BIG SUR ELOPEMENTS
Intimate Boutique Wedding & Elopement Photography Experience in California
Crafted for free spirits
BIG SUR ADVENTURE WEDDING & ELOPEMENT GUIDE
Have you ever cruised down California's Highway 1, enjoyed the saline scent in the air, made a random stop to get the freshest Pacific oysters and exclaimed OMG in each turn? You felt like you’re the main character of a Hollywood movie. Highway 1 makes you experience the California coast first hand and the smell of eucalyptus and herbs will comfort you for the months to come. Pure magic.
Adventure weddings and elopements are becoming a unique alternative to traditional weddings all over the world. Couples are opting to marry under the stars, in the desert, on top of a mountain, at glacier lakes, oceans, anywhere beautiful. These types of intimate ceremonies are perfect for couples in love with nature and the great outdoors, for adventurers and free spirits that want to have an intimate immersive day event instead of a big traditional wedding with a couple hundred guests.
CALIFORNIA ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS
There are some truly gorgeous and diverse locations in California, from high desert, mountains, desert, to rugged coastline off of Highway 1. To narrow down your perfect California elopement spot, think about the season and elements you would like captured in your photographs. California is famous for its sunny weather vibe, but the state is so large that the weather changes from North to South. Are you looking for redwoods, vast wilderness of the Yosemite Valley or rugged coastline of Big Sur? Northern California and Southern California have entirely different climates and landscapes, so keep that in mind when planning your elopement!
HOW TO PULL OFF AN UNFORGETTABLE ELOPEMENT IN CALIFORNIA
If you are content to bask in the California sun, under the redwoods, in the mountains or with the ocean sounds in the background, nature will be your wedding venue. I will help you research the locations, help set up your timeline and consult logistics.
LOCATIONS OFF OF HIGHWAY 1
Point Reyes National Lakeshore
OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WINE COUNTRY, MOUNTAINS AND THE DESERT
Yosemite National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
PARK PERMITS IN CALIFORNIA
National and state parks usually require permits. Processing can take about a month, so I suggest you make sure that gets approved before you move forward with planning anything else. Permits vary depending on the scope of your elopement, number of guests (if any), and the specific location. If you are getting married in a different state than you reside in, make sure to check legal requirements. To avoid bureaucracy, some couples choose to do the paperwork in their own state and their elopement ceremony becomes a bit more symbolic.
INTIMATE WEDDING VENUES IN BIG SUR
& ELSEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA
If you are looking for a small intimate venue that can host your elopement ceremony or dinner, here are some ideas:
IF YOU’RE A BOHEMIAN FREE SPIRIT
Rustic garden venue: Loma Vista Gardens
Luxury venue: Ventana Inn
Cabin vibes in the redwoods: Glen Oaks Big Sur
IF YOU ENJOY LUXURY AND FINE FOODS
THE WINE COUNTRY
IF YOU LIKE UNORTHODOX VENUES
IF YOU’RE IN IT FOR THE MOUNTAIN VIEWS
Yosemite - Evergreen Lodge
Lake Tahoe - Tahoe Vistana Lodge
Mammoth Lakes - Convict Lake Resort
BIG SUR ELOPEMENT PRO TIPS
BIG SUR WEDDING AND ELOPEMENT CHECKLIST
Determine your elopement season
Determine your ceremony location
Determine the time of the day for your ceremony
Hire an officiant if you want to make your marriage legal
Bring two witnesses
Hire a wedding/elopement photographer
Bouquet/hair piece and a boutonniere
Wedding cake or desert
A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BUILDING A BIG SUR ELOPEMENT TIMELINE
Light is everything! If you want to plan for a truly magical lighting, your ceremony should happen early in the morning or 2 - 1.5 hour before sunset. If that isn’t doable, there are locations with tree cover that are great for mid-day.
Allow about 15 minutes to exchange vows, 1.5 hour for portraits, and 20 minutes for photos with friends or family
Plan for getting ready photos. Allowing me to document these moments will help tell a complete story of your day. Allow for an hour and a half for hair and makeup.
Always cushion your timeline with extra travel time between locations. Also - this will give us an opportunity to make impromptu stops in case we spot a gorgeous location we didn't know about!
To avoid crowds, especially in the summer, plan to elope on a weekday
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
My STYLE is just what you imagined and you’re stoked to start planning an unforgettable wedding adventure focused on your connection and the things you share? FANTASTIC!