Jen and Craig are a super laid back couple that found us on a feature from Junebug Weddings. They lead a healthy active lifestyle so it was no surprise that they met at the gym. Back in 2015, Craig was a part-time trainer at his friend's fitness studio. Jen popped in a class with a friend and Craig ended up being her instructor. The connection was undeniable and unlike anything they had ever felt. Fast forward three months later, Craig and Jen were living together and have been inseparable ever since.
Then began countless date nights with dirty martinis for him and cosmos for her. Followed by days being active, going for runs, or working out together. They love hiking difficult mountain trails, lounging in the pool, and their favorite is casual nights at home with a bottle of good wine and great conversation. They enjoy trying new things like going to a variety of concerts, everything from country to EDM to Andrea Bocelli. They like to get outdoors and soak up as much sunshine as possible since relocating to Arizona from Wisconsin.
The engagement was cozy and at home, just like the bride wanted! The only two witnesses were their fur babies, one husky and one Belgian Malinois. It was simple, intimate, and perfect, no extravagance necessary. They wanted the same intimate natural feel for their destination wedding.
Jen and Craig take a Caribbean vacation once a year but they wanted to try something new and visit Costa Rica. They knew they wanted a beach wedding with an ocean backdrop because they really love that coastal romantic feel. However, Jen wanted an off-beach but near beach ceremony location. It was important to them that the ceremony setting was as intimate as possible with no tourists and onlookers walking by. Like most couples who plan from abroad, they didn't know where to start! So we jumped in and helped them plan every detail.
When searching for the perfect venue they said "5 star all-inclusive resorts are typically our go-to, but we’re also interested in other locations that offer more seclusion and privacy for the wedding." They wanted a venue that fit their intimate guest list of 20 guests from Wisconsin on the same property, without sharing a house. We knew just the place! Westin Playa Conchal allowed us to combine the all-inclusive resort with an intimate ceremony and reception space. The Zen Garden at Westin was perfect for the ceremony, it's elevated positioning, coastal views and a cool tree created the ultimate intimate vibe. Costa Rica is so gorgeous, we simply wanted to enhance the natural beauty it offers.
When we started planning the wedding design we aimed to embody the beachy elegant, understated, and bright style that the couple loved. We wanted to make this intimate wedding more personalized, nontraditional, and relaxed. We pulled inspiration from the warm weather, ocean waves, and bright pretty colors. We decided on a sunrise color theme with pinks, yellows, corals, and gold with warm wood contrasts throughout the wedding. The ceremony featured rounded back chairs with white cushions that we really loved! We lined the aisle with terra cotta planters and local plants. The arch was a more modern gold frame with bright florals.
All Inclusive Micro Wedding Playlist
Ceremony Start: More of You by Josh Groban
Brides Entrance: I Was Made for Loving You by Tori Kelly + Ed Sheeran
Recessional: Overload by Life of Dillon
Bride + Groom Entrance Song: Runaway by U&I
First Dance Song: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me by Mel Carter
Last Song: Higher Love by Steve Winwood
Leaving Song: Stick Around by Akon
After the big kiss, everyone headed to the beach to take photos and soak in the colorful Costa Rican sunset. For the reception, we headed to the open-air covered rooftop. For this part of the design, we incorporated touches of deep blue into the tablescape with the glasses and napkins. We created a natural garland of greenery, local fruit, tapered candles, and flowers for the centerpieces. We focused more on lighting elements than florals for an elegant and intimate glow.
From the start, we could tell that Jen and Craig were huge foodies! They said they loved when meals provided an experience in addition to yummy food. When preparing the perfect menu we kept fresh seafood, local fruits, and vegetables in mind.
ALL INCLUSIVE MICRO WEDDING MENU
Sesame oil and ginger marinated chicken skewers
Smoked salmon and cream cheese canapé
Caprese salad shot with creamy balsamic dressing
Seared tuna on a crispy wonton with chipotle mayonnaise
Grilled shrimp and mango salsa shots
Classic Caesar Salad, Romaine Hearts, Parmesan Toast, and Parmesan Crisps.
Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Baby Greens, Balsamic Syrup, and Basil Vinaigrette.
Spanish Gazpacho with Shrimp and Cilantro.
Individual Key Lime Tart with Strawberry Sauce
Fresh Fruit Tartlet with Pistachio Cream
Mango Cheese Cake with Guava Coulis
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Passion Fruit Jelly
When we asked Craig what he loved about Jen, he said "I love how we can have fun doing anything. Jen is perfect, end of story." Jen said "Craig is about as amazing as they come. Since the day he entered my life, I've never felt such an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, happiness, and support. His positivity is absolutely infectious which causes people to naturally be drawn to him, myself included. He approaches life as an adventure that people want to be a part of! He's one of the most humble and selfless people I've ever met and is everyone's biggest cheerleader. It's impossible not to be your best self when you have Craig supporting you. He's my gold medal, my Mount Everest, my greatest adventure."
The whole event was seamless and intimate. It was a balanced blend of laid back beachy vibes and timeless tropical elegance. We know there will be many more beautiful memories ahead for these two! Congrats Jen + Craig!