Monday, May 2, 2016

YAY! I can't wait to celebrate with you guys. Kevin won't make it (pre-planned biking adventure)... but he sends a big congrats.

Therese and Liv

Friday, April 29, 2016

Amy and Gareth,

Why'd we have to plan our destination weddings so close, darn! So sorry to miss out celebrating with you two. We know it'll be the best, and cannot wait to see the pics.

Have an amazing time!!!

TayTay and Hudrow

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hey Lovelies,

We tried to make it work but seeing as it's the last week of school for Coach Blair over here, and we leave for our month long road trip the next week, the timing is super poop! We hope you have an awesome time (duh) and we'll be back in DC in August to celebrate with you then. Did you know you can celebrate a wedding 3 times? Es verdad.

Lots of love to you and the little man!


Stevie and Annie

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hey guys! Thank you so much for the invite! Unfortunately we are not going to be able to make it. Congratulations!!! We are so happy for both of you!

rachel and solly

Friday, April 1, 2016

can't wait!!!

Chris Refice

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hey guys! Thank you so much for the invite but I will not be able to attend due to work I'm blaming Zika.

Have a blast and congratulations!!!!

Shannie and Eric

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hey guys! We would love to be at the wedding but unfortunately we won't be able to make it to Costa Rica. We shall celebrate in the District when you return. Pura Vida and Enjoy!

Sara-No-H and Kev

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Congratulations you two! We couldn't be happier for both of are a perfect match! As much as we would love to join you in your celebration, we will not be able to make it (#Zika). Let us know if there is a post-Costa Rica DC afterparty and we will be there!

Love to you both!

S & K <3

Michelle & Matt

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Amy + G, first off love the website. We would absolutely love to join you all in this glorious celebration, but unfortunately we won't be able to make the trip in May. Totally down for a DC post-trip party though! Sending lots of love and luck your way!

Kame, Matt & Kora

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hey Z & G,

This sounds like so much fun (another central american beach wedding!), but unfortunately I don't think we're going to make it. Have a wonderful time and huge congratulations!!

The Granites

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

So sorry, guys. We can't make this one:( We are quite certain that it will be a dream wedding! Love you guys, see you in Deep Creek! ~ The Granites

Cramer & J$

Thursday, February 25, 2016

We will be there! Conisder this our official RSVP (not that a flight and lodging confirmation wasn't enough). :) A BIG Congrats to both of you and lots of excitement on celebrating with you in May!! <3


Saturday, February 13, 2016

howdy friends! =o)

please feel free to leave any questions, love notes or comms for other guests here.

we can't wait!! yayyyy! =o)

pura vida,


Pura Vida Wedding!


Below are some answers to questions you might have. If you have others, let us know either using the message page, emailing, or via text or phone.

Q: Why Costa Rica?

A: Fate (sort of) handed us a sweet house and we decided to roll with it. =o) Pura vida! But, we actually went there together in 2011!

Q: What if I don't speak Spanish?

A: While Spanish would certainly be helpful, Costa Rica hosts a LOT of English-speaking tourists and many poeple speak English. You'll be okay. =o) Essential: "?Una cerveza por favor?

Q: What about all the moneys? Ie currency, ATMs, credit cards, etc.

A: The official currency is the colon, but US dollars are widely accepted and often preferred. (1 USD = ~530 colones) It's good to have colones on hand for smaller purchases.

There are NO ATMs in Playa Grande, but there are some in the nearby larger town of Tamarindo. Most businesses accept Visa or Mastercard and a few will accept Amex. Give your bank a head's up that you're traveling! Always a smart move.

Q: Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity?

A: Costa Rica uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the United States. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so U.S. travelers will not typically need a converter or adapter.

Q: Do I need any specific immunizations?

A: See here for the CDC's recommendations and other health info.

Q: What about Zika Virus?

A: Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted illness that's fairly benign, except that it is suspected to be linked with birth defects. See the CDC's advisory for Zika in Central America here and check out this Q&A on sexual transmission of Zika. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant or hoping/planning to get pregnant in the near future.

For a quick overview of important questions in regards to Zika, see this article. However, Amy will be compiling some info to share, memo style.

**We encourage everyone to practice precautionary risk reduction behaviors while in CR, both for mosquitoes and pregnancy.**

Q: Do you have any packing advice?

A: Why, yes, we do! Besides your favorite beach and travel gear, be sure to bring a rain jacket and your preferred sunscreen/sunblock. They'll have sunscreen there but the selection will be limited - and expensive. Bug spray is essential! Check out the guidelines for mosquito prevention and pack accordingly - long pants/sleeves, etc.

Q: What should I wear?!

A: Beach! Pura vida! Be comfortable...but it's a wedding. ;o)

Recommendations: Ladies, flats or wedges are recommended for the sand ceremony and outdoor reception. Gents, pants and a button up. =o) Flops/sandals are a-okay. =o)

Q: What about babies and kids?

A: Bring all the babies and kids! Make sure you have sunblock, bugspray, etc. of your preference. Be extra careful about mosquitoes and mindful about food sanitation (wash those fruits and veggies, etc.). We recommend bringing your own carseat and renting a car.

Q: Won't hearing Amy say "pura vida!" all the time get annoying?!

A: Likely! But it's her wedding so you have to tolerate her. =o)

Q: Is there anything important I need to know about leaving Costa Rica?

A: Why, yes, there is! You have to pay an exit tax of US$29 at a separate counter before you can get your boarding pass or check any luggage when you are leaving CR. You can now pay this with a card instead of just cash. I believe if you have a child under 2 that this also applies to them, even if you don't have a separate ticket for them. However, note that some airlines include it in their ticket pricing (like Southwest).

Pura Vida Wedding!



Your presence at our pura vida wedding is present enough, for serious! We know it's quite the journey and recognize that

simply attending our wedding will already entail spending money on travel and accommodations.

However, if you would like to give us something tangible, some options are:

- The ole registry: we are registered at

- If you are one of our talented crafty artist type friends, we'd love if you made us something special and purdy =o)

Whatever you decide, we ask that you please do not bring any gifts to Costa Rica, saving us all from the haul!

Thanks so much!

Pura Vida Wedding!

other things to do

Woohoo! So many things to do! =o)

Playa Grande is a small, chill beach town with a beautiful, private beach. Enjoy the beach and the options nearby and do what suits you and your vacation style!

Some ideas and options are below, but this is by no means a complete list. Go get ‘em. =o)

BEACH! Boards & Beach Gear – Rentals

You can rent surfboards, stand up paddleboards, skim boards, boogie boards, bicycles, beach tents, coolers, snorkeling gear, beach chairs…and more! Check out Frijoles Locos Surf Shop to get started. You can email Sebastian at regarding rentals.


Playa Grande is a great surfing site and we definitely encourage you to take a lesson and give it a try while you’re there! Check out Frijoles Locos Surf Shop, on the northern (other) side of Playa Grande, which does lessons and board rentals.

Playa Grande Surf Camp is very close to our house, Mato’s Surf Shop is nearby, and there are many more options in Playa Grande as well as Tamarindo.

Scuba diving

Interesting in going diving or getting certified? Check out Pacific Coast Dive Center, among others.


Frijoles Locos Surf Shop and Rip Jack Inn, both on the northern side of Playa Grande, have yoga – check them out!

Also note that Saturday morning, pre-wedding, an instructor will be coming to teach a class on the beach at Casa Muy Grande ($20 p/p).


Because why not?! Massage, mani, pedi, and more. Try Frijoles (man they really have a lock down on this town) or check out some places in neighboring Tamarindo.

Also check out some ideas at


The town of Playa Grande is located within Las Baulas National Marine Park, which was established to protect the leatherback turtle’s nesting grounds. Unfortunately, May is not turtle season, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any.

However, you can see wildlife on the Tamarindo Estuary Tour (see below) and nearby Palo Verde has some of the best bird watching in all of Costa Rica (Frijoles Locos does guided trips). Also, be sure to do some snorkeling to hang with some of the fishes! =o)


Playa Grande is close to some of the best hiking in Costa Rica, but you’ll need to drive about 2 hours away from our sweet beach. For example, go check out Rincon de la Vieja.

Tamarindo Estuary Tour

There are small boat tours of the Tamarindo estuary that last about 2-2.5 hours – the best time to go is early morning to see more wildlife. You can also take a kayak and venture out on your own! Many of the hotels organize these, including Hotel Bula Bula.

**Note: We’re hoping to help coordinate some of these! Let us know if you’re interested!


You can rent kayaks for the day or week, and there are also organized tours of Tamarindo Estuary or you can go scope out one of the bays.

Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tours

Tag along on an afternoon sunset (or morning) sailing and snorkeling trip – one option here.

**Note – we are looking to arrange for a group outing and will keep you posted.

Deep Sea Fishing

Interested in deep sea fishing? Other are too! There are half and full day options – you can start asking at Rip Jack Inn and Frijoles Locos and go from there.


Want to go explore Tamarindo? You can take a water taxi there from Hotel Bula Bula. Check out Trip Advisor’s Top 10 list for Tamarindo.

Other Day Trips

If you have a car and want to take a day trip, there are a lot of options, including but not limited to:

Taking a trip to the Barra Honda Caves, about a 2 hour drive south.

One day adventure combo tours! Check ‘em out.

Checking out Guaitil Village in Guanacaste, known for its pottery.

Visiting Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Go Explore!

Have a car? Want to get bikes? Take them and go explore – one of our favorite things to do on a trip! =o)

And so much more!

ATV tours, Horseback riding, Canopy Tours/Ziplining, whitewater rafting, mountain biking trips, and beyond! You can even take a day trip to Nicaragua.

Check out Tamarindo Transfers and Tours. Track down whatever strikes your fancy and touch base with us for more info. =o)

Have some ideas or questions?

Post them on our website for all to see or shoot us an email at

Pura Vida Wedding!

playa grande food & drink

It's our wedding...and your vacation! =o) Here are some recommended restaurants and bars in Playa Grande to get you started:

Southern side/Palm Beach Estates (otherwise deemed "our side of town")

Hotel Cantarana

Hotel Bula Bula...or, The Great Waltini's, rather

Seven Cave Bar & Grill

Also, there is Wilmart, a basic shop in town with some groceries.

Northern side

La Marejada

RipJack Inn


El Huerto de Playa Grande

Cafe del Pueblo Restaurante y Pizzeria

Taco Star

Kike's Place

...and more! Be sure to check out TripAdvisor for reviews and more places.

A few things to note:

- The larger town of Tamarindo is a short water taxi ride away! Taxis depart from Hotel Bula Bula.

- The closest grocery store with more variety is 15-20 minutes away in Huacas.

- There are NO ATMs in Playa Grande. There is one in Huacas and a few in Tamarindo. Plan accordingly!

Pura Vida Wedding!

all the wedding things

welcome happy hour

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 5:00 pm

the bar at Hotel Bula Bula

We'll be having some cervezas to welcome you to Playa Grande...and hope you'll join us!

local drinks & music

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 8:00 pm

Seven Cave Bar & Grill

Please join us for some local celebratory fun with drinks and music! =o) We'll be heading there after our rehearsal and rehearsal/family dinner.

ceremony & reception

Saturday, May 21, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Casa Muy Grande

Beach ceremony at 4:30, followed by cocktails, dinner, & dancing! Please plan to arrive by 4pm!

lunch & beach day

Sunday, May 22, 2016 - 11:00 am

Casa Muy Grande

Please join us for a chill relaxing beach/hang out day and some comida tipica. =o) Lunch at 1pm.

Pura Vida Wedding!

where to stay

Playa Grande is small town in a national park, just north of its bigger tourist town neighbor of Tamarindo. We're staying in, and getting married at, a house in the southern side of town called Casa Muy Grande (no, really). =o)

Staying closer is better! We recommend the following hotel options and have blocked rooms there - please see the instructions below to book at each place. Also keep in mind that there are other hotel options and also rental houses (and Airbnb) in Playa Grande available if you find that idea appealing. Or, you might opt to stay in the busier Tamarindo.

Whatever you decide, please email us your Playa Grande lodging location and dates ( Thanks!

**FULL** Hotel Cantarana (5 rooms)

Sorry, this place is booked up with wedding guests! Check out the other great options!

**FULL** Hotel Bula Bula (10 rooms)

**To book here, please enter "AmyGareth" in the field “Do you have a group code?”

Note: They also manage a few houses and have put the closest few to our house on hold. Contact Todd at and mention our wedding for more details.

Hotel El Manglar

**To book here or for more information on the rooms available, email Lioba at with the subject line "Wedding Amy & Gareth Croke."

5 Standard rooms for 2 guests (either w/ a queen bed or 2 singles)

4 Superior villa for 2 guests with king bed

**BOOKED** 1 Superior villa w/ 2 bedrooms

There are also a few places on the other side of Playa Grande to check out, including:

Hotel Rip Jack Inn (21 guest rooms, suites and a bungalow)

La Marejada Hotel (8 rooms)

Las Tortugas (11 rooms)

Pura Vida Wedding!

travel adventure

Where Am I Going?!

Playa Grande, Costa Rica

You are heading to Playa Grande, Costa Rica, site of surfing and sea turtles! =o) It's a small, chill town located in a national park in the Guanacaste province.


You will need a passport, but no visa is needed if you're a U.S., Irish or English citizen.

Where to Fly

We highly recommend flying into the Liberia airport (LIR), which is a lot closer to Playa Grande than San José (SJO), approximately a one hour drive rather than five. However, if you're turning your trip into an adventurous vacation, then you might want to grab a cheap flight to SJO and explore on your way to Playa Grande! Pura vida! ;o)

Whatever you decide, please email us your itinerary (at so we know when to expect you and/or so we can help coordinate transportation from the airport. Thank you!

Getting to Playa Grande

From San Jose

  • Take a bus; leaves twice per day, will take most of a day
  • Take Interbus
  • Rent a car
  • Fly to Tamarindo and catch a taxi/water taxi combo to Playa Grande
  • From Liberia

  • Take a bus (could take 3 hours)
  • Take Interbus
  • Take a taxi
  • Rent a car
  • Shuttles - we're organizing group shuttles depending on when arrive - check your email ;o)
  • More Details & Tips

    Re: Interbus - Interbus is good for semi-private transfers from either airport to the greater Tamarindo area (especially if you are traveling alone - it's more affordable than a taxi, but way faster than the public bus). The catch is that they depart at set times and they don't stop at all hotels, but they'll get close and a taxi won't be super expensive for the last part.

    Re: Taxis

    Taxis run about US$110 from Liberia (not bad if you split it!) Only take the orange official taxis from the airport!!

    Re: Renting a Car

    A word of warning: you almost always have to get insurance through the rental agencies, as US insurance doesn't normally cover their liability requirements. They don't always include that in the quote you get when you make your reservation online so you might arrive and end up with a bill that's more expensive than you thought.

    Re: Safety

    There is a common tourist crime scam happening around airports (at least SJO and maybe LIR) - tourists are being set up for flat tires after they've left the car rental facilities and then robbed when they pulled over to check out the car on the side of the road. As such, it's important to pull over into a gas station or something similar should you have any car trouble. Only take official taxis from the airport (orange) or shuttles (marked with those yellow "tourismo" signs), or another marked vehicle (car rental shuttle, etc).

    Re: Babies

    If you are bringing a baby/toddler who requires a carseat, we encourage you to bring your own carseat and rent a car to give you more flexibility. That's what we'll be doing!

    About Us

    ireland engagement

    On a babymoon style trip to Ireland, Gareth proposed to Amy by one of his favorite places, Mahon Falls in County Waterford, Ireland.

    Always light on her feet, Amy was a few steps ahead of G when he called her name. She turned around, and Gareth fell to one knee. "What are you doing?!" she asked, before realization sank in. "Ohhhhhhhh." Always quick, that one. He asked her (and babe in the womb) to marry him. She said yes a few times and they both cried and departed. After a meal at a local pub and skyping/calling their parents, they celebrated with a Hallahan crew in Dungarvan. =o) Twas lovely!

    About Us

    the meeting of g & z

    The year was 2009. The place was Fado. Gareth was working (typical). Amy was meeting Maggie for drinks (typical). Amy was early. Fado was slow. Gareth was intrigued by the hippie arm band Amy used to wear all the time. And impressed by her affection for whiskey. Amy thought G was intriguing & good lookin'. And really tall (tricked by bar lift). They chatted about books and saving the world, locally and internationally. Amy's whiskey consumption made her boldly decide to leave her phone number, preempting a surely coming request, and she wrote a message on her really cool grad school business card for the hot bartender (<-see exhibit A). Gareth called her. Then they went on the best first date ever. =o) Many years, a slew of adventures, and one adorable baby later, here they are!

    About Us

    amy & gareth

    Amy: "Z." Woman. Small. Blondish hair. Greenish eyes. Fun. Likes cooking and eating. Enjoys wine & whiskey. Likes to call herself a runner. Loves hiking, camping & backpacking. Really, sincerely tries to like sports. Dislikes weird Asian candy. Lover of wildlife and the earth. Served in the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa. Doesn't really like cold weather. Childhood spent in Panama & North Carolina. Excellent Spanglish. Often called "hippie," just in jest. So excited to get married so she's no longer fibbing when she calls G her husband!

    Gareth: "G." Man. Tall. Brownish hair. For real blue eyes. Fun. Likes being cooked for and eating. Enjoys beer & whiskey. Likes to call himself a runner. Loves hiking, camping & backpacking. Obsessed with sports. Dislikes corn tortillas...more than one would think. Lover of good hospitality. Worked in Ireland & Australia. Likes cold weather. Childhood spent in England & Ireland. Decent restaurant-centered Spanglish. Often calls Z "hippie," purely in jest. So excited to get married so he's no longer fibbing when he calls Z his wife!



    It's May! May = G&Z's Costa Rica hitching!

    Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Soon we'll all be in Playa Grande! =o)

    If you haven't yet, please:

    - Check in with Amy on Sunday lunch (ie, will you be there or not?)

    - Confirm your PICK UP shuttle

    - Let us know if you'd like to partake in some of the activities we're lining up for folks. (Info forthcoming! Keep an eye on your email.)

    Getting close! =o)

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

    Hi folks, we're getting close! Many of you are reaching out with questions - be sure to check out the "questions" page for more on recommended attire, packing, immunizations, etc. =o)

    On Booking Your Hotel

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

    Sorry, Hotel Cantarana is full!y booked! Please check out the "where to stay" page for details on how to book at Hotel El Manglar and Hotel Bula Bula, the other hotels closest to our house. Because we have BLOCKED the rooms there, they do not appear open if you go to book online - you have to use a code or email directly. Also look into renting a house if you're up for it. =o) Let us know if you have questions! <3

    On the Zika

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

    You've likely heard of the Zika virus, which is spreading rapidly across the Americas, and is of particular concern for pregnant women and couples trying to get pregnant (meaning hey fellas you're not off the hook, it can be transmitted sexually). Here's a short overview. Please check out the CDC site on CR/Zika and see more info under "questions." Be on the look out for Amy's memo via email. #nerdalert

    Event & Area Details

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

    You'll notice we're still working on pulling together information on things to do in the area and wedding activities - we're on it, don't fret! =o) Check back soon for forthcoming details and updates...but of course feel free to do your own research!

    You're Invited!

    Thursday, January 1, 1970

    Please save the date because you're invited to our Costa Rica destination wedding! =o) We would be honored if you could join us!



    Hola, loved ones! Welcome to our wedding website. =o)

    We're finally getting Playa Grande, Costa Rica! =o) Pack your bags, people! Pura vida!

    We hope you find the information here helpful for planning your trip. If you have any questions, please send us an email at Or you know, text or call or whatever. =o)

    Lots of love,

    G & Z




    About Us

    amy & gareth

    the meeting of g & z

    ireland engagement

    Pura Vida Wedding!

    travel adventure

    where to stay

    all the wedding things

    playa grande food & drink

    other things to do




    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016

    Amy & Gareth

    May 21, 2016