When COVID forced these two to cancel their wedding in Monterey, they chose to pivot their plans and elope on the coast of Big Sur with just their parents. But it certainly didn't make it any less special - in fact, it was so incredibly sweet to witness the moments they shared together. They treasured moments like Sarah practicing her first dance with her father in the hotel living room, walks through memory lane looking at childhood photos that they gifted the parents, and all the emotion and tears that started to well up as it started to truly feel real.
I've loved getting to see the unique ways that couples choose to include their loved ones on their wedding day - and for these two, they had their parents each share stories and blessings to them during their wedding ceremony. And while we battled a bit of wind on the coast, it didn't stop them from enjoying the moments and even sharing a first dance and dances with their parents before continuing on to chase the sunset with just the two of them. Check out the rest of S + R's Big Sur elopement!
To say that this year has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement - from the first emails back in April checking in with 2020 couples on how they're doing, to walking with them through changing their wedding plans, to pivoting with every new situation, to getting them excited again about their wedding day again. But when it all finally comes together, it's so incredible to see two people get married in a way that focuses on what's most important. Getting to witness and capture W + J say their vows with the most tears I have ever seen in a ceremony, chase the sunset over the hills, and return just in time for the best surprise visit (and more tears) reminded me of how deep and meaningful these 2020 weddings can be. Check out the rest of their beautiful backyard wedding!
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 Big Sur elopement photographer and a local who spends countless weekends 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! (Updated January 2021)
Every once in a while, I get the honor of capturing such special moments for friends. A + C were such friends - I had known A from our years of working at SJSU, where we spent many afternoons taking walks on campus, collaborating on projects, and even running career panels together for the arts and humanities. We weathered through job changes, rescheduling their wedding, and navigating the pandemic. With their original wedding scheduled for May, we knew we had no choice but to postpone. 5 months later, they got married in an intimate ceremony on the coast. It wasn't what they planned, but somehow it was perfect for these two who had grown up and met right where they got married in Half Moon Bay. Check out the rest of their Half Moon Bay wedding below!
K + C met freshmen year of college at a bowling alley on campus. The rest was history - five years later, he proposed on their dream trip to Bali at a secluded waterfall. They had always envisioned a low-key, intimate elopement with just a few of their closest loved ones, and the pandemic gave them all the more reasons to move forward with the day they dreamed of. I had the perfect spot for them to start their day on the coast of Big Sur, where C stood patiently waiting for his bride to arrive. They didn't need much - no venue, no decor, just the two of them in a place that reflected their love of adventure. And there was not a dry eye in sight when he saw her for the first look (one of my favorites of all time!) and when they privately said their vows as the sun set behind the horizon. Check out their emotional Big Sur elopement below!
One thing that G + P had shared from the very beginning of story was their love for the ocean. They sailed together on many adventures, and it became such an important part of who they were as a couple. When COVID caused them to change their wedding plans, they decided to get married in a place that felt right - in Big Sur, California. Together, we looked through different ideas and venues for where they could get married before finally settling on Loma Vista Gardens, a beautiful garden venue nestled in the woods. Though they couldn't have many of their family and friends attend, you could just feel the emotion and love flowing out from their loved ones over Zoom as they witnessed these two's wedding day, cheered them on, and toasted to them over video. Check out the rest of their Loma Vista Gardens wedding below!
For the past 3 years, I’ve photographed weddings at Slowcoast, a beautiful cabin venue in the redwoods near the Santa Cruz coast almost exactly a year apart. Coincidentally when K + C’s larger celebration had to be changed due to the pandemic, they decided to get married in an intimate setting at no other than Slowcoast on September 14, 2020. But then their plans were changed again - my heart was broken when I heard that Slowcoast was one of the casualties in the CZU Lightning Complex just a few weeks before their wedding. It was a place where so many of my couples had gathered with their family and friends, said their vows under the giant redwoods, sat around bonfires cooking s’mores and sharing stories, and danced under the moonlight and stars. It was a place that held so many memories, stories, and magic.
But that didn’t stop K + C from getting married in 2020. Somehow the world had brought them back to their original vision - getting married where they grew up, having their first look at the fallen tree where they used to hang out, chasing the sunset where they used to sneak out to before it became an official landmark. It was a day of absolute magic and joy, as they reminisced over the places that had held so many memories and created new ones together as husband + wife.
From their first date, C made it his mission to show K (who had recently moved) all the wonders of the West Coast. They went on countless foodie and hiking adventures, which eventually led them to their first international trip together in Thailand. When they decided to get married, they knew they wanted to say their vows in a place that inspired just as much awe as the many places they had explored together. So they settled on the Big Sur coast, where they got married in front of just family and spent the day doing what they loved the most. Check out the rest of their Big Sur elopement below!
H + K met in a whirlwind romance with their shared love of stargazing and kayaking on the ocean waves, so it was only fitting that they chose to elope on the coast of Big Sur. Though the day started off with a near-disaster - somehow K's pants got lost in the packing - he pulled off a last-minute outfit change and couldn't have been more excited to marry his bride. We started off at Glen Oaks Big Sur, where they said their vows by the Big Sur River in a sweet ceremony in the redwoods. They shared a first dance on the beach and ended the night on the coast with all the laughter and smiles of newlyweds. Check out the rest of H + K's Glen Oaks Big Sur elopement!
What's more romantic than saying your vows under the giant redwoods of Big Sur? J + J decided to elope in the midst of COVID-19. It was such an emotional day - they teared up at their first look and shared the sweetest private moment as they said their vows together. We then adventured to the iconic Bixby Bridge and Big Sur coast for a surprise - J surprised her groom with serenading him. They ended their day with a first dance overlooking the cliffside as the sun set in a fiery glow. Check out the rest of their incredible Glen Oaks Big Sur Elopement!