Carmel was C + A’s happy place. They took many weekend trips here, spending time just slowing down and exploring the coast. They gathered their closest family and friends to celebrate with them in their favorite place, which luckily turned out to be a beautiful sunny day despite it raining the day before! C also always loved bridges, so Bixby Bridge was a perfect place to stop before we adventured to the coast. I ran back up the trail to get her veil just when I saw the orange colors of sunset peeking out of the clouds, and it was just absolutely breathtaking. They ended the night in the best kind of way - grabbing dinner with their loved ones at In-N-Out! Check out the rest of C + A's La Playa Carmel wedding below.
L + J met in junior college, where J had been playing minor league baseball. Though she was a little nervous to talk to him at first, he won her over and they started doing long distance while he went off to play ball. Every season, he would bring back a baseball and write a sweet note to her on it. When they got engaged, they originally thought they would have a traditional wedding. But drama ensued and they quickly were overwhelmed by the process, which was only made more difficult by a wedding vendor that took off after booking. L then stumbled upon an old classmates' wedding photos - another couple who I had photographed for their elopement here in Big Sur! She immediately fell in love and knew that this was how she wanted to get married. On a beautiful fall day, they flew with their family and a few close friends from Kansas City to California, where they all got to share in the awe of seeing the giant redwoods for the first time. It was a day so full of emotion, as L started tearing up from the moment she had her first look with her dad and brother, to the moments that seemed to stop in time when they said their vows, and even her nieces couldn't help but tear up in happiness. "This is everything I ever imagined," she said, "It couldn't have been more perfect." J signed another baseball for her - this time with their wedding date - and we headed off to the coast where she donned his baseball journey and they both got to watch a beautiful sunset together over the Pacific Ocean. Check out the rest of their Big Sur redwoods and coast wedding below!
One of A + K's very first trips together was in Big Sur. They immediately fell in love with the sweeping coastal views overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. On a beautiful October day, they got ready in a private home in Carmel. Though they originally were going to do their first look in the backyard, I was immediately drawn to the oak tree tunnel on the street and brought them out for the first of many amazing views they got to experience on their wedding day. After their first look, I took them adventuring to some of my favorite spots along the coast of Big Sur. K, who had always loved classic cars, just had a blast as he drove the Porsche down the windy roads of Highway 1. They laughed together as K helped his bride navigate the rocky cliffs in her stunning custom-made gown, and A told me that she was so glad that they started off the day with just the two of them doing what they loved, adventuring in the outdoors. Once we pulled up to the venue, they made their grand entrance in the Porsche before continuing on to their ceremony overlooking the ocean. It was a night full of unforgettable memories -the overwhelming tears of joy A + K shared in a quiet, private moment while watching the sunset together, the twilight colors painting the sky purple and orange as they sat down for dinner, the outfit change into a jumpsuit so that A + K could kickstart the party with a coordinated dance number to "Uptown Funk," and even a dance-off competition where the wedding party showed off their best moves. Check out the rest of A + K's Big Sur wedding below!
Most of California is known for its great weather year-round, but the one thing we don't get is a true fall season like the East Coast does. So we made it our mission to find fall colors in California! We had already roadtripped through much of California, including visiting Yosemite in all different seasons, driving up and down the California coast to see the redwoods and cliffs, and hitting up the desert in Joshua Tree and Death Valley, but somehow had not been to Mammoth Lakes. When researching Mammoth Lakes, we found that the Eastern Sierra mountain range was the best place to see fall colors in California so we timed our trip for mid-October. Not only did we get to see the beautiful trees change colors, but we also got to soak in the most incredible natural hot springs and see the Milky Way clearly with our own eyes. Check out this 3-day itinerary for seeing the fall colors in Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite National Park (and it's dog-friendly too!)
Early in their dating years, K + J took a spontaneous trip to Big Sur and fell in love with the place. They knew they wanted to elope, so returning back to a place where they fell in love was the perfect way to celebrate their wedding day. For their elopement, the weather was just warming up, bringing out all the pampas grass sprouting up all along Highway Excited to take K + J exploring, I took them hiking through hidden trails and we got to overlook the most incredible cliffside views. Check out the rest of K + J's Big Sur elopement below!
If you've never cooked dim sum on a camp stove on the beach, you're missing out! A + J told me that one important thing that they wanted to include on their day was cooking a meal together. They both had fond memories camping, so it was the perfect way to not only do something they loved, but also make sure that they didn't get hangry on their 8-hour elopement. We started the day in a redwoods cabin, where they made pancakes together, a tradition that they kept for their wedding day. After getting ready separately and having their first look right outside of the cabin, they had an intimate ceremony where many tears were shed between these two high school sweethearts. From there, we hiked through the redwood forests, marveled at Bixby Bridge, and ended the day on the beach where J skillfully balanced dumplings on the rocks and made the most awesome picnic for the two of them (and also for Keith and I!) Check out the rest of A + J's Big Sur elopement below!
“You pick the date, I’ll pick the place” was how M + O decided to plan their elopement. Little did she know that he would pick a date 3 weeks away. Luckily M had the perfect place in mind - having grown up camping in Big Sur, the redwoods had always been a special place for her. From watching her run around the trees, barefoot on the ground, I could just tell that this was where they felt at home. It was a place of old memories, and now new ones. Check out the rest of their intimate redwoods elopement in Big Sur!
Raise your hand if you have nostalgic memories of summer camps in the redwoods - early mornings grabbing breakfast at the food hall, afternoons swimming in the pool and ziplining through the trees, late nights sitting around a campfire. If that sounds like the perfect way to spend your summer to you (whether or not you got to experience it!) Kennolyn might just be your dream venue. K + A did not grow up in California but fell in love with the redwoods after moving to the West Coast and making it their home. When they started thinking about what they wanted their wedding day to look like, one of the most important things was getting to show their family and friends why they fell in love with spending time outdoors (and funnily enough, K did not even like spending that much time outdoors before they met!) Making their wedding day into a wedding weekend summer camp experience was such a sweet way to bring together all their loved ones without needing to rush all the reunions all in one day. Check out their Kennolyn Camp wedding below!
Just 2.5 hours south of San Francisco, there's a magical place on the California coast where the redwoods meet the ocean and the ocean meets the mountains. The Monterey Bay has grown more and more as a destination over the years - and for good reason! People come from all over the world to see the abundant wildlife and drive down Highway 1 to see the views that California is known for. It's not a surprise that this area is also popular for weddings. Surrounded by such a diverse range of landscapes, there's wedding venues for every type of couple - redwood forests for a fairytale wedding in Big Sur, ocean-view terraces for romantic sunsets overlooking the Pacific Ocean, gardens flourishing against the Santa Lucia Mountains. And the best part is that oftentimes you don't have to choose just one! You could get ready in a redwoods cabin, say your vows in a garden, and chase the sunset on the coast all in one day if you wanted to. If that sounds like your dream wedding, out this guide on Big Sur, Carmel, and Monterey wedding venues!
L + F met in the city of San Francisco. They were both working in the restaurant industry, and quickly bonded over their love of food. When they got engaged, they were just about to embark on a new adventure - bringing their love of food to a small town in Montana and starting a donut pop-up shop! It was a successful new business, but eventually San Francisco drew them back in with its diversity of food. They returned just in time for their intimate wedding at San Francisco City Hall. After the ceremony, we took photos around the iconic City Hall (have you seen a city hall as beautiful as this?!) and then celebrated back at their hotel with cake and a champagne tower. Check out the rest of their intimate wedding / elopement at San Francisco City Hall below!