Costa Rica Destination Wedding at Zephyr Palace

costa rica destination wedding

Dominique and Bowman traveled from New Orleans to host a destination wedding high above the coastline in Costa Rica.  Having been once before on vacation, the couple fell in love with the country and knew it would one day be home to their big day.

To get the planning started off right, the duo hired the talented Aimee Monihan and Karen Ogden of Tropical Occasions.  They then selected Zephyr Palace on the central pacific coast of Costa Rica to host both their ceremony and reception.  Dominique and Bowman had been there on their previous trip and fell in love with the view of the sunset.

The bride wore a beautiful diamond cross that had been given to her by her groom the morning of the wedding.  Not the only piece of fabulous jewelry that day – she also wore diamond earrings loaned to her by a friend for her “something borrowed” and the groom even designed both his and her wedding rings!

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The ceremony was a spectacular modern meets destination wedding design.  Unique (and varied) white chairs and benches flanked the deck alongside the infinity pool with an unbelievable view!

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We just love this ceremony site!  A destination wedding can be as formal or dramatic in design as you’d like it to be!  Bravo Tropical Occasions :)

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The sweet ceremony was only one part of this wonderful journey.  The couple and their guests spent an entire week together at Los Suenos, the same place they stayed on their last trip.  Upon arrival, a bus picked up the party and immediately immersed the guests into the culture with a traditional Costa Rican lunch.  Friends and family really got to partake in all the area has to offer.  Once settled in, the groom hosted a fishing tournament, guests went ziplining and golfing, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking and there were even tours to see the monkeys and crocodiles!  And of course a visit to the National Park was on the agenda!

A welcome party, rehearsal dinner, and wedding were also on the week’s schedule.  This group couldn’t get enough of these wonderful celebrations!

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After the “I do’s” the married pair took some time for a few spectacular photos with Comfort Studio.

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As sun set, the reception kicked into high gear and guests moved inside for a swanky reception and lots (did we say lots?) of dancing!

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The escort cards were tied to a gift that doubled as a wedding favor – hand painted wooden wine holders made in Costa Rica.  But that wasn’t the only gift guests got that week, the bride’s sister and brother-in-law also packed up welcome bags in personalized backpacks made by a family friend.

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The reception was tradition and even a tad formal, but that certainly didn’t stop this group from having the time of their lives (and even getting a little wet at the end of the evening).

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The bride and groom made most of the paper goods themselves.  The table numbers were watercolor images of animals they had spotted together on their previous trip to Costa Rica (sailfish, monkey, sloth, crocodile, turtle, frog and more)!

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Custom labeled wine bottles were also on hand for guests to enjoy.

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The sweet white wedding cake had a silver trophy-like chalice as a cake topper – one the couple drank from as they celebrated and cut the cake!

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But that wasn’t the end of the evening!  A surprise fireworks sessions soon launched with a bang!  The bride and groom and their bridal parties wanted a front row seat, so of course they jumped in the pool to get a better look!

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Sparklers were the final send off at this celebration before the couple moved locations to enjoy their honeymoon together.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Comfort Studio

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Zephyr Palace, Costa Rica, Wedding Coordinator:  Tropical Occasions, Caterer: Villa Caletas, Makeup: Esteban Martinez, Hair: Hair by Monica, Cake: Victoria’s, Dress Designer: Winnie Couture, Veil/hairpiece: Henri Bendel, Bride’s footwear: Badgley Mischka, Bridesmaids’ dresses: Watters & Watters, Groom’s suit: Jos A. Bank – Poplin Suit in Oyster, Groomsmen’s attire: Jos A. Bank – Poplin Suit in Oyster, Flowers: Stylos y Flores Floresteria, Paper Goods: DIY, Furniture Rentals: Costa Mesa, Officiant: Pastor Louis Brenes, Musician: Los Caciques, DJ/band: DJ Guana

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Destination Wedding in Costa Rica – Jennifer & Ashraf

destination wedding in costa ricaToday’s Costa Rica destination wedding comes to us from Samantha at Events & Weddings Costa Rica, the wedding planner who put together this fabulous party for the lovely California couple, Jennifer and Ashraf.  Both bride and groom have lived in some pretty special places, so a destination wedding was just what their invitations called for!  Ashraf was born in Egypt, but grew up in New Orleans before moving to Los Angeles to work in the movie business.  Jennifer was born in the mountains of North Carolina, lived all over the US, and even on the island of Dominica.  The two met after both moving to Los Angeles and well, the rest is history.  But with families all across the globe, they landed on a fairly easy to get to venue for most, Costa Rica, as it was “intriguing, beautiful, and an adventure to share with those closest to us.” Jennifer tells us.

Her dress?  A custom made wedding gown that she helped to design with Los Angeles-based designer, Shin Bu Bridal.  Gorgeous!!  And the floral detail she selected for her delicate up do just finishes the look flawlessly.Events Costa Rica Wedding PlanningThe couple wed at a private villa that Jennifer described to us as something quite magical.  “Samantha helped us select Punto de Vista as it was a perfect fit for the size of our group and our architectural tastes. Manuel Antonio worked out well for us because of its location to San Jose, its beautiful beach (I consider it jaw-dropping), and the amazing views from the magnificently tropical and modern home Punto de Vista.  We really wanted the beach wedding with an elegant reception.  As it turns out the weather did not cooperate!  But the Villa allowed us to feel like we were in the forest when we couldn’t be on the beach… Plus I think some of our guests really didn’t mind not dealing with sand in their dressy attire!”costa rica destination wedding ceremonySince both bride and groom have design backgrounds, it’s no surprise that the paper details were pretty special.  Their save-the-date cards were designed by the duo and letterpressed on one side with a photo from their engagement shoot on the other.  And the invitations?  “These were also completely custom designed by us.  Our wedding colors were primarily white, green and yellow but Ashraf loved a sample of embossed orange paper.  I thought – why not?  I love orange!  I had to order this paper from Germany!  It was custom embossed and letter pressed.  The reply card was the same character and colors as our save-the-date and probably the only standard wedding looking piece of our invitation!  The information card was a wood card printed with a custom illustration of me, Ashraf, and his dog Zeke done by a talented friend of ours, Bronwyn Burns. The inside of the card was a map of the Manuel Antonio area done by me (Jen).  To polish it off we wrapped it in wave patterned washi paper, silk string with a tag for our website and a simple envelope with tropical floral stamps and a custom wax seal.  Ashraf’s father helped with the Arabic script used in our seal! post card wedding detailsThe flowers for this wedding weren’t only beautiful and local, they were sentimental too.  “The flowers were meant to feel like a garden indoors.  We wanted lots of greenery but still be able to talk across the table.  I figured we couldn’t go wrong with orchids!  It’s one of my favorite flowers and also my grandmother’s favorite (who couldn’t be there).  The reception was similar in color but slightly more simple and edgy to complement the tropical modern lounge we were trying to create.”  costa rica wedding decor“The villa already had great lighting so both areas were filled with candles and lanterns for a low-light romantic feel.  I ordered some quilted velvet fabric and had some table toppers made.  I also brought an array of vintage and linen cloth napkins.  For the name tags I wanted something different but still be able to pack and bring with me.  I love origami and patterned paper and found these origami birds on etsy.”costa rica wedding“Our caterer seemed to fall into place fairly last minute.  We were excited to serve refreshing mixed drinks, a simple healthy meal with options of fresh fish, mushroom for the vegetarians or mushroom lovers, and beef for the hearty.  The meals were balanced with delicious herbs and fruits.  The fruit and vegetables in Costa Rica are so wonderful it had to be exploited!  Our cake was a big collaboration!  I designed the outside, Ashraf designed the flavors, and our future brother-in-law made a mango salad to complement.”wedding ideas costa ricaFor the entertainment?  “It was important for us to include our own cultures, US and Egyptian, as well as some local flavor.   Cardamomo was a world band that played with so many different instruments and was talented enough to incorporate various elements of music while being able to also play both easy background music and dance music.  They worked very well with our belly dancer – a very important tradition of Egyptian weddings.  To finish off the evening we had a cigar roller.  Most of our friends grabbed a cigar and went back to the roof lounge to celebrate.” destination weddings in costa ricaThere’s nothing this couple didn’t think of to keep their guests entertained, comfortable, and enjoying every moment of their destination wedding.  Congratulations Jennifer & Ashraf!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Ale Sura Photo

Wedding Vendors: Venue: Punto de Vista, Wedding Planning: Events & Weddings Costa Rica,  Music: Cardamomo, Rentals: Eventos Boadicea,  Flowers: Embrujos, Catering: Ono Cuisine,  Mini cakes: Construcciones Dulces

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