Destination I Do Magazine Photo Shoot in Costa Rica with Tropical Occasions at the Helm

I love to to watch others fall in love with Costa Rica and being able to do this for others in my industry is truly one of my favorite things to do. I have planned press trips, Fam trips and each and every time I see this country that I love get press, attention and overall love, it fills my heart. When I began collaborating on a Fam (A press trip for travel, wedding professionals & media to a destination) with the Four Seasons Papagayo I had an idea I wanted to see come to fruition so badly. As soon as the Editor in chief  Mrs. Jennifer Stein, of Destination I Do was on board to attend, I went to her with the idea of doing a full stylized Editorial Shoot for her magazine while she was on the trip. She was instantly  in love with idea and I was beyond excited. I was actually doing a happy dance in my living room, as it would be the very first one ever for Costa Rica! We began to collaborate on who and how and put together as she called it the Dream Team. We knew we wanted only the best professionals to create a vision her and I had for showcasing this beautiful land of Pura Vida. She wanted it to be bold and colorful, So first up was a great Designer we both love and Jen was dying to have in her magazine. He has a rep for choosing bold patterns, fabrics, and colors, which was what Jennifer wanted. Mr. Brian Worley of Your Bash, a very well known Film and TV industry designer and planner - his work is beyond amazing! Beyond as well from being my friend it was a true honor to collaborate with him. To watch his design process, bounce ideas together and then work side by side.  Come the day of bringing the ideas we came up with to fruition was a dream. In our industry it is hard to get two designers to see eye to eye and collaborate with out a diva attitude or even moment  happening, Brian and I were like Peas and Carrots and I loved every single idea he came up with and just adored working with him on this project.

Next up a fabulous Photographer Laura Grier of Beautiful day Photography  was who Jennifer Stein chose and I was again so excited as she is known for color, thinking out the box, traveling the world and shooting creative and knock your imagination out style. She brought her A game (as well as asst. photog who shot our behind the scenes video, Ms. Sarah Natasha Horrowitz) and her photos and style could not have been more perfect.

After the three big elements were in place it was time to get others on board that would  be the perfect fit to what wheels we had set in motion. Brian brought the crazy talented Ceci Johsnon of Ceci New York  on board to curate a custom painting of Malachite that became our theme and custom linen (created by Spoonflower).  Ceci's paperie that followed this same theme and color palate was insane. The nicest I have ever, felt and worked with. She took a design and mastered it with an invitation suite and decor elements that truly took the design to the next level.

Brian also enlisted Celebrity stylist Keylee Sanders to come and oversee all fashion, as well as fittings and making out models runway ready at all times.

I was set with the task of finding models. Jennifer Stein wanted "real looking people!" as she put it. I had someone whom I knew on a personal level who was dabbling in modeling and I loved her look as I felt this needed someone different, then the "same as always" type. I showed her to Jennifer and she was just as thrilled. She had same vision as me and wanted a woman that many could relate to as well as an exotic beauty who could be from so many places in the world.  So we had our Bride, the lovely Ms. Alejandra Alpizar who was truly picture perfect. She is now the first Costa Rican female model to ever grace the cover of a US based Wedding Magazine.  Finding her a groom was easy. The debonair sales director at our photo shoot location. He is a 6'5"  very handsome guy who has a fun and happy go lucky personality to boot, so he was an obvious choice.  Mr. Andre Brathwaite of the Four Seasons. We then assembled the rest of the dream team allowing me to bring in my best of best of vendors in Costa Rica.  We really wanted to showcase the country and what is available locally with a destination event there. I brought in the following to do what they do best and that is excel in their specialties and help create what you will see here in the photos.

Victoria Zoch for her artistry and beauitful wedding cakes.

Jaime Campos (part of my Tropical Occasions planning team) and her insanely talented hunsand, Rigo Campos of Los Primos Design custom furniture maker, to create custom pieces for the shoot (now available country wide for rent!)

Florist Antonieta SanJuan Miro lead designer and owner of one of Costa Rica's top florist Embrujos Floral Studio.  She mastered our vision and got Brian and I flowers in abundance, ones I typically would die to have on a regualr basis for all my events. Her staff executed the bouquets and boutonnières exactly as I had explained and envisioned. Brian and I were on clound nine with all she got for us to play with and her assistance on so many levels. Brian was literally dancing & clapping when we went to the walk in and got to see all that she was supplying for our shoot,  a moment I will never forget!

Ariella Blau of Costa Mesa Rentals for her assistance and all donated beautiful rental items that helped create the perfect final look.

Fernando Hidalgo Fallas who is and will always be in my opinion the best hair and makeup stylist in Costa Rica as well as the life of the party.

Four Seasons Papagayo- Your hospitality and gorgeous grounds made the shoot what it was. You are the créme de le créme of resorts in Costa Rica and truly a magical place for hosting a wedding.

Last and certainly not least. Anahi Contreras of  Tropical Occasions and  Stephen Denton of Cabo Luna Event Rentals & Decor  for all the production help, guidance and overall helping simply Get "IT" done. You are both my "Go To" people and you and your efforts are always beyond appreciated!

Above all a HUGE thanks to Jennifer Stein and Destination I Do Magazine for beleiving in the idea and having such incredible faith in the assembled Dream Team to take your vision to print.  You have made all involved and especially a little country called Costa Rica so very proud to be showcased and finally be seen by so many for the beauty it offers for destintaion weddings.

Please enjoy the Feature below as it is seen in Destination I Do, On News stand now all over the USA! So please go pick up a copy!

As well as the feature by Ceci New York and her Monthly on line magazine.


It truly was a dream team! Here we are at the end of our photo shoot,  celebrating a truly spectacular team effort, that was seamless and FUN! What an honor. 


From Left to Right: Laura Grier (Photography) Rigo Campo (Lead Artesian of the Los Primos Furniture design) Jamie Campos (co designer at Los Primos and Guanacaste Regional Manager and planner for Tropical Occasions.  Ariella Blau (Owner of Costa Mesa Rentals ) ME  – Aimee Monihan (Owner of of Tropical Occasions) Alejandra Alipzar, mi amiga and our gorgeous model/bride of our shoot. Jennifer Stein (Editor in chief of Destination I do Magazine) Stephen Denton (Owner of Cabo Luna Event Rental’s and Design Decor & Party animator) Anahi Contrears (Designer & Trainer for Tropical Occasions and my GO TO Girl!) Keylee Sanders (Our LA Stylist!) Brian Worley (Lead Designer of shoot and Co Owner YOUR BASH and my Boo!) Sarah Natasha Horowitz (Photographer who shot our behind the scenes video)  Andrea Brathwaite (our Debonnair Groom and Sales Director for the fabulous Four Seasons Papagayo. Not Pictured Fernando Hidalgo Fallas our insanely talented Hair and makeup artist. Antonieta San Juan Miro (of Embrujos Florist) and Victoria Zoch (our Fabulous Wedding cake designer)

Tropical Occasions featured in Brides Magazine


This Ombre inspired wedding found its way into Brides Magazine to feature one of the most stunning couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  We were a little nervous to plan this wedding from the very beginning because Karina is one lady who knows her way around the wedding industry (she is a freelance journalist for the wedding industry) but we quickly found out what a remarkable person she was and it made planning this wedding a dream.  We got to play with lots of rainforest aspects while tying it into the ombre theme and the entire wedding turned out to be playful and beautiful.  See below for the feature in Brides Magazine as well as other photos from this special day! Also a huge heartfelt GRACIAS  to the amazing vendors who collectively made this event yet another huge success, We are nothing without the amazing team effort we are fortunate to work with on all our events. A super big kudos go to Julie (principal photog) of Comfort Studio and Katie Stinnett (her talented second in command) for their beautiful photography and Matt Agan for the stunning and emotional video.

Sheena & Monihan - The most important wedding I've planned to date!


The following blog post has been eating away at my mind for over the last two years. Reason being,  I've known it would be beyond my ability to put into words how important and special this event was to me.  I can already feel myself gushing as I type these thoughts and it's almost embarrassing. So I'm going to try to just keep it simple.

This was the wedding of my only sibling, my Irish twin, and one of my best friends: my brother from the same Mother, Ry Ry Monihan. It was a huge honor to be asked to plan the wedding for him and his lovely wife, my now sister from a different Mister, Sheena, who has joined the ranks of another bestie.   They are both extremely talented artists, oozing an almost intimidating amount of creativity, style and taste. They are also both very concerned about climate issues and wanted the wedding to have as low a carbon footprint as possible. So yeah, I was feeling some pressure, but I was also incredibly excited.

What I learned through the process was that what I do for a living is hugely rewarding.  The events and vacations we plan really can be life-changing for the participants. This is something we always strive for, but it's hard to qualify when you're on the clock.  This time, though, it was different.  I was finally given the opportunity to not just be the planner and designer, but to also experience the event as one of the guests–someone touched by all the moments on a truly personal level. I left the wedding with new family, new friends, a tighter bond with my old family and memories that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Needless to say, this was huge on a personal level. But it was also huge as a company owner, for the first time really being able to glean the full extent of what it is we do as planners and designers.

When the event finally wound down, my staff and I had a long talk about how special it was. And how special it is...this work that we do. It really is an honor, this role we're allowed to play in our clients lives and the fact that we all LOVE what we do. From the beginning, we've made it a point to try to work with like-minded people, and not because it makes our work easier for us, but more so because it makes things better for our clients. We really do want to "get" our clients, be attuned to their ways of thinking, so we can create for them moments and memories like I experienced with my family.

I could go on and on about this wedding, probably until all of your computer batteries die. But I'll spare you. Instead, I'll just say that this experience has been a real eye-opener. That when I say it's been the most important wedding I've planned to date, I want my clients to know it is for them that I say this. Because it has recharged my already hyper-active ever-ready bunny batteries. It's rejuvenated my amazing Tropical Occasions staff. And we all have felt a new heightened sense of purpose in the work that we do.

To Sheena-san and Ry Ry Maximón Magillacuttie Monihan, you mean more to me than words can express. You've continued to thank me for this wedding. Well, I cannot thank you enough in return. For the experience, the honor, the lessons learned, my new family, new friends gained, and above all, your friendships, I love you both dearly and forever.

Special thanks to the following:

Callum The Swag Master- AKA as my son, you were the cutest ring bearer  & toast giver, there ever was, and will be, in my highly partial opinion!

Elizabeth Lloyd  for your insanely talented eye and master compositions. You're an insanely talented photographer.

Anahi Contreras and Stephen Denton my Costa Rican based family, for stepping in and managing the show, so I could live in the moment. You are my GO TO people and you always go above and beyond.  I love you both, for all you do, and for keeping me sane (in as much as that is possible).

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine for falling in love with this wedding as much as me, featuring the event both online and in print.

To my cream of the crop vendors, whom gave heaps of help and love, allowing it all to happen. Soma Chefs, your cuisine and your smiles will always be an item on our menu. You are amazing. Victoria Zoch - your cakes, your talent and your beautiful attitude are all treasures to behold (and eat!).

Costa Mesa- Your support and assistance in every event we produce never goes unnoticed. We love working with you.

David at Taj Mahal- your food is heaven-sent and so are you. Having you meet my family was a joy and thank you for going that extra mile to make sure my new Family from India had authentic Indian cuisine that lived up to their high standards. An Indian family genuinely impressed with an Indian meal way off in the remote coastal beaches of Costa Rica--now that's amazing!

Las Laura's  (Y Mattie too!) de Stylos & Flores- Thank you for all you do and for being such great friends and colleagues for the last 15 years! You support and friendships mean the world to me and my staff.

Tropical Occasions Featured on JuneBug Weddings Blog

We love what we do, and when we get recognized for what we do it is even more gratifying. JuneBug Weddings Blog is one of our favorites so being featured with them is a happy day at Tropical Occasions!

Double that with a wedding we LOVED planning and designing as the Bride & Groom were so incredible to work with. We also were able to work with an incredible florist  (PearTree Florist)  from Brookjlyn NY)  who was miraculously in COsta Rica at same time as the wedding. I knew that she could execute the design I had created to perfection and that is exactly what you will see here. Triple bonus was working with the uber talented photographers Jason & Jess better known as A Brit & a Blonde Photography. So this is a wedding for the books, and a feature we truly cherish – ENJOY!