Modern Bohemian Wedding in Big Sur

In our line of work, we sometimes come across weddings that simply take our breath away, and it’s difficult to put our finger on why or when it happens. We DO know that it happened the second we laid our eyes on this wedding from Erich McVey, and his dreamy film images were definitely part of the reason. Boho brides and grooms, prepare to be inspired!

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

From the bride, Danyale: Big Sur is such a beautiful and majestic place. We wanted our wedding to complement the surroundings and overwhelming beauty of the landscape. We sought something mystical and magical. The aesthetic needed to be of-the-moment and timeless all at once. We wanted the feel to represent our distinct individual personalities and embody us as a couple. I am a clinical psychologist and Matt works in film, thus we wanted to draw together an emotionally evocative and theatrical experience. We envisioned a composed celebration that would capture our unique style with bespoke touches. Moody, elegant, and dramatic like me. Earthy, romantic, and dreamy like Matt. Knowing my love of fashion, many of my friends asked me what they should wear. I sent the following message to all of our guests: “As for attire, our theme is medieval elegance meets 1970s bohemian. Think lace, velvet, dark jewel tones, kaftans, cloaks, capes, brocade, jacquard, gold, glamorous, flowy, eccentric, mystical, and magical… Imagine if David Bowie and Stevie Nicks had a love child.”

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

retro wedding makeup - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

groom looks - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

Bouquet recipe: Anemones, Ranunculus, Black Calla Lily, Fiddlehead Ferns, Rosemary, Thyme, Moss, and Lichen. Our florist Lolo described her inspiration for us: “Eerily romantic, organic in movement, design is captured with an elegant palette communicating textures created with a feeling evoking the spirit of an overrun garden in the middle of the night. Local floral is combined to create tumbling, gorgeously haphazard collections, with soft edges in a strong color way with an organic grace of ease in harmony with the landscape.”

ceremony processional - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

wedding ceremony - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

waterside wedding ceremony - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

ceremony recessional - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

retro bohemian bride and groom - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

unique groom look - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

wedding portraits - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

river wedding portraits - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

We took style references from the gothic and renaissance eras as well as the 1970s. We aimed to merge the lavish and ornate style of medieval times with the unconventional and bohemian feel of the 1970’s. We knew we wanted a small, yet baroque wedding celebrated with a select few – our immediate family and closest friends. Matt’s brother was his best man and his sister was his groomsmaid. My best friend Leslie was my matron-of-honor and my brother was my bridesman. My niece Palmer and Leslie’s daughters Clementine and Lola were our flower fairies. Our pups Humphrey and Franklin were our ring bearers. Matt’s best friend Josh was our officiant. My mother, father, and brother helped so much with the wedding, and it was lovely to walk down the long, landscaped aisle with my father. Looking out and seeing our family and closest friends watch us as we stood before them with the ocean behind us, sea lions barking, and whales spouting could not have been more magical.

vintage inspired wedding jewerly - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

patio wedding reception - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

wedding reception - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

reception tables - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

greenery wedding decor - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Be true to your style as a couple. Be avant-garde while simultaneously drawing inspiration from the classics. Do what you want to do and execute your vision without letting outside voices guide you astray. When I initially described our wedding aesthetic to people, many did not get it. Some questioned the visual concept fearing it would be too “costumey” or stylized. It was anything but. I’m glad I went with my original vision. It was a dream! I also think that one of the most important investments for one’s wedding is the photographer. We wanted a photographer who shot on film and someone with a fine art approach to their work. Erich is one of the best in the world. And we now have a beautiful collection of timeless photos to cherish and remember our enchanted day. The caterer is also crucial. Chef Jamie curated a locally foraged, organic vegetarian feast. Our guests (many meat eaters) raved about the local vegetarian fare. And our magnificent cake could not be outdone – a dark chocolate devils food with brown sugar buttercream and crushed salty toffee. Jamie also prepared delicious his and hers cocktails. For me, she paired a brut prosecco with lavender syrup and fresh lavender sprig. For Matt, she made a bourbon cocktail with barrel aged bitters, black sage, and grilled blood orange. We ate, drank, listened to great music, and ended the evening with a bonfire and s’mores. Everything came together seamlessly to showcase our splendid day and passionate love for one another.

woodsy wedding cake - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

modern bohemian wedding in Big Sur - photo by Erich McVey https://ruffledblog.com/modern-bohemian-wedding-in-big-sur

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Prelude: “Sigur 5 (untitled),” Sigur Rós
Processional: “Your Hand in Mine,” Explosions in the Sky
Bride’s Processional: “Wait,” M83
Recessional: “Hand-Made,” alt-J
First Dance: “First Day of My Life,” Bright Eyes

3 Comments
  1. Eric knocked this wedding out of the park!

    I just want to curl up, drink coffee and look through all the images.

    Also, Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

  2. There are so many little things that made this wedding wonderful. One of the Big things was the photography, well done Erich Mcvey! The little things such as simple but elegant details, homey touches such as the rugs for sitting, and the gorgeous slender of the natural landscape made me fall in love all over again. Many blessings to the happy couple!