‘Katie and Jake’s ‘Back to Nature’ Tropical Chic Wedding in Costa Rica by Raw Shoots Photography

Katie and Jake were married on 14th March in Costa Rica and what a wedding it was. This adventure loving couple just love to travel, and they love being outdoors. For this reason they wanted to keep their wedding as stripped back as possible, letting their surroundings be their decoration. You can see this in their stripped back beach ceremony, and with a backdrop like this what else do you need! The reception brings in the tropical theme perfectly, with tropical flowers and greenery aplenty. Stunning table set ups and the most delicious food. Big thanks to Raw Shoots Photography, a regular to the blog, for capturing the day so perfectly for us and to Mil Besos Costa Rica for the impeccable planning.

Meghan the planner tells us more about the couple and the wedding 

The beginning of this adventurous love story started with a leap outside of Katie’s comfort zone. She packed her bags and moved to a job two hours away from home in the middle of the mountains, literally.. with no cell service in.. middle of nowhere. As she adapted to her new home, she discovered her passion for the great outdoors and for her cute boy next door.
Not long after moving in, she discovered a handsome and crazy intelligent engineer who lived in the cabin next door named Jake. The remote mountain town had only a few people that lived there, so everyone ate together, worked together, congregated together, and explored together. Katie and Jake quickly grew to be friends.

Their love for the great outdoors and travel has propelled them to experience some pretty amazing things and places together. Together they zip-lined and surfed in Costa Rica, hiked Volcanos in Nicaragua, ate Tapas and drank sangria in Spain, ate on the top of the Eiffel Tower, absorbed all the history in Italy, and went diving in Thailand. Oh, and that one time they rented then crashed a yacht in Croatia.. to say the least, there was always an adventure with these two!

Then the couple signed up for the infamous Mount Whitney summit. The highest point is 14,508 ft, making it the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Not everyone is allowed to attempt it. Katie and Jake tried their luck and got lottery assigned permits! Together they trained every single day for the next three months to prepare for their biggest adventure yet.

After countless steps and mental mantras, they finally made it to the top! Here is how Katie explained this incredible moment. “When I saw the cabin at the top of the summit I wept to myself, so incredibly proud, exhausted but proud. Once everyone summited most of us cried. (and I just cried again while writing this) We sat there, soaking it all in. Then Jake asked his cousin if she would take a picture of the two of us at the summit. As she did, he pulled out a box with a ring. If we weren’t all crying before, we all were now! I wish I could tell you what he said but nobody remembers. The happiness, the joy, and quite frankly the shock is all we remember. It was the best moment of my life. We did it. Together. Something we built up for. Worked hard for. Something we will never forget. Some say it was meant to be, fate, circumstance, luck, serendipity. More than anything, it was my biggest blessing. Good thing I sacrificed two pounds in my pack to surprise everyone with moonshine at the top to celebrate!”

After a few weeks of celebrating their amazing journey and new engagement, they went to work planning their destination wedding in Manuel Antonio. When we first asked Katie how she envisioned her tropical chic wedding day, her response was perfect! She said “Well, I am a firm believer in not competing with nature and your surroundings, but rather to embrace it! I picture wooden chairs, a lot of greenery, seasonal florals, soft lighting, absolutely no roses or elaborate drapery and chandeliers, etc. I could get married anywhere with that stuff! I want to enjoy the views, have things clean, fresh, and simply beautiful – truly embracing that pura vida!”

Cata and Katie started designing right away! First they stared with florals, Katie carried a tropical bridal bouquet with greenery, soft florals, and phalaenopsis orchids. The bridesmaids held bouquets with monstera leaves, Mokara orchids, and roses. She also wanted to incorporate her family into the big day. The bride’s cousin did her make up and the bride’s brother was the officiant. She was really thoughtful about all of her choices. Katie picked out a special Tom Ford perfume to have a signature scent for the big day.
Jake wore a causal Joseph Abroad navy suit with Maledetti Toscan shoes with a mustard-coloured floral boutonniere while the groomsmen wore boutonnieres made of greenery. They wanted to add intimate touches too and incorporate their family. Katie’s cousin does hair and make up for weddings professionally in California, so she served up all the natural glam for this bride and her gals.

For the ceremony, they decided on a beautiful tropical broken arch with lush greenery and rust-coloured florals mixed with white flowers. Everyone sat on wood benches that had fans on each seat that Kate and Jake painted. Katie’s brother officiated the wedding and added some extra special lines into the ceremony that brought everyone to tears.
For the rooftop dinner, we decorated Guanacaste wood tables with palm leaves on chargers, avocado dyed napkins, clear and amber goblets, and elegant floating candles. Their sweetheart table had stunning cascading florals for a unique touch. Everyone sat under a hanging tropical chandelier with twinkle lights that really transformed the night. The best part of this venue is looking into a magical view overlooking the water.
We knew from the start this bunch wanted to leave it all on the dance floor. So we brought in a wonderful DJ to really turn up the music after dinner! It was truly a magical night for a really wonderful pair. Congrats Katie + Jake! We can’t wait to see what adventure you two take next!



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We are Rob & Lori a couple of wedding and portrait photographers based in Costa Rica, we really enjoy shooting couples in love in a documentary, organic and spontaneous way. Outdoor weddings are our favorites, we know that the stories are there, all the beauty and drama of life, all the characters and details are right there for us to capture them with our cameras. Our lifestyle is alternative, bohemian and adventurous; This is something that really defines us as a couple and photographers, we feel blessed to live and share this adventure together.




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