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Destination I Do
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Real Costa Rica Wedding

Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of White Diamond Photo

From the start of the wedding planning process, Nick and Paola knew they wanted to be married somewhere that didn’t require much in the way of decor due to the beauty of its surroundings. Truly, however, there was little to contemplate. Marrying in Costa Rica was an absolute for bride Paola whose mother was born there and where she spent every summer as a child.

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"I remember being upset because I would miss summers back home with my friends, but as I got older, I realized it wasn’t me that was 'missing out'," Paola says. "Shortly after Nick and I started dating, I took him to Costa Rica and he instantly fell in love. Costa Rica never had any real competition."

Nick and Paola's guests were thrilled with their decision and looked forward to the trip as soon as they received the news. "
The majority of our New York friends and family were waiting on our wedding to finally cross Costa Rica off their travel bucket list," the couple says. With the easy part behind them, the two could face what many destination wedding couples may call the 'uphill climb' of choosing to wed away from home. Paola, knowing she wanted help with the heavy lifting of planning, decided to hire someone onsite to be the couple's eyes and ears.

"How people have a destination wedding without hiring someone...is beyond me. Maybe I’m a bit more nitpicky, but hiring Barbara [of Four Nineteen Weddings] was key in executing what we envisioned," the bride says. The couple also needed someone to help them narrow down what was truly important to them - as Paola admits Nick had to put a limit on her time spent perusing Pinterest "because the wedding theme would change with every new gorgeous image I saw." 

The couple's ideal theme of "less is more" helped Paola create specific visions for the details. For example, the couple wanted cloth napkins with minimalistic linear patterns and after no luck finding them, Paola grew tired of searching. "We bought different black and white fabrics at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store and enlisted my mom to sew 90 napkins. I took a mini calligraphy course and did all the calligraphy on the marble tile place settings. I was surprised at how many guests kept them!" the bride says.

For guest's travel logistics, the couple tried to lay everything out as clear as possible on their wedding website and by word-of-mouth. To ease potential worry from guests, Nick and Paola decided to schedule a room block at a nearby hotel. They also provided transportation to-and-from the reception space for those that required it. "As clear and insistent as we were," the couple says, "there were still guests that missed deadlines or needed extra hand-holding." In hindsight, the bride says, "You can't please everyone – so don't stress about it."  

Nick and Paola wish to leave this little gem of advice for anyone considering a destination wedding: "believe the hype." Your destination wedding day will truly be one of the best days of your life. "...so take it all in," the couple says.

Vendors: Photography: White Diamond Photo; Planning/Designing/Coordination: Four Nineteen Weddings; Florist: Stylos & Flores; Hair: Mitch Spakman Hair; Makeup: Carolina Castro; Rentals: Costa Mesa Event Rentals & Eventos Artesanos; Catering: Catering Costa; Bar service: El Bar CR; Cake & desserts: Victoria Zoch; Live music: Ricardo Fonseca; DJ: DJ Mason Dunn

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