Kristen & Tony, Costa Rican Celebration - General Knot & Co.

Location: Jaco, Costa Rica
July 2, 2016
Venue: Zephyr Palace
Wedding Planner: Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica
Photography: Madison Baltodano PhotographySarah Yunker Photography
Florist: Stylos & Flores
Cake: Sweet Constructions
Rentals: Costa Mesa
 Neckties: Vintage Mini Floral & Blush Micro Check

It's not everyday that we actually get to meet our Wedding Couples in person but we were fortunate enough to have the pleasure of meeting Tony not once but twice. Our first meeting was in his hometown of Houston at a Pop Up Event we participated in at Blacksmith Coffee.  Our second meeting, this time with he and Kristen, was in New York City where we discussed there wedding needs in person.  Such a fun loving a gracious couple!  Well deserved happiness to them both!

Where and when did you meet?

T&K: We went to High School together and although we had several mutual friends, we didn’t really know one another back then. In 2010, we reconnected at our friend, Bradley’s, housewarming party and started hanging out as friends watching college football on Saturdays. Then officially began dating in March 2011.

What was it that made you realize that this person was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?

Tony: For me there was multitude of things, if I had to choose one, I would say whenever I started thinking in terms of ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ was a big turning point for me.  It was at that time that I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Kristen.

Kristen: It wasn’t “love at first sight” but I definitely had a good feeling about him from the get go.  Tony has a very likeable personality, he can be quite the charmer, and can make friends with just about anyone.  He also is very patient with my mom (she calls him more than me) and loved my dog, Maddie, like his own. Didn’t take too long for me to know I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

What was the proposal like?  Was it a surprise or had you both been discussing marriage?

T&K:  The proposal was a complete surprise, she had no clue, which is extremely difficult to pull off as Kristen is very inquisitive and likes to ask a lot of questions when she isn’t in charge of the planning process. Tony made 5pm dinner reservations at a new restaurant we had both wanted to try, which was way too early for a Saturday evening dinner, but Tony didn’t want to get caught in the downtown parade traffic so we had to go early.  We happen to ‘run into’ friends of ours who joined us for dinner so we could stay at the restaurant longer while Kristen’s parents set everything up at the house.  Throughout dinner, Tony kept getting up to use the restroom and also texting, which is uncharacteristic for him. Kristen was just happy to be having wine and cheese and didn’t think much of it. After dinner, Kristen wanted to try a new dessert place right down the street so Tony had to convince her that he wasn’t feeling well so that we could go home. Needless to say, Kristen was very disappointed that she didn’t get her dessert – she pouted the whole way home.  Once we got to the house, Tony tried trick her in thinking we had left our dog Maddie outside so she would go out back. When she opened the door, a violin starting playing and then she FINALLY realized what was happing. Tony actually pulled off 2 surprises that night, he had arranged for our friends and family to join us in celebration and they were all in the house after the proposal and surprised Kristen once again!

(See Tony's proposal here!)

You reside in Houston but decided to have a destination wedding in Costa Rica.  How did you choose Costa Rica?  Does it have special meaning to you?

T&K:  We both knew that we wanted to do a destination wedding as we wanted it to be a vacation for us and our guests.  We started looking for potential places online and came across our venue, Zephyr Palace. The pictures were amazing and Kristen knew instantly that she wanted to get married there. Took a little convincing to get Tony to agree as he wanted to get married in Italy.  At the time, Costa Rica had no special meaning for us; however, now it has become our favorite place to visit and holds such a special place in both of our hearts.  We are planning to visit yearly and hopefully one day we can reside there for several months out of the year.

We all know weddings can be extremely difficult to pull off successfully, and a destination wedding can come with its own unique issues.  What was the most challenging thing to execute and what was surprisingly easy? 

Kristen: The most valuable piece of advice I received from a girlfriend, that also had a destination wedding, was to get a wedding planner. Larissa Banting, of Weddings Costa Rica, was worth every penny, she did a phenomenal job and from my view point the wedding went off without a hitch – pure perfection.  She executed on our vision and surpassed all of my expectations. Surprisingly, the wedding itself was relatively easy, the most challenging part was getting our guests to Costa Rica and planning all the activities and excursion since I was the point person. We didn’t do an all-inclusive hotel, so we had find lodging at different price points and affordable activities.  Overall, I think our guests enjoyed their vacation and the wedding.

Aside from your custom ties, what other elements of your wedding were really unique and memorable to you?

T&K: Definitely the fireworks! We did not tell anyone, not even our parents that we were planning to do this. We were a little nervous about the quality; however, the show was amazing and the pictures were phenomenal! Something you don’t see at every wedding and memorable for our guests and brought a little USA pride to Costa Rica with it being 4th of July weekend after all!  

Describe your Wedding Day in 5 words....

T&K:  Elegant, Magical, Exquisite, Plethora of Love, Celebration

Was there a memorable story that occurred on that day that will be told for years to come? 

Tony-   We were terrified that it was going to rain that day because it rained every day that we were there prior to the wedding.  On the wedding day, there was much overcast and it was very gloomy.  As my groomsmen and I were taking pictures an hour before the wedding, it started to have a light drizzle.  After about 10 minutes of that, it went away and the sun started to come out and it turned into one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. 



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