When Summer and Ryan asked me to travel with them to Costa Rica for their destination wedding I think I kissed my passport & packed my bags before we even discussed ONE.SINGLE.DETAIL.
1. Build a destination wedding portfolio with a gorgeous couple
2. Watch the blazing sunset illuminate the horizon of the Pacific ocean
3. See live baby monkeys and tree sloths (note to self: do not try to hug or squeeze)
4. Sip a local tropical concoction on yet another unknown beach with my second shooter/best friend Jenn
Aside from crossing some really fun experiences off of my list, I also learned a lot about how I want to photograph weddings. I need to know a love story from the inside out. You see, on this trip I was quietly entrenched and immersed into a circle of friends and family who collectively share such a great love for Summer and Ryan. And though a wedding is primarily about two people who found each other in this wild world we live in, their stories both individually and as a couple are shaped by Destiny… and the people who love them enough to shepard them safely to their destination.
Here are some of my favorite images from Summer & Ryan’s wedding day. I hope they take you right back to a place where the sunset paints the sky and everyone is your amigo…especially the local surfers and even the monkeys. PURA VIDA!!
I always blog WAY too many images of the girls getting ready & their pretty details. Always. There is something that I love so much about this part of the day. It’s the pinnacle of girl-friendship.
You’ve dated. You’ve kissed frogs. You’ve laughed. You’ve cried. And now here you are slipping into your wedding gown surrounded by the girls who know your heart best. They are the girls who were crazy with you in college. The girls who have held your hand while healing your heart. They are the ones you couldn’t WAIT to introduce to your new
boyfriend fiancé husband!
There is so much history between a bride and her bridesmaids. Each one is a vault of secrets, a sister in kind, and one of her favorite people on the planet. Summer’s Maid of Honor, Jamie, cried more than anyone else on the day of the wedding. I thought it was such a sweet testament to a lifelong friendship. I love these images of Summer and her girls and hope they do too…
Summer & Ryan chose to see each other before the ceremony for a “first look”. The butterfly garden in downtown Manuel Antonio was the perfect earthy location for them to meet privately before becoming husband and wife. It really didn’t take much to convince them that this was a romantic idea. One mention of having more time for the just two of them on their wedding day and they were in.
I have to warn you, my words about Summer and Ryan could possibly border on cliches about Edward and Bella. But trust that I am not making this up. I was consistently enamored by how sweet they are together. Always touching, even if just a fingertip. Always watching one another as if looking for comfort in finding that their other half was comforted. These two are purely in love with each other, their life together and their dreams.
The rain almost stopped Summer and Ryan from being married on the beach. But they are way too adventurous for a little rain to get in the way of their plans. I would describe their wedding ceremony as
On a misty afternoon on Manuel Antonio Beach, Summer’s father walked his little girl through the sand to her love and performed the ceremony too. The families together with friends gathered in closely to hear the beautiful words that Summer and Ryan had written for one another. The waves broke on the shoreline as they have for a thousand years in applause as she became his Summer and he became her Ryan. The vows exchanged were as natural as the canopy of jungle green that watched over the promises they made.
Summer, I think Ryan will love looking back at these photos of you & your dimples as you put his band on his finger.
And the photos of your first kiss? Two best friends in love is quite possibly the sweetest kind of love.
The wedding party was so fun and cute that the local surfers couldn’t help but jump into a few frames! I really love this next image…
The theme of the wedding reception was GOOD TIMES! High upon a cliff in Costa, in an open air restaurant and bar, they gathered friends, danced, laughed and enjoyed THE moment they had dreamed of since the first time they met.
Summer & Ryan, your love is strong enough to bring the people you love together across the sea to a piece of the earth that you adore. I have no doubt that your future holds massive amounts of joy and endless blessings. Thank you for including me in such a pivotal chapter of your love story. I truly hope that your photos capture your wedding day as your hearts remember it. Congratulations!!
Sending you a big warm hug!!