Pelican Inn Wedding with a Mysterious Old World Charm

January 24, 2023

Northern California Pelican Inn Wedding at Muir Beach

Giulia and Matt hosted their romantic intimate Pelican Inn wedding with an Old World atmosphere in Northern California. The venue near the Pacific Ocean perfectly captures the spirit of 16th century England’s west country. Giulia’s Willowby wedding dress beautifully blended with the moody atmosphere of misty Muir Beach, pines and alders. The inn is barely 20 minutes from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, nestled in the Muir Woods, so it was a real treat driving down the winding roads of Highway 1, with the windows rolled down, inhaling then magnificent eucalyptus scent mixed with salty air. 

pelican inn wedding
pelican inn wedding

Intimate Pelican Inn Wedding off of California’s Famous Highway 1

Giulia and Matt are adventurers and bon vivants, and they dreamed up their intimate wedding with their closest circle of family and friends. One of my favorite moments during this intimate California wedding was spending an hour with them at Muir Beach. We chose this location for the wedding portraits because it is such a moody and stunning place. Muir Beach is favored by locals who often do picnics and cookouts on the beach. One thing to note about California – it is beautiful in any weather.

Earthy Colors and Moody Muir Beach Landscapes

Giulia’s elegant bouquet from the workshop of Bay Area’s Little Flower Shop added a pop of color to the elegant wedding portraits. The blush and gold flowers were a perfect base for reds and ochre, bringing vibrant colors to the moody landscape of Muir Beach. Fun fact about beautiful rich colors found in this landscape, based on the NPS website – every fall thousands of monarch butterflies embark on a once-in-a-lifetime migration to the California coast. Wintering monarchs can sometimes be found decorating Monterey pines in the small grove at Muir Beach. To spot them – look for their distinctive orange and black wings.

pelican inn wedding
pelican inn wedding in california

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising.”

John Muir

Located on the Pacific Coast three miles west of Muir Woods, the beach is accessed over a long pedestrian bridge that connects the parking lot to the beach, so we didn’t have to worry about hiking for too long.

pelican inn wedding

Hosting an intimate micro wedding at Pelican Inn

Later in the evening, the couple and their guests feasted on fine wine and comforting food from the kitchen of the inn’s chef, while laughing at the best speeches I’ve heard in a long time. Giulia and Matt’s Pelican Inn wedding was a dream for lovers of intimate atmosphere, fine foods and quality conversation. Their wedding was thoughtfully crafted with love for detail and it was absolutely magical. 


pelican inn wedding

Favorite Elements for a Pelican Inn Wedding

Pelican Inn is a hidden gem wedding venue, a well kept secret of Muir Beach. Couples looking for a unique rustic venue that emulates Old World vibes will find their soul feeling at home.

It is also ideal for couples in love with the outdoors planning a micro wedding. Conveniently, the rooms above the restaurant can accommodate wedding guests or close family members. While Giulia and Matt chose to marry in the backyard of Pelican Inn, there are so many other spots in the vicinity of the venue to host a wedding ceremony. Couples can bring an arch to the beach, or have an intimate elopement vows at one of the Highway 1 overlooks.

Pro tip for all my nature lovers – Muir Beach Overlook is one of the many spots along the parks’ coast for whale watching. Stay for a couple of minutes and enjoy the stunning landscape to catch a glimpse of these giant marine mammals as they swim by during their winter migrations.


intimate wedding photographer

Hi lovely, I am Yana, a Michigan based wedding and elopement photographer. When you book me as your wedding photographer, you’re also booking my knowledge of stunning locations in the area. But that’s not all. I spend hours scouting new locations, researching activities and vetting vendors to be able to provide my expertise for a unique experience. I will also become your sounding board to consult ideas about your dream elopement adventure. Through all of this, we will most likely become friends and I will silently shed a tear hiding behind my camera when I witness you exchange your vows with your one and only. To book your complimentary consultation and chat about your plans, fill out the form below.