Congratulations! If you’re here, then you’re either engaged or soon will be. You’ve found your person, you’re ready to commit, and now you’re diving deep into Costa Rica destination wedding planning. It. Is. ON.
We’ll start by saying that this post doesn’t include everything you need to know about everything; rather, it’s a starting point – a hey, these are all the many somethings you should be aware of, so you can look further into the ones that matter most to you.
And with that in mind, we’re diving into the deep end with you!
The Legalities: Requirements for Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding
We could almost start and end this section with one word: none. We won’t, but we could!
Because the reality is, if you have a good wedding officiant and you’re not marrying a Costa Rican (or don’t need your wedding to be official in Costa Rica), then all you’ll need is a valid passport. And that’s a requirement to even enter the country.
Beyond that, if you’re getting legally married in Costa Rica – vs. the alternative of legalizing your union back home and then holding a non-legal ceremony for your guess here – then your lawyer will handle everything. (You’ll only have to answer questions, no paperwork is required on your end!)
Invite the Wedding Party: Villa Estrella Azul
Tamarindo | 8 Beds | 6 Baths | 18 Guests
If there’s anything more appealing than hosting your Costa Rica destination wedding party at a luxury vacation home, then it’s hosting your nearest and dearest in a luxury villa that feels like a private boutique hotel. And in that case, welcome to Villa Estrella Azul, an eight-bedroom, expansive villa just a two-minute walk to the beach. And not just any beach, but Tamarindo’s most stunning stretch of pristine sands and lapping surf…
This incredible home is ideal for hosting groups of up to 18 guests in total pampered luxury. The home’s white-and-blue décor will immediately put you in a beach state of mind, and the open design, indoor-outdoor living, and entertainment spaces will welcome your gatherings and celebrations.
Here, modern tropical colors and an abundance of windows blend indoor and out, inviting you to wander out to the custom infinity pool and then in to the spectacular dining table, out to the open-air yoga pavilion and terrace and then in (and up) to the rooftop terrace and sun porch. And then, there are the breezy balconies with sleeping pergolas, designed for evenings under the stars…
And, while Villa Estrella Azul offers a gourmet, chef’s-ready kitchen, gas grill, and brick pizza oven by the pool, you won’t always prepare your own meals. Here, breakfast is crafted from scratch for you, every day (except Sundays and holidays). Of course, we can also help you arrange private chef services for lunch and dinner, if you’d like! Because here, at the “Blue Star” Villa, not even the sky’s the limit.
More Legalities: Officializing Your Marriage Back Home
The long and the short of it is that, if you’re getting legally married in Costa Rica, know that the only legal officiants are either a Catholic priest or a judge or lawyer. (Lawyers are the most common choice for a Costa Rica destination wedding.)
Once you’re legally married, you’ll have to wait 8-12 weeks for the issuance of your Costa Rican marriage certificate. In the interim, your officiant lawyer may be able to issue and notarize a Notary Certification of marriage – but it probably won’t get you very far with your officialization back home.
Once the National Registrar issues your Certificate of Marriage, you can then fulfill your home country’s requirements, which often include notarization, official translation, and an apostille.
Need to Know: Weather & Seasons
It’s the tropics, it’s warm, there’s sun every day of the year – what else could you need to know?
A lot, actually. We’ll start with this: There are two distinct seasons in Costa Rica, the dry season and the rainy season (aka the green season). Both are wonderful but they’re very different. To wit:
- Dry Season (December-May): Marked by almost constant sun, no rain, and often a cloudless sky, Costa Rica’s dry season accommodates about half the year (especially here in Guanacaste, the driest area of the country).
- Rainy/Green Season (May–November): Named dually for the rains it brings and the hues that those rains bestow, the green season is marked by sunny mornings and sporadic to daily afternoon rains (high rain months: September and October).
But that’s just the weather. Because when it comes to a Costa Rica destination wedding, there are seasons, too:
- High Season (Christmas through Easter; July): The sunniest weather of the year corresponds both to the northern hemisphere’s wintery chill and to Costa Rica’s school holidays, making this the most desirable (and most expensive) season to visit or host your wedding.
- Mid-Season (post-Easter through June; November to mid-December): The transitional months between dry/rainy and then rainy/dry, this shoulder season is often spectacularly beautiful, with low(er) chances of rain and lower prices.
- Green Season (August through October): The rainiest months of the year bring the most vibrant scenery and greenest greens, but they also mean that you’ll have to plan for rain. The upside: You’ll access great prices and have greater negotiating power with your vendors!
For Smaller Celebrations: Casa Lomas del Mar
Playa Grande | 4 Beds | 4 Baths | 8 Guests
Sleek, modern, and breathtaking, Casa Lomas del Mar is the kind of place your imagination conjures up when you dream of paradise: Blue skies. Bluer pool waters. Green everywhere. And then, those Pacific Ocean views…
This spectacular home – just north of downtown Tamarindo and overlooking the protected sands of Playa Grande and Las Baulas National Marine Park – embodies the Costa Rica destination wedding spirit. Swim in your private, infinity-edge pool. Drink in the rays on the sundeck and in the outdoor sitting room. Whip up a celebratory drink in your spacious and modern kitchen.
And then, retreat to the second-level, huge master suite, home to floor-to-ceiling glass on two sides, Pacific Ocean views, and your own private ocean-view balcony. It’s your own retreat, paired with luxury and the space to share it with those you love.
What’s more, Casa Lomas del Mar is located in an exclusive community, walking distance to Tamarindo and Playa Grande, home to one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites. Stay at the confluence of convenience and nature, indulgence and privacy.
The Where: Choosing a Destination & Costa Rica Wedding Packages
The Costa Rican destination wedding industry is wonderfully diverse and developed, so you can realize almost any dream your imagination can conjure. And you can conjure it almost anywhere.
The where alone could merit its own article (or book!), so we’ll start you off here: When you envision your wedding, where are you? Are you barefoot on a white-sand beach or deep in a jungle, with a waterfall as your backdrop?
This general destination sketch will begin to guide you to your general where or wheres, from which point you can begin to narrow it down: If you’re planning on a beach wedding, what is important to you? Is it a very specific beach vision, or is it more about access to excellent vendors and airport proximity for your guests? And don’t forget to consider reception venues and their accompanying noise restrictions (or ask us how to avoid noise restrictions entirely!).
From there, consider whether you want to entertain Costa Rica wedding packages – complete one-and-done arrangements with professional planners – or if you’re more of a hands-on, piecemeal planner who likes to coordinate venue and flowers and menus on your own.
Ready to Start Planning Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding?
Life’s happiest moments are some of ours, too. We do love a good wedding!
So please, get in touch. Whether you’re just starting out or have almost everything booked (except for your honeymoon accommodations), we’re happy to help you make your big day a Perfect Day. It’ll be our pleasure!