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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. 

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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

Big Sur

San Francisco

Mount Tamalpais

Point Reyes National Lakeshore

 

 

OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WINE COUNTRY, MOUNTAINS AND THE DESERT 

Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Lakes

Lake Tahoe

Napa Valley

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.

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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

BIG SUR 

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 

Solage 

The Carneros Inn

The Harvest Inn

 

IF YOU LIKE UNORTHODOX VENUES

JOSHUA TREE

Nature Lover’s dream

Airy Casita

Airstream 

 

IF YOU’RE IN IT FOR THE MOUNTAIN VIEWS

Yosemite - Evergreen Lodge

Lake Tahoe - Tahoe Vistana Lodge

Mammoth Lakes - Convict Lake Resort

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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

  • Bubbly

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!

PHOTOGRAPHING

BOUTIQUE  WEDDINGS + ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS

since 2012

ALEX + ARCHIE
JAYME + PETER
JESSICA + BRIAN
KRISTINA + SASHA

Serving Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula

The Great Lakes region, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan

& Midwest, California, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii
Traveling worldwide for intimate weddings & adventure elopements.

MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN ELOPEMENTS, SMALL WEDDINGS & MICRO WEDDINGS

WANDERING SINCE 2012

green wedding shoes preferred artist
wandering weddings preferred michigan photographer

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