Costa Rica has earned its place as one of the best places in the world for a destination wedding. According the The Knot.com, “Costa Rica is the perfect destination for couples who are looking for an unspoiled tropical background for their nuptials but don’t want to sacrifice their modern urban tastes.” It’s true! For a small country, Costa Rica wedding venues offer something for every couple and every budget.

Costa Rica has hundreds of miles of gorgeous coastline on the Caribean and the Pacific, is covered with a tropical rainforests filled with monkeys, sloths, colourful birds and exotic flowers. Its white, black, and shell beaches offer a wide range of possibilities for unforgettable pictures. . Moreover, people in Costa Rica are warm and welcoming towards foreigner – tourism has been the backbone of the economy for decades, and there is a trustworthy, dependable network of transportation, accommodation and hospitality services.  And when it comes to weddings, there are many tried and true, professional Costa Rica wedding venues to help make your special day run smoothly, and be a comfortable and memorable event for everyone. 

Costa Rica Wedding Venue Locations

Costa Rica is blessed with a balmy,  tropical climate that can be broken down into several micro-climates; from hot and dry to lush and rainy.Volcanoes, rainforests, mountains, and gorgeous beaches are some of the most popular places to get married in Costa Rica.  

Mountains

Visitors love the views of Arenal National Park, as the area is home to a beautiful volcanoe and lush scenery. Besides Volcano Arenal, which gives its name to the region; there is also Chato peak, with a collapsed volcano that gave birth to a shiny emerald lagoon. The impressive and attractive volcanoes make Arenal a luxurious region with beautiful scenery,  but also access to modern amenities, restaurants, and excursions like zip-lining, coffee plantation tours and hikes to waterfalls.

Thanks to its high elevation, the area has a cool climate and high humidity, it could rain at any moment although it usually happens in the afternoon. If you want to hold your wedding there, it is better to do it in the morning. 

Rainforest

As its name suggests, the rainforest tends to have a humid and rainy climate that can be a real challenge for make-up; it is a good idea to choose long-lasting products and hire a professional if you choose to have a wedding in a lush and exotic rainforest location. For instance, Monteverde Naitonal Park, one of the biggest rainforest destinations in Costa Rica is located 3 hours from San Jose airport and is known for its great sightseeing and some limited Costa Rica wedding venues. 

There are several hotels, resorts, and spas that are willing and able to host your wedding in the area and make sure everyone has a great time without worrying about logistics or trouble. 

Beaches

Costa Rica has plenty of beautiful, unspoiled beaches to suit all couples. You could choose black sand beaches, which are the result of lava deposits from the many volcanoes in the country. These beaches have hot sand so make sure you wear your flip flops! Some black sand beaches are: Puerto Viejo, Playa Hermosa, Pavones, Los Pargos, and Playa Panama.

When it comes to white sand beaches, there are also plenty of options. Among the most popular beach wedding venues in Costa Rica are Playa Grande, Playa Conchal, Playa Avellanas and Manuel Antonio, just to mention a few. White sand beaches are softer and not as hot.. They are also great for shoes-off, toes-in-the-sand weddings and it is the kind of beach most people are expecting and enjoy. Having your wedding at the beach is also an excellent way of starting your honeymoon, as you are already in a paradise – so why travel somewhere else?

Costa Rica Wedding Venues

All-Inclusive Resorts

Resorts are one of the safest options to hold a wedding in Costa Rica. The reason behind this is very simple: they will handle everything. The main advantage of choosing the resort option is that the management and staff are experienced in  organizing weddings and fulfilling the needs of each couple. They can offer the necessary logistics to take care of the food, chairs and tables, music and decoration, and all the other details.

The downside  is that it could be pricey and less customizable than smaller, boutique hotels. And beware, if you see a super sale or discount in a resort wedding venue, keep in mind some services might not be included and you could end up paying some extra venue fees. Another aspect some couples are worried about when going for the resort option is the lost contact with nature. To avoid this, be sure to find a resort that allows you to have a mixed location that keeps all logistics under control and keeps every guest enjoying the awesome natural surroundings of the mountain, beach or rainforest.

Boutique Hotels

As a Costa Rica wedding venue, boutique hotels can give you a sense of intimacy and privacy that could be missing in a large resort or chain hotel. They are usually smaller but, when reserved on time, they can host the usual number of guests for a destination wedding. If you choose boutique hotels you are definitely going to find a much more personal experience, with the local people, with nature, and with the ceremony itself. If you are looking for a more intimate experience, this is the right choice for you.

Villas

Vacation homes are also available in Costa Rica if you prefer a rural and rustic wedding venue.  You could have the ceremony in an outdoor terrace, and gardens can be suitable for the reception. The main advantage of choosing this type of venue is that the budget is going to be lower than other options, since there are no venue fees to pay. On the other hand, the main disadvantage of these homes is that you will have to take care of everything. . Logistics can get complicated when the couple has to organize the ceremony, food, decoration, chairs and tables and get some time for themselves.

Our Venue Recommendation: Drift Away Eco Lodge, Playa Avellanas

If you want to keep it private but you have more friends than you know, our boutique hotel, Drift Away Eco Lodge, may be right option. Our eco lodge can hold up to 32 guests and let you customize many details of your wedding. Eight luxurious rooms and four spacious villas are available if relatives and friends want to spend the night or a few days with the newlyweds. If you need more room, there are  other hotels nearby with extra rooms. 

Our managers and staff at the Drift Away Eco-Lodge will  take care of everythingso that your mind is free from worries on that special day. A professional hairstylist and makeup artist can be arranged for the bride and bridal party. Photography, music, food and decoration will all be prepared. And there is no additional venue fee. The eco-lodge can even organize a massage treatment for the couple.

The Drift Away Eco-Lodge offers simple luxuries but emphasizes an eco-friendly approach to everything they do, so you can feel good that your destination wedding is making a minimal impact on the environment, and will be a benefit to the economy of the local community. 

Costa Rica Wedding Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are discussing the many details of your Costa Rican destination wedding with a professional wedding planner or the manager of the hotel or eco-lodge where you will be getting married.

  • Check the weather forecast and talk to locals about the usual weather patterns in that area. Nobody likes nasty surprises, so be prepared for the wind and rain and ask the organizer to have a Plan B.
  • If you are going to have a toes-in-the-sand beach wedding, make sure you tell the guests in advance, since they have to choose their shoes and clothes accordingly. 
  • Get some gift bags ready for your guests. They will appreciate having some sunscreen or bug spray the day of the event. 
  • Go through the list with the hotel staff and confirm what is included in the price and what is extra. -Remember to check with a lawyer or legal official that you have all your papers and legal requirements for the wedding. After it is done there will be some more tasks to carry out so that your marriage is legal and recognized once you leave Costa Rica.  

Have it Costa Rica style – Pura Vida!

It looks very simple to get married in a hotel or by the sea with your toes in the sand. However, every wedding is unique and requires a lot of effort so that every guest has a wonderful time and the new husband and wife enjoy the moment without worry.. Consider hiring a wedding planner based in Costa Rica to have access to the best vendors and services.

There are many Costa Rica wedding venues, so decide what you want, and where, and know that your Costa Rica destination wedding will be an unforgettable experience.