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costa rica wedding video!

psych!

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i guess i am not done, because i made this video finally and i am posting it here!

i felt like an idiot the whole time i was filming clips for a video of our whole wedding thing, and i am pretty sure tyler got sick of me shoving the camera in his face and saying, “it’s a video!” but all is well that ends well.

ok now i am never talking about my wedding again. carry on.

our honeymoon in a treehouse and getting assaulted by monkeys

after our wedding we spent one night in san jose, and then the real fun began!

a couple months before our wedding we were trying to figure our what we wanted to do for our honeymoon. we wanted to see the most of costa rica we could, but we also didn’t want to spend tons of time driving. we decided to do a sort of road trip through the country… which meant we ended up driving 4-5 hours every few days, but it was worth it to see so much of such a jaw-drop beautiful place.

our first destination was finca bellavista, a treehouse community high up in the western rainforest only accessible by four wheel drive. the place was amazing! totally worth it. basically, the place has 10-15 tree houses that have been built in a 3-5 mile area hooked by trails. we stayed in a remote cabin totally secluded from everything, private access to the river below, and surrounded by the deafening sounds of bugs, monkeys, and other animals i could never hope to identify! we spent our time hiking, picking vegetables and cooking our own food (beans and rice! what else!), exploring the various tree houses, swimming in the river, and mostly being in such bewilderment that the place we were in was real! if you’re looking for a remote, relaxing, fun-but-kinda-rugged vacation, this is the place.

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after our glamping experience, we drove across the country and spent the night at a bed and breakfast in cartago. cartage was beautiful and confusing… mostly because the pueblo we stayed in was overrun with costa ricans in neon workout gear running around? it was the funniest thing. i never pictured these people to be such avid runners, but that’s why you travel i guess!

the next day we continued on our journey to the caribbean side of the country. we passed lots of banana and pineapple plantations, causing us to become pretty obsessed with figuring out banana manufacturing and exportation (so romantic, right?). we made it to puerto viejo, where we stayed at an airbnb for the next few days… cocles, to be exact. we spent our time reading on the beach, playing in the ocean (and getting pummeled by waves if you’re me), snorkeling, eating all the seafood we could find, trying to find the sloths that lived in the trees outside our rental, and falling asleep by 7:30 pm (if you’re tyler). we were awoken most nights by monkeys shrieking and throwing things at our roof. one day we decided to go to panama and took a speed boat to boca del toro islands. all days were spent eating plantain chips and ice cream bars from the supermarkets. we would wake up with the sun hard decisions at hand, like should we go to the beach or breakfast? it was paradise. and then just like that it was over and we were turning in our beloved JIMNY car that took us over 13,000 km. sigh.IMG_3790

(and one more of my favorite sous chef working in our treehouse kitchen)

anyway, there you have it! two weeks in paradise! that’s all she wrote! (no really. i am not writing any more about this, it makes me too jealous of past alyssa.)

more photos  here 

 

 

wedding: our civil ceremony & sealing

because we are mormon, our wedding was a little different from traditional wedding-ness in the way that the most important part of the wedding, to us, is our temple sealing. in the states, a temple marriage is considered legitimate, but abroad it isn’t always, as is the case in costa rica, where you must be married by a lawyer or a catholic priest. after we had scheduled our temple ceremony, the temple was able to put us into contact with a lawyer who would be able to marry us at the chapel next to the temple a few hours before our temple sealing. she also offered to get me a bouquet, which was helpful, not not necessary when i realized just how many beautiful flowers one can forage for because COSTA RICA. anyway, it was great. i liked having a civil ceremony because our family and friends could all see us get married, which isn’t the case when you get married in the temple only. it was fun! and low key! here‘s more photos of our civil ceremony

between our wedding and sealing, we were able to get some photos of everyone together. there’s more here! i just have to give a shout out to my friends pictured below for coming all the way to costa rica from the east coast to celebrate with us. they are the best.

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and we will end on my favorite photo from our wedding. i love this one. 10820030

and then we had our temple sealing, and it was wonderful and beautiful and i am not stuck to this guy forever 😉

as soon as our ceremony was over we said our goodbyes and headed out on our honeymoon adventure! more on that later. let’s just say we are really glad we decided to forego a reception and wedding dinner and whatever else fluffy stuff happens at regular weddings 😉

it was the perfect wedding weekend. thanks to all who came/ cheered us on!

dominical, costa rica

honestly, every single post i write about costa rica starts out with me sighing because it was so fun and i wish that i was still there. best vacation ever.

before our wedding we had a few days in dominical to relax and spend time exploring costa rica with our families. while corralling 20+ family members, coordinating dinner plans, sleeping arrangements, etc was a little stressful at times, i wouldn’t have had it any other way. it was great to spend time with family in such a beautiful place.

before heading to costa rica we didn’t have much of an itinerary. i wanted everything to be low key, and honestly i was just sick of planning. but it all worked out and we found some great hikes, beaches, food, and wildlife.

we spent one morning hiking up to the nauyaca waterfalls, which were beautiful, and definitely worth the price. we made sure to get there early, so we mostly had the falls to ourselves for optimal wading and cliff jumping. around 11 am the tour groups started rolling in, and we took that as our cue to head out 🙂

another day, we spent time hanging around at ventanas beach, just south of uvita, near ballena. i already wrote about how much  i loved that beach, but yeah. it was so great. again, not a ton of people, lots of jungle-ness, good waves, expansive beach, rock formations, and a couple creepy cave formations that you can hike through when the tide is out.

when we weren’t out getting completely sun burned, we ate our weight in beans and rice and plantains, went on plenty of drives around the coast, and ate beans and rice. did i mention the beans and the rice? 😉

there are some more photos here

 

our wedding: bridals at ventanas beach

here are a few of our bridals, which i am pretty pleased with. my friend-turned-photographer austin terry came to costa rica with us to take some real great photos i plan on looking at roughly once weekly for the rest of my life. since none of us had ever been to costa rica, we didn’t plan a location beforehand. the day before we were scheduled to do our photos, my aunt took us to ventanas beach, south of uvita. as soon as we got on that sandy beach, i knew that was where i wanted to do our bridals. i also had to add this one of tyler and i knocking back a couple cokes before heading back, because nothing gets in the way of the morning burn for the guy pictured above 😉

and i guess this is a good place to talk about our wedding garb. i laugh because tyler’s outfit cost probably fifteen times what mine cost…tyler wore a navy suit from hugo boss and  allen edmonds shoes. both were on sale, but they were so expensive we are going to bury him in them 😉

 i bought my wedding dress from dhgate.com, a wholesale chinese emporium. yes, i bought my dress online from china. i had heard of cheap dresses purchased this way, so it seemed like fate when i found one i loved, and had actually pinned an expensive version of, on the site. also, it cost 135 bucks. i figured at that price i had nothing to lose! a month later, it showed up at my doorstep, crammed in a dhl bag. i had no expectations. but it worked with a little alteration. i recommend it! as far as jewelry goes, i wore some jcrew factory clearance earrings and my made by mary with love bar necklace that has our anniversary on it. i decided not to wear a veil because, well, i didn’t want to buy one! ha! i purchased some pretty heels for the wedding, but last minute, i decided to wear my gold saltwaters. because beach and comfort. i did my own hair and makeup thanks to youtube tutorials, and i had a lot of previous days’ sun exposure to thank for my sunburned arms! ha!

here‘s more photos if you’re into that type of thing.

the logistics of planning an international wedding and where we stayed.

SO. wedding. the LOGISTICS

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first off, let me tell you, i never really thought about planning a wedding. hell, i never thought i was getting married! sure, i had a pinterest board with a couple dresses i’d liked, some color schemes i thought were cool, some way expensive rings that had caught my eye from 2010-2016, but honestly, not something i thought about a lot. i don’t really enjoy planning details, i dislike being in the spotlight, and i hate spending money. … so basically i was doomed from the beginning because GUESS WHAT that is what a WEDDING usually entails.

cue costa rica wedding.

lots of people ask me why we decided to do the deed in costa rica. so, here’s why. get some popcorn! the cheddar smart pop is real good!

one day in late may of last year, tyler and i were laying on my bed, killing time before he had to take me to the airport. i don’t know how exactly it came up, but slowly it came out that he wanted to marry me…. like, not right now, but sometime. and i agreed… like NOT right that moment, but sometime. i said fine, fine… but if we are doing this, we are doing it in costa rica. and he didn’t even ask any questions. from that moment, they were just facts. we were going to get married, and it was going to be a destination wedding. we toyed with the idea of elopement, but as tempting as it was, we wanted our families there. and SOMEHOW we had 31 people, including us, who wanted to go with! it was awesome! there were so many times during the week before our wedding that we just took a step back, looked at each other, and said, “can you believe 29 people like us enough that they came to costa rica for a week??” it was a really cool feeling. so if you were there, thank you.

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and next we have THE PLANNING.

ok this part was a pain. like i said, not a big fan of planning events, i would much rather just show up on vacation and wing it. however, when you’re planning accommodations for two families, meals, adventure, and a wedding sealing, “winging it” isn’t really a good option. so, about 150 bucks in international phone charges, dozens of email threads, and a lot of cursing (ask tyler. so much cursing) we were able to plan our accommodations, wedding dinner, civil ceremony, and temple ceremony. what went from “planning a fun destination wedding” turned into planning a vacation AND a wedding. i had to have a lot of faith and hope and back massages to believe things would work out. and they did!

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if you’re curious, we stayed in dominical, which is on the southwest side of the country, about 3 hours away from san jose. we rented this property, which was a good fit for our two large families staying together. it was big and beautiful, had a wonderful pool and a less than optimal wifi signal 😉 we also had catering through the house for our wedding dinner, and honestly it was the best meal we had the entire time in CR. i wish i had photos of it! it was UNREAL. rice and beans, ceviche, lemony fish and roasted chicken, salad with tamarind dressing everyone licked off the plates, grilled vegetables, plantains, and with coconut ice cream to finish. it was the best way to kick off wedding weekend.

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i have more photos here if you’d like to see more of where we stayed and the pre-wedding house festivities

 

introducing the kimball’s

well, we have officially been married for a month. it is great! and, we finally got back our wedding photos, so i can now inundate you with wedding-ness, aren’t you lucky?? a wedding and honeymoon in costa rica, it was awesome. at some times i didn’t know if it would be something we could really pull off, but in the end, it was completely worth it. it was a wedding day to remember, and i have absolutely zero regrets or wish-we-woulda’s. definitely one of the best days of my life thus far.

you also might notice that i have a new domain. yep. you can now find me at alyssaballkimball.com. this isn’t because i plan on becoming a full time blogger and doing giveaways and guest posts… i just ran out of room on my last blog. i guess *someone* (me) needs to learn to resize photos. sigh. anyway, welcome to the blog with a new incorporated last name!