My perfect day is…Laying on the beach and relaxing or shopping.
Jennifer and Marsh are a couple that are FUN personified. Bright, cheery, crazy in love fun. No surprise, then, that their wedding was a fun-filled day that even a sudden rainstorm couldn’t dampen (the tent for the ceremony was great wedding insurance!! Having a wedding in May in a rainforest, you have to have weather back up).
The color palette was orange and light blue. Jennifer’s hand tied bouquet of orange roses featured a sequined ribbon and a beautiful brooch for that added touch of bling.
Post-ceremony drinks included strawberry basil lemonade , a blue Bilbytini (a play on the groom’s last name) and a Mag 7 (an inside joke with their friends).
* 2 oz. citrus vodka
* 1 oz. orange liqueur (Cointreau)
* 1 oz. pomegranate juice
* 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
* 3/4 oz. simple syrup*
* 1 tsp. pomegranate seeds (optional), for garnish 1 slice orange (optional), for garnish
* 3/4 oz. Light Rum
* 3/4 oz. Vodka
* 1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
* 3 oz. Pineapple Juice
* 1 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix
Even Marsh’s tie was in the color scheme. Love the details.
Here comes the bride…
We went for simple elegance – a wooden canopy, matching benches, submerged orchids with floating candles and baskets of rice to throw at the happy couple.
During cocktail hour, everyone was given a shot of tequila in a customized shot glass. Let the fun times begin…
After cocktail hour, everyone moved over to El Avion for the reception. We transformed the open-aired restaurant with lighting and lots of candles.
Jennifer wove in many touches from her Asian heritage, such as Korean food at the cocktail hour and origami cranes that served as seating cards.
Each table setting featured a set of silver chopsticks in an orange sleeve. Tables were named after cities that were special to the couple.
How amazing is the Gator cake??!! Huge props to Chelsea at Mariposa Bakery for this sculptural work of art! Marsh is a huge Gators fan and this groom’s cake was a surprise from Jennifer to him. Needless to say, he loved it.
Jennifer’s nieces and nephews made decorative centerpieces for their favourite aunt. So cute!
The bar at El Avion is the actual downed Fairchild C-123 cargo plane from the Nicaragua war (remember Ollie North, the Iran-Contra). Not your typical wedding setting…
Like I said, this couple knows FUN!!! Big hugs to you both and congratulations again from all of us at Weddings Costa Rica. It was a blast!
Muchos gracias to Eduardo Lopez for the fine photos.
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Thanks for your input!
What’s better than fireworks on the 4th of July? How about a breathtakingly sumptuous wedding complete with spectacular fireworks? That, my friends, is how the beyond-lovely Leslie and the dashingly handsome Michael celebrated Independence Day, along with 60 of their nearest and dearest at Zephyr Palace. Matter of fact, this wedding was featured in the ultra-exclusive Inside Weddings Magazine, a huge honour for us as it was the first (and only) wedding in Costa Rica to ever be featured. Let the gorgeousness ensue…
The terrace at Zephyr Palace was tented (being July, we had to think about possible rain) but we incorporated the structure into the design, suspending glass lanterns and orange tulips from the ceiling, creating a warm atmosphere. An arch of ‘monkey stair’ vines, filled with lillies, calas and tulips, took centrestage for the evening ceremony by candle light.
Using a palette of mahogany, orange and sapphire blue, we created a sophisticated look that worked beautifully with the terracotta tones and blue of the pool at Zephyr Palace.
Instead of the typical escort cards, we used clay tiles handpainted in Mexico and calligraphied with the names and table assignments. The design on the tiles matched the invitations perfectly! After the wedding, the tiles could be used as coasters in the guests homes.
Green hydrangeas, orange tulips, coffee beans create a dreamy, earthy look.
Long imperial tables featured low arrangements filled with flowers whilst lanterns and chains of rose petals hung down from the extra-high ceiling, creating a more intimate space.
Orange and hints of blue add subtle colour punches against the organic feel of the decor and flowers.
Ribbon ring around the napkin doubled as seating cards. A monogram of the bride and groom’s initials was featured on all the paper products as well as the custom-made runners. A week before the wedding, the bride had called me in a panic that the fabric for her runners had yet to arrive. Luckily, the amazing Roberto Rivera of Eventos Boadicea was able to step in and made the runners here, on time. They turned out gorgeous!
Lighting transforms everything!
Even the cake featured the monogram!
Not only was this a beautifully elegant wedding, it was one heckuva PAR-TEE! Michael, Leslie and co. knew how to get down, get back up and get down all over again. Too. much. fun.
Being July 4th, we had to have fireworks. Lots and lots of mind-blowing fireworks (accompanied by some John Phillip Souza no less!). Wowza!
A massive thank you to the outrageously talented Paula & Mike Luna of Luna Photo for their jaw-dropping photos. Love them truly, madly, deeply!
Congratulations again, Leslie and Michael! We loved every single second of working with you.
Welcome to the world, Olivia Holly Grover!
Proud Parents: Stephen and Ashley Shafii Grover
Hi everyone! I’d like to introduce myself as the new Wedding Planning Assistant, sometimes lovingly known as the intern, here at Weddings Costa Rica. My name is Natalie, and I hail from Austin, Texas, though I’m originally a mid-western girl from St. Louis, Missouri.
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook Em!) in December 2009 (early, not late!) with a B.A. in Spanish. After college, I began trying to get my feet wet in the wedding industry as it had become more and more of an interest and passion in my life. I started out blogging for a company that planned intimate bridal shows at local venues in Austin, and helped out at those shows as well. Then, in addition, I began assisting one of Austin’s very best wedding coordinators on weekends. My time with her was absolutely invaluable and I learned so much. She encouraged me to get my Wedding Consultant Certification through Nuptial Essentials Curriculum and Instruction, and I have since completed the class and am working on my tests to complete my certification. I also did my fair share of day-of coordinating for friends.
Though I loved what I was doing, after a while I wanted to start doing something full time, and during my search I happened across a posting for a Wedding Planning Assistant in Costa Rica. With my Spanish background (that actually brought me to Costa Rica once before in high school!) I thought it sounded like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I applied, interviewed, was offered the job, thought and prayed very hard about uprooting my entire life and moving to a different country, and now here I am!
I’ve been here for three weeks now, and I’ve been spending my time learning the ropes, going through photos for blog posts, helping create Pinterest boards for brides, and figuring out the differences between the destination wedding world and regular wedding world I came from. Two weekends ago, I also had the opportunity to help Larissa out at a Bridal Expo, where we were debuting our exclusive distribution of fine papers by Vera Wang and William Arthur in Costa Rica. It’s fun to see how all the brides respond to these invitations as they’re different than what they can get here locally and really reasonably priced.
I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here, and I can’t wait to help coordinate my first destination wedding!
Crystal and Jarret’s destination wedding at Ocotal Beach, in northwestern Costa Rica, was intimate and filled with love – overflowing, great bunches of heart-singing love! Gorgeous bride, handsome groom (who was a former model), uber-cool family and friends, great location all equal a gem of a wedding. Add in the dreamy photos by El Velo and you have tropical wedding delight!
Look at the pure joy on Jarret’s face when he sees his bride for the first time! How adorable is that little flower girl? For music, we had a typical marimba band, which is the national instrument of Costa Rica and hails from the province of Guanacaste (where Ocotal is situated). Similar to a xylophone, the marimba gives off a lovely, light sound that is very musical and perfect for the beach. The sand ceremony featured glasses with their initial painted on each.
How dashing is Jarret? How breathtaking does Crystal look with her veil all windswept and sexy?
Yellow and white calas popped deliciously against the sapphire blue of the bridesmaids.
Bright tropical flowers, including ginger, birds of paradise, lluvia d’oro orchids, Karen orchids and dendrobium orchids, look so cheery against the ocean backdrop.
In lieu of favors, the couple made donations to the Diabetes and MS foundations, two organizations that hold a special place in their hearts due to health afflictions of close family.
Reception was back at Villa Cascada, with its commanding view of the Ocotal Beach and Gulf of Papagayo. We went for a relaxed, lounge vibe, with cocktail and bistro tables, white flowers, white pillar candles, white paper lanterns and floating candles in the pool.
Mmmm, cupcakes! How sweet love is!
Congratulations, Crystal and Jarret! It was a blast working with you and we wish you many years of happiness 🙂
Weddings Costa Rica‘s sister company, El Dia Weddings, recently posted this real wedding they day-of coordinated…
Micah and Travis celebrated their wedding at the beautiful Ampitheatre Terrace & Restaurant at Villa Caletas, in Playa Herradura (just outside of Jaco and an hour from San Jose). The El Dia team ensured the couple were able to relax and enjoy their day whilst we took care of all the details – from setting out the menus to sprinkling rose petals on the aisle to announcing the first dance. Photographer Ale Sura captured the beauty of this sunny day.
White columns with suspended white phaeleonopsis orchids overlooked the rainforest and ocean on the Ampitheatre terrace.
Bright rose petals were nestled in banana leaf cones for guests to shower the couple with at the end of the ceremony.
Love this shot of them during the ceremony.
Micah surprised her groom by included a fishing lure into the boutonniere. How cute!
The tables featured vases with suspended phaeleonopsis orchids and floating candles for an elegant, understated look.
The custom-made menus matched perfectly with the antique silver chargers.
Guests received bags of Costa Rican coffee in burlap bags with a cute thank you tag.
Micah covered a board with silver material and silver ribboning so guests could place a Costa Rica postcard on which they’d written a wish to the newlyweds.
Villa Caletas has so many incredible spots for photos – love this stone stairway!
They had a “day after’ photo session with Ale – what a gorgeous shot of Michah!
The marina at the nearby Los Suenos complex provided an artistic backdrop for their photo shoot. Perfect location for a fisherman and his new bride!
Felicidades, Micah and Travis, and thank you for allowing El Dia Weddings to be a part of your big day!
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!
Kisha and Jason are one of our favourite couples ever – sweet, kind and so much in love! Throw in a group of fun-lovin’ Texans at the gorgeous Four Seasons Resort and you have all the fixin’s for a perfect wedding weekend. Even the sun decided to join in for the ceremony, casting away the grey rain clouds that had plagued us during the day-long set up. Our senior planner/designer Randy Gritz had great fun working with Kisha to being a number of special and very personal touches to their big day.
The ceremony tent was festooned with hanging terracotta rose buds, creating an ethereal feeling of sitting amongst a shower of flowers. The chuppah was spectacular – the rabbi stopped in the middle fo the service to admire it, stating that it was the most beautiful chuppah he’d ever seen (way to go, Embrujos Flowers!). Taking cues from the wedding’s color palette of ivory, terracotta and mahogany, the chuppah was constructed from local branches then covered with swooping green calas, hydrangeas, lillies, orchids, roses for a stunning creation of color and movement.
We incorporated a travel theme with a touch of Hemingway references, as ‘Papa’ is Kisha’s favorite author – even naming the bars after Hemingway’s favorite dacquiri haunt in Havana. Each table was named after a place the couple had traveled to, favors/seating cards were compass bottle stoppers and we created a compass logo that was used throughout the weekend on various items. Instead of a guest book, we created postcards of antique photos from Costa Rica and Belize for guests to send their wishes on. As a surprise to the couple, we included some with the Longhorns logo (Jason’s alma mater) – imagine our delight when he was wearing a Longhorns t-shirt the morning of the wedding!
Cocktail hour featured lush burnt orange taffeta overlays on the tables…
Orchids, hydrangeas and a touch of bling from hanging crystals looked oh-so-elegant against chocolate brown tables with mahogany Chivari chairs.
And did we mention this was a huge dancing crowd? Gotta love a groom in cowboy boots.
When tired but happy guests returned to their rooms, they found these ‘sweet dreams’ bags, with water, Tylenol and compass cookies. Kisha and Jason left no detail unattended, ensuring their guests had an incredible time at their celebrations.
Congratulations again, Kisha and Jason, and we wish you many many years of happiness together.
\A big thanks to Juan Carlos and team at El Velo for these wonderful photos!