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Manuel Antonio VS. Playa Grande (Tamarindo) Super late in my wedding planning any hoping for a June 2012 wedding since we already booked our tickets:)

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What a great website!  Wholly cow I wish I would have found this 6 months ago when I SHOULD have started my planning.  It seems as though there are a lot of great questions and answers here so I would appreciate and bit of information anyone has.  I am on-line researching my butt off, but there is just so much information to funnel into an actual decision.


So... neither I, my other half, or any of our guests have been to Costa Rica.  Having said that we are all outdoorsy and open to new things with a certain level of convenience.  My fiance and I will be traveling in Costa Rica for two weeks before our wedding (hope we make it to the alter before killing each other :) and our friends/family will be meeting us at the destination the first week in June.  I am deciding between a flight into San Jose and charter to Manuel OR have them fly into Liberia and drive to Tamarindo.  We don't need touristy but we need accessibility to buy food, do some shopping, and the chance to get out of whatever villa we rent and have a good time.  Will to be too dry in Tamarindo or too wet in Manuel Antonio?  We would love to get married at the Villa we rent but also on the beach- is it possible to find both?  I will only be having 10-15 people so will not be having a large ceremony, can I find and plan catering and chair rentals on my own?


Thanks for any and all help, good luck with your weddings, and I am going to get started on digging into the pre-existing threads.




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I donâ€t no which villa you went through, but the one im talking too includes a bus for my guest to my villa (san jose to manuel Antonio). I now that it is costing me a little extra but i just thought it would so be worth it, especially since travelling with my family is like the movie home alone. I really wish i was kidding about that. I no its a long drive but from what i read its a beautiful one! So my fi and I have a bus for each of the villaâ€s (we plan on two to three depending on the number of guests)


If you have a smaller guest list a girlfriend of mine is spending two weeks in costa rica and travelling all around (there are 6 of them in totally) and they are renting a car and staying at hostels that would be another option!  I also no they said that for a small fee (20% of your grocery bill) they can do your shopping for you or im sure if you asked you could just use the same charter for the car as the one that shuttles from the airport.


Because you have a guest list of 10 to 15 people you could do both a beach and do the reception at your villa. The villa i have my heart set on has said it would be perfectly fine if i wanted to get married on the beach (they would recommend me to talk to a wedding planner to set that part up the rest i will do on my own) and then i can have my reception at the largest villa and will have it catered and i will get my loving family to set up decorations the night before and in the little finishing touches in the morning with me.


Usually your villa can set up the catering. I am choosing an all inclusive package so two meals a day or included (it will be an extra cost for the night of the wedding because all of the people in one villa) as well as i have requested to have two bartenders present for the night!


As for chair rentals you can probably do it on your own, iâ€ve looked into it and if you want i can pass along some of the places i looked into. I donâ€t no if you have a villa picked but let me no if you want any information on that!


Thats what all my googling has taught me so far! Hope it helps

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Hey Emily!


I live in Manuel Antonio and I can tell you that this is a super popular place to get married with great reason!

Its absolutely stunning. We have beaches that meet the jungle and mountains all in the same area. Tamarindo is dryer, but also flatter and not as green. you may get a little bit of a shower at that time of year, but it wouldnt be anything serious and its never cold. So sometimes we need that little sprinkle to cool things off.


I am a hairdresser and work with different photographers, florists, and wedding planners. I could probably help you get in contact with the right people for you and your wedding. check out my website for more hair info www.costaricahair.com. I'd love to hear from you!


Pura Vida,



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Thanks for the information!!  We have been emailing with a couple of different villas both in Quepos and inside the park and it seems for a small group they are also fine.  Have you hired or are you going to hire a planner?  I want to have such a low key ceremony that I don't think we will need one..but then how can I be sure we are hiring a reputable lawyer to conduct the ceremony that we can rely on?  I like the catering idea as well.  Could you send any information on the rentals you may have?





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with my FI being in school i have till April 2014 till we get married, so i have a TON of time to find and plan and so i was not going to do a wedding planner, im also lucky enough to know two people who have lived in costa rica. but as i get closer and closer and do more and more research there are things that scare me that i think i may need a wedding planner. BUT if you ask some of the ladies on here they may be able to help you i no amanda+dave ( i believe thats her username any ways) were married in manual antonio. i dont no how far away quepos is but if its close enough you may be able to use who ever they used.


i believe there are different packages you can do with wedding planners, just shoot them an email and ask and say you dont need a lot of help, more of just some guidance in the right direction?!


and i would love the share with you what i have so far...


i've only been in touch with one company, but they got back to me within 24 hours (escape villas)


my questions where


1) are there other villa's within walking distance to it. 

2) do you have an all inclusive plan or some thing similar to it and the cost

3) is it close to a beach to hold the wedding ceremony or is it possible to do it at all villa. Thank you.


There response was:


It is too far in advance for me to quote you a rate at this time but it will most likely be around $12,800 a week. There are another 7 options in the same neighborhood, all within 3 blocks. We can also offer you a full services package additional to the rental fee to make your vacation “all inclusive†and care free. The package would include round trip transfers from the San Jose airport, the rental of SUVs (customer pays insurance), chef services for 2 meals a day, and food and beverages (local brands only, no lobster, no shrimp). The cost of the package depends on the amount of guests staying at the house and if there are any children below the age of 12. Again the rates would not be available this early on. You can have the ceremony on the beach or at the house. Casa de las Brisas has a maximum event occupancy of 45 people, we do have other options for wedding with higher event occupancies.


i asked him another question (i ask millions and it probably annoys people but o well)


As far as payment of the villa is it possible to get my quests to pay separate? as well Do you offer the service of a wedding planner and if not do you have any recommendations - this is some thing that is important to me, as some guests we are paying for (my sister) but we dont want to be responsible to put the up front costs of the villa, than have people pay us that sounds like a nightmare to me.


The concierge can help you arrange for all of the services for a wedding but cannot coordinate the event for you. If you will need coordination services we can recommend a couple of local American wedding coordinators. One is Erin Little of Oasis Weddings and the other is Karen of Tropical Occasions. We can break up payments between 4 separate people for one home, maybe a few more, but not between 60 people. As far as having the ceremony on the beach or in a jungle setting I do suggest speaking with a coordinator about this as they would have more details on what can or cannot be done.


that is the information i go! hope some of this helps, also the email was with Fernando Ray info@villascostarica.com

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