* Joyce and Steve in Costa Rica


photographers: Emilie and J
venue: Costa Verde Manuel Antonio
event coordination/design: Larissa Banting Weddings Costa Rica
flowers: Floresteria Cristal
rentals: Eventos Boadicea
band: Fuzzy Rojas
cupcakes: Robin's Kitchen
lighting: Eventos Chano
hair/make-up: Spa Uno
gown: Martina Liana at La Raines Bridal Atlanta
accommodations: Hotel Parador Manuel Antonio
honeymoon: Madagascar in February

Joyce and Steve's wedding was the second of our back-to-back weddings in Costa Rica earlier this month. Based in Atlanta, she's a monkey veterinarian (true story) and he's a pilot, so Costa Rica was the perfect combination of both passions (you'll see what I mean as you scroll down). They had visited Costa Rica previously and loved the area, so returned for their wedding with 100 of their closest friends and family. Their traditional Jewish ceremony was held under a tent at the Coste Verde pool overlooking the ocean and their reception was at the tippy top of the venue grounds in an open-air event facility.

I know this looks disturbing at first glance, but it's actually a suspended airplane suite!

First look.

A bridge over the pool served as the aisle.

Monkey and airplane cupcakes, right.

Hanging monkeys delivered table assignments.

And were a great prop for a ring detail shot.

Costa Rica coffee favors. Yum.

So there you have it! Congratulations to Joyce and Steve, and Kerry and Richard! And most of all, thank you to Larissa for entering my Pink Initiative raffle! We're so happy you did! Visiting Costa Rica was a longtime dream and we can now officially check it off the list (tho we would like to come back- there's so much more we need to see and do!).

* Kerry and Richard wed in Costa Rica


photographers: Emilie and J
ceremony: Buena Vista Villas/Tulemar Bungalows Manuel Antonio
officiant: Ana Castro Calzada
reception: Costa Verde Manuel Antonio
event coordination/design: Larissa Banting Weddings Costa Rica
flowers: Floresteria Cristal
rentals: Eventos Boadicea
dj: DJ Luz
cake: Sweet Constructions
videography: Costa Rica Video
lighting: Eventos Chano
hair/make-up: Spa Uno
gown: Lazaro at Mon Amie Costa Mesa, CA
invitation suite: InkBox Designs

Last Valentine's Day I drew Larissa Banting from a bowl of names when I raffled wedding coverage to kick off Pink Initiative's fund-raising launch. Larissa is an industry colleague and fantastic wedding planner... in Costa Rica! Serendipitously, she had back-to-back weddings scheduled for December and neither couple had hired a photographer yet so we decided they could divide the win. Fabulous!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when days before we were scheduled to take off and pneumonia still had me feeling awfully lousy. With a Plan B in place, I visited doctor after doctor for remedies and hunkered in bed for some shut eye. Good old fashioned rest did the trick, and leaving a blizzard behind in Boston, we had smooth skies to San Jose (a super reasonable rate, for any of you considering it). We were met with warm hugs from Larissa, monkeys laughing in the trees and some of the hottest weather we have ever experienced.

Our first wedding was for the sweet (the word every vendor used over and over describing these two) couple from South Africa, Kerry and Richard. Kerry, who is from LA, met Richard, who is a safari guide, while on vacation in Botswana in 2006.

So why Costa Rica? In Kerry's words:
Richard and I both really enjoy wildlife and the outdoors. Since both of us are living quite far away from our families, vacations have become about seeing the people we love and less about exploring new and beautiful places. So we decided...why not do both for our wedding?! We can share the most special day of our lives with our close friends in a place we have dreamed of visiting.

64 guests from around the globe convened in the rainforest for their wedding, their immediate family exploring Costa Rica for a full month! The big day was dripping with humidity, but radiating the most gentle, respectful love possible between these two. J and I loved the change of scenery, and are already dreaming of our African safari with the best guide we know.

Thank you so much for bringing us to your beautiful country, Larissa! You are an extraordinary planner, and have exquisite design taste. You put together two stunning events for us to capture and we loved working with you. Costa Rica's brides are very fortunate to have you on their side for their wedding day!

Check back tomorrow for the second wedding of our trip to Costa Rica!
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