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!
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!
"Your love story could be a Netflix movie...something titled like Love is in the Air," Keith said during their ceremony. Of course, just a week later, Netflix came out with a movie with that exact title. These two met working for an airline - he was a pilot and she was a flight attendant. Through their many travels and adventures together, the coast along Highway 1 became a special place in their hearts. It was the first place where she had reached out to him, the place where they shared their first holiday together, and the place where she knew where she was falling in love with him. Though they were living in the UK, they knew that this was absolutely the place where they wanted to get married. And Big Sur showed up for them - in a turn of events, we ended up skipping the beach and ending the day on the coast since we were running out of time and the sun was setting earlier due to a low cloud over the horizon. After we went home, I saw that there was a beach hazard warning, which meant that we likely wouldn't have been able to access the beach anyway. Turns out, we ended up getting to experience some of the most incredible waves safely from the rocky coastline (instead of from the beach where the tides would've swept us away!) I had never seen the ocean so white before, and these two couldn't believe their eyes as they got to stand awestruck by the landscape around them. Check out the rest of K + G's Big Sur elopement below!
Through the past 10 years, these two built a life together - a life full of adventure, from hiking in Havasupai to wandering the beaches of Thailand. They even owned a sprinter van, the perfect vehicle for going on the next big adventure with their pup Cheeze It. Though N + R had been to California before, Big Sur had always been on their bucket list. They decided to drive their sprinter van from SoCal up the California coast for their elopement, with Cheeze It coming along of course! They spent the first few days camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur, and then got to spend a few days at the Alila Ventana Big Sur resort. Their wedding day was full of sweet, intimate moments, from a tearful ceremony to a first dance overlooking the water. Check out the rest of N + R's Alila Ventana Big Sur elopement below!
M + D had reached out while I was traveling, so we ended up getting all the details squared away over email and actually never talked over the phone. But even without a single phone call, M told me that she felt totally confident - she had read over all the resources, maps, timelines, and guides I sent (and even planned their Thailand honeymoon based on our itinerary from our travels!) Though we had exchanged only a handful of emails, we had an awesome elopement planned, a day filled with intentionality and room for the unexpected. Whether it was chasing sunbeams in the redwoods or epic waves on the coast, or accidentally taking the wrong trail back and trekking through thick bushes to get out, we were all for it! Check out the rest of M + D's Glen Oaks Big Sur elopement below!
These two loved the beach - one of their very first dates was actually a cold beach day on the East Coast. They had visited California a few times and fell in love with the West Coast, making plans to eventually make their way over in the next few years. As they started thinking about their wedding day, they realized that getting married in Big Sur was the perfect start to their new adventure! They celebrated their wedding day with an intimate group of family and friends who flew from all across the states. It was so important that they honor their Muslim religion, so they had a beautiful Nikah wedding ceremony overlooking the Big Sur coast. After the ceremony, I took them adventuring to some of my favorite spots all over Big Sur. We got to see the towering redwoods and climb up and down the rocky coast to see the epic views, which was what they came to Big Sur for. Check out the rest of their Big Sur wedding below!
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 location recommendations, best months to elope, day-of timelines, and planning tips!
These two met at the restaurant she was working at - he was coincidentally walking in to hand her his resume! But just a few months later, he left to attend a master's program and they stayed friends. Five years later, they ended up in the same place and reconnected. With long distance on top of the pandemic, K + R took a leap of faith. They moved in together and the rest is history! For their Big Sur elopement, they got ready at a cute A-frame cabin in the redwoods. The day was so full of emotion and tears - from the letters they exchanged during first look to their personal vows during their ceremony. You could just feel the emotion through through their day. Check out the rest of their Big Sur elopement below!
These two absolutely loved spending time in the ocean, so Big Sur was the perfect place for them to elope! Though they were originally from the East Coast, they moved to California and fell in love with the West Coast. Their roadtrips up and down Highway 1 were some of their favorite memories together, and they had even dived the Monterey Bay! On their elopement day, they kept it simple and just took in all the beautiful wonders of the landscapes around them. Though they had been to Big Sur before, I got to show them so many new spots and hidden gems. We witnessed the most dreamy light in the redwoods, and an epic sunset over the beach. It doesn't get more beautiful than this! Check out the rest of S + W's Big Sur elopement below!
Sometimes you meet a couple and they just radiate an incredible love for each other. T + C was that kind of couple. When these two met, it wasn't love at first sight (in fact, their first date was full of anxiety!) But as they got to know each other better, they grew into perfect partners for each other. When Keith, my husband and their officiant, asked them separately what they loved about each other, they both said that they found someone who matched their ambition - not for career or prestige, but for love. And that was true throughout their entire wedding day. From the moment that they saw each other for the first time, they were immediately overwhelmed with emotion. C was full of tears as they said their vows to each other privately in a sweet moment before their ceremony. Even the way they wrote their vows said so much about their love story. It wasn't just a small booklet, but rather a journal. One that they had written in with a few entries all the way up to their wedding day, jotted down with love letters that they could read back in years to come. With just an intimate group of 20 of their friends and family present to witness their day, they got to savor all the big and small moments with their favorite people. Check out the rest of their fairytale redwoods wedding at Sparrow Valley Retreat below!