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!
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!
B + A started off as best friends, and never thought that what they were looking for was in front of them the whole time. When he took a chance to get out of the friend zone, she decided to say yes. The rest is history - since then, they’ve explored the West Coast in an RV, chased waterfalls, and eloped in Joshua Tree. They still wanted to celebrate with their loved ones, so they hosted an awesome party with everyone dressed to the nines, complete with a world pizza throwing champion, Tupac impersonator, and red carpet photobooth! Check out the rest of B + A's Waterfall Lodge wedding below.
D + B met at Stanford band and the rest is history. Though these two left California after college to pursue careers and further degrees, they knew that they wanted to get married in California where they met. With their love of the outdoors, Nestldown was the perfect fairytale redwoods venue to bring their family and friends to the Bay Area. Check out the rest of their Nestldown 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!
Planning an elopement or intimate wedding instead? Check out the Big Sur Elopement Guide for more information specifically for wedding days with smaller guest counts.
For R + M, having an intimate destination wedding was always something they imagined. They absolutely loved roadtripping, and had spent time campervanning through Arizona, Utah, and parts of California. One challenge - many of their family members had never even set foot on a plane. But when they told their family in Texas that they wanted to get married in California, their family were on board. These two's love story that had started all the way from high school was one worth celebrating, and even worth conquering fears and trying new things. And it was truly was such a more heartfelt, joy-filled wedding. M surprised his bride with flowers and a video compilation recording of well wishes from their loved ones, which started the waterworks early in the day. He teared up as she walked down the aisle, and took a few deep breaths before saying his vows to keep it together. Their day was also filled with so many sweet details, like having their names embroidered in her veil, or even making a custom license plate for their getaway car. As we drove up the coast, we all talked about how much this day was the best of both worlds - a gathering with their favorite people while still getting time to just be with each other, taking in the incredible landscapes with no one else around. It couldn't have been a more perfect day. Check out the rest of R + M's Big Sur wedding below!
Big Sur was a special place for you two - not only had they driven down Highway for many road trips, but they even got engaged there! R proposed overlooking the cliffs at Garrapata State Park, where we also ended up taking their engagement photos. So for their wedding, they decided to get married right in the heart of Big Sur. Instead of having a wedding party, they gathered their closest loved ones to stay with them at Wind and Sea, a beautiful property overlooking the ocean that also served as their venue. Their guests got to walk around in awe of the views around them. What was even more incredible was the 5 minutes of sunset we got at the end of the day - where the incredible sun finally peaked out from the clouds and celebrated these two's wedding day with them. Check out the rest of their Big Sur wedding 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!
This gem of a venue is one of my favorites - located in downtown Monterey, the Barns at Cooper Molera has a beautiful rustic barn framed by gardens and string lights (and also conveniently next the Alta Bakery and Cella Restaurant, two staples of the Monterey food scene!) A + D met 6 years ago doing what they loved - worship. They wanted their wedding day to be a celebration and gathering place for the people they loved, and everything about their wedding day reflected that. Plus, who can say no to boba and churro at a wedding?! Getting to capture these two laugh over the most incredible rap made by their friends, tear up with emotion during communion, and dance the night away to "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" as an ode to their love of Disney made all the long hours spent planning worth out. Check out the rest of their romantic pastel garden wedding below!
D + T had a big wedding planned for next year, but they realized they wanted to make sure that their grandparents could be there to celebrate with them. So they pushed up their wedding date and planned an intimate wedding in the city where they fell in love, where they had spent many long dates hiking and picnicking wherever they went (especially because they met during COVID!) D was a landscape architect, so they immediately fell in love with St. Hilary's Church, a historic church overlooking the bay. We ended the night at the Golden Gate Bridge, where we all laughed at how cold we were with the insane wind - the best way to end the day. Check out the rest of their San Francisco wedding below!