Daniela & Johnathan’s Costa Rica Beach Wedding

 In #WeddingsInTheSun, Costa Rica Wedding Photography, Riu Guanacaste Weddings, Uncategorized

Costa Rica is known for its warm people, beautiful beaches and amazing rain-forests. And when your family is “tica”… you know that a destination wedding in this beautiful country is the way to go. Daniela & Johnathan’s Costa Rica beach wedding was fun, emotional, cute and definitely memorable.

Two totally different families were united by the love for this amazing couple. They helped make this Costa Rica beach wedding a true celebration, “Pura vida” style.

Very Affectionate, Very Disciplined

“Daniela was raised in Swampscott, Massachusetts, USA – the 3rd smallest town in Massachusetts. Raised by her mother, Sandra Miranda, and father, Giovanni Avila. Both are from Costa Rica. Daniela has an older brother as well, Giovanni Avila Jr. We were always together. My parents taught us to love each other. Always tell each other we love each other at least once a day and we expressed our love in hugs. We’re a very affectionate bunch. So, loving comes naturally to Daniela.
This is the opposite for Johnathan. Johnathan is one of 7 children. Born and Raised in Revere, Massachusetts, USA. Johnathan and his siblings all practiced the art of karate and tae kwon do. This taught him how to be obedient and disciplined. He was raised by his mother and father, both were born and raised in Cambodia. Traditionally, Asian culture does not express their feelings and showing love is not a common thing. Johnathan’s family was not taught to be as affectionate as Daniela’s family. So this was a struggle for Johnathan and Daniela in the beginning of their relationship.”

Saint Patrick’s Meeting

“We met at saint patrick’s day party in 2006. Daniela became friends with Katherine (maid of Honor) and Katherine was new to Swampscott. She originally lived in Revere, where she was friends with Johnathan at her old school. We were both seniors in high school but from different towns and schools. Katherine decided to throw a party and invite her friends from her old and new school to meet. Sure enough, Daniela and Johnathan met…. and she thought he was so funny! But, he was not her type. Johnathan would not take no for an answer so he began to take her on group dates with lots of friends so she wouldn’t feel pressured. After spending so much time together, she began to fall for his charm and 10 years later… they got married.”

You Should Turn Around

“Ah yes, the proposal – One of my favorite stories! Johnathan is a man of little words but a big heart. He is not the most creative person but he can be very creative when he wants to be. & when it came to the proposal, he was very creative (with help from our friends – ahem! Thanks Ta!). Johnathan created a group chat with all of my closest girlfriends to help him brainstorm. He had lots of ideas planned but nothing seemed to work out until he came up with the final idea.
He asked my girlfriends if they could all remain available on Friday, November 13th at 8pm. This was the day he wanted to propose to me. He wanted to take me somewhere really pretty, with lights, to surprise me. But, enough of the back story… Let me tell you how it all played out through my eyes….
It was a Friday after work, my cousins were having a get-together at their house but Johnathan insisted we have a date night, just us two – so we did. He told me to meet him in Boston, Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall area after work. So, I did. I left work, hopped on the train and headed over to the Quincy Market area. He texted me and told me to meet him at the Union Oyster House. We had some oysters (duh, it’s an oyster house!) and some clam chowder – with beers of course. Surprisingly, we were STUFFED afterwards and decided we needed to walk it off a little and check out the new Boston Public Market and see what the hype was all about. We checked it out – agreed, it was a pretty cool place – then hit the bars for some more drinks. So, we walked over to Mija’s in Faneuil Hall and had some more beers (he drank a margarita too – we all know how much he loves his margaritas!).
He said there was a show in the North End that he wanted to take me to but it didn’t start until 8pm so we had some time to kill.
In November, Faneuil Hall is all set up with lights at night time so he decided we should take “action shots” around the area. Now, an “action shot” is when you jump in the air while the picture is being taken – so it looks like you’re flying. We took a few action shots and had a few more drinks and then walked about to the North End.
When we get to the North End, I keep insisting – where are we going? Give me a little hint! Nothing. Like I said, Johnathan is a man of few words.
We walk past the Carousel on the Greenway and cross over to the beautiful Christopher Columbus Park in the Waterfront area. We’re walking down the beautifully lit trellis and Johnathan tells me to stop right where we are to take a picture. So, silly-me asks if I should jump! Since, we had been taking all these action shots – I assumed it was another action shot! He tells me not to jump and stand still – don’t move. Then he takes the pic. He told me to hurry – come look at the pic… and it’s me – awkwardly standing still like a british soldier… unknowingly with some of my closest friends behind me – holding up signs that say “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” So, my heart dropped and became SO confused! So I turned around and there were all my friends! Then, I realized they were all telling me to turn around – So I did! & There was Johnathan – down on one knee, asking me a simple question but I couldn’t get the words out through all my tears! So, all I could do was nod my head as I hugged him tight.
And then the tears came gushing out! haha, we’re such babies! We don’t even know how we’re going to be able to get our vows out on our wedding day with all the tears in the way!”

A Costa Rica Beach Wedding

“Daniela’s family is from Costa Rica and she always wanted a Costa Rica beach wedding in her family’s country. It meant a lot to her. Johnathan’s family has never been on a family vacation and he had always dreamed of having a family vacation. So we thought, why not! It will be one of the best experiences of our lives. The best part of the day was having ALL of our family and closest friends there. We really cannot believe we had 70 guests at a destination wedding. It was overwhelming and we are forever grateful!”

Everyone Present

“Most important was our direct family. Daniela’s parents, Sandra and Giovanni. Johnathan’s Parents, Maurie and Jack. our siblings – Daniela’s brother Giovanni, and Johnathan’s 6 siblings, Anita, Johny, Amy, Joseph, April and Jalen. It also meant so much to have Daniela’s 85 year-old-godmother fly from California to be with us. It was so nice to have Ta Hou and Katherine Do be there as well. They are the friends that were there the first night we met at Katherine’s St. Patty’s day gathering.
Something that was very important to us was having a small shrine of our recently deceased grandparents – We truly felt like they were there with us. Their photos were set up to watch out ceremony and they were set up again to watch the reception. Daniela was/is very close to her grandparents and it was SO nice to surprise both sides of parents with the little shrine she put together. Daniela has always felt that her grandmother, Sandra’s mother Bertha, and her grandfather, Sandra’s father Victor, have been watching her since their passing. She strongly feels that they have guided her through the amazing year leading up to the wedding. Great things that happened were: Daniela got a great job with a GREAT company, Daniela and Johnathan got engaged, had a memorable engagement party, bought a house, had a great wedding send-off party before getting hitched in Costa Rica with all their friends. It has been quite the year for Daniela and Johnathan and they are SO grateful!
I would like to mention: Godmother – She helped raise my father when my father moved to the US. She took him in while only meeting him after 1 day.
Katherine & Ta – close friends of both Daniela & Johnathan. They are the reason we met.”

Memorable Costa Rica Beach Wedding Moments

“Our bridal party speeches. We had such special bridal party speeches. instead of having just a maid-of-honor and best-man speech, our bridal party all wanted to say a word so we had a beautiful speech from the whole bridal party. that was SO awesome.”

Everything Fell Into Place

“Most of the decor was purchased from Etsy. Daniela made a few things. The bridesmaid dresses were a total bargain from Groupon! Best $40 ever spent! When we started this whole adventure of planning the wedding, we didn’t have a specific color pattern or ideas as to what we liked to somehow – everything fell into place. We started building out the ideas and the colors just came to us as we went. and the final product was SO beautiful!”


“The WeddingDayStory website was so easy to use and it was the perfect way to get our photos. we REALLY enjoyed working with you all! There are SO many great pictures! It’s hard to choose just one. Just we’d have to say the photos with the bridal party and our first look were definitely our favorites!”

Unbelievable. Memorable. Grateful.

“Our biggest concern was when I received an email from the hotel wedding coordinators saying we could not speak about our until 3-4 months before the wedding date. They really made us very nervous because we wanted to schedule the big parts (DJ, Photographer, Videographer, flowers, performers, Cake, etc) months in advance to confirm they were available on that date. But, we later found out they would all reach out to us before the we would speak with the wedding coordinators. So everything worked out wonderfully! Our videographers were AMAZING too! We worked with Costa Rica Cinematography. They were able to catch GREAT footage. We are looking forward to the final result.”

Less Stress

“Destination weddings are the way to go! Less stress. We were able to convince our bridal party, family and friends to put things in their luggages for the wedding and they happily did! We brought SO many things to our Costa Rica beach wedding!

Something blue…

“Well, there was supposed to be! But of course, not everything goes as planned. Something blue – I was supposed to wear blue shoes but I loved my foot jewelry so much that I went barefoot all night. Something borrowed – I was gifted a types of undergarments from my bridal shower and bachelorette. Something new – well, everything was new! 🙂 (Dress, jewelry, etc)”

Come Over

“Our wedding song – not traditional at all but it was meaningful to us. It was a bit of a reggae song and a little upbeat but it was a song that Daniela played as her ring tone for the first 4 years of their relationship. The song always reminded her of when Johnathan would call her so they chose that song.
Song: Come Over // Artist: Estelle ft. Sean Paul
We also chose a few traditional cambodian songs to add to our play list to incorporate both of our traditions. We encouraged both sides of the family to dance on our Costa Rica beach wedding, and we taught Daniela’s side of the family how to dance along to the cambodian style dance. It was really fun!”

Costa Rica Beach Wedding Credits

Wedding planner: We used the Costa Rica beach wedding planner the Riu Hotel provided. Her name was Susan Hernandez.
Florals: The wedding planner organized this.
Catering: This was organized through the RIU hotel.
Costa Rica Beach Wedding Hair: My maid of honor did my hair 🙂
Make up: I did my own make up.
DJ: The DJ was AWESOME! Her name was Ellie – HIGHLY recommend her. She was organized through the wedding planner.
Videographer: Costa Rica Cinematography. They were AMAZING! They had a DRONE! seriously, they were awesome!
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas! LOVE THEM!
Wedding gown: BHLDN.
Headpiece: I had a headpiece that I wore from Aldo accessories bridal collection.
Bridesmaids dresses: Groupon! 🙂
Groom & groomsmen’s suits: Macy’s!

We loved Daniela & Johnathan’s Costa Rica beach wedding! The WeddingDayStory family wishes them all more love than they can handle, and for them to always be able to share all the good things in this world.Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding Costa Rica beach wedding


For more amazing Costa Rica beach wedding pictures click here!

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