Original poster again! Here are my reviews for the wedding!
Barcelo Langosta Beach
We picked the Barcelo because I had been there before and knew what to expect, and we wanted to be in/near Tamarindo and wanted all-inclusive and this is the only resort close to Tamarindo with all inclusive. It was really great for our group which ended up at 41 staying at the Barcelo (and 4 staying elsewhere). Everyone could find something to eat at all times (including my mother in law who has celiac disease and can't eat gluten), the staff were super friendly, and you can't beat that beach. The beach was really great for surfing too so my husband and friends could hit the waves without having to go far. The walk to Tamarindo on the road was about 15-20 mins.
The other big reason for picking Barcelo was price. We wanted it to affordable for people to come to our wedding. Overall, we're very happy with Barcelo for our group.
Tip for you...ask to NOT be in the 4000 block and ask that your room has a full sized closet. 4000 is closest to the disco/entertainment area so it was noisy at night. In our room (on the 4th floor) our closet was the area under the stairs for the room above us so it wasn't full length and I ended up keeping my wedding dress in the groomsmen's room. Our room was also so tiny we ended up getting ready in one of the bridesmaid's room (9000 block I think).
I'm not sure it even has a proper name but it's a beach area by Cala Luna and there's a pathway from the road (to Tamarindo to Barcelo) that's like walking through the jungle. All our guests walked through the jungle to get to this amazing beach location and there are some amazing pictures of my girls walking down and of me and my parents. It wasn't private but no one interfered with our wedding (apparently some people watched from a distance but I never noticed them).
We chose Seasons by Shlomy totally site unseen/food untasted and it was the best risk of the entire event. Seasons is at a small hotel in town but off the beach. There was a pool area with lounge chairs around it, the outdoor dining area was the dance floor which they put a couple of cool couches around for people to relax in during cocktail hour, and we dined "inside" (but it felt like outside with the windows/walls/doors pushed open). It felt beach rustic - wooden tables, wooden chairs, lots of Christmas lights, greens around the pool. It was stunning and all decorated by my wedding planner (see below). I still get a swoony feeling when I think about this location as it was exactly what I wanted.
The food was amazing!! There were hors d'oeuvres served by the lovely staff and then we went for a family style meal with platters of food brought to each table and people could pick and choose. Everything was amazing and everyone loved/raved about the food. The drinks were also amazing and looked pretty too.
I really wanted to go back and eat there after the wedding but my husband said it would "ruin the magic". We agreed to go there again when we go back to Tamarindo and I know some of our guests tried to return a few days later but the restaurant was closed.
We went with Bidrop Photography http://www.bidrop.com/
. I don't think his website does him justice. We love all of our photos and the colours are so vibrant. He caught a lot of little moments and we had so much fun looking back at all our pictures. We had a few pictures 3 weeks after the wedding and all of them with 3.5 months.
We decided on Barcelo Langosta Beach as the accommodation but didn't want the wedding there. We went with Kristina from Perennial Weddings and LOVE her. I wish I had known how awesome she was and how great the day was going to be so I could relaxed while planning (I'm in BC, Canada). She helped with everything - picking a location, reception venue, picking a photographer, she did the flowers (I was so vague about these but she nailed it), getting the cake organized (I never talked to "the cake lady" and it turned out wonderful), the DJ, the officiant, and helped organized a group activity on a catamaran.
She was great on the day of. I didn't have to worry about paying any of the vendors, she was there to organized the processional and "herd" my guests in the right direction. When we started planning I asked my husband if I could have a wedding planner and he asked if she would make me less crazy on the day of and I said yes. I was so relaxed on the day of and I think it's because of her.
If anyone has any other questions, let me know! I understand the stress of planning from afar and would love to help anyway I can!