Carefree Costa Rica Real WeddingWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Tabatha O'Brien Photography
After being an inseparable couple for 11 years, Ashley and Corey decided to tie the knot. But they didn’t want a traditional wedding that would just go by in the blink of an eye. That’s when the idea of a destination wedding started to look more and more ideal.
“Instead of having only one day to celebrate, a destination wedding allowed us to gather all of the people we care for and love the most to create memories over several days,” Ashley says. "Also, weddings are expensive and having more that just one cherished day justified the bill a little more for us.”
The bride began her search for the perfect destination on the internet. The requirements for Ashely and Corey’s wedding venue were simple: an all inclusive resort that’s near the Caribbean. Ashley also cross matched that search with the safest locations that weren't too far or expensive for travel. And BAM - the answer became clear as day!
“Costa Rica has such a strong heritage with lush forestry/wild life and beautiful beaches,” the couple says. “It was no-brainer!”
Unfortunately, a major complication came in the form of a global pandemic. This meant a multitude of factors would need to be considered when the couple began planning travel logistics.
“I kept up to date on all of the latest travel restrictions through the US Embassy's website. I also created a website for my wedding guests to update them as often as possible and provide links for each variable needed for travel requirements,” Ashley says. “It also proved useful to join facebook groups for the resort and for brides having their wedding at the resort. Everyone shared information and gave great referrals there!”
Another “invaluable” planning resource the couple used was Pinterest. The inspiration and ideas Ashley gathered on the app then went into various vision boards for every detail of her dream wedding. After taking in all the inspiration, the DIY bug bit, and Ashley set out to procure all the needed elements for the invitations.
“I used dried palm leaves from RusticHouse11 and dried flower petal confetti from Ukranian Flowers Shop on Etsy to incorporate into the wax seal with our last initial stamped into it. I had a vision of clear invites to signify the clear water and seeded paper which could be planted to grow flowers much like what would be seen in Costa Rica.”
After tons of coordination between the resort, guests and vendors, the couple’s seven day wedding bash finally arrived. While not every part of their celebration went as planned (it rained in the middle of the ceremony), the unexpected just added to the sense of adventure.
For others hoping to say “I do” in Costa Rica, Ashley and Corey provide this advice:
“As best you can, try to go with the flow. It’s impossible to dictate every detail for destination weddings because, for the most part, you are relying on people you've never met to bring your personal vision to life and that's a huge feat! Trust that the day will come together in a beautifully imperfect way much like marriage itself!”
Vendors: Photographer: Tabatha O'Brien Photography; Venue/Florals/Cake: Dreams Las Mareas Resort and Spa; Clear Invitations: Basic Invite; Seeded Paper Invitation Jackets: Of The Earth; Vellum Envelopes: JAM Paper & Envelope; Dried Palms: RusticHouse11; Dried Flower Confetti: Ukranian Flowers Shop; Hair and Makeup: Nadia Cambronero; DJ: DJ Guana; Dress Store: A&Bé Bridal Shop
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