Getting Married Costa Rica. Thank you for visiting our section about getting married in Costa Rica. After photographing and helping plan over 1500 weddings in this country and meeting thousands of people who have come from all over the world to exchange their wedding vows I decided to share some of my experiences with those of you who are thinking of doing the same.
I am hoping to address most of the questions, concerns, and reservations that many people experience while deciding to hold a destination wedding in Costa Rica. If you have any issue that is not covered in here please email me and I’ll be happy to reply as soon as possible.
INFORMATION ABOUT GETTING MARRIED COSTA RICA
The first issue that comes to mind is “Is it safe?” -especially now in the more uncertain times we have been living-
The answer is a resounding yes. Costa Rica is by far the safest, friendliest, nation in the hemisphere. With a long history of peace, stability, and kindness to the people who visit. Costa Ricans will welcome you enthusiastically and will be happy to show you their beautiful country.
Costa Rica abolished its armed forces over fifty years ago. Civil rights, human rights, and civil liberties are not only widely respected; they are the foundation of its society and culture. You cannot find a more egalitarian attitude or greater respect for the rights of others anywhere in Latin America.
Secondly and just as important is the fact that the marriage will be legally recognized in the United States, Canada, Western Europe and just about any country in the world.
The process is very simple and any one of our experienced officiants (usually an attorney at law) will be sure to collect simple instructions in advance to officially and legally conduct the ceremony and to process the marriage certificate. The information required is fairly straightforward: Copies of your passports, copies of your witnesses’ passports (2 witnesses. If you don’t have them any attorney will be happy to provide them), additional information will be collected by the officiant, but again, it is simple and straightforward. There are no extraordinary requirements, no waiting periods, and no unreasonable information requests. It should be noted that although the marriage is legal immediately upon the completion of the ceremony, the marriage certificate takes some time to obtain, however the process is safe and guaranteed to be valid. The length of time varies depending on the present workload of the Civil Registry, however it is a miniscule fraction of the length of your marriage, which will no doubt be a lifelong endeavor.
Next comes the concerns regarding logistics: Accommodations, travel to and from the country and to and from the specific location, ceremony sites, reception sites, catering for the event, meals during the other days, tours and activities, etc.
Again the answer is rather simple to what can be a daunting task: It can be done. With the right help it can be done rather easily.
I have covered hundreds of events involving large parties (anywhere from 20 to 400 guests) who have converged here from all over the world. People from different cultures, faiths, nations, have found in Costa Rica an ideal and welcoming host for their most special of events. Every one of these weddings required suitable accommodations, transportation, meals, and other services for all its guests and they were executed as perfectly as any person can hope for.
Are there challenges and difficulties?
Of course there are. Weddings as a whole are a time-intensive and challenging undertaking. Even if you chose to exchange vows at your local church or city hall there are many things to plan for. Costa Rica is no exception, however the end result is so unique and so memorable, that you and your guests will be overwhelmed with emotion. I am telling you this because I have witnessed it time and again.
In Costa Rica there are a number of spectacular, unforgettable, and truly special settings and locations that will do justice to the importance of the occasion.
It is one of those special places in the world that seem to act as a spring of life itself. From the verdant exuberance of the rain forest, to the dramatic seascape of the Tropical Pacific, to the majestic solemnity of its many volcanoes, Costa Rica is a place like no other.
Costa Rica’s beauty naturally lends itself to the outpouring of emotion that can often be seen during a wedding ceremony. After years of living and photographing here it makes me feel as though I’m witnessing its magic for the first time, even while photographing places I have visited before on numerous occasions.
Getting Married Costa Rica
One of the best things about Getting Married Costa Rica is the fact that you and your guests have embarked on an unforgettable journey and the memories begin the moment you step off the plane and are greeted by the constant tropical breeze. The celebration begins then, it culminates on the day of the wedding, and it continues as long as you and your guests remain in the country.
I have noticed that some of our clients’ busy schedules usually cause them to allocate only a few days here. One word of advice: Extend. If you plan to come for 3 days, extend it to 5. If you plan to come for 7 days, extend it to 10, etc.
The reason? Once here it will be very difficult for you to leave and no matter how many days you decided upon you will always wish you had been here longer.
A lot of people decide to elope in Costa Rica.
I really like elopements because they allow me to focus exclusively on the couple and to capture the most spontaneously intimate moments that unfold. Costa Rica elopements are as easy, stress free, relaxed, and carefree as you might imagine. I like the flexibility of the schedule and prefer couples that have an open mind to whatever the day may bring. As Hemingway said about Paris, an elopement is a moveable feast.
Whether it is a waterfall, a deserted beach at low tide, the middle of the rain forest, or any remote pristine location, there’s nothing like having the option to conduct a ceremony in a truly unique and unforgettable setting.
I often wonder why anyone would prefer to marry in the sterile predictability of a rented hall where asphalt, cement, and other inorganic material dominates the landscape. These are not Vegas style weddings. The photos will be compelling evidence of that. I often have people question the backdrops, the settings, the locations. Is that real? Is the most common question. I assure you as I breathe the cool ocean breeze of the evening in which I find myself writing this: It is real and it is happening at this very moment.
On the topic of Vegas weddings, these are definitely not that type. Nor are they Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean where generic wedding packages are assigned like combination style meals at a fast food chain. We are blessed to still have in Costa Rica the innocence and privilege that comes from going unnoticed by the conventional world. The Costa Rican traveler is more adventurous by nature, and those who decide to get married here are seeking nothing more than the most original and most unforgettable of experiences.
I always recommend that you leave the details and logistics up to professionals who can be trusted to expertly execute such decisions.
Whether you are planning a simple elopement or a large wedding with many guests (especially in the latter case.) The reason is simple: Getting Married Costa Rica is one of the most emotionally charged activities we will ever undertake, and I think it’s best to leave the matters involving the left side of the brain to others.
Remember that you’re dealing with a different culture and possibly a different language, and that a wedding –no matter how small- involves many details. My advice to you is to leave nothing to chance and to let a professional plan as much of your wedding as you can allow or afford. There are a number of options and I have the privilege of working with the best in the country. I will be happy to issue recommendations.
It is of utmost importance to me that this page and its contents be as objective and impartial as possible so I want to tell you that I do not charge commissions to any of my clients for putting them in touch with the people and services that can professional execute their wedding event. By the same token I would never accept a commission from a vendor for referring clients or client information to them.