Just reflecting back on the last four days traveling for a Costa Rica destination wedding. As I’m sitting here in the airport getting ready to board back home, I can’t help but have extreme gratitude. Grateful for my photography business that presented me with this amazing opportunity to shoot a destination wedding with Hannah. Completely overwhelmed with the life I live, that is sometimes taken for granted. The life my Lord has given to me to able to afford adventures like this, I’m just so undeserving.
During our ride, when we first arrived, from the airport to the luxurious resort for an all-inclusive stay, we passed through very rural areas and towns that would not render the same experience. There were beautiful views of the mountains and volcano, as well as rolling hills full of wild horses, monkeys and other livestock. As you went through the towns it was humbling and eye opening to see that everything was gated off. But not in the sense that we would think of when you hear “gated community”. It was just wooden posts with barbed wire all over them to keep the livestock in the right areas and as well as keeping people out. It was literally everywhere. Every single thing was fenced off and had iron bars over the windows and in the doorways. It was just a different world that I wasn’t really expecting to see.
As we made our way into the Dreams Resort area, the colors became more vibrant and the people more friendly. We checked in and had personal escorts carry all of our luggage to our room, drove us around on golf carts, taught us some Spanish and helped us with everything. Just a very warm welcoming committee, along with the very warm weather! Lol.
We knew we had the wedding on Friday, so we spent Wednesday evening after we landed, all day Thursday and Saturday to relax, take pictures and explore the area. We didn’t leave the resort grounds, mainly because we didn’t bring that much cash, so we spent a lot of time in the pool and by the beach, but also because we wanted to stay safe! There were so many different places to eat on the resort: Seafood, multiple Grills, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Coco Cafe shop, all kinds of bars and huge Buffet style Cafeteria. Everything was flavorful and exquisite. Even the apple juice at the breakfast buffet was so fresh and light.
Thursday we spent all day at the pool, hanging out with the family of the wedding. Destination weddings are a lot more intimate, since you can’t fly out 100-200 guests. The guest list is majority family and really close friends. We spent the entire trip hanging out with the wedding party and family of the bride. They are from Florida and we all had a blast getting to know each other. Thursday evening Hannah and I took pictures of each other out on the beach and then headed to the wedding rehearsal and dinner with everyone else.
Friday was wedding day! We slept in and enjoyed our relaxing morning on our balcony overlooking the main pool and courtyard area. Soaking in the views of the mountains and ocean before getting ready to spend the day on our feet documenting the love story of Devon and Greg. It is so much cooler and calmer in the mornings, I spent every morning sitting out on the balcony listening to the birds chirping and flying around. Watching people eat their breakfast down on the terrace at the cafeteria. That sounds a little creepy, lol.
The day started with the girls getting ready in the spa, and the guys getting ready in the groom’s suite…with a private swim out pool (OMG!). The afternoon took us out to the beach wedding, walking through the pool area and everyone shouting “Congrats!” and cheering for the bride and groom as they made their way to the ceremony on the beach…stopping for shots of course!
Saturday was meant for complete and total relaxation. If you’re in the wedding industry you’re very much familiar with the concept of a wedding hangover. Well we pushed our flight back one day because if add traveling to that hangover, you’re going to be completely miserable. I’m so glad we made that decision, or else we wouldn’t have gotten a full body massage ON THE BEACH Saturday afternoon! Oh my gosh, seriously the most wonderful feeling ever, hearing the waves crashing and a light cool breeze while under the shade getting a full body massage, the day after you shot a wedding. I need to start getting massages the day after every wedding from now on! We stayed in the pool all day and had a nice dinner with the bride’s family that night.
It was simply beautiful (muy bonito) and an incredible trip celebrating Devon and Greg’s Costa Rica destination wedding. But in the back of my mind I wondered about the rural areas. Where is the hospital? I didn’t see a single emergency location. Where do they get their power? I didn’t see power lines for over an hour after we left the airport. How do they have clean water? I hope the Walmart ships in tons and tons of bottled water to keep people healthy.
It makes you humble yourself and realize that your problems are far smaller than someone else’s who is less fortunate. Those moments tend to be my favorite to think back on, when you’re taken back by something and reflect on how blessed you really are. I just love traveling and exploring new places! Maybe one day I’ll go back for another Costa Rica destination wedding and make extra time to explore more of the country!
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