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Planning a Wedding In Big Sur |Big Sur Photographer

Here is a local Big Sur photographer’s Tips & Tricks Planning a Wedding In Big Sur. Like any location, there are a few specific things to keep in mind, but Big Sur presents unique challenges. Don’t let that scare you though! It’s a gorgeous place to have your big day, and I’m here to help 200% of the way!

panoramic views Big Sur Lucia Lodge intimate wedding with Big Sur Photographer AGS Photo Art

The Time of Year in Big Sur

coastline views in Big Sur how to plan a wedding with AGS Photo Art

Big Sur has wonderful nature backdrops and a magical, coastline forest charm. But with that also comes foggy and rainy day weather during certain times of the year. Of course, if you’re planning on holding your wedding indoors, the weather is less of an issue to troubleshoot for. The thick and heavy clouds don’t have to be your enemy- they can make for a one of a kind, mystical and dreamy aesthetic for your photos. A lot of couples will hold off on Winter weddings and sometimes, the winter season has the best weather.

Foggy Mountains of Big Sur what time of year to plan a wedding
South Coast Big Sur Elopement planning with AGS Photo Art
Big Sur Coastline at sunset film photograph by AGS Photo Art

The Time of Day in Big Sur

The trees in Big Sur are extraordinary and SO tall that you need to plan for when the sunshine will be trickling through them during the day. This means you’ll want to pay extra attention to when the most important festivities are going to take place. The time of day makes for timeless photos. Filtered sunlight is a photographer’s dream and it really elevates the elegance in picture-taking!

Big Sur wedding locations with beautiful light coming through the trees
three tiered cake in redwood of Big Sur wedding planning
Wedding ceremony in Big Sur, redwood chairs with eucalyptus arch

Logistics in Big Sur

Planning on glamping, or staying at a hotel? Both are loads of fun but are different experiences. There’s a lot of charm and romance that comes with glamping but it can be sensitive to size in a way that staying in a hotel wouldn’t. Venues like Post Ranch and Ventana have more rooms and indoor locations, which is more ideal for bigger parties, especially when it comes to shuttling people to places. I would highly recommend keeping your entire wedding in the same place- nobody in their right mind wants to deal with traffic!

Big Sur River Inn charming bus at gas station by film photographer AGS Photo Art
Cabins in Big Sur where to have your wedding with AGS Photo Art
Lucia Lodge cabins for getting ready in Big Sur California
Fernwood Cabins in Big Sur yellow cute cabins with red doors
Big Sur River inn Wedding Venue nestled in the redwoods of Big Sur

Permits in Big Sur

Last-minute elopements of up to 3 people are quick to do on the coastline. While of course, permits are required, they may be easier to get in this number. Bigger weddings will need more planning behind the scenes with venues so getting permits can be a little trickier. I love big weddings, but at this time especially, I encourage smaller, more intimate ceremonies! A wedding can be small and still have a BIG heart! Hopping around is much easier with fewer people too!

Garrapata Beach Big Sur Wedding Photographer AGS Photo Art
how to plan an elopement sunsets in Big Sur California
soberanes point Big Sur wedding planning with AGS Photo Art
rolling mountains of big sur green hills

Hire A Local Photographer for Big Sur

I can’t spotlight the importance of this enough: you want someone who knows the area like the back of their hand. There aren’t foggy forests in LA, that is to say, it can be really challenging for photographers who AREN’T local to photograph here. The magical beast that is Big Sur is wild, untouched, detached, organic, spontaneous, and adventurous- if that’s your wedding’s calling, you couldn’t have picked a better place! Heavy scouting, relations, and backup plans are all things you’ll want your photographer to have in their arsenal when it comes to your special day here. Now, I’m a destination photographer- I’ve been all over the states from Texas to New York, plus New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Arizona, and Tennessee off the top of my head- but I’m local to Carmel in my heart and soul!

planning a wedding in Big Sur reception on the river
Planning a wedding in Big Sur River Inn with AGS Photo Art
cabin in the woods of Big Sur campground and cabins
Big Sur river flowing near hwy 1 of California

I hope these Tips & Tricks planning a wedding in Big Sur were educational! Contact me here and I’ll happily photograph your Big Sur memories!

Some places to check out!

Big Sur Campgound and Cabins

Riverside Campground and Cabins

Big Sur River Inn

Stay tuned for our full guide on Big Sur coming soon!

comments +

  1. Summer says:

    These are such gorgeous photos! These tips and tricks are really insightful!

  2. Great advice! I love your redwood photos. Where were these taken?

    • HI! Thanks for following! I have a few secret locations in Big Sur, however, there are parks that allow you to walk within them. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is an awesome one. However, if you want to stay closer to Carmel there are great little hotels that allow you in their woods if you stay with them. Such as Glen Oaks, The Henrey Miller Library, and more!

  3. Sofia says:

    It’s a beautiful place! Perfect for a ceremony!

  4. Heather says:

    I love the pictures! Seems like a great location.

  5. So many pretty shots of Big Sur! Love this and all of the great tips and locations! Gorgeous girl!!

    • Hi! Thanks for reading! I’m enjoying writing these little guides to help couples plan and decide where they want their special day to take place. You of all people know of amazing Big Sur really is! xo

  6. Brenden says:

    Great tips for a Big Sur wedding! Such a gorgeous place and you do an incredible job photographing weddings there!

  7. Dani Robnett says:

    The details and pictures about this location make me want to get married here! Loved hearing great things about this place with great pictures to back them up.

  8. Kendra Kertson says:

    The fog is definitely an issue up there. I love the advice of having a local photographer that is used to shooting in the fog and understands the traffic delays of the area. Beautiful pictures and great tips.

  9. Alexis says:

    This article was super insightful! Great information and stunning locations!

  10. Tabatha says:

    The landscape is gorgeous! Certainly a beautiful place to hold such a wonderful occasion.

  11. Conrad Becker says:

    Wow Amandarose! You have taken some beautiful shots in Big Sur! Taking photos of couples & families in those magical settings around the central coast is certainly a special way to capture memories!

  12. Augs says:

    Great tips with even more beautiful pictures. I’m planning my trip now!

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