Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

January 28 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Care Photography
Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica
Photos by Care Photography

Offbeat partner: Brittany, Contracts Specialist

Offbeat partner: Terrence, Chemical Engineer

Date and location of wedding: Arenal, Costa Rica — March 3, 2017

Budget: $10,000

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

Terrence and I eloped alone at the base of a waterfall in Costa Rica on our ten-year anniversary. We spent two weeks traveling the coast and rain forest of Costa Rica and spent our wedding budget volunteering with animal rescues (sloths and monkeys galore! We love animals), riding horses, bikes, and ATVs, booze cruising, beaching, and hiking. We even made our own chocolate in the rain forest.

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

I wore red (because I simply don't like white) and celebrated with a cake topped with Mr. and Mrs. Sloth. It was 100% stress free and two weeks filled with nothing but adventure and pure bliss.

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Tell us about the ceremony:

We rode four wheel drive through the mountains of Arenal, Costa Rica with our entourage (the kindest resort staff we could have asked for) until the cars could go no further. Then, we took horses down the trail to the base of the waterfall. My hair fell. I got a little sweaty. But at that point I was too happy to care! The day was finally here!

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

We changed into our attire (my $60 red dress!) in a little hut near the waterfall's pool, then more hiking across the rocks to the spot where the photographer insisted had best lighting. There, we had a short and beautiful ceremony followed by fresh fruit and pictures.

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

We took more photos cutting the cake back at our cabin at the resort. Our cake and flowers were taken care of by some ladies in town arranged by the hotel manager. The cake was topped with a precious felted Mr. and Mrs. Sloth cake topper custom-made by an artist I found online from France. She creates felt animals and settings for children's books and made the topper for our wedding. We also had our wedding filmed with clips from our stay at the resort (i.e. milking a cow, hiking, horse riding, etc.).

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

What was your most important lesson learned?

When we got engaged, everyone kept telling us how they were so regretful for spending so much on their wedding. We also knew that we really weren't the type of people to enjoy tons of attention on a stressful wedding day. We gushed at the idea of eloping just the two of us but kept trying and planning a real wedding we were never into. Money, family, location — all of them kept turning into issue for one reason or another. Eventually we stopped and cancelled everything (got most of our deposits back) and booked a flight to Costa Rica.

We spent less than $10k including all photographers, attire, stay, and excursions but we stayed in the nicest hotels and did literally every. thing. we. wanted. It was the trip and wedding of a lifetime! We are so happy.

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Get romanced by this tropical elopement at a waterfall in Costa Rica

Vendors

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  1. This is beautiful and I'm sold on doing this for our wedding! How did you find your photographer? I don't want all of the 'extra' shots that typical weddings have (the innumerable poses, the shoes, the 'getting ready' photos) but I do want some pictures of us from the (short) ceremony and right after. Would you recommend this resort? Congratulations on a beautiful elopement!

    • Hi Jill,

      I highly recommend the resort for a few days in Arenal. This resort is actually outside of Arenal by appx. 20 minutes… and up a steep and bumpy mountain. We'd never done a retreat style hotel (no tv, internet, etc.) and it was very different! But the wedding itself was beautiful, affordable, and the ceremony location couldn't be beat (although this too was not easily accessible… we had to 4WD through a bit more mountain, then hike to the location on foot. If you love adventure, you will love it!! The people, the country, the wildlife… it's all so amazing. We also spent a week on the beach in Manuel Antonio and it was absolutely incredible.

      • Also, I used Offbeat Bride and Style Me Pretty to filter out vendors by location. That's how I found out photog.

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