Costa Rican Wedding Traditions

If you’re planning a wedding, you know how difficult it can be to decide on all the details. But have you ever thought about incorporating Costa Rican wedding traditions into your special day? From ceremonies and receptions to attire and other unique customs, there are plenty of ways to make your celebration more meaningful with traditional Costa Rican elements. Let’s explore some of these fascinating costa rican wedding traditions that will add a beautiful touch of culture to your big day.

Costa Rican Wedding Traditions

Ceremony Traditions

The processional is the entrance of the bride and groom, followed by their families and bridal party. This is a time-honored tradition that symbolizes the couple’s commitment to each other. The music chosen for this moment can be traditional or modern, but should reflect the couple’s personalities and style.

Exchange of vows is one of the most important parts of any wedding ceremony. It’s when couples declare their love for each other in front of family and friends. Couples may choose to write their own vows or use traditional ones from religious texts or literature.

Unity rituals are often incorporated into weddings as a way to symbolize two becoming one during marriage ceremonies. Popular unity rituals include lighting a single candle together, pouring sand from two separate vessels into one vessel, tying ribbons around an object such as a tree branch or wine bottle, breaking glass together, exchanging rings with special words spoken over them and planting a tree together. These rituals help make your wedding ceremony more meaningful and memorable for you both.

Ceremony traditions in Costa Rica are steeped in symbolism and tradition, from the processional to the exchange of vows to various unity rituals. As guests move on to the reception, they can expect a night filled with traditional food and drinks, music and dancing, as well as wedding favors and gifts.

Reception Traditions

Reception Traditions are an important part of Costa Rican weddings. The reception is a lively affair that involves traditional food and drinks, music and dancing, and wedding favors for guests.

Traditional Food and Drinks:

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is a popular dish served at receptions in Costa Rica. Tamales de elote (corn tamales) are also often served as well as other local dishes such as gallo pinto (rice and beans). To drink, guests may enjoy tropical juices or beer. A signature cocktail made with rum or tequila can be created to honor the couple’s heritage or favorite flavors.

Music and Dancing:

Music is typically provided by a marimba band playing Latin American tunes like salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, reggaeton etc., but some couples opt for DJs instead. Guests will dance all night long while celebrating the newlyweds.

Wedding favors are small tokens of appreciation given to each guest at the end of the evening. Popular items include small bottles of rum or coffee beans wrapped in colorful fabric known as “frijoles colorados” which symbolize good luck for married life ahead. Some couples choose to give out personalized gifts such as mugs with their names on them or handmade jewelry pieces crafted by local artisans from Costa Rica

Reception traditions in Costa Rica are an integral part of the wedding experience, providing guests with a memorable and unique celebration. From traditional food and drinks to music and dancing, receptions in this country are sure to be one-of-a-kind. As we move on to Attire Traditions, let’s take a look at how brides, grooms, and their attendants dress for such special occasions.

Attire Traditions

Costa Rican brides traditionally wear white dresses with lace accents, often adorned with a veil and other accessories such as flowers, jewelry, hats, and sashes. Grooms typically don dark suits with bow ties or bolo ties to complement the bride’s dress. Bridesmaids usually wear brightly colored dresses that coordinate well with the bride’s gown. Groomsmen may opt for matching suits or traditional guayabera shirts.

Bride’s Dress and Accessories

The traditional Costa Rican wedding dress is white and made of lace fabric which gives it an elegant look. It can be accompanied by a long veil which covers the face of the bride until she reaches her groom at the altar. The veil is held in place by a tiara or headpiece decorated with pearls, crystals or feathers depending on personal preference. Other popular accessories include flowers in her hair or around her waist, delicate jewelry pieces like earrings and necklaces, gloves if desired and colorful sashes tied around her waist to add some color to the outfit.

Groom’s Attire and Accessories

Grooms are expected to wear formal attire for their wedding day including dark-colored suits paired with either bow ties or bolo ties along with leather shoes that match his suit color choice perfectly. He can also accessorize his look further by adding suspenders in a contrasting color if he wishes too but this isn’t mandatory since most grooms prefer not wearing them during their ceremony as they feel more comfortable without them on their special day. Additionally he might choose to have pocket squares in different colors so that they stand out from his suit jacket when needed – these are great additions for photos too.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Accessories

Bridesmaids usually accompany brides down the aisle wearing bright-colored dresses which contrast nicely against the white of her own gown while still coordinating well together overall – think pastel shades like pink, blue and yellow hues. They should also accessorize themselves accordingly; this could mean wearing floral crowns instead of veils (as many do) plus small pendants and earrings for added sparkle during photo sessions etcetera. Of course, each individual bridal party member will have their own style preferences so it is important that all members feel included and respected throughout the planning process too.

Costa Rican wedding attire traditions are an important part of the culture, and often involve unique accessories for both bride and groom. With that said, there are many other exciting Costa Rican wedding traditions to explore such as pre-wedding celebrations, the Arras ceremony and La Marcha.

Other Costa Rican Wedding Traditions

Pre-Wedding Celebrations (Bodas de Paja):

Bodas de paja are pre-wedding celebrations that involve friends of the couple gathering together to make decorations for the wedding ceremony and reception venue. These can include making colorful paper garlands, creating intricate designs with flowers, or even stringing up lights around the area. This is a great way for family and friends to come together in celebration before the big day.

The Arras (Unity Coins) Ceremony:

The arras ceremony involves the groom presenting his bride with 13 gold coins to symbolize his commitment to her financial security. This is often accompanied by a blessing from an elder family member or friend of the couple. It’s said that each coin represents one month of happiness in their marriage, so it’s important for couples to remember this moment as they start their new life together.

La marcha is a grand exit at the end of the reception where guests form two lines for the newlyweds to walk through as they leave for their honeymoon destination. As they pass through these lines, guests shower them with flower petals and rice – symbols of good luck and fertility – while cheering them on into married life.


Costa Rican wedding traditions are a beautiful way to honor your heritage and create lasting memories for you and your guests. From the traditional attire, ceremony, reception and other customs, there is something special about having a Costa Rican wedding that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Whether you decide to incorporate all of these costa rican wedding traditions or just some of them into your own celebration, they will surely make it an unforgettable event.