Big Sur Elopement - Josh & Jeanne

We recently finished up Josh and Jeanne’s wedding gallery and are so excited to share some of the photos from their wedding in Big Sur. Tucked along the central coastline with immediate family and a few close friends, this wedding was one that had all the feels you are looking for in an elopement, here is a look at their wedding photos in Big Sur and a little background story of how they met. Enjoy!

-Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?


-Josh & I have been together for a really long time, and when he proposed, we had no idea what we wanted to do for our wedding! We went back and forth for quite some time about the kind of wedding we wanted. We debated between a traditional big wedding, a destination wedding in the Philippines, or just sealing the deal in a courthouse, but none of those options really seemed like "us". After going over the pros and cons of all of those options, we finally decided we wanted to elope, but we just weren't sure where to do it. We're really big on the outdoors...camping, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, you name it, so we definitely knew we wanted to incorporate that into our big day. After looking at countless Pinterest & Instagram elopements, we finally decided we wanted to have our ceremony in Big Sur, California, because we would have the best of both worlds: the redwoods & the ocean. Our "elopement" quickly turned into an intimate ceremony, because we didn't feel right not having our immediate family members with us. And that was that! We started planning our ceremony in January and got married on March 20, 2019 at Glen Oaks Big Sur. We searched for local wedding photographers in San Diego and had Andy & Brittney capture our wedding photos in Big Sur. Everything fell together so seamlessly, and at the end of the day, it was exactly what Josh & I wanted. Our wedding was intimate, simple & outdoors, just exactly how we dreamed of it being. 

-Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

-To be completely honest, we had no decorations at all! Mother Nature was our only decoration. It was raining the morning of our wedding day, and it actually worked out in our favor because our ceremony location moved us to a super dreamy & even more intimate location. We were originally going to have the ceremony in a redwood grove with the Big Sur River as our background, but due to the rain, that particular grove was washed out & muddy. We were then offered to move to the other redwood grove at Glen Oaks Big Sur, which ended up being in a circle of about 6-8 redwood trees that we could only get to by crossing a suspension bridge over the Big Sur River. It was absolutely to die for! There was no need for decorations because the location ended up being so perfect...everything we wanted and more! There are so many beautiful wedding venues in Big Sur but we found Glen Oaks to be the best venue.

-What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

-The only florals that we used in our wedding were for my bouquet and the boutonnieres for Josh & both of our dads. One of my best friends' mom actually did all of the florals for us! The bouquet and boutonnieres turned out even better than my wildest expectations, and we travelled with it all the way from Temecula, CA to get to Big Sur! My bouquet consisted of proteas, white roses, succulents & eucalyptus, and Josh's boutonniere had a rose, succulent & eucalyptus leaves. Our dads' boutonnieres had a single white rose with some eucalyptus leaves to pair with it. Aside from that, the only other thing I had was a succulent crown that I purchased off of Etsy from WelcomingGrace, which was made out of faux succulents but honestly looked like the real thing. I wanted to go for a dainty and simple look while still incorporating my favorite kind of florals!


-Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

-As I mentioned, our day was really simple and intimate, but I still wanted everyone to feel special! Josh & I wrote letters to each other to read before the ceremony, which really helped ease both of our nerves. I also wanted to do something special for our moms, Josh's sister, and my best friend Ariana, so I put together a little something for each of them. Some of our favorite parts of the wedding were our First Look, saying our vows, and exploring from the woods to the beach with our amazing photographers! There are so many amazing spots for photos in Big Sur and glad we had them be a part of our wedding!

-Let's talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

-I knew from the get go that I wanted to get my wedding dress from BHLDN, and the dress that I ended up choosing was the third one that I tried on during the session. It was definitely not the one that I was looking to get when I looked at the dresses online, but it really is true that the dress picks you! Since our wedding was going to be intimate and in the woods, I wanted to find something dainty and simple to match that vibe. The dress that I chose was the Andora gown which was really simple, but elegant at the same time. It was an ivory dress with a lacy v-neck bodice, and lace in the train, which I absolutely fell in love with. I also bought an ivory faux fur capelet to wear over my dress after the ceremony, since the weather was predicted to still be chilly in Big Sur. My husband, Josh, wanted to go for a non-traditional look, but still have it be simple and elegant. He actually got his inspo from one of his favorite surfers and wanted to re-create the look for our wedding. He wore a white shirt and black pants, with black boots from Johnston & Murphy. He also chose to wear an ivory coat and a white bowtie to complete his outfit. I have to say, I'm glad he bought the outfit instead of renting it...I definitely wouldn't mind seeing him look that dreamy again!

-How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

-Josh and I have known each other for a really long time...it actually feels like forever! We first met in the lunch line in 7th grade...Josh was asking people for some spare change so he could buy some cookies and I thought he was so cute! We actually ended up dating that year...for a grand total of two weeks and our relationship basically only consisted of holding hands one time and solely just talking on MySpace! It cracks me up to look back on that now. We ended up rekindling the flame in the 9th grade, where we dated up until the second half of senior year, then we went our separate ways for a little bit. I ended up going to a community college in Santa Barbara after high school, and Josh ended up going to one about an hour north of Santa Barbara. Inevitably, toward the end of our freshman year in college, we rekindled the flame again and here we are now! In total, we'll be celebrating 11 years this November for our dating anniversary (if you count all of the time we've been together, which we obviously do). Josh proposed on October 23, 2017 in Yosemite, and it caught me completely off guard!!! I was still in nursing school, and we had talked about getting engaged once I was done, but he really couldn't wait to pop the question. I always said I would definitely know when he was going to propose, but I was so wrong. We were taking some self-timer pictures in front of El Capitan, and after about the fifth picture, I looked over and Josh was on one knee. I couldn't even wrap my mind around what was going on...I was so surprised and overjoyed! I think I literally cried for a week straight because I was so happy! No better place to get ended than in Yosemite!

-What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

-Definitely saying our vows and putting our rings on each other! That was the absolutely best feeling in the world. Oh, and of course, when the officiant said "I now present to you Mr. & Mrs. Josh Luehmann!" Getting married to your best friend is freakin awesome.

-Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?

-Make sure your wedding is about the two of you!!! I feel like so many times, weddings are about everybody else and what they're going to think. The key to an unforgettable wedding is one that is centered around you & your partner's beliefs and favorite things in this world, with the people who mean the most to you. Don't stress over spending a bunch of money over little things that won't even matter ten years down the road, or over inviting your second cousins twice removed because your mom is saying you have to. Make this one day absolutely about you & your partner and your love for each other, and don't feel bad about it!

Our take: Wow! What an amazing wedding to be a part of! I think Josh and Jeanne hit it right on the head, you’re wedding should be about you, and what you want to do. You could tell this was definitely their environment, and as photographers, it made our lives so much easier capturing the moments which were so seamless for them. We absolutely love being able to photograph such a raw love between one another, and being able to do that in Gods creation as beautiful as Big Sur just makes it that much more incredible. If you are thinking of eloping or having a wedding in Big Sur or anywhere else surrounded by nature we would love to chat details and see how we may be able to help capture your wedding. We have began to shoot more destination weddings over the past couple years and it is such a privilege being able to travel to some extremely unique places to tell a story through our camera. If you are searching for a destination wedding photographer, please feel free to reach out. Can’t wait to talk soon, and hope you enjoyed the recent blog from our recent wedding!

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