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Destination I Do
Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Mountaintop Costa Rica Wedding

Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Kayla Newsome Photography

After the chaos of 2020, Anna and Stafford wanted to celebrate their marriage by giving themselves and their families the opportunity to get away. Months of planning resulted in a breathtaking Costa Rican mountaintop ceremony and a joyous weekend of celebrating love.



“We both dreamed of getting married in a more intimate setting, and fortunately the pandemic made micro-weddings more socially acceptable,” the couple says. “Having twenty of our loved ones in a beautiful and remote location was exactly what we were hoping for.”

As much as Anna and Stafford love the beach, their deepest love (aside from each other) is the mountains. Made up of a luscious jungle, the mountains of Costa Rica offer a unique type of mountaintop setting for a wedding.

“Our vision was to encapsulate wild elegance, and the mountains of Costa Rica provided the best backdrop,” Anna says.

Locating the ideal venue was the first step to bringing the couple’s vision to life. When their planning team at Mil Besos introduced them to Hotel Villa Caletas, it was like love at first sight.

“Villa Caletas sat on top of one of these mountains, tucked into the jungle while showcasing incredible views of the ocean,” the couple says.

In every design decision, Mil Besos kept in mind two aspects of Anna and Stafford for inspiration: their taste in fashion and love for the environment. The goal was for each and every element to invoke an elegant, modern, timeless, and romantic vibe.

Stafford and Anna left most of the detailed work to Mil Besos, but did want to have a little welcome gift ready for guests’ arrival. They created little boxes stuffed with useful items for the vacation, including a vintage disposable camera, local Costa Rican chocolate, and hand sanitizer. 

“Another thing Stafford and I took into our hands was learning a couple’s dance,” Anna says. “We found a YouTube video that taught us classic ballroom choreography to one of our favorite songs.”

The wedding ceremony took place on the venue’s outdoor terrace with an intimate guest list of 18. Dressed in formal black attire, guests watched as Stafford's dad officiated the wedding. Anna and Stafford also live-streamed the event so everyone back home could watch as they shared their vows. Cocktail hour included smoothies and a Costa Rican sunset before the party moved to the rooftop for a totally tropical dinner affair.

After such great success with their destination wedding, Anna graciously shared some nuggets of wisdom for couples in the pre-planning process:

“My first piece of advice would be this: don’t be afraid to have an ‘untraditional’ wedding. It’s YOUR day, and you should tailor every detail to your preferences. Don’t feel obligated to have a cake, dance, or get married in a church if that’s not something you truly want. My second piece of advice would be to find a really good photographer, even if you have to splurge a bit. Having someone who really knows what they're doing and that you can trust makes everything from engagements to wedding day so much less stressful. Our photographer, Kayla, was so on top of it on our wedding day and capitalized on moments that weren’t even planned for. Now that the wedding is over, photos are one of the only physical things we have to remember our wedding. I will never regret choosing the photographer that we did!”




Vendors
: Photographer:
Kayla Newsome Photography; Wedding Planner: Mil Besos; Ceremony/Reception Site: Hotel Villa Caletas; Florist: Flores de Campos; Stationery: TRC Design; Cake: Mariposa Pastry; Beauty: Xinia Chacon; Gown Designer: Pronovias; Bride's Shoes: Ted Baker; Decor: Los Primos Designs

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