Big Sur – Cambria | California Adventure Wedding | Arianna & Erik

We couldn’t have been more excited when Arianna & Erik first contacted us. Having found us off Wandering Weddings, we knew this couple would be up for some sort of adventure. They decided to have the best of both worlds for their wedding—a morning hike in Big Sur followed by a celebration with friends & family into the evening. Their Big Sur small wedding included Sir Gunter–their dog who is of course a vital family member who had to be there! During our initial phone call, I found out that Erik proposed to Arianna at Vernal Falls in Yosemite, right at the edge of the waterfall. We can’t imagine a greater proposal for this bold couple!

Having some sort of adventure on the day of their wedding was important to them. Both of them enjoyed hiking, so we ended up settling on a simple but scenic hike in Big Sur for early in the morning before all their other activities began. We all set our alarms early before the sun even rose, and drove as a group to the trailhead in Big Sur. They made the smart choice to have a morning-centric experience, which paid off because we had the entire place to ourselves!⁣ We brought along our changing tent so Arianna could get into her hiking dress. Arianna rocked both a hiking and a separate dress for the ceremony. An adventure wedding in Big Sur can sometimes call for having two dresses on hand!

This entire small wedding was so wonderfully DIY—the bouquets & boutonnieres were made by the wedding party, and they had their friend Denise create the schedule, invites and other table details. She is an extremely talented artist and you can check out her Instagram here!

Their small wedding had a guest count under 40, making it the perfect amount of people for them to share their day with. They chose Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria, California to hold the ceremony. It was truly a beautiful moment, and something so special they decided to incorporate were ceremony locks which they shared with their parents. After the ceremony, they decided to do something even more different than the traditional weddings and have guests give speeches right there at the lodge. While we were taking family portraits, they had several lawn games for guests to play, and had even more game choices to choose from during the reception.

After the ceremony, a smaller group headed to Ragged Point Inn for a relaxing lunch. On the way there, the Seeking Venture Photo team was a bit ahead and we decided to stop near the Hearst Castle because the zebras were out! We knew it was a must stop to document this part of the day, because how often do you get a wedding that includes zebras?! They actually had a great selection of wedding wildlife throughout the day including foxes in the morning, the Zebras of Hearst Castle, venue kitties and of course to complete, an adorable little frog!

The reception was held at the Cambria Nursery and Florist which was only down the street from the lodge and super convenient for anyone staying there. The details were perfect, including our most favorite personalized cake topper of all time. We were treated as if we were one of the guests, and they were sweet enough to have a place for us at a table. From even before the wedding started to the very end, we were treated as long-time friends. We love our souvenirs from the wedding that were gifted to us as if we were one of their guests; especially the Mexican blankets that our cats love to cuddle up on! It’s a daily reminder of their day, and one we will never forget. We feel so fortunate getting to work with couples like Erik and Arianna, and so happy to call them our friends.

A few things we can learn from their small wedding day:

  • Don’t be afraid to get your dress dirty–embrace it, or be smart like Arianna and have a different dress for your ceremony and reception! Her hiking dress allowed a range of motion to freely move around the landscape, so make sure you practice moving around to make sure you can venture around for the day.
  • You can 100% do something adventurous for your day and still spend time with family and friends. One option is to spend half the day with just the two of you and then join friends & family later on!
  • Your furry best friend is also family and should be included. They found a venue that allowed dogs so their pup Gunter wouldn’t miss out! There are always options, and we are happy to research for you.
  • If you are worried you don’t have a dancing crowd for your reception, buy a bunch of board games to keep them entertained!

Couple: @lady_merc93 & @perpulstuph⁣
Adorable pup: @sir_gunter
Ceremony: Cambria Pines Lodge
Lunch Stop: Ragged Point Inn
Reception: Cambria Nursery and Florist
Artist: Shugarzshack
Suit: @suitshopofficial⁣
“Something Blue” Hiking Boots: @altrarunning⁣
Hiking Dress: @anomalie
Ceremony Dress: @garnetandgracebridalboutique

Thank you so much Arianna & Erik!

The Zebras of Hearst Castle
Wedding Frog!
Please follow and like us:
  1. Amy Isacson says:

    What a fun and creative way they celebrated their day!! Great shots and they look so happy!! Bravo!

  2. Aimee says:

    This really makes me want to visit Big Sur! Such lovely photos 🙂 The zebras made me smile!

  3. That cake topper is the very best!!! Love how they found a way to enjoy time with family and time alone together.

  4. Sierra says:

    What a sweet adventure elopement! It looks like they had a wonderful day!

  5. Leo says:

    Love this celebration. These two look like they had a blast with you. Particularly love the bright floral crown, thanks for sharing!

  6. This day looks like the perfect balance of getting to hike and adventure on your wedding day and also getting to see your favorite people!! You captured it beautifully!

  7. What a fun celebration! You captured their day and their story beautifully! 🙂

  8. omg these are so pretty! You captured them and their love so perfectly! Big sur was the perfect place for this adventure wedding!

  9. Christine says:

    Such a fun elopement in Big Sur!!!

  10. Dylan says:

    What an adorable dog! I love Sir Gunter’s suit 🙂 This couple really did get the best of everything with their Big Sur hike with photos in such a lush landscape, as well as the celebration with their loved ones. Beautiful day!

  11. Kat says:

    Looks like such fun, and I know this location! I miss Big Sur but shall be back in a couple months.

  12. Alexandria says:

    omg how cute! I love all their DIY touches, and that game option instead of dancing? So fun!! Looks like a beautiful day!

  13. Justyna says:

    Give me all the Big Sur memories….forever! Such a beautiful set! Love

  14. Absolutely stunning photos! You have a way with capturing such intimate and beautiful moments! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Central Coast California
Big Sur - Monterey Bay
Photographer & Guide