A Formal Wedding With a View: Dressing up a Destination Wedding

The bride and groom on the hanging bridge at Costa Verde

Since I am based in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, I shoot a lot of destination weddings on the beach where the groom and bride don’t even wear shoes.

Not so for Adrian and Tatiana’s wedding. Tatiana had always envisioned herself having a formal wedding. She pictured walking down the aisle of an elegant church to the awe-inspiring music of a magnificent organ.

But as her fiancé Adrian is originally from Costa Rica, they decided on a destination wedding.

Despite having lived in the US for 20 years, Adrian is still close to his roots in Costa Rica. Much of his family lives in San Isidro del General, the next major city to the south of Quepos. As a result, they had already visited often during their 4 years of dating and it felt right to have their wedding in this exotic place.

But a beach wedding in Costa Rica doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have a more formal affair. Check out how this creative couple dressed up a destination wedding.

Special memento box with the bride and groom's unique wedding rings

Portrait of the groom before his formal wedding

Costa Verde

Since Tatiana still had her heart set on a formal wedding, she was not interested in being barefoot on the beach for the ceremony. Nor did she want to trash the dress or get all sandy for photos.

Thus, they needed a venue that could provide the elegant atmosphere that she was looking for.

They had stayed at Hotel Costa Verde often on their visits to Costa Rica, so it naturally jumped to the forefront as an ideal venue. The helipad overlooking the Pacific ocean seemed like the perfect spot to enjoy the splendor of the ocean without getting the train of her dress dirty.

And perfect it was.

There might not have been a massive organ playing when she came down the aisle, but there was the sound of the surf and a playful sea breeze tugging at her skirt. They exchanged the elegant inside of a church for a magnificent ocean view.

Manmade buildings simply cannot compete with the vistas that nature provides.

Portrait of the groom before his formal wedding/little boy looking out the window

Formal Wedding Vows in a Wow Location

To keep things elegant, she chose a formal style wedding gown with a long train. The groom was looking spiffy in a tuxedo. The bridal party completed the look with the ladies in elegant dusty rose gowns and the guys dressed up in fancy black suits.

The ceremony took place on Costa Verde’s helipad, with a jaw-dropping view of the Pacific Ocean in the background. Elegant white chairs were set up to create an aisle and make all the guests comfortable.

Tatiana says that she felt so lucky to be getting married in such a gorgeous place and feeling all dressed up and elegant as she’d always wanted.

As an important part of Adrian’s life, his daughter was also an important part of the wedding. As a sweet touch during the ceremony, Tatiana also made vows to her new daughter, promising to support her and do her best in her new role as a mother.

All the guys looking snazzy for the formal wedding!Tearing Up the Dance Floor

Adrian and Tatiana had actually known each other for a number of years before they started dating. They had crossed paths more than once through mutual friends as both were active members in the Latin dance community.

As you might guess, they really knew how to tear up the dance floor. Many of their guests did as well, so it was fun to watch all the awesome dancers enjoying themselves.

The elegant formal wedding gown hanging in the hanging bridge at Costa VerdeThe bride getting readyLittle girls checking out the view before the ceremonyGetting ready in styleA special moment with the maid of honorPortrait of the brideThe ceremony site on the helipad at Costa VerdeGroom's mother gives him a kiss

The bride comes down the aisle
Here comes the bride!

Ceremony shots from all directionsThe bride and groom with the bridesmaids and the epic viewThe bride and groom read their vows

The bride speaks to her new daughter
A sweet moment when the bride makes vows to her new daughter

Cute kids during the reception

First kiss as husband and wife
The kiss!

The bride and groom share a hug on the helipad at Costa Verde

The triumphant journey back down the aisle!
The triumphant journey back down the aisle!

Giving the bride a hug!Formal wedding portraitFormal wedding portraitBride and groom formal portraitFormal wedding portrait of the bride and groom with familyFormal wedding portrait of the bride and groom with groom's parentsFormal wedding portrait of the bride and groom with the bridal partyA formal wedding reception in paradiseA formal wedding reception in paradise

Having fun on the dance floor
The bride and groom showing off their moves!

Having fun on the dance floor`Precious moments at Costa VerdePrecious moments at Costa VerdePrecious moments at Costa VerdePrecious moments at Costa VerdeHaving fun on the dance floorHaving fun on the dance floorCute kid at a formal weddingCute kid at a formal weddingCute kid at a formal weddingHaving fun on the dance floorHaving fun on the dance floorHaving fun on the dance floorHaving fun on the dance floorHaving fun on the dance floorA formal wedding photo in Costa Verde. Costa Rica

Your Wedding in Costa Rica

Do you like the idea of getting married in an exotic place like Costa Rica? Perhaps you, like Tatiana, have dreamed of an elegant affair and aren’t as excited by getting sand between your toes.

As you can see from these photos, it’s absolutely possible to have both. Adrian and Tatiana certainly enjoyed their day in Costa Rica and so can you!

Looking for more inspiration? Feel free to check out this other wedding I shot at Costa Verde.

Venue: Costa Verde Hotel

Wedding Planner: Larissa Banting

Hair and Make up: Mademoiselle

Furniture: Costa Mesa

Flowers: Stylos y Flores

Need help planning your wedding at Costa Verde? Check out my complete guide below!

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