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Destination I Do

Guest Adventures in Costa Rica

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Beautiful Day Photography

This is the story of how one couple turned their destination wedding into the adventure of a lifetime. Scott and Amy are an outdoorsy, adventure-loving couple who knew a hometown, ballroom wedding wasn’t for them. Instead, the couple traveled deep into the Costa Rican jungle for four days of fun - all capped off with a wedding.

“We are both very close to our families and felt it was important they have the opportunity to truly get to know one another during our wedding celebration,” says Amy. “Having the wedding in Costa Rica, and at Rafiki Safari Lodge in particular due to its remote location, encouraged an instantaneous bonding that will last a lifetime.”

Rafiki Safari Lodge, the couple’s launch pad for exploration, is situated on 842 acres of pristine jungle along the Savegre River. For Amy and Scott, there was really nowhere else they saw themselves getting married. “Rafiki itself promised elements of intrigue and adventure, and was at once romantic, rustic and entirely unique,” recalls Amy.

Rafiki is set back into the jungle, and while it’s a bit of a hike to get there, the isolation proved intoxicating. One of the most popular activities was the hotel’s “ridiculously fast” natural waterslide which is operated using diverted river water.

For everyone’s first day, the party took a hike to the private waterfall which is located on the hotel’s vast grounds. They got the lay of the land while admiring the lush Costa Rican flora and fauna. Come W-day, Amy opted out of the traditional wedding day routine and instead the entire wedding party went white water rafting! 

“One of my absolute favorite memories of the trip was witnessing the mixture of pure, unadulterated joy and sheer terror on the faces of our parents in their raft,” says Amy. “My friend and I tipped into the water a few times and even jumped off a cliff into the river at one point – probably not your typical pre-ceremony activities.”

The wedding party was having so much fun, they nearly forgot there was a wedding to attend. After a day full of adrenaline-pumping adventure, everyone settled in to watch Amy and Scott exchange vows. A thunderstorm rolled through shortly before the ceremony and the couple said “I do” with the mist-covered rainforest as their backdrop.

The couple and their guests were looking back on the destination wedding with fondness before the trip had even reached its conclusion. During the reception, they all sat down to watch a slideshow of images from their white water rafting expedition earlier that day. “We roared with laughter over the expressions on our faces…it was a perfect day,” recalls Amy.

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