When I sat down to write this blog post for Hannah and Josh’s wedding, I literally was having a hard time putting into words my feelings for this day. The two of them have an ora about them that when you are around them you can’t help but smile and feel so much joy. You can ask anyone who knows them and they will say the same thing. They are the meaning of the power couple and they can’t take a bad picture even if they tried. I met Hannah several years ago when she was a bridesmaid in one of my destination weddings in Costa Rica. We had crossed paths while surfing prior to that but not officially met until that wedding. Hannah is this tall beautiful sweet woman. If you meet Hannah and somehow don’t vibe with her there is something seriously wrong with you ha! She ended up being a bridesmaid in several other weddings I did for their group of friends and so we became friends.
Josh and Hannah met on a fateful day at Bonefish Grill. Josh was her waiter and of course was sucked right into Hannah. Josh is this handsome southern gentlemen who makes you melt with every slowly enunciated word that comes out of his mouth. He has a genuine heart just like Hannah and is why I think they are just perfect together. They immediately made a connection but soon after Josh moved to California. It didn’t take long for him to fly back to Florida to come scoop up his long-legged surfer girl and ask her to come to California with him. The rest is history….
When Hannah and Josh first got engaged I had the honor of coming out to California to do their engagement photos in Joshua Tree National Park (one of my favorite places on earth and where I got engaged). This was the first time I really got to spend some time with the two of them together. When you are around the two of them for an extended period of time and by that I mean 5 minutes you see the passionate and undying love they have for each other. You can see it in the way they look at each other and you can see it with every touch they give. It’s really amazing to be able to witness and capture that.
When the wedding planning started they changed locations a couple of times but I told them I don’t care where you guys get married, I will be there no matter what to photograph it. I was super excited when they finally chose Nicaragua as I hadn’t photographed a wedding there but had been there once before on a surf trip. It’s not a place that a typical couple would choose since they don’t have red lights or stop signs. It is still somewhat of a developing country but its landscapes and people are amazing. Not to mention the waves are incredible. Hannah had a vision, she wanted mountains and the beach and that is what she got.
One thing I have learned from doing destination weddings over the years is that you can’t expect everything to go exactly to plan. This is even truer when you are getting married in Central America. You have to have a go with the flow mentality or you are going to be very stressed out your entire wedding day.
The guys went on a boat surf trip to start the day off and the ladies did morning Yoga. Then the rain started. It poured, I mean poured like a South Florida afternoon monsoon. Hannah was as calm as she could be about that rain. Her and I both knew that it would stop in time for the ceremony. I spent the majority of the day photographing the girls as I wasn’t able to get over to the guys due to the torrential downpours going on. Meanwhile, the proprietor of the house where the ceremony was being held decided last minute that the ceremony was not allowed to take place there (Hannah didn’t’ know about this until the next day lol) So, myself and the videographers along with some guests were scrambling to make a backup plan. Luckily, one of the guests was able to convince the guy to allow the ceremony to take place. The next hurdle of the day was getting guests down to the house. Due to the excessive rain a lot of the guests were stuck up on the mountain with no way down. My husband ended up getting some guests with the side by side we had rented, getting them there just in the nick of time.
The ceremony went off without a hitch, no rain just smiles. Josh and his groomsmen surprised Hannah with a sweet song which had everyone tearing up and smiling at the same time. Now, as far as the reception goes this is where things got a little hairy. First, the bartenders never showed up along with the reception tables. Dinner also never really happened, just a slow showing of appetizers. There was a big festival going on in the town which only happens once a year so the running joke of the night was that was where the bartenders, tables and food were. Despite all of this Hannah and Josh never complained or were worried one bit. All they cared about was making that commitment to each other in front of their closest friends and family. That is what it’s about guys. It doesn’t matter if your cake is bad, or if you don’t have tables or chairs or if it rains its ass off, it’s about the union of two beautiful souls for life.
We didn’t get to do any portraits with them the day of the wedding but we went off on an amazing adventure the next day. The photos are some of my favorite to date. We spent the afternoon on a deserted beach with its own little tiki bar. The two of them got to end the session by surfing together until sunset. It was truly beautiful and something I’ll never forget.
Hannah and Josh, thank you for showing me and the world what true love is.