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Brenda & KristaElopement in Big SurJulia Pfieffer Burns State Park, CA

Brenda reached out to me at the beginning of this year, excited to share the details of her intimate wedding day in Big Sur. The way she spoke about her love and admiration for her fiance, Krista, melted my heart. We connected right away after that first Skype meeting.

I didn’t have the chance to meet Krista right away, as she was still serving in the military at the time. She was due to be released in early March and the two of them were eager to make it official as soon as possible. Brenda took care of the planning- booking me, mailing out invitations, and sealing the ceremony site… all set for their first of July date.

In April, Brenda emailed me exclaiming how they couldn’t wait any longer and had eloped to the courthouse. They were still planning a celebration up north with their close friends and family, but were soon overwhelmed by it all. They opted to keep it more laid back and hosted a reception party for everyone at the beach instead.

Brenda is a photographer and artist at heart. She still dreamed of romantic images with Krista along the coast and among the woods…and there were still two wedding dresses tucked away in the closet. So we kept our booking and turned the day into a grand road trip adventure.

We met that overcast afternoon at their little blue Airbnb in Pacific Grove. Brenda and Krista had a make up artist come to the house, who prepped them both individually for their first look. I arrived just after they had been made up and donned their wedding dresses for the first time. We took a few quiet images around the house before hitting the road.

No trip down Highway 1 is complete without a pit stop at Bixby. All eyes were on these two as we waited patiently for the best vantage point of the bridge to open up. The fog blowing over the cliffs in the distance and the rolling ocean below set the scene. Then we were off again.

We arrived at Julia Pfeiffer around the golden hour. We were grabbing equipment and bouquets out of the back when a ranger walked over to us. My heart sunk a little as I thought she came to turn us away from the park, but instead recommended the best trees to check out and insisted the girls keep their gowns clean. Wow.

The next hour was spent galavanting around the moody forest and staring up in awe at these giants. Cool Ranch Doritos and Cheetos greeted us in the car for the ride home- Krista’s favorite.

These images make me smile so much as I remember this day spent with two of the most gorgeous brides I have ever laid eyes on, both radiating pure happiness. Congrats Brenda & Krista. Your love conquers all.