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!
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!
L + M met on online during their senior year of UC Santa Cruz, and quickly realized that they shared so many similarities and almost crossed paths multiple times. They shared a love for the outdoors and spent many of their weekends driving up and down Highway 1 to Big Sur, hiking to Half Dome in Yosemite, and camping in the redwoods. When they started planning their wedding, they knew they didn't want a big affair. They eventually found Felton Guild, a redwood cathedral venue in Santa Cruz right where they met. It was the perfect setting for these two who always had an affinity for the redwoods. Check out the rest of their Felton Guild wedding!
Some may say politics is a topic to avoid at weddings, but for B + S, it was an important part of their lives! These two found love while working on the same political campaign. Together they travelled across the US going from one campaign to the next before finally settling down in California and starting their own political consulting business. When the pandemic hit, they spontaneously decided to elope at a courthouse on a trip to Lake Tahoe, and grew their family with a little one. A few years later, they decided to celebrate with their family and friends. S was best friends with the owner of Loma Vista Gardens, so Big Sur had always been a special place to her. It became the perfect backdrop for their celebration with an intimate group of family and friends. One of their guests even commented that the magical garden wedding reminded them of B + S's own backyard! It was such a sweet reflection of their lives together, complete with personal touches like campaign buttons and article cutouts from their work together. Check out the rest of their Loma Vista Gardens wedding!
K + S worked for the same independent music magazine, but she was on the East Coast while he was on the West Coast. One fateful meeting over a delicious roast chicken dinner that S hosted led to sparks flying between these two. But the timing wasn’t right, so they kept in touch while living on opposite coasts. 5 years later, K found herself back in San Francisco again, and they fell in love on their first real date. She officially made the move to San Francisco right before the wedding, where they got to celebrate with an intimate group of family and friends. It was a day that reflected all the things they loved about each other and the community they built - from spending their day in the city where they fell in love, to riding a VW bus around, to hiring a DJ who S had met from a local bar he loved to frequent, to serving SF based Anchor Steam beer and Tartine cake. Check out the rest of K + S's garden party themed wedding at the San Francisco Botanical Garden Redwood Grove and Stable Cafe!
E + M met in college at Stanford, where they spent their weekends exploring the outdoors and hiking in the redwoods. Though they ended up moving to the New York City, they returned to the West Coast to get married in the place where they fell in love! There were so many sweet moments on their wedding day - M gifting each of his groomsmen Star Wars themed socks chosen specifically for them, the two of them tearing up during the first look, M walking his grandparents down the aisle, having their first dance (which was beautifully choreographed by their friend), all the cousins rallying around the ringbearer on the dance floor, and ending the night with a sparkler exit. Check out the rest of E + M's Saratoga Springs wedding below!
Y + B: UC Berkeley Botanical Garden Mather Redwood Grove and Julia Morgan Hall Wedding in Berkeley, CA
There were a few things Y + B knew they wanted on their wedding day: an intimate first look down the aisle in the redwoods, and pretzels and beer to represent one of their favorite trips abroad to Germany. B had come from a family of 8 sisters whereas Y was an only child, so they chose to keep their guest count on the smaller side to balance the two sides. These two's wedding day was so full of laughter and fun - you could just tell how excited B's sisters were to include a new sister in the family and they surprised the couple with a rap song performance just for them. Check out the rest of their wedding at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden below!
When C + N first reached out to me, they had been dreaming of an intimate wedding with family in the Big Sur redwoods. They had known each other for 10 years, but school and finances kept getting in the way of their marriage plans. After looking at a few different redwood venues, they fell in love with the fairytale setting of Nestldown and decided to increase their guest list to celebrate with their family and friends. They chose to keep some traditions - like her walking down the staircase where he saw her for the first time, and skipped others like vows and toasts. It didn't make it any less emotional as she teared up as they were pronounced husband and wife. Check out the rest of their redwoods wedding at Nestldown!