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!
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!
When S drove down to the Inn at Spanish Bay to celebrate her uncle's birthday, little did she know that her boyfriend had planned a surprise proposal and brought his family along as well. He had everyone hidden behind the sand dunes, so when she pulled up in a golf cart, the look of surprise and shock was evident. It was so sweet getting to see everyone celebrate with them - there were tears, smiles, and laughter all around. After sending their family to meet them at dinner, we captured a few engagement photos with just the two of them. It was the perfect setting, with waves crashing against the rocks right in Pebble Beach, the famous place known for the start of the 17-Mile Drive. Check out the rest of their proposal 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!
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!
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!