Where to Elope in Big Sur

There are so many beautiful places in Big Sur to elope. So here is a guide on how to narrow down the right spot for you as a couple. Rivers, forests, beaches, cliffs, mountaintops…I can think of 100 spots off the top of my head that have magical energy or secluded or romantic or easy to access from your resort/campsite/lodge, you name it! Scroll down for ideas and shoot me a message if you need a photog!

If you want to elope in the redwoods forest….

My recommendation for eloping surrounded by redwoods in Big Sur is to stay at an exclusive property that allows you to elope if you stay as a guest. Obviously check with concierge or events at each lodge because things change but from my experience with elopements in Big Sur, a lot of the below places are often cool with no guests just you two and officiant, photog.

Ventana Big Sur– Last year I had more clients staying at Ventana Big Sur than anywhere else. I think it’s because it’s super chic, and very IG-worthy! There are beautiful redwoods. The property is massive, like hundreds of acres, and very few guests make it feel exclusive and quiet. So posh.

Glen Oaks Big Sur – I love shooting elopements at Glen Oaks Big Sur. The motel is on the side of busy highway 1 but the cabins are tucked back off the road (you need a gate code to get in) and there are only a few of them, making them super special and exclusive. It’s quiet, magical, secluded and romantic feeling. There are glens of clovers, redwoods, and a river. The cabins themselves feel very Norcal/Big Sur in a smoky, campfire, just-the-two-of-you type way! The best!

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park- A small permit fee is required to elope here, but it’s definitely the most affordable. You could camp and get married here! Or stay in Monterey, somewhere like here, and drive down if camping isn’t your thing. Definitely the most budget friendly option!

If you want to elope on a beach…

Pfeiffer Beach. I know, I know…it’s like the most popular beach in the area. But for a reason. The rock formations make it absolutely breathtaking, and allow me to play with light in beautiful ways as the sun is setting for a true “golden hour” most nights. If it’s cold and grey, that looks gorg too! Yes, we may have to dodge some tourists in the background….but it’s a big beach. There are dunes and forest backing it…I know some great secluded little spots.

Garrapata Beach– I have shots dozens of elopements here because there are cliffs AND beach, making for a variety of photos. It’s also close to Carmel by the Sea so a lot of intimate weddings happen around here because it’s easier for guests.

Beaches off the beaten track – Yes, I know less-known beaches in Big Sur and Carmel by the Sea. Message me below and we’ll find one where you’ll likely be some of the only people on the beach!

Do you want to elope on a cliff with the mountains or ocean in background?

I know so many cliff spots right off Highway 1. I know which ones have less tourists or are more likely to be super windy.

(The above couple’s wedding was coordinated by fabulous local Mariah Green Events, and florals for both weddings were by Big Sur Flowers. Highly recommend both vendors.)

Just shoot me a message below and we can find the perfect spot for your elopement!

xo, Kristen

Better With You Photography






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