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Costa Rica Destination Wedding Photographer

A Spectacular Church Wedding in Costa Rica

Bride and groom navigate the rocks at Nahomi for the day after their church wedding session

The vast majority of the weddings I shoot are destination weddings. People from other countries travel to Costa Rica to tie the knot in this exotic and amazing place. I love these weddings as they are intimate affairs at private villas or even just on the beach.

A wedding in the Catholic church requires pre-marriage classes and other requirements that are difficult requisites for the destination wedding. Since Catholic priests are the only recognized religious officiants in Costa Rica, I don’t often get to photograph church weddings. 

But recently I got to photograph Adrian and Molly’s special day.  After 15 years here, it was my first wedding at the Quepos Catholic church!

The beaming bride before her church wedding

One Foot in Two Worlds

Adrian is a native of Quepos and part of the skater (skateboard) crowd here, along with his brother. I like to photograph the skaters from time to time and over the years I’ve photographed both young men several times.

Molly is from the delightful town of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. I bet you’re wondering how this match came about. 

It is common for young people from the U.S. or Europe to come to Costa Rica to study Spanish or teach English and stay with a host family while they are here. Molly came to do the latter in 2016 and stayed with Adrian’s family. One thing led to another and now they live in Wisconsin and in 2017 they had a civil ceremony. 

But now it was time for the big celebration. 

The bride prepares for her church wedding

Why Costa Rica?

Since Quepos is Adrian’s hometown, it was an obvious choice for him. Since her stay here (and finding her true love) Costa Rica became very near and dear to Molly’s heart. Thus, it was only natural to have the wedding here in Quepos.

On top of that, if you know anything about Costa Ricans, it’s that they have A LOT of family and family is extremely important. By having the wedding here, Adrian’s considerable family would be able to attend. Of course, Molly’s family flew down for the event. Who’s going to complain about the chance to visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rican events also tend to have lots of kids in attendance and this lovely church wedding was no different. There was a cotton candy stand and the kids really got into the dancing. It was super fun! 

A large reception area was needed for all the guests in attendance and the couple opted for the hotel, Costa Verde. This is also where they stayed and got ready and the location of the fun airplane photo you’ll see below. Costa Verde has an impressive Boeing 727 aircraft that has been transformed into a luxury suite. 

The bride prepares for her church wedding

The Day After Session

The next day after the excitement calmed down, we did a day after session at Nahomi Park in Quepos. It was a special spot for Adrian and the couple wanted to take some time to enjoy their portraits together after the festivities. 

It’s a gorgeous spot for photos, as you can see. These are the photos below where Molly has her hair down. The weather was also a bit nicer for this shoot, which was a big plus. The beaming bride before her church wedding

The groom before his church weddingThe groom entering the church with his entourageThe Quepos Catholic ChurchThe flower girl for the church weddingThe groom's arrivalThe bride's entrance for her church weddingThe bride and groom for their church weddingA little boy stands in the aisle behind the bride and groom

Little boy takes a nap during the church wedding ceremony

Taking a quick nap to prepare for the party later

Little girl stands attentively watching the church wedding ceremonyThe bride and groom share their kiss!The bride and groom walk back down the aisle together after their church weddingEveryone gathered outside the church to greet themBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachThe view from Costa VerdeA little boy beside the memory table at the receptionThe memory table at the reception

Two little girls enjoying the cotton candy stand

Enjoying the cotton candy!

Traditional Costa Rican dancers performed after the church wedding ceremony

Traditional Costa Rican dancing!

Traditional Costa Rican dancers performed after the church wedding ceremonyTraditional Costa Rican dancers performed after the church wedding ceremonyThe bride and groom dancing after the church wedding ceremonyThe bride and groom dancing with the kids after the church wedding ceremony

The groom gets a kiss from a little admirer!

The groom gets a kiss from a little admirer!

Sharing a kiss in the cockpit of the airplane the day after the church wedding ceremony

Here’s that Boeing 727 airplane!

The groom nuzzles the bride at the many windows inside the airplaneSharing a kiss on the suspension bridge at Costa VerdeThe bride on the suspension bridge at Costa VerdeNavigating the rocks for the day after portraits the day after the church wedding ceremony

The bride and groom enjoying the lovely view at Nahomi Park in Quepos

Look how gorgeous this place is!

Navigating the rocks for the day after portraits the day after the church wedding ceremonyBridal portraits after the church wedding ceremony on the beachA Church Wedding in Costa Rica

As  I mentioned above, church wedding in Costa Rica is tough for out-of-towners.  For Molly and Adrian the stars lined up perfectly and I had so much fun photographing their epic day. 

We also got some great video at the church.  You can see Molly walking into the church as well as the first kiss in the slideshow below:

To check out more of my work, take a look at this other wedding I photographed at Costa Verde.

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