Today’s bride and groom brought a small handful of guests and flew halfway around the world to exchange vows amidst the magical scenery of Big Sur, California (and we’d say it’s totally worth it). Luckily they had the talents of Evynn LeValley Photography and Elegant Events at hand — two wedding professionals perfectly in tune with Big Sur and all it has to offer.
From the bride, Carrie: Bob first hatched the plan of getting married in Big Sur, California back in 2011 when we were on holiday there but he didn’t actually tell me about this until we got engaged in 2013. We live in Scotland so Big Sur is a very long way from home! I agreed instantly though as we had totally fallen in love with Big Sur when we were there and it seemed like such a romantic place to get married. We wanted a very small and intimate ceremony and celebration with just our immediate family, bridesmaid and best man. There was just 16 of us in total and we will be forever grateful to our loved ones for taking the time and effort to fly halfway round the world to be there with us on the day. We arrived in Big Sur a few days before the wedding so everyone really bonded and there was a lovely close, familial atmosphere on the day.
Our wedding planner Diane Allen from Big Sur Weddings was an absolute godsend! Despite being on opposite sides of the world and not able to meet until the wedding, I felt like she totally understood us, our relationship and what we were after. We could not have done it without her. From the moment that Diane first suggested Anderson Canyon as a potential venue, we knew the wedding had to be there. The beauty of the rugged natural landscape and the cool mid-century architecture of the house was a winning combination. I got goosebumps driving up to the estate on the morning of the wedding and when we got there, it was even more beautiful than the pictures had relayed. It was such a privilege to be able to get married there. We held the wedding dinner at Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant as we loved its rustic vibe and the relaxed family-style meal service was exactly what we wanted.
I am a fashion stylist and writer so I took charge of the aesthetics. I let the location lead the way and set out to create something rustic, bohemian and ethereal that would hopefully complement the venue. My main concern was that I didn’t want to over-complicate and over-style things so I tried to keep everything quite pared-back and simple. There wasn’t really a colour scheme as such but I was drawn to the natural colours and textures in Big Sur so there was lots of greenery, wood, white and neutral flowers. For the floral arrangements, I wanted them to be a little unstructured and wild – sort of untamed. Our florist Christine Cater interpreted this so well. It was important to us that we added personal elements to the ceremony so we worked with our officiant Colette Cuccia to draft the ceremony, wrote our own vows and had The Monterey String Quartet play songs and pieces of music that meant something to us. They learnt one of our favourite songs, Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie, so I could walk down the aisle to it and it was such a special moment.
For the table setting at the reception at Big Sur Bakery, we wanted it to look rustic and elegant so we opted for small assorted arrangements of flowers in various gold vases alongside gold candlesticks. I commissioned the Scottish lace company MYB Textiles, who have been making lace since 1900, to make a lace runner for the table as I thought it would be sweet to have something from home there. The focus was on the mix of textures between the beautiful wood of the redwood table, the delicate lace, the flowers and the metal of the vases and candlesticks. My mum is very creative so she wrote out our menu cards and place cards and wrapped our favours, which were American novels. She also created invitation boxes that we gave out to everyone attending before they flew out that included a copy of Kerouac’s Big Sur novel, a bottle of Anchor Steam and some American sweets. We hoped it would help get our guests excited about their trip. There were so many amazing moments on the day and we are so lucky that our photographer Evynn LeValley captured them so beautifully. From the emotional ceremony scenes, the creative detail shots and the portraits of us set against the stunning coastline, Evynn’s photos are ones that we will always treasure.
Wedding Location: Big Sur, CA / Photographer: Evynn LeValley Photography / Event Planner: Elegant Events / Floral Design: Christine Cater Wedding & Event Floral Design / Venue: Anderson Canyon / Wedding Dress: Rue de Seine / Wedding Shoes: J. Crew / Groom’s Suit: Topman and Cos / Caterer: Big Sur Bakery / Officiant: Colette Cuccia