A Beautifully Tropical Beach Wedding in Costa Rica

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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

 

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Costa Rica Beach Wedding with the Bride in Blush!

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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.” 

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“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.”  

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“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.” 

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“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!”

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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

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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

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Belize Destination Wedding Location: Belcampo Lodge

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Belcampo Lodge in Belize is Central America’s perfect place to touch down for your destination wedding, especially if you love a little adventure in the great outdoors! The luxury lodge is perfectly sized for a buyout (16 suites) and promises to take care of you and the environment too! With a 3,000 acre organic farm on site, Belcampo is doing more than its part to protect the environment and create an authentic experience for you and your guests to enjoy it too! The property plants thousands of trees each year to support the local wildlife, they make their own furniture on site from sustainably harvested wood, serve up fresh seafood caught locally by fishermen, while 70% of the delicious food you’ll taste comes from their very own farm. Talk about a true farm to table experience! We chatted with the experts at Belcampo to give you a look into what a wedding in Belize (or honeymoon) would be like. Don’t miss these amazing tips!

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JF: What does Belize have to offer destination wedding groups that is so special?

BL: Belize is a small but diverse country with beautiful beaches and pristine jungle scenery. It offers the potential bride and groom the opportunity to have a wedding that is both unique as well as memorable in whichever environment they choose. The hospitality at Belcampo Lodge is second to none with friendly and genuine staff that aim to please but at the same time want to share their culture with those they serve.

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JF: What makes Belcampo Belize so perfect for weddings (or honeymoons too!)?

BL: Belcampo is on of the most unique lodges in Central America. Our farm to table food concept, location, and attention to detail make it a Southern Belize destination that offers a bride and groom the ideal location for their wedding or a romantic honeymoon. The lodge itself offers 3 different accommodation options that cater for those looking for both privacy, exclusivity and enjoying the jungle environment.

The 16 suites and 3 bedroom villa provide an opportunity for a buyout of the property, catering for up to 40 guests that will allow the couple a custom tailored wedding using all the different areas to create their guests experiences – cocktails at sunset at the Ridge palapa , a wedding ceremony on the farm under the Sabre Tree, organic food, wine , champagne, activities and spa treatments, Belcampo has it all to offer.

For a honeymoon couple, Belcampo is the perfect destination to both relax in privacy as well as get out and about and explore the area. Mayan ruins, caves, the Caribbean sea and our on-site coffee & chocolate classes, the newly-wed couple is able to spend their honeymoon with us and truly experience every aspect of Belize, all from one luxury lodge.

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JF: Belcampo is known for its organic fare, tell us what couples can expect from the food and beverage?

BL: Belcampo’s chef, Renee, believes in offering guests the best our farm and the nearby Caribbean sea has to offer. For weddings, she likes to design her menu’s with the bride and groom in mind and what sort of food experience they wish their guests to have. Gourmet tacos, Belizean family fare, lobster and midnight feasts, food is really the center of what Belcampo is all about.  Guests staying at Belcampo Lodge will be treated to organic, sustainably farmed and harvested, gourmet meals, which is creative and inspiring and made with passion by Renee and her team.

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JF: For the adventurer couple or guest, what do you suggest?

BL: Those couples looking for adventure will find that Belcampo Lodge offers the best the land and sea activities.  Cave swimming, Zip Lining, our exclusive Snorkel with the Chef, Scuba Diving, Horse Riding, Hiking Trails, River Kayaking and jumping off of the Rio Blanco Waterfalls, all these experiences are offered by the lodge. Led by our team of expert and award winning tour guides, guests will be able to  swim, explore, experience and enjoy Belize in unique ways, making memories to last a lifetime. We are the ideal destination for couples looking for an adventure destination from the comfort of an eco-chic, luxurious compound, made up of our lodge, restaurant, rum bar, agritourism center, farm, and vast property and hiking trails.

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JF: What’s a “not miss” activity for every couple who comes to Belize?

BL: The “Not Miss” activity at Belcampo has to be Snorkel with the Chef.

JF: Best time to travel?

BL: The best time to travel to Belize is February to April.

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Thanks so much Belcampo for sharing your insights into an “I do” in Belize!

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Playa Langosta, Costa Rica Beach Destination Wedding

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Sarah and Ben traveled from Louisville, KY all the way to Playa Langosta, Costa Rica with 55 of their closest friends and family for a brightly colored and cheerful destination wedding just oozing with charm and love! The couple enlisted the help of Costa Rica wedding experts and planners, Tropical Occasions to help get the deed done in style (and without hiccups of course).

We asked Sarah to share a bit about their day and how it came to be. We asked her why they chose the beautiful country of Costa Rica to say I do! Ben had been a few years ago for a family vacation and fell in love with Costa Rica (and all the adventures the country has to offer). We thought it would be a lovely way to start our marriage, sharing in an adventure with our closest friends and family!”

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“Walking down the aisle seeing Ben and all of the people we love most all in one place was overwhelming, in a good way. We were (and are) so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people surrounding and supporting us.”

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“Ben’s dad was our officiant and it was really special. There’s also no feeling like committing yourself to someone forever, so that was pretty cool!”

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We asked the bride about her favorite moments from the day and of course it was tough for her to choose! Enjoying each others’ company alone for a few minutes after the ceremony.”

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“I really wanted to find ways to incorporate Ben’s personality into the surroundings for the day, and he is a car fanatic. We had these vintage travel/car postcards made and wrote out each guest’s name on a tag.” 

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The reception was lit up by candlelight and vibrant citrus colors. Details of succulents, handmade wooden elements, all-natural table runners and personal touches filled the room in a color palette perfect for the place. “We thought with a tropical location it made sense to have bright, tropical colors that didn’t wash out too much with the gorgeous surroundings, but didn’t compete with them either.”

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“My dad’s toast brought tears to everyone’s eyes and was a beautiful tribute to my mom.”

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“We had so much fun at the reception! We danced, we sang…we all hopped in the pool.”

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The first dance wasn’t the only special number this night.  “I absolutely LOVED seeing Ben and his mom dance- so cute!”  Then when the dancing was done, the party continued as guests celebrated into the wee hours of the night before jumping in the pool in their clothes!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Katherine Stinnett Photography

Wedding Vendors: Event Planner: Tropical Occasions & Mountian Occasions, Equipment Rentals: Cabo Luna Event Rentals, Caterer: Catering Costa Rica, DJ: Costa Rica Wedding DJ, Tuxedo and Mens Attire: J.Crew, Shoes: Jack Rogers, Dress Designer: Jim Hjelm

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