This is what Central Coast dreams are made of. When Sue & Michael decided to have a Big Sur Elopement, renting a classic car to drive Highway 1 was a must to them – and I couldn’t agree more. That just married feeling combined with the wind in your hair and one of the most epic sceneries in California equals a GOOD day.
When these two reached out to us, we had a pretty busy month ahead of us. In fact, it was one of the busiest months of our lives. But we couldn’t say no to capturing this day. Sue is originally from Sri Lanka, and Michael is Russian and American. Their relationship endured a pandemic, border and consulate closures, and over 12 months apart. Being a multi-cultural couple as well, their story just hit home for us. So we said YES, and start planning this epic day!
Their elopement was just the two of them, but they wanted to keep some things traditional. We started the day at the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel. Their catholic ceremony was beautiful and intimate. After that, our only goal was to go to as many epic Big Sur locations as possible! After all, the car was meant to be driven! But the catholic ceremony wasn’t the only traditional element on their elopement day. They also read personal vows to each other, cut a beautiful wedding cake, and drank some champagne to celebrate!
They had several special details built into their elopement (like the fact that Sue designed her own wedding dress – like, what?), and that goes to show that a day like this is not any less special than a “normal wedding”. It’s special, it’s unique, it’s intimate, and it’s THEM. They were nothing but themselves throughout their day. Not much to worry about, nobody to impress. Just them, and the incredible views that a place like Big Sur provides.
I can go on and on about this Big Sur elopement, but I’ll spare you of my book. I know, I write too much. But sharing people’s stories is one of my favorite parts of this job. Everyone is so unique, and that’s what makes humanity beautiful.
Check out their gallery below and hang until the end if you want some KEY tips for your Big Sur elopement!
Tips for your Big Sur Elopement
If you want to read more in-depth about how to plan a Big Sur Elopement check out our complete guide here!
But here are a couple of quick and key tips if you’re planning to elope in this epic Central Coast location:
- Permits – yes, you do need a permit to elope in a Public Land in Big Sur. Permits are not hard to get, and cost about $300 – $350. One thing to keep in mind is that only weddings with a party of 10 or less get approved. Big Sur likes to keep things small as protecting this enviroment is a big priority here.
- Guests – if you do have more guests than Big Sur allows, you have two options. You can rent a sick Airbnb with some amazing views and have your ceremony/reception there. Or, you can book a wedding venue/lodging that provides wedding services. Ventana Big Sur is one of our favorites! Bahar & David got ready and had their first look there as well, along with their cute 4 legged son – Oreo.
- Time of the year – Big Sur is beautiful at any time, really. But if I had to pick ONE favorite season, it would be spring. Late May/June. That’s when you get to see the most amount of widflowers, and the place is full of colors. If I had to pick a season to avoid at all costs it would be summer. Big Sur is visited by millions of people every year, and it’s typically very crowded during July and August.
I hope this Big Sur elopement has you inspired and ready to start planning your own!
Have any questions? Contact us!
We are Stephan & Adriana, Northern California Elopement Photographers – and personal tour guides 😉