Forest Meets Ocean in This Big Sur Micro Wedding *

Forest Meets Ocean in This Big Sur Micro Wedding *

When faced with COVID and a wildfire, Kyle and Chandler made the most of their unfortunate situation by tying the knot in a stunning untraditional Big Sur micro wedding—to say that we’re obsessed is an understatement. The couple wanted to share their love of nature with their closest friends and family in an elopement-style affair. It turned out more beautiful than we could ever imagine. 

After wildfires forced their original venue to close two days before their special day, the pair reached out to Big Sur Lodge who made their forest dreams come true. With minimal decor, colorful flower arrangements by Cassia Foret, and nontraditional wedding fashion, these two proved that your special day is all about you and your new spouse.

Keep scrolling to see the most incredible photos captured by photographer Heather Purdy–including a forest ceremony, portraits with pups, and celebratory drinks on the beach.

The Couple:

Kyle and Chandler

The Wedding:

Big Sur Lodge, California

An Untraditional Big Sur Micro Wedding

As a queer couple, we didn’t want to go with the typical wedding style that you see at most weddings. Our journeys as two gay men meant that we did not share the same perspective and experience as our straight friends and family, so we wanted to honor our stories by having both of our styles be exactly our own. And then we tried to find a way to make it cohesive to our union. We settled on a more nature-inspired wedding since that is where we always found the most solace as a couple. And since we ended up doing an elopement sized wedding, the outdoors facilitated the style best.

Including Their Mothers In The Ceremony

We created a “water ceremony” to take place during our ceremony, which included our mothers pouring water from the ocean on our hands. This action signified those who bore us and gave us life leaving us with a blessing from the place where all life started. We wanted to give our mothers more power in “giving us away” instead of leaving it at the standard patriarchal format most weddings take part in.

COVID Wedding Advice

Covid does not need to be something that leaves your wedding plans halted or debilitated. It can be an opportunity to only have those you feel closest with next to you while you share your deepest feelings with the one you love. Feel free to only invite those folks to the ceremony, then provide others with an invitation to receive your wedding video when it comes. Or host “viewing parties” with small groups of close friends who you couldn’t have at the ceremony. My advice would be not to prioritize your wedding over the safety of loved ones, or ones who you don’t think would risk their safety for you.

These Two Didn’t Let A Wildfire Ruin Their Special Day

The most memorable part was that it actually got to happen! Two days before the big day, we had to switch the venue due to the wildfires in Big Sur. With less than 48 hours before the ceremony, we had to start from square one. Big Sur Lodge ended up being able to host the ceremony and gave us so much support in such a short time. We had to switch the beach we had planned on having our dinner and toast less than two hours before because it was closed. All-in-all, the most memorable part of the day was being amazed that it was all happening so flawlessly. It ended at the most perfect time—sunset on the beach.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Heather Purdy
Ceremony Venue – Big Sur Lodge
Floral Design – Cassia Foret
Videography – David Estrella

Congratulations again to Kyle and Chandler on their Big Sur micro wedding at Big Sur Lodge! We’re so glad that Heather Purdy shared it with us. If you’re planning your own micro nuptials, check out our guide on hosting a creative micro wedding!

 

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10 Amazing Vermont Wedding Venues *

10 Amazing Vermont Wedding Venues *

Planning a Vermont wedding? Don’t miss these incredible reception sites! Though just a select few of the many wonderful places to tie the knot, these properties showcase all the reasons why couples keep coming back to the Green Mountain State. From mountainside resorts and cozy inns, to lakeside estates and functioning farms, there’s a little something for everyone! Nestled on 700 beautiful acres in the heart of the Green Mountains, this working farm is the destination for an elegant rustic wedding. The property has six restored barns, multiple lodging sites and still functions as a working farm. Riverside Farm serves a limited number of weddings per year to create a truly exclusive experience. This lakefront venue is a private escape that you and your guests will simply love.

The restored Inn showcases quintessential Vermont charm with modern amenities to ensure the utmost in comfort. The lawn offers ample reception and ceremony space, while the house itself can accommodate up to 32 overnight guests. So many mountains, so little time! Stratton Mountain Resort is one of the state’s premiere ski and wedding destinations. The resort’s indoor event spaces and accommodations reflect the cozy elegance of an alpine lodge. Outside, you can enjoy mountain views and activities year round. Located in the center of picturesque Warren Village, this Relais & Chateaux inn is an intimate destination wedding venue. An expert wedding planner, on-site gourmet chef and helpful staff will bring every aspect of your vision to life. You’ll love the refined decor and sumptuous rooms and suites.

Enjoy a mountainside resort with the spirit of a country homestead. The resort is set on 350 acres overlooking views of the surrounding Green Mountains and lake. Multiple ceremony and reception sites offer options for celebrations of any size. Amenities include a private beach, pool, luxe accommodations and year round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. This luxury bed and breakfast specializes in elegant weddings set in the countryside. The lawn is perfect for open air ceremonies and tented celebrations. Inside, you’ll find well appointed guest rooms, a spa and dining space to enjoy cuisine from the chef, owner. The property also has a barn space for larger events. Celebrate in the heart of the storied Northeast Kingdom. This country estate is located just outside of Burke Village overlooking the Willoughby Gap. The property’s many perks include hilltop ceremony sites, an expansive lawn, rose gardens, gourmet dining, comfortable guest rooms and the newly renovated Morgan Horse Barn.

Tucked on the shores of Lake Champlain just outside of Burlington, Shelburne Farms is a pastoral gem. The property has two incredible event venues: The Coach Barn and The Inn. Both offer polished country decor, restored architecture, open air ceremony space and views of the sparkling lake. The perfect choice for couples seeking a private and laid-back atmosphere. This summer camp on Lake Fairlee doubles as a beautiful wedding venue. You and your guests will enjoy exclusive access to the 20 cabins, Main Lodge, six tent cabins, waterfront and grounds all weekend long. The Main Lodge offers ample space for up to 170, while the lawn can cater to parties even larger. Locals and visitors alike have been vacationing and celebrating at this historic resort for over a century. Today, the Basin Harbor Club also serves as an elegant wedding escape. The property has several indoor and outdoor event spaces to choose from, each outfitted with quintessential New England decor and views of Lake Champlain.

Planning a Vermont wedding? Don’t miss these incredible reception sites! Though just a select few of the many wonderful places to tie the knot, these properties showcase all the reasons why couples keep coming back to the Green Mountain State. From mountainside resorts and cozy inns, to lakeside estates and functioning farms, there’s a little something for everyone! Nestled on 700 beautiful acres in the heart of the Green Mountains, this working farm is the destination for an elegant rustic wedding. The property has six restored barns, multiple lodging sites and still functions as a working farm. Riverside Farm serves a limited number of weddings per year to create a truly exclusive experience. This lakefront venue is a private escape that you and your guests will simply love.

The restored Inn showcases quintessential Vermont charm with modern amenities to ensure the utmost in comfort. The lawn offers ample reception and ceremony space, while the house itself can accommodate up to 32 overnight guests. So many mountains, so little time! Stratton Mountain Resort is one of the state’s premiere ski and wedding destinations. The resort’s indoor event spaces and accommodations reflect the cozy elegance of an alpine lodge. Outside, you can enjoy mountain views and activities year round. Located in the center of picturesque Warren Village, this Relais & Chateaux inn is an intimate destination wedding venue. An expert wedding planner, on-site gourmet chef and helpful staff will bring every aspect of your vision to life. You’ll love the refined decor and sumptuous rooms and suites.

Enjoy a mountainside resort with the spirit of a country homestead. The resort is set on 350 acres overlooking views of the surrounding Green Mountains and lake. Multiple ceremony and reception sites offer options for celebrations of any size. Amenities include a private beach, pool, luxe accommodations and year round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. This luxury bed and breakfast specializes in elegant weddings set in the countryside. The lawn is perfect for open air ceremonies and tented celebrations. Inside, you’ll find well appointed guest rooms, a spa and dining space to enjoy cuisine from the chef, owner. The property also has a barn space for larger events. Celebrate in the heart of the storied Northeast Kingdom. This country estate is located just outside of Burke Village overlooking the Willoughby Gap. The property’s many perks include hilltop ceremony sites, an expansive lawn, rose gardens, gourmet dining, comfortable guest rooms and the newly renovated Morgan Horse Barn.

Tucked on the shores of Lake Champlain just outside of Burlington, Shelburne Farms is a pastoral gem. The property has two incredible event venues: The Coach Barn and The Inn. Both offer polished country decor, restored architecture, open air ceremony space and views of the sparkling lake. The perfect choice for couples seeking a private and laid-back atmosphere. This summer camp on Lake Fairlee doubles as a beautiful wedding venue. You and your guests will enjoy exclusive access to the 20 cabins, Main Lodge, six tent cabins, waterfront and grounds all weekend long. The Main Lodge offers ample space for up to 170, while the lawn can cater to parties even larger. Locals and visitors alike have been vacationing and celebrating at this historic resort for over a century. Today, the Basin Harbor Club also serves as an elegant wedding escape. The property has several indoor and outdoor event spaces to choose from, each outfitted with quintessential New England decor and views of Lake Champlain.

Modern and Vibrant Surf Hotel Wedding Inspiration Shoot *

Modern and Vibrant Surf Hotel Wedding Inspiration Shoot *

Surf’s up “dudes”! While the waves might not be in your backyard, inspiration can still come from these daring wave riders and their easy-going lifestyle. From vibrant orange and blue monstera leaves to the deep emerald green walls, this vibrant Surf Hotel wedding shoot, styled by Seraphina Photography, looks straight out of a magazine. And let’s talk about the beautiful dresses from The Lovely Bride that are steeped in total mermaid vibes—a two-piece bridal separates and a grazing off-the-shoulder dress with long matching trains. Plus, their minimalistic bouquets featured colorful leaves surrounding a bold, unique dark flower. 

Ready to dive in? Keep scrolling to see the perfect backdrops from the hotel—like the bar’s romantic moments accented by light wood details, hanging lights, and black barstools. This modern and vibrant surf hotel wedding shoot will open your eyes to bright, bold hues, and have you wanting more color on your special day!

Love the colors, but need more inspiration? Check out this colorful Castell de Sant Marcal wedding—it’s got rainbow-colored smoke, orange suits, and pink table decor! 

Still need that push in the colorful direction, but worried about losing your theme? This stylish modern Galicia wedding will give you that nudge.

The Talented Team:

Photography – Seraphina Photography
Event Planning – Sunnie Heers & Velvet Armoire
Venue – Surf Hotel
Design, Styling, and Floral Design – Velvet Armoire
Cake – Cak
Bridal Shop – The Lovely Bride
Invitation Design – Handsome Love Calligraphy
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Wedlocks Bridal Hair
Dress Designer – Rime Arodaky

Thank you to Seraphina Photography for sharing this truly dreamy surf hotel wedding inspiration shoot with us. Shout out to the whole team for putting this together! If you need more beachy, surfer wedding inspiration, you’ll want to check out this colorful New Zealand beach wedding and this tropical glam La Arboleda beach wedding

 

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15 Cool Cities to Consider for a U.S. Destination Wedding *

15 Cool Cities to Consider for a U.S. Destination Wedding *

Image by Nikk Nguyen Photo. See more of this real wedding here

There’s a good chance that when you hear the term “destination wedding,” your mind quickly goes to the stunning vineyards of Tuscany or the sandy beaches of Tulum. But, the truth is, there are so many cool cities here in the U.S. that would be ideal for a destination wedding. These cities have it all: unique venues, cool vibes, amazing wedding vendors, and tons of bars, restaurants, and sites to keep your guests entertained for the entire wedding weekend–or even host a wedding after-party. If you’re looking to put together destination “I do’s” a little closer to home, get ready to be inspired by these 15 US cities!

1. Austin, Texas

Image by Century Tree Productions. See more of this real wedding here

Between the amazing food, the live music, and the youthful vibe of the city, Austin has everything you could want for a destination wedding. If you’re looking for sleek, modern city vibes, there are a lot of venues located in the heart of downtown that would be perfect for your big day. If you’re more country than city, you can drive into the Hill Country–located just outside the city limits–where you’ll find sprawling venues with breathtaking views.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Austin.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

 Image by Sharon Pye. See more of this real wedding here

New Orleans is the ultimate party city, which–for some couples–makes it the ultimate wedding destination! Your guests will have a never-ending list of food, bars, and entertainment to enjoy before and after the wedding. The historic charm of the city offers a backdrop for your big day that is both mysterious and romantic. Plus, the second-line tradition of being escorted through the streets by a brass band is as cool as it gets.

Husband and wife duo and Junebug member Erin and Geoffrey Photography had this to say about the city, “In our experience, New Orleans delivers a magical experience like no other city. While planning your wedding, go visit New Orleans and you will easily find a second-line going on somewhere around the French Quarter, and then you’ll know exactly why we recommend this city. Taste the food, find a good bar that serves the original French 75 cocktail, drink some coffee at Cafe Beignet–you will be welcomed as a local.”

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Louisiana.

3. Palm Springs, California

Image by Isaiah and Taylor Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern vibes, gorgeous weather, and desert views. This is the perfect city for couples who want to feel like they’ve stepped into another world and into another era. Gather your wedding guests and sit by the pool and enjoy margaritas at the well-known Ace Hotel, or take a historic home tour to see where Frank Sinatra once resided. Regardless of how you spend your time, Palm Springs is a city that makes for one unforgettable long weekend.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in California.

4. Seattle, Washington

Image by Nick Plus Danée. See more of this real wedding here

Seattle is well known amongst vacationers but doesn’t immediately come to mind for weddings. After all, it’s earned its reputation as the “rainy city.” However, we think the city has a whole lot to offer. There are waterfront venues, modern downtown venues, and even island venues within a ferry ride’s distance of the city. Plus you have access to fantastic food and some of the best coffee shops in the country. The possibilities are endless.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Seattle.

5. Portland, Oregon

Image by Naba Zabih Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Portland is one of the PNW’s dreamiest locations that boasts mild winters and has easy access to forests, mountains, beaches, and skylines. No matter what vibe you want to create for your special day, you’ll find a location and venue to match.

Don’t let the high chances of rain that the rest of the PNW experiences scare you. Portland’s summer is warm and dry–with highs in the low 80s–with low humidity, which makes it ideal for outdoor nuptials. But, if you prefer an indoor wedding, the winters are equally beautiful.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Portland.

6. Denver, Colorado

Image by Karra Leigh Photography. See more of this elopement inspiration shoot here.

Outdoor lovers and adventure seekers, this recommendation is for you! Denver averages 300 days of sunshine every year, making it one of the loveliest cities for couples who want to be outside for most–if not all–of their wedding day. As an added bonus, Denver is one of the greenest cities in the country.

Located just east of the Rockies, this city would be the perfect home base for your wedding weekend because you can have your ceremony and reception downtown and community-building activities in or around the mountains before and after the big day.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Denver.

7. San Diego, California

Image by Paris Karsh Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

If the famously perfect weather in San Diego isn’t enough to convince you, the cool vibes of Balboa Park, the stretches of pristine beaches, and the incredible harbor should seal the deal. This coastal city has waterfront venues galore for beach-loving couples, industrial warehouses and downtown lofts for more modern couples, and even sprawling ranches for couples who want a backyard feel in the heart of the city. If you can dream it, you can find it in sunny San Diego.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in San Diego.

8. New York City, New York

Image by Aesthetic Sabotage Studio. See more of this real elopement here

If you’re someone who craves modernism, art, and culture, The Big Apple is perfect for you. New York quite literally has it all–from whimsical gardens like Central Park to skyline views at the Top of the Rock. There is a reason it is one of the most iconic cities in the world, after all. Tie the knot in an industrial loft or elegant ballroom before wandering the streets of Manhatten for some of the most epic wedding portraits possible.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in New York City.

9. Nashville, Tennessee

Image by Swak Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Nashville has found a special place in our hearts. This vibrant city offers all the southern charm you’d expect in Tennessee with a funky, fresh, and eclectic twist that is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only does this city have one of the best live music scenes in the country, but it has an impressive variety of wedding venues that range from cute and quaint to luxurious and lavish. Just don’t forget to pack those cowboy boots and brush up on your line-dancing!

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Nashville.

10. Miami, Florida

Image by Andrielle Photography. See more of this real wedding here

Miami literally has it all–diverse venues, a tropical climate, world-class restaurants, and some of the best beaches in the country. Plus, the deeply rooted party culture is second to none. There is something for everyone, which makes it an ideal city for a destination wedding. Whether you want a shoe-free beach ceremony, a luxurious country club affair, or a sophisticated estate celebration, Miami is ready and waiting to host the day of your dreams.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Miami.

11. Portland, Maine

Image by Katelyn Mallett Photography. See more of Katelyn’s work here

When asked about Portland, Junebug member Katelyn Mallett had this to say, “Portland has been consistently rated one of the top cities for its food and drinks for the last few years. Maine is loved by all travelers, and Portland is the perfect size for a getaway. From being situated on the ocean to its showcase of New England foliage, Portland is a great spot for a wedding year-round. It has many breweries that host weddings, as well as multiple industrial venues–the only place in Maine that has this style.” We couldn’t agree more! Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to find some lobster rolls.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Maine.

12. Joshua Tree, California

Image by Alyssa Marie Evans Photography + Cori Taylor Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

Joshua Tree offers some of the most unique scenery in the country. With its large rock formations and abundance of cacti, it’s the perfect destination for those looking to be surrounded by Earth’s natural beauty. The city and venues may be on the smaller side, but there’s nothing more unique than getting married at an old hotel built in 1946 by Roy Rodgers or amidst the saguaros and yuccas.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in California.

13. Sedona, Arizona

Image by Ashtyn Nicole Photo. See more of this real wedding here

Located just two hours north of Phoenix, Sedona’s red rocks are unlike anything else in the world. In fact, some may argue that it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Because it’s located in northern Arizona, the temperatures stay much milder year-round, making it ideal for weddings during any season. The small city’s venues include luxury resorts, event centers with sweeping views of the rocks, romantic gazebos, and picturesque creekside parks.

After tying the knot, take your wedding party to Devil’s Bridge or Catherdral Rock to hike off their hangovers and see some seriously cool views.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Arizona.

14. Charleston, South Carolina

Image by Billie Jo and Jeremy Photography.

If you’ve always dreamed of cobblestone streets or horse-drawn carriages for your special day, Charleston, South Carolina may just be the place for you. With plenty of colorful historic buildings, pristine beaches, high-end golf courses, and centuries-old weeping willows, your lovefest will be surrounded with southern charm. Not to mention, the city is known for its incredible cuisine and even more scrumptious desserts.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in South Carolina.

15. Chicago, Illinois

Image by Emily Keeney Photography. See more of this real wedding here

It’s easy to fall in love with Chicago’s charm the minute you arrive. From the stunning cityscapes to the hip suburbs to some of the best pizza in the world, Chi-Town has an unexplainable magnetic energy. Although it may not have the tropical weather that one might think about for destination weddings, you can’t beat the modern and upscale shops, restaurants, and hotels. We’re talking exposed brick and marquee lights galore.

Browse our directory of the best wedding vendors in Chicago.

These 15 cities prove that you don’t need to spend your life savings to get the destination wedding experience. Feeling inspired to host your own US destination wedding now? Then you’re going to want to check out the best Airbnb wedding venues in every state!

 

The post 15 Cool Cities to Consider for a U.S. Destination Wedding appeared first on .

We are shooketh by this forest elopement in Cougal Cascades *

We are shooketh by this forest elopement in Cougal Cascades *

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades
Photos by Van Middleton Photography

Sharon and Bryan’s intimate forest elopement had us gob-smacked by the scenery, the golden hour, the romantic moments, and the sheer magnitude of the beauty of this couple and this environment. We are still shook.

It took place at Cougal Cascades in Queensland, Australia, and had subtle Twilight wedding vibes with that Pronovias dress and those epic trees. We just need a little of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and we’ll be ready to sob…

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

We are shooketh by this sunlit forest elopement in Cougal Cascades

Vendors

Photography: Van Middleton Photography • Wedding Planner: Hitched in Paradise • Wedding Celebrant: Benjamin Carlyle • Wedding Dress Designer: Pronovias • Groom’ s Apparel: Daniel Hecher • Makeup Artist: Porcelain Face Makeup • Floral Designer: Lola’s Wildflowers

Gallery

Click to view slideshow.