If you follow along with our crazy adventures, then you know that this past February was our first international destination wedding photography experience! We had the amazing opportunity to photograph a very intimate beach wedding in Costa Rica. Considering that this was an exceptionally long Buffalo winter, getting away to the jungles of paradise was a welcome reprieve! The first week of our trip was completely wedding focused. Whether we were running around scouting out locations, meeting with the wedding planner, or visiting the reception venue, we were super focused on being prepared for the wedding. The second week of our trip was just for us! We explored hidden beaches, hiked in the jungle, visited neighboring villages, and took copious amounts of wildlife photos. It was so good to get away, and just be together!
Andrea and Peter’s plan was to bring along only a very small, hand selected group of VIP guests with whom they could just be themselves and fully enjoy the experience of getting married. The bonfire ceremony they had was so intimate, and their reception, which was basically just a luxurious dinner, was perfect in every way. We love these two so much, and are so grateful to have been a part of such a unique wedding celebration!
Our lovely bride, Andrea, was kind enough to share some of her thoughts/memories/reflections about the whole experience. Look for those throughout the post!!
Andrea: “At first Pete and I thought about a traditional wedding, but it just seemed like it was too complicated and not our style. So, we started thinking about a destination wedding. Escaping for a beautiful, tropical beach wedding?! Yes yes yes!! It was a no brainer! We decided on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, which is an absolutely amazing place with easy marriage requirements. We couldn’t have made a better choice!”
Andrea: “My wedding dress was made just for me by Ali at Anatomy in Buffalo, NY. I found a dress online that I fell in love with but it was made by a designer in Africa and it was like $10,000, so I knew that was out of the question! But my awesome sister suggested I take that picture to Ali to see if she could make me a similar dress, and what she came up with was so perfect. What an amazing process having a dress made just for you! I absolutely love my dress, and wish I had a reason to have another dress made! If you are considering having a dress made just for you, go for it! It will be exactly what you want. I highly recommend Ali at Anatomy – she’s amazing!”
Andrea: “Our ceremony on the beach was so simple and beautiful! It was very special to have my brother walk me down the aisle. Our ring exchange was hilarious because I forgot the rings at home, so we had to borrow rings, and of course, they didn’t fit! We couldn’t stop laughing about the ring only going half way onto Pete’s finger! There were locals at the beach watching our ceremony and cheering us on. It was awesome!”
Andrea: “We stayed at Korrigan Lodge: four little bungalows nestled in the rainforest. Our hosts Ingrid and Erwan were absolutely wonderful! They have a great watch dog, Bassam, that we all fell in love with. He walked us down to the beach every day, and kept an eye on our belongings while we would swim. We’re so glad we found Korrigan Lodge, and would stay there again in a heartbeat!”
Andrea: “We had a bonfire on the beach after the ceremony, and our friend Phylis surprised us with what she said was a Native American fire ceremony. Everyone had a stick, and they had to say something about the bride and groom, give their best wishes, and throw the stick into the fire. It was really nice! We enjoyed hearing everyone’s kind words.”
Andrea: “We had our reception dinner at Jungle Love Cafe. The owners, Yamu and Poppy, were excellent hosts! The food was AMAZING. Poppy made our beautiful wedding cake (it was so delicious), and my sister got me the cake topper. I’m obsessed with foxes! I LOVE it!”
Andrea: “We had such an amazing time in Punta Uva! Thank you, Jenn and Ben, for going on this adventure with us and capturing our wedding day so beautifully! Thank you to Ali Eagen for making me such a gorgeous wedding dress, and a big thank you to Yeiling at Gecko Trail Adventures for taking care of all the arrangements that made our wedding day a success! If you are considering a destination wedding, go for it! You won’t regret it! The best advice I can give is to hire a wedding planner to take care of all the details, and everything will be perfect! Oh, and make sure you choose a destination/location that will allow you to bring in your own photographer. Your wedding photographs are far too valuable to leave up to chance!”