A Playful Private Villa Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

Julie and Dom said I do to a destination wedding in tropical and beautiful Costa Rica. The pair searched until they found just the right spot and then enlisted the help of destination wedding planner and designer, Tropical Occasions, to help make their day magic. Julie shared with us why they selected the oh-so special location they did.

Dom and I wanted a place that felt like home, which for us meant a place that fit both of our families under one roof. Despite being thousands of miles from home, we wanted to imitate that feeling of closeness and intimacy — the feeling of being “home” — just better. :) For both of us and how we were raised, home is where our families are — no matter where we are in the world. Neither of us felt strong ties to a particular geography, as time and moving around mean that our loved ones would be coming from far and wide, either way.

So, we got to work searching for a beautiful villa in either Central America or the Caribbean, that could fit up to 20 people (Dom is one of 5 kids) AND host a wedding on site. Punto de Visa immediately popped up in our search. Costa Rica has always been one of my favorite places in the world, so I was beyond thrilled to have found Punto de Vista (Dom had never been, until we went in November 2015). It was love at first sight. We made the decision then and there.


For the wedding day, we were fortunate to have Karen and Aimee from Tropical Occasions. They truly made decision-making easy, and wedding day execution was like magic. It all just happened, and we were there to attend our own wedding as guests. It made us feel like royalty. 

 If it’s financially possible for couples, I cannot recommend Karen and Aimee enough. It’s much, much more than just a luxury. It allows you to really experience your wedding and live in the moment. It’s also a better experience for your guests, because you can be present and not worried about logistics (bc at the end of the day, logistics will come last and your guests will feel that). 

We asked Tropical Occasions owner, Aimee Monihan about the details that came to life on this big day.

As a designer I appreciate a couples vision, but it is rare when one comes in, so vibrant, and so ready to put design fully into our hands. Julia and Dom represent what fun collaboration is all about, high fashion, excitement, travel, while still being grounded by their everyday lives and happiness together. A colorful NY couple that is by no means cookie cutter, Julia and Dom based their wedding vision not off of individual must haves, but on an overall feeling they wanted to be present.

They left the details up to us, but gave a few words to describe the feeling of their day. “Tropical, yet modern, colorful, and elegant. Forward thinking, and most importantly FUN.” 

 So the end result was using a mix of vibrant green tropical leaves (Monster, Elephant Ear, Citrus Leaf, some Eucalyptus accents mixed with lots of vibrant tropical and classic floral like Mokara, Phalenopsis and Dendrobiums Orchids, Gingers, Bird of Paradise, Roses, Asiatic lilies, Gloriosa Lilies, Cala Lilies, Hypericum and Coffee Bean Berries.  

We made the ceremony just green and white, with the only pop of color being the bride’s bouquet. We wanted the emphasis to be on our incredible clients and also to leave a fun surprise element to follow.


Then the couple were off to the beach, a planned moment they won’t regret, Julie shared with us…

Dom and I were against going down to the beach for photos after the ceremony. We basically just both had FOMO. However, being swept away from everyone and having just a few minutes alone together was incredibly important. We realized it in the moment, too, not just in hindsight. We both kept saying “wow, I’m so glad we did this.” I think it helped that the downpour stopped at the perfect time and we were left with a stunning sunset. It’s hard to think of a better place to be than Manuel Antonio beach in that exact moment. 

The photos were picture-perfect, in part due to the bride’s amazing style.  Aimee from Topical Occasions filled us in on the vision:

Julie had a direct artistic vision in the designing of her two wedding dresses, and she chose an amazing NY talent to create them. Her ceremony gown was unbelievable, so modern while still never upstaging her individual beauty (not that her smile could ever be missed). She chose a top braid hairstyle, almost like a braided mohawk, which is the only style that could possibly reflect how cool she actually is. Her transition into night was done flawlessly with a fun two-piece concept, soft, playful, and the best possible option for dancing. With both bride and groom having Latin roots, their families made sure that their wedding had a Latin flair, one of the best moments being a surprise flamenco serenade from a close friend. 

For the reception we added color and different style designs for the tables to give depth. The main table was long down the center of the terrace and had a full tropical green garland with bright loose florals intertwined. Tons of small gold mercury votives, and tall tapered candles in glass vase vessels & gold bases for the main table to give it drama. On both sides of the table were round tables for the other guests. Half of the tables had super tall explosions of tropical leaf centerpieces with pops of fun colorful flowers and candles at their base. The rest of the round table had compote dishes with full lush green tropical leaves & bright florals. Lighting was enhanced with candles everywhere and bistro lights hung above the table to give it a more modernized and natural feel.

The bride’s favorite moments from the day? There were a lot, as you can imagine!

Walking upstairs to our reception and seeing the phenomenal work that Karen and Aimee did on making it LITERALLY MAGIC on that rooftop. I cried. It was the most beautiful wedding ever and no, I am not biased at all. It was insane. It gives me chills just thinking about it now.

There are too many favorite parts to count. It was a magical experience. Even just writing this is making me remember all of the emotions I felt. To be surrounded by so much love and so much beauty is an experience you’ll never, ever forget. 

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Ballard Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planning + Design: Tropical Occasions, Wedding Location: Villa Punto De Vista, Wedding Invites: Minted, Officiant: Brother in Law, Florals: Stylos Flores, Hair + Makeup: Costa Rica Hair and Makeup by Monica, Videography: Beau Video, Catering + Cake: Platano Verde, Rentals: Costa Mesa, Music: DJ Teddy Brown


Colorful Villa Wedding in Costa Rica

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Jill and Adam opted for a destination wedding high in the hills in a private villa in beautiful Costa Rica.  Jill shared with us the story of how a destination wedding ended up being just the right fit for them.

People often say that wedding planning was one of the most stressful times of their lives, I however do not feel that way. After we got engaged, Adam and I looked at venues locally, but nothing had the luxurious and romantic feel that I wanted to surround myself with on my wedding day. One night, Adam suggested a destination wedding, at first I scoffed at him, but I quickly got on board as it is so “us”. So instead of having a big, boring cookie cutter wedding, we turned it into a trip of a lifetime not only for us, but also for our family and friends.

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I had always wanted to go to Costa Rica, the culture, activities and overall vibe of the country seemed like it would be the perfect match for Adam’s and I adventurous side. Some quick Googleing led me to Villa Punto de Vista. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this house and the staff. The owner David, is attentive and has built a magical place that I will always remember.

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Once we booked the venue everything else fell into place. Some more Googleing led to me the most incredible wedding planner Tropical Occasions. Together Aimee and Karen make the perfect team. Karen’s no nonsense approach makes planning easy, she is the person you want to have by your side on the big day because you will not have to worry about anything.  She has every detail covered and is always three steps ahead of you. She is responsive, kind and truly one of the best in the business. Aimee is creative and brilliant and has this way of taking what you imagine in your head and making it come out even better. She instantly understood what I wanted and was able to make it happen and stay on budget! My wedding was truly more than I could have ever expected, every detail was perfect.

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Once the couple enlisted the expert guidance, planning and design from Costa Rica’s longest running destination wedding planners, Tropical Occasions, owner Aimee Monihan began the design process.

Jill was so amazing to work with. When we initially spoke about the look of her wedding she used words like “happy, natural, fun & colorful. She also made it clear she wanted it to feel like a wedding taking place where it was taking place. Costa Rica, in the jungle at a gorgeous Ultra Modern Luxury estate.  So as the designer for my company I was smiling ear to ear. First I was just happy to not have to design another rose gold and blush wedding and I had been wanting to do something just like she described at this house.  So we dove into a color palette of the colors of the Costa Rican sunset. Vibrant and deep Fuchsia, Orange, Yellow and red’s.


We introduced elements like beautiful exposed Costa Rican grown teak wood tables. Matched with Modern Ghost Chairs with a bright colorful tangerine orange cushions (Design tip! – you need these in tropics cause you will literally stick and sweat like crazy in a ghost chair). We found a fun yet modern runner to match the seat cushions and blend beautifully with the colors of the floral.

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The altar was natural and kept it classic with covering the already existing structure and we had a great leaf garland to again bring in all the green jungle surrounding the setting.  We love to re use as much as we can with our designs from ceremony into the reception- BIG DESIGN TIP- re use, re purpose your floral from ceremony in your tables. We do this all the time, allows our clients to save $, us to feel better about being sustainable in our designs and above all your look is automatically cohesive!

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The flowers were by far my favorite part to plan and Jill let me have carte blanche as far as what they would look like. I used lots of fun textures, deep to bright colors and fun details here and there. The mix included Floral in the sunset palate using Mokara, phalenopsis and dendrobium orchids, Roses, Coxcomb, Orange and yellow Gloriosa’s,  sweet pea, Snap dragons, Tulips & Lisanthus. We also added in texture with Succulents, Artichokes, air plants and a mix if green leaves from Tropical, to coffee, to citrus, to echo a bit of the foliage growing all around the setting in Costa Rica. Flowers were put into different sized Teak wood boxes to compliment the tables. We as well with all our events feel that like the Bachelor there is no such thing as too many candles… so we added lots of candles from votives, to floating and as well LED flickering in glass hurricanes. Design tip #2 for the tropics.  Use as much LED as you can. Every says they want open flame… but when you use an abundance of candles and its already 80 degrees… its like a campfire next to you in a already hot climate!)

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The design in the end was a complete reflection of our clients. I did not realize that when Jill described her perfect wedding the words she used were a reflection of who she and her husband are. FUN, Beautiful, Natural, Happy and colorful to their beautiful shining souls. Planning and designing this event for them was our great honor. They were the types of clients that remind us that we are so blessed to do what we do and meet and help great people like them!!


From the bride: For anyone who is thinking of a destination wedding, do it, it will be so much more than you ever expected. Thank you Aimee, Karen, Natalie, Madi, David, and all of the others who helped make this the most beautiful wedding, I cannot thank you enough.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Madison Baltodano Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Villa Punto de Vista, Manuel Antonio, CR, Wedding Planner: Tropical Occasions, Event Designer: Aimee Monihan, Tropical Occasions, Wedding Coordinator: Karen Ogden, Tropical Occasions, Hair/Makeup: Jasmine Rodriguez, Florist: Stylos y Flores, Caterer: Citrus, Officiant: Marcelo Galli, DJ: DJ Doug Gomez, Dress: Allure Couture C261, Sposabella Bridal, Feasterville, PA, Veil: ABusyMother/Etsy, Bride’s Shoes:  Shoes of Prey, Garters: Millieicaro, Groom’s Suit:  Tommy Hilfiger, Macy’s, Grooms Men Ties: The Tie Bar, Groom’s Cufflinks: BackZeroDesign/Etsy, Groom’s Men Attire: Tommy Hilfiger, Macy’s, Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Nordstrom, Bride’s Rings: Ritani, Groom’s Ring: Handmade by bride, Ring Bearer Box: LittleWeeShop/Etsy, Bridal Party Robes: Silkandmore/Etsy, Chair Back Sings: ZCreateDesigns/Etsy, Table Runners: Carousel Designs, Invites: Winsome Blooms, Wedding Paper Divas, Wedding Welcome Bags: White Apple Threads/Etsy, Costa Rica Map Guest Sign: Embie Designs/Etsy, Cake Topper: Better Off Wed/Etsy, Bridal Dress Hanger: WhiskeynWeddingBells/Etsy, Mr & Mrs. Champagne Flutes: SweetWaterWorkshop/Etsy


A Beautifully Tropical Beach Wedding in Costa Rica


Amanda and Jermaine traveled from New York to Costa Rica for better weather and their tropical destination wedding on the beach. Before embarking on such a special trip, the couple enlisted the help of the team of wedding planners and designers at Tropical Occasions, and the founder, Aimee Monihan, shared their story with us.

They have been together for a long time and have the most beautiful child together. Life got so busy that they had never taken the time to celebrate their union, their family and above all a wedding.

The bride’s mom, Cherie, helped push them to have a gorgeous destination wedding. She knew the idea of a great family vacation with a wedding mixed in was the solution to get these dedicated parents to finally celebrate them and their love. 


Cherie emphasized that it was a celebration of love but above all FAMILY!  The bride wanted a bohemian vibe, a great place to bond as families and have a vacation and wedding venue that was both chic and gorgeous for photos and all guests to enjoy. 

So we suggested a spot that I had spent time with family and had planned and produced numerous events- the beautiful Casa Capitan in Santa Teresa Costa Rica on the Nicoya peninsula. 

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For her bouquet, the bride wanted to look as if she had walked through jungle and created an organic loose natural bouquet, so we chose as many varieties of flowers and local foliage to create a very large and loose looking bouquet for her to carry.

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The night was celebrated with a very heartfelt ceremony, not a dry eye in the crowd, followed by a stunning sunset and the long awaited celebration of the people who have been the cheerleaders to Amanda and Jermain over the years. 


The entire design was fun and vibrant, yet keeping costs at a minimal and not over doing it with floral. Large tropical leaves gave drama but cost next to nothing and simple red roses acted as an accent.  

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Cherie (MOB) wanted tropical and the bride, Amanda, wanted natural and organic with a bohemian twist. So I created a marriage between the two and a fun vibrant color palate was chosen. Both ladies chose a bright tropical textile to use as a table runner and I used this with simple floral and large Monstera to create a tropical elegant feel to table. 


Both the bride and her mom emphasized kids feeling important as a big detail to the day so we created a tee pee lounge just for them!

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A delicious gourmet dinner was prepared by the country’s top chef Torsten Radke of Ono Cuisine, followed by lots of dancing and very happy people celebrating love and family. 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Harter

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Coordination: Aimee Monihan & Karen Ogden of Tropical Occasions, Wedding Design: Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions, Flowers: Cristal Floral en Tamarindo, Rentals: Costa Mesa, Ceremony Music: Los Dos Geneau’s GUITAR Duo, Lodging for Guests: Casa Capitan, Wedding Cake: Joy of Savory Cakes, Catering: Chef Torsten of ONO CUISINE, Tee Pee: Pottery Barn



Costa Rica Beach Wedding with the Bride in Blush!


Heather and Justin traveled from Texas to Costa Rica for their destination wedding, in part, because of their love of travel. Heather shared with us all their big day details and how it came to be! “We chose to have a destination wedding in Costa Rica because we both love to travel, and I had an amazing time on a previous visit to the country.  I couldn’t wait to go back, Justin had never been, and I was very excited for him and our families to see it.  We are both animal lovers, and we were excited to visit the rainforest.” 


“We didn’t want just a beach wedding, we wanted a rainforest wedding.  The venue we chose allowed us to have both!  Also, we had guests coming from both coasts of the US, and Costa Rica, being fairy central, seemed feasible for everyone.  I found Tropical Occasions online, and Aimee helped us to narrow down potential venues.  She highly recommended Casa Punto de Vista in Manuel Antonio, and I am so happy I took her advice.  It was the absolutely perfect location for our wedding.  It is truly beautiful with the most incredible panoramic view of the forest and the ocean from the rooftop where we were married.”

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“I didn’t set out in the beginning to get a blush dress.  I tried on many white ones, but none seemed to stand out.  The blush worked so well with my skin tone and hair color, and it felt romantic.  It just seemed right when I tried it on, and the uniqueness of the color appealed to me.  I just loved it.” 

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“The inspiration for the wedding colors came from my wedding dress.  Once I decided on a blush dress, I chose the bridesmaid dress color scheme to match.  I gave the girls guidelines of earthy neutrals, silver, gold, champagne, taupe, etc.  I asked for short dresses, but otherwise allowed the girls to pick whatever they wanted in any material.  We tried not to have too many light dresses and mixed in the tan and taupe to give the color palate some depth.  The auburn dress was a later addition, but I thought it tied in the blush of my dress with the other neutrals and brightened the color scheme so that it didn’t look washed out.  Also, it fit great with the autumn September wedding.  The groom had his navy suit custom made and we spent hours looking for a tie that matched my dress.  Finally found it on Etsy!”

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“All of my “DIY” items were all bought on Etsy, which was a such an amazing resource.  We found the groom’s tie, ring bearer boxes, wedding guestbook, welcome gift bags, and bridesmaid thank you gifts on Etsy.”

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“I only gave myself 5 months to plan my wedding, and it was down to the wire on basically everything I did!  I had this idea that if I chose a destination wedding, that it would be “less work” than a local wedding because I thought decisions would be made for me.  But this wasn’t the case at all.  Perhaps if you choose a destination wedding at an inclusive resort and hold the ceremony and reception inside that resort, there could be less to do (maybe).  But we chose a private villa, so all details were flexible and required many decisions!  In the end, though, I would not have had it any other way.  The wedding came together beautifully, and all of my guests had an amazing experience.  It was perfect.”  


“My advice for other couples planning on a destination wedding would be to start by finding a planner with local connections and lots of experience in the region.  I wasted time researching venues first for a couple of weeks before I found a planner.  In the end, the planner identified the best venue for me based on my priorities (my list of items included: venue with a roof because our wedding was right in the middle of green season aka rainy season, proximity to a rainforest national park, relative accessibility from the airport for my guests, and venue seating capacity).  I would never have found my venue without their help.  I could not have planned my wedding at all without their help.” 


“I loved working with Aimee.  She clearly has a ton of experience in Costa Rica, and all of her advice was invaluable.  Every recommendation she made regarding vendors, venue, and design was fantastic.  All of the people she works with and recommends in Costa Rica were excellent.  She helped me to find my photographer, Jen Harter, who did an amazing job.  My hair and makeup artist, Fernando, was exceptional.  Her local planner, Karen, who handled all of the local details was such a pleasure to work with.  I could not have done it without Tropical Occasions!”


Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Jennifer Harter

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Casa Punto de Vista, Planners + Designers: Tropical Occasions, Rentals: Costa Mesa, Floral: Stylos & Flores, Hair + Makeup: Hair and makeup by Fernando, Dessert Bar: Mariposa Bakery, Catering: Citrus Restaurant


Pretty Pastel Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

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Jenna and Brian wed in Guanacaste, Costa Rica at a destination wedding at The Westin at Reserva Conchal and Reserva Conchal Beach Club. The couple’s wedding planner, Barbara Broutin, of Four Nineteen Weddings, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the beautiful big day on the beach!

“Jenna & Brian wanted to find a more upscale all-inclusive resort with a beautiful beach that had a lovely event venue… By far, this particular location fit their requests… they wanted their guests to be able to enjoy a lovely Costa Rican vacation, and have lots of fun as a group (and they did, all their 140 guests stayed at the resort!)”

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“We were looking at two properties that offered what the clients were looking for (a more upscale all inclusive offering within 1 hour of an international airport)… ultimately, the Westin at Reserva Conchal had a nicer beach and the whole hotel was more in line with what they were looking for in terms of service and lodging, and the actual venue fit right with the classic yet beachy feel they had in mind!!!”

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“After a week of lovely weather, on the day of their wedding, grey clouds loomed in the sky. We had to make a rain call decision, and our recommendation was to move the ceremony to our back up location under a tent… However, it was Brian and Jenna’s dream to say I do with their feet on the sand… and the chose to risk it and have a fully outdoor beach ceremony. Then as soon as Brian was up on the altar… rain started falling. Normally, when this happens, everyone runs for cover… but not this group (thankfully Jenna and her bridesmaids were all in cars, under cover)! Brian stood at the altar and the guests grabbed the chair cushions and used them as cover from the rain, and happily waited out the 5 minute rain shower…. after that, we were able to start the ceremony. However, the musicians had to run for cover, so all the guests hummed the Bridal March when Jenna walked down the aisle, to the laughter and eight of everyone.”

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Jenna and Brian wanted a wedding that had the relaxed laid back feel usually associated with destination weddings at tropical locations but with an added classic elegance that calls to more traditional weddings. The venue they picked was perfect for this, as it is a lovely beachfront locale, that has a bit of classic tropical feel. The couple had a very good idea of how they wanted their wedding to be: light, airy florals with a romantic feel, lots of white, feet-on-the-sand ceremony… We opted to go with a very light palette of whites with just a hint of soft peach, lots of vintage glass vases, and candles… I particularly loved the escort card display that incorporated photos of the bride and groom’s parents and grandparents on their wedding days… But my absolute favorite thing was how fun and what a fabulous attitude the entire wedding party and guests had!”

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“Jenna showed us some photos of weddings she had liked, and the main thing we saw in them was the light romantic feel that was classic and a little vintage without being over the top. Based on that, we styled the whole event with that same feel.”

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“We custom made favors for the guests that had some yummy passion fruit and coffee chocolates made in Costa Rica, and added live musicians that could play anything from classic music to local latin hits, to add a bit of latin music to the mix.”

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To see more from this beautiful big day, be sure to check out their wedding video by Jonathan Yonkers.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Sylvia Guardia

Wedding Vendors: Videography: Jonathan Yonkers, Flowers: Floral Artflower, Wedding Venue: The Westin at Reserva Conchal, Ceremony + Cocktail Music: Ricardo Fonseca, Rentals: Costa Mesa Event Rentals, Cake + Desserts: Victoria Zoch, Celebrant: Marcelo Galli, Planning + Design: Barbara Broutin at Four Nineteen Weddings, Makeup: Tricia from Maravilla Makeup, Hair: Vicoria Alfaro