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

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  • Jennifer Ballard

    Thank you so much for the lovely feature! This wedding was such a pleasure to be a part of!