Destination I Do
Friday, June 1, 2012

Destination Weddings: New Beginnings on New Shores

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by: Kelly Ryan
Photography by: Comfort Studios

Shannon and Devin are natural born adventurers, so it made perfect sense to them to have a destination wedding in uncharted waters. The couple wanted a new experience for both them and their guests so they ventured to Costa Rica to see new sights, cultures and faces.

Costa Rica was described to us as romantic, untouched, adventurous and unique,” Shannon says. “Those descriptions made the decision easy.” The couple kept the guest list under 50, making it intimate and easy to plan events big enough to accommodate everyone. Shannon says the parties consisted of zip lining, beach barbeques and for the last big hurrah, the wedding.

Having the wedding in a foreign country made it necessary for a wedding planner to handle all of the more stressful aspects. The couple was sure to be lost in translation with the language, currency and location. Tropical Occasions took these burdens into their hands and was able to translate what Shannon wanted, how much she would pay and when she wanted certain things to happen.

Since the technical parts of the wedding were being handled, this gave Shannon and Devin time to get crafty. They made the programs, welcome bags, menus and umbrella drink accents which directed the guests to their respective tables. These projects gave the couple a chance to sit and create a little piece of their wedding together.

The couple designated three moderately priced hotels close to the wedding venue and organized shuttles to pick up their guests from the airport. Shannon found that taking the guess-work out of their guests' trip made it easier and less stressful for everyone. Since the wedding was held in Costa Rica, the couple ended up spending a lot less than if they held a traditional big wedding in the States.

Unfortunately some guests were unable to make the ceremony, so Shannon and Devin planned an alternate reception in the States for those who could not make it to Costa Rica. This addition to the wedding pushed the price up to what they would have paid for a bigger wedding. “As much as we wanted to keep the second reception more low-key, it ended up costing about the same as a typical reception,” Shannon says.

One piece of special advice Shannon would like to leave with future destination I do-ers is, “Once you arrive at the destination, let it all go and soak up every minute. It is a dream vacation with your favorite people on earth and the memories will last a lifetime.”


Photographer: Katherine Stinnett of Comfort Studios
Wedding Planner: Aimee Monihan and Karen Ogden of Tropical Occasions
Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Punto de Vista
Gown Designer: Romona Keveza
Florist: Tropical Occasions
Groom’s Clothing Designer:  NordstromLabel
Bridesmaids: The Limited
Other Vendors: See complete list below

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