It’s hard to imagine that it’s been six years since we got married in Costa Rica. Since my husband and I were both previously married, we wanted to do something more fun than a traditional party. So we decided to elope with the kids to Costa Rica for a beach destination wedding. We were getting married in Costa Rica!
Having worked as an event planner in the past, the idea of planning my own wedding in a different county was terrifying. After much research on the internet, I found an event planning company in Costa Rica called Tropical Occasions.
Both Aimee and Karen at Tropical Occasions were wonderful. They took care of everything the flowers, hair, wedding cake, music, rabbi, photographer. You name it, they took care of it. We spoke regularly on the phone and thru emails, exchanging ideas.
One of the best suggestions they made was telling us to get our marriage certificate here in the states. The legal requirements and paperwork process is slow in Costa Rica and it can take a few months for them to file it. My husband and I had it all planned out. We went to City Hall and applied for the marriage license.
We waited two days before our trip to Costa Rica, picked up our kids at school and told them that we were going to the court house to get married. We drove to the Deerfield Beach County Court House with all three kids and when we got there the lady behind the counter told us it was too late. I was devastated. John, my husband reasoned with her for a few minutes and she agreed to marry us. As an encore, he sweet-talked her into marrying us outside in the courtyard instead of the office with the neon lights.
We went outside in the courtyard on Dec. 17th and said our I do’s. We kissed, hugged the kids, and drove home. Left two days later to Costa Rica with my wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses for the girls, and suits.
The day after we arrived at our hotel Si Como No (means “Sure, Why Not” in Spanish), our wedding planner arrived at the hotel around 2:00 p.m to meet us. Shortly, afterwards the madness began with the hair/make-up artist showing up with our photographer Costa Rica Weddings. The next few hours were crazy getting everyone dressed. We split up, the boys got dressed in the kids room, and the girls stayed with me in our room.
The boys went down to the beach with the Rabbi and Wedding Planner. We were waiting for a driver to pick us up. I had arranged to have a Huppa on the beach for our wedding ceremony. “A huppa–often spelled “chuppah“–is a Jewish wedding canopy with four open sides.
The ceremony was suppose to take place on the beach right before sunset. We waited and waited and no driver (the driver had gotten a flat tire). Our wedding planner finally showed up wondering what had happened. We drove so fast down to the beach that all of us were queasy. My husband “John” thought I had changed my mind, he told me later.
One by one the girls started walking towards the Huppa. As I walked towards everyone I could hear the music playing from the Guitar Soloist. The sun was sitting, and there stood my family with the Rabbi.
It was a very magical moment for all of us. Simple, romantic and surreal. After the ceremony we walked around the beach taking pictures. We couldn’t ask for a better background for pictures.
We went back to the hotel Si Como No, and had a nice family dinner. They made us a two tier cake for us to enjoy after dinner and take pictures.
Costa Rica has become one of the most popular destination wedding locations. I highly recommend our photographer Costa Rica Weddings.
After the marriage, we traveled for another week around Costa Rica having more adventures and mishaps. Stories to follow….