As smaller weddings and elopements take place, we might disregard picking any particular venue for the special day- but I’m here to tell you that the venues are still an important element of your wedding, big or small- so here are my top five elopement venues! I hope you find this guide useful as you plan your elopement or intimate wedding. It’s certainly not easy work putting all these pieces together. Rest assured that you don’t have to do it alone! Without further ado, here are a local Carmel wedding photographer’s top five elopement venues!
An Elopement At Carmel Beach
Carmel Beach is easily one of the most iconic venues for your elopement. Its located right here in Carmel By The Sea, one of the top beach towns in the world. With its pristine white sands and views of Point Lobos, it’s no wonder why Carmel Beach is such a beloved spot! Morning and evening, it’s perfect for visiting and local couples alike to take in the gorgeous scenery. For a local Carmel By The Sea elopement photographer like me, I know Carmel Beach like the back of my hand!
There are plenty of picturesque paths to choose from here like the Scenic Bluff Path. It’s parallel to Scenic Road just above Carmel Beach. It takes you through cypress tree forests and landscaped gardens to Carmel Point. Then, along the coastline from Carmel Beach to Carmel River Beach with views from famed Pebble Beach to Point Lobos. Finally, there are eight stairways accessing the sandy shore below. Carmel Beach offers every couple a wide array of options for their elopement. You can even bring your dog(s) for your special day with you! Isn’t that great?
An Elopement At Spanish Bay
If you find yourself already staying or planning a stay at The Inn At Spanish Bay, you’ll know about its world-famous golf course and its out-of-this-world scenery. With that being said, Spanish Bay is easily one of my favorite venues as a Pebble Beach elopement photographer! All the pathways leading in and out are lined by the beautiful Del Monte Forest. The nine-hole Del Monte Golf Course is a gorgeous gem too! Although I’m not much of a golfer, this Pebble Beach elopement photographer LOVES everything it has to offer my couples for their special day from portraits to ceremonies.
From Spanish Bay, there’s also access to Asilomar State Beach. Asilomar is a one-mile strip of sandy beach and rocky coves that’s perfect for intimate weddings. The rocky coastlines here are great for my adventurous couples who want that texture in the background of their portraits. The golf courses make for just as stunning portrait spots too! Either way, one of my favorite things about Spanish Bay for my couples as a Pebble Beach elopement photographer is its stunning sunsets when the sky is clear. You can count on me as your Pebble Beach elopement photographer to get you the best of both worlds at this venue!
An Elopement At Carmel Highlands
Right in between Carmel and Big Sur, Carmel Highlands gets you everything these two beach cities got packing and more! For a local Carmel elopement photographer like myself, there’s nothing short of wonders to behold and serve as backdrops for your time here. Perks of having a local Carmel elopement photographer on your team: you’ll get the inside scoop on all the hidden gems the area has waiting for you! Already a couple here in the area? Then it’s our day out on the town! For example, there’s this beautiful deck overlooking the waters with a gorgeous archway that’s the perfect spot for elopement ceremony photos! I love taking my couples into downtown Carmel and or Garrapata Beach for elopement portraits too. Speaking of which…
An Elopement At Garrapata Beach
Garrapata State Park has two miles of beachfront with coastal hiking and a beautiful view of the Pacific that I love capturing my couples in front of for their special day. While you will need a permit here, most officiants will already have this handy. The park itself is also full of coastal vegetation with trails running from ocean beaches into dense redwood groves- no need to settle on just one for your elopement! I love the color palette of this place: rich greens, muted blues, and grays, and deep reds. Who said small and intimate weddings can’t have a big venue?
The park also features Soberanes Point’s coastal headlands, which is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and even California gray whales (I like to think of them as special guests 😉 There’s a vast array of options from the forest and to the beaches and all the coves and cliffs. I highly recommend scouting out beforehand for location backdrops, and who better to have with you than your local Carmel elopement photographer? The dynamic layering of coastlines and cliffsides make for gorgeous, even editorial-like wedding photos!
An Elopement At The Monterey Peninsula Country Club Beach House
The MPCC is a favorite venue of mine as an MPCC wedding photographer because it’s SO intimate and sweet. It’s located right on the water and there are rocky cliffs that add textures to photos, too. And you get access to Pebble Beach’s 17 Mile Drive views for your elopement! I love this venue as an MPCC wedding photographer because you get a great land and sea combo here! It’s no secret the Monterey Peninsula comes with lots of stellar golf courses for my avid golf couples. In the middle of all of it is MPCC and its two 18-hole courses, the Dunes, and Shore Courses. Both have absolutely gorgeous layouts that, for an MPCC wedding photographer like me, make lovely backdrops for portraits and first looks!
Did any of my top five elopement venues catch your eye? I’d love to meet you and pin down a place for your wedding day! Having a local elopement photographer on your side while you plan your special day is a huge advantage. One that I can’t implore you enough to take advantage of. Contact me here, and let’s make it happen!