It’s always amazing to see how a talented group of people can come together and work with the natural beauty of a location to make it as dreamy and romantic as this destination wedding! I’m especially excited about Traci and Mathew’s wedding because it’s in Costa Rica – my home! I’ve been to this exact location, Pangas Beach Club, several times, so I’m completely in awe of every detail and how perfectly it honors Tamarindo’s natural beauty! I mean, just look at that gorgeous arbor perfectly placed in front of that magnificent strangler fig tree.
This destination wedding is the result of two years of planning, and these gorgeous photos by Philippa Maitland Photography prove just how perfectly it all turned out! Isn’t it amazing how perfectly the decor matches the bride’s dress? Hint – it wasn’t by accident! The color scheme revolved around the gorgeous fuchsia flowers embroidered onto Traci’s dress, and we love how well that tied every detail together! Traci gave us all the details in the Q&A below, and we’re so excited to share them with you!
Q&A with the Bride
What was the inspiration behind your destination wedding in Tamarindo, Costa Rica !
I wanted a non-traditional wedding, somewhere tropical. I wanted the day to reflect a few things. First off, I wanted it to be a wedding that was different than anyone else’s, one that you wouldn’t easily forget. I wanted the day to reflect our wants and not the wants of others but yet I also wanted to use the day as a thank you for all our guests who spent the time and money to travel with us to celebrate. We had 60 people attend our wedding. The colour theme was determined by my dress, I wanted something with colour and I found a white dress with fuschia embroidered flowers all through out. From there I choose blue shorts and a white shirt for the groom and I had my daughters dresses made to incorporate the blue and pink colours as well as a tropical feel. I didn’t have any preconceived colour ideas.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
Since the wedding was in Costa Rica on a beach I wanted the décor to match the ambiance. Tables were set with lanterns, candles, drift wood and greenery along with flowers in mason jars that were originally used down the aisle. Our wedding planner took care of those details. I showed her pinterest pictures of what I liked and she took the details from there. We are having a quilt made and in the quilt we will incorporate notes that guests signed on printable fabric, the sign for the quilt table was made by us and brought down to Costa Rica. The cupcake signs, wedding invites, thank you and menu cards were all designed by a friend and brought down for the wedding. I had my necklace, boutonnieres and the corsages made by a woman in the town I live in and then had flowers added to them the day of the wedding for everyone to wear. All this to create a very unique wedding experience.
Tell us about the florals in your destination wedding?
Planning a destination wedding proved to be more complicated and time consuming than I had anticipated, even with a wedding planner to assist. Being a pretty laid back person, I would search on Pinterest for ideas of what types of flowers I liked, examples of bouquets I liked and I sent the information to the wedding planner to discuss with the florist to get prices. For the ceremony back drop we had a wooden arbor built which then had two white curtains hanging from it and a garland following each curtain. There were also flowers incorporated into the garland where the curtains met on the arbor and part way down. There were flowers in mason jars hanging from hooks down the aisle, which were then transitioned to the tables as part of the centerpieces. I had a certain look I wanted for the wedding when it came to the look and feel but I wasn’t particularly picky on what flowers were used as long as they went with the overall theme.
What were the most personalized aspects of your destination wedding in Tamarindo, Costa Rica?
I wanted my wedding to stand out, completely different than anyone else’s. First off it was right on a beach, which offered a beautiful sunset. We had a beach bbq for dinner. Then, for the entertainment we had fire dancers do a 1/2 hour show, which was phenomenal and I had kept it a secret from the guests as I wanted it to be a surprise. We also had a live band for the reception on the beach. The whole wedding was everything I had planned for the two years. It turned out spectacular and a day/night I won’t ever forget.
How did you and the groom choose your wedding day look?
I chose both. The only detail I wanted in a dress was that it had colour as we were doing a destination wedding. Originally I hadn’t wanted a white dress, but the dress I ended up finding and purchasing was white, which actually made the color pop. My dress had fuchsia flowers embroidered all over the bust and down along hem and up the side of the dress. The back was lace up with the embroidery going all the way down both side of the laces and down to the bottom of the train and around. The dress was strapless and I had the bust made into a sweetheart neckline.I had seen a picture in a magazine with the groom and groomsmen wearing blue shorts and white shirt on a beach and I really liked the look, therefore I searched out that style of outfit for the groom. He ended up wearing blue shorts (the blue that I chose was somewhat like the colour of the ocean in the tropics) and a short sleeved whitecotton shirt and Birkenstocks as his wedding outfit.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met a work. My husband was working construction at the office I worked at and I had mentioned to my friend that I thought he was handsome, which she then preceded to tell him. He ended up asking me if I wanted a hot chocolate when he was going out for coffee and we went on our first date shortly after that.The proposal was as laid back as my husband. He’d had the ring for a month or so as I had designed it and had it made. One night, we are both in our pj’s, he calls me into the kitchen and attempts to propose. I can’t honestly remember what he said the first time but it was something ridiculous so I said no, not until he did a proper proposal. At which point he spoke coherently and I finally got my ring. 🙂
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
I’ve been planning this day for two years. I just hoped that all the details and planning that had gone into the day came together the way I wanted. That my guests had a fabulous time and enjoyed the day I had planned for them as well. The whole afternoon from the moment we arrived at the spa to get ready to the arrival at Pangas and then everything that followed was special. One of the details that will always be special is that we did a dance with our daughters who are 3 and 5 to Jason Blaine’s, Dance with my daughter. That was a very special moment for all of us.
Do you have any destination wedding planning advice that you’d like to share with others?
If you are planning a destination wedding and it’s off resort, I highly recommend that you plan and budget for a local wedding planner. I don’t know how I would have found the location and contacts that she had without one. It was a lot of work and planning while trying to incorporate a full time job and young kids. If you are planning a destination wedding and you are a bride that has to have everything a certain way you may want to reconsider as you don’t have the same control as you would if you were dealing with issues in your own environment. Being able to go with the flow and be laid back about the whole thing eliminates a lot of the stress.
Photographer: Phillippa Maitland Photography
Venue: Pangas Beach Club
Planner: Lat 10 – Maria Eugenia Roldan
Stationary Design: Sam Baynham
Flower Girl Dress: Donovan of Smith Falls Ontario
Dress: Romantic Bridals
Fire dancers: PyroDanza