Wow, what a whirlwind. We had the most incredible time hosting our closest friends and family in the sanctuary we’re lucky enough to call home.
There was something extra special about having a group here to celebrate love. As much as we love our retreat and YTT groups, opening our doors to weddings might just be our ultimate soft spot.
Although you can certainly orchestrate your own destination wedding here in Northern Nicaragua to look any way you’d like, we still wanted to share how our special weekend played out as a source of inspiration for your own planning process.
We had 24 guests, and 18 people staying on site. A few families preferred to rent their own house for extra space off site.
Due to an intimate wedding size, we didn’t feel that we needed a wedding planner nor a DJ. Instead, we worked with our SSE staff to coordinate where each part of the ceremonies, meals, and events would take place.
The feel for our wedding was casual, yet chic. Simple, yet stylish. Meaning, we weren’t doing the whole barefoot beach style without ANY frills or decorations. But, we still were rustic enough to build our own arch from driftwood on the beach, and use our own homegrown flowers for table settings. (Listen to Tips for a More Eco Wedding to learn more”)
Venue: Still Salty Escape
Photographer: Alexandra Rae
Videographer: Ramiro Salinas
Florals: Fellow Florist
We offered our guests a room from Thursday through Monday, because our wedding was held on a Sunday. Obviously Sundays are not typical days for weddings to occur, but the DATE was more important to us than the DAY of the week.
About half of our guests arrived on Thursday, which gave them time to acclimate, rest, and (of course) surf! The arrival day primarily revolved around settling in, getting nourished with our delicious plant based menu, and meeting one another in a cozy environment. This day was a no-plan kind of day, where people could do whatever they wanted to do in order to ground into the experience ahead.
Highlight of the day was a sunset surf with nearly our whole group!
Friday: Arrival & Outings
The second half of our group arrived by Friday, as we had our first ceremony on Saturday. We provided a beautiful vegan breakfast for everyone, and then we took the group to a neighboring resort and restaurant for lunch as a way to provide our kitchen staff ample time and resources to prepare for the big weekend ahead.
The second half of the group met everyone at the neighboring restaurant, so everyone was fed and relaxed directly off the plane. After lunch, we had another incredible sunset surf with nearly everyone. And then we ordered in for dinner, to have a casual cozy night of getting to know one another over pizza and beers.
Saturday: Intention Ceremony
Instead of doing a rehearsal dinner, we chose to hold an intention ceremony. But, before we jumped into the ceremony, we had an incredible early-morning surf with the group.
Breakfast was available to self-serve anytime after 8 am. Most people spent the rest of the day by the pool, getting massages, napping, or reading. Lunch was set out at 1 pm (dhal and chapati) for people to enjoy before they started getting ready.
Around 3:30 pm, we gathered everyone into the Yoga Shala for a meditation and breathwork led by one of our close friends (and wedding guests).
The meditation focused on accessing the heart in order to create an intention for our marriage. It was very beginner friendly, since we did have some guests who weren’t familiar with intention setting nor meditation. We also provided chairs in the Yoga Shala, rather than forcing people to sit on the ground in their semi-formal wear.
After the meditation, the teacher handed out two cards. One card was compostable and with plantable wildflower seeds. And one card was a standard, permanent card.
She asked each guest to write their intentions for our marriage onto both. The plantable card would be planted (in pre-dug holes) around our home, and the permanent card would be for us to keep.
Once everyone wrote on their cards, she opened up the space to share- where a few family and friends vulnerably voiced their intentions in a really touching way. Next, we all placed our plantable cards into the holes, to eventually grow strong and tall.
After the planting, we took photos and the guests enjoyed cocktail hour by/in the big hammock for sunset. After sunset, we all had dinner in the Rancho- which consisted of a delicious self-serve taco spread.
The big day! As usual, it started with a morning surf, which is something I HIGHLY recommend to any bride.
Breakfast was another self-serve variety spread that was available by 8 am. The rest of the day was spent lounging, connecting, and getting a TON of massages (we can’t recommend our massage therapists enough!) before people started drifting their own ways to get ready. Lunch was vegan pad thai and spicy green salad, which was a huge hit.
The wedding ceremony took place in the grassy courtyard in front of our house, and the ocean. We did a first look around 3:30 pm, while the guests were being seated in the shaded seats in the courtyard. The ceremony commenced around 3:45 pm, and only lasted about 15 – 20 minutes.
After the ceremony, we took A TON of photos with everyone there, as well as the photographer and videographer. Then, we sent the guests off to cocktails and appetizers in the Rancho, while we continued with a couple shots around the property.
We joined everyone in the Rancho for appetizers (sushi, spring rolls, hummus and fresh pita) and drinks around sunset (5:30 pm).
Dinner took place outside in the courtyard, under fairy lights and bamboo lanterns. We ate around 6:30 pm, which was a Mediterranean spread of hummus, babaganoush, falafels, salad, spiced rice, and much more. Desert was a special chocolate coconut cake, and a few very touching speeches.
Afterwards, we headed back to the Rancho to PARTY! The tables had been cleared away, but a variety of comfy couches remained for when you wanted to take a break from dancing. There was an open bar, an epic playlist, and snacks on rotation all night long. The party ended up dying down by 11 pm, where everyone stumbled back to their respective cabanas and enjoyed a nice, long sleep through the night.
Monday: Brunch & Farewell
Yep, you guessed it, this morning started with a surf. Although, I will say most of the group chose to sleep in instead.
We set out a memorable spread of Nica style breakfast (gallo pinto, veggies, plantains, pico de gallo and salsa) where everyone feasted in the courtyard with the cool comfort of the ocean breeze. Most people trickled off to the airport around 11 am, and the few who remained spent the day getting massages and relaxing by the pool.
And, of course, we went for one last sunset surf before our final guests left the following morning.
I can truly say there’s not one thing I would’ve done differently for our wedding. It was the perfect blend of intimate and heartfelt, while still also being super fun and salty.
Our venue is perfect for couple’s looking for a unique wedding experience with their closest friends and family in paradise.
Email us today to reserve your dates!