Planning your wedding is one of the most singular times of life: magical and full of hope, exciting and rife with joy. Give into it. Let it all wash over you. Bask in the anticipation of planning a perfect start to forever. Because forever will be here soon. Until then, we'll help you plan every detail to get married in Costa Rica. Specifically, to plan with very little stress and a lot of the good stuff – all that hope and wonder and picture-perfect everything. That's why we're here. While we've already written extensively on getting married in Costa Rica, we thought an update was due. After all, it's been a wild (let's go with that) last year or so. One that probably has you wondering whether anything has changed, or evolved, or then updated in any way that will be relevant to your wedding. Hour guide to getting married in Costa Rica, 2021/2022 edition, will help. And wherever it doesn't please get in touch.
Get Married in Costa Rica: 2021/2022 FAQCongratulations! There's nothing in the world quite like planning a wedding. Of course, there's also nothing quite like the many questions that pop up, especially when you're planning a destination wedding. Don't worry. As far as destination wedding planning in Costa Rica, the requirements and need-to-knows are fairly simple.
Q: What requirements are there to get married in Costa Rica?A: As long as you're not marrying a Costa Rican citizen – in that case, other requirements apply; please ask!– then there are only two core requirements: a Costa Rican lawyer/priest and a valid passport. With this document, I thee wed!
Q: Do we really need a lawyer? Can't our friend/family/spiritual leader marry us?A: Yes, you really need a lawyer. Except if you don't. If you want to exchange vows – legal, get-the-paperwork-back-home vows – then you will need either a lawyer or a Catholic priest to officiate your marriage ceremony. That's because only lawyers, judges, and priests can legally officiate a ceremony in Costa Rica. (And if you don't live here, finding an English-speaking priest willing to marry a couple he doesn't know... well, that's its own commitment!) Long story short, a lawyer is key to the legal stuff – and to prepping your paperwork to have your marriage legally recognized back home. Don't want to jump through the legal hoops? Many couples choose to have a small civil ceremony back home before exchanging vows before family and friends in Costa Rica, with any officiant of your choice. (And if that's your situation, then you won't need a lawyer or a priest, as you won't need to legalize anything back home. You're already married!)
Q: How do we legalize our marriage back home?A: If you choose to get married in Costa Rica – as in, not get legally married first, in your home country – then you'll need to validate your marriage abroad. The exact requirements vary depending on where you call home, but on the Costa Rican side of things, here's what will happen:
- The National Registry of Costa Rica will issue your Certificate of Marriage, usually 8-12 weeks after you get married in Costa Rica.
- Your lawyer will have your Certificate of Marriage officially translated, apostilled and/or notarized, depending on your country of origin.
- From there, you'll have to present your marriage certificate and any required supporting documentation, per your home country's laws and regulations.
- Congrats, you're now legally married in both Costa Rica and home!
Q: Are gatherings for weddings and receptions currently allowed/permitted in Costa Rica?A: Yes. Costa Rican law currently allows for events, including weddings. Please get in touch to discuss current regulations, if any.
Q: Do all your recommended professionals and vendors follow safety & health protocols?A: Yes. We not only hold ourselves to the highest standards (see below), we also expect the same from our providers, vendors, and everyone we work with. So, while we cannot make promises or guarantees on professionals outside our network, we can assure you that anyone we work with or recommend will also hold themselves to the highest standards. And speaking of, at Stay in Tamarindo, our updated protocols prioritize your (and your guests') safety:
- COVID Cleaning: Among other measures, we clean and sanitize all our Tamarindo vacation homes with both chlorine-based and organic disinfectants proven effective in killing new coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2).
- Courtesy Hand Sanitizer: We've equipped all our rentals with complimentary hand sanitizer.
- Masked Hospitality: All Stay in Tamarindo staff, including our cleaning crews, are fully masked during all moments of traveler contact.
- Travel with Your "Bubble": Here in Costa Rica, we refer to your COVID companions as your social bubble. And here at Stay in Tamarindo, our concierge ensures your travel plans – transportation, tours, and activities – are for your bubble only.
Costa Rica Destination Wedding: 5 Venues to Begin Your ForeverThe first step in the journey to get married in Costa Rica: window shopping! Here are five venues (plus some) to inspire your plans and dreams.
- Max Guests: 40
- Event Fees: starting at $1,000/event
- Noise Restrictions: Strict – 10 p.m.
- Max Guests: 50 on the pool deck; please inquire for larger groups
- Event Fees: starting at $1000
- Noise Restrictions: Strict – 10 p.m.
- Max Guests: 100
- Event Fees: starting at $1000
- Noise Restrictions: none
- Max Guests: 300
- Event Fees: Minimum consumption based on the season. Please inquire for pricing.
- Noise Restrictions: 10 p.m.
Costa Rica Wedding Venues at Hacienda PinillaLocated 20 minutes from Tamarindo, Hacienda Pinilla is an exclusive, 4,500-acre gated community on the Pacific Ocean. Here, you'll find several of Costa Rica's most immaculate beaches, paired with a championship golf course, oceanfront Beach Club, tennis courts, walking and biking trails, and other upscale amenities. You may also find the perfect wedding venue to get married in Costa Rica. In part, because your entire wedding party can stay close: We offer 100+ bedrooms at our Hacienda Pinilla vacation rentals, hosted at luxurious homes with private pools, ocean views, full staff, and other incredible amenities. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Hacienda Pinilla also offers some of the best and most photogenic wedding venues in Costa Rica. To wit:
- Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club: Host a grand event at this upscale beach club, where you can exchange vows with your toes in the sand.
- Mandarina Lounge: Located on the second floor of the Beach Club, this private lounge delivers intimacy for smaller weddings and receptions.
- Las Palapas: Two thatched ranchos by the beach offer the perfect setting for a beach wedding, especially at sunset.
- The Chapel: Take your wedding day a little more traditional at Hacienda Pinilla's lovely chapel, built in the colonial style and open to all beliefs.
- JW Marriott: Dial up the luxury at Hacienda Pinilla's onsite JW Marriott, offering stylish and exclusive event spaces.