Costa Rica Destination Wedding PlanningOnce you have decided upon a Costa Rica destination wedding, there are severalmore decisions that you need to make, like...
What Time of Year is best for a Costa Rica Destination Wedding?Unless you're from Seattle and love precipitation, you probably want to avoid getting married in the rainy season. On the Pacific coast the dry season generally lasts from December to April.
In Arenal, the dry season is April to November. On the Caribbean side the dry months are February, March, September and October - though there is always a chance of rain on this side of the country.
Wedding Planners and Resort Wedding PackagesThere are many weddingplanners or wedding planning companies in Costa Rica that can helpyou with organizing your Costa Rica destination wedding. Alternatively, manylarger resorts like the Four Seasons or Allegro Papagayo have staffable to help make arrangements and they obviously can provide the venue. Both of these options are a better idea than trying to pull everything together yourself. I speak pretty decent Spanish but I still wouldn't plan a wedding without local help.
By hiring a wedding planner you are saving yourself a great deal oftime by not having to hunt down photographers, a lawyer to draw updocuments, music, flowers, someone to conduct the ceremony, etc.Many of the wedding planners offer packages ranging from $500-1000for a basic ceremony and documents, up to $2000-4000 for packagesincluding photography, videography, flowers, massages, a sailingcruise and more.
Packages at all inclusive resorts range about the same, from$1000-4000 for around 16-20 guests. The Allegro Papagayo has a basic wedding package for $1050 and a premium package for $1650, both are good for up to 16 guests - and the basic package is free with fifteen standard rooms for seven nights. There's even a vow renewal package for $1050. Other hotels offer quotes to use for planning your wedding.
Prices obviously range according to the quality of the resort, with the Four Seasons, Los Suenos Marriott and other five star resorts costing a few thousand more for similar services. Another benefit is that resort weddings are already staffed for catering.
First though, you need to decide what type of wedding you want tohave. Do you envision an isolated beachwith just those few people closest to you and your fiance? Or, doyou see a wild party with flowing drinks and everyone you have evermet?
The next question is: what type of scenery do you have in mind? Areyou a beachperson? Do you long to say your vows just as the sun is sinkinginto a suddenly iridescent Pacific Ocean? In this case the NicoyaPeninsula is your best bet. Or, perhaps you long to begin your newlife just as the sun rises gloriously from the Caribbean? PuertoViejo suits this dream, though luxurious accommodations will be inshorter supply here.
Costa Rica destination weddings can take place in a number of locales, including the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, in the midst of the rainforest, upon a mountain wreathed in clouds, in a colonial church (there's a pretty one in La Fortuna) or, slightly more riskily, from the top of an active volcano.
Another great option is to have your wedding on one of the many catamarans that are for hire on the Pacific coast. These can be booked independently or throughresorts that often have partner companies offering sailboat cruises. In Playas del Coco I worked on a giant, double-decker power catamaran that could accommodate 80 people. Let me tell you, sunrise and sunset from a sailboat is nothing short of spectacular.
Getting to Your Costa Rica Destination WeddingAirfare to Costa Rica is cheapest if you plan ahead. Buy tickets at the very least six weeks prior to your departure date, preferably two months or more. Flights are more expensive during the dry season so this makes buying early important for getting a good rate. Flights during the green or rainy season are generally cheaper, and there are actually parts of the country that are dry during this time: namely Arenal from April to September and the Caribbean in September and October. In sum, plan well ahead of time.
Unless, of course, you are eloping. ;-).
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