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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GETTING MARRIED IN COSTA RICA

costa rica wedding photographer

Your wedding day will rank among the most important days of your life and it’s important to remember that while you can plan every detail to the last second but there will probably still be something that goes wrong. Talk to any married person and ask if anything went wrong on their wedding day and most will have something to say–cousin so-and-so dropped the cake or little Johnny the ring-bearer peed his pants during the ceremony–and a few will even have weird and wacky stories that will have you laughing out loud.

This Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Costa Rica is to help you with tips and resources to make your wedding the magical event that you always dreamed it would be, but with the humble suggestion that if temperamental weather decides to rain on your perfectly planned day, be willing to count your blessings, dance in the rain, and have a funny story to tell your kids and grandkids.

Okay, now that we’ve taken the pressure off, let’s look at a few ways you can plan ahead to help avoid at least the major disasters and create the epic destination wedding of your dreams.

GETTING MARRIED IN COSTA RICA?

HERE’S YOUR GUIDE

Bride and groom on the beach with sign "best day ever"

MICRO WEDDINGS AND ELOPEMENTS IN COSTA RICA

Are you thinking about eloping in Costa Rica? But maybe you’re wondering if it’s the right fit for you? I have been privileged to photograph a whole bunch of  elopements in Costa Rica over the past 15 years. I can tell you that I can’t think of a single couple who wasn’t over the moon about their wedding here. Even when it rains, it’s a magical experience.   The atmosphere in Costa Rica is enchanting, the people are warm and welcoming, and the natural beauty is captivating. There’s a reason that hundreds of couples come here to get married each year— it’s a slice of paradise on earth.

Married Legally Costa Rica

CAN I GET LEGALLY MARRIED IN COSTA RICA?

Most of your time spent planning and researching your trip is of course going to revolve around looking at photos of stunning vistas and trying to figure out how to fit all the things you want to do in the time that you have to do it. However, don’t forget to plan ahead to have the correct paperwork with you and an officiant ready to perform your ceremony. Our guide shows you just how easy it is to get married officially in this beautiful place. You can’t just show up with your passport and ask to get married on the spot, but the official process isn’t very complicated and is simpler than agonizing over where to put your great aunt Matilda in the seating chart at a conventional wedding reception.

same sex wedding costa rica

IS SAME SEX MARRIAGE LEGAL IN COSTA RICA?

If you want to plan a destination wedding in Costa Rica, you’re in luck! As of May 26, 2020, it is now legal for everyone, including same sex couples, to get married. In 2018, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting gay marriage is unconstitutional, and the new law is officially in action!

Best Wedding Venues in Costa Rica

BEST WEDDING VENUES

Costa Rica is simply chock full of places to get married against a stunning backdrop. Rich tropical rainforest, dense jungles, majestic mountain ranges, white sand beaches, and of course the brilliant blue tropical ocean are just some ideas to get you started. The country is so small and so packed with beautiful nature that many locations will offer several of those backdrops in the same spot so you don’t even have to make the difficult choice between them. This is a great place to start to find some of the best wedding venues in Costa Rica.  Whether it is for an intimate elopement or a huge bash with all your friends and family, this list will help you plan your special day.

Best Places to Elope in Costa Rica

BEST PLACES TO ELOPE IN COSTA RICA

Many couples are saying goodbye to a traditional wedding in their town and eloping in Costa Rica instead. No guest list, no seating charts, and, best of all, no unwanted input from well-meaning relatives.  Are you wondering about the best places to elope in Costa Rica? Check out these ideas for a great place to do it.

Where to get Married in Costa Rica

WHERE TO GET MARRIED IN COSTA RICA

Check out our article about for some great location ideas and helpful information that will give you a good idea of where you would like to go. For example, if you want a five-star resort experience and lots of vibrant nightlife, you wouldn’t want to go the Osa Peninsula that is much more suited to rugged, outdoorsy types that would prefer to sleep in the wild jungle.

What's the weather like in Costa Rica

COSTA RICA CLIMATE AND WEATHER

Location is the first question to ask yourself and provides the basis for your entire experience. The entire country is generally sunny and tropical but different towns will have different atmospheres and activities and will affect how your spend your vacation. A close second is the climate in the area you choose. Costa Rica’s weather is generally sunny and mild, but there are two seasons, the dry and the wet. If you’re planning to get married in September or October–the height of the rainy season for the Pacific side of Costa Rica–and you want to spend your vacation sunbathing on the beach, then a trip to Guanacaste will give you the best chance of clear sunny skies. Check out our article titled for a more detailed description of climatic zones.

10 Awesome Group Activities in Costa Rica

WEDDING PARTY ACTIVITIES

The highlight of your destination wedding experience is, of course, the wedding itself. The ceremony of your dreams, the reception/party during which your closest friends and family help you celebrate your new life together, and an evening of…ahem, well we won’t go there. But another thing to keep in mind that is part of the excitement of a destination wedding, is that Costa Rica offers a host of group activities that you and your wedding party can enjoy together. You can party for a whole week, go on exciting adventures in the jungle, and play in the warm ocean waves–the possibilities are endless. We offer ideas that are great for all age ranges and adrenaline levels. Costa Rica is rich and diverse and there is something for everyone here in this little tropical paradise.

5 Spectacular Secret Beaches to Check Out in the Manuel Antonio area and Central Pacific of Costa Rica

SECRET BEACHES IN COSTA RICA

Arguably one of the main reasons that people like to visit tropical locations is for the beaches.  The main beaches in the area are great for hosting your special day but if during your stay you really want to get away from the crowds and see some hidden gems you’ve got to find the beaches that only the locals know about. Costa Rica is replete with spectacular beaches that may require some 4X4ing or hiking to get to but are absolutely worth the effort. For some inspiring ideas let’s take tour of just 7 of the most spectacular secret beaches to check out in the Manuel Antonio area.

5 Tips to Save Money for Your Destination Wedding

MONEY MATTERS

Of course, money is probably the last thing you want to be worrying about when it comes to your wedding.  One of the great things about a destination wedding is that if you do it right, you can actually end up saving quite a bundle over a traditional wedding. Plus, you get to shared a unique experience with your closest friends and family and then dive right into your honeymoon after the cake is cut! Check out our article for your destination wedding for some great ideas on how to have an amazing wedding experience without breaking the bank.

7 Must know Travel Tips in Costa Rica

TRAVEL TIPS FOR COSTA RICA

When you choose to have a destination wedding a foreign country it goes without saying that you will have to travel in a foreign place and you are sure to see things that are different from what you are used to. That’s what makes traveling so exciting in the first place! We offer 7 must know travel tips in Costa Rica so you have a basic idea of what to expect and what to watch out for to help avoid those big wedding disasters we were talking about earlier and have an exciting travel and wedding experience instead.

Reasons to get married in Costa Rica

7 REASONS TO GET MARRIED IN COSTA RICA

From stunning backdrops to more intimate ceremonies, Costa Rica is becoming one of the top places in the world for destination weddings.  With all the benefits for you and your guests, its also a nice bonus that it can be less expensive than a traditional wedding in your home country.