Kiss on Costa Rica Beach
March 27, 2013

Personal Wedding Experience


Personal experience counts when it comes to wedding photography. Chris and I have talked about our photographic experience quite a bit, but we haven’t talked at all about our individual weddings. A wedding is one of the biggest moments in your life, it is when you commit yourself to one person for the rest of your lives. It is second only to having children. My wife Khalana and I decided to go big and small all in one destination wedding in Costa Rica.

Kaya's Place Puerto Viejo

Khalana and I had lived together for several years before I proposed. It was a forgone conclusion that we were going to be married, but we still hadn’t committed to a date let alone a year. Little did she know that I had been saving for a ring for quite a while. I’ll talk more about our engagement later, but lets just say that I managed to surprise her even though she knew it was coming.

We both love adventure and travel though neither of us had left the country yet. We had been all over the continental US and I’d been to Alaska twice, but had no need for passports yet. So after talking to a few friends we settled on Costa Rica to exchange vows. In researching the country and talking to anyone who had been there we settled on a little town on the Caribbean coast called Puerto Viejo. PV is well know to surfers and backpackers but relatively off the radar for most Americans. There are no resorts or hotels, just cabins and a few two story buildings in town. More importantly it is amazingly beautiful. The only thing standing between beach and the rainforest is the dirt road and the small town.


A little eco-lodge named Kaya’s Place would be our base to have the wedding, reception and the first week of our trip. The owners had been a great help in booking our guests and planning our meal and wedding location, almost entirely by email. To get there we would have to make a four hour drive through the mountains and cloud forests on a severely potholed road. We would be married on the black sands of Playa Negra two days after our arrival.

Check back next week for the next installment in the story of my wedding and you’ll get to see me cry. If you are considering a destination wedding to Costa Rica or another tropical beach or snowy location give me a call. I love to talk about it, just ask my friends. They’ve heard it a million times.

Courtyard of Kayas Place

Bride and Groom Walk on Beach

Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.