You’re taking the plunge. It’s all set. You and your beloved have decided to get married at one of the many destination weddings locations in Costa Rica… Wooo hoooo! Kudos to you both! This is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting times in your life.
Yet, if you listen to all those who have come before you and they’ll tell you that it also has the potential of being one of the most stressful.
How on earth does one plan a wedding…in another country?!
With ease, that’s how!
Here are all the ins and outs of planning a Costa Rica wedding:
The Legalities of a Costa Rica Marriage
Well, logistics may not be all that romantic, we know, but we still need to get them out of the way! There are several reasons Costa Rica is such a popular wedding venue, and much of this has to do with just how easy the whole process is for foreigners. You need not apply for a marriage license in Costa Rica, need not have your documents translated into Spanish and there are no waiting periods either. Plan it well and, if you wanted to, you could get married on the same day you arrive.
What you do need to do is send your planner a copy of your passports, civil status and personal details about a month before you arrive. If you’re not planning on getting married in a Catholic Church, you’ll need to have a lawyer present (your planner will organize this for you, of course) who will submit your marriage certificate and mail it to you back home once it’s all processed. Once you receive the certificate, your marriage will be recognized in your own home country. Costa Rican law also states that your witnesses cannot be related to you, so count on your best friends for this important job!
What Budget is Necessary?
Forget those astronomically expensive weddings many people have at home! In Costa Rica, your ‘average’ wedding, with about 50 guests, can set you back only about $5,000! This will include celebrant, venue, celebration lunch/dinner, flowers, photographer, entertainment and a delicious cake! Of course, you can certainly splash out on a super luxurious venue and uber-gourmet food, but a Costa Rican wedding need not cost an arm and a leg. The landscape, atmosphere and culture will be the highlights here…not the bling.
Best Time to Exchange Nuptials in Costa Rica?
Generally speaking, April and May are ideal months in which to get married in Costa Rica. This is the start of the low season (great deals to be found!) and the weather is just peachy. Having said that, make sure you time your wedding right and follow our seasonal guide to getting married in this small, but very varied country.
Is a Wedding Planner Required… or Can I Go it Alone?
Although it would be impossible to plan a destination wedding in Costa Rica all on your lonesome, we dare say the time consuming factor ought to not be taken too lightly. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of wedding hotels and resorts have their own in-house coordinators and their services are included in your ‘wedding package’, making their help totally priceless.
However, dedicated wedding planners in Costa Rica are something quite special, and can help with every detail of your wedding, including your (and your guests’) travel and accommodation plans. They’ll liaise with your chosen venues, organize the exact flower arrangements you desire and get all the paperwork out of the way too. For what it’s worth, we say that if you can stretch your budget a little more, and employ a wedding planner, then it will be money well spent. Most especially if you wish for your wedding ceremony to be held in a private beach house or villa in Costa Rica.
How Do You Choose the Right Venue?
Well, this depends on what you like! Destination wedding are big business here in Costa Rica, and you’ll be surprised how many inclusions many of the fantastic resorts will offer, to lure you in. Just to give you an idea, the stellar Alma del Pacifico, a small but luxurious beach side resort right next to the Manuel Antonio National Park (and only a couple of hours’ drive from San Jose Airport) will literally put the whole resort at your and your guests’ disposal when you book your wedding there. That’s the pool, spa, restaurant, breath-taking terrace and absolute waterfront location…all yours…for your wedding.
That’s the stuff dreams are made of! What’s more? It’s only one of many dedicated wedding resorts in Costa Rica. Speak to your wedding coordinator in Costa Rica or – working backwards – contact your dream resort/hotel and ask what kind of wedding packages they have on offer.
What About the Honeymoon?
The number one reason couples give, for choosing to get married in Costa Rica, is that they have the priceless chance of enjoying their honeymoon in one of the world’s most enticing countries. Without moving an inch. So take the stress out of planning your honeymoon and let us organize an all-inclusive adventurous honeymoon in Costa Rica, and discover how amazing, romantic and unique this corner of the world can be.