Today’s wedding in Big Sur is one of the most down-to-earth, eco-friendly weddings we’ve had the pleasure of sharing. Katie and Stephen wanted to make sure their happy day left as small an ecological footprint as possible, relying on the talents of local businesses and friends to bring their wedding day dreams to reality. Evynn LeValley Photography captured the day to perfection, I’d say!
From the bride, Katie: A laid back, intimate wedding is what we wanted. What better place than the magical forests of Big Sur? Happy people, delicious local food, majestic trees and good vibes sums it up. Honeymooning at the Esalen Institute topped it off, as we meditated our way into happily ever after. As my family resides in St. Louis and Stephen’s in Calgary, Alberta & London, Ontario, Canada, this was the first time many of them had met each other. Big Sur was a perfectly soothing and serene environment. The day before the wedding the girls had Spa Day at the Ventana Inn. While the men went on an educational herb walk at Molera State Park guided by Anna Sardina. Both were a huge hit!
The night before the wedding, our wedding party surprised us with walking sticks that had been sustainably harvested during the herb hike. Then, they presented a satchel full of gems and crystals. All night we drank, danced and made spirit sticks! These hung from a tree during the ceremony. We made all the gifts ourselves – magical anointing oils consisting of a blend of organic evening primrose and jojoba oil infused with a few essential oils to mark the occasion such as lavender and vanilla for the women and spruce and juniper berry for the men. We then included a crystal for each guest, charged with our love, and wrapped in vintage fabric scraps. We placed the anointing oil and the crystal in a small wooden box lined with moss and wrapped it with twine. My friend Spencer set up a homemade photo booth. He constructed a frame out of drift wood and snapped polaroids of all guests at the reception. Instead of a guestbook, we had guests sign the bottom of a bench. This bench was handmade by one of our favorite local LA craftsmen, Alfreds Stinkuls of Baltic Crossroads.
At dinner we passed around a horn of herbal wedding mead which we brewed ourselves in advance. The rings were forged in an ancient volcano and inscribed with magical runes by Liza Shtromberg. Stephen’s bow-tie features the Boyd family tartan, his grandmother’s maiden name. It was important for us to be conscious of the environmental costs involved. Celebrating your love for each other shouldn’t mean destroying a small part of the earth and so we took it as an opportunity to support local, environmentally-friendly businesses.
Wedding Location: Big Sur, CA / Photographer: Evynn LeValley Photography / Floral Design: big sur flowers / Reception Venue and Wedding Cake: Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant / Wedding Dress: Shareen Mitchell / Wedding Shoes: Beatrice Valenzuela / Hair and Makeup: DIY and Family / Engagement Ring: Vintage 1960s / Wedding Bands: Liza Shtromberg / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Music: Harmony Grits / Harpist: Diana Stork / Shuttle Driver: Barefoot Adam / Officiant: Soaring Starkey