Why Big Sur is the Perfect Location for Your Dream Wedding

I'm so glad you're here. I'm Jed, a wedding photographer based in Big Sur, CA and I wanted share with you some of my experience and insight in this beautiful area for your wedding destination. Let's go!

Nestled on the stunning coastline of California, Big Sur is not just a breathtaking destination, but the perfect location for your dream wedding. With its dramatic cliffs, sweeping ocean views, and enchanting redwood forests, Big Sur offers a picturesque backdrop that sets the stage for a truly romantic and unforgettable celebration.

Imagine exchanging vows under a cascading waterfall or dancing the night away at a rustic, cliff-side venue with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. Big Sur's natural beauty is unparalleled, providing countless opportunities for stunning wedding photos that will be cherished for a lifetime.

But Big Sur is more than just a pretty face - it offers a variety of wedding venues and accommodations to suit every couple's style and budget. From luxury resorts to quaint cabins in the woods, you'll find the perfect setting for your special day.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply a hopeless romantic, Big Sur will deliver a wedding experience that goes beyond your wildest dreams. Say "I do" in one of the most awe-inspiring destinations on earth and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Jed Horca Photography

Beautiful ceremony view at Wind and Sea in Big Sur, CA

Unique wedding venues in Big Sur

Big Sur is home to some of the most unique wedding venues in the world. Whether you're looking for a beachfront ceremony or a mountaintop retreat, you'll find it here. One popular venue is the Post Ranch Inn, perched on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With its stunning architecture and panoramic views, it's the perfect place to say "I do." Another option is the Ventana Big Sur, a luxury resort nestled among the redwoods. Its serene setting and luxurious amenities make it an ideal choice for a romantic wedding.

For those looking for a more rustic and intimate setting, the Glen Oaks Big Sur offers charming cabins and cottages surrounded by towering redwood trees. Imagine exchanging vows in a cozy outdoor ceremony surrounded by nature. Or, if you prefer a beach wedding, Pfeiffer Beach is a hidden gem with its purple sand and stunning rock formations. No matter what your vision is for your dream wedding, Big Sur has a venue that will exceed your expectations.

Planning your wedding in Big Sur: Tips and considerations

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but with a few tips and considerations, your Big Sur wedding will be a breeze. First and foremost, consider the time of year. Big Sur experiences mild weather year-round, but it's important to check for any potential road closures or weather conditions that could impact your wedding day. It's also a good idea to book your venue and vendors well in advance, as Big Sur is a popular destination for weddings. Start your planning process early to ensure you secure your dream location and services.

Another consideration is transportation for you and your guests. Big Sur is a remote location, and while it adds to its charm, it can also make logistics a bit tricky. Work with local transportation services to arrange shuttles or car services for your guests, especially if you choose a venue that is off the beaten path. Lastly, make sure to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and permits required for weddings in Big Sur. There may be restrictions on the number of guests or noise levels, so be sure to plan accordingly to avoid any surprises on your big day.

Average Wedding Cost for a Big Sur Wedding

It's no secret that weddings can be expensive, and Big Sur is no exception. The average cost of a wedding in Big Sur can vary depending on factors such as the venue, number of guests, and services included. On average, couples can expect to spend anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 for a wedding in Big Sur. Of course, all of this is dependent upon how many guests you will be hosting, the venue option, accommodations, and the scale of the vendors you are working with of course. It's important to research nearby venues, catering, photography, transportation, and other wedding essentials. I know this may seem steep, but keep in mind that Big Sur offers a unique and unforgettable wedding experience that is worth every penny!

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Big Sur?

For those who want to do something on the smaller scale and really have an intimate elopement experience, investment can look a lot different. Here are some of things to be aware of as you plan for your Elopement in Big Sur, CA.

  1. Permit Fees: To legally marry in Big Sur, you'll need a marriage license, which typically costs around $105. Additionally, some locations may require special event permits, ranging from $150 to $500.
  2. Photography Services: As a wedding and elopement photographer, my packages usually range from $1,500 to $4,000 or more, depending on coverage, location, and additional services like engagement shoots.
  3. Officiant and Witnesses: If you hire an officiant, they may charge between $200 to $600. If you need witnesses, some photographers or officiants can provide this service.
  4. Travel and Accommodation: Factor in transportation to and from Big Sur, as well as lodging expenses. Accommodations vary, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts.
  5. Ceremony Location: Big Sur offers a range of stunning sites, some with reservation fees. State park permit fees can cost around $200-$300 for a ceremony depending on location and the size of your guest list.
  6. Attire, Flowers, and Rings: Costs for wedding attire, flowers, and rings will depend on your choices and personal style.
  7. Dining and Celebratory Expenses: If you plan to dine out or celebrate, budget for meals and any entertainment you desire.

Remember that these are approximate costs, and elopements can be as affordable or as lavish as you desire. Prioritize what's most important to you, whether it's the location, photography, or a romantic dinner, and tailor your budget accordingly. I always love connecting with couples about their vision and experience. If you ever want to chat about planning some time, fill out my contact form and I would love to chat with you.

Capturing your Big Sur wedding: Choosing the right photographer

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and capturing those precious moments is essential. When it comes to choosing a photographer for your Big Sur wedding, you'll want someone who can capture the beauty and magic of the location. Look for photographers who have experience shooting in outdoor settings and have a portfolio that showcases their ability to capture natural and candid moments. Meet with potential photographers and discuss your vision for your wedding photos. It's important to find someone who understands your style and can bring your vision to life. Don't be afraid to ask for references or to view full wedding albums to get a sense of their work.

The perfect wedding menu: Local flavors and farm-to-table options

One of the highlights of getting married in Big Sur is the opportunity to indulge in the local flavors and farm-to-table cuisine. Work with your caterer to create a menu that showcases the best of Big Sur's culinary offerings. From fresh seafood caught off the coast to locally sourced vegetables and artisanal cheeses, there is no shortage of delicious options. Consider incorporating a tasting menu that allows your guests to experience a variety of flavors and dishes. And don't forget about dessert! Big Sur is known for its mouthwatering pies and pastries, so make sure to include some sweet treats that will leave your guests wanting more.

Local vendors and services for your Big Sur wedding

Planning a destination wedding can be challenging, but Big Sur is home to a wealth of talented vendors and services that can help bring your vision to life. From florists who specialize in creating stunning bouquets using local wildflowers to event planners who know the ins and outs of hosting a wedding in Big Sur, you'll find everything you need to make your dream wedding a reality. Take the time to research and meet with potential vendors to ensure they align with your style and vision. Big Sur's tight-knit community of vendors is dedicated to making your wedding day unforgettable.

Activities and attractions for your wedding weekend in Big Sur

Your wedding weekend in Big Sur is not just about the big day itself - it's an opportunity for you and your guests to immerse yourselves in the beauty and tranquility of the region. Take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings by planning activities such as hikes through the redwood forests, beach picnics, or even a whale-watching excursion. For the adventurous souls, consider a zip-lining adventure or a morning yoga session overlooking the ocean. And for those who prefer a more relaxed experience, indulge in a spa day or take a leisurely stroll along the coastline. Big Sur offers endless possibilities for creating unforgettable memories beyond your wedding day.

Accommodation options for your wedding guests in Big Sur

When it comes to accommodations for your wedding guests, Big Sur offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury resorts to cozy cabins, there is something for everyone. Consider booking a block of rooms at a resort or hotel to ensure your guests have a convenient place to stay. If you prefer a more intimate and rustic experience, there are plenty of charming bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals available. Be sure to provide your guests with a list of accommodation options and any special rates or discounts that may be available. Your guests will appreciate having a comfortable place to rest and relax after celebrating your special day.

In conclusion, Big Sur is a destination like no other, offering the perfect combination of natural beauty, unique venues, and a sense of adventure. Whether you envision an intimate ceremony surrounded by towering redwoods or a grand celebration overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Big Sur has it all. From planning your wedding to capturing those precious moments, the possibilities are endless. So say "I do" to a Big Sur wedding and create memories that will last a lifetime.