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Costa Rica DW Review


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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (September): September is the known as the “green season†in Costa Rica. Prices are significantly cheaper and there are less people on the beaches. The only draw back is that it is more likely to rain. The rain is some what predictable though. Rains come in around 2 p.m. or later and usually end by 9 p.m. Lucky for me it did not rain at all on my wedding day. I scheduled the ceremony to take place in the morning (11 a.m.) because it is less likely to rain and had the reception at night time (5 p.m.). This worked out perfect because guests were able to attend the ceremony and then hang out at the beach in the afternoon.


The weather in Costa Rica is about 85 degrees with about 100% humidity. This is something to keep in mind because we were sweating like crazy (thank god for photo shop). I did not hire wedding coordinator only because I was trying to cut costs. Looking back, would I hire one? No. The wedding required a lot of leg work on my part, but I was okay with that. The wedding was very simple and that was what I was going for. I wanted guests to enjoy the scenery rather than me adding my own. I think it was wonderful and I wouldnâ€t have it any other way.


Wedding attire:

My dress was by Vera Wang and the only way I was able to afford it was because I went to a sample sale at Barneyâ€s New York. It seriously was worth it. I found a local seamstress who tailored the dress for me. The groomâ€s suit was by Hugo Boss. He went to this place called Three Day Suit Broker. Kind of ghetto, but they sell all kinds of suits super cheap. I think he paid $350 for it and they gave him the tie for free. The bridesmaid dress was by Roxy and I found it at Nordstrom. The name of it was Mai Tai. I really didnâ€t care about the dress all that much and my sister loved it because it was so hot outside and the dress was so light that she did not even break a sweat.


Hotel: Hotel Costa Verde (Costa Rica Hotels, Manuel Antonio Hotels, Beach Hotels) B -

They have an onsite “wedding planner.†She is not a wedding planner she only assist you with your needs. She can help you locate vendors, but is really not all that helpful. What is nice is that they donâ€t charge you to use their restaurants. It is a great money saver. They have 3 restaurants to choose from and one event center. Our room was robbed three days before the wedding (not good times). The hotel upgraded my room and drove me the police station. I really donâ€t have much to say about that. It was an awful experience.


Flowers: Hotel Costa Verde - B

The hotel had a florist that they worked with. I had requested a bouquet with roses and orchids ($60) and a bridesmaid bouquet with tropical flowers ($30). The bridal bouquet was so small that I ended up with the bridesmaid bouquet because it looked so much better. A little advice, stick with the tropical flowers. It looks better. The flowers showed up 30 minutes before the ceremony. NOT COOL! The men didnâ€t have their boutonnières until I arrived at the site. I was seriously pissed off!!!


Photography: Sergio Pucci (Photography in Costa Rica) - B

I found this photographer on the internet. My only complaint with him was that he didnâ€t come up to my room before the ceremony. He went to the ceremony site instead and then showed up late. I donâ€t know if this was the hotel doing. The flowers were running late and I have this feeling that they told him the ceremony was going to be running late. I really donâ€t know, but I was really annoyed. He missed me walking down the aisle. The pictures were great. I am having them photoshoped in the United States. He was reasonably priced ($1,100) for the whole day.


Videographer: Natasha Pachano - A+

This girl was really great. She too was late to the ceremony site (her and Sergio are friends), but she made it up the day after the wedding by having us take footage early in the morning. I donâ€t have the DVD right now, but she is really nice to work with and highly recommend her if you need assistance in Costa Rica.


Music: Jose Pablo Calvo (josepablocalvo@gmail.com) - A+++++++

I can not tell you how wonderful this group was. They played wonderful music and they really know how to get the party started. I loved all the music. We had trio (Saxophone, percussion, and guitar). They were on time to both the ceremony and the reception site. We really didnâ€t have any specific songs but they knew exactly what to play and made the wedding extra special. If anything, everyone really loved the band. That is all they could talk about.


Restaurant: El Avion (Hotel Costa Verde) - A+

The manager (Jesus) of the restaurant was wonderful. He seriously made the area look wonderful and did exactly what I had asked if not more. The set up of the tabled was perfect because everyone had a panoramic view of the ocean (about 200 feet up). Everyone was able to see the sun set while eating dinner. It was seriously amazing. The food was great. I basically pre picked and it was buffet style. The waiters/ staff were really great. If you choose this restaurant you must meet with him personally. Do not rely on the hotel to take care of it.


As far as hair and make-up goes, I took care of that all my self. I had friends and family help me and that was fine with me. I bought this make up from Bobbie Brown that really held up through all that humidity. I highly recommend it because it was water resistant. My nails I took care of before I left and I also bought a travel steamer for my dress. That came in handy!


I advise that you arrive at least a week before the wedding so that you can get settled in and get acclimated to the weather. It was also nice to hang out with guests before the wedding. It made the day less stressful because it was just another day to party and you didnâ€t have all these unfamiliar faces.


I love Costa Rica and I am so happy that I chose to have my DW there. It was different and it is a place that my husband and I will always hold close to our hearts. There were a few bumps in the road, but what wedding doesnâ€t have that. I advise that you just go with the flow and just enjoy your day. This site has been so helpful. I donâ€t know what I would have done with out the support everyone provides here. Planning a DW is very stressful and it was nice to have other girls going thru the same thing as me. Thank you all!!!!!!!!!!

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