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No Costa Rica beach weddings?

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#1 caseymddn

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    Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:48 AM

    My fiancee and I are getting married in Costa Rica in December. We have booked our stay and the wedding at the Paradisus Playa Conchal. The plan was for us to get married on the beach at the Paradisus. A few weeks ago the wedding planner at the Paradisus notified us that weddings were no longer allowed on Playa Conchal. She told us that we could however have the wedding at Playa Flamingo which I guess is the next beach down about 15 minutes away. We weren't thrilled about it but figured that if we wanted to have the wedding on the beach we might as well go down to the Playa Flamingo. Then just this past week we were told that we could no longer have the wedding at Playa Flamingo and that weddings cannot be held on ANY beach in Costa Rica!!!!!!! Are you kidding me. Does anyone here know anything about this? I find it hard to believe that the entire country of Costa Rica is not allowing beach weddings. I would think that Costa Rica would be a popular destination for such occasions. I am starting to rethink our decision on Costa Rica as our destination wedding location.
    Thanks in advance for anyone that has any input.

    #2 Colombambina

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      Posted 12 August 2009 - 07:45 PM

      I haven't heard anything like that...Maybe it's not allowed on public beaches??
      I am getting married on the beach Nov 25th at Capitan Suizo. I spoke with my wedding planner yesterday and he didn't mention anything like that. Everyting is going as planned. Doesn't the Playa Conchal resort have a gazebo?? or you could get married on the gardens in the resort?

      I hope it all works out for you !

      #3 caseymddn

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        Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:39 AM

        Thanks Colombambina! We are leaning towards having the wedding in the gazebo at the Paradisus. I received an email from our wedding planner yesterday and she was told that the government issued a law that affects all of Costa Rica, and no weddings are permitted on the beach. Her feelings were that the government may reinstitute weddings but at a tax at a later date. In the meantime, the wedding business has dropped in Costa Rica.

        Seems kind of fishy to me. I would just double check with your wedding planner to make sure you will not be effected by this.

        #4 SSNM

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          Posted 14 August 2009 - 11:25 PM

          Wow, that is crazy! Thanks for clarifying that, Fernando.

          #5 caseymddn

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            Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:59 AM


            Thank you very much for the detailed response you seem very knowledgable on this subject. So, the Paradisus is now telling us we CAN have the wedding at Playa Flamingo. I assume that is a different municipality than where the Paradisus is located? They have told us that Playa Flamingo is approx. 15 minutes away from the Paradisus. Does that sound accurate? Any comments regarding the Playa Flamingo? I want to make sure they are not screwing with me on that too.

            Do you know anything else on the "dispute" between the vendors and the Paradisus? Seems kind of odd that the local municipality is not allowing weddings on the beach because of some street vendors.

            Sounds like you are not too fond of the all inclusive resorts. Do you recommend any particular other places to stay and have our wedding?

            Thanks again

            #6 SSNM

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              Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:13 PM

              From what I researched, I don't think Costa Rica has the best All-Inclusives. Jamaica and the other caribean islands seem to do the all-inclusive thing better. Costa Rica masters the boutique hotels and is nice if you are looking for that very intimate, quaint wedding and they have many options for back drops (waterfalls, rainforests, volcanos). You are at the Paradisus so you are probably at the best AI in Costa Rica anyway so you don't have much to worry about. Personally, I think if I were going to Costa Rica, I would stick with what they do best and maximize that.

              #7 Ask.CostaRica

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                Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:28 AM

                The dispute between the vendors and Paradisus has been a real headache for them, they have been suffering over this. The previous mayor of the entire area of Tamarindo, Conchal, Flamingo and most beaches in the area issued vendor permits for some money under the table. The real problem has been the drugs. P. Conchal is trying to clean up the drugs being sold to tourists. So, they have been forced to "set an example" by not having events on the beach, it will be the only way to have the vendors removed. The vendors contest P. Conchal because they give/sell tourists alcohol on the beach which is not allowed on any beach in the country (you can have all the booze you want on the beach as long as it is not sold to you). You can see that this is part of the country's vision to keep it eco, otherwise it would turn into a Cancun.They recently had the minister of tourism at the hotel showing him the extent of the problem. It is now between the Tourism Board and the Municipality (lots of slow paperwork).
                The option Conchal is offering is either Flamingo Beach (which is a very pretty beach I have seen 10 weddings take place there) or having your ceremony on the lawn at the Beach Club (brand spanking new! and very nice) literally 4 steps to the beach.
                Costa Rica is definitely the land of boutique hotels, but I have heard very good comments about weddings guests with kids who loved it (Conchal) because of it being so easy to entertain their kids. It is also very easy if you have your grandparents attending, they get carted around without having to do much walking. Another thing to look at is your budget, booze at boutique hotels can rack up a monster bill. You have to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of this.
                I know the bracelets come off wedding day - would be nicer without them.

                Hope this helps!

                #8 Steve&Julia

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                  Posted 17 August 2009 - 03:10 PM

                  seems like you know the hotel well, and I would like to ask. I am getting married at the Paradisus July 10, 2010 I have made my deposit for the rooms and where I think the hotel is a beauty from the pictures and all the research I did.

                  But after reading what you wrote I'm concerned my finace and I have no interest to get married on the beach but wanted the gazebo church with no walls looking thing. Is that not pretty?

                  do you recommended another location?

                  Also to Fernando or anyone else who is going to be there before me. What are good wedding favors? I am guessing 30 or so guest (more then what I expected) and this is just from my save the dates, I haven't sent out the invitations yet.

                  I was thinking of hopefully arriving early enough to purchase pretty "costa rica photo alubms" if i find that and have that for everyone in a nice bag or maybe the costa rican alcholol guaro. but can I buy that from the hotel or will I need to find an outside vendor?

                  #9 fernando

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                    Posted 17 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

                    the last time i was there was on june 5, 2009. this is where they held the ceremony. i don't know if since then they have moved their ceremonies to a different location. hopefully they have. let me suggest that you ask for a very recent photo (with a specific date) of where they are proposing to hold your ceremony. photographically speaking this location is limited at best.

                    i guess one could make this work if you hold the ceremony as late in the afternoon as possible (think twilight), remove the trash cans, and bring in an exaggeration of candles. of course with enough details you can make anything look great. the one drawback of the aforementioned plan is that you'd be surrendering the very best light for formals at the sunset hour.

                    (for some reason it's not letting me display an image...
                    you can see it at http://www.weddings.co.cr/ceremonysite)

                    #10 PPCH

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                      Posted 19 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

                      Hi, on behalf of Paradisus Playa Conchal I will have to say that we have never said anything about a law affecting all beaches in Costa Rica and apologize if that was somehow missinterpreted. We do have indeed a problem specifically with Playa Conchal obviously not caused by us but we do have to set the example and be respectful of what the local municipality of Santa Cruz is asking us to do while this situation gets fixed.

                      I am so sorry to hear all the bad things some people are saying about us on this specific theme but nothing of what has been said it´s true. We have been using Playa Flamingo for a few months now as an alternatiive very near to us and we haven´t heard anything but nice things about it from the brides and their families and we also have pictures that prove it.

                      If someone would like to elaborate a little more or if any of the brides has a question please contact me at my e-mail address, we are honorable people working for a very respected establishment and we would never ever lie or say things that are not true.

                      We are here to make dreams come true for all the brides & grooms that choose us for their destination wedding.

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