Costa Rica – a country that’s brimming with natural rainforests, tropical beaches, and rugged coastlines – is an absolute dream location for couples in love to get married. 

It’s a country that is embraced by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, boasting incredibly diverse views and pure, wild beauty. 

In fact, Costa Rica is one of the most eco-friendly tourism spots in the world. 

With a big focus on green and sustainable activities, exploring this part of Central America means rejuvenating your spirit, reconnecting with nature, and supporting local farmers with farm-to-table cuisine. 

The Ideal Wedding Timeline: Getting Married in Costa Rica

So you’re ready to tie the knot, and considering Costa Rica, are you? Or perhaps you’ve already got your sights set on this scintillating location?

Today, I’ll be chatting about a feasible wedding timeline that’ll make your big day as smooth and effortless as possible. I’ll also share with you some other important information so that your wedding day is nothing short of sheer magic.

Why Should You Get Married in Costa Rica?

As I mentioned; yes, Costa Rica is an eco-friendly travel destination that’s well-equipped to serve tourists. But it’s also a safe and easily accessible location that offers you a variety of natural backdrops for your wedding and your wedding photography.

From sandy beaches and grand mountains, to the wild jungle and the rainforests with breathtaking waterfalls, you really can have it all when you choose a Costa Rica wedding.

Not just that, but it could possibly be cheaper than a wedding in, say, the U.S. or Canada. The prices vary considerably, depending on where and at what time of year you plan to tie the knot, though. Whether you’re going for a small and intimate wedding in Costa Rica, or a bigger, more extravagant wedding, this awe-inspired country will leave you feeling even more in love than when you arrived. 

Now, let’s dive into the more precise details and information to make your wedding seamless and wondrous.

What Time Should You Have Your Wedding Ceremony in Costa Rica?

Regarding the time of year, Costa Rica thrives from November to May, as it’s the summer high season. Because of this though, booking your venue and vendors well in advance is a must. 

If you consider a Costa Rica wedding anywhere between May and the end of October, however, you’ll still have that gorgeous climate while possibly benefiting from more attractive prices and better availability. These months are considered the low/green season, and it’s when nature really thrives.

Then, when it comes to the time on the clock, I suggest having your ceremony later on in the day. This is because Costa Rica is a country that’s close to the equator, meaning that it’ll be very hot earlier in the day. The perfect time to have your Costa Rica wedding ceremony would be around 16:00-16:30. 

If you choose this time for your ceremony, you’ll have the perfect timeline to get those incredible golden hour sunset wedding photos in Costa Rica.

The Golden Hour in Costa Rica

The “golden hour” is the last hour before sunset and the first hour before sunrise. 

In this case, having a later wedding means that you can take full advantage of the sunset golden hour (which occurs between 17:10 and 18:00 year-round in Costa Rica). But take note that, in Costa Rica, the golden hour doesn’t quite last the full hour.

In that case, and in my experience, the last 30 minutes in the golden hour is that sweet spot that’ll give you the most incredible golden hour wedding photographs in Costa Rica. 

What to Prepare for Family Wedding Photos & Why Planning is so Important

Photographs are one of the most palpable pieces of art. They’re a way in which to capture a memory, a feeling, an experience. To encapsulate a moment in time so that you can look at it for decades to come. 

And this is why it’s so important for you to plan your wedding photography timeline in detail. It’s to make sure that the activity is not just lots of fun, but also, that it runs smoothly. 

By this I mean doing things such as:

  • Preparing a list of people who will be a part of your wedding photography and letting them know where they need to be at what time.
  • Setting aside enough time for any last-minute hiccups that may delay your wedding photograph session.
  • Allocating certain people to gather the family and friends for your wedding photography so that everything starts and ends on time.
  • Allocating enough time to leisurely get back to your wedding site so that you’re not feeling overwhelmed after your wedding photographs have been taken.
  • Knowing your photo locations in advance. If it is far from the wedding ceremony site, you’ll have to factor in that time.
  • Talking with your wedding photographer about their suggested timeline and how long the wedding photography will take.

The Ideal Timeline for Your Costa Rica Wedding

To sum up, I think it’s fairly obvious by now that planning is essential. It’ll make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your precious big day!

So, to make your planning as easy as possible, here’s an ideal timeline template for your wedding in Costa Rica:

12:00-15:30: setting yourself (and your wedding party) up to have your hair & make up done, and to get into your wedding attire

14:00: having your photographer arrive, giving them enough time to set up, take some pre-wedding photos, and to be ready for your joyous celebration

16:00: that special moment of when the bride meets with her father for that “first look”

16:15: wedding guests start to arrive at your wedding location

16:30: the start of your ceremony

17:00: the end of your ceremony

17:00-18:00: cocktail hour for those who aren’t in the family (and friends) photoshoot

17:00-17:30: formal photoshoot for family and friends

17:30-18:00: the perfect time for newly weds to get their golden hour sunset wedding photographs 

18:15: your wedding guests can get seated, and speeches and toasts can be made

18:30: dinner can be served (if you’re doing a sit-down dinner)

19:30: time for the cutting of the cake

19:45: the magical moment of your first dance as a married couple

20:45: enjoying the tradition of throwing the bouquet 

21:55: the last song plays as guests begin to wind down, bringing your special day to a close

If you decide to follow this kind of timeline, you’ll have a day filled with all of your favorite humans without having any added stress. 

Of course, your wedding day is unique and can be tailored to fit your individual needs. 

At the end of the day, planning ahead will remove a lot of stress and running around, leaving room for a moment in time that you’ll always remember fondly with those you cherish. 

I hope I’ve given you some insightful tips and information about getting married in Costa Rica. If you’re keen to chat a bit more about the location, or your wedding photography needs in general, I’m more than happy to connect.

I also sincerely hope you consider this magnificent country to tie the knot, because it really is a sight to behold, whenever you choose to have your big day!

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