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Jessica & JeffWedding Portraits at Garrapata State Park in CarmelCarmel, CA

On Labor Day weekend, I drove up to Carmel to photograph this lovely duo. Jessica and Jeff knew they wouldn’t have enough time to explore the central coast on their real wedding day. Instead, they opted for a day before portrait session in their wedding clothes to take advantage of the Big Sur scenery.

The evening before their wedding, we ventured to the Big Sur coast for some intimate couple portraits. The Soberanes Fire still burned fiercely, forcing firefighters to shut down most of Highway 1. Garrapata State Park near Carmel was one of the only parks that remained open to the public.

Jessica donned a beautiful BHLDN wedding dress she didn’t mind getting a little dirty before the wedding, along with a pair of maroon booties. (Rest assured, the wedding dress bootie combo will always make your photographer a happy camper). Her wedding florist, Swenson & Silacci Flowers, also created a special bouquet and flower crown for the occasion.

We quickly discovered how underrated and truly otherworldly Garrapata State Park is. With all the chaos that comes from wedding planning, I think this special time together before the wedding was exactly what Jessica and Jeff needed without fully realizing it.

Be sure to check out Jessica and Jeff’s wedding day at Folktale Winery. If you love this session, I also recommend browsing through Jessica and Paul’s intimate Big Sur wedding at Limekiln State Park.

Dress: BHLDN, Anthropologie // Florals: Swenson & Silacci Flowers // Location: Garrapata State Park in Carmel, CA // Photography: Paige Nelson