Selecting a wedding date is one of the first steps in planning your destination wedding in Costa Rica. Aside from accommodating the schedule of your family and friends, you will also want to consider a few other factors.
High/Dry Season vs. Low/Rainy Season in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s high and low season corresponds with the dry and rainy season. High season is usually from December to April and during this time the highest volume of tourists travel to Costa Rica due to the excellent rain-free weather. For this reason, prices are higher and plans need to made farther in advance due to demand. If you choose to have your wedding during high season you will want to secure all of your vendors as soon as possible in order to make sure you get your favorites.
The great thing about the rainy season is that the country is lush and green! Near the Arenal Volcano, it rains year-round.
When it comes to the weather there are no guarantees but planning your wedding during the dry season will increase your chances of having a sunny wedding day. Luckily, during the rainy season, it typically only rains for a couple of hours in the afternoon and it’s often at the same time each day. Be prepared though because there are days when it can rain the entire day. The weather is unpredictable in Costa Rica and the weather forecasts aren’t reliable. Out of all the websites, the most accurate reports are from Accuweather.
During the rainy season, the weather can be unpredictable, with a storm arriving without warning. If you are getting married during the rainy season you’ll want to make sure you have a backup rain plan in place. If you don’t like the idea of rain on your wedding day you will want to consider getting married during the dry season.
The rainy season typically starts in May, though sometimes earlier, and continues typically until mid to late November but can last until the end of December.
- Dry season – December to April
- Rainy season – May to December (most rain in September & October historically)
If you are looking at a location on the Caribbean coast, such as Puerto Viejo, keep in mind that the Caribbean side receives rain year-round. The driest months on the Caribbean coast are February and March and September and October.
Rains year-round, driest in Feb./Mar. and Sep./Oct.
Money Saving Tip
Having your wedding during the rainy season can be great for a wedding because pricing is lower and the towns are less crowded. Pay close attention to when high-season and low-season start and end. Consider booking your wedding during the begging or end of dry season. During these times you can find great deals. Hotels, venues, and vendors will most likely offer low-season pricing and you can enjoy a sunny wedding day.
There are several official holidays that you will want to avoid! Take a look at the official holidays in Costa Rica to see which dates all Costa Rican’s will have off.
The main times when beach towns are the busiest are Christmas week, New Years, Easter Week (Semana Santa), and the weeks that correspond with the American and Canadian spring break. During these times, most vacation spots, mainly the beach towns, are filled with vacationers and due to this the cost of lodging can often quadruple!
If you are considering getting married in San José or the Central Valley then these peak season weeks may be the best since the capital and the surrounding areas will be quite empty.
- Ready to create your budget? Download the free Costa Rica Wedding Budget Worksheet!
- Curious what the next steps are after you settle the budget? Check them out in the Top 8 Steps To Jumpstarting The Wedding Planning.
- Trying to avoid rain on your wedding day? Learn about Costa Rica’s rainy season and dry season.
- Want to know the exact costs you should budget for the floral, decor, food, alcohol, and everything else? Read What You Need To Know About The Cost Of A Costa Rica Wedding.