Unusual Wedding Ideas: The Road Less Traveled

Unusual wedding ideas: early morning wedding ceremony

Costa Rica has a plethora of beautiful places to get married. After nearly two decades of photographing weddings here, I’ve been to a lot of them (though they never cease to amaze me).

Patrycja and Gustavo had a hard time choosing between the beach and a waterfall. So instead of putting themselves in a box, they choose both. They started with an early morning ceremony on the beach and we all packed up in a 4×4 to head out to one of the epic waterfalls in the Manuel Antonio area. 

This isn’t the strangest of the unusual wedding ideas I’ve encountered over the years, but it certainly worked for them!

An Unlikely Couple

Patrycja and Gustavo definitely prove that no matter where you are in the world, you will find your true love. Patrycja is Polish and Gustavo is from Nicaragua (though he was living in the States). 

Once they found one another and fell in love, they decided to elope to Costa Rica. After all, who doesn’t love an exotic tropical wedding? 

After these exciting festivities, they packed up and moved to Poland to start their life together. 

The Ceremony

Since they were eloping, it was just the two of them for their gorgeous beach ceremony along with the officiant and me. 

People tend to get married in the afternoons on the beach in Costa Rica. Daytime temps make it rather uncomfortable to be standing in the direct sun in full wedding garb. Plus, from a pictures perspective, having harsh light directly overhead casts some unflattering shadows on people’s faces. 

Since they were going to be trekking to the waterfall after the beach, it didn’t make sense to have the ceremony in the afternoon. So, at 7:30 in the morning, they both showed up looking amazing in their wedding attire and ready to say “I do.”

Take a look at the photos and you’ll see how perfect it was. The early morning sun (while still pretty warm) kissed their faces much more softly than the noon-time rays. 

And, honestly, the brilliant smiles that both of them were wearing lit up the whole beach by themselves!

After the ceremony, we took a few minutes to stroll along the beach and fill my memory card with delightful images. 

Unusual Wedding Ideas: Trekking to a Waterfall

Next stop, the waterfall!

There are a few waterfalls practical for photographs. This is because access may be down dirt roads that may or may not require you to cross a small river. Those roads also tend to be full of potholes (especially during the rainy season). Also, you need to take into account how long you need to walk from where you park your car. The waterfall we decided to go to was just a quick walk down from where we could park.

In other words, it’s an adventure to get there. 

However, it was an adventure that these radiant newlyweds were fully prepared to undertake!

After bouncing up the 4×4 road we finally arrived at our waterfall destination. This place has a hanging bridge a few hundred feet above the waterfall so, of course, we had to get those epic images.

After getting those amazing images, we took the short hike down to the waterfall’s base. Check out how tall Patrycja and Gustavo look next to the falls. It gives you an idea of how immense this waterfall is (and how high that bridge is!)

Your Amazing Wedding in Costa Rica

There are so many stunning locations where you can enjoy a wedding in Costa Rica. As Patrycja and Gustavo show us, there is no reason to tie yourself to just one. 

Do you dream of a beach wedding and waterfall wedding photos? You can have your cake and eat it too in this gorgeous country!

Want to see how another couple combined a more traditional wedding with this epic waterfall? Check out this other waterfall wedding I shot!

Below is a video of their Highlight Album included in the collection:

Want more info on planning Elopements or Micro Weddings in Costa Rica? Check out the guide below!

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