Eloping In Costa Rica [The Ultimate Guide]
Eloping in Costa Rica is one of the best decisions you can make, and it’s easy to see why. The country is known for its amazing surfing, 200 + volcanos, breathtaking waterfalls, unbelievably colorful sunsets, and beautifully lush jungles. On top of it all, it’s extremely afford as well. As a Destination Wedding Photographer I specialize in helping couples get married all over the world, including Costa Rica!
The best part about eloping in Costa Rica is that you aren’t limited to venues and the costs that accrue like with a traditional wedding. There are 31 beautiful national parks that you can explore with amazing wildlife and breathtaking waterfalls deep in the rainforest. The beaches offer a variety of beautiful white sand, unique rock formations, small cliffs and more. Choosing to have your elopement in Costa Rica will leave you with so many options for places to explore and have the ultimate wedding day of your dreams!
This ultimate guide is packed filled with everything you need to know about eloping in Costa Rica.
Tips For Eloping in Costa Rica
Picking the Season You Want to Get Married In
Anybody who is local to Costa Rica will tell you they basically have 2 seasons – rain and sun! It’s super important to keep that in mind when you’re planning your elopement in Costa Rica. Especially if you have expectations of what you want the weather to be!
The rainy season (also know as green season) typically falls between the months of May to November. Luckily, this rainy season isn’t as rainy as you’d think. If you’re looking at May through August, or the month of November, you’re going to find rain in the forecast most likely daily. However it’s likely that you will only see rain for an hour or two in the afternoon during this time. September and October are the wettest months of the year. This is where you will find days where it may rain for 6 hours straight. So if rain is a no-go for your elopement day, consider this when planning your day.
Pros for getting married in rainy season:
+ It’s also GREEN season! This means that you are going to experience the most lush and beautiful time of year in Costa Rica. The beautiful shades of green that flow through the country are like nothing else you’ll ever see!
+ Prices may be lower, as well as crowds. People are sometimes scared off at the idea of rainy season. So that typically means less tourism, emptier beaches, more privacy in popular summer-time location. This also translates to reservations being easier to make as well.
Pros for getting married in dry season:
+ It hardly rains – even in the rainforest! This time of year the temperatures average 80-90 degrees F. Seeing rain is very unlikely. When planning your elopement this is great because you pretty much know what you’re going to get and don’t have to play the guessing game for which day is going to be best to get married on!
+ If you plan on spending several days seeing the sights and exploring the many national parks or excursions the country offers, you are more likely to see wildlife and the many amazing animals that inhabit that area.
+ The dry season (also known as peak season) typically falls between the months of December to April. This is arguably the best time to visit Costa Rica. Which is also one of the most popular times to get married! In turn, it also comes with a lot of tourism. This means planning months ahead is essential if you are planning your elopement during these months. Prices will likely be higher for all accommodations during this time due the volume or tourism the country experiences during their peak season.
Assuring You Have the Logistics Ready
Like any wedding day, you want to make sure you get all of the logistics in order to make it legal before actually getting married! Getting married overseas can seem intimidating, but no worries! It is super easy to getting married and elope in Costa Rica!
First, you want to decide is if you want to get married legally or symbolically. Getting married symbolically is a choice a lot of people make when getting married in a different country. This is mostly to avoid some of the obstacles you may face when getting all the legal documents together, as well as the language barrier there are at times. Because of this, some people may decide the legal side of it isn’t worth the extra steps, and they’ll handle it in their home town.
However, if you are looking to make it legal in Costa Rica, then follow the steps below:
+ You’ll need to provide a copy of each passport.
+ Names and addresses of your parents.
+ Two witnesses are required to be present at your ceremony (your photographer can count as one witness)
+ If either one of you has been previously married – you must provide an official copy of the divorce decree.
+ Find a local lawyer in Costa Rica to officiate a civil ceremony – after, the lawyer records the marriage with Cost Rica’s National Registry, which issues an official marriage certificate. You can read more about this here.
Hiring Your Vendor Team
Hiring a team of vendors for your elopement in Costa Rica does not have to be tricky! However anytime you’re trying to find wedding vendors (whether in your hometown or a different country) it’s important you make sure you have good communication from the moment you inquire. Make sure they have a contract in place that protects both you and the vendor in any situation that could arise. I always suggest that you start your vendor team by finding a photographer who specializes in elopements, and fits the vibe you’re going for. I, like many photographers in my industry, offer planning for your entire elopement experience. From a customized timeline, location guide, and personalized local vendor recommendations, we can typically provide it all.
If you’re the hands on type and really want to start doing the research about who to hire then start with google – googling your specific location in Costa will be most helpful, for example: Tamarindo Costa Rica Florist, Costa Rica wedding videographers, Jaco Costa Rica Florists, Santa Cruz wedding planners, etc.
Planning Your Activities For Your Elopement Day
As I said earlier, Costa Rica has so many amazing options for excursions and activities. Overall there are endless places to explore in the country. The best part about eloping in Costa Rica is that you don’t have to make the day just about the vows, but you can also make tons of amazing memories doing really awesome activities too. Researching different areas is something I specialize in when helping my couples plan their elopements. But it’s extremely easy to do the research on your own as well!
There are amazing volcanoes you can hike, and trails in the rainforest that lead to stunning waterfalls. Zip-lines through the forest on the the tip tops of the tree lines, through the waterfalls in the jungle, and over the beautiful rivers and canyons hundreds of feet below. And last (but not least), there are sunset boat rides you can rent for several hours that make for the most stunning photos and amazing experiences between you and your partner.
Recommended Activities While Eloping in Costa Rica
+ Hot air balloon ride
+ Hiking to volcanoes/waterfalls
+ Boat rides
+ Horseback riding on the beach
If you’re considering eloping in Costa Rica and want more help figuring out where to begin, or want to talk about how I can join you on your elopement day, click the button below!