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• CostaRica •PhotographyKevin heslinEST.D 2006

Why Have a Symbolic Wedding in Costa Rica?

A symbolic wedding in Villa Caletas

Why get married indoors in a city, when you can get married outdoors in an exotic location? Would you rather have wedding photos taken in a decorated venue or against the spectacular backdrop that is a beautiful beach on the Pacific Ocean?

Hands down, that beach won out for Shereen and Dave.

While getting married legally in Costa Rica is simple (check out this post for more info), Shereen and Dave preferred to take care of the legalities at home. Then they opted for a symbolic wedding ceremony at the luxury resort Villa Caletas in Costa Rica. 

It couldn’t have been more perfect — a radiant bride, a brilliant sunset, the ocean as far as the eye can see.  When you don’t want to deal with the paperwork, you opt for a symbolic wedding in Costa Rica. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the most perfect day of your life.

The bride and her bouquet

A Wedding in Costa Rica

Shereen and Dave met 3 years ago at work in Toronto. Their love blossomed through their many shared interests, including travel. 

Thus, it only seemed natural that they travel to a new destination for their wedding. They felt like other common destinations like the Caribbean or Mexico were overdone. They wanted to do something different and Costa Rica is far more beautiful anyway.

Just like that, they ended up in front of my camera in Costa Rica.

The bride through an elegant window

An Unforgettable View

The view from Villa Caletas is quite impressive. It is hard to top nature when it comes to dazzling vistas, but Villa Caletas adds to the view quite nicely. The styled columns give the ceremony platform an ancient Greece feel and perfectly frame the view of the Pacific Ocean.

Shereen and Dave couldn’t have picked a more lovely spot to exchange vows and celebrate a symbolic wedding with their family and friends. 

To top it off, during the reception the Raptors, a beloved Toronto basketball team, won a game. Many of the guests were ecstatic and I was able to get a shot of their excitement. It’s included below so keep an eye out!

The bride and the groom preparing for first look

The Day After

Weddings are meant to be enjoyed. Some folks feel like taking a ton of pictures the day of keeps them from spending as much time as they would like with friends and family and enjoying the festivities. 

This is what makes a Day After Session such a nice choice. 

You get to slow down, take your time, and enjoy the reception. Then, the next day after you’ve rested and the stress and excitement have faded away a little, you and your new spouse can enjoy some intimate moments together and have them preserved in precious photographs. 

For this session, we visited Nahomi Park in Quepos and, of course, the beach in Manuel Antonio. 

Nahomi is a small park near the Pez Vela Marina in Quepos. It makes a fantastic location for photographs because there is so much variety. There is a small beach, some rock formations that are great for climbing on, some greenery, and even a playground and outdoor exercise equipment. 

It is on a point that juts out into the ocean, thus it has the sea wrapping around on three sides. There are several points where you can get great photos with an ocean backdrop and it looks like you are in a completely different location in each one!

The groom ready for his symbolic weddingThe groom ready for his symbolic weddingThe bride and the groom preparing for first lookThe first look before the symbolic wedding ceremonyThe first look before the symbolic wedding ceremonyThe first look before the symbolic wedding ceremonyHeading to the symbolic wedding ceremonyHeading to the symbolic wedding ceremony

The bride's entrance to the symbolic wedding ceremony

Here comes the bride. Watch your step!

The bride's entrance to the symbolic wedding ceremonyThe symbolic wedding ceremonyThe symbolic wedding ceremonyThe symbolic wedding ceremonyThe symbolic wedding ceremonyThe symbolic wedding ceremonyBridal shots after the symbolic wedding ceremonyBridal shots after the symbolic wedding ceremonyBridal shots after the symbolic wedding ceremonyBridal shots after the symbolic wedding ceremonyBridal shots after the symbolic wedding ceremonyDetails at the receptionThe bride and groom laughing at the best man's toastThe bride smiling during the receptionThe reception after the symbolic wedding

The reception after the symbolic wedding

The Raptors won the game!

The reception after the symbolic weddingThe reception after the symbolic weddingThe reception after the symbolic weddingThe reception after the symbolic weddingThe reception after the symbolic weddingThe reception after the symbolic wedding

The reception after the symbolic wedding

Stealing a kiss!

The bride and groom dancing at the receptionThe reception after the symbolic weddingThe couple stealing a moment to themselves

Overhead shot of the bride and groom on the rocks at Nahomi

The next day at Nahomi

Admiring the view from NahomiDay after session portraitsDay after session portraitsDay after session portraitsDay after session portraitsDay after session portraitsDay after session portraitsDay after session portraits

Having a Symbolic Wedding in Costa Rica

Maybe you love the idea of having a destination wedding in Costa Rica but shy away from doing the paperwork. Don’t let it scare you away. Many venues/officiants will happily handle the filing and any document translations as necessary. 

But if you’d still rather not, there’s nothing stopping you from having a symbolic wedding and taking care of the legal stuff at home. A wedding is all about the ceremony and the party anyway. You can take care of the boring part when you’re not on a tropical vacation.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out this other wedding I shot at Villa Caletas here!

 

Vendors:

Coordinator: Larissa Banting
Hair/makeup: Xinia Chacon
Officiant: Marcelo Galli
Violinist: Daniel Cambronero
Transport: Christian Transfers
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Kevin Heslin
Photography