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!
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!
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!
K + J always loved the water, so when it came time to choosing a place to elope, they looked at places like New Zealand and Norway, both known for their epic fjords. But as they were talking with their friends, they were reminded that there was a place much closer to home that encompassed everything they were looking for. Just a day's drive from their home in Southern California, they made their way up to Big Sur and immediately fell in love. It was more than just the incredible landscape - it was the vibe and energy of the place. On the day of their elopement, they got to experience so many magical wonders. With no guests but an audience of pelicans and seagulls that flew overhead and sat in the water during the ceremony, they reveled in the majestic coastal views that served as the backdrop to their wedding day. When they drove down Highway 1, they watch in awe of the cloud inversion that wrapped around the coast which made for the perfect impromptu stop. And just as the sun set below the horizon, they got to experience the warm California sun, one of the things they loved about being on the West Coast. What a magical day indeed. Check out the rest of K + J's Big Sur elopement below!
K + M originally contacted me wanting to schedule an engagement session in Big Sur, but they realized, why not elope there? These two weren't afraid to do a little climbing, and even surprised me with how agile they were in their full wedding outfits! We scaled the cliffs and watched the waves crash against the rocks - which was exactly what they had told me they wanted to see when they were planning their elopement. To add a personal touch to their day, they rented a classic Mustang, which reminded K of her mom who used to drive one back in the day. As we watched the sun set and said goodbye, one of the best things I got to hear them say was that they had so much fun, and wanted to do it more often (the adventuring, the cuddling, the romance!) That's what is so awesome about choosing to elope!
K + A fell in love with the Big Sur coast on their 7-year anniversary trip down Highway 1. Though these two met in school in Southern California, they both shared the same hometown in Northern California. Big Sur became the perfect halfway point for these two to get married after getting engaged in Hawaii overlooking the ocean. Check out the rest of their Hyatt Carmel Highlands wedding below!
17 years. R + P had shared more than half their life together, starting with freshman year of high school. It was a long day coming, and I could just feel how important and how momentous this day was when the tears started before the ceremony even really began. To top off the day, the sun even came out for them after it had rained all morning. We couldn’t have planned a more perfect day - check out the rest of their Big Sur elopement below!