A Big Sur Wedding // Joy and Corey

big sur wedding private estate paion

Joy and Corey's Big Sur wedding day was unlike any other day we had experienced on that particular stretch of central California coast. We firmly believe that it was karma rewarding the sweet couple for their steadfast belief in having exactly the day they had envisioned nearly a year prior, regardless of the hurdles (see below for a bit about why they had to postpone their wedding for nearly a year).

Preparing in separate suites down the road at the newly renovated Ventana Big Sur, Joy and Corey's wedding day had the relaxed vibe of a spa day, I mean we met Joy in her jammies! Being surrounded by an incredible crew of friends and family amidst Ventana's elysian atmosphere, we knew all the elements were in place from the moment we arrived. Before arriving at Corey and Joy's private Big Sur wedding venue, we made the most of the incredible weather (warmest day of the month of June and not a breath of wind!) With videographer Jason Magbanua and his crew in caravan being us, we stopped along the highway to take in the scenery and make some portraits at a few breathtaking portrait locations high above the Pacific before arriving at the venue. The clifftop setting was adorned with market lighting, hanging foliage of all color and texture, and an elegant selection of cocktail lounge furniture for guests to fully enjoy the views out over the cobalt blue expanse.

Joy and Corey were married under a large canopy of cypress trees by a close friend and were gifted wisdom and marital inspiration from several married couples who gave speeches throughout the ceremony. After the ceremony, an extended cocktail hour served up fresh local cuisine and brightly colored beverages under brilliant skies and the warmest weather we can ever remember in Big Sur. The dinner reception was held just a short walk away and to start of the speeches, Joy's sister performed a song she'd written for the couple while playing music on her ukulele. It was very sweet and from the heart and thankfully was followed by a few hilarious speakers to help dry up some of the tears. After dinner, the dancing began immediately and did not end until late into the night. The venue - as it typical with most around Big Sur - require a fairly early quiet time to preserve the quietude but this only ended one stage of the party and began the next, the silent disco. The only way to properly cover silent disco wedding reception photography we've found is to slap on a pair of headphones yourself and get into it. It's tricky to avoid walking into people but apart from that, likely the most fun we've had photographing a reception. With champagne filled flutes, Joy and Corey held each other tight and danced to the sounds of the dj knowing that after so much time and hard work, they had finally the day they'd dreamed of.

 About the couple

How we met

We met in college at Brown University. Corey and I had taken a class together and actually worked together on a group project the year before that but I didn't remember him until we met again at a party during my last semester. We became friends and kept in touch when I graduated and moved to LA (Corey was a year below me). When Corey graduated, he spent part of his summer in LA before moving to New York for work and we started dating! We dated long-distance for several years as I moved to London for work and I finally moved to NYC in August 2013.

Most important for your day

That everyone has a good time and enjoys the magic of Big Sur!


Wedding cancellation back story

California had been having an extremely wet and stormy winter and then one day, we heard the news report: 'The Big Sur Island'. Big Sur had effectively been isolated from the rest of the coast.

Highway traffic from both directions was impossible and from the south, it would remain that way for more than a year. The news was sad to hear and immediately made us think about the wedding approaching just months away. It wasn't long after that we received a message from them confirming what we'd already suspected; that their private Big Sur wedding venue was cut off and the wedding would need to be pushed out another year. With its wild weather and extreme topography, we're always prepared to work with mother nature when shooting in Big Sur but this time, she won the battle. Corey and Joy's patience and positivity was incredible and the following spring, the wedding was back on and better than anyone could've expected.