On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident would you say your partner (or you) was when you proposed? Did they know without a doubt that you would accept? Were you so positive that you were already making plans?

Would you be confident enough to plan an entire surprise wedding that the bride didn’t know about?

Antonio was and, lucky for him, everything went amazing. He and his bride, Paula, absolutely glowed for their picture-perfect surprise elopement at Tulemar Resort in Manuel Antonio.

Let’s take a closer look. 

closeup of the bride and her bouquet for her surprise wedding

Meet Antonio and Paula

Most of my clientele come from the United States to get married. Antonio and Paula came to visit us from Barcelona, Spain so it was fun to change things up a bit. I lived in Spain for two years so it was great to meet some Spaniards.

Antonio was confident that not only would Paula say yes to his proposal but be excited to get married the following day. Some people might think that’s a little unorthodox, but he apparently knew his then-girlfriend very well because she loved it!

Portrait of the bride

Planning the Surprise Wedding

Planning a wedding from afar always has its challenges. As you can imagine, this one was even more unique. However, the wedding planner that Antonio hired definitely rose to the occasion. 

Karen Ogden, from the wedding planning company Tropical Occasions, couldn’t have done a better job. If you want your wedding perfectly organized and ready to go off without a hitch, Karen is the one to call.

Antonio was also pretty smooth, managing to bring Paula’s wedding dress and shoes and his suit in their luggage without her finding out. Apparently he told her that he had a romantic surprise for her and she was good enough not to snoop. I’m not sure that would have worked for me, but again, it seems that Antonio knows Paula quite well. 

The bride and groom see each other dressed up for the first time
Sharing a sweet moment before the ceremony.

Pulling it Off at the Tulemar Resort

The wedding was held at the Tulemar Resort here in Manuel Antonio. Antonio decided on an intimate elopement so they didn’t need a huge fancy venue (though Tulemar rises to that occasion as well). Tulemar is a large property that is a community of luxurious vacation homes tucked in the jungle with a private beach for the guests and residents.  

Antonio and Paula stayed in one of the three luxurious Bamboo Villas. A stylist came to help Paula prepare at the villa and then we headed down to Tulemar’s private beach for their gorgeous little ceremony.

Here is a look at Paula and Antonio’s Highlight Album!

A Surprise Wedding in Costa Rica

What do you think? Would you be excited if your partner planned a surprise wedding? It’s certainly not for everyone, but for this couple it was perfect.

For more great images at the Tulemar resort check out this other intimate elopement I photographed there!

Want to see my complete resource page for weddings at Tulemar? Just click on the button below!