Costa Rica – the perfect wedding destination

I have been to way too many resorts, where I have witnessed a couples most intimate wedding ceremony viewed by complete strangers in bikinis with margaritas in hand. That wasn’t what I wanted for my wedding.

It was becoming increasingly apparent to me that the world of destination weddings was set up for the the first time bride. Many resorts that I have visited with clients have several weddings a day. The resorts that promised only had one a day, were in my opinion, often “semi private”.

For me, the most important aspect of my wedding (we had both been married before) was privacy and intimacy. Being older and my second wedding, the wedding ceremony meant a lot to me.  I didn’t want to be distracted or worried about the unofficial guests. Costa Rica was the obvious choice for me. Away from the crowds, on a beach that I loved.

The wedding  was planned for July, but one week before I was to fly to Costa Rica for my birthday in February, my finance suggested we get married that same weekend. Well why not. It would be just the two of us, and our blended family of six kids (yes we are the Brady Bunch) would celebrate with family and friends at our home in Dallas.

I had researched many resorts in Costa Rica, and my need for privacy and the beach led me to El Mangroove Resort. With one week to plan, we decided that a wedding planner was the way to go. With it being just the two of us, the menu was easy to choose, I sent one picture for flowers, one for my hair (El Mangroove has a fabulous spa), asked to pick the location on arrival for our private ceremony and dinner, asked for photographer referrals and chose one, sent passports so the ceremony could be official, and the entire wedding planning was done. No fuss and all by email.

Why Costa Rica? We have visited many times and just love the people, the climate, the beach and did I mention how wonderful the people are. I have always wanted a beach wedding, and there is always a beach in Costa Rica that will be private.

We arrived on a direct flight to Liberia Airport, with the resort being only 30 minutes from the airport. We meet the staff, and told them that we would be off property for a while. We always have to vista Lola’s to watch the sunset. We know we wouldn’t make it back in time to meet the wedding planner, so we asked to reschedule our meeting for the day of the wedding. No stress.

The day of our wedding we decided on a private garden area for the ceremony, and a beachfront dining option with tiki torches and candles for our dinner. Having a few hours before the wedding ceremony, what else do you do but go jet skiing around Papagayo Peninsular. Always working, we had an ocean view hotel tour of The Four Seasons, a new Marriott property under construction, Secrets, Andaz and Exclusive resorts. All beautiful properties on the same bay as El Mangroove (now a Marriott property). All with varying beach types and sunset views.

My apologies to the EL Mangroove spa staff for getting my hair wet. Oophs.

It was time to get ready. Escorted to the spa, I must say I was truly overwhelmed by the gentleness and humility of the staff. They had practiced my make up on each other, and had pictures of my hairstyle requested enlarged for accuracy.

The gentleness and genuiness of the staff was overwhelming. They made me feel so special. My now husband escorted me to the beautiful garden where the ceremony was to take place. A breathtaking chiffon draped wooden structured covered in the flowers stood before us.

Private, personal and intimate. Not a person in site, besides the marriage celebrant and our discrete wedding assistant (who ensured everything went smoothly all day).

El Veto Photography was amazing. The one word all photographers should use is “wow”. Several time this word was whispered, and it made the two of us feel so comfortable. As you can see by the photographs, the images are beautiful and he captured our love so perfectly.

The Costa Rica sunset did not disappoint, as we stood on the beach marveling God’s creation, reflecting on our intimate wedding union, and our future ahead.

Pura Vida.