Continuing with Jinger and Calvin’s wedding celebration, we move onto the big day itself. As you can see by the smiling faces, the wedding was a fun and relaxed experience for all.
Rather than a traditional sit down wedding, Jinger and Calvin opted for a lounge setting where guests could indulge in the couple’s favourite past-time of playing games. The colour scheme of red, purple, white and black was predominate in the rental furniture, pillows and flowers. The stylized logo of the couple’s initials, reminiscent of an Infinity sign and coloured in ombre tones, was featured on customized pillows, chairs and printed items.
Inspired by Tawainese night markets, we created food stations around the lounge, complete with fabric banners and paper lanterns. The coffee bar featured different beans with tasting notes for guests to explore the famous golden bean of Costa Rica.
The ceremony colours were orange and turquoise with ombre shades. A bamboo bar for post-ceremony cocktails sits ready with striped paper straws for a festive touch.
Guests were welcomed with baskets filled with Costa Rican snacks and goodies. Each basket was handwoven by an indigenous women’s cooperative in the mountains outside of San Jose, bringing an artisan touch to the festivities whilst aiding a marginalized community and promoting an ancient handicraft. Goods that do good.
Calvin and Jinger’s logo as stickers on clear Ghost chairs.
The happy couple.
Cheery bouquet of red roses, Mokara orchids, Cattleya orchids and blue hydrangeas.
Half an hour prior to the wedding ceremony, the skies opened and we had to scuttle to Plan B, the beautiful yoga loft overlooking the ocean.
We wanted to bring in a touch of an Asian theme so we opted for a bamboo canopy with paper lanterns arranged in orange ombre tones.
Chairs were adorned with ribbons graduation in ombre tones in both orange and turquoise. The piece de resistance was silk ribboning in blue and orange ombre I’d found on line. Score! Best wedding program ever was this one – one side was a computer program of the wedding itself (a program that really was a program!) and on the back, a quiz about the couple for guests to fill out while waiting for the ceremony to start. Tres fun!
Guests enjoying a game of Jenga and cocktails.
Our mini-smores station!
What would you expect from a non-traditional wedding couple but an unconventional approach to the wedding cake? Here, Jinger and Calvin share their first S’more as husband and wife.
Red and purple florals, red pillar candles and red paper lanterns created a sexy lounge atmosphere.
Felicidades to Jinger and Calvin!! What an intrepid couple and what a wedding adventure it was! Huge thanks to the amazing crew at Blue Osa for the delicious food and helpful staff. Big props to A Brit & A Blonde for the fantabulous photos.
Cheers from the deep jungles of the Osa Peninsula! Jinger and Calvin are an intrepid couple who wanted to celebrate their wedding off the beaten path…waaaaay off the path! Having hiked through Corcovado National Park on prior trip, they decided to share the untouched beauty of Southern Costa Rica with 50 of their nearest and dearest. The crew from New York City found themselves completely off the grid (no power or phone lines, only solar power) in one of the most heart-stoppingly gorgeous places on Earth. Crashing Pacific Ocean butting up against thick, lush jungle. A romance novel come to life.
The lovely and intimate Blue Osa Yoga Resort and Retreat was home to the festivities and what warm, gracious hosts they were! Amazing food, lovely location and fabulous staff. If you’re looking for a getaway in the heart of Nature, this is the place!
Kicking things off was the rehearsal dinner, which had a vintage vibe to it. As there is no AC at Blue Osa, we had to be creative with our decor and therefore, we opted for no flowers. Jute runners, mismatched floral napkins and mason jars wrapped in lace with floating candles created inviting and homey tables. Mason jars with coloured paper straws and kraft paper tags with Salud! welcomed each guest to their seat.
Two over-sized blackboards served as the seating list.
Fun fact: Jinger and Calvin are both mathematicians as are many of their friends. Rather than use simple numbers as a table number, they opted for mathematical equations. And not just any ole equation. Oh no. Our creative couple carefully chose each equation to match the personalities of each particular table. You can only guess at the ensuing hijinx from the Chaos table!
Full disclosure from me – math was the bane of my high school existence. Subsequently, I have absolutely no clue what any of these equations are and looking at them causes me to hyperventilate a bit. I am in awe of the genius of Calvin, Jinger and their crew with well-defined left-hemispheres.
What’s more fun that a tub full of Costa Rican beer? Actually, I can’t think of anything. An ice-cold Libertas craft-brew has to be tasted. Heavenly!
Big shout out to the crazily talented dynamic duo A Brit & A Blonde for the fab fotos. Stay tuned for the fabulous wedding photos to follow!
This wedding in the deep jungles of the Osa Penninsula featured a lovely bamboo canopy with white sheer fabric, hydrangeas, roses and chains of dendrobium orchids.
Photo by Comfort Studio.
When Molly first asked me about a wedding for 50 people in the Osa Penninsula, I nearly choked on my coffee. Firstly, because the logistics were daunting to say the least and secondly, I’d been wanting to take on such a challenge since putting up my ‘Wedding Planner’ shingle in Costa Rica many moons ago. A full-sized wedding in the midst of the jungle? Completely off the grid? Bring. It. On!! And just to up the challenge factor, Molly was in Germany and moving back to the US just before the wedding. Oh, did I mention we had three months to plan it all and the couple had never been to the Osa, so they were basing it on the groom’s sister’s suggestion?
Challenge…thou art my middle name.
Our decor was inspired by lamps and I wanted to create a ‘lamp’ out of orchids for the ceremony. We had to keep a few things in mind with flowers, namely the lack of fans/air-conditioning in the area and the long, arduous journey down to the Osa. We opted for dendrobium orchids are they are hardy, look beautiful and keep their shape in less than ideal conditions.
Being the end of April, we had the rain to contend with. The original plan was to host the ceremony on the lawn of a rental villa in Matapalo, then head over to El Remanso for cocktails and the reception. Weather was not cooperating so we implemented Plan B – the yoga dojo. Bamboo chairs, hand-woven fans and banana leaves filled with rose petals awaited guests.
The challenges continued with the reception set up. Being a lodge, the guests were all eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the giant palapa. We only had a few hours to transform the space into something that looked totally different for the wedding. As we were so remote, all electricity was via solar panels or a small generator. We had to be very conservative with our power usage, so oodles of lights were out. My idea was to create ‘lamps’ that would illuminate the room while creating a sophisticated dinner club feel, harkening back to the glam of the 1940s. Large cylinders, filled with water and stems of those hardy dendrobium orchids, had custom made lampshades sitting atop lit with votive candles in the shades.
To minimize the amount of rentals we needed, since all the chairs and tables had to hauled down the steep drive via tractor, we re-used the ceremony chairs and added a pop of green for the napkins. The bride sourced the menus, table numbers (via Vera Wang) and small boxes, in which we placed local sweets called alfajores. The result was elegant yet tropical.
For a seating plan, Molly had a ‘tree’ made, with family and friends on different ‘branches’, with orange leaves designating Groom’s connections and fuschia the Bride’s. What a super cute idea!! For more info, check out melangerienyc on Etsy. Makes a beautiful keepsake.
Now, the wedding cake was another challenge. No fans, no air-conditioning to keep it in until the reception so we had to fly in a mini-cake from San Jose the morning of the wedding and have it driven from Puerto Jimenez to the lodge (about an hour on very bumpy roads). To give the cake a bit of height, we had the florist create a cake stand covered in green button mums (another hardy flower).
Speaking of flowers, Molly had her heart set on roses. Now roses and the heat are not great friends, more like slightly hostile acquaintances. Lack of cool accommodations turns roses into droopy, sad little flowers. No problem – we had our florist in San Jose fly the bouquets along with the cake. These are the little solutions to challenges no one teaches you at Wedding Planning School and what makes this job in Costa Rica so darn interesting!
Groom’s cake was lovingly made by the bride’s aunt from a family recipe and carefully wrapped up in customized ribboning. A nice touch was the framed explanation behind the tradition and why it was included in the wedding.
A big thanks to Julie Comfort of Comfort Studio for her fab photography. Congratulations again to Molly and Gabe – nothing like overcoming a challenge to see a wedding come to beautiful fruition! It was truly wonderful and the little touches made it all the more fabulous.
There are some locations in Costa Rica that are more challenging than others – waaaay more challenging! The Osa Penninsula is one of the most remote parts of the country and has been called “Costa Rica’s Amazon”. Up until the past year, the road was a sloppy, bumpy, bone-jarring ride that was more pot-holes than pavement, taking upwards of nine hours to make the trek to the capital city. Thankfully, new pavement has been put down and the ride from San Jose is about six hours through some of the most stunning views in the world. Shira and Richie wanted to marry in Matapalo, famed for it’s remoteness, killer surf breaks and closeness to the famed Corcovado National Park. How remote is Matapalo? From Puerto Jimenez (the closest town), it’s another 45 minute drive on dirt roads, through creeks and rivers into the deep jungle. There is one little restaurant/bar, no power lines or phone lines and no stores. It’s pure jungle, baby. Here, jaguars, tapirs and pumas roam through the thick, dark forests while thundering surf pounds against the golden-sand beaches. It’s like the land that time forgot and a must-see for anyone who loves nature as half of all of Costa Rica’s wildlife is found here.
Shira had tried to plan the wedding from the States and was running into roadblocks, mainly from people who said an elegantly modern, 50 person wedding couldn’t be done. Luckily, she found us. I’ve dreamed of planning a wedding in the Osa for years but never had the right client or group who could embrace the wildness of the Osa. Remarkably, another couple of mine married in the same lodge only a couple of months before Shira and Richie’s wedding (Fate is so funny that way).
Logistically, it’s definitely a challenge to schlep rentals and flowers to the Osa. But then the ante was kicked up a few notches when Shira and Richie decided to hold the ceremony at the villa they were staying in, Tres Palmas. Incredible views but the scariest road I’ve ever driven on (and I don’t scare easily). Seriously – 10 minutes of white-knuckled 4 X 4 driving down a steep dirt road with a sheer drop off on either side. I still get cold sweats thinking about that drive! But the view – totally worth the grey hairs and minor heart attack.
And just to make things even more interesting, the day before Shira and Richie flew out of California, the groom tore his achilles tendon playing basketball. Ouch. But being the troopers they are, our intrepid couple wouldn’t let a cast get in the way of an awesome week of wedding festivities. Even rain couldn’t dampen their spirits.
Life always has a way of working out, I think, and minutes before the ceremony, the clouds cleared. Racing against light, we had mere minutes to reset the ceremony on the deck so Shira could realize her dream of marrying under the sky. Everyone pitched in, carrying their chairs, helping move the chuppah with true ‘we’re all in this together’ buoyancy. And within five minutes, we were off and away, the gorgeous chuppah against the green jungle and endless blue ocean.
After the ceremony, everyone made the harrowing ride back up the hill to the eco-lodge El Remanso up the road. Now, planning a wedding where there is limited power, no fans and no air conditioning makes the job a lot more interesting. For one thing, I had to consider how the flowers would hold up to the heat and humidity (and long, bumpy drive) without the benefit of AC during the set up. We decided to use dendrobium orchids, as they are not only so elegant but ridiculously hardy. Shira wanted a clean, modern look that had elements of the ocean interwoven throughout. We created an aqua blue palette with sheer overlays, blue glass votive holders and blue-tinted water (all those vases are clear glass, really!). Seashells were submerged in vases with floating candles and a chandelier covered in hundreds of seashells, lit with battery-operated votives, was the focal point (tip: we purchased a metal chandelier from Save-On Crafts and spent hours hot-glue gunning various seashells onto it). Since all the guests had been eating their meals in the same dining space during the week, we had to get creative as to how to transform the space into a ‘wow’ wedding venue and minimize the amount of electricity we needed. Our solution? Sheer fabric with lines of fairy lights streamed out from the chandelier, draping down the corners of the massive bamboo palapa. And lots of candles…
Antique-gold chargers, turquoise napkins and custom-made menus rounded out the table decor, creating a sophistication that seamlessly integrated into the rustic setting.
Shira had some wonderful DIY elements to the decor, such as the adorable banners for the cake table that read ‘Sweet Love’ and ‘Wishes’ for the guest book table. Rather than having guests sign a book, she made funky ornaments out of paper and ‘bricabrac’ that folks wrote their wishes on and then hung on the ‘wish’ tree that was anchored in a vase of seashells. And the adorable lips and mustaches on a stick were made by photographer and crafter extraordinaire, Julie Comfort, for the photo booth. Too cute!
And the cake – tiny but adorable! The LOVE atop was made of fondant and modeled after the famous Robert Indiana design. Since there was nowhere cool at the lodge to store the cake overnight, we had to fly it in the morning of the wedding to Puerto Jimenez and then drive it back to the lodge. Adventures in wedding planning, to be sure.
One of the most logistically challenging events I’ve planned but also one of the most lovely and gratifying. A few days after Shira and Richie had returned home, this touching note found its way into my in-box…
We just got home last night and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for an unbelievably incredible job. Everyone was blown away at your work. You truly know had to transform the jungle into a magical venue. Rumble in the jungle!?!!
Thank you for all of you planning over the last few months. You believed in our vision and made it a reality when others had doubts. You inspired me to keep dreaming and shared your expertise. It was amazing to work with someone that I had so much confidence in and the ultimate result was so much more than I could have even imagined. I cant believe how seamlessly the entire weekend went from start to finish, considering the venue, location etc.
You are incredible at what you do!!
Thank you again for everything from the bottom of our hearts!!!
Take care and stay in touch!
Shira and Richie
Much love and thanks to you both! We had an incredible time planning the ‘impossible wedding’ and are still smiling over how incredible it all turned out (and the dancing!! Did I mention the dancing?!).
Thanks to Comfort Studios for the fabulous shots!