A 20 Year Anniversary Celebration Through My Lens

Up until today I did not know how to present this story at it’s best… to I give you the flavour of one of my BEST experiences so far, photographing people & events in their life’s, capturing moments and feeling at my very best.

This being said, I also want to add that I am never paid to write my blogs and I never say things if I don’t experience. So, this is not a paid add by resort. This is the way I saw this amazing day and I want to share it with you and why not, make you believe that you can do the same thing, at least once in a lifetime. Is an experience I wish EVERYONE should have and deserve.

There are so many things to say about this day and I’m having such a hard time to start this blog as I want to say everything  at once.

When I’m thinking about Mr. & Mrs Monday, a soft smile settle on my face and my mind have a zillion flashes. October 2nd was different and honest to be, I don’t know how I will be able to talk about everything so sometimes, I’ll just let the photos do it for me…but still, I really want to give you the feeling we had about this Anniversary and I hope to be able and capture your total attention.

Mr. Steve contacted me 5 months ago ” My Wife and I are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary at Cayo Espanto… the US Reservation Specialist sent me a link to your web sight and I was very impressed by your pictures. Until then I haven’t really thought a lot about having a professional photographer take pictures of us during our trip.  But being that a 20th anniversary doesn’t come around to often, I figured what the hey…The main intent of this email is to check your availability during this time frame and some type of rates.  On our actual anniversary Oct 2nd we have an excursion planned with Astrum Helicopters with a Mayan tour and an airboat ride.  Anywhow, wasn’t looking for anything too extravagant just some pictures while on the resort or wherever you may suggest.  Thanks for your time and I look forward to your response.”

This was his very first email and absolutely loved the way he approached me and let me tell you that all our emails were like this… just drag you into the conversation. I love to reply my clients to each paragraph they write me so is like a real conversation. Doing this almost daily, while October approach I felt more eager and excited to meet this amazing man who loves and respect his wife  more than anything in the world. Please keep in mind that they never had a vacation outside USA and…. for their first time out they land exactly on a private island in Belize, one of the HOT SPOTS of the world. They plan their Anniversary alternative, one year her, one year him and this time, was his turn. And, was their 20 Anniversary.. WHOA! Long story-short, with a little bit of my help, he made it PERFECT!

After chatting back and forward he decided he wanted me there for the entire day: since early morning until the sky is covered with stars.

And this is how it starts:

I start the presentation of the album with Cayo Espanto, of course.

First spread of the album. Belize, Cayo Espanto, Anniversary… an image for each word

a reminder of the island… what they saw every day :)

…fabulous evenings and island dinners, at Cayo Espanto


October 2nd, 2013  start for me with a breakfast for kings at Cayo Espanto, and without being korny, I say reality exceed anyone’s dreams.  Believe it or not, champagne was also on the table. Nice start of the day, right?

The Breakfast

“We did it! Big 20 is here and we’ll celebrate it with STYLE!!!”

After breakfast we took an helicopter ride directly from Cayo Espanto until Mayan Site, Lamai and we definitely enjoyed the pilots stories and joke. I did not know that when you fly you have headphones and you listen soft music.. you really feel like you’re flying yourself and just enjoy the view… amazing sky, amazing clouds, birds and life from the top looks definitely different.

Astrum Helicopter in Belize

A nice tour on top of Mayan Site Altun Ha, rotate like a bird around it, seeing it and enjoy it to the fullest. My clients did not waste their time photographing as I was hired for that job… so they chit-chat, and they focus on eachother the entire time. Their package was also with unlimited photos, so they were content knowing that what they’ll get everything I see.

We had 4 hours at Lamanai and I can’t tell you how huge of a difference is doing when you have your own guide. All those stories are for you and he’s meticulous explaining each part of the site… Super interesting… Through the jungle, all around Lamanai, we saw monkey’s, interesting trees and feel 1000 years back in time… simply amazing.

Altun Ha, Mayan Temple in Belize. Aerial view

In the middle of the jungle, in the Royal Plaza, at Lamanai, mayan temple,  under an ancient tree, Mr. Steve offered his wife a surprise anniversary gift… she was whispering… “oh, wow!” How amazing is when you are getting a gift from your husband, surrounded by history, in a mayan plaza, where only the kings were allowed to speak? At this point, does not even matter what the gift is and I won’t mention it as the point of this blog is not bragging. But I am telling you.. those moments are…PRICELESS!!!

Through the jungle of Belize

the 5th Symbols of Belize and a close up for Black Orhid, the national flower of Belize

Oh, yes! Loooove was in the air

Having your private guide is doing all the difference in the world!

Lamanai, Mayan temple in Belize.

Monkeys time!

Beautiful Julie!

Me and Mr. Steve climbed on top of main temple and I snap this photo that totally describe the way he felt “on the top of the world, like a king…” Soo happy, when I see people happy.

On the top of the world! Did you knew that the highest temple from Lamanai was used as observer by mayans?

In the middle of the jungle, with tons of emotions, under an ancient tree, right in Royal Plaza where only the kings had the right to speak, Mr. Steve thank Julie for all those years and for their 4 boys. He gave her a pair of earrings to remember those moments forever…

After hearing the entire story of Lamanai we went to Lamanai outpost Lodge for lunch..and was.. clean & FABULOUS delicious local food and cold drinks!

From here we left for an airboat ride… I did not had a clue of what to expect, but that was interesting and FUN! The boat was riding fast and our guide told us stories about mayan and that particullar place that in dry season the water is actually not there… We were like “what?!”

Airboat Ride

Time to go back to our island, again the helicopter with nice music, we were actually chasing a nice bird and Mr. Monday start to be nervous. He had prepared a surprise for his wife….


An invitation to to their own 20 years Vows renewal…

Their Walking down the aisle was with Best champagne on Earth, and followed with a traditional mariachi

followed by a ring with 5 diamonds, for each boy she have and is taking (including him)

A Ceremony like no other with champagne and emotions. During the ceremony you can ear The Mariachi’s music  soft in the background

A Sunset Ceremony

Fun around!

a moment of happiness that they will always remember

A Spectacular Tropical Sunset!

Sunset Dinner at Cayo Espanto. “BEST dinner ever”

dining under the stars in BELIZE is one of THE BEST experiences you can ever imagine. Is definitely once in a lifetime experience that ANYONE should have!

And they said a wish and let go an air baloon…

in Belize, yes, you can definitely see the amazing Milky Way… there is a saying that “IS BEST PLACE ON EARTH TO WATCH THE STARS”…. Hopefully you’ll agree with us!

And… their album continue with next day, and their last day. Raining, but they start their breakfast with coffee and National Beer of Belize, Belikin, followed by a private tour on the sea… with pouring rain. Champagne and excitement make everything different.

One of the most important things at Cayo Espanto is the service. The amazing staff and what they do for their clients… Staying here, you’ll forget you are a client… you become their friend and you’ll be treated like one. Proffesionalism at it’s best.

When Mr & Mrs Monday arrived from their trip, their villa assistant was waiting for them along with the chef and part of staff… they were welcomed back on the island, and order their menu for the evening…

Because our previous day was scheduled to the minute, we did not had time for portraits and fun around the island and that’s why I was here: Making Julie feel like a queen and Steve, her king :)

Julie at Cayo Espanto

“Oli.. I NEVER did this before”
(me) – Well, is about time!

Julie & Steve, getting ready for dinner

1 word: PARADISE!

Mr & Mrs Monday insisted on us for dinner, so, my husband joined us and we stay until late enjoying this amazing experience .

Days later I remember all the details and I’m smiling… I’m still smiling and I’m happy that they’ll have an album to remember them for the rest of their life about celebrating 20 years together.

And yes… as Mr. Monday said “to be continued…”




Can you tell I’m hooked for life?!!!

I do not ever ~ never brag… Be humble, even though you could not tell by meeting is embedded in my being.  I hate to tell people at times about our trip because I wish everyone could experience the ~ Joy ~ Tranquility – & Fun of it All~.



3 thoughts on “A 20 Year Anniversary Celebration Through My Lens

  1. Mrs. Oli, you truly have a gift! You can turn the ordinary into the EXTRAORDINARY!!! Amazing Job!!!

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