Want to elope in Costa Rica? and get married by a jungle waterfall?

It’s not as hard as it sounds….
This great couple from Canada contacted me at the end of last year, with an inquiry that they wanted to elope in Costa Rica. They had a few ideas; including photos on the beach, sunset and some with nature. Plus, they wanted a legal ceremony. So we emailed back and forth, got to know each other a little bit; and came up with a plan.
The bride and groom were staying in Dominical on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, I live 45 minutes north in Manuel Antonio, and know the area well. We decided on a mix of beach and rain forest for the wedding, doing the wedding in the morning at a waterfall and then meeting for sunset on the beach for some romantic photos. I put them in touch with Marcelo Galli, a wedding officiate; Marcelo and I often work together on weddings and he is an excellent officiate. Marcelo helped them choose the style of ceremony they wanted, after the wedding he gets the official documents authenticated and sent to Canada, or anywhere in the world.
We all met at 7am at the entrance to Nauyaca Falls, we had arranged to be driven up near to the falls so we only had a short hike in to the waterfall. Marcelo conducted the ceremony right next to the waterfall pool. The sunlight was just coming over the edge of the falls, and catching the mist created by the water…breath taking! We finished up at about 9:30am, and I arranged to meet them at the beach that afternoon.
We were in luck a gorgeous sunset and combined with a low tide, left beautiful reflective pools on the sand on the beach. We got some absolutely wonderful photograph, I think we captured what they were hoping for and more!

Nauyaca Waterfall Wedding – Costa Rica December 2016

This adventurous couple wanted to celebrate their marriage surrounded by nature. They loved Costa Rica and coming here for their elopement seemed like the perfect choice. After looking at several areas, they choose Nauyaca Falls. Nauyaca is a stunning set of waterfall nestled the Costa Rican rainforest just north of Dominical, Costa Rica. Nauyaca is a privately owned reserve and can only be accessed by foot or horseback. This couple got special permission to get brought close to the falls in 4×4, and from our drop off point we hiked in. We got to the falls early and the light was beautiful filtering through the spray from the cascading waterfalls. The ceremony was conducted at the base of the lower falls, after the ceremony we took some romantic photographs before the newlyweds jumped into the waterfall pool! The natural beauty of Nauyaca combined with a wonderfully happy couple made taking photographs easy! Congratulations to you both!

Waterfall Wedding at La Paz Waterfall Gardens – Costa Rica – Nov 2016

Love waterfalls? Nature? and want to get married in Costa Rica?
This couple does! They chose the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Peace Lodge for their elopement in Costa Rica, a hotel and private nature reserve in the foothills of Poas Volcano. La Paz has five huge waterfalls along rainforest trails, plus lots of Costa Rica’s amazing tropical plants and wildlife.
The location of the wedding could not have been more stunning!
Marcelo Galli gave a beautiful ceremony on the private platform decorated with tropical flowers; surrounded by lush rainforest with a waterfall and river below. After the ceremony we took our time walking through the jungle trails, stopping at waterfalls along the way. At the lodge, the couple cut their scrumptious wedding cake and then we went to visit the very friendly and cheeky toucans. All the toucans are rescue birds and can no longer live in the wild, at feeding time they will hop right on your arm!
A wonderful wedding at La Paz filled with waterfalls and love!

Wedding Planning – Amanda at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Peace Lodge
Wedding Officiant – Marcelo Galli

Wedding – Punto de Vista – Manuel Antonio October 2016

One of my first weddings of the 2016-17 season here in Costa Rica, it’s great to be back!

This wedding was at one of Manuel Antonio’s premier vacation rental villas, Punto de Vista. It spectacular villa for a wedding with views of the Pacific ocean from all of its 5 floors.
The bride and groom were both from Southern California, and a lot of fun! I met the bride in her room, where she was getting her final touches to her make and hair by our local, wonderful make up artist, Monica. The bride’s Mom and her friends helped her getting in her get into her dress. I love the photos of the bride’s mother helping with her shoes.  The groom came into the Bride’s room to do the “first look” on the balcony, a moving moment!
The wedding ceremony took place on top-level of the villa which has an epic view of the Pacific looking towards the Manuel Antonio National Park.  The team at Weddings Costa Rica created a beautiful altar for the wedding, with floating candles and lilies. The reception dinner was held on the top-level, the tables looked magical, with gold candlesticks sparkling in the candle light. After dinner the party moved downstairs to the ballroom for dancing and more celebrations. Another stunning wedding arranged by Weddings Costa Rica!


Wedding Planning – Weddings Costa Rica
Location – Casa Punto de Vista, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Hair and Make Up – Hair by Monica

That’s all for now, as we hunker down and wait for Hurricane Otto, the first hurricane in Costa Rica in over 100 years.

a photographers travels through south east asia

Some of you may have noticed my radio silence for the last few months, there is good reason!
Even though I live in Costa Rica, I still get the travel bug; so this low season my wife, 5-year-old daughter and I packed our bags and backpacked around South East Asia.
We traveled through Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand. It was an epic trip; the culture, food, smells, even the light is different.
This is but a small sample of photos, I actually have 1000’s of photos to go through, but these are some that I quickly edited to share with family and friends…and you!
I have been back in Costa Rica for a few weeks, I have already shot a couple of weddings, and high season will start with a bang soon. I feel refreshed and excited about this new season, traveling opens your eyes to new ideas and possibilities.
It’s great to be back!

Tropical Beach Wedding at Esterillos – Costa Rica 2016

This lovely young couple are from right here in Costa Rica, they chose the beautiful beach at Esterillos Este for their wedding celebrations. The Hotel Alma del Pacifico is perfect for weddings, as the hotel and gardens lead straight onto the Pacific Beach. The Alma del Pacifico is full of bright tropical colors, which is a wonderful backdrop for photos.
The wedding took place in the gardens and the reception party continued late into the night, ending with a beach bonfire.
Felicidades Ingrid and Roberto!

Elopement at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort Montezuma Costa Rica 2016

The Ylang Ylang Beach Resort in Montezuma is a wonderful, tropical location for a beach wedding in Costa Rica. The hotel is situated right on the beautiful beach Montezuma Beach. The bride and groom chose to elope and this has got to be the most romantic elopement! The ceremony was organized by the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort and took place in their tropical gardens steps from the beach. There was a full moon on the day of the wedding and we got some beautiful photographs with the moon. The couple then had dinner on the beach under the full moon, a perfect ending to the most perfect day.

Day of the Dead Wedding – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica 2016

Love this wedding! This couple from England love all and everything about Mexico and Day of the Dead, so they brought just that to Costa Rica for their wedding! Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, where family and friends gather together to remember loved ones who have died, and help them in their spiritual journey. It also has a big following internationally for it’s colorful art!
The wedding party were staying at a villa in Tulemar, in the heart of Manuel Antonio. The ceremony took place on Tulemar’s secluded beach, the aisle decorated with colorful flowers.  The group stayed on the beach to enjoy music, drinks and the sunset, and later returned their villa for a “Dia de Muertos” reception dinner. The villa’s terrace was spectacularly decorated with twinkling lights and colorful Mexican paper flags, the table adorned with Day of the Dead skull place cards, flowers, candles and personal bottles of Patron tequila.
Tropical Occasions created and planned this unique wedding with the bride and groom, it was just perfect!

 

Beach and Villa Wedding – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica February 2016

This fun-loving bride and groom came to Costa Rica for a tropical beach wedding. I had met the bride and groom at the end of last year when they came to Manuel Antonio on a planning visit with their wedding coordinator, Laura from Liquid Weddings. It’s fantastic for me to actually meet and get to know the bride and groom before the wedding – with destination weddings, it’s not always possible! I often Skype with brides and grooms before the wedding, it’s a great way to find out what people are like and what they want from their wedding photographs. Plus they can get to know me and be more comfortable for the big day.
Back to the wedding! …the wedding party were staying at the beautiful Montemar Estates in Manuel Antonio, 3 villas nestled on a mountain top over looking the jungle and Pacific Ocean.  I first went to Montemar to meet with the Bride and then Groom to capture some of that nervous fun and excitement before the wedding.
Then wedding ceremony took place at Playitas Beach about 10 minutes from the house, at the north end of the famous Manuel Antonio beach. After the ceremony we took some fun photos on the beach, and then some great light hit for some romantic couples portraits.
The wedding party then returned to Montemar Estates for cocktails, the reception dinner and then a DJ and dancing. I think the night-time party shots are great!

Wedding Planning – Liquid Weddings
Villa and Reception Loacation- Montemar Estate – Manuel Antonio
Ceremony Location – Playitas Beach – Manuel Antonio
Hair and Makeup – Monica – Hair by Monica

 

Tropical Beach Wedding at Mareas Villas – Uvita Costa Rica

This couple escaped the concrete jungle in New York to come to Costa Rica for their tropical  wedding. They chose to celebrate their nuptials with family and friends at the beautiful Mareas Villas near Uvita.
Mareas is a great location for a destination wedding in Costa Rica; 5 star luxury, close to the beach, yet secluded in acres of virgin rainforest.
I met with the bride and her bridesmaids before the wedding to capture some of that nervous excitement of getting ready for the big day. Later, I met with the groom and groomsmen who were relaxing and getting ready at another villa in Mareas. We then headed to the beach for the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony we were blessed with the most amazing sunset. We took some beautiful couples portrait and also some fun photos with family and friends.
The wedding party returned to Mareas Villas for the wedding reception, catered by the in-house chefs and staff. A wonderful wedding in paradise!