I love getting to be a Belize wedding photographer. Everytime I photograph a wedding in Belize it is an amazing experience. Kim and Travis’ was no exception. One of the most amazing things about Belize is not just the beach or the turquoise waters, it’s the people. Whether on the resort island, at the airport in Belize City or in the little town of Dangriga, everyone you meet is friendly and helpful. There’s a laid-back, happy vibe that permeates the culture and has a liberating effect on my work when I’m shooting there.
Kim found me through the last wedding I photographed on Coco Plum Island Resort. The island resort wedding was an intimate, week-long celebration with their 30 favorite friends on a island off the coast. Kim and Travis, however, threw one of the largest, most elegant bashes Belize has seen. She and her team of amazing vendors used their extraordinary vision to create an enchanted garden in at one of the most special places, their family estate.
Fairytales do come true and Kim and Travis can prove it. Their story is one of a long time, lasting love that started in school as children. Their relationship grew gradually but had enough strength by the time Kim left for college in the US to draw Travis on a few secret flights to visit her. Travis’ charm and character won over Kim’s parents and he proposed as she was finishing grad school last April.
The girls got ready at Kim’s parent’s house in Dangriga. The town is on the eastern coast of Belize. It is only two miles long. (I ran it a few times in the mornings leading up to the wedding, so I know almost exactly!). The home offered plenty of room for them to spread out, gorgeous windows and a view of the beach. There is always something so special about getting ready at home. It’s a transformative moment to put your wedding dress on in your childhood home. Transformative to have your father, the rock in your life, come into your room and see you as a bride for the first time.
Today’s post is the first installment of photos from their wedding. The check back to see the ending of this awesome love story. Want special coverage of your wedding? I’m happy to become a Belize wedding photographer again and again.
Thanks so much to my awesome second shooter, Savannah and all of the amazing vendors we were lucky enough to work with.
Belize Wedding Vendors
Kim’s wedding planning started by securing Rachael Roe of Signature Belize Weddings. From there, Kim built an amazing dream team of vendors who transformed a clearing on the estate into a fairytale. Rachael was amazing to work with, had plenty of staff to help the whole day go off without a hitch.
Kleinfeld provided a wonderful dress shopping experience and the dress of Kim’s dreams. Travis and his guys were decked out by The Groomsman’s Suit, which Kim absolutely swears by.
A team of four ladies from Couter Cher flew in from Belize City. They came with makeup and curling irons in tow, to style Kim, her seven bridesmaids as well as the MOB and MOG. High-five to the makeup lady for stunning Cinema Secrets application that stayed on despite the unairconditioned church.
Personally, I could kiss JP of JP Santisteban for the magic he created in the local Catholic church. Not only did he and his team pull together the enchanted garden on the estate, dripping with crystals, hanging orchids and masses of roses, they also completely transformed the church. The entire interior was draped in sheer white fabric, softening all the edges. Candles and roses helped create the most airy, romantic setting for the nuptials. I had only seen the church the evening before at the rehearsal, no draping yet in place. I could have cried with joy when I walked in right before the ceremony to see how elegantly it was transformed.
The team deserves credit not just for setup, but for trucking in all of the decor and florals from Guatemala. There were a few nail biting moments in the days leading up to the wedding. JP’s team had to load everything in trucks and cross the border.
Chef Sean Kuylen, his team and mobile kitchen fed a gathering of 400+ wedding guests the most delicious food, from pork to fish to turkey, kale salad, roasted beets, the menu went on and on. Traditional suckling pigs were also brought out at midnight to keep guests going alongside a custom wooden canoe filled with tamales. Ladies handmade tortillas over an open fire right in front of guests, so that every tasty morsel of pork was wrapped in warm tortilla love.
Kim wanted something a bit different for photos than what the local Belize wedding photographers could offer. Despite our 16 hours of shooting(!!!) on the wedding day, I had just 20 minutes to get portraits of Kim and Travis between the end of the ceremony and total darkness. When the sun sets in Belize it sets quickly. I’m so glad I could pull it off and make her so happy on such a tight schedule.
Belize Vendor List:
Belize Wedding Planner: Signature Belize Weddings
Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal
Menswear: The Groomsman Suit
Event Design: JP Santisteban
Florist: Maples y Margaritas
Chef/Catering: Chef Sean Kuylen
Cake: Cakes by Karla
Jeweler: Gaby’s Jewelry
Makeup / Hairstylist: Couter Cher
Cocktail Quartet: Cindy’s String Quartet
Rehearsal Dinner, Guest Resorts / Transportation: Belizean Dreams Resort & Coco Plum Island Resort