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Intimate Real Wedding in Tamarindo


May 15, 2024
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Adriana Mendez Photography

For a match made in 2015 Tinder, Karina and Chris, tying the knot overseas lent the opportunity to keep their guest list short and vacation with their nearest and dearest in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. 

I had asked my sister where she would like to go on vacation and she was torn between Hawaii and Costa Rica,” Karina says, “so we decided to get married in Costa!”

Karina and Chris knew they wanted a wedding that was easy for their families to get to. “The Liberia Airport was a direct flight for most of our family,” Karina shares. Plus, Tamarindo’s small, safe, and English-speaking atmosphere ticked all the boxes for a comfortable and relaxing experience for their loved ones. 

bride with bridesmaids in rose colored silk pajama dresses; ceremony setup in courtyard

Finding their Dream Venue

With the help of their wedding planner, Karina and Chris found the picture-perfect spot: Casa Puros Dieces. “It has an impeccable view, a great beachy vibe, and is super walkable (uphill, mind you) to the town,” Karina explains. They envisioned a heartfelt ceremony in the courtyard, followed by a delicious dinner under the stars on the open deck overlooking the ocean.

groom smiles at camera as bride walks up behind him for the first look; welcome sign with Karin and Chris on it; bride and groom stand at altar adorned with white florals and greenery

Personal Touches

The couple opted for a classic and elegant look with green and white flowers adorning the ceremony arch, bouquet, and dinner tables. They kept the DIY projects to a minimum, focusing instead on creating personalized “thank you” goodie bags for their guests.

Having already tied the knot legally in Canada, Karina and Chris’s Tamarindo ceremony was all about celebrating their love with a personalized touch. 

“Our best friend was our ‘officiant,'” Karina says, “and the ceremony was primarily written by myself and my sister.” 

They incorporated meaningful readings about love, respect, trust, and growth, along with snippets from classic sayings that resonate with them. They even exchanged heartfelt vows, both privately beforehand and during the ceremony itself.

couple stand at altar; Karina and Chris kiss; top floor of Tamarindo villa with thatched roof

Planning from Afar: A Dream Team Makes it Work

With thousands of miles separating them from their wedding location, Karina and Chris knew they needed a reliable wedding planner. “We put all our trust in our planner,” the bride says, “and they absolutely delivered!” Having scoured the planner’s website and seen their past work, they felt confident their day would be perfect. The planner even connected them with a fantastic photographer, creating a true dream team. 

“We basically showed up with our clothes and a playlist,” Karina says, “and everything else was taken care of!”

An outdoor dining table set for an event with elegant floral arrangements and wooden chairs overlooks a scenic ocean view at sunset, under hanging wicker lamps and decorative greenery.

Destination Wedding Bliss

Karina and Chris wouldn’t change a thing about their intimate destination wedding. “We never once gave this a single thought,” the bride admits. “We would do the same thing 100 times over!” In fact, they already dream of returning to celebrate anniversaries in the paradise of Tamarindo.

Words of Wisdom for Soon-to-Be-Weds

Karina and Chris have some sage advice for couples planning their big day: “Do what makes YOU happy and don’t feel bad about it!” They cherished having a small wedding with their closest loved ones, creating memories that extended far beyond the wedding day itself. Their final tip? Splurge on the good stuff! “Food, drinks, and a photographer are the things your guests will remember,” Karina says, “and the photos will have you reminiscing forever.”

An outdoor dining table set for an event with elegant floral arrangements and wooden chairs overlooks a scenic ocean view at sunset, under hanging wicker lamps and decorative greenery. table set under hanging wicker lamps and decorative greenery; white cake sits on a wooden table overlooking the ocean at sunset; Chris helps Karina cross over puddle on rocks by the sea bride and groom cut their one tier cake decorated with white florals at the top

Vendors: Photographer: Adriana Mendez Photography; Wedding Planner: Mil Besos Costa Rica; Venue: Casa Puro Dieces; Florist: Stylos y Flores; Cake: Deli Café; Hair & Makeup: Famous Point; Gown Designer: Alyssa Kristin; Groom’s Attire: RW&CO; Catering: Catering Costa

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