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Getting Started Wedding Planning

I thought for my first true post I would share the rocky start our wedding planning began with. I'd like to share our wedding “vision”… except it might be more accurate to call it a non-vision.

We didn't start planning much to do with the wedding until we were engaged for about 5 months, and that's mostly because I am probably the most indecisive person in the entire world. When we did start thinking about the wedding day I thought we were on the same page in thinking we would get married on a tropical beach and then boogie the night away. I guess Adam didn't realize that my saying that I wanted to get married on the beach since I was 3 years old was a real thing. I tried to entertain the idea of skipping the whole beach wedding and just having it at home. Adam liked the idea of having the wedding reception in New York. We even looked at a few of the local wineries to get some inspiration. Luckily, it only took about 3 hours and a few stops on the wine trail for both of us to realize that wasn't going to work for us.  Then we both thought we would just elope and have a grand honeymoon in New Zealand.

Although it was a bit tricky getting started wedding planning, we did agree on a few key things!

  • A total wedding budget of less than $8,000
  • Family must be present!
  • Location must somewhat easy to travel to (not the other side of the world)
  • Not too expensive for guests
  • BEACH! (ok, this one was just me)

Next up on the wedding vision list was back at the beach with a Costa Rican wedding with immediate family. This wedding plan made it pretty far. I had already spent a few months in Costa Rica getting my divemaster certification and it was where Adam proposed! We had a few beaches in mind for the ceremony and knew where we would want to stay and host the reception. We thought we would have the wedding on Playa Conchal or Playa Ocotal with the reception at Father Roosters.

Playa Conchal
Playa Conchal, Costa Rica, Personal Photo

I even contacted them and had a date reserved (4/8/16). THEN we realized a few things… the flights to Costa Rica were expensive, the lodging options on these beaches were severely limited, meaning only immediate family would be able to stay together, and we had already been to Costa Rica and wanted to explore somewhere new! (This is ironic since it was just the opposite mindset that had drawn us to this location in the first place). So if anyone is thinking of getting married in Costa Rica, I have some tips!

After stressing about the cost of the wedding for months, making spreadsheet after spreadsheet listing guest expenses and our expenses, and comparing almost every country and island in the Caribbean and Central America, Adam suggested I look into places in Mexico. I hadn't looked at anything in Mexico because my Dad had always said he didn't want to go to Mexico (I have no idea why), and I knew I had to have my parents at our wedding (also why the New Zealand idea didn't stay in the running). After researching a few places in Mexico I realized how much more affordable this option was going to be, both for us and for our guests.

And, after about 8 months, that is how we finally decided the country we were going to get married in. Yikes. To be fair, the wedding venue came soon after 🙂


is a marine biologist, cider-maker, wine-scientist and bride blogger. She got married in 2016, and you can read her wedding planning posts here.