When thinking of Destination Weddings, Costa Rican pink sunsets come right to mind, but when I think about Costa Rica all the little houses in the city and the familiar sounds of the neighbors come to mind as well.
All this is Costa Rica, full of warmth in the space and in the people. If you haven’t been, you should start planning it, Costa Rica is a little country in the heart of Central America, right between Panama and Nicaragua, with access to both beautiful oceans, and a lot of beaches. It is really my home town and that’s probably why I love it so much!
Imagine saying “I do” with the breathtaking backdrop of lush nature and sunshine! This guide will be a great place to start when planning your destination wedding and daydreaming about it! Finding Costa Rica wedding packages that make your planning easy is definitely the smartest way to start making it real.
Wether you are leaning towards the spectacular beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, or the amazing waterfalls and volcano views around the country, Costa Rica’s landscapes are unmatchable. Costa rica has the most vibrant ecosystems and diverse landscapes in the world! Your love story day will be full of natural beauty and adventure!
Rated as one the best Best Destination for a Sustainable Wedding, is truly one of the best wedding destinations.
There are two ways to go about getting married in Costa Rica! You can have a legal or a symbolic ceremony.
In order to get legally married in Costa Rica you will need a local public notary or lawyer to officiate the civil ceremony, is important you must find a celebrant with legal authority to marry couples. You will also need two witnesses that aren’t family and passport for identification of foreign citizens. The passports have to be valid for six months.
Your notary will you send a request basic information, personal names and occupations, as well as names of the parents. Copies of your birth certificate and passport will need to be provided as well.
You can find an officiant of your choosing, but you will also need to have a lawyer or judge, you can find an officiant yourself, or find a public notary online that does destination weddings. You can also relay on your wedding venue or planner as they will most likely have vendor information available for you as well.
You will need to sign a sworn statement after or at your ceremony.
The Costa Rica Civil Registry will issue your marriage certificate, which your notary/lawyer will have translated by an official translator and then sent to your closest consulate or embassy to be authenticated.
Wedding photography in Costa Rica is an art of its own, as you have to know how to blend the beautiful landscapes with the intimate moments of your special day!
Costa Rican photographers are skilled in capturing the authenticity of your love and the beauty surroundings we have grown up to! Moreover, the laid-back and friendly nature of Costa Ricans extends to us photographers. We understand that your wedding day is not just an event; it’s a chapter in your unique love story! With a mix of professionalism and warmth, we make sure every emotion, every smile, and every detail is beautifully preserved for you to relive for years to come.
In the world of destination weddings, Costa Rica stands out as a photographer’s paradise!
If you are planning a beach destination wedding in Guanacaste, your best bet will be the Guancaste airport in Liberia as it is very close to the best beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Most people fly into the Liberia Airport and go directly to their beach destination right from the airport.
If you are planning for a wedding in la Fortuna the Liberia airport is also a great one. For Puntarenas it depends which part of Puntarenas you will be staying and celebrating. For the Caribbean side I would recommend the SJO airport.
When flying into SJO airport you will be in the middle of the Central Vallery in the middle of both coasts, this is also the most populated area of the country which in turn, has the most traffic.
Costa Rica is a land of incredibly diversity and different ecosystems, and each region offers a unique charm! I will try to go over the various locations that could be the perfect setting for your love story! There are a myriad of venues, whether you envision a beachfront ceremony, a lush background in the heart of a rainforest, or an intimate ceremony in a volcano view resort, Costa Rica has it all.
Tamarindo is a town located on the Pacific Coast in the Guanacaste Province known for it’s great golden beachs and lively atmostphere. This picturesque and vibrant town is filled with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and unique places to stay. The beaches are known for surfing and marine diversity! Tamarindo is a very walkable and explorable town so you can enjoy nature, adventure and relaxation. There are many wedding villas in this area including Villa El Chante and popular venues like the Pangas Beach Club .
Fun fact: Tamarindo is the fruit from a tree and you can ask for Tamarindo juice in many local restaurants.
The Papagayo Peninsula is a captivating destination located in the northwest corner of Guanacaste on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. It is known for its pristine beaches and luxurious resorts, world class golf courses and azure waters a perfect haven for those seeking upscale tranquility. This part of Guancaste is only a one-hour drive from the airport. Andaz Papagayo in the Culebra Bay and the Four Seasons offer the best experience for weddings .
Playas del Coco or Coco Beach, is a well established and vibrant community just 30 minutes from the Liberia airport. Known for its lively atmosphere, this town offers a great beaches, restaurants and markets, shops and a great nightlife, Coco Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Coco Beach promises a multifaceted experience where the natural beauty of Costa Rica meets the effervescent spirit of Pura Vida. 3 Km from Coco Beach is the beautiful destination wedding Playa Ocotal. In Coco Beach, there are many beautiful Villas perfect for more intimate weddings and the most popular venue is the Pacifico Beach Club wedding venue.
Manuel Antonio area in Quepos is located on the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas. It’s a popular town known for the main nature park, Manuel Antonio National Park, which is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica with its beautiful rich blue water and white sand beaches. This town is full of restaurants, clubs and hotels. From beachfront ceremonies to sunset overlooks, Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most picturesque locales. In the area of the park you will find a wide range of options for destination weddings, from Villas to stunning beachfront locations such as Costa Verde and Villa Punto de Vista with different location for your ceremony.
Jaco beach is a vibrant town offers a laid-back atmosphere and a busy beach vibe . It’s a popular town among locals since it is very close to the capital city of San Jose and it’s one of the great nightlife spots in the area. Playa Hermosa and Playa Herradura are also beautiful and popular places that follow the same bohemian flair.
The Arenal Volcano is located in La Fortuna in the province of Alajuela. The town is located in the Northern Highlands of Costa Rica, about 2.5 from Liberia’s international airport (LIR) and SJO airport. The area is truly a majestic backdrop for destination weddings, as it has the most stunning volcano views, the popular elopement destination of La Fortunate Waterfall as well as many destination wedding venues in the area. This captivating town is truly the greenest town you can find with one of the most perfect weathers in the country, it is ideal for couples seeking a blend of adventure and tranquility in the most picturesque landscapes
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your wedding day. It is important to know that Costa Rica has two seasons: Dry and Rainy season. The Dry season is also called “Summer”. Rainy season is from May to mid-November , Summer is from December to April.
The only exception is the Caribbean coast, which has a different weather and we like to think is always opposite ! On the Caribbean coast, it rains throughout the year more – the Pacific coast is drier.
The best months to have a wedding in Costa Rica are January, February, March, April, and late November through early December. These months have less rain, clearer skies, and warmer water.
November is a good month because there are fewer weddings and more wedding vendors available.
The months between dry and rainy seasons, post Easter through June and November to mid-December, are also beautiful and have lower prices.
Given this weather and the influx of tourism is also important to know of the “high season” and “low season” patterns.
The high season in Costa Rica is mid-December through April and July through August. The low season is May to June and September to mid-November.
Peak season: The weeks around Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.
Destination weddings in Costa Rica will definitely be lower in cost than in the US, however, Costa Rica high season is short and one of the most sought after destinations according to the Knot.
The cost of having a destination wedding in Costa Rica will vary on the couple choices and wedding plans.
On average, couples may spend anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more for a destination wedding in Costa Rica. This estimate includes main expenses such as venue rental, catering, photography, decorations, entertainment, and other services. Keep in mind that wedding costs can significantly fluctuate based on a couple’s preferences and choices, as well as the number of guests.
Working with a local wedding planner can help you manage costs effectively. I would recommend to hire a local wedding planner who will not only help you with the event and the vendors, it will help you stay within your budget and figure out all the destination management you need to do.
In average, destination weddings in Costa Rica have from 25 to 50 guests and they have a 4-6 night stay.
Navigate the paradise of Costa Rica with the help of a comprehensive map, ensuring that your wedding journey is as smooth as possible.
“Pura Vida” means pure life and is the most recognized phrase in this country! It reflects our way to be and our way to live. We say hello a lot by saying “Pura Vida”! .
Consider making Laura Alpizar Photography a part of your Costa Rica wedding adventure. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, Laura is dedicated to crafting an exquisite visual narrative of your special day.
Laura started her wedding photography career in Costa Rica as one of the most creative wedding photographers in Costa Rica
Please contact me for availability and more info!
My Costa Rica wedding package is simple and based on full day coverage of 8 hours. There aren't additional travel expenses for the high season, from January through mid April.
All of the photos reflect the love.
Laura went above and beyond to capture our wedding day. We had a few special requests, like some photos with our dog and photos of each table, and she took these in stride. We wanted the focus of the photography to be on our families, since we are rarely in one place at one time, and I feel like she succeeded in this 100% - all of the photos reflect the love and importance of family togetherness.
GINNY & CODy
IMPRESSED BY HER CREATIVITY AND STORYTELLING
Laura was great and was truly invested in our whole story. We were so happy with our photos. they really captured us. We were continually impressed by her creativity and visual storytelling, her plans, and her preparedness.
jacqueline + anthony
Laura was so wonderful as the photographer for our wedding. She made us both feel so comfortable and made everything feel as natural as possible. Laura is super creative and fun to be around. She made my wedding day better and hiring her was the best decision I made for my wedding day - besides saying I do to my groom!