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Kevin Heslin Photography

An Elopement Wedding: As Informal as Informal Can Be

Bride and groom walk along the beach for their elopement wedding

Katie and Andrew decided that a big fancy affair with all their friends and family just didn’t fit their personalities. So when they started planning their vacation to Costa Rica, it just kinda naturally evolved into planning their elopement wedding. After all, Costa Rica is rife with gorgeous locations for eloping.

Every year, hundreds of couples come to Costa Rica’s beautiful shores, or her jungles, or her mountains, to tie the knot in a unique way that is perfect for them! As a photographer, I’m honored to play a part in something so special.

Katie and Andrew were super chill — even more so than many eloping couples I’ve photographed. Let’s dive in and check out the photos from their special day!

wedding rings shown on a map

The Chemistry Begins

The chemistry — or should I say pharmacology? — began when Katie and Andrew met while they were both studying to be pharmacists. Things between them simmered slowly. It wasn’t love at first sight, but they did become good friends.

About a year later, they went on their first official date. From there, their relationship flourished and they knew it was something special. 

After a year and a half, Andrew popped the question. Then, just three short months later they ended up in front of my camera for their elopement wedding!The groom before his elopement wedding

As Informal as Informal Can Be

Most eloping couples like things to be fairly relaxed and informal. After all, they wanted to avoid the hassle of a big wedding for a reason. 

However, they’ll still have many of the details planned out. The officiant, the ceremony spot, an arbor or some sort of decoration for the ceremony, a backup plan if it rains — those kinds of things. 

Katie and Andrew wanted to keep it super simple. 

For their elopement wedding, we literally showed up, found a nice spot on the beach and it was showtime! There was no officiant, but Katie’s parents and best friend (the only attendees) lovingly looked on as they shared their hearts with one another. 

There was no flower heart on the ground or palm tree arbor, but I think you can agree that the ceremony was lovely just the way it was. And Katie and Andrew certainly thought it was the best day ever. 

The groom before his elopement wedding

Eye in the Sky

As you can see in the photos, the day was a little drizzly. It actually was perfect that they were so chill about the plans, it made it easier to work around the raindrops.

For those who don’t think a rainy day in the tropics is beautiful, I challenge you to watch some of the drone video I shot of them from overhead. The waves crashing on the beach is spectacular from this angle and Katie’s dress was perfect for getting some graceful movement.

I like using the drone as a tool to tell the story of the day more completely. Check out the empty beach, just the two of them, bringing their lives together as one. It almost feels like you’re there, right? 

Katie and Andrew get to look back on it, possibly with their children and grandchildren, and relive this special day for years to come.

The dress hanging in a doorwaythe bride before her elopement weddingthe bride before her elopement weddingthe bride before her elopement weddingThe groom before his elopement weddingThe bride arrives on the arm of her fatherTiny elopement wedding ceremonyTiny elopement wedding ceremonyTiny elopement wedding ceremonyTiny elopement wedding ceremonyBride and groom on the beach with sign "best day ever"Bride and groom walk along the beachcloseup of the couples handsbride and groom kissing on the beach with palm trees in the background


In this slideshow you can see some drone footage of the beach.

An Elopement Wedding in Costa Rica

In case you’re wondering, although Katie and Andrew didn’t have an official officiant, they did sign paperwork with a lawyer. In fact, the legal side of getting married is pretty straightforward for destination weddings in Costa Rica. To learn more about it, check out this post.

Are you considering an elopement wedding in Costa Rica? Maybe you need some more inspiration before deciding to take the plunge. Feel free to check out this other gorgeous elopement ceremony I photographed.

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