Arenas del Mar Manuel Antonio Wedding in Costa Rica // Gemma & Vanessa

Hola amigos y amigas! Help us in wishing Gemma and Vanessa a huge congratulations on their wedding at the beautiful Arenas del Mar Resort in the jungle of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. These two love birds had their preparations in separate rooms at the stunning Vista Hermosa villa and their first look on the yoga deck surrounded by their besties, with the women wearing pink suit jackets and white pants, and the men wearing pink bow ties. And if you’re a BHLDN aficionado you’re going to love the brides’ gowns!! Thanks to la Niña, rainy season unfortunately came a bit early… but that didn’t stop this group from having the fiesta of their lives. A very special shout out to Chelsea Banwell of Oasis Weddings who made the entire event run seamlessly despite having to move chairs and decor into the covered area by the pool when the rains started to get too heavy. A huge congratulations Gemma & Vanessa!! We were honoured to have been a part of your awesome celebration in Costa Rica!!!

Photos by Christina & Derek

Arenas del Mar Manuel Antonio same sax wedding

Cake Maker: Mariposa Bakery
Hours of coverage: Six
Wedding Planner: Chelsea Banwell of Oasis Weddings, Costa Rica

We loved that these two had a first look surrounded by their wedding party. We make it super easy for couples to coordinate making this happen.

Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should see each other before the ceremony. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a tad bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look.

1. Your wedding day will be super busy – no getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the wedding party portraits. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the bridal party shots.

2. A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. During the ceremony, there are many of people around and you can’t fully take in the moment. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse. We can make it super romantic for you. 🙂

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Feeling the love!

  • Jennifer Karach Avatar
    Jennifer Karach
    blank Christina and Derek were a dream to work with on our wedding day. Beyond their ridiculous talent and skill in capturing candid moments, they are kind, FUN, and have a gentle way to calm and lead you through the day. Christina has a way of picking up the slightest cues and adjusting quickly to make everyone feel comfortable. We hit the jackpot with these two. (and our guests were all blown away too)! - 8/21/2022
  • Cara MacRae Avatar
    Cara MacRae
    blank Christina did a wonderful job for our newborn lifestyle photos! We were looking for someone to capture our new baby in our home in a candid and natural fashion. Christina made us feel so comfortable, guiding us but capturing us in a natural way! We are blown away by her talent and will definitely be hiring her for family photos in the future 😊 - 7/27/2022
  • Kevin Abma Avatar
    Kevin Abma
    blank AMAZING PHOTOS!!!! Christina captured some fantastic, casual, and candid shots of our family. Very professional and easy to work with. I definitely recommend her. - 6/10/2022
  • Melanie Baker Avatar
    Melanie Baker
    blank What an amazing experience! We have two young kids and Christina was able to keep them enjoying themselves and having fun all while capturing some fabulous photos! We highly recommend Christina and will be using her for any future photos! - 12/08/2021
  • Cheryl Oates Avatar
    Cheryl Oates
    blank Christina is amazing. Her positive energy will bring out genuine smiles in you and your family as she finds creative and beautiful ways to capture you, just being yourselves. I love the photos Christina took of our family. She was professional and the turnaround time was super speedy. I will certainly book with her again and would recommend her to anyone looking for a family photographer. - 12/03/2021
  • Alison Strumberger Avatar
    Alison Strumberger
    blank Unreal! I could not be happier with my family's decision to ask Christina to take our family portraits. Not only is she a friendly and warm individual, but she is clear and prompt in her communications and an absolute professional. Christina made us feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, and was amazing working with our tiny children (1 and 3 years old... not the most obliging subjects!). The resulting photographs are gorgeous... they far exceeded my expectations in how they captured real moments of joy and intimacy (er, they had me in tears at work!). I absolutely hope to work with Christina again and recommend her in the highest terms possible. - 10/28/2021
  • Angela Lee Avatar
    Angela Lee
    blank Christina captured our moments so beautifully and the slide show made us cry and smile at the same time! Since we were having a small wedding and kept everything so simple, we only booked for 3hrs of her time. She was super quick and amazing at capturing details in such a short time! To be honest I was a little nervous about the photos before I received them because some of us, including myself, aren't photogenic and always put on awkward smiles when we stare at cameras but as soon as she sent us the sneak peek photos after just one week of our wedding my worry was instantly gone. We were oohing-and-aawing (lol) at the photos and some of my family and friends photos turned out like magazine-grade photos! I think she is more than a pro (she was so personable and understanding + flexible) and we all highly recommend her. I really feel proud to have an eye to see her fantastic photography skills through her portfolios in her website and reached out to her for my wedding. - 9/17/2021
  • Bessie Nuk Avatar
    Bessie Nuk
    blank Christina photographed our wedding many years ago and we just had our family portraits taken again with her. She is fantastic at what she does. It's not easy getting such gorgeous looking pictures that is so natural, especially with kids smiling, yet she manages to capture those quick moments and in such a perfect way. Thank you so much Christina! - 9/01/2021
  • Jennifer Avatar
    blank Christina is a very talented and personable photographer. She made the whole experience so fun and made us feel at ease. We are in love with our wedding pictures and highly recommend Christina to everyone! You will not be disappointed. We will definitely use Christina’s services in the future for family photos. Thank you for capturing the essence of who we are and our special day! - 8/22/2021
  • M “Mad Max” Max Avatar
    M “Mad Max” Max
    blank Anyone can take a picture but Christina brings them to life. An absolute amazing talent.
    Well worth the time and effort that comes with getting so many people together for a shoot.
    - 7/28/2021
LGBTQ2+ friendly business

Victoria BC

I live and work with gratitude as a visitor on the unceded territory of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.