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Private Carmel Estate Elopement | Valerie & Ken

bride and groom with their backs to the camera as they smile at each other on the shoreline

I knew from the moment I met Valerie and Ken that their private Carmel estate elopement was going to be such a sweet and intimate occasion! They are such funny and approachable people. The two of them rented this beautiful private estate down by the beach for their special day. We got beautiful portraits right on the water that were giving all the Carmel-by-the-Sea vibes! They also held their ceremony and dinner inside the home, which made it SO really cozy and personal. Read on for this private Carmel estate elopement!

black and white photo of the bride and groom with their guests celebrating their private Carmel estate elopement
bride and groom walking hand in hand along the beach

How Did You Two Meet?

“We met at work when Valerie joined the company in 1998. I first sought her out to fix the company phone list so I could import it into my Palm Pilot (this was pre-iPhone). She wondered, ‘Doesn’t this engineer have anything better to do?’ My answer then, and now, is ‘No’. It’s such a silly beginning but we love telling it and it always gets laughs. We’ve been friends since said Palm Pilot incident, and always stayed in touch, got together, and conversation was easy no matter how long it had been. When we were together, others noticed how well we jelled.”

two chairs and a flower garland overlooking the beach at Carmel
private Carmel estate elopement wedding rings by film photographer AGS Photo Art
Fionna Florals' bouquet at private Carmel estate elopement

“We first started dating in 2014, and the first date is another fun story that we love retelling. I called her to catch up. She already had dinner plans with a friend, but invited me to join, and I did. She was recently single, so I turned on my date mode, which apparently is so stealthy that she didn’t know I was in date mode. In fact, after dinner she told her friend that the friend and I may be a good match. The friend replied, ‘he was here for you!’. For the first couple of years we celebrated our ‘first date’ anniversary twice, because I started dating her one week prior to her dating me.” – Ken

the bride and groom joined at the hip and smiling at each other

What Do You Love Most About Your Partner?

“I’ve never been a fan of surprises but Ken has the ability to surprise me in ways that never cease to amaze me (see his proposal below!). I love his blue eyes, his silly sense of humor, and his kisses. He is the Yin to my Yang. Most of all, I love the way he always supports me and loves me. I am really the luckiest girl in the world.” – Valerie

bride and groom sharing a kiss at their private Carmel estate elopement

“What I love the most about Valerie is her amazing smile, and her ability to slog up a mountain trail in the heat of the day when I screwed up. She is incredibly thoughtful, generous, kind, and all that stuff, and we fit well together. I have a little more than normal ‘chick’ in me, and she has a little more than normal ‘dude’ in her. It’s perfect. We also like to hike and backpack in the mountains together (I say that because she wouldn’t let me write down ‘watch YouTube all day’).” – Ken

private Carmel estate elopement portrait of the bride and groom sharing a kiss, the bride holding her bouquet by Fionna Floral

The Proposal: Before The Private Carmel Estate Elopement

“Christmas day, 2020. Before dinner, I asked her to get into a nicer top with a made-up story that was what my family did. It worked! We had dinner and wine then retreated to the living room, where I worked to get the discussion away from our normal conversation to our relationship. All the while trying like hell to get the ring’s box out of my pocket! Then I proposed. She was surprised and immediately burst into tears. I paused and thought, ‘did I hear a yes?’ so I had to ask her, ‘Did you say yes?’. With a little bit of a laugh, she said she did. Whew! I was relieved.” – Ken

bride and groom walking down towards the beach at Carmel with the bride smiling over her shoulder at the camera

Private Carmel Estate Elopement Photographer

Valerie had the most gorgeous heels for her something blue, which had everyone was gushing over how perfect they were for her! She is truly a classic bride with a simple dress, elegant shoes, and a stunning bouquet by Fionna Floral. It’s no wonder Ken cried when Valerie came down the aisle. Valerie cried during the ceremony. Even the planner, Heidi Hughett of Coastside Couture was crying! Plus, thanks to her, their private Carmel estate elopement became a whole multi-day event! Perks of hiring an awesome wedding planner! I was beyond honored to be there with them for this private Carmel estate elopement and preserve it in all its dreamy film and glory.

bride's Something Blue heels for her private Carmel estate elopement by film photographer AGS Photo Art
black and white private Carmel estate elopement portrait

Listed below are the vendors that made Valerie and Ken’s private Carmel estate elopement possible. If you’re looking for a local Carmel wedding photographer, you’ve found her in me! Contact me here. Let’s capture your special day!

Flowers | Fionna Floral

Cake | Sweet Reba’s

Wedding Coordinator | Coastside Couture

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