big sur wedding photographers
Central coast wedding photography encompasses a wide and diverse swath of California coastline; from Paso Robles in the south to the wild coastline of Half Moon Bay on the proximal end of the finger that is the San Francisco peninsula. The Pacific Coast Highway displays every facet of her personality on this precipitous yet breathtaking journey north to San Francisco at the abrupt meeting point of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. As Big Sur wedding photographers, we most commonly photograph Big Sur Weddings, however, we also love Monterey Peninsula weddings, Ocean Grove weddings, and weddings in Carmel by the Sea; the central coast is unparalleled in natural beauty and serenity.
Iconic California on every level, if you’ve seen just one copy of Sunset Magazine photography over the past 50 years, you’ll immediately recognize the central coast jewels Big Sur, Carmel, and Monterey. From the rugged coastline of Big Sur, to the legendary links of Pebble Beach, to the farms and vineyards of Carmel Valley, to the serene redwoods of Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park, California’s Central Coast is an absolutely charmed place . With iconic landmarks – both natural and man-made – like the Lone Cypress, Bixby Bridge, Cannery Row, and the Point Lobos marine reserve, this corner of the state is visually striking, rich in natural history, and instantly memorable. The lone cypress has grazed the cover of endless wedding invitations and iconic landscapes are a signature of the central coast. Big Sur and the Carmel coast is ideally suited to smaller wedding parties, intimate weddings, and Big Sur elopement photography. We work regularly with several great officiants in the area and are adept at working with the often unpredictable Big Sur weather to guarantee we’ll always have plenty of great location options for photography.
Warm and woodsy Ventana is perched atop the Pacific ocean and can accommodate smaller weddings, intimate weddings, and welcome elopement photography. Their luxury Big Sur wedding venue offers everything you need for an all-inclusive wedding with incredible dining, world class views, and luxury accommodation. Further up the coast, Carmel Valley weddings are the warmest of the Big Sur, Carmel, and Monterey weddings because of their distance from the cool Pacific breezes. Bernardus lodge weddings offer all-inclusive wedding accommodation, wedding ceremony, wedding reception, and wedding photography portrait options for the discerning couple who place priority on great food and great wine for their wedding reception. If you’re looking for redwoods wedding photography on an exclusive nature preserve in the heart of Carmel, Santa Lucia preserve is a perfect option. Set in a private community, your Santa Lucia preserve wedding can take place in several beautiful natural locations with your Santa Lucia wedding reception held in the rustic luxury of their lodge.
About Viera Photographics
Viera Photographics is a husband and wife wedding photography team located in Sonoma, California. They specialize in telling stories through their style of wedding photojournalism and candid documentary wedding photography. In business since 2005 they are considered to be one of the top high-end wedding photographers. Their unique wedding photographic style emphasizes stylish storytelling with raw emotion. They bring impeccable and unmatched customer service on every level.
Jaime, Dennis and their team are available worldwide with no travel fees. They travel often photographing weddings all over the world. Some of their top destinations are: Napa, San Francisco, Tahoe, Big Sur, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, New York, Newport, Rhode Island, Vermont, Mexico, and Hawaii.
Featured Big Sur / Carmel weddings
If I had only one word to describe Sam and Heather’s Stonepine Estate elopement in Big Sur, it would be: Quiet. Everything about the day was so tranquil and as I recount the events, I struggle to recall any sound. Chateau Noel, a manor-style estate, stood stoic and silent nestled among Italian Stone Pine and Olive trees as I approached the main piazza where I saw Sam standing. Sharply dressed and looking like Humphrey Bogart ready for a night out at the Pump Room, Sam couldn’t have looked any cooler standing there in his black tuxedo. Inside the Chateau, Heather was nearly ready with only minor nerves. I have to believe it would be easier when you have friends or siblings there to pronounce that you’re “ready to do this” but when you’re on your own, it’s on you to feel absolutely ready and to take that leap and leave the room. Just outside in their private garden courtyard, Sam was alone with his thoughts, awaiting the arrival of this woman who’d first captured his heart when they met in grade school so many years back in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Back then, they were just kids figuring out life and new emotions like Kevin and Winnie. Ten years pass and Heather and Sam, now adults reconnect and picked right back up from where they’d left off; Is this not the embodiment of true love? Heather is ready and has left the room and is remembering to breathe as she approaches Sam who is waiting around the corner. They look at each other with giddy smiles, then hold each other as if for the first time in their lives, and they don’t ever seem to want to let go. I drove with Sam and Heather to meet our officiant Ken Robbins at a point along the Pacific Coast Highway north of Big Sur for the ceremony. We found a spot that… Continue Reading
Before reading any further, grab your favorite cup of tea and settle in because Shivani and Saurabh’s Indian Pebble Beach wedding was one of epic proportions. My personal choice would be Chai Masala – black tea slowly infused with fresh ginger, cardamom pods, whole cinnamon, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns – sweetened to taste. An Indian Hindu wedding unfolds over time – typically several days to a week – this post won’t be quite that long… Shivani and Saurabh’s relationship began with a long conversation on his terrace one March night several years ago. It was Saurabh’s birthday and Shivani was there as a guest of his cousin whom she attended UCLA with. Her only expectation was that of a “dorky fobby cousin” so she was taken aback at how “handsome, fun, and awesome” he was upon their introduction. The fact that they both have the same last name probably served as a perfectly awkward ice-breaker as well. Despite the immediate chemistry on their first meeting, it would be a few years (2 years and 6 parties later to be exact) before the two would formally reconnect. Time, however, did nothing to dilute those original feelings and when they finally did have their first date, it evolved quickly into a year of adventures. Saurabh is a well traveled, adventure-seeker and Shivani was all-in as his willing accomplice. Their first year together, they travelled the globe and had so much fun – it was only a matter of time now before they took things to the next level. That following spring – on April fool’s day to be exact – Saurabh asked the most important question of his life and despite his wit, she knew this was no joke. And of course… she said yes! Indian weddings are revered celebrations, where friends and family come together to frolic and celebrate… Continue Reading
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… Continue Reading
Lacey and Ryan’s intimate Big Sur destination wedding ceremony took place at Big Sur Ventana – on the Sur Vista terrace – on a fresh spring day, overlooking the cobalt waters of the Pacific Ocean. Originally planned as an elopement, the wedding slowly grew into an intimate celebration with 30 friends and family making the journey from the midwest to one of California’s most iconic stretches of coastline. Guests stayed just down the road at the Big Sur Campground and Cabins, a family-centric destination resort founded in the 1950’s, that still maintains its mid-century rustic California charm. The campground, set amongst towering redwoods, was the perfect place for us to begin the day with the couples’ first look photos and their wedding portraits as it was a characteristically typical windy day along the coast. The Sur Vista terrace is an incomparable site for a scenic wedding ceremony as the flagstone terrace is situated high atop a bluff that give uninterrupted view south to the Santa Lucia mountains and the Pacific Ocean. As the emotional ceremony (Ryan was refreshingly carefree with his emotions) drew to a close, the couple and guests made their way up the hilltop reception site at the main Ventana resort. Cocktail hour fe All Continue Reading
We couldn’t have had a more perfect day either, as we arrived at H&E’s Gardener Ranch wedding under a resplendent spring sky. It was a day of new beginnings; The Vernal Equinox, the Persian Nowruz (or New Year), and the day that the friendship of H&E would transform into a lifetime partnership. The air was fresh and still and an overall calmness sat over the venue as mom and dad put the finishing touches on the Sofré, friends relaxed under majestic oak trees in hammocks, and excited children ran across the property chasing butterflies. Inside the grooms camp, there was a bit less tranquility, and more of a sense of urgency as the realization set in that nobody knew how to tie the groom’s bowtie…myself included. I swore from that day forward that I would be the go-to-guy you could rely upon to save the day like Adam Sandler diffusing Steve Buscemi’s off-color speech in The Wedding Singer, with a flash of the hands, setting up any groom for certain success. I’m almost there…but not quite. Our slight haberdashery-hang-up led us to a perfect example of how an unexpected hiccup can turn serendipitous – and often does – so NEVER panic on your wedding day, just go with the flow. As E pulled his bowtie tight and finished his preparations, we walked outside to a secluded spot under the trees where H would meet him for their first look. Many deep breaths later, she walked up and emotions peaked. The bowtie delay caused the timing of this moment to coincide with H’s sister practicing singing their wedding song – La Vie en Rose – off in the background. The moment was subime and proved to be one of H’s most vivid and emotional memories from the day. Despite nerves all morning from both H and E, when the two saw each other, exhaled deeply, and looked into each others’ eyes, everything felt… Continue Reading
Crystal and Andrew’s Santa Lucia Preserve wedding in Carmel was at one of the most beautiful wedding venues we have ever seen. The ceremony was in the redwood grove – there is something so special about being surrounded by trees, many, more than 1000 years old. The reception was held in the old barn, with a rockin’ band – Andrew’s brother even jumped in for a few – the Hora, and a vintage Polaroid photo-booth – run by our very own, Hardy. When we first met Crystal and Andrew about their wedding, we asked them to use three words to describe yourselves… They answered… “we love art, laughter, and fun”. Their wedding incorporated everything! Including a tea ceremony, an incense lighting, as well as breaking the glass followed by a big “Mazel Tov!”. They described it all as “JewBu”, which we thought was hilarious!!! We found this definition on Urban Dictionary. JewBu “In short, someone who was raised Jewish and turned Buddhist, or who is a hybrid of Jewish and Buddhist in spiritual/religious background. My mom’s a major JewBu– one Hanukkah she was lighting menorahs like the rest of ’em. Then, before I knew it, she was reading up on the Dalai Lama and telling me to Be Here Now.” Continue Reading
Kendle and Myles had a plan: “To be able to solely focus on each other and our love. To not have any worries, and just enjoy ourselves and every moment on this once in a lifetime occasion. To have fun and make amazing memories at one of the most beautiful places in the world!”. As such… their Big Sur elopement took place at a small, private residence and it was simply perfect. As Kendle finished getting ready, she helped Myles with his tie and I met him outside to prepare for their first look. I’d just seen these two together in the house 15 minutes before, but now it was completely different; emotions took off immediately. Myles took Kendle into his arms and it was clear that they knew their roles now were unique to this day, they were bride and groom. As the couple met their officiant Soaring Starkey, the tears couldn’t be held back. Soaring and I were the only other people there and when you’re this close to such an intimate occasion, it’s impossible to resist being drawn in. Just as the couple had planned, surrounded by nature and under towering redwoods, they exchanged vows and joined souls. Soaring joined hands with the couple, blessing the rings and the two were then married. Kendle and Myles love each other so much that it was truly overwhelming and inspiring to be around. No matter how many times we bear witness to pure love, it never gets old. I’ve been to Big Sur often and it never loses it’s ability to reboot the soul; there are few places that can compete with Big Sur for connecting with nature and, in Myles and Kendle’s case, each other. Continue Reading
Kate and Adam fled a brutally cold Canadian winter (even by Canadian standards!), left Toronto, and headed to their Carmel elopement, where they had planned a very intimate ceremony on the beach. Plans don’t always work out exactly as expected, however, and it’s how you roll with these changes that will determine how your new day is going to go. Kate and Adam have the right attitude and I liked them straight-away! The town of Big Sur, suffering from an exceptionally dry California winter, had fallen victim to a late-season forest fire just one week before Adam and Kate arrived. The treasured Pfeiffer Beach where the ceremony was to be held, had been closed. As lovely as Big Sur is, the whole stretch of California Coast is ridiculously beautiful; at times wild and rugged, barren and windswept, and serene with kelp-forested bays that serve as sanctuaries for marine life…in a nutshell: a great place to escape to for an intimate wedding. Over the past year, we’ve been fortunate to photograph quite a few intimate/elopement type wedding ceremonies and they’re quite nice in that you can quickly change the script for the day without much hassle – as was the case for Adam and Kate – and it worked out beautifully. Kate and Adam were married at a gorgeous clearing atop Carmel River State Beach, a location suggested by their officiant. The ceremony was sweet and compact and included a lot of kissing which was so cute. I’m constantly impressed with people’s abilities to relax in the presence of a Carmel wedding photographer, whom they’ve just met, who is – at times – invading their space and the intimacy of their special time. We are very conscious of our presence in these intimate settings and always try to adopt an approach that complements the atmosphere… Continue Reading
This Big Sur bakery wedding was held on π Day! No, Jeanne and Nick are not mathematicians, nor engineers for NASA; they chose 3.14 for their wedding date simply because the number fascinates them. This decision, along with choosing to have a Pfeiffer Beach ceremony, reflects their love of science and nature, their independent spirit, and their light-hearted outlook on life. The wedding ceremony began promptly at 1:59 PM; Nick reminded me earlier in the day that 1, 5, and 9 are the next three numerals in the commonly abridged 3.14159 representation of the number. This makes their precise anniversary – 3.14159. As the sound of bagpipes filled the air, Jeanne gave guests a sneak peek of her jazzy leggings and made her way across the beach to a completely overwhelmed Nick. Their vows were as cosmic as they were endearing. They expressed profound gratitude to the small group of friends and family that were there to share this day with them and also acknowledged the role of the universe in that moment, that place, and in the new life that they were starting together. The reception was held at the Big Sur Bakery where dinner was Pizza pie! There were games set up for guests to play, mad libs, and even souvenir pencils with the number Pi imprinted on them. On the farm-style tables, alongside loaves of freshly baked bread and bowls full of olives, were hand-made floral arrangements made from cut and ornately folded maps – worthy of an origami award – and a nod to the couples love of travel and exploration. The overall mood was jolly and the evening ended with a very special treat. Jeanne plays the fiddle, she plays it beautifully, and she played it for desert. There was cake too of course, but the most memorable part of… Continue Reading
On Wednesday, January 23rd, perched high atop the rugged coastline in the presence of officiant Ken Robins, Jaime, and myself…Goldie and Dan were married! It’s always an honor to be selected as a couples’ Big Sur wedding photographer, but when you comprise 50% of the guest count including the bride and groom, it adds a bit of pressure. All pressure soon dissipated as we pulled into Glen Oaks Big Sur and their Big Sur Cabin . The unit, nestled amongst some wise old Redwoods, was a sight right off the pages of 1970’s Sunset Magazine with warm roomlight spilling out into the misty, cool afternoon outside. Although the two saw each other minutes before getting ready, when Goldie came out in her dress, it was if he was seeing her for the first time. As an impending storm system off the Pacific continued to taunt us throughout the day, we made our way down Highway 1 to a small patch of grass just past Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park where we met officiant Ken Robins. Even though the two eloped and the pressure of having to perform in front of a sea of guests was lifted, it was still important for Dan to get it perfect so he still brought along a written copy of his vows, just in case. Goldie and Dan enjoy the outdoors, exploring wild places, and surfing together, so the choice of venue fit them perfectly. We finished our photo-exploratory-tiki-tour at Pfeiffer Beach, just as the weather began to gain the upper hand and we said goodbye to the last of our light. As the rain now began to fall, we warmed up at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn before saying goodbye to our new friends as we left them to a candlelight dinner, the first of many to come. Thank you Goldie… Continue Reading
Mary and Sam’s Carmel Valley Ranch wedding was all about their love for each other. Weddings come in all flavors, shapes, and sizes and each has it’s own story line for us to follow. Of course, there are many subplots within the day and it’s up to us to find the most important micro-events within the overall day and focus on them. On this particular day however, on the most beautiful of fall days in Carmel Valley California, we found it difficult to take our eyes off of Sam and Mary. Their devotion to each other, their union, and their faith gave the couple a magnetism and this was not a wedding where the two would be lost in the crowd. We like to follow up with our wedding clients shortly after the wedding, when enough time has elapsed for them to reflect back on the day and give us their memories of the day, in their own words. As Mary and Sam lived apart before they were married, we asked what it was like now actually joining their lives on a day-to-day basis and this is what Mary said: “I didn’t think I’d every say this: the more I discover about Sam, the more I love him. I’m not kidding when I say that I love him more everyday.” Here’s Sam’s retort: “I’m just so surprised that Mary likes living with me. I’ve loved her for a while now, and I enjoy relaxing in her presence.” Two giant-hearted, down-to-earth people joining their lives and loving every minute together; that’s the crux of why we love doing what we do, gaining inspiration from inspiring couples. Sam surprised Mary by serenading her with one of their favorite songs mid-way through the reception and at that point – despite all of Sam’s nerves… Continue Reading
Taylor and Todd live in New York City, and decided to have a Bernardus Lodge and Winery wedding as it is near to where her parents currently live and where she grew up. On one of our East Coast trips last year, we were able to meet Taylor in Grand Central Station and have been looking forward to seeing them on the West Coast ever since! Their wedding ceremony was held at the Church in the Forest, a insanely beautiful chapel full of light and character and set among a Monterey Pine Grove in the Del Monte Forest. After the ceremony, we took a drive to to Ghost Tree for their Bride and Groom photos. We then spent some time traipsing around in the pine groves taking photos and getting Taylor’s dress nice and dirty (my philosophy is that if your wedding dress is not dirty by the end of the night, you didn’t have enough fun). Then we headed to Bernardus Lodge and Winery in Carmel Valley, for the reception. Having a Bernardus Lodge and Winery wedding is perfect in so many ways; It is set in a gorgeous valley, the staff is all warm, welcome and helpful, their wine is delicious, the food is ridiculously good – most of their ingredients are grown on site or they source it from local farmers, and… there are luxury accommodations on site… you can’t beat it! Continue Reading