Destination Wedding in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Gloriana and Carlos are both originally from Costa Rica but now live in the US. So when the duo got engaged, it seemed fitting for them to return home for a destination wedding in Guanacaste at the Hacienda Pinilla. Wedding Planners at Four Nineteen Weddings were enlisted to help with the big day and Barbara shared with us her experience working with the lovely family. “They wanted a destination wedding within their destination wedding, so that even their local guests (her parents and family still live in Costa Rica) could make a vacation out of the wedding weekend. They also wanted to get married in the Church, so the beautiful chapel at Hacienda Pinilla made perfect sense. They rented Villa Tranquila for the week and it turned out to be, with its lovely poolside garden, the perfect spot for their wedding reception. So in one place they were able to find what they wanted: a lovely chapel, a house with a nice flat garden and the beach.” 

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“Gloriana is a graphic designer, and she designed the entire invitation suite, which ended up being fabulous inspiration for the wedding day design. Gloriana added some bright colors (turquoise being the predominant one) to the invitation suite, and some traditional Costa Rican oxcart inspired details that were added to all the paper goods.”

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“As with most outdoor weddings, a big consideration is the weather. In Costa Rica particularly, with the “official” rainy season being between May and November, and weather being very unpredictable, the rule of thumb is always to “expect the best but plan for the worst”. We fully prepared for rain by renting a tent, and luckily, there was no rain… but it was quite windy so we had to improvise ways for the linens to stay put, while doing the setup. The wind eventually died down for the reception, so all was good!”

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“We also had a minor setback with the Priest being late for the ceremony (yikes!!!). Instead of making the couple wait for him to arrive (he was about an hour late), the photographer took them for their photo session (they had done a first look before, so they had already seen each other, which was a great thing) while the Priest arrived.  As soon as he got in, Carlos and Gloriana arrived and the ceremony began (and they were able to get some lovely sunset photos).”

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“They originally thought of going with a classic table setup (all white linens, chiavari chairs, etc), but later on decided to give the table a more rustic feel by adding bamboo chairs and rattan charger plates. One of the cutest details were the ceramic bird whistles which double up as seating cards and favors. Gloriana wanted to add an extra pop of color with something very local, and this was how we managed to do it!”

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“As the guests came in from the ceremony into the reception space, they were greeted with cute mii coconuts with coconut water to quench their thirst (it was a pretty hot day!)”

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“The menu they picked had a lot of local flavor, mixed with more international flair (they didn’t want it to be too typical Costa Rican, since a lot of Costa Rican guests were attending and they wanted the menu to be special and different for everyone). The icing-free chocolate wedding cake was a point of conversation, as it is not something people too often see in Costa Rica. It looked fantastic and tasted even better.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Ale Sura

Wedding Vendors: Wedding coordinator: Barbara at Four Nineteen Weddings, Flowers: Artflower, Catering: Catering Costa, Cake: Victoria Zoch, Rentals: Oceano Rentals and Eventos Boadicea, Ceremony Music: Entre Cuerdas, Reception Music: Cara Luna, Ceremony Venue: Chapel at Hacienda Pinilla, Reception Venue: Villa Tranquila at Hacienda Pinilla

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Destination Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

You’ll likely want a personal, handwritten memory of each of your guests who traveled near and far to be at your big day.  But gone are the days of a traditional guestbook, now the options are endless as to what they will sign!  If you’re hosting a destination wedding, why not theme it accordingly?  Ask your guests to sign postcards that you send back to yourselves to read when you get home!  Or create a statement piece in the home of a globe autographed by all your loved ones.  Shells can be sign in pages, maps make great options, even wooden cutouts of the place you plan to go.  Take your guestbook inspiration from around the world or the spot on which you wed!

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{Photos: Globe: Lauren McConnell via SMP, Postcards: Heather Roth via Ruffled, CA: Brooke Merrill via Wedding Chicks, Chalkboard: Facing the Lens, Map: Etsy, Travel Idea Book: Dot and Bo, Shells: WeddingWire, Bucket List: Pinterest}

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Beautiful Beach Wedding in Turks & Caicos

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Did you catch Elaine and Graham’s rehearsal dinner on the blog yesterday? Check it out here if you missed it! This happy couple landed in Turks & Caicos for their destination wedding weekend with loved ones and at the helm of the production was one of our favorite destination wedding planners, Ali Phillips of Engaging Events by Ali.

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Welcome bags, paper details, a wedding monogram and more – no details were left undone at this big day!

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We asked Ali to tell us a bit about all the festivities on island and here’s what she had to say!  “One hundred family and friends enjoyed a gorgeous (and windy) sunny day at the pool at Seven Stars Grace Bay Hotel and met Elaine and Graham on the beach at 5:30pm as they said their vows on the white sand of Turks and Caicos on Grace Bay beach at the Seven Stars Grace Bay Hotel. It was a gorgeous backdrop for a very special ceremony that the couple helped write with their officiant.”

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The on-the-sand ceremony had such a breathtaking backdrop it didn’t need much, but the pops of color made the otherwise all white decor scream with celebration!

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“Guests were invited to enjoy appetizers after they washed off the sand on their toes at the shoe station, donned their heels and made their way to the 7th floor Penthouse Suite to enjoy a gorgeous view of Grace Bay Beach and the magical sunset.”

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“The cocktail hour featured a fun photo montage of the couple and a toast by the father of the bride, who then invited everyone to dinner.”

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“Guests made their way to the sun deck for a seated dinner on the West Deck. Candlelight, colorful flowers and crisp white linens greeted the guests as they took their seats for dinner.”

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“The DJ took over after dinner and kept everyone entertained with general dancing until 11pm. But the party continued once the music stopped at 11pm with a bonfire on the beach, a cigar roller for all and completed with S’mores stations for guests to enjoy.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Brilliant Studios, Andrew Mann

Wedding Vendors:  Planning and Design: Engaging Events by Ali, Ali Phillips, Location: Seven Stars Grace Bay Hotel, Wedding Invitations and Paperwork/Logos for welcome bag: Clementine Ink, Music for Ceremony: Kelci Talbot, Keyboards, DJ: Cliff Sampath, Flowers: Environmental Arts

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Beach Rehearsal Dinner in Turks & Caicos

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Today is day one of our two part story of the darling destination wedding of Elaine and Graham to Turks and Caicos where they kicked off the weekend with a beachside rehearsal dinner for all their excited guests. We chatted with their destination wedding planner, Ali Phillips from Engaging Events by Ali to get the scoop on all the details.

Elaine and Graham expressed to me that they wanted to have a fun experience for their guests on the beach for their welcome dinner. They also wanted guests to experience a different beach area than the hotel the guests were all staying at so I found this specific location on the beach.”

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“We worked with the local catering company, Kissing Fish, to create a fun buffet style menu. Then we added the tent to protect the guests from the sunshine and possible rain.”

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The decor complimented the setting perfectly with blues and white tones along with some starfish and nautical touches.

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“Guests enjoyed a beautiful sunset and Kelci Talbot performed on the steel drums and also brought his keyboard and sang. Guests set up an impromptu dance floor in the sand!”

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Stay tuned tomorrow where we share Elaine and Graham’s destination wedding in Turks and Caicos!

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Destination Wedding Photographer: Brilliant Studios, Andrew Mann

Wedding Vendors: Planning and Design: Engaging Events by Ali, Ali Phillips, Location: Bay Bistro Beach at Sibonne, Catering: Kissing Fish Catering, Music: Kelci Talbot – Steel drums and keyboards and singing

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Appy Couple Wedding Websites

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We just gotta love our friends over at Appy Couple because they’ve done it again – they’re giving away another great deal for our readers!  If you’re in the market for a stellar wedding website and app, then look no further than Appy Couple.  With literally over 400 designs to choose from, and tons of them destination wedding specific, you’ll find something that fits your theme, style, or color palette no problem!  Simply select your fave and at checkout enter BB25 and save!

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Select from a map inspired app and matching website to one that reflects the sea and all it’s beautiful creatures.  Then upload your wedding information, send the link out with your save the date and let guests find out all they need to know about you and your big day online!  Spare yourself the headaches of those constant questions, share your registry information and more with a destination wedding website by Appy Couple.  And don’t forget to enter PROMO CODE: BB25 at checkout and save on your purchase!  Happy Shopping!

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