We recently had the pleasure to plan the wedding of Caroline and Ben Godkin, an award winning photographer couple from Austin, TX. They were looking for a rustic and adventurous wedding location at the foot of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. It is always enjoyable for us to work with other people with creative professions as often times they challenge us to create things that are new and different for their wedding. Caroline and Ben hired the ever talented Davina and Daniel to shoot the numerous events of the wedding trip. You can see the Junebug Weddings feature by clicking the screenshot below. For more photos from this Arenal Wedding, click on our original blog post
Looking to jet away to your perfect destination wedding but still searching for that perfect destination wedding dress? With many different styles to choose from, finding the best one to fit your destination wedding should be a breeze, right?
First things first, where is your destination? If you are getting married on a beach somewhere you should look for a slim-fitting, soft, flowy dress. Not only will it fit nicely in your suitcase, the lightweight skirt bottom will blow effortlessly in the wind resulting in beautiful pictures and the perfect look.
Another great wedding dress option for destination weddings is a short dress. I know what you’re thinking, but give it a shot! Since you are traveling to a destination you have skewed from the traditional wedding idea, why not follow that notion all the way through to your dress? A short dress will allow you to show off a bit more skin as well as maximize your comfort, which is key. After all, a destination wedding is like a mini-vacation, right?
You should find the dress style that you feel most comfortable in and lets your personality shine, but the majority of destination wedding dresses are made of one of three materials: chiffon, tulle, or beaded lace.
Chiffon dresses epitomize the ideal destination wedding because they are so light and airy. No matter what style, whether it’s mermaid, empire waist or fit and flare, the chiffon material will highlight your curves and still let you dance under the stars. This gown is easy to dress up or dress down depending on the mood of your wedding and the destination.
Tulle is another great material for destination wedding dresses because of the way it moves. Destination weddings are fun and exciting! A tulle gown will allow you to channel that fun through your style and will be forever remembered. Whether you are walking through the sand on a beach or through a Cathedral in a foreign country, a tulle dress will add the perfect touch of fashion without overloading a destination wedding’s care-free atmosphere.
Beaded lace on any style of dress is a great way to add a little extra sparkle to your gown. The detail of the lace will perfectly balance the laid-back destination wedding feel without taking away any of the magic. This material is perfect for brides who don’t want the traditional destination wedding look of clean and simple. Beaded lace will shake things up a bit while still allowing for more comfort and class.
No matter the destination, dress style, or material, a bride will experience her “ah-hah” moment when she finds the dress of her dreams to wear while marrying the man of her dreams in the destination….of their dreams.
This post was written for Four Winds by Monica Fortini. Monica is the fashion purchaser for http://www.tampabridalshops.com/,the premier Tampa Bridal Salon.
Caroline and Ben (Benoline for short) are both talented photographers based in Austin, TX. Although they have an extensive network of wedding vendors in the Austin area, Benoline were looking for a fun and exotic adventure for their family and close friends (also mostly photographers) in a faraway land. They decided to host their nuptials at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. For those not familiar with Arenal, it is one of the top ten most active volcanos on the planet. Although in recent years it has gone rather dormant, the volcano can regularly be seen spouting smoke and ash. As a result of the geothermal activity, the area is blessed with some of the most amazing hot springs in the world.
One of Benoline’s goals for their wedding was to show their group a good time throughout the wedding week. Well, they definitely delivered on their promise. Their group activities included a high tension zip-lining adventure, a trip to nearby hot springs, hiking in Rio Celeste, horseback riding and general shenanigans throughout the La Fortuna area. Being photographers themselves, documenting this adventure was a high priority for the two of them. They hired award-winning photographers Davina + Daniel to capture moments throughout the entire trip. Here are a few breathtaking shots of their hot spring adventure.
The wedding day was so relaxed and natural. Caroline and Ben got ready in their own rooms surrounded by friends and family and prepared for their first look near the volcano. Throughout their trip the volcano had been blanketed in clouds, but just as the prepared to see each other for the first time, the clouds parted and the magnificent Arenal Volcano emerged in dramatic fashion.
There was so much raw emotion and genuine excitement that emanated from the entire group prior to the ceremony. Benoline had friends of theirs, who were professional singers, perform acapella as they walked down the aisle.
The following day, the couple headed to some beautiful, nearby spots for a few creative portraits.
Photography: Davina + Daniel
Event Planning + Floral Design: Four Winds Weddings
Event Rental and Lighting: Eventos Artesanos
Catering: Tropical Gourmet
This lovely couple hails from the Los Angeles area. Suzanne is a talented graphic designer. She DIY’ed all of the graphic details of the event. The two chose to host their destination wedding in Manuel Antonio. They were looking for a beautiful morning beach ceremony followed by a picnic lunch and an evening reception at the hilltop villa that they rented near Quepos.
As should be the case in every jungle wedding, there were wildlife sightings (baby white-faced monkey and a curious toucan), a big bucket of frosty imperials and tasty boxed lunches. Following lunch, the guests headed back to their rooms to rest up for the big party up at the villa. Just prior to sunset, everyone was invited to join the newlyweds for cocktails (out of a coconut), dinner and dancing.
Floral Design: Kirsten of Four Winds Weddings
Event Rentals: Eventos Artesanos
Photography: Costa Vida Photography
DJ: DJ Teemoor of Xclusive DJ’s
A few weeks back, we were contacted by Morgan Gray. Morgan had read our recent blog post: Top 5 Emerging Destination Wedding Trends and felt compelled to send us a note offering to share her experience helping her sister plan her wedding. Since the purpose of our blog is to inform and inspire, we thought that this guest post from Morgan was the perfect opportunity to provide valuable wedding planning insight.
Every wedding, regardless of how far in advance it’s planned or the amount of time and money that is spent, runs the risk of having awkward moments arise. I have to keep reminding my soon-to-be-married sister that you can’t prepare for everything. What you can do is take steps towards preventing a few of the most common fears that brides like her face just before their wedding day. I’m talking about situations like the infamous issue of seating arrangements, to cake-face or not to cake-face, and potentially uncomfortable family tensions.
Keep things simple by putting the bridal party at the head table, or at a table of their own with the bride and groom at a small one nearby. A good rule of thumb is to put the parents of the bride and groom near the main table and keep nuclear relatives together, but you’re simply going to have to use your best judgment there. Also, take advantage of handy online tools at your disposal. This floor plan and seating arrangement tool found on Wedding Wire made my sister’s life considerably easier when it came time to keep track of who could sit next to whom.
Since a wedding is two families uniting as one, it’s also natural to want the two groups to mingle and get to know one another; however, what will they talk about (besides the wedding décor and the bride’s beautiful dress)? Luckily, there are many ways to break the ice. A few ideas include DIY place cards with an interesting fact about each person, a conversation or table topics game at each table (an idea I got from browsing this wedding gift page), or setting up reception games that will bring people together. Try putting yourself in the shoes of your guests — my sister personally didn’t buy into the games because that would have made her uncomfortable, but she loved the table topics idea because you have the option to take it or leave it
It’s unknown exactly where this custom came from. I know my sister would consider divorcing her beau on the spot if he even thought about it, but he never takes her threats seriously. You can’t very well hire a bodyguard to take the cake hit for you, but you can disarm any would-be cake assailants. Instead of having a large cake waiting to make contact with your face, you can serve other kinds of desserts as smaller, equally yummy options. Pastries and cupcakes from local bakeries are great replacements. There are also luxury chocolates or, my favorite, petit fours that are harmless, and yet small, delicious, and gourmet.
Sometimes, one of the greatest worries for a bride-to-be is the family, especially since she’s marrying into a second one. Here is where you just have to let go. You can’t control everything, so just try and trust that your guests will take part in your joy with respect and love. If you do have a rambunctious Uncle Jim who tends to have a few too many, ask one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen to keep watch so you can enjoy your special day. Friends and family may be one of the most unpredictable parts of a wedding, but don’t fret about it. Just focus on the magic.
Morgan Gray is a writer from New York with a Communications degree whose interests include film, fashion and philanthropy. Most recently, she has been inspired by her experience as her sister’s Maid of Honor and is now immersing herself in the wonderful wedding world. She hopes to inspire and connect with those in similar shoes or, better yet, bridesmaid dresses.
A couple years back we started Eventos Artesanos, a boutique event rental company that specializes in hand-made Costa Rican items for destination weddings. As designers, we are always looking to incorporate chic wedding items that we drool over online. Since many of these items simply don’t exist in Costa Rica, we decided to create them for ourselves. Our goal with Eventos Artesanos is to create event worthy items made by Costa Rican artisans from Costa Rican products like Teak and Guanacaste Wood. By fusing fine craftsmanship with modern design, each event with our rental items looks and feels uniquely Costa Rican.
Our assumption has always been that couples choose Costa Rica for their destination wedding because there is something special about the country that is meaningful to them. We designed these items with that idea in mind. Today we feature a fun styled shoot that we recently designed that we have dubbed Rustic Glitz. This scene was set up just steps from our office in Playa Langosta. We based the styling around our new teak lounge table and wicker pillow set for a casual, yet intimate beach vibe.
We would love to hear what you think of the gold and feather accents that we incorporated into this Rustic Glitz styled shoot. Are these pin-worthy details?
Photographer: Costa Vida Photography
Floral Designer: Kirsten of Four Winds Weddings
Event Rentals: Eventos Artesanos