We won’t lie: enjoying a stunning photo-shoot is one of the best parts of a Costa Rica destination wedding. Many couples enjoy them so much that they actually plan several photo-shoots on their adventure honeymoon after their wedding, just so they can take advantage of an array of magnificent locations. Whilst you probably can’t get to a volcano, a beach, a waterfall and a rain-forest in the one single photo session, there’s nothing stopping you from getting dolled up a few times during your trip, just so you can have a wide variety of shots in your album.
Photogenic, dreamy, colorful and totally charming, the best places for your Costa Rica destination wedding photo-shoot will ensure your album be among the most treasured mementos you’ll have of your big, beautiful, all-important day.
Choose a remote beach on the western Pacific coast and you will have the most magical sunset photos of all. Beaches are undoubtedly the #1 wedding photo-shoot location in Costa Rica, with the array of options making for personalized albums that are unique to every couple. Whilst sunsets are the prime attraction on the Pacific Coast, sunrises are on the Caribbean, the play of light in the early morning making for sensational shots. The most popular beaches are unarguably in Manuel Antonio National Park, where verdant forests tumble down to sandy shores, remote and wild beaches on the Osa Peninsula (home to a few stellar boutique resorts) and of course Tamarindo, a popular vacation spots that offers everything you need for a fabulous wedding vacation.
Given that Costa Rica destination weddings are so popular all over the country, it means you’ll find an excellent photographer no matter which beach you need to visit. More often than not, however, photographers will also travel to different locations for a shoot so if you have a specific expert in mind, it always pays to ask their availability at your chosen location. Whilst continuity in style can certainly be a lovely thing, it’s also wonderful to have different reels from different photographers, to have the widest range of looks. Just like every beach in Costa Rica is unique and enticing in its own way, no two wedding photographers are the same.
Nothing spells Costa Rica glamour weddings quite like a waterfall photo-shoot and although the country is absolutely chock-full of stunning drops, many are perhaps a little too inconvenient to reach, all dressed up to the nines. In this instance, we prefer waterfalls that are close to – and even within – some of the best resorts in the country. At the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, for example, you don’t even need to move an inch in your heels: you can have the ceremony, reception lunch and photo-shoot all in front of one of five gorgeous waterfalls. Only an hour away from Sa Jose, this stunning place is well-versed in all things wedding related so you can organize a shoot here even if not staying. An in-house butterfly garden also makes for a very unique setting, to add color and an ethereal setting to your photos.
Luxury Hotels & Resorts
The easiest option is also one of the most glamorous, with Costa Rica’s array of wedding resorts putting on fabulous photo-shoot locations throughout their outstanding properties. You can choose your luxury resort location by a glorious private beach, immersed in pristine forests and even overlooking one of the country’s many awe-inspiring volcanoes. Resorts and hotels really do combine the best of it all, as far as convenience, setting and location are concerned. When choose a wedding venue, it pays to check out the property (albeit virtually) to see if the setting would make for great photography. The in-house wedding planner can also run through all the available options with you, both at the resort itself and nearby. Every Costa Rica photographer has their own ‘insider secret spot’ when it comes to wedding photo-shoots, so it helps to pick their brain.
A jaw-dropping backdrop, an infinity pool, your own private haven and a fantastical place to hold a breath-taking photo-shoot – private villa rentals in Costa Rica are just the gift that keep on giving. Luxury villas come in all shapes, sizes and budget with accommodation options ranging from family sized (4-5) to larger groups ideal for a wedding with sleeping arrangement for, say, two dozen people yet with enough entertainment space to fit double the number. If you have your wedding reception and accommodation already sorted and simply wish to book a villa for a few hours’ worth of posing glamorously, ask the venue, or your photographer, if they know of an available villa that would allow for that. There are many, like Villa Punto de Vista, that actually allow for this as the country is a very popular photography and TV Show shooting destination.
Luxury Yachts & Catamarans
Add a touch of glamour and exclusivity to your wedding photo-shoot by heading out into the sapphire seas on a luxury yacht or catamaran cruise for a couple of hours. You’ll find a greater choice of boat and rental options on the Pacific coast and although quite a few insist on day-long rentals, many can be hired for just an hour or two which would make the wedding photo-shoot a lot more affordable too. If you don’t have the time nor the inclination to do your own research on this, it may be worthwhile to hire a wedding planner who will not only organize the actual ceremony for you but can coordinate with photographer and photo-shoot venue to fit within your budget and according to your wishes. Event planners really take all the stress out of destination wedding planning and Costa Rica boasts a wealth of expert and professional ones – just see here.
Rain-forests & Wilderness
Taken on the path to the La Fortuna waterfall, the below photo shows just how atmospheric Costa Rica’s rain-forests can be for wedding photography. Choose Monteverde and you could be on a hanging bridge suspended in the clouds, framed by verdant
The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, right at the foothills of Arenal Volcano, is the prime location in the country if you’re dreaming of that distinctive WOWing photo-shoot setting. It really doesn’t get any better than this: a luscious resort set in prime wilderness, with its own private hot springs and insanely beautiful gardens. Choose to stay here and the resort will help co-ordinate your shoot, taking advantage of the many secluded spots that make for glorious pics. Yet Tabacon is not the only choice, by a long shot. There are many beautiful lodges here that not only boast their own unique views of Arenal but also know of prime spots just nearby which you can take advantage of.
Hosting a wedding photo-shoot in a wildlife refuge may seem a little odd at first but once you realize that a ‘refuge’ in Costa Rica can mean more than one thing. Whilst some are bona fide wildlife rehab center (totally worth visit) other are simply fervently protected reserves where wildlife can thrive. Boutique lodges within the boundaries of wildlife refuges can make for exceptional photo-shoot locations, especially for animal-lovers. Imagine having the moment a cheeky monkey tries to steal your bouquet or a colony of coatis walks across your path, forever immortalized in your wedding pics? Pretty special! Parrots, monkeys, perhaps even a sloth – these are the kinds of wedding subjects with whom you could be sharing your treasured photographs.
And what could be more Costa Rican than that?
If you fancy a unique destination wedding photo-shoot in Costa Rica and looking for that one adventure vacation company that can bring your wedding and adventure honeymoon together, talk to Costa Rica Rios today.