A few tips that can help you plan your destination wedding in Costa Rica

Once you’ve decided on having your ideal destination wedding in Costa Rica, the next step is figuring out how to plan your wedding miles away from home. Whether you’ve decided on a beach wedding in Tamarindo, an intimate elopement at La Paz Waterfall, or a big wedding at one of the resorts in Guanacaste province, you have to make sure you cover some of the bases – choosing the perfect venue, working with vendors, coordinating some of the small details for your big day. Here, I offer you a few tips that can help you plan your destination wedding in Costa Rica

Tips for Getting Married in Costa Rica (or any other country)

1. Your wedding date is important

There are two weather seasons in Costa Rica: Summer (High Season – from December to April) and Rainy Season (Also known as Green Season – from May to November). The great thing about summer, it is always sunny! During the rainy season, all is lush and green but you are at a greater risk of rain. If you want to save on the cost of your trip, traveling and booking a wedding outside of peak season is a good idea. That doesn’t mean having to plan your wedding for the rainy season, all it means is setting a date for the start or end of the summer season. Also, planning farther out gives you more options to choose from when looking for venues, vendors and accommodations. Ideally, start planning 12 months in advance.

2. Take it easy

Remember that in many tropical countries (like in Costa Rica) due to cultural differences people have a different sense of time – a vendor’s laid-back attitude doesn’t have to mean his incompetence. Avoid the temptation to micromanage. Instead, schedule regular check-ins and just in case add 20 min time cushion to your timeline. 

3. Hire a pro

Make sure to find a wedding planner or coordinator that specializes in destination weddings. This way, instead of spending time trying to overcome a language or cultural barrier, you have an expert who can handle it all for you. Having someone that knows the local environment will help you to avoid rookie mistakes. And if a wedding coordinator isn’t in your budget, you can find a hotel with an on-site planner. If you need any recommendations for a wedding planner in Costa Rica please CONTACT ME

4. Notify guests well in advance

It’s important to give your friends and family time to prepare and calculate the cost of traveling to your wedding. For some, it might be a bigger adventure so they need to plan it ahead and reserve time in their agenda.  

5. Visit in advance

It’s best to see your venue at least once before booking, and Ideally again in three months before the wedding to finalize details. if you simply can’t afford a separate trip, don’t sweat it. You can plan your entire destination wedding with the help of a wedding coordinator, online images, and a bit of imagination.  Arrive in Costa Rica at least a few days before to make sure everything’s the way you want, and if anything, to have time for improvements. 

6. Choose the hour wisely

Don’t be afraid to move the ceremony closer to sundown. Nothing can match the natural golden light achieved during a sunset beach photo-shoot. Remember, due to the location in some countries magic hour last just 30minutes. (Closer to the equator the shorter it is). Also, In Costa Rica during the midday hours, it can get really hot, and believe me, you don’t want to fight the heat during such an important moment.

7. Check the tide (Tip for a beach wedding) 

Look into the tides when you pick your wedding date. If you don’t, you run into the possibility that once a wonderful long beach (and location of your ceremony) might shrink significantly. 

8. Tailor your wedding dress to the destination

Breathable fabrics work best in hot places like Costa Rica. 

9. Never check your dress

It’s better to carry your dress on board – even if it means having to fold it. Just make sure that when you get to your destination – someone can press and steam it.

10. You Can Fly directly to Liberia!

Guanacaste is a bit far from San Jose. (The highway is well maintained and is a nice way to get a taste of the country) But if you are not up to a long drive you can fly directly into Liberia. This will save you a lot of driving – Liberia is only about 1.5 hours from Tamarindo and within 2h range to almost all venues.

11. Consider your photographer and his style

Every photographer has his or her own style, and the bride and groom need to understand how each differs so you can find the right photographer that fits your needs and you can connect with. This is good advice for every couple, not just those throwing a destination event. This comes down to personal preference, but hiring a pro you can trust will make your life easier. Remember, the images from your wedding are ones you will cherish for your lifetime.   

Playa Grande Near Tamarindo, Costa Rica

I hope this guide on planning a destination wedding venue in Costa Rica was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you and more than happy to help you out.

Still considering location for your destination wedding? Get familiar with beautiful venues in Antigua Guatemala:

Top 5 Wedding Venues in Antigua Guatemala

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