Kaitlin and Matt introduced me to an experience that I’ve sought after for sometime. They asked me to be a part of their destination wedding in Costa Rica and I am so thankful that they trusted me with their big day. I flew down on Wednesday afternoon into Liberia, Costa Rica where we were greeted with our transportation to the Dreams Las Mareas resort off of El Jobo beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The entire experience was stunning beyond what words can convey; however, I’m going to try.
Kaitlin and Matt are the type of people that make you feel like a friend the second you’re around them. This quality was evident from the first time I met them and confirmed when I saw how many of their friends and family traveled to Costa Rica to see them get married. They were surrounded by incredible people in an amazing country for their wedding, it was such an amazing experience.
After we got settled in on Wednesday, we ventured down the resort to El Jobo beach for an engagement session. They both did such an incredible job and it’s safe to say that the sunset cooperated for us. I was so pleased with how these pictures turned out and the images were a perfect precursor to the wedding that would come a few days later.
On Friday morning, the entire family met down at the beach for their rehearsal and some casual family pictures. Keeping with the theme of the week, the weather was breathtaking. There was such an overwhelming and joyous feeling of love and camaraderie. We had so much fun together and it made me even more excited for the wedding that would follow the next day.
The beautiful sunrise declared that it was officially wedding day. The women got ready in Kaitlin’s room and the gentlemen got ready in Matt’s best man’s room. I started my day with the women, taking pictures of Kaitlin’s details. Everything about this wedding was so perfectly and meticulously planned that I just had to take pictures of every little thing. The ring Matt bought for Kaitlin was so pretty, it lit up in all of the pictures. The unique nuances of the resort provided some pretty incredible backgrounds for Kaitlin’s dress as well. After a few pictures of the ladies getting ready, I headed over to the room where the men were getting ready.
A perfect picture depiction of Matt’s groomsmen came from the second they opened the door for me. One of them opened the door for me and there was emphatic laughter filling the room. Every single one of the guys were so supportive of Matt the entire day and everyone seemed to be having the time of their life. Matt wore an incredibly cool watch on the wedding day so I just had to capture that in a number of pictures. The groomsmen get-up was super handsome, so it was absolutely necessary to get the entire ensemble in a set of detail shots. A handful of pictures of them getting ready later, and it was time for the group shots.
I ventured off to grab the girls for their pictures in the outdoor vestibule of the resort. Everyone was incredibly upbeat and enthusiastic, which made pictures so much fun for me. We got some beautiful pictures of the women and then ushered them away to ensure that Matt wouldn’t see Kaitlin just yet as the men gallivanted from their room to the same area where we took the pictures of the women. The men were so great in all of their pictures, including a picture that could, without a doubt, be the cover of Cigar Aficionado. The men headed back to their room and we were ready for my favorite part of any wedding day: first looks.
We started with Kaitlin’s dad. My wonderful husband/assistant went up to his room to get him and took him downstairs where he would soon see his daughter in her amazing wedding dress. Kaitlin strode towards her father and tapped him on his shoulder. As soon as he turned around, the father, the bride and the photographer’s eyes all started to well with happiness. Shortly after this moment, an equally beautiful one took place. Matt stood in the same spot where Kaitlin’s dad was standing and Kaitlin approached Matt from behind. She lightly touched his shoulder, Matt turned around and his face just lit up. It was such an incredible moment.
Matt, Kaitlin and I headed into the resort to take some quick portrait shots of them before all of the festivities began. They both looked so perfect and so much in love.
Before we knew it, the wedding was about to start. The guests started migrating from their rooms down to the beach. The setting was amazingly picturesque, seemingly out of a magazine. I was able to sneak down a little early to get some pictures of where the wedding would take place and I’m thrilled with how the pictures turned out. I was able to get some beautiful candid shots of people filing into the wedding, everyone was so happy and animated. Soon enough, the parents were sat and the groomsmen were set up in the front. Next, the beautiful bridesmaids walked down the aisle, and then finally, Kaitlin, accompanied by her father, approached Matt with the ocean as their backdrop. The wedding was incredibly beautiful and everyone was happy for the newlywed couple.
Immediately following the reception, the guests were invited to partake in a happy hour on the beach accompanied by a Costa Rican band while we quickly took family pictures. All of the family portraits turned out so well, it always makes me so happy to see families come together. As soon as we finished this, it was time for the reception.
Everyone headed up to a restaurant on the resort that looked over the ocean and sat for dinner. The food was incredible and everyone was having a great time. It was then time for speeches and everyone else absolutely nailed it. The night quickly heightened into a party and everyone was having the time of their life. It was truly an experience that everyone in attendance, and the photographer, will remember for the rest of their lives. Below are a few of my favorites and here is their full gallery.
Hair / Makeup – Bride
Bride’s Dress – David’s Bridal
Jewelry – Alex & Ani
Suits – Men’s Warehouse
Flowers, Catering, Cake, DJ & Venue – Dreams Las Mareas Resort
Invitations – Bride’s Mom
Photographer – Sara Marie Photography