An Intimate Destination Wedding in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Real Weddings

In 2011, Sven, 35, a visual effects artist and photographer, and Theresa, 34, a software engineer, got engaged on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Havana, Cuba. It was only natural that, a year and a half later, the two would wed in front of an equally stunning ocean view. They invited just 34 guests to join them in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for an intimate celebration that combined modern and romantic elements with the region's natural beauty.

The couple spent a week with their family and friends at the private Casa Capitan estate, where they held both the ceremony and reception. Says Theresa, "It was awesome getting to all be in one place and spend time together before and after the wedding." With the help of their event planners, Theresa and Sven planned a wedding with soft, muted colors and simple décor, allowing their love for one another to truly shine.

Theresa kept her accessories minimal so that the focus would be on her gorgeous wedding dress. She added a hint of glam with sparkling Jimmy Choo peep-toe pumps beneath her gown. The couple chose not to see each other before the ceremony, but Sven couldn't resist sending an email to his bride. He caught her attention with the subject "Big Emergency", but then inspired tears of joy as he told Theresa how much he loved her.

When picking her wedding dress, Theresa wanted "a dress that I would wear regardless of if I was having an indoor or outdoor wedding." Her strapless trumpet gown with a lace overlay was the perfect combination of elegant and beach-casual.

Matching the event's softly-hued palette, Theresa carried a bouquet of cream, lavender and blush roses wrapped in lace.

Though her gown was a traditional shape, Theresa loved the unique, modern take on lace. Instead of a traditional pattern, the lace was constructed into oversized roses that flowed delicately into one another.

The finishing touch to Theresa's modern-yet-classic gown? A row of covered buttons down the back. "Each and every subtle detail combined for a dress that was definitely a dream," says Theresa.

Sven's double monk strap shoes brought a touch of Havana cool to his ensemble, a nod to the city where he asked Theresa to be his wife.

The groom's linen suit was ideal for a beach ceremony, while his light purple shirt and tie reflected the soft pastel hues included in the wedding's color scheme.

A linen suit, cognac-hued shoes and a straw hat were the perfect choices for this seaside groom.

Playa Santa Teresa provided a gorgeous backdrop for Sven and Theresa's nuptials. Says the bride, "We loved that it was a somewhat remote location."

The couple's muted color scheme blended seamlessly into Costa Rica's lush jungle-like coast.

Theresa and Sven decided against having a wedding party, as the wedding was so intimate that they wanted everyone to feel included. And, says Theresa, "There was something so incredibly romantic about just Sven and me standing at the altar together alone."

Cream rose petals were strewn down the aisle. During the couple's recessional, their guests tossed petals of the same hue in celebration.

Theresa loved how their officiant included their parents and their guests in the ceremony, making the ceremony about the couple's union as well as the love that surrounds them.

Paper lanterns lit a path, edged with palm trees, from the beach ceremony to the intimate poolside reception.

Guests enjoyed a meal highlighting local Costa Rican ingredients, from local sea bass to shrimp from the Gulf on Nicoya.

Everyone sat at a single long table alongside the pool at Casa Capitan. Strings of lanterns lit the reception, casting a celebratory glow over the table.

Pale lavender linens were topped with arrangements of blush and cream roses, which matched Theresa's simple bouquet.

The three-tiered cake had a top tier of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. The bottom two tiers were red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Blush pink rosebuds were a delicate, elegant topper.

At the end of the evening, Sven and Theresa were able to get their guests off the dance floor long enough to join them on the beach for a bonfire. Together, they lit paper lanterns and sent them up into the pitch-black sky.

After all the excitement of a week with family and friends, Theresa and Sven stayed in Costa Rica for an extra week to relax and unwind. And with a destination wedding location as gorgeous as theirs, can you blame them?

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Casa Capitan || Planner: Aimee Monihan & Anahi Contreras of Tropical Occasions || Bride's Wedding Dress: Ulla-Maija Couture || Hair: Paula Benosa || Makeup: Sally Steiner || Veil: Tia Mazza || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: Nadri || Wedding Bands: Rafinity || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Invitations: Urbanic || Florist: Stylos Y Flores || Catering: 'Ono Cuisine || Cake: Victoria Zoch || Officiant: Terri Zacanti of Sacred Ceremonies || Music: DJ Estif ||
Photographer: Chloe Murdoch Photography

—Jaimie Schoen


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