A quintessential wedding in Big Sur
Rachel and Alex’s intimate ceremony at Glen Oaks and reception at Big Sur Bakery highlighted the best of Big Sur. This California-coast inspired wedding was incredibly romantic, with so many simple and sweet touches.
Rachel said Big Sur epitomizes everything her and Alex love most about California. Alex is from Sonoma county and Rachel lived in Southern California for 15 years. With a looming big move to the east coast, it felt fitting for them to plan their day in a place that means so much to them.
Rachel and Alex were even more excited to share Big Sur with their friends and family, most of whom live out of state and have never seen the gorgeous California coast. Together with 30 of their closest people, they celebrated their upcoming 10 year relationship milestone in the best kind of way.
Bridal Preparation at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
Rachel finished getting ready at the whimsical Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn with her mom, sister, and best friends. Her room, the Antique Apartment, operated as the Inn’s antique store in the 1950’s.
Deetjen’s is undeniably one of my favorite preparation locations for couples in Big Sur. Each room in the historic cabin hotel has its own personality, decorated with minimal, yet charming, antique furniture. The atmosphere feels straight out of a fairytale.
Intimate Redwood Ceremony at Glen Oaks
When Rachel was dressed, we headed to Glen Oaks for their private ceremony in the redwoods. Rachel and Alex opted to skip a first look to savor that sweet moment of seeing each other down the aisle for the first time.
Right before the ceremony, Rachel shared a moving first look with her father. It was touching to watch his joyful and tear-filled reaction to seeing her in her ethereal BHLDN dress.
We were graced with beautiful, warm light in the forest that afternoon. Aside from the rustic wooden chairs and a champagne station for guests, the backdrop didn’t need much else. Alex greeted Rachel with a smile and paused to help pick redwood bark out of her dress. Rachel’s brother-in-law officiated, making it all the more memorable.
Romantic Couple Portraits in the Redwoods
After a toast and family photos, guests were invited to make their way to cocktail hour at Big Sur Bakery.
Rachel, Alex, and I explored the beautiful grounds of Glen Oaks for their couple portraits. This is always the time when a true feeling of peace settles over my couples, after all the excitement and nerves have dissipated. You can simply just be in the moment together.
Golden Hour at Loma Vista Gardens
After soaking up all of the golden light at Glen Oaks, we made our way to Big Sur Bakery. While we waited for cocktail hour to wrap up, we wandered around Loma Vista Gardens to capture a few more portraits. The gardens offer a breathtaking view of Mt. Manuel, and are ripe with oversized cacti, native succulents, and unique flowers.
Intimate Reception at Big Sur Bakery
Rachel and Alex rented the entire Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant for their reception. The enclosed patio space with market lighting creates a wonderful, intimate atmosphere for smaller groups. Simple burlap runners and garlands of greenery from Big Sur Flowers complimented the long, rustic tables.
Rachel and Alex’s entrance led straight into their first dance. Afterward, everyone moved to the patio to enjoy a family-style dinner. This kind of meal always initiates the best kind of dinner conversations.
Once everyone took their seat, Rachel’s mom blessed the meal. After dinner, we played a game of “guess who” and witnessed Alex drop cake down Rachel’s dress. But my personal favorite part of the evening was when Rachel’s dad surprised us all by tossing his jacket and started to boogie in the middle of the father/daughter dance. 🙂
Their Vendor Team
Catering & Reception: Big Sur Bakery // Ceremony: Glen Oaks Big Sur // Dress: BHLDN // Florist: Kate Healey at Big Sur Flowers // Accommodations: Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn // Hair Stylist: Frenchie at Spa Bella Monterey // Photography: Paige Nelson Photography // Ring: The SlyFox // Suit: Ryan Seacrest Distinction