The ultimate guide to elope in Costa Rica
TIPS. VENUES & LOCATION IDEAS
Costa Rica is a rugged, tropical country in Central America that’s absolutely perfect for an adventure! If you’re planning to tie the knot with a unique, one of a kind wedding, a Costa Rica elopement is the perfect way to ditch traditions and think outside of the box.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know to elope in Costa Rica – from beginning to end!
Let’s dive in…
Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime
Hey there, I’m Amber! I’m your elopement photographer and planner – your one-stop-shop for absolutely everything you need for a magical, incredible elopement day.
I offer all-inclusive elopement packages for couples who want to relax and let me handle absolutely everything, as well as options for couples who like a little bit of DIY! I’ll find the perfect place for you to exchange vows, recommend vendors, help you figure out travel and lodging, make a timeline, and more – personalizing each part of your elopement day to perfectly suit the two of you. And of course, I’ll be there to take the photos and document this once in a lifetime adventure.
You aren’t like every other couple, and your wedding day shouldn’t be either! I’ll help you craft a day that’s true to you, authentic, and real, allowing you to immerse yourselves in the experience as you say your “I dos.”
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
What is an elopement?
Before we start planning your Costa Rica elopement, let’s talk about what it actually means to elope! The definition has changed a lot, and today, eloping means putting yourself and your wedding day experience first. No more giving in to the pressure and expectations that the wedding industry imposes – you’re making the brave decision to elope in a way that feels right to you, and to get married in a way you’ll love!
How to Legally Elope in Costa Rica
Many people choose to get legally married at home, because it’s easier than dealing with marriage laws abroad. You can definitely choose to do the paperwork at home, and save your elopement day for the fun stuff!
Luckily, if you do decide to get legally married in Costa Rica, the process is more straightforward than many other countries!
At least one month before your elopement date, you’ll need to complete an application, and send scans of your passports. An officiant is required to legally marry you – this can be a judge or lawyer, or if you’re having a religious ceremony, a priest can officiate. Two witnesses are required as well, and your officiant will file your marriage license after the ceremony!
For couples from the US:
In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Costa Rica.
Why Elope in Costa Rica?
Of course, one of the best reasons to elope in Costa Rica is the incredible scenery. With rainforests, beaches, volcanoes, and more, there’s no shortage of nature! It’s the perfect destination for couples who want to explore the outdoors, and the jaw dropping natural beauty of Central America.
Amongst the scenery, you’ll also find incredibly diverse wildlife. From tiny hummingbirds to agile spider monkeys, there are so many different species and animals to see in Costa Rica!
Zip lining, scuba diving, hiking, bungee jumping, horseback riding… there’s no limit to the adventures you can have in Costa Rica! It’s the perfect elopement destination for couples who want a one of a kind experience on their wedding day.
Top 5 spots to Elope in Costa Rica
There are countless stunning places to elope in Costa Rica – but here are just a few ideas!
Poás Volcano National Park
To see an active volcano during your Costa Rica elopement, head to the Poás Volcano National Park! There are hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and amazing views of the crater surrounded by forests.
La Fortuna Waterfall
A walk through the rainforest will take you to La Fortuna Waterfall, an epic stream plunging down into the canyon. If you want to venture farther, you can hike down to the bottom for more waterfalls and more views – and this is definitely one of the best places to elope in Costa Rica for hikers!
In Guanacaste, you’ll find gorgeous beaches. This is the ultimate tropical paradise – white sand, clear waters, and a vibrant underwater ecosystem. You can swim, dive, or snorkel, but even if you stay on the shore this is an epic place to elope in Costa Rica!
This remote island requires a boat to get there – but you’ll find lush greenery in the tropical rainforest, with the opportunity to see some of the most incredible wildlife, on shore and in the water.
Rio Celeste is a dazzling turquoise blue river that runs through Tenorio Volcano National Park. Around here, you can hike the trails to reach natural hot springs, a tall waterfall, and clusters of colorful butterflies!
When to Elope in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is always warm – but the rainforest ecosystem means there’s a lot of rain! Here’s what you can expect throughout the year, and some things to keep in mind when you set a date for your Costa Rica elopement.
Winter in Costa Rica
Winter is the most popular time for tourists to come to Costa Rica. December through March, people try to escape the cold weather of other parts of the northern hemisphere and flock to Costa Rica! This is also the driest season in Costa Rica.
Spring in Costa Rica
Spring is gorgeous in Costa Rica. It’s still pretty dry, until showers begin in May. The weather cools down a little, which can be better for hiking.
Summer in Costa Rica
The weather is warm year round, but summers in Costa Rica are typically pretty riany. It’s humid, and showers are common. There are way fewer people around, so it can be a good time to elope for some privacy!
Fall in Costa Rica
Fall is very rainy, until it starts to let up in late November. The Caribbean side, however, actually has its driest months in September and October, so depending on your elopement location, fall can be a good time to elope in Costa Rica!
What to Wear to Elope in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s weather is hot, and humid – so what you wear can have a big effect on how you feel!
I recommend lighter dresses – opt for lightweight, thinner fabrics that will be more breathable. For more casual beach elopements, a sundress style, or shorter dress will look great and be super comfortable! In general, opt for styles with loose skirts, so that you can move, hike, and explore easily.
If you’re hiking, definitely opt for hiking boots! For any elopement, make sure your footwear is comfortable, breathable, and will protect you from the terrain. If you elope on the beach, barefoot is always an option too! If you get new shoes, make sure to break them in – there’s nothing worse than getting a blister.
In Costa Rica, a full suit might be too hot! I recommend dress pants and a nice shirt, but skipping the jacket may be more feasible.
How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Costa Rica?
7-days, all-inclusive ELOPEMENT
6 nights in accommodation (3* or more)
Elopement photographer for 3 days
All meals for the 7 days
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
Hair and makeup
TOTAL FOR An all-inclusive, 7-days ELOPEMENT IN Costa Rica :
Elopement photographer for 12 hours
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
TOTAL FOR A 12-hours ELOPEMENT IN costa rica :
Eloping in Costa Rica – your checklist
Choose a Location
One of the most exciting parts of your Costa Rica elopement is finding the right spot! You can choose from rainforests, waterfalls, beaches, mountains, and some of the most epic tropical scenery in the world. Part of my job as your elopement photographer is to help couples find the perfect place to tie the knot and say their vows. As a travel planner, I’m always exploring to find the best secret spots! Once you’ve decided to elope in Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.
Pick a date
After you learn a little bit about weather and crowds, decide on a date for your Costa Rica elopement!
Find more information about travel visas
You most likely won’t need a visa to travel to Costa Rica, unless you’ll be staying for more than 90 days.
Book your flights and accommodation
Doing this early on can save you some stress, and will ensure you get the best deals! Find a place to stay close to your elopement location.
Book your other vendors
I can help you find some vendors for your Costa Rica elopement – they usually fill their calendars early, so reach out as soon as possible!
Elope in Your Dream Location!
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your ceremony in Costa Rica.
DOES COSTA RICA SOUND LIKE YOUR DREAM?
How to plan your peaceful elopement in COSTA RICA with me
Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!
Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.
Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Costa Rica? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!