place. Consult with your wedding planner to insure that your wedding won’t be taking place during the dreaded rainy season. Rates are always lower during periods of poor weather. Don’t be enticed by the low rates as they won’t compensate for all day downpours on your wedding day.  Costa Rica has two seasons-green season and dry season. Generally dry season begins in mid -November and ends in early May and rainy season is during September on October on the pacific coast. May, June, July and August are transitional months when there is a chance of rain but usually only at certain times of day. High season (dry season) will provide you with the best weather but it’s also likely that the beaches will be most crowded then and the rates at their highest. Consider hosting your wedding right before or after the high season in May, June, July and August, which are transitional months. You’re very likely to experience good weather and you’ll be able to take advantage of better priced rates on accommodations.

2.       Costa Rica marriage requirements

Marriage requirements vary throughout the world and it’s important to know the legal aspects of being married in Costa Rica and what is required. Costa Rica does not require that you be in country for any specific amount of time before you are married. Your wedding planner will answer all your questions being legally married and will refer you to an attorney who specializes in marrying foreigners. The attorney will take care of all the legal paperwork, translations and filings for you.

3.       Enlist the help of an experienced wedding planner in Costa Rica

For a destination wedding you need to entrust most of your wedding planning to a professional who is experienced at that destination, speaks the language and has an established relationship with the best local wedding vendors.  Choose a local wedding planner who is familiar with the location. She will be your “go to” person who knows all the ins and outs and logistics of securing and working with your venue, flowers, music, rentals etc.

4.       Give consideration to your guests

 Keep your guests informed about weather, local restaurants, tours and trips, hotel rates, airport transports and local currency exchange. This can be done with a wedding newsletter or a wedding website. Post the wedding events and a wedding day schedule on your website so your guests will know what’s happening. Send out your Save the Dates as early as possible to allow your guests to begin watching airfare prices and book their flights well in advance.

5.       Location, location location

Your wedding location will dictate the theme and the over all vibe of your wedding.  A beach wedding in Costa Rica will be tropical, casual and laid back. This vibe should be reflected in the décor you choose, the food you serve, your music and your wedding dress. You can help set the mood for your wedding day by arranging for a group excursion the day before. For a wedding in Costa Rica, your wedding planner will be able to take care of all the excursion details for you.  Consider a canopy touror a sunset snorkel cruise.

6.       Book well in advance

Costa Rica has become one of the most popular destinations in the world for a destination wedding. The best venues and accommodations will book very quickly. The earlier you book your wedding, the larger selection of premier venues and accommodations and hotels you’ll have to choose from.

Checkout what Destinations Weddings has to offer with some additional tips for planning your destination wedding.

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.

 

 

 

 

Hire the right wedding planner in Costa Rica

When planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica hiring a wedding planner is an added cost, but is essential and will always save you money, time and stress! The key is to hire the RIGHT wedding planner and many brides don’t realize that they have choices. Basically there are two types of destination wedding planners, each being very different in what they can offer their clients and the level of wedding services they can provide to you.

One of these two wedding planner choices is the in- house wedding planner, or a venue coordinator. This type of wedding planner is an employee of the hotel or resort and is working for the venue-They are NOT working for you.  In house or resort wedding planners will tell you that they will plan your wedding for free….. And we all know nothing is really free.  The in house planner’s job is to bring in business and sell rooms for the resort and to sell you lots of added wedding products (that the resort promotes) and make money for the resort. Resort planners will sometimes offer you a lower priced wedding package which includes a few essential wedding components and usually lots of things you really don’t want or need. Brides who scrutinized these packages will see that that after purchasing the package and adding the necessary items that are not included the price will sky rocket. Your wedding décor, music and detail choices will be limited to the vendors and products that the resort promotes.

The other choice that brides have when planning their wedding in Costa Rica is to hire an experienced, independent wedding planner. An independent wedding planner is working for YOU not a resort. They work with you to help you keep your wedding budget in check. Independent wedding planners in Costa Rica are able to offer you a vast selection of services and products in all price points and will negotiate on your behalf to save you money.   They will provide you with a personalized level of service, including expert wedding design and deliver exceptional quality and attention to detail. Additionally most independent wedding planners are fluent in English and in many cases it their first language so nothing is ever lost in translation.

Having an independent Costa Rica wedding planner on your side is the first step to staying within your wedding budget and having the wedding of your dreams. Their fee is an expense that any cost conscience bride cannot afford to be without and in almost all cases an independent wedding planner will save you their fee and more on your overall wedding costs.

We love this article from The Wedding Channel about why you need the right wedding planner.

 

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!

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!

DIY Wedding Ideas

As a wedding planner in Costa Rica, I know the little details are what make a wedding unique.  You and your guests will remember the personal touches after your special day comes to a close, even at a destination wedding.

Personalizing your day with your favorite flowers and color palette are the best-known ways to add your signature to the day, but brides are stepping it up by adding DIY – or do-it-yourself – touches to the decor and other aspects of the wedding.

Here are a few DIY crafts you could try to make your wedding day truly unique.

Wedding invitations : Use photos of you and your partner or make your own invitations using stamps or by printing them off at home. You’ll save money and impress your guests.

DIY projects can make your destination beach wedding in Costa Rica that much more unique
DIY projects can make your destination beach wedding in Costa Rica that much more unique

Table and seat markers : Recently I had a couple use photos of each of their guests as seat markers during the reception. It was a cute idea and a great way to make each guest feel appreciated. You could also mark guests’ seats by attaching their names to flowers, seashells, or some knickknack that has special meaning to you and your partner.

For table markers, people have hung them from the ceiling or canopy overhead, and others have opted to name tables in a special way. The couple who used the photos of their guests named their tables after instruments, since the bride was an accomplished musician. You can also mark numbers on wine bottles and illuminate them with glow sticks inside.

Get guests involved : Make or buy a chalkboard and personalize it with pictures of you and your other half, or with cute sayings. Leave chalk nearby, place it in a prominent place and encourage your guests to write love sayings or messages of congratulations. You can use it in your house as art after the wedding. Or do the same idea by laying out stationery at the entry to the reception area.

Also, set up a photo booth or leave disposable cameras on the tables so guests can take pictures during the event.

Decor, etc. : Make your own paper lanterns, hang jars filled with flowers from chairs at the ceremony, create your own centerpieces for the tables or bake cupcakes instead of serving cake during the reception. Some brides have made their own hair accessories or even their own bouquets. It’s up to you how much you want to tackle yourself (or have your bridesmaids help!) and how much time you can spend on crafts.

Wedding favors : Put the dry ingredients for cookies or brownies in a mason jar and add a tag with your guests’ names as party favors. Or try wrapping candles in ribbons or other material that matches your decor.

I have a DIY board on my Pinterest account here that you can see for more ideas, and follow my other boards too!

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.