Jessica and Paul’s intimate Big Sur wedding was the most enchanting day I’ve ever witnessed. These two feel so deeply about each other. Their joy and love is truly infectious in these images.
They knew in the early stages of wedding planning they wanted an intimate celebration with their closest family and friends. Jessica was inspired by the atmosphere of my sister and her husband’s wedding along the Big Sur coast last year. Limekiln State Park just has a magnetic pull to it like that. I also got to team up with my friend Whitney Justesen who is an incredible videographer.
When I’m planning a wedding day with couples, I always send out a questionnaire to learn more about their relationship to help me create more meaningful images. Jessica and Paul’s individual responses to the question “What do you love most about each other?” are so heartfelt and genuine, I wanted to interweave it into their story.
Jessi: There’s so much to love. Honestly, Paul is the best person I know. He’s so dynamic; he has this scholarly side (very professional, knowledgeable), the silly, hilarious side, and there’s the deep soulful side. This last one is the one where we sit on the couch and have honest conversations about who we are, what we think, and how we both feel things very deeply.
Like me, Paul is what I call a deep feeler. It’s this powerful sense of empathy where you can feel the world’s aches and joys. I’m not sure whether or not that will translate, but it’s a visceral feeling, and to share it with another is very special. We have this bond where it seems we are almost always on the same page.
Paul: Jessi is incredibly thoughtful. She not only shows her kindness through words, she shows people how much she cares about them through actions. One of her favorite things to do for her family is cook a wonderful meal for them, and I am the same way. I think this is part of the reason why we love cooking for each other and together. It is one of the many ways that we show our love to each other.
Jessi: Before I met him, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would marry. I could picture myself growing old, writing books in a little nook, quietly by myself. And that would be fine. But then I met him and there wasn’t any other choice. I’d met my match.
An Intimate Forest Ceremony at Limekiln State Park
Jessica hid out of sight behind a redwood tree, until their song from Sleeping at Last filled the air. Paul’s face when he saw her for the first time melted my heart. During their ceremony, he proudly showed her the receipt from their very first date. He knew she was the one for him all along
Jessica & Paul moved right into their first dance following that first kiss. A bottle of champagne was popped and passed around. Hugs and heartfelt words were exchanged. Then it was just Jess and Paul, dancing in the magical forest light, two souls so completely intertwined.
Paul: Jessi is so very affectionate. I may be focused on something when her hand gently rubs my back when I’m not expecting it, just as a little reminder she is thinking of me. I have received an uncountable amount of simple, sweet, random texts telling me she is thinking of me. I have never felt so loved in my life.
Jessi: I can’t picture any other future. I’ll still grow old, quietly writing in my little nook, and when I’m finished, I’ll give my husband a kiss and ask if he’d like to join me for a walk.
Paul: When we are together, we like some part of us to be close. We don’t always have to be exploring the world, an evening walk suits us just fine, because it’s nice and slow. We push the world away and there is just us. I want that always.
Golden Hour Portraits along Highway 1
We made our way back up the coast just as the sun started setting. My absolute favorite time of day to experience Highway 1in Big Sur.
It was dark by the time we made it to Restaurant 1833 in Monterey for dinner. Jess & Paul had reserved a private room lit by candles to celebrate the rest of the evening with their family. The tables twinkled with beautiful fairy lights, carrying over the whimiscal atmosphere from the golden forest earlier.
After a lot of good food and small, celebratory cake cutting, we said our goodbyes. On the drive home, I had to pinch myself several times to make sure this day was real. Congrats Jessica and Paul! Your intimate Big Sur wedding was as magical and romantic as your love for each other. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together.
Their Vendor Team
Accomodations: Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn // Cake: Parker Lusseau // Ceremony Site: Limekiln State Park, Big Sur // Dress: Handmade by Terri and Lisa (Jessica’s mom and aunt) // Florals (Ceremony): Emily (Jessica’s sister); Florals (Reception Dinner): Design by Reina // Groom’s Attire: Charles Tyrwhitt (jacket); Suit Supply (Vest and pants); Allen Edmonds (shoes) // Invitations (calligraphy): Pirouette Paper // Make up: Virginia White // Photography: Paige Nelson // Reception: Restaurant 1833, Monterey // Videography: Whitney Justesen