By Anita Verma, TheCostaRicaNews.com

A destination wedding in Costa Rica can be fun, affordable, and the dream wedding you have always fantasized about. I recently had the honour of attending one of these special weddings in beautiful Guanacaste, where I picked up on some important tips that are essential for a spectacular destination wedding.

A week of multicultural nuptials in paradise

Amit Khanna and Katie Burns tied the knot with approximately 65 of their closest friends and family at Paradisus Playa Conchal where they spent a week attending various events, exploring the resort, and venturing out on local excursions in Costa Rica. Their ceremonies were colorful fusions of Hindu and Irish wedding traditions, incorporating both of the couple’s cultural backgrounds.

In keeping with Hindu tradition, the bride, groom, and guests participated in two important ceremonies the day before the wedding. First the bride and groom were cleansed with turmeric powder during the Haldi ceremony. This colourful yet messy event was held on the beach and guests took part in covering the happy couple with this yellow spice to ensure their skin would glow. Later, the bride and all her female guests had henna applied to their hands and feet during the Mendhi ceremony. The ritual of Mendhi signifies the strength and power of love in a marriage, and is regarded as a good omen for the bride-to-be.

The following day, the Irish handfasting ceremony took place on the beach. The ceremony was simple, elegant and beautiful with the sun setting in the ocean background. After the couple exchanged vows and sealed the deal with a kiss, it was time to rejoice with the happy new couple. Guests cheered with champagne and posed for pictures on the beach before attending the reception later that evening, which brought everyone together for one last celebration. Guests enjoyed delicious meals and wine with lovely music which had sentimental value to the bride and groom.

As a token of their appreciation, the bride and groom treated all of their guests to a full day of adventure the following day! Guests had an amazing time as they ziplined through canopies, relaxed in the natural hot springs, and caught glimpses of Arenal Volcano. The destination wedding made an unforgettable trip and everyone had the time of their lives.

Building your own destination wedding

I picked up on three key essentials I’d like to share that really made this wedding spectacular.

1. Design a travel package – Amit and Katie created an itinerary for the week and distributed it to guests well before they arrived to Costa Rica. Guests knew what to wear, where to be, and what would follow so they could plan accordingly. The bride and groom also ensured that guests had an opportunity to enjoy some down time relaxing in the resort, spending time on the beaches, or exploring the local town.

2. Acquire a helping hand – Both the bride and groom were supported with a wonderful network of family and friends that were always ready and available to assist in ensuring the events ran smoothly. Amit and Katie used a destination wedding website to assist them in preparation for their big week in Costa Rica. They also had a destination wedding planner who was the true backbone in coordinating the wedding events on the resort.

3. Add your personal touch –  If this is going to be the biggest week of your life, you have a duty to personalize it with your very own sense of style and flair. Everything was customized from theme colored decorations to informational guides. They did not skimp on the photographer, either. Because destination weddings are in such beautiful yet difficult to shoot lighting situations, it is important to choose a photographer that can capture the true beauty and essence of your destination wedding. The bride and groom chose Kumari Photography to capture their special week and flew them in using part of the money they saved from having the wedding in Costa Rica. Personal touches don’t have to break the bank – remember you are saving money by having a destination wedding!

I am truly honoured to have shared this wedding experience with you. Love is in the air and I hope this story inspires you to make your own dream wedding happen just like Amit and Katie did!

Costa Rica beach wedding, photo of the chairs and aisle on the beach
Wedding ceremony on the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. Kumari Photography.

Haldi ceremony on the beach
The groom, being cleansed with turmeric powder during the Haldi ceremony on the beach. Kumari Photography.

henna tatto
Tattooing the bridal party with henna during the Mendhi ceremony. Kumari Photography.

Groom riding a white horse.
The groom’s arrival (Baraat) in the Hindu wedding ceremony establishes a bond between two families and their cultures. As the groom slowly arrives on a white horse, his family and friends dance and celebrate this joyous occasion. Upon his arrival, the families exchange hugs and the men challenge their strength by seeing who can lift who from the other family higher. Kumari Photography.

wedding photos on the beach during a sunset
The happy couple posing for some gorgeous photos on the beach while the sun sets. Kumari Photography.

taking wedding photos by a waterfall in Costa Rica
The couple chose a photographer that ventured out beyond the area where the wedding occured to capture some of the culture and beautiful biodiversity of Costa Rica. In this photo, they are exploring a waterfall. Kumari Photography.

posing in front of a house in guanacaste
Traveling around Costa Rica to take photos with the interesting architecture in Guanacaste. Kumari Photography.