Belize used to be hailed as ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret’ and in some ways it still is, but it’s becoming one of those uniquely desirable destinations for weddings. That’s because you can do things in Belize that you simply can’t do anywhere else. Belize is still mostly covered by jungle, a young country with a wild heart. There truly is no place like Belize and for that we are grateful. This begs the question from some, who contact us about having an adventure, a once in a lifetime experience of a wedding in Belize – is it safe?
Well, see that ledge right there? The one with no railing? Yep, that’s the one. It’s 130′ straight down from there. And if that doesn’t get your blood pumping, then we’ll just make sure you feel absolutely reassured.
So, to help you decide if you have a true desire for something different, a taste for something ancient and exotic and a spirit for an audacious wedding that will span centuries, cultures and countries, we’re going to invite you to join us as a our guest for one of these special celebrations.
The couple were lucky enough to have family members to help. When we say this is an adventure, we’re not kidding. See that sign – Xunantunich 1 mile? That’s where we are heading. You may notice something else. There is a white bundle and a red bundle. Well, this couple knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and they were going to make the most of it. That’s why this is a tale of two dresses. Get ready for the romantic adventure to commence.
Special thanks to Chaa Creek for organising this magnificent marriage
When an adventurous couple decide to have a destination wedding in Belize, it is tempting to assume that it will be a barefoot beach wedding. Belize is well known for it’s beautiful Caribbean sea and sandy, palm dotted islands, but for a few, something else calls them from Belize. Among the waterfalls, the tropical rain forest and jungle setting it is easy to remember that Belize is an ancient land, once inhabited by one of the most advanced civilisations in the world. Belize was the home of the Maya people. It is the lure of the mysteries of this ancient civilisation that brings some to create memories of a lifetime in Belize. This is one of those couples.
Like every good wedding story, this one starts with a beautiful bride, contemplating her future. Miles away from anything she knows as modern civilisation, deep in the forest of the Mountain Pine Ridge of Belize.
This wedding is experiencing a different sort of civilisation and sharing in practices and rites that have been passed down for generations. Copal, an incense used since ancient times, is being burned in the background by a local shaman for ritual and purification purposes. After prayers were offered, a traditional joining by a string of beads was made and a Belizean officiant legalised the marriage.
As the evening and the celebrations continued, traditional Maya dances were performed. Certainly this was a Maya experience for the couple to remember and treasure forever, but the lure of the mysterious Maya persisted for them and so their adventure continued the following day.
Now they stand as a testament to the great, ancient Maya civilsation and have been preserved and restored remarkably allowing those with an adventurous and curious spirit to discover and learn about this fascinating part of human history.
The ruins are vast and there is so much to explore and learn about the Maya people, their history, traditions and modern way of life. If you’re adventurous and you want to step into your future by taking a step into the ancient past, we suggest you consider following the lure of the mysterious Maya … all the way to Belize.
This gorgeous wedding was planned and hosted at Blancaneaux Lodge in the Pine Ridge of Belize
Belize isn’t Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret anymore. Once, a destination for back packers, adventurers and scuba divers in the know, Belize – with it’s upscale, boutique resorts, jungle lodges and eco tours – has become a favourite get away for a younger, hipper crowd. For couples that are just a little bit ‘rock-n-roll’, there can’t be many places more unique and mysterious than an ancient Maya ruin, steeped in folk lore and surrounded by pristine jungle – with the calls of prehistoric sounding howler monkeys calling in the distance and the aura of ancient spiritualism and folklore in the air.
So how do you enjoy a bit of romance and rock-n-roll at the ruins in Belize? You start by checking that everything looks perfect.
Then, with a flick of your fabulous frock, you head for….
How does a bride at one of the coolest locations get to her groom? On a hand pulled ferry of course – with villagers waiting to greet her on the other side. Sadly, this was our last wedding at Xunantunich Maya ruins with this ferry. Progress has arrived and there is now a brand new ferry. We’ll miss that old one!
Finally, on the ledge of a temple built 1500 years ago, our beautiful bride finds her groom. If we were younger, we might even say ‘what a sick location for a wedding’. (sick, which according to the urban dictionary means ‘exceeding all expectations of awesomeness)
(Fans of British music from the 80’s/90’s as well as Tammy Wynette fans will understand this reference)
If we were pretentious, we’d use this caption to ponder upon the juxtaposition of young, meeting old, connections and the cycle of life – but instead we’ll just say that if you don’t think Belize is a perfect place for romance, ruins and a bit of rock-n-roll, then this is a message for you….
This fabulous romantic and rock-n-roll wedding at the ruins was organised by the beautiful Ka’ ana Belize.
If you enjoyed this blog, then come on over to our Facebook page, where you’ll get sneak peeks, saucy banter and a bit of Belize sunshine.
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The New Year is nearly upon us. 2012 will be a huge year for Belize, as the heartland of the ancient Maya civilisation. Couples from all over the world will be coming to Belize to marry at one of our many stunning and mystical ancient Maya temples. This is Xunantunich, a city which was first occupied by the Maya people over 2000 years ago.
Xunantunich means ‘Stone Woman’. The name is Mayan, but was not used until the late 19th century after local people started to report stories of a ghostly woman seen dressed all in white, on this ancient site. According to some accounts, she was witnessed ascending the stairs of the El Castillo pyramid and disappearing into a stone wall. There are other versions of this legend. Dr. Jaime Awe, one of Belize’s most prominent archaeologists and Director of the National Institute of Culture and History recalls one; “In the 1880s, in fact, probably in 1887, a gentleman from the village of San Jose Succotz, by the name of Urbano Pat, came up to hunt at the site and the legend claims that at the base of the Castillo, he saw this beautiful young maiden, who was resplendent in bright light and the rays of the sunlight. This maiden appeared to him, and he was scared by the apparition, so he dropped his gun and ran back to the village. When he got to the village, he talked with the native priest, the Chac, as they call him, and the priest decided to come up to the site with him. They came back and they found his gun, but did not see the maiden. And thereafter, several other people have claimed that this young maiden has appeared to them, but nobody has ever been able to follow her into the cave that supposedly goes into the Castillo.”
The Maya people are still very much a mystery, but by studying their ancient civilisations and architecture, the long and fascinating history of Belize comes to life. El Castillo is 130 feet tall, the second tallest man made structure in Belize. Up the north side of El Castillo, there is a wide terrace, which at one time had buildings standing along its outer edge. The wide stairway that you see here leads up to this terrace. Above the terrace rises a high platform on top of which the ancient Maya built two more temples which are visible even now. Imagine getting married in a place so steeped in ancient civilisation.
To get to Xunantunich, you cross the clear waters of the Mopan River on a hand pulled ferry. There are, of course, rumours that a bridge may eventually be installed, but until then the ferry is all part of the unique experience of a wedding at an ancient Maya ruin. Xunantunich is believed to be the largest ceremonial center in the Belize River Valley. The hilltop location provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Cayo District and even across the border into Guatemala. Spanning time from the early Protoclassic to the Terminal Classic Periods, Xunantunich consists of three ceremonial plazas enclosed by house mounds, pyramids, and palaces, the largest decorated with friezes and masks of Classic style. If you are looking for the authentic 2012 Maya experience, there aren’t many places you will find with such a rich history and so few tourists. What an amazing experience!
Of course Xunantunich is an inspiring location for us as Belize wedding photographers. We know that the sort of couples with an adventurous spirit, who wish to document their once in a lifetime experience at an ancient Maya temple in 2012 are the sort of couples that we love to work with. With so many believing that 2012 will be the end of the world, true Maya researchers understand that the significance of 2012 in the Maya calendar is about new beginnings. A ceremony, committing two people in love will never be forgotten if that date is 2012 and the location is Belize.
Happy New Year. May 2012 bring you much love, happiness, peace and prosperity. If you are planning to marry in this historically important year, we invite you to Belize – the heart of the Maya civilisation – for an experience that will connect the ancient with the present and which will provide you with memories and images that you will treasure into the future. Conch Creative specialises in intimate and unique weddings in Belize. Contact us for more information on Belize wedding photography.
This couple were able to have this unbelievably fabulous Maya ruins experience due to the hard work of ‘I Do’ Belize Weddings.
If you have enjoyed our blog, you might just really, really enjoy our Facebook page, where we put up sneak peeks and previews. Conch Creative Facebook Page
Weddings in Belize inspire couples to ‘do their own thing’. Belize, of course, is a magical place for a destination wedding and the freedom of celebrating a marriage in such a romantic and exotic location allows people to relax, be themselves and have fun with it.
San Pedro is best known as a barefoot wedding destination and some girls just LOVE their shoes. It can be a bit tricky wearing heels on the beach, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.
Whatever shoes they bring, most brides end up kicking off their shoes to enjoy the sand between their toes as a genuine ‘barefoot bride’.
We can’t mention ‘la différence’ without including the classic battle of the sexes. Women and men have much different ways of celebrating before a ceremony. The girls make themselves beautiful and toast with champagne.
Other guests, which turn up frequently to weddings in Belize, are uninvited, hairy and have four legs. Fortunately most couples we work with love dogs and are perfectly happy to share some of their goodies with their new best friend. Almost every wedding we’ve photographed in San Pedro has had cute local dogs as gate crashers.
Others love the mystery of the ancient Maya ruins on the mainland of Belize. With the Maya people and their calendar receiving so much press lately because of a surging interest in ‘end of the world’ predictions, ruins weddings are becoming popular amongst adventurous couples who want to do something completely different.
We also try to keep our portraits a little ‘different’ if the couple so desire. Many of our clients come to us because they want contemporary, funky and fun images rather than conventional and traditional. So we do our best to bring out the inner Vanity Fair model in our brides and…..
If you’ve kept up with our blog, you’ll know that we aren’t just ‘one trick ponies’. We do a lot more than wedding photography and we love “la différence”
But ultimately, as much as we like to be different – who can resist a pretty, semi clad woman on a deserted sand bar? Conch Creative does a wide range of private and personal shoots. Many women choose to do a glamour shoot with Conch Creative because the images created make them feel great about themselves.
Two of the beautiful weddings featured in this blog were organised by ‘I DO’ Belize Weddings. They have featured the Maya ruins wedding and Conch Creative photography in their own blog, which you can find here: ‘I DO’ Belize Weddings Blog
Conch Creative would also like to extend special thanks to Mary Gonzalez and the San Pedro Sun for doing a feature story on the Maya ruins wedding at Xunantunich. You can find that wedding here: Maya Ruins Wedding – San Pedro Sun
All of the weddings in this blog are recent. The locations include the following resorts Xanadu Island Resort, Blue Tang Inn, Capricorn Resort and Pelican Reef Villas. The Maya ruin wedding location was Xunantunich in the Cayo District of Belize
We thank all of our readers for your time and feedback. If you like our blog, you might just love our Facebook page, which features fresh new images from our most recent shoots – Conch Creative Facebook Page
You’ll really want to keep an eye on that Facebook Page as something very exciting will be announced at the end of the month.
As photographers in Belize we’re often asked what our job is like. What do we do? What is a normal working week? Well, if you’ve ever been to Belize, you’ll realise that Belize has it’s own rhythm, it’s own style, it’s own innate beauty. So, working as photographers in Belize is probably unlike being a photographer anywhere else in the world.
Belize is a place for contemplation. The beautiful bride pictured above is about to marry the love of her life at Captain Morgan’s Retreat.
Belize is definitely magical. It can also be wet. Living on the Caribbean Sea means that we sometimes work on the water, in the water and even under the water. This underwater shot was taken just off the dock at Ramon’s Village Resort.
Belize is mysterious. Because Belize is the home of the ancient Maya people and they believed that caves were portals to the underworld, some of our photography is underground. This was taken after a mile long hike through the Actun Chapat cave near San Jose Succotz. The floor is littered with pottery. This cave is on private property but tours can be arranged through Ken Dart of Belizean Sun Tours.
Above all…Belize isn’t always what you think it will be. This is Eddie, (AKA Handyman Eddie). He’s come to our rescue on more than one occasion to save us from floods and fires. Honestly – he really has. Eddie is Belizean. With him is Keppy, a macaw. Belize is somewhat famous for its macaws. Keppy, though, is not Belizean. Keppy is a Miligold Macaw. Eddie rescued her from a very uncertain future. Conch Creative does not support the keeping of wildlife as pets and would always prefer to see birds flying free, but Keppy was bred in captivity and would never survive in the wild. She and Eddie have a very close relationship and we were thrilled to be able to capture this special moment between them.
So folks this is just a taster of what being a photographer in Belize is all about. We hope you enjoyed sharing this blog with us. We certainly enjoyed making it. All of the photos in this blog were taken within the last two months. Oh and in case you didn’t know – this is us, Conch Creative, at work in Belize. This photo was sneakily taken during a wedding shoot on Cayo Espanto by the lovely groom to be, Alan. Thanks for sending it to us Alan!
Special thanks goes to Keli at I DO Belize Weddings, who organised and planned both of our featured weddings.
If you’d like to see more of Conch Creative’s images and keep up with all of our new work, please join our Conch Creative Facebook page .
Conch Creative visited mainland Belize to photograph a wedding ceremony held at Xunantunich Maya ruins and then on to the beautiful Mahogany Hall. With 2012 looming and the popularity of the end of the world ‘prophecies’, there is a great deal of fascination and interest in the Maya culture. Of course, Belize is the heartland of this ancient civilisation and has many beautiful archaeological sites.
These sites are fabulous, magical and dramatic. Even more amazing is that there are usually hardly any people there and you can end up having the whole site to yourselves. On the day of Katie and Derrick’s ceremony, it was beautiful and clear.
Following the ceremony, Katie and Derrick took the opportunity to climb a pyramid, 130′ tall – the second largest man made structure in Belize. What an amazing experience and the memories will give them something to talk about for the rest of their lives.
Of course, if you’re familiar with Conch Creative you’ll know that we always like to do something a little bit different if we have a couple who are willing to have some fun. Please keep in mind that the Xunantunich site was not in any way closed to the public during this ceremony. The couple willingly posed multiple times allowing us to create this image.
Then it was on to the grand Mahogany Hall. This is a beautiful resort overlooking the Mopan River in Bullet Tree, just outside of San Ignacio, Belize.
No trip to mainland Belize would be complete without the requisite wildlife photographs. This is a Collared Aracari eating bananas at Mahogany Hall. If you’ve never been to mainland Belize, be warned – there are beautiful birds everywhere and it is rich with stunning wildlife – much of which you’ll never see anywhere else in the world.
Before we knew it, we were back on our beautiful jewel in the Caribbean, Ambergris Caye, for a beach wedding at the unique and very cool Xanadu resort.
Conch Creative looks forward to sharing more of their adventures with you soon.