Volunteer Honeymoon: Starting out Marriage with Purpose

Costa Rica trash the dress at Monte Mar Villa wedding

Monte Mar Villa Wedding Costa Rica

I love when a wedding totally reflects a couple’s love and personality. This one, complete with a volunteer honeymoon, was perfect.

Alexandra and Pete wanted their love for animals to be a part of their wedding.  So instead of gifts, they asked their guests to make a donation to the the local animal shelter in town called PAWS.

If you’ve ever been to Manuel Antonio you’ll see that we have a problem with stray dogs and cats who have a tough life on the streets.  The PAWS volunteers selflessly provide at-home living solutions for these animals.

When they find these strays, they provide spay and neutering as well as spay and neutering programs to lower-income pet owners.  This really helps encourage responsible pet ownership in the local community.

Then they go the extra step to find nice homes for these stray dogs and cats with the help of foster homes until they can find a permanent guardian.

A Volunteer Honeymoon

I love seeing the animals up for adoption at our local farmers market every week.  There are several dogs in particular that I know from my neighborhood, that they were able to find homes for, and it makes me so happy knowing these dogs that would run up to meet me when I walked down the street, now have safe homes and loving guardians and don’t have to look for shelter when it rains.

In addition to these donations, Pete and Alexandra spent part of their honeymoon volunteering with the organization.

PAWS Manuel Antonio
The PAWS Family

A fun detail was the wedding cake topper with three little dogs, including a German Shepherd, with a sign that read “we do too!”

The Wedding Day

The day started out with Alexandra and Pete getting ready to say “I do” forever at Monte Mar Villa in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica. We were able to get some great photos of Alexandra getting ready with her girls in the Villa, while my second shooter Joseph spent some time with the guys.  Afterward, the beach ceremony down the mountain from the villa was just incredible!

The weather held out after the ceremony and we were able to get a group portrait on the beach. When it came time for Alexandra and Pete’s portrait session the two were all smiles for the photos.

At the wedding reception at Monte Mar Villa Costa Rica, Joseph had time to capture the elegant details with the evening light.  The great thing about weddings at Monte Mar Villas in Costa Rica is that the dinner and dancing takes place in the mountains under the stars.

The day after the wedding Pete, Alexandra, Joseph, and I went to the public park Nahomi to get some photos of the amazing couple. Nahomi is one of my favorite places in Quepos.  It is a public park named after an Indian princess.

According to local legend, she used to have a house there where there is a natural waterfall in the rainy season.  Nahomi park has gorgeous views of the coast and the best sunsets in Quepos.  We used the rocks by the ocean to get some great shots then we headed to El Salto for some shots in the rain forest. Finally, we ended the session down at the local beach Playitas so Alexandra and Pete could get in the water.

This is when a German Shepherd decided to run into the frame and say hi, which fit so perfectly with the theme of the wedding. Definitely, the perfect end to their destination wedding.

bride and dress in monte mar
children on the beach in Costa Ricagolden light portrait of the brideManuel Antonio beach ceremonygroom looking into bride's eyes during their vowsportrait of the bridecouple walking down aisle after the "I do's"large family portrait on Manuel Antonio beachbride and groom smilingbride and groom walking on the beachMonte Mar Villa Wedding Costa Rica

cute puppy wedding cake topper fit with their volunteer honeymoon
The perfect cake topper for Alexandra and Pete!

preoccupied children
Wedding guests just chilling during the reception.

playing with flashing glasses at Monte MarMonte Mar Villa Wedding Costa Rica

The dance party before the volunteer honeymoon
Dance party under the stars.

tiny couple Naomi Park Manuel Antonio
Day After Session at Nahomi Park.

Maracas Manuel Antonio Costa RicaEl Salto Waterfall couple portrait

trash the dress with a German Shepard thanking them for their volunteer honeymoon
This was the moment when one of the local dogs came to thank Alexandra and Pete for all their help.

trash the dress with a German Shepard thanking them for their volunteer honeymoon
Perfect end to a perfect wedding.



Second Shooter: Joseph Nance

Wedding Coordinator: Larissa Banting

Venue: Monte Mar

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