real weddings

Sara & Evan’s Bohemian Chic Wedding in Costa Rica

Nine years ago, in Pennsylvania, Sara and Evan fell in love. Some time later, on an adventure vacation, they both fell in love again, this time with Costa Rica. So when Sara and Evan decided they wanted to tie the knot in a fun and exciting way, a destination wedding in Costa Rica was the obvious choice.

Where to begin? Sara and Evan wisely enlisted expert help: Tropical Occasions, specializing in destination weddings. They recommended holding the wedding in Manuel Antonio, a beautiful area with a national park, which offered the perfect mix of jungle and beach, a small town, and accessibility, accommodation and activities for the guests. Sara and Evan went on a trip to scout out venues and chose the Hotel Parador for its mix of luxury, modern amenities, and traditional Costa Rican appeal. Then they invited their nearest and dearest to come to their wedding in paradise, and hired photographers A Brit & A Blonde to capture the magic.

Sara and Evan chose an unusual theme for their celebration: Grecian Fairies Bohemian Garden Party. Aimee, the lead designer at Tropical Occasions, rose to the challenge, creating an enchanting setting for both the ceremony on the beach and the outdoor reception. There was lots of white with touches of gold and bright green, and just enough whimsy to give it an aura of make-believe, as if a fairy had sprinkled magic dust. The flowers had a bohemian, organic feel: compote dishes were filled loosely with garden roses, lisanthus, orchids, freesia, and lots of foliage. Many candles in mercury vases, votives hanging by silk ribbons, and fairy lights cast a beautiful glow come nightfall.

One of the couple’s favorite details was the little animal figurines. With the help of her mother and sister/maid of honor, Sara spent many hours spray-painting them gold. They added such fun to the tablescape and were a hit with the guests. Another detail that really set the tone was all the cool paper products (welcome “letter”, menu card, etc.), designed by a good friend of Sara and Evan’s, that delivered information in a playful and attractive way. One piece of info that needed to be conveyed was the hashtag created for the wedding (#VONSHIDI — a combination of their last names), which guests were encouraged to use when posting to social media.

It all came off beautifully, even better than Sara and Evan could have imagined. Best of all, though, was just being together. “We had nearly 70 of our closest friends and family from all over the world—from San Francisco to Tehran, Iran to Bolivia, and everywhere in between (Chicago, NY, PA, DC, VA) — travel to a little town on the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica and one of our favorite places on earth. Having all of those people in one place was a dream come true.”

The Wedding Makers
Photographers: A Brit & A Blonde | Wedding planners: Tropical Occasions | Venue: Parador Hotel | Wedding dress: Vera Wang | Bridal salon: The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel | Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom and groomsmen outfits: Bonobos | Neck ties: The Groombox | Groom’s shoes: To Boot New York | Groom’s socks: Thomas Pink gingham socks | Bridemaids dresses: Cusp by Neiman Marcus | Bridesmaid robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridesmaid earrings: Kendra Scott | Printed pieces: Katherine Warminsky | DJ: Kika Arguello | Florist: Peartree Flowers | Cake: Mariposa Bakery | Hair and Makeup: Fernando Hidalgo

JCPenney Registry Picks for Travel Lovers
Pack your precious wedding wardrobe and accessories in luggage by Samsonite, available at JCPenney. These collections are lightweight, durable, and easy to maneuver thanks to multi-directional spinner wheels that let you roll the bags upright. The Samsonite Control II collection (at left) expands for added packing capacity, features TSA-approved combination locks, and comes in silver or black. The new Samsonite Soar 2.0 collection (at right) is especially lightweight, and available in red, blue, grey or black. Register for luggage at JCPenney.2lifeStyleReport_JCPLuggageSamsonite

Image(s): Wedding photography by A Brit & A Blonde; luggage images courtesy of JCPenney