Raw beauty is something that Big Sur has in abundance. It fully embraces that whole natural, organic feel that gives a wedding an effortless elegance. And all that effortlessness comes at the hands of talented vendors like planning by Big Sur Weddings & Elegant Events and loads of earthy florals by Christine Cater Wedding & Event Floral Design. Now add a gilded Monique Lhuillier number to the mix and holy smokes, we have ourselves a glamorous forest meets beach wedding that you have to see to believe. Have a look at all the details captured by Marcel and Meher Photography in the full gallery here.
From the Bride… My husband, Brad, and I knew immediately that we wanted to be married in Big Sur, California. As a California native, I love the raw beauty of the area and my husband, an avid surfer, fell in love with the coastline and trees. Paion is a place like no other. We both agreed it was the most appropriate setting for both the ceremony and reception. We liked that we could do everything in one location and that our loved ones, many of whom traveled across the country for the event, would not have to relocate for the reception. We rented an old RV to transport the wedding party up the coast to the site. My husband and I stayed at the incomparable Post Ranch Inn, while our wedding party shared cabins are Ripplewood Resort. Swimming in a nearby river and surf trips for the boys added to a relaxed vibe throughout the weekend. For my bridal gown, I knew I did not want to wear white. Inspired by the setting, I searched for something more organic and rustic. When my mother and I came upon the gold embroidered branch gown from Monique Lhullier’s Resort 2012 collection, we knew we had found the perfect dress. I also loved the fact that it was not part of a bridal collection, which gave it a more relaxed feel. For the reception, I let my hair down and topped the gown with a Helmut Lang lambskin jacket. We enlisted the help of Diane Allen and Christine Cater to enhance the beauty of the venue by complimenting the rustic surroundings. As an interior designer, I had a clear idea of the look and feel of the wedding. My husband and I chose a rich, autumnal color palette for our October wedding, an artisanal dinner served tapas-style on long, farmhouse tables, and a relaxed, bohemian mood to the evening. Bridesmaids wore flower crowns and the groomsmen accessorized with suspenders, straw fedoras, and personalized wood sunglasses, a gift from the groom. Wooden pews were assembled on the lower lawn for the ceremony, officiated by an artist friend, after which the wedding party ascended through oversized, antique doors to the upper level, where guests dined at tables overflowing with flowers and branches. The piece de resistance was a huge nest canopy created specifically for the affair, a surprise from my mother, under which antique chandeliers sparkled and guests danced the night away. It provided an added layer of rustic glamour and created the appearance of an enchanted forest. After dinner, my husband called me down to the firepit, where he sang me a favorite song and played guitar while our friends sang along and played instruments. Afterwards, we roasted marshmallows and ate pizza by the campfire until early the next morning. The following day, we celebrated with a long, lazy brunch at Deetjen’s and ended the weekend driving back down the coast with our friends.
Photography: Marcel and Meher Photography | Wedding Coordination: Big Sur Weddings & Elegant Events | Floral Design: Christine Cater Wedding & Event Floral Design | Plant Tenders: Carmel Plant Tenders | Vintage Rentals: Archive | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Coffee: How Ya Bean | Pizza: Ron Arguello | Dessert: Parker Lusseau | Bridal Accommodations: Post Ranch | Shuttle: American International | DJ: Family Friend | Makeup: Nancy Espanola | Hair: La Coiffure | Groom’s Outfits: AllSaints | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Groom’s Tux: John Varvatos | Wedding Dress + Veil: Monique LhuillierAmsale and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.