Want to get married at la fortuna waterfall – just the two of us. Best way to go about that? wedding planner seems a bit silly; as just us and a commitment ceremony – not even interested in “legal marriage” there, just an exchange of vows, rings, and photos. What do you suggest?
First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS! “Legal marriage” or not, you’ve found each other and love is worth celebrating. Always. Congrats to the two of you from the two of us (and well done–selecting Costa Rica as your destination of choice to mark the celebration–you’re going to love it!).
Had you asked us for official “Costa Rica wedding planning” advice, our response would have likely been a list of links to other resources who are far more knowledgeable about the subject than we are. The two of us were married in Costa Rica, but we opted for a low-key ceremony and planned everything ourselves, so we wouldn’t be the best sources of information with respect to working with a planner. We have worked with many travellers who were married in Costa Rica, however, although our experience with them was helping to arrange tours and activities for them to participate in during their honeymoon, or for their wedding party and guests to experience during their trip. When it comes to scheduling wedding details, such as reserving an officiant, deciding on a location, ordering a cake, etc., we may not be the best of help.
But, we DO know the La Fortuna Waterfall well, and we DO know a thing or two about romantic moments in this Costa Rican paradise. When we were planning our own wedding (which we ended up having in the Turrialba region of the country in order to be close to family), we ran through what felt like every possible “adventure wedding” scenario. We wanted to get married on the Pacuare River. We wanted to get married in a national park. We even wanted to get married at the La Fortuna Waterfall, too. So, we understand your interest in wanting to celebrate your love at a unique, fun, and memorable place. Regardless of whether that place ends up being the La Fortuna Waterfall or not, we wish you both the best. In an attempt to help you research the important event, we have comprised a brief list of points we feel are worth mentioning. Hopefully some, if not all, of our tips can be of use to you throughout the planning of your ceremony.
If you 100% decide to have the commitment ceremony at the La Fortuna Waterfall:
- Remember that the La Fortuna Waterfall is a public place. Depending on the time of year you plan to travel, there may be 1 or 100 other people at the site at the same time as you. Since the area at the bottom of the waterfall (as well as the area at the lookout point just past the entrance, souvenir shop, and bathrooms) is spatially small, you will likely be joined by others at the moment you say your vows.
- If you wish to have your ceremony at the La Fortuna Waterfall, note that the area is in the open and does not provide shelter from rain (with the exception of the entrance, souvenir shop, and bathrooms). Depending on the time of year you plan to travel, the likelihood of rain may be great. Although the La Fortuna Waterfall remains open when it rains (visitors flock to the La Fortuna Waterfall year round, rain or shine), rain may impact negatively upon your ceremony photography, videography, and/or formal attire (if you plan to wear it).
- If you wish to have your ceremony at the bottom of the La Fortuna Waterfall (i.e., at the waterfall’s base), a significant hike will be required to get to the location. Although many visitors and hikers make the trek without issue (depending on their level of physicality, endurance, and physical mobility), most do not make the trip without breaking a sweat. This could be a source of discomfort or disappointment if you or your partner plan to wear formal clothing. Although bathrooms (i.e., change rooms) are located on-site, they are situated at the top of the waterfall (just past the entrance); the base of the waterfall does not offer privacy for changing into/out of clothing.
- If you wish to have your ceremony at the bottom of the La Fortuna Waterfall (i.e., at the waterfall’s base), the background noise will be hefty. Although you will be able to hear each other speak, and therefore, hear the vows, if you plan to have the ceremony videotaped, note that the sound quality may be affected by the sound of the roaring cascade.
If you want to have the commitment ceremony at a waterfall, but are unsure about the La Fortuna Waterfall in particular:
- Consider the La Paz Waterfall instead (north of Alajuela). The Waterfall Gardens site has organized many weddings at their on-site waterfall in the past, and although getting married at the destination typically requires more formal “wedding planning” than the amount you are interested in, we don’t see why you couldn’t enter the attraction like any other traveller, walk to the waterfall like everyone else, and hold your own commitment ceremony on-site without signing up for an official wedding package such as those promoted by the property if you don’t require privacy or a legal union. For more information about the Waterfall Gardens’ La Paz Waterfall wedding offers and packages, please see: http://www.waterfallgardens.com/weddings.php
- If you would prefer something lower-key than the glam that the Waterfall Gardens and a La Paz Waterfall wedding ceremony would offer, consider the Waterfall Villas instead (in the Dominical region of the country, nearby the Nauyaca Waterfalls). For more information about the Waterfall Villas wedding offers and packages, please see: http://www.waterfallvillas.com/packages/wedding-packages/waterfall-wedding-destination
Read our related blog post: La Fortuna (Costa Rica) Waterfalls – Yes, There Are More Than Just One!