Pre-wedding Party

Five years ago, shortly after Gretchen Bleiler and Chris Hotell started dating, they began taking an annual surf trip to Dominical, Costa Rica. For years they talked about how cool it would be to one day bring all their friends and family with them to enjoy their summer paradise. When Chris proposed last summer, they realized they had found a way to do just that: Most of the guests arrived early in the week and spent the five days leading up to the wedding surfing and lounging by the pool at Villas Rio Mar. Of course, what would a wedding be without competition? So there was plenty: a team relay race a la The Superstars and a beach egg toss. On Thursday, there was even a doubles tennis tournament. (One guess which couple had to find space in their luggage for that trophy.) (Photos: Abby and Lauren Ross)