A Beautiful Day in Big Sur


February 1, 2016
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Carlie Statsky

When Brian and Elizabeth left California for internships after graduating from veterinary school, they did so with heavy hearts. “Brian and I met in California and had been able to escape for a couple of camping trips on the coast,” says the bride. “Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in all my life. There is something so special and wild about that part of the coast.”

When it came time to plan their wedding, Brian and Elizabeth couldn’t see themselves starting their lives together anywhere else. This couple knew exactly what they wanted and made a unique decision to hold a small, intimate ceremony one day and a larger reception the next day. These two exchanged vows surrounded by 25 of their closest friends and family.

“[The ceremony] was exactly what we wanted,” recalls Elizabeth. “Small and intimate, short and sweet – standing on the cliffs above the waves of the Pacific crashing against the rocks.” The next day, the couple held a tented reception for roughly 100 guests on the same private estate in Big Sur. No doubt taking inspiration from their gorgeous surroundings, the décor was a natural fit with a color palette of soft browns and greens with rustic accents. By opting for a destination wedding, the couple not only stuck to their “California nature,” but shared what they feel is a truly magical place with the people who mean the most to them.

These two kindred spirits have some final words of advice for other couples planning their dream wedding away: “It’s your day and you only get to live it once, so make it everything you want it to be. If you are able to work a wedding planner into your budget, by all means do it! You won’t regret it. Don’t stress about the things that don’t go as planned – just let it go and enjoy your day.”

VENDORS: Photographer: Carlie Statsky Photography, Wedding Planner: Coastside Couture, Ceremony/Reception Site: Private Estate in Big Sur, California, Gown Designer: Rosa Clará, Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Hugo Boss & Proper Cloth, Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Nordstrom & Jim’s Formal Wear, Hair & Makeup: Ceremony: Shawn Cavlan Beauty Co. & Reception: Sarah Nicole Makeup and Melissa Marie Hair, Florals: Seascape Flowers, Cake: Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes, Catering: A Taste of Elegance Catering and Events, Music: Steve Ezzo Entertainment, Event Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Tent Rental: Chic Event Rentals, Stationery: Crescent Moon Paper Company, Guest Transportation: Main Event Transportation, Espresso Station: Travelin’ Joe Espresso.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do’s Fall/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.