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Getting Married In Costa Rica - Costa Rican Wedding Guide

Highlights Food and Drink
The Westin Reserva Conchal Casado
Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica Guaro
Villa Punta De Vista Money And Wedding Costs
Weather and Climate Legal Requirements
Culture and Etiquette  

Costa Rica is one of the happiest and greenest countries in the world. So where better to enjoy your jubilant day?

The Central American country has both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, which makes it a popular venue for a destination wedding. With beautiful beaches, incredible national parks, wildlife refuges, wetlands, and thrill-seeking adventures. This is the country for your wedding venue if you have a love of nature and tropical wildlife.

Costa Rica Facts

Size:

Population: 

Capital City:

Currency:

Languages Spoken:

Main Religion:

 

51,100 km²

5,194,339

San José

Costa Rica Colón

Spanish

Roman Catholicism

Major holidays:

 

New Year’s Day

Juan Santamaria Day

Holy Week

Good Thursday

Good Friday

Workers / Labor Day

Guanacaste Day

Virgin of Los Angeles Day

Mother’s Day

Day of the Black Person and
Afro-Costa Rican Culture

Independence Day

Army Abolition Day

Christmas

January 1st

April 11th

April 12th/13th

April 14th

April 15th

May 1st

July 25th

August 2nd

August 15th

Sunday after
August 31st

September 19th

December 5th

December 25th

Highlights

Costa Rica might be small, but it scores large, for what it offers as a premium wedding location. Here are a few venues to consider:

The Westin Reserva Conchal

Costa Rican Wedding Venues, The Westin Reserva Conchal
As featured on The Westin Reserva Chonchal, Destination Wedding Costa Rica

Is a Costa Rican all-inclusive wedding venue that the Pacific Ocean and rainforest surround. The resort offers nine areas to suit your wedding requirements, including a beach or garden ceremony. The venues have a capacity ranging from 19 to 800.

Planning a wedding in Costa Rica is much easier with a wedding planner who can act as your Spanish-English translator. The Westin can arrange an officiant for a legal marriage or a symbolic wedding.

You can experience a personalized dining menu with canapés, like chipotle-rubbed beef tenderloin and an entrée of tamarind-glazed sea bass.

After your wedding, you and your guests can retire to one of 406 guest rooms.

Take advantage of one of the all-inclusive honeymoon packages straight after your wedding and enjoy a round of golf, one of the many fitness activities on offer, or a wellness treatment at the spa.

Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica

Planning a wedding in Costa Rica, Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, wedding venue
As featured on Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, Costa Rica wedding venues

Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica is an adult-only resort that offers three wedding packages from US$999 (€997) to US$3,799 (€3,791), with additional packages available.

Ceremonies can take place on the beach, garden, pool, or in an amphitheater with a maximum capacity of 240 for a cocktail party.

There is a choice of dining menus that offer banana-crusted yellowfin tuna and coconut pannacotta.

202 rooms are available to accommodate your guests.

The hotel offers various activities, from sunset cruises to ATV rides through the mountains.

Villa Punta De Vista

Costa Rican Wedding Venues, Villa Punta De Vista
As featured on Villa Punta De Vista, Costa Rican Weddings

Two luxurious fully-staffed private villas offer a unique setting for a Costa Rican wedding, located on a tropical reserve, perched above Manuel Antonio bay,

The two villas sleep 12-27 people and 10-23 guests. However, for a larger Costa Rica wedding, it is possible to rent the estate.

The rate to rent the entire estate for a wedding is from US$31,850 (€31,790) for seven nights in September and October to US$80,500 (€80,347) New Year.

You can have a private chef who will design a menu to suit you. Dishes include fresh, locally-caught fish like mahi-mahi, prime beef, and lobster.

Personal chef rates start from US$25 (€25.01) per person, exclusive of food, which usually costs an additional US$15-25 (€15.01-€25.01) per person, depending on whether fish, meat, or seafood is selected.

The wedding venue can cater to up to 100 people, and there is an additional site fee for over 30 guests, which covers the use of the event-sized venue spaces.

You can cool off in the double-edge infinity pool. Or relax in the garden and watch for sightings of monkeys and sloths.

Or, if you fancy some adventure after your wedding, there are plenty of activities to choose from, such as canyoning and jungle canopy tours.

Weather and Climate

two toed sloth, Costa Rica tropical rainforest wildlife
Two toed Sloth, Costa Rica tropical rainforest wildlife

Being familiar with the weather will help you choose the best time to have a Costa Rican wedding.

Costa Rica is a tropical rainforest country, and its proximity to the equator means it does not experience a proper winter. However, you will get plenty of rain for much of the year!

There tend to be warm to hot, averaging 72°-82°F (22°-28°)year-round. You will experience rain except from December to April.

The driest areas are the northwest beach areas from January to March, making these months perfect for beach and adventure days.

If you want to get off the beaten track, avoid September and October. These months are the wettest, and many of the roads are impassable.

Culture and Etiquette

Costa Ricans are exceptionally polite and avoid confrontations.

They often go by ‘tico time.’ An affectionate reference to being late. It is not unusual for Costa Ricans to be at least 30 minutes late.

Costa Ricans use the phrase, ‘puravida,’ regularly. It means simple or pure life, used for everything from hello, goodbye, and everything cool. A nice word to know and use.

Food and Drink

Costa Rican food is mild, plentiful fresh fruit and vegetables, with staple foods rice and black beans.

Casado

It is a traditional Costa Rican dish that marries the best ingredients of Costa Rica. Casado means ‘married’ or ‘married man’ in Spanish.

Casado is on practically every menu in Costa Rica, and the dish will always have rice, salad, and beans. Accompaniments are tortillas, plantains, potato chips, cheese, fruit salad, chicken, tuna, and vegetarian versions. The dish is so flexible. Anything goes.

Guaro

Guaro is a popular, clear spirit made from fermented sugar cane. It is around 30% alcohol. It is drunk straight or with tomato juice and chili sauce. Other mixers include coconut milk, pineapple juice, cola, sugar, and lemon.

Money And Wedding Costs

aerial shot of wedding couple on tropical beach Playa Arenillas, Costa Rica, with a heart drawn around them
Wedding Drone photo, Tropical beach Playa Arenillas, Costa Rica

The Costa Rican currency is the Colón. Some places unofficially accept the US Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Costa Rica is more expensive than its neighboring Central American countries. However, visiting on a budget is achievable.

A budget between US$200 - US$400 (€200 - €400) per person is reasonable for a package wedding.

The cost of an officiant is between US$600 - US$1,200 (€599 - €1,197).

Legal Requirements

Foreigners are welcome to get married in Costa Rica. To do so, you need to follow the same laws as locals. The marriage is legal and will be internationally recognized.

Your wedding venue or planner can assist you through the process of the legal requirements of getting married in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, only a lawyer is legally allowed to perform a civil wedding ceremony. Once married, your marriage will be registered with the Cost Rican National Registry.

For your wedding to be officially recognized in your home country, the certificate must be translated and authenticated by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry. The certificate will then be forwarded to your home country’s embassy, which will then certify the document.
In Costa Rica, if a woman has previously been married, she must wait 300 days before marrying again or take a pregnancy test.

For further marriage requirements for Americans, check the Costa Rican embassy. Also, your wedding venue or planner can assist you further.

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