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Costa Rican Rainforest Wedding


August 4, 2023
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Mauricio Ureña Photography

Cassandra and Steven’s love transcended continents and brought them together in a serendipitous encounter through social media. Their love story blossomed, and they knew they had found their soulmate on their very first date. Fast forward to a magical day in the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest, where they tied the knot with an expansive ocean vista. 

“We loved this location for its intimate setting in the rainforest with breathtaking views overlooking the water,” Cassandra gushed about their choice of venue.

The Zephyr Palace, a boutique hotel, provided the perfect backdrop for an intimate celebration with their 80 guests, who filled the entire hotel. The couple’s vision for their special day was to make it feel like a vacation, steering away from conventional traditions.

“We didn’t follow some of the usual traditions, like having a wedding party. We wanted our guests to just relax, party, and feel like they were on vacation,” the bride explained. Instead, they chose to have Steven’s brother officiate the ceremony, adding a touch of intimacy and sentimentality to the proceedings.

The couple’s wedding decor was a stunning blend of romance and whimsy, designed to make the evening truly magical. After a breathtaking ceremony and sunset at cocktail hour, the couple and their guests gathered in the ballroom, which had been adorned with an abundance of candles and flowers in varying sizes, heights, and tones.

“We had lots of gold accents, including the silverware and tablecloths, which looked amazing once all of the candles were lit,” Cassandra says. The string lights suspended across the ceiling added to the romantic ambiance, casting a warm glow on the dance floor and inviting everyone to dance the night away.

The florals played a pivotal role in the wedding’s overall style, mirroring the couple’s vision of romance and elegance. The color palette featured different tones of cream and white, with soft accents of peach and pink, complemented by gentle greenery like snapdragons, eucalyptus, and pampas.

Cassandra and Steven went the extra mile to infuse their wedding day with personal touches. One unforgettable highlight was their first dance. The couple surprised their guests by having their DJ play a slowed-down, acoustic version of “Electricity” by Dua Lipa, before transitioning into the dance version. 

“We had only taken about 10 classes and were nervous we would mess up, but it came out amazing and was so fun and special to us,” Cassandra reminisced.

The couple’s fashion choices perfectly aligned with the overall theme. Cassandra’s wedding dress was a masterpiece of romantic and sexy elements. A strapless sheer corset dress with beaded lace, enhanced by a voluminous sheer tulle overskirt and tulle sleeves that cuffed over her arms and hands, creating a truly dreamy look. She later surprised everyone with her second look, shedding the overskirt and sleeves to reveal a different side of her wedding ensemble.

Steven looked dashing in a perfectly tailored dark slate grey tux with black accents, a teardrop bowtie, and patent leather Louboutin loafers, completing the look with a touch of floral design on the inside of his tuxedo.

The exchange of vows was a deeply emotional and cherished moment for Cassandra and Steven. “We chose to write our own vows, which made me a little anxious. Once I was up there looking at him, I forgot about all of my nerves,” Cassandra says. The heartfelt vows brought tears to their eyes, and they felt incredibly blessed to share their love with their closest friends and family.

For couples planning their own weddings, Cassandra and Steven’s advice is to be a team. “We did everything together, from Excel spreadsheets to video conferencing and emails,” the couple says.

Cassandra and Steven’s Costa Rican wedding was a true testament to love’s power to bring two souls together from opposite ends of the world.

Vendors: Photographer: Mauricio Ureña Photography; Event Planner: Sofia’s Flowers and Events; Florist: Mayela Sandí Decoradora; Video: Tamcam; Rentals: Costa Mesa Event Rentals; Wedding Venue: Zephyr Palace at Villa Caletas; DJ: Vosters; Groom Suite: Kenny’s Menswear; Bride Dress: SPINA Bride

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