Sarah and Erik married one another in a small, very intimate ceremony. But the small attendance didn't make the celebration any less special, in fact, if anything, it made it more. Sarah and Erik said, "I do" while overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the terrace of a unique balinese style villa “The Tree House”, nestled in the forest of Manuel Antonio. Their ceremony was everything they imagined and more, the perfect start to beginning their lives together as husband and wife.
Pauline and Alex took great care in planning one of the best days of their lives. From amazing views at the Villa Caletas amphitheater, to explosive fireworks at Alma del Pacifico, this couple did everything in their power to make their day enjoyable, not only for themselves but for their guests as well.
I want to say a little something about Pauline, to demonstrate the type of person she is. Earlier on in our emails back and forth, she told me that she wanted to make her handicap sister feel special at the wedding, as if it was both of their weddings. She said she knew her sister would never have a wedding of her own, and so she wanted to make sure that it was as special for her as possible. This melted my heart to hear, just how selfless Pauline was and how much she loved and cared for her sister. Once I met Pauline, and all of her family and friends, and saw how everyone interacted with her sister, it was so apparent the love that everyone has for her. And it shows through in her sister's smiling face, that was lit up the entire day. I think that Pauline accomplished her request, and made her wedding day one of the best days of her sister's life as well. It was such an honor to be apart of that.
Pauline was getting ready at Villa Caletas with her bridesmaids, both mothers and her sister. She was so happy and flung her arms around me for a big hug upon meeting me. I knew it was going to be a great wedding, with so much positive energy how could it not!
The ceremony was held on Villa Caletas well known amphitheater. Pauline and her bridal party braved the steep staircase down, and enjoyed beautiful views of the ocean while Marcelo Galli officiated their ceremony.
After taking a few photos at Villa Caletas we headed over to Alma del Pacifico to get beach photos and the sunset. The reception was held at Alma del Pacifico, where most of the guests were staying.
A seaside cocktail hour welcomed guests as they arrived to Alma del Pacifico. Pineapple bowling, a Costa Rican version of the traditional game, was setup for guests to play. Pauline and Alex had a hand at it too!
The dinner was held in the thatch roof pavilion. Alex and Pauline were welcomed into the reception with a traditional Lithuanian wedding game where they must kiss in order to pass through the scarf tunnel.
For the newlyweds first dance as husband and wife guests were given sparklers to wave around in celebration of their love for one another.
Photography: Madison Baltodano Photography
Venue (ceremony): Villa Caletas
Venue (reception): Alma del Pacifico
Officiant: Marcelo Galli
Dress: Allure Bridals
Cake: Mariposa Pastry
Florist: Acacia Floresteria
Suit: Tommy Bahama (blazer) Express (pants)
Bridesmaids Dresses: Custom made dresses by Renz Rags
McKinzie and Garret married one another in the small beach town of Playa Portrero at the beautiful resort Bahia del Sol. Friends and family joined the couple to celebrate their union. The weather that day was a bit overcast, but the rain held off just long enough for all the outdoor activities. And even through the clouds of rain storms the sun peeked out and gave us a beautiful color show.
McKinzie and her girls were getting ready in one of the hotel rooms. The jungle paths that lead to the rooms created a beautiful space for the dress photos. Speaking of dresses, take a look at the oh-so-cute bridesmaids dresses. They were made from bird of paradise print fabric, and were just perfect for a Costa Rican destination wedding.
The ceremony was set literally steps outside of the resort. Beautiful, soft, pastel colored flowers decorated a natural wooden arch.
After the ceremony the guests enjoyed a sunset cocktail hour, while the bridal party took to the beach for photos.
I didn't get to stay for the whole reception, but I did have enough time to get photos of the beautiful setup and delicious cupcake table.
Nicole and Brandon rented two beach front villas in Manuel Antonio, The Discovery Beach House and The Beach House, to host their families for a week long celebration of love. Every detail of the day was carefully planned by Nicole, making each moment beautiful and meaningful. The couple both have extended family from Costa Rica so it made perfect sense for them to marry one another there.
Nicole was getting ready at the Discovery Beach House with her mother and sister. She was cool, calm and collected, and was brave enough to let me take her dress out into the jungle for photos. Her and Brandon had been together already for 8 years, so she had not a doubt in her mind that he was the right man for her.
Brandon and Nicole did a first look before the ceremony in order to take their family photos ahead of time. They used the front entrance of the house which worked well for the first look.
The ceremony was held on the beach, under the shade and privacy of the palm and almond trees. A beautiful arch was decorated with tropical flowers, and hand fans awaited the guests at their seats. The white faced monkeys passed through just before the ceremony started.
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the beach while Nicole and Brandon took their newlywed portraits. It was a bit overcast so there was no sunset, but the misty water created a magical backdrop for photos.
The reception was held just off of the sand from the beach. Large tropical leaves were used for a seating chart, while the long rectangular tables also featured greenery, flowers and gold accents.
Photography: Madison Baltodano Photography
Venue: Discovery Beach House
Wedding Planner: www.oasisweddings.co.cr/Oasis Destination Weddings
Hair and Makeup: Mademoiselle Salon
Catering: Chef Desiree
Second Photographer: Kevin Heslin
Cake: Mariposa Pastry
Florist: Costa Brava Florist
Rentals: Eventos Boadicea
Lighting: Ambiance Event Lighting
DJ: DJ Spynfo
Officiant: Brandon King
Alys and Manuel have been a family already for many years, raising their beautiful daughters together. They decided to make their marriage official by saying "I do" in Arenal, Costa Rica, a mountainous volcano town. Religion is a very important part of their lives and so they held their wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church of La Fortuna. The reception was held at, The Springs Resort.
Manuel, his groomsmen, and both dads were getting ready in one of the rooms at The Springs. Everyone was in good spirits as the last preparations were made before heading to the church.
Alysa was getting ready with her bridesmaids, daughters and family members. She was calm as could be, and just went about doing what needed to be done.
We headed to the church attempting to beat the rain, which we did. The church was large and beautiful, and Manuel was nervously awaiting his bride.
After the ceremony we took family photos at the church and then headed back for newlywed portraits at the hotel. The volcano cleared for just long enough to get some beautiful photos. It is very rare for the volcano to clear, so Alysa and Manuel were really lucky that it happened while we were taking photos.
We made our way down to the reception area which was down by the river at The Springs. A small waterfall made the perfect setting to finish out our photo session. Cocktail hour was held on the river bank, with the reception in a large thatch roofed rancho.
There was a special table and place seating in honor of Manuel deceased brother. It was very apparent just how much this tragic event had affected Manuel and his entire family.
Jen and Jamie were not going to let rainy weather dampen their wedding day spirits. They made the most of the sprinkles, taking photos in the droplets and then under an umbrella once it got a littler heavier. A bride and groom that can go out in the rain in probably the most formal clothes they will ever wear says a lot about who they are, their personality and outlook on life. It was such an honor to work with this fun and down to earth couple.
The day started with Jen getting ready with her bridesmaids at Costa Verde Hotel. They were all so sweet, and kept on laughing about trying to be candid when the camera was pointed their way.
Nearby Jamie and his groomsmen were all getting ready as well. The little ring bearer, Kellen, stole the show, like kids normally do.
The ceremony was set on the heli-pad with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference it makes in the photos having a clear tent instead of a white tent. The light can shine right through and the photos look so much better. Luckily Jen and Jamie had a clear tent.
The rain held off just long enough for the processional to walk in, and then it sprinkled its good luck on the couple.
After family photos under the tent the rain lightened up a bit and we made our way down to the beach for portraits. I am so glad that Jen and Jamie were up for the adventure!
The reception was held on the private second floor of El Avion restaurant. The couple was greeted enthusiastically by their friends and family and immediately took to the floor for their first dance as husband and wife.
Costa Rica loves fireworks. They especially love putting on amazing fire works shows for weddings, and the firework show for Sam and Miranda's wedding was nothing short of that. It was beautiful, mesmerizing, and a big surprise to all of the guests.
Miranda and Sam married one another at the all-inclusive resort Riu Guanacaste. An intimate group of friends and family joined them for the celebration. It had been raining on and off for the morning, but luckily the rain held off for the events schedules outdoors, and the ceremony was able to take place on the beach as planned.
The day started with Miranda getting ready with her bridesmaids, and female family members. She had her hair and makeup done in the spa, and then moved over to her room for the final preparations.
The ceremony took place just as the sun was dipping below the mountain line. Miranda was escorted down the aisle by her father, I got a few shots of her beaming smile just before her emotions took over and the tears started rolling down her face.
After their first kiss as newlyweds we headed straight to the beach to catch the last light of the day for photos.
The reception was held in an open-aired event space. Unique pineapple centerpieces dressed up the tables, while blue lights twinkled above. For their first dance Miranda and Sam pulled off a great choreographed piece.
Photography: Madison Baltodano Photography
Venue: Riu Guanacaste
Videography: Costa Rica Cinematography
They say weddings are normally only about the bride and groom, and although it is true, that this is their special day, Rachel and Rick effortlessly made this celebration so much about their families as well. Throughout the wedding day there were so many times when you could tell just how important family is to this down to earth and easy going couple. It was such a moving thing for me to see and document.
Rachel was getting ready with a group of girlfriends, which included her mom and sister. They had rented the quaint Forsyth B&B for the wedding group to do their preparations. The bed and breakfast was a beautiful old building with unique lighting and decor which added a modern look to it. It had great lighting and was a really nice place to photograph in.
Upon meeting Rachel I could tell that her softness would come through beautifully in the images. She was stunning and her beautiful hand beaded dress gave her just the right classic look. Her earrings were a vintage heirloom that her mother had actually worn at her own wedding as well.
Although this couple swore that a first look was too corny for them to do, it worked out naturally to do an informal first look in the historic garden area of the Senate House State Park. We continued with portraits around the building and grounds. I think I can easily say that the portrait session was the least fun part of the day for this camera shy couple. But they were good sports and their silliness with each other made it a bit more bearable. On top of that, you can't even tell that they don't love getting their photo taken as they look like total naturals in the images.
Rick has a really special relationship with his grandparents and that could be seen throughout the wedding day. It was really important to him to get some good photos of all 4 of them together, and this one is just priceless. Right after taking the formal photos Rick played a prank on his grandmother, which is something he has been doing to her since he was little. He led his grandmother to their "seats" for the ceremony, and told her she would be sitting in the last row right behind a man wearing a big sombrero. She immediately knew what Rick was up to and a full hearted laugh broke out from everyone involved.
Rick, Rachel and their family headed indoors for the signing of the Ketubah. The ceremony took place in the bridal suite of the Senate Garage, and all the family packed into the room to witness this special moment.
Outside, just in front of the historic Senate House, the ceremony was set in place. A beautiful birch tree chuppah decorated with greenery was awaiting the couple for their wedding ceremony. Rick walked down with his family and then they turned and waited for Rachel and her family to walk down and meet them. Rachel's mom was trying to contain her emotions as they approached Rick's family who they all love so much. What I really loved about this processional is that when the two families met, Rick and Rachel each hugged one of the others parents instead of hugging each other, really meshing the two families together as one.
After the ceremony the bride and groom stole away to a private room for some time alone together. Guests enjoyed a delightful cocktail hour in the Senate House outdoor garden area. The afternoon temperature was perfect and the evening couldn't have gone any better.
The reception was held inside the Senate Garage, a historic garage converted into an event room. The room boasts beautiful exposed brick walls and modern industrial lighting, the perfect location for a unique reception.
The reception started with Rick's grandparents breaking the challah bread, followed by the newlyweds first dance and the most anticipated hora dance.
After speeches which reiterated the importance of family to both Rachel and Rick they each shared a special dance with their prospective parents. Rick and his mom surprised everyone with a choreographed number to Uptown Funk which got the crowd cheering and on their feet.
Rick and his buddies participated in a tradition where they all pass around a flask and take swigs from it, ending withe the new Mrs. taking the last sip. Rachel killed it in the badass picture below of her showing she can hang with the guys and keep up with the best of them.
The beautiful lighting in the Senate Garage was impossible not to take advantage of. The couple left the party for a quick few minutes to get a few night portraits before heading back and kicking the dancing up to the next notch.
The photo below was the very last photo I took, just at the end of the very last song for the evening. I think it sums up the awesomeness of the wedding, the party and this couple and the love everyone has for them in just one photo. Rachel is in there somewhere, being squeezed by all of the excitement. Just like it says in the title, this wedding was truly an epic day that will never be forgotten.
Photography: Madison Baltodano Photography
Venue: Senate Garage
Getting ready venue: The Forsyth B&B
Wedding Planner: Hudson Valley Ceremonies
Wedding Coordinator: Sandra O'Connel
Hair and Makeup: Beauty on Location
Videographer: Jonathan Cortizo
Officiant: Cantor Kathy Barr
Caterer: Bridge Creek
DJ: DJ Chris Rose
Karri and Greg married one another on the beautiful rock lined beach known as Playa Ocotal. This beach is located in the Northern region of Costa Rica, and has striking black sand and a natural water spout from the waves crashing against the volcanic rock.
The couple and their guests stayed at the beautiful luxury villa, Villa Ocotal. The villa is setup more like a hotel, which makes it great for events and large groups. The rooms are all individually accessed, there is a lounge area and pavilion that works perfectly for small receptions, and of the pool overlooking the ocean tops it off.
The day started with Karri getting ready with both of the moms, her sister and some friends. In the room just next door Greg got ready with his guy friends. Kristen Brown was second shooting with me today so she covered the groom getting ready, while I photographer the bride.
The ladies of the group surprised Karri with a special custom made pin. Charms on the pin represented each of them, and it was also her something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Greg and his groomsmen were hanging out and having fun in the room next door. We could hear hoots and howls coming from their room which made Karri giggle.
Karri and Greg met each other out on the adjoining balcony to hold hands and exchange a few words before seeing each other at the ceremony.
The guests were shuttled down to the beach for the barefoot ceremony. A beautiful floral arch awaited the couple.
The volcanic rock was just perfect for photos. Pools of water were left in the craters and the rock was flat enough for the newlyweds to venture out onto it.
Photography: Madison Baltodano Photography
Second Shooter: Kristen Brown
Venue: Villa Ocotal
Wedding Planner: Pamela Cox and Guillermo Viquez
Shaunessy and Alec traveled with a close group of family and friends to marry one another in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. They wanted the event to be easy going and fun, just like the two of them. The group all stayed near to one another in rental houses all in the Manuel Antonio Estates Property, allowing frequent pool parties and get togethers to happen throughout the week.
The day started with Alec and his friends making some pre-ceremony celebratory toasts. Alec chose to honor his Scottish heritage by wearing a formal kilt, complete with a traditional dagger which is called a sgian-dubh.
Shaunessy was getting ready with her mom, her sister and a few of her friends. She didn't need to do much to look absolutely stunning, as her natural beauty shone right through.
The ceremony was held in the garden area of the Manuel Antonio Estates Spa. Shaunessy and Alec asked for the guests to form a big circle around the couple as they exchanges their vows to one another.
Alec and Shaunessy really wanted to spend as much time enjoying their wedding day as they possibly could. In light of that they had decided to go to the beach the evening before their wedding, to take portraits so that they wouldn't have to leave the wedding for photos. It worked out really well as the wedding day was just relaxed as could be.
We took just a few portraits on the wedding day as well, for good measure.
A large empty room upstairs from the spa was transformed into a beautiful tropical reception.
The newlyweds were warmly welcomed into the party, and everyone feasted on a potluck meal lovingly prepared by the whole group. Many toasts were made in honor of Shaunessy and Alec, and it was no surprise the number of nice things that people had to say about these two.
Hi Everyone! My name is Madison aka Madi and I am a photographer who LOVES weddings!