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  • stephaniewaltrip

Why I Love to Officiate Weddings in Costa Rica

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

A friend of mine, Sherry, owns a floral company in Costa Rica, called Colette's Flowers. One day, she was working with a bride who asked if Sherry knew anyone who could officiate their wedding. Sherry called me and talked me into it. It made sense: I like to perform, I have no stage fright and I love meeting new people! So I signed up for the position. I loved it so much - being a part of a couple's special day, getting to know them and writing custom vows for them. I later married Sherry and her now husband, John, and since then have written vows for many couples, including renewal ceremonies.

I think those are my favorite. With each renewal I get a peek inside a marriage that has endured careers, children, sickness and health. I learn from other couples how they have made their marriage strong and long lasting. Anyone can get married but it is truly worthy of congratulations to a couple married 30+ years. I like to include the family in ceremonies in different ways. Most often, I do not meet the couple until the day of the ceremony, but when I do, it feels like we are family because I've spent time getting to know them via facetime, emails and phone calls. I always print up the vows I've created and give them to the couple so they will always have them to look back on.

Many people ask if my service is legally binding in Costa Rica. The answer is no. To be be legally married in Costa Rica, a Costa Rican lawyer must present you with documents that they will submit to be registered and a fee of $200 or more to do so. I take care of the symbolic part of the event, taking care to make sure it is unique to the clients and making it special.

"Can you Officiate and sing for my ceremony?" Yes, absolutely! I can do it all!

I have also been asked if I can perform a ceremony in English and Spanish! I have yet to do this but I definitely can. Just know that the ceremony will be twice as long and my fee will double.

It's so important that you have a good officiant. Often times, people use a loved family member, which can be great or can turn out to be terrible. You want your officiant to be a great public speaker and a great writer. Having experience is a plus and you want someone that you know will be professional and SOBER! Not someone who needs a few drinks to feel comfortable speaking in public on a couple's most important day. Trust me, being a wedding singer... I've seen some messy ceremonies. LOL

The last question I get asked is if I can be at the wedding rehearsal. Yes, of course! Anything I can do to make you feel more at ease. But it has to be booked in advance to ensure I am available and comes with a small fee for my time.

If you or anyone you know is considering getting married in Costa Rica, I would be honored to officiate their ceremony for them. And of course, serenade them for Cocktail Hour before kicking up the music for the reception.

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