I have so many words for Rebeca + Robby’s Hotel La Mariposa wedding in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. It was emotional, it was stunning, it was fun, it was completely adventurous, it was about their loved ones and most of all them. Rebeca and Robby live in Daytona Beach, Florida and are good friends of my mother (spoiler alert! the one at the end jumping in the pool with the bride, sorry mom.) Their day was filled with so many special details that meant more to them and their family than most. You might remember their Costa Rica engagement session in a rain forest posted earlier last year. It was Costa Rica’s rain season which meant random storms at all hours of the day. The rain cleared in the morning and left a beautiful day for their wedding ceremony and photos. Later that night, rain opened up on the dance floor which lead to one epic dance party I will never forget and will remain one of the highlights of my career.
Rebeca is originally from Costa Rica where most of her family still resides so it was only natural to have their wedding abroad especially since Robby proposed to Rebeca in Costa Rica in December 2015. They picked the stunning Hotel La Mariposa to host their guests and their wedding day. It overlooked the Pacific Ocean and was surrounded by lush rainforest. Rebeca wore a custom wedding gown made by her aunt. I think Rebeca tells it best when it comes to how her and Robby met as well as the meaningful pieces that were apart of their wedding day. A little excerpt from one of Rebeca’s e-mails: “We met while working in the emergency department. My matron of honor,Dafny, introduced us. We became friends and even though I had the biggest crush on him since the moment I saw him , I still turned his several attempts to take me out. I was afraid to open up once again, I guess. One day, my friend Dafny said “If you were my daughter, Robby is who I would pick for you, just go out on one date.” So I did, and after that date I knew he’s the one I’ve been searching for. As a single mother for several years, I had kind of lost the idea of finding anyone that would accept both my daughter and I. Yet Robby made her his daughter since the day they met. Zenei was 5 and it was meant to be between them from that day on.
The primary color is a very important part of the wedding due to the representation of my brother who recently passed away from testicular cancer. The purple cancer ribbon represents this type of cancer and is very important to our family. This allows us to feel like his presence is with all of us having a blast.There will be lots of dancing, drinking, and laughter.”
Their day was everything. I knew going in to it that it would be special for the reasons Rebeca stated above and I wanted to make sure I told their story in the truest form so Josh and I joined them for 4 days and nights. We captured their adventures with their friends and family the days leading up to their wedding. It was amazing. I am so grateful that they invited us to come along for their wedding weekend. It made me want to document more weddings like this.
From their wedding weekend, I learned that I cannot drive an ATV and I am petrified to jump off a cliff in to a small waterfall (no one will let me live that one down, however, I totally have bungy jumped in New Zealand since then, so I guess I got over my fear?). That weekend I learned what love was from not only them but those who surrounded them. I learned what family meant and I got to experience all this while seeing an amazing country. Hello! I saw a sloth for the first time! Actually, I saw two and it was glorious. I had monkeys trying to steal our food but I didn’t get to see a toucan (totally want to go back, hint, hint.) I learned my cameras can survive a torrential downpour on the dance floor and that jumping in the pool at the end of the night with everyone is inspiring even if you’re chased out by lightening. Overall, this day was amazing and I wish I could live it every day. It was that good.
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.