Anna and Stafford met on a dating app in 2019. Stafford was handsome, well-traveled, and mysterious which Anna loved. She was elegant, refined, and classically beautiful. They both had their strengths. Ford could pick up languages quickly and had a more analytical mind for planning trips while Anna had a very creative mind! She is a trained ballerina who loves painting, singing, and art! She was always seeking out new things to do and places to explore together. They were the perfect travel duo - goals in every way! Their love story consisted of trips to go rock climbing, camping, hiking, traveling, and listening to podcasts on long drives. They enjoyed shopping at Asian markets, dancing to Jack Johnson in the kitchen while cooking all of the quarantine, belting the Elephant Medley from Moulin Rouge, picking wildflowers, and finding new unique cuisines to try for dinner!
They got engaged early in the morning of New Year 2021 in Naples, Florida. It was something they had been talking about for months but the event of getting engaged was a huge surprise for Anna. Ford claimed he had gotten a breakfast reservation at a hotel near the beach. Though this wasn't entirely true, they headed out to the boardwalk just outside of the hotel, and little did she know he had scoped out the perfect spot to get down on one knee before the crowds showed up in this beautiful little spot tucked in the mangrove forest. She was completely surprised, mostly because she was convinced that the ring she wanted was still being made back in Utah. It was the perfect way to start 2021.
After a rather tough year with COVID and travel restrictions, they wanted to focus on a beautiful and intimate experience to celebrate with their loved ones. Since it was a smaller event, we could really tailor it to their personal styles in a much more unique and special way. We focused on incorporating their personal style and interests in the big day design. We considered their taste in fashion and love for the environment in planning every detail. Anna was a minimalist with a love for modern, solid colors, neutrals, and a classy fitted or tailored vibe. Ford is drawn to a 1940's casa blanca style with classy cuts and chic flair. Overall they both love clean lines and tend to opt for classy timeless versions of trends.
This sense of style really showed when looking for a venue. They were looking for something with intricate architecture that works with nature. Nothing too boho or flashy instead something that felt private and connected them with the surroundings in Costa Rica. We knew exactly what they meant and once we showed them Villa Caletas, the real wedding vision came to life! They were thoughtful of the big picture with every detail of the design considered from the texture of linens, lines of tiles and brick, unique window fixtures, and the lighting. We focused on making everything very elegant, modern, timeless, and a romantic vibe for their wedding that invoked strong senses, emotions, and feelings while being surrounded by the awe of nature.
On the morning of the wedding, the bride spent time with her mom as she slipped on her gown! She carried a beautifully elegant bouquet with anthurium, orchids, roses, and tropical greenery. The groom's boutonniere was an orchid and greenery which popped on his tailored suit. The bride wore some really fantastic accessories, tear-dropped dangling earrings that we just loved, and a pleated veil.
When they started planning their wedding with us and we asked them what they love most about one another. We love asking this because every answer is so unique and it really gives us a great idea of the couple from the start! These responses were priceless. Anna said "I adore Ford's energy and excitement about life, how much he loves to learn, and I love how kind he is to everyone he meets. He is the most thoughtful person I know." While Ford said "I love that Anna doesn't want to settle for the mundane life. Although we will have a lot of it, she keeps her head up and is open to what is to be experienced and loved in life. She is fiercely herself at all times, a day for Anna can start cozy with a sketch pad and quickly turn into skipping down a trail to drop 200 feet in a canyon by 10 a.m. and be baking a wedding cake by 5 p.m. Who doesn't want to be with someone that wants to get the most out of what the world has to offer? She brings joy into the big but especially the small moments of life just by showing up as her self and I love it."
The ceremony style was lush, elegant, and romantic. They wanted the wedding to feel intimate, well-organized, and comfortable to guests. They wanted a formal dress code for the aesthetic, but a less formal atmosphere since it was just family joining. The ceremony was on the outdoor terrace. The intimate guest list of 18 was seated on black chairs with cushions facing the freestanding wooden arch draped with white fabric that flowed in the tropical breeze. Ford's dad was the officiant for the wedding and since it was such a small wedding this couple decided not to have a wedding party. They also decided to live stream their wedding for everyone back home to watch! They shared touching vows before their closest friends and family before saying the big I do.
Elegant Tropical Wedding Playlist
Wedding Start Song: Can't Help Falling in Love with You
Processional Song: Turning Page Sleeping at Last
Recessional Song: La Vie En Rose
First Dance Song: Stand By Me by Florence + The Machine
For the cocktail hour and signing of the marriage license, everyone drank smoothies on the terrace and soaked in those last rays of sunshine before heading to the rooftop for dinner. The reception was overlooking the sunset and had a moody tropical vibe. There were café style string lights hanging back and forth above the tables with each strand draped in a tropical ivy called smilax. Centered over the table, we created a hanging chandelier with more prominent tropical greenery and pops of florals and hanging bulbs which really created a wow effect! There were wooden tables placed together to create one long table surrounded by wooden chairs with plush white cushions. On the center of the table was a long emerald green runner with centerpieces of eclectic and moody dark green vessels in arraying sizes to hold the tropical flowers. The floral design focused on green, ivory, and pops of rich warm tones like burnt orange anthuriums. We also included gold vases with small tropical potted plants to mix in with the fresh-cut flowers. We decorated around the florals with black tapered candles and brass candleholders for a vintage touch. For the dinnerware, every place setting had clear goblets, a black and white charger, and a black napkin with the menu tucked inside.
Ford is a triplet so each of the brothers shared touching speeches that made everyone laugh and tear up. The bride's little brother was the MC the whole night and added a few jokes in himself! After a delicious dinner, everyone headed outdoors for the first dances and to play the wedding shoe game! After dancing up an appetite they cut the all-white wedding cake that was timelessly chic and decorated in roses. Before leaving their guests for the night, the couple walked through a tunnel of sparklers and then again through lightsabers! We loved this final touch to the day, perfectly represents this couple's humor and love story.
Elegant Tropical Wedding Menu
Smoothies: hierba buena mint lemonade, passion fruit juice, and fresh mango
Appetizers: Squash and beet crostini and crispy seafood napoleon
Main: Mahi wrapped in plantain or surf and turf
Dessert: Seasonal fruit tartlet, a chocolate Madagascar terrine, and wedding cake
We asked this power couple, what are you looking forward to most about marriage? They said "The partnership, support, and growth that comes with being married. We're also excited about cooking more together and creating a home together. We're not stationary people, we're not looking to buy a house but will likely be ex-pats circling the globe." We asked them if they had any tips for future couples, they replied "Find dedicated, intentional times to check in with each other and use those moments to be super honest and vulnerable. It is not the easiest but it is a foundation for the best memories." So sweet! Congrats Anna + Stafford, we can't wait to see what adventures you two take next!
Mountaintop Costa Rica Wedding Featured on Destination I do
We are so excited to feature Anna + Ford’s wedding on Destination I do!