After dating for 14 years, adopting 2 puppies and starting our travel adventures around the world, we decided it was time to make it official. The most important thing for us was a small intimate destination wedding with our friends and family. We wanted more than just a wedding day, we wanted an experience with our people as we celebrated our official commitment. We decided on Costa Rica for the beautiful lush green landscape and stunning beach views. Spending time with our friends and family during our stay was important to us. We found an all-inclusive hotel to be the perfect way to accomplish that. With the beautiful beach and tropical views at Dream Las Mareas it was the perfect destination spot for our wedding.
The planning Process
The planning process began early on with Gianna SanFilippo helping us bring our small, simple vision to life. Researching what was easy to transport, what the hotel could provide and what we could and could not bring was the biggest challenge we had. Luckily, we were able to source everything locally and bring it with us in our luggage, including the preserved palm fronds. Our guests were greeted with welcome bags containing must-haves for Costa Rica: tied to two clear umbrellas (for those pop up tropical showers) was a welcome note, itinerary for the week and a card defining the theme of our wedding “flug”. “flug” definition? “Fucking Love You Guys.”
The story behind “flug”
In 2016, after a long flight and a delayed train, we were wandering the streets of Milan with no sleep and high on way too many espresso shots (6 to be exact), Aldo randomly yelled out “I Fucking Love You Guys” to our group. Searching for a hashtag to use for social media, we landed on #flug and it will forever live as our calling to those we hold dear. When our guests heard it throughout the week, they knew how much we love and adore each of them.
As the beautiful Costa Rica was the stunning background for our wedding, we opted to keep the ceremony décor simple: just chairs, signs and pom-poms for the guests to wave as we (finally) said “I do”. For our ceremony, we had hand made vow books. It was very important that everything be personalized and special for not just us but our guests. We had a friend perform the ceremony for us and he couldn’t have done a better job. Picking someone to perform your ceremony can be a bit overwhelming: are they going to choke, say something awkward, get nervous, etc, but it also adds such a personal element to the day and it was the best decision we made. He was perfect, making the ceremony all about us and our relationship and personalities.
To simplify things, we opted out of an official bridal party. But since our closest friends were all there, we felt that we had one anyway. Even though it was a tropical beach setting, we still wanted a formal wedding. Being a photographer, it was very important to us that everyone coordinate colors for the photographs, even though we didn’t have a bridal party. We asked that all our guests wear formal neutral colors in shades of blush, nude, grey, navy, black and dusty blue. For the reception, we wanted to make sure that our guests were able to take part and interact. So we opted for a U shape table set-up and used the middle as our dance floor. Being big cocktail fans, our reception took on a cocktail influenced theme.
We custom made signs for the table with phrases such as “trust me you can dance – Vodka” and “bad ideas make great memories – schnapps” for each alcohol category. There were custom made chargers from balsa wood, each hand branded with “flug.” Every charger was accompanied by a handwritten note for each guest with their name written in calligraphy on a navy envelope. The back of the bride and groom chairs had banners that said “Drunk” for the groom “In Love” for the bride. Since we weren’t able to include our fur babies at the wedding, we had them in spirit represented in our signature drinks.
I should also note that while Adventures Photos captured the ceremony so our guests could all focus and enjoy the special moment, Aldo and Krista (Krista Mason Photography) were the photographers for the rest of our wedding with the help of our friends and assistants who beautifully captured the day in the most perfect way.