An Intimate Big Sur Wedding: Jen + Ryan

big sur wedding

Jen + Ryan both fell in love with Big Sur the first time they visited 5 years ago and have made it a yearly Thanksgiving tradition to go camping there. When they got engaged, they both knew that the only place they truly wanted to get married was in Big Sur. They also wanted to have a small, intimate wedding so they could really enjoy being with their family + friends that had traveled so far to celebrate with them. Jen is a photographer so after shooting and being a part of so many different weddings, she really knew what she wanted and didn’t want for the day. They both agreed that there was no need to follow any wedding “rules” or structure so each part of the day was an expression of us as a couple.

All of the special details, like their camping themed photo booth, Ryan’s Bourbon Bar, and their welcome table + sign, were a creative collaboration between them and their amazingly talented friends who were more than willing to pitch in to help. By finding a single location that was perfect for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and reception festivities they were able to curate a simple and stress free day that everyone could enjoy from the moment they walked on to the property. Around every corner they made sure to find unique ways to express their sensibilities and most importantly, surround themselves with wonderful people who would appreciate the experience from start to finish. Thanks so much to Brandon Kidd Photography for the beautiful photos!

billy ball boutonniere

bright bouquet

compass cuff links,

What song did you walk down the aisle to? Jen walked down to Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros and we exited to Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur by Sigur Ros.

big sur wedding ceremony

What a beautiful ceremony location! You don’t need much in the way of decor with a view like that.

big sur wedding ceremony

big sur wedding ceremony

big sur wedding ceremony

I absolutely love all their pretty dresses by Sarah Seven. And aren’t their bouquets gorgeous!? Jen and her friends + family did all the floral arrangements for the day with seasonal flowers from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

bright bouquet, sarah seven wedding dress

big sur outdoor reception

mason jar centerpiece, succulent favor

mason jar centerpiece, succulent favor

billy ball and succulent boutonniere

nude heels, striped grooms socks

big sur, bride and groom

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?

Jen: Right after the ceremony Ryan and I snuck away for a few minutes to let what had just happened sink in. It was such a magical, special moment for us to share together. The first couple of minutes as husband and wife, just the 2 of us. I also loved looking around during dinner at all of our guests from different parts of our lives that all mean so much to us. I felt like the luckiest person ever!

Ryan: Brandon [the photographer] told me I had to go away because they were going to do some portraits of Jen before the ceremony. At that moment I got really excited because I knew we had less than an hour before I got to see her for the first time and of course as I stood there and she walked down the aisle, looking so beautiful, there was no where else I wanted to be than standing in Big Sur knowing that forever she would be by my side.

big sur, bride and groom

big sur, bride and groom

dessert bar

bonfire reception

sparkler wedding exit

sparkler wedding exit, sparklet heart

Any advice for those planning now?

Try to plan as you go and just remember that no matter what happens, its going to be the best day of your life. Have your family and friends pitch in, we really could not have pulled it off without them! Enjoy the little moments of the day, pause and reflect on all the wonderful experiences you are having and fantastic people around you. Also, try to stick together during the reception so you are able to share the same memories of the day, wise words from Jen’s Maid of Honor and best friend, McKenzie.

We can’t thank everyone enough who showed up and helped make our Big Sur wedding dream day come true. We would also like to thank our amazing photographers Brandon + Kristin Kidd who captured our day so beautifully and are the nicest people ever to work with!

Congrats to Jen + Ryan on their gorgeous and personal wedding! We wish you cuties all the best!

photography: Brandon Kidd Photography // venue: Private Big Sur Estate // event design: Matthew McKee of Archery Goods LTD (friend of the couple + creative genius) // wedding dress: Sarah Seven dress, Ivy and Aster sash; both from Lovely Bridal Shop in NYC // shoes: Christian Louboutin // bridesmaids dresses: Sarah Seven also from Lovely Bridal + Adrianna Papell // hair + makeup: Maggie and Mai (both friends of the bride’s) // groom suit: Hugo Boss // invitations+ paper goods: designed by a friend of the couple // catering: Paradise Catering (locally grown and seasonal; we had many guests tell us that this was the best wedding meal they have ever had) // cake: all baked goods made by Jen and her Maid of Honor Mckenzie // music: ipod + vinyl records during dinner

Interested in advertising with us?

for our current rates!


  1. Simple & beautiful. It’s weddings like this that make gws my favorite blog of them all…

  2. I love how fun and friendly this wedding is. The wild flowers, the mason jars: perfection

  3. Wow! A wedding right on the rocky coast! So majestic!

  4. Jamie @ Lemonade Design Co. on:

    I LOVE the venue. Does anyone know how to find out exactly where it is or how to book it? I live just 45 min from Big Sur and it is perfect for an event I have coming up!! Thanks so much! Jamie

  5. Oh man – what a gorgeous place to be married. I love the colorful wildflowers!

  6. wow! what a beautiful night – and it looks like so much fun too.

  7. loving the venue! what an amazing backdrop!

  8. Love those bouts and all of the colors used. Esp. love the centerpiece floral choices and arrangements. A gorgeous intimate wedding with amazing photography. Love love love!!

    The French Bouquet

  9. What a stunning venue!!! A great place to have a wedding.

  10. The “I Can’t Wait to Be Your Wife” card is super fabulous. Will you share where you got that?

  11. Is the information for this venue available?

  12. I absolutely love that wedding dress! It is so beautiful. And that view, it’s killer! What a beautiful wedding :)

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE this wedding, the light is beautiful! Sadly the light is not quite the same here in england xxx

  14. I love all the pops of color! And the grooms socks were awesome. haha Beautiful!

  15. Lovely wedding. Those cufflinks are awesome.

  16. Thanks everyone for your kind words! It was such a magical day and I am happy to share it with everyone on my favorite blog!

    The card is from this Etsy shop-

  17. What a gorgeous wedding of two awesome people!!! love, love, love it!!!!

  18. Such a lovely wedding!

    I also felt in love with Big Sur since we visit it 2 years ago. One of the most beautiful places on earth!

  19. Jen – your wedding was so beautiful, and so fun! It is so sweet to see these comments complimenting my stunning cousin’s style!

  20. Beautiful wedding with beautiful people:)

  21. The color of these flowers are incredible!! Everything is gorgeous!

    Hilary {Bayside Bride} // //

  22. Stunning! Love the locations, the dress and all the little details. The love birds look truly happy :)

  23. So beautiful! Love Big Sir and ceremony site is so BEAUTIFUL!

  24. This wedding venue is absolutely breathtaking. Congratulations!

  25. I am trying to plan a wedding in Big Sur….. Can anyone tell me where the wedding site is and how i could get a hold of whoever owns it?

    Would love to get the number and information of the private estate that the reception was held at too.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  26. That wedding venue/site is exactly what I’ve been looking for–does anyone know of the location? It’s so beautiful!

  27. So beautiful! Is there any way to get info on the venue and ceremony site?

  28. I would love to know where this place is. Can someone provide me with the location and contact information for the venue?

  29. My fiancé & i have a weeding booked at this Venue at the end of October. I have been trying to get in contact with Matthew Mckee who, we both agreed, did an excellent job of bringing an already astounding venue to life. Is there a way we can get a contact detail for him. Any help with this will be much appreciated.

  30. Hi, just wondered if there was dancing and if so where did you do it? living room? interested in booking this venue.

    • I second that question!

      • There is no place to really dance up at the house.
        You could dance down by the fire pit where the ceremony area is…..

        The property really is set up for a small very low key wedding. It’s spaced out and the areas are all on the tighter side. We only had 40 people at our wedding and it was a tight fit.

        • Can you share the contact info or way to find the venue? I live close to Big Sir and am planning our small wedding for this year and LOVE this!

        • Hi Laura,

          I just booked this venue for a wedding in the summer this year 2013 and was wondering if you had any advice about this venue regarding layout, parking, or anything else.

          I would really appericate it.

          • Hi Angie!
            You can check out my pictures and that will help… they are at Style Me Pretty and you can search “Laura Jeff Big Sur” and it will come up. Or you can check out mmy photographer Danielle Capito’s website and we are on there. We had everyone park on the highway and then walk down the driveway. The deck is kind of split in two sections. One side we had set up for dinner, the other side was dessert table and bar and open area for cocktail hour. I put our gift table inside in front of the master bedroom doors. We did buffett style food and uses the bar in the kitchen for that.

  31. Sorry i just tried to search for it myself and it was weird. Just google : “laura jeff big sur style me pretty” and it comes up at the first link.

  32. Hi Laura,

    Your wedding was lovely! I’m planning a wedding for clients at Wind + Sea this year, and was wondering who did your rentals?

    Thanks so much!

  33. So many beautiful venues out there! I love the natural seaside feeling of your wedding. Thank you for sharing!

  34. The simplicity in this wedding is what makes it so special. Great color scheme and plenty of emotions to go around!

  35. Does anyone know when this wedding took place? Looking for weather tips for mid April at this exact location!


    – a stressed bride

    • Hi Katie & Jen,

      I am looking at Big Sur in April too. How did you two fair with weather? Was there a “plan B” option incase it rained?

      • Hi there, we were married at this estate in April, and it was as beautiful as I had imagined. The weather is a complete gamble along the coast in that area. The day before our wedding, it was storming and cold. The next day, it was near perfect. We had 75 degree weather the entire day, I even got a sun burn in my wedding dress! Anyhow, my husband and I went back and forth on if we should just take the risk and book the venue even though weather was completely unpredictable. I did look up rain schedules and it had only rained once on April 19th in the past 10 years. I kind of took that as my courage as it couldn’t rain on that day! Please let me know if you have any questions- it’s a gorgeous spot!

      • Also, not much for a 2nd option. Unless you can fit your entire wedding guests in that living room. I had thought about getting a big white tent for outside and stringing bulb lights all over it- we couldn’t do that due to no flat even surface. We had a small wedding guest list- there were about 55 people total. They were all family, so I was able to tell them “hey, if it rains- were screwed and we’ll be crammed in a living room!” The guests all loved the venue, they rave about it to this day saying how worth it was to drive that long rugged coastline!

  36. where was the venue? I love the place!

  37. Beautiful wedding!


  1. […] makes us happier than seeing beautiful Lovely Brides all over the […]

  2. […] joined the crazy world of wedding photography. Check out her awesome work here! Also a thanks to Green Wedding Shoes for featuring this wedding on your awesome blog! Hope you all […]


Email me when there are new comments on this post. You can also subscribe without commenting.

GWS is a creative and supportive community of wedding fans and vendors. As such, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain profanity, are distasteful, personally attack individuals or do not contribute to the goals of our community.

You may not love every detail of every event, but please remember that the couples who share their weddings on GWS are real people and their wedding is a special day, so please be nice.