When we moved to Pacific Grove, we knew that this was it. We fell in love with the small town vibes, the close-knitted community, the 5-minute drive to the beach, the 20 minute drive to the Big Sur coast. So when we looked for a house, we looked for one with good bones. We ended up finding one that we loved, but we knew that a remodel was in our future because we had so many dreams of what it could be: a dream home that would be the place for many gatherings, dinners, stories, and friends. After many months of researching, planning, designing, and DIY-ing our house remodel, we finally made it. Here's our journey!
A Local Big Sur Elopement Photographer's Guide to Eloping in Big Sur
When it comes to elopement locations in the US, Big Sur is one of the top places people come to get married. With its vast coastal views and redwood forests, it's a place full of wonder and natural beauty. As a local Big Sur elopement photographer who spends countless roadtrips exploring the endless trails in the area, I'm here to help you craft an epic day that feels genuine to your love story. Check out this guide for how to elope in Big Sur, including location recommendations, best months to elope, day-of timelines, and planning tips!
If you know my husband, you'll know that he's a huge coffee snob. Wherever we go, we'll try local coffee shops. It's one of the first things we'll look for when we travel somewhere new. Over the years, these coffee shops have held so many memories for us. One year, we spent New Year's Eve at Deep Creek Coffee in Utah, where on a chilly winter morning, the barista asked Keith to step in to help out with the morning rush. We spent those nights watching the stars and talking about getting engaged. For our proposal, Keith planned a scavenger hunt, and one of the stops was a place that sold Heart Coffee, a reminder of our trip to Oregon that made us want to move to the Pacific Northwest. We took some of our engagement photos at Flywheel Coffee in San Francisco, which was just one of the many coffee shops we frequented over the years. So after all these years, we wanted a way to share those stories, the places we went, and the people we met. When we looked online for ideas, we didn't find any designs that really fit what we were looking for, so we decided to create our own! Check out this DIY tutorial on framing and displaying your coffee bag collection.
Sometimes you meet a couple and they just radiate love. They don’t wait for the camera to be on, they don’t need any direction, they simply just are. A + C was exactly that kind of couple. They both told me how excited they were as they got ready separately - the nerves were all there. But the moment they saw each other, it’s like they took a breath of fresh air. They were at home with each other, marveling at how lucky they were to have found an incredible love story. So thankful to have been a part of their day, to end 2023 on New Year’s Eve documenting the precious moments of their story. Check out the rest of their Big Sur elopement below!
One of my favorite questions to ask couples is "What are some of your favorite memories together?" K + J told me that some of their favorite memories were the smallest moments, the mundane things of everyday life and the weekend getaways spent camping outdoors. So it was fitting that they chose to spend their wedding day doing those very things - staying in a cabin in the woods the night before, saying their vows at the historic Deetjen's Big Sur Inn, setting up a tent at their campsite, hiking in the redwoods, cooking dinner together over a campfire. It was nontraditional and perfectly represented who they were. Check out the rest of their Big Sur redwoods camping elopement below!
If you're choosing to elope, chances are you're already wanting to get married in a nontraditional way! So why not personalize your day and truly make it feel unique to who you two are as a couple? There are endless ways to add your own personal touch - from documenting everyday moments hanging out in a cabin in the woods, to picnicking with your favorite foods, to keeping morning traditions of doing crosswords or playing Wordle. Check out these 30 creative ways to make your intimate wedding day special!
If you’ve ever dreamed of a European villa wedding but in California, this is it! Montalvo Arts Center served as the perfect backdrop for S + I's wedding. They chose to say their vows privately during first look, which was such a sweet moment for them to just spend with each other. The highlight of the ceremony was when the groomsmen pretended that the rings were lost - they then proceeded to accidentally dropped the rings into the bushes and had to jump over the bushes to get them! Check out the rest of S + I's Montalvo Arts Center wedding below!
I always love asking couples what they love to do and their favorite memories together - it helps shape our planning as we craft a day that feels personal and authentic. For C + C’s day, there were a few important things we talked about during our consultation call - getting married by the ocean with their feet in the sand, including Kingsley, their 150-pound Great Dane, and ending their day sitting by a fire pit. Sure, there were mishaps like ants getting in their pizza, or getting sunburnt on an unusually hot day in November, or even leaving the champagne in the other car, but I could just tell that these two were in it through thick and thin. It didn’t faze them, and they continued to laugh and embrace each other as they celebrated an intimate day together. It ended up being the most incredible day, full of moments that reflected their love story. Check out the rest of C + C's Big Sur elopement below!
These two just moved to California for new jobs and wanted to celebrate their engagement in a place that reflected their love out outdoors and nature! So much of their relationship had unfolded in beautiful places, so it was the perfect way to capture their love story in a way that was genuine and authentic. I took them to some of my favorite redwood and coastal trails off Highway 1 in Big Sur - check out the rest of the engagement session below!
When I first started talking to N + A, they didn't have a venue yet. They were looking at venues all over Big Sur and Santa Cruz, and knew that they wanted a place where they could spend a weekend with their loved ones. A few months passed, and they reached back out telling me that while they were unsure of almost everything during the wedding planning process, they were sure that they trusted me to capture their day. So we chatted dates and venues until they finally settled on Kennolyn Camp in Santa Cruz! They brought together an awesome team to bring their vision to life - a romantic redwoods wedding lit by candles and string lights, the perfect mix of modern boho and retro vibes all set in a beautiful outdoor location. Check out the rest of their Kennolyn Camp wedding below!