Nicaragua Wedding Part 2

Wedding day at Rancho Santana. Sunset ceremony on tidal rocks.

Nicaraguan Destination Wedding Photography

A warm breeze blows out across the vast open stretch of sand and ocean that is Rancho Santana, Nicaragua. Palm tree leaves sway just above my head as a kaleidoscope of butterflies dance around wildflowers in the warm orange waning light of sunset. A thin strip of wispy clouds mirror the coastline heading north in a sky that is an explosion of color. A few pelicans glide along the water’s surface. The sound of crashing surf is like a soft song.

I have a confession to make. I fell for for this place. And I fell hard. It was love at first site. Upon arrival for Steve and Amy’s week long Rancho Santana destination wedding I was enamored. The rustic Spanish style architecture is a dreamy compliment to the rugged Nicaraguan tropical landscape. Dense forests give way to gorgeous beaches, steep rock cliffs, and an amazing polyculture farming system. In all there are 2,700 acres of rolling hills and five unique beaches along with a variety of luxury and rustic accommodation options.

This is the second installment in a two part series about a fabulous Rancho Santana wedding. My team and I photographed with Steve and Amy for an entire week (five days total).  This portion of the story includes the wedding day: getting ready, a sunset ceremony on tidal rocks, and a fabulous party at Rancho Santana. If you want to go back and start with Part 1 in the series, click here

Rancho Santana Destination Wedding

When I first spoke with Steve and Amy about their wedding they were living in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was at my home in Oakland, CA. And we were talking via video chat about their wedding plans at a remote luxury ranch on the pacific coast of Nicaragua! We were introduced by a mutual friend and we connected immediately. Steve and Amy told me that they wanted to have a week long celebration with their closest friends and family. They wanted documentary style wedding photos to capture the entire adventure in a way that was natural and genuine and that reflected the “vibrant personalities” of all their friends. Years down the road they wanted a collection of artistic images that would tell their wedding story. Steve and Amy had me at hello. 

We had multiple planning sessions along the way about logistics, travel, daily schedules, and so I could learn more about the photo aesthetics that were most important to Steve and Amy. I also had pre-planning meetings with Erik Wetz, the charismatic director of events at Rancho Santana. This really helped me get a fuller understanding of Rancho Santana prior to my arrival.  

My assistant and I arrived on-site a few days early to get acclimated and to photo scout all the various locations we’d be in during the wedding week. I always feel so very lucky to be invited in to be such an intimate part of my client’s wedding stories. I hope you enjoy the photos and this epic Rancho Santana wedding. If you missed it, Part 1 of the story is here

Bridesmaid with overflowing champagne bottle. Rancho Santana Nicaragua destination wedding photographer Drew Bird.

“The photos are INCREDIBLE and they bring back the best memories from our wedding week at Rancho Santana.”

–  Steve & Amy

“Over the course of 5 days Drew and his assistant blended in with our guests capturing so many moments in a candid, artistic, and meaningful way. We are so happy to have worked with Drew and with the final photos.”

–  Steve & Amy

Intimate wedding ceremony on tidal rocks on the beach at sunset. Rancho Santana Nicaragua destination wedding photographer Drew Bird.
Intimate wedding ceremony on tidal rocks on the beach at sunset. Rancho Santana Nicaragua destination wedding photographer Drew Bird.

“Drew Bird and his team were fabulous to work with during the planning phase, too. Our wedding involved international travel to a remote coastal venue in Central America and 5 full days of photography for all of our adventures and gatherings.”

–  Steve & Amy

“Drew Bird is both a great photographer AND fun to be around. He was always positive and seemed tireless during long days (and nights) documenting all sorts of adventures."

–  Steve & Amy

“If you're looking for someone to capture the energy and personality of your destination wedding, Drew and his team are the best!!"

–  Steve & Amy

Wedding Week: Rancho Santana, Nicaragua
Ceremony: Playa Santana. Tidal rocks at low tide. Rancho Santana, Nicaragua
Reception: The Inn at Rancho Santana, Nicaragua
Wedding Planner: Erik @ Rancho Santana.

Drew Bird is recognized as one of the top 100 International Wedding Photographers in the world by the Wedding Photojournalist Association. He is currently based in San Francisco and creates photo stories for clients world-wide. Get in touch with Drew.

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A different wedding. I love it! I also love emotions in this images! Perfect all the way!


Fotograf Nunta

AMAZING photo story! Lovely energy in the images ; ) Rancho Santana looks like an incredible place. I wish I had known about it for my wedding. I’ve totally added it to my wish list for places to visit. Thanks for sharing this fun story and big time congrats to Steve + Amy – they look so happy!!!!