Costa Rica Destination Wedding
Last Updated: Mar 07, 2012
Why Costa Rica
Costa Rica's beautiful landscapes and natural wonders create the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding. Exchange vows at the base of a waterfall; toast your union at a sunset beach ceremony; or enjoy an elegant gathering near the glow of an active volcano. Costa Rica offers all this, and more.
Choose from no-stress wedding packages with popular resorts, or build your ideal ceremony from scratch, where every detail is customized to your wishes. Costa Rica's top wedding planners provide the best of both worlds – decide on a dream, and leave the logistics to the professionals! The sky is the limit with the country's varied venues, from five-star resorts to charming boutique hotels and luxury villas.
Believe it or not, a Costa Rica destination wedding could actually save you money. From an intimate elopement ceremony to a lavish reception complete with a live band, gourmet meal and fireworks – Costa Rica's wedding packages cater to budgets from $500-$10,000+, and often deliver more bang for your buck.
Popular Locales & All-Inclusive Resorts
Costa Rica's top locales for destination weddings are the beach, the mountains, and volcanoes. Here are some of the country's most popular hotel choices:
- Beach: Cala Luna (Tamarindo), Four Seasons (Papagayo), La Mariposa Hotel (Manuel Antonio), Villa Caletas (Jaco), and Ylang Ylang Beach Resort (Montezuma)
- Mountain: El Establo Mountain Hotel (Monteverde), Finca Rosa Blanca (Heredia), Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel (San Ramon), and Peace Lodge (Varablanca)
- Volcano: Nayara Hotel (Arenal), Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa (Arenal), and Rio Celeste Boutique Hotel (Rio Celeste)
Planning a wedding is an exciting but detailed process. Here are a few tips to facilitate your plans:
- Relax: No matter how low-key your style, it is inevitable that you will feel stressed at some point. When your special day arrives, you will not care whether you ordered the eggshell or ecru table linens. The details are important, but don't let the small stuff detract from the excitement of such an important day.
- Responsive coordinators: Whether you're working with a hotel planner, independent wedding coordinator, or other professional, make sure your vendors have fast response times. You'll be planning a wedding from afar, so good communication is essential.
- Stick to your budget: It's easy to get carried away by exotic Costa Rica – but at the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your spouse, and the future you're creating. If you want to spend a little extra on indulgence, save it for the honeymoon!
Getting married in Costa Rica is a simple, straightforward process. There are no waiting periods, no blood tests, and no required notarized documents other than your valid passport. You will complete a questionnaire that includes necessary data, and your Costa Rican lawyer will submit this as a sworn statement. Two witnesses (non-family members) are required at the wedding, who must provide copies of their passports and a statement of civil status, nationality, address and occupation. Two documents -- both prepared by your lawyer-- must be signed by bride/groom and witnesses the day of your ceremony: a sworn statement attesting your marital status, and the marriage document itself.
Validating Your Marriage
Civil marriages conducted in Costa Rica are valid worldwide. It takes about three months for the Costa Rica Civil Registry to issue your marriage certificate, which your lawyer will have translated and then sent to your closest consulate or embassy to be authenticated. Be sure to stop by your local city hall or equivalent government office, and request the requirements for registering a marriage conducted abroad. Once you have your authenticated Costa Rica marriage certificate, follow the steps laid out by your local government.