Tags archives: Carmel Valley

Happy New Year!

Who got engaged over the holiday and is ready for some engagement photos for the new year?!  With our mild California winter there is plenty of sunshine to make some magic.  Some of my favorite areas are south at Point Lobos and in Big Sur.  Here is one from the pull out at Bixby Bridge.  For a pull out off the highway, it’s a pretty epic view and really does Big Sur some amazing justice for that coastline.  Here are a few from my time with Austin + Sara who are getting married at Holman Ranch this Spring.

Over the holiday break my hubby surprised me with a few nights in Carmel at the cute The Hideaway (highly recommend!) with some adventures to Carmel Valley to wine taste and Big Sur for some adventures.  The Hideaway had a killer breakfast every morning and a little cocktail hour with bites everynight which is always so nice.  After settling in, we ate amazing Italian food at the intimate Little Napoli which is a sister restaurant to Vesuvio which I highly recommend for a larger group or night out with the girls.  Little Napoli was warm and intimate which I loved since it was just the two of us, where as Vesuvio is a much larger restaurant with a killer rooftop lounge area complete with fire pits and twinkly lights.  The best gnocchi of my life was had at Vesuvio.

The next day, we cruised south to Big Sur and hit up Nepenthe for their epic view and a couple bloody Mary’s with lunch before hitting McWay Falls that’s been on my bucket list forever.  I definitely want to go back at sunset with a real camera to capture that beauty!  It’s literally right off the highway and not really a hike but definitely worthy of parking to check it out.  After the waterfall, we bombed south to catch a surf before sunset at Sand Dollar Beach.  The surf was pretty big and messy but hard to resist when we checked it cuz all the dolphins where catching waves and jumping out the back of them so I had to jump in to play with them!  With about 30 minutes to spare, we decked it in the parking lot before heading south to Treebones to grab a drink with a view for sunset.  This place was so chill and quiet with only two other couples on the patio for sunset and the folks there didn’t blink twice at our salty post surf attire.  It was the perfect ending to the day.

The next morning we hit up Point Lobos for the full loop with all the tourist.  This place is another favorite of mine for engagement sessions.  I love the Whaler’s Cove side as it’s fairly accessible for couples who don’t want to hike to far in heels or ankle boots. Right ladies?! 😉

After our hike, we hit up Folktale Winery.  Their customer service and atmosphere was amazing!  We were greeted with bubbly upon arriving in cute champagne coups and a menu for flights and bites.  I fully recommend them as a stop if you’re looking for a nice patio to enjoy the sun with a glass with friends or family!  In addition to wine tasting and bites, they host small concerts and weddings there too.

It was fun to show Rod around the places I go regularly for work and for me to actually be able to soak it all up.  I always want to stay and play but with timelines and the shuffle of life I usually only get to shoot and leave.  The only exception to that rule would be my go to Baja Cantina in Carmel Valley… it seems to be where I always end up with vendor friends down that way.  You can’t really rush through chips and margaritas with friends!SaveSave

Old World Meets California Wedding InspirationGreen Wedding Shoes Feature | Published

Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley California Wedding Venue
The 1920’s Hacienda courtyard up at Santa Lucia Preserve makes the perfect wedding backdrop with it’s old world feel and views of the Carmel Hills. Christine Cater used caramels, creams and chestnut to style all our vignettes with 
warm earth tones of early fall.  She painted the ivy walls and iron gate in garden roses and anchored the ceremony site with terra-cotta pots filled with silver dollar. Haute Bridal gowns set the stage for our three looks. One being a Haley Paige gown. We took the designers cue, who wore three gowns on her wedding day and rocked three different looks. We started with an etherial gown for the ceremony by Pronovia. A regal open back beaded Hayley Paige gown for the reception. And a chiffon gown by Amsale that caught wind, wild horses and panoramic views at sunset. For a bride who wants to feel a world away, this is the perfect venue. You will be surrounded by 20,000 acres of open space full of wildlife, yet enjoy the intimate old world feel of the Hacienda’s courtyard with friends and family by the fireplace. A true California dream wedding.

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I had a mega-fun sess with my fall Holman Ranch couple.  We started off at the local pub, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. Danielle is such trooper!!  She had a major surgery on Monday before their Saturday Sess where we hoofed it all over Wilder Ranch before heading down to Four Mile beach. She text me the next day it was all worth it.  Yeah baby!  I’m so excited for their wedding at Holman Ranch.  I get to work with the lovely ladies of Coastside Couture and the talented The Hair and Make Up Company who did her up for her engagement session too!  She also told me they booked the super cute Booth Bus for the night.  Whoo hoo!  Way to wrap my wedding season up come November.  0019_DanielleBrianEsession 0026_DanielleBrianEsession 0039_DanielleBrianEsession 0070_DanielleBrianEsession 0078_DanielleBrianEsession 0088_DanielleBrianEsession 0066_DanielleBrianEsession 0092_DanielleBrianEsession 0104_DanielleBrianEsession

Gardener Ranch | WEDDING

Gardener Ranch has the loveliest pathways lined with oak trees and a beautiful green meadow.  They also have a few homes on the grounds so you and your guest can stay the weekend and really enjoy your time connecting with family and friends.  Alex and Kendra were all about friends + family!  They had amazing food and had family style dinning which I love.  There is something so communal about passing a dish and pouring some wine for your neighbor.  Kendra was such a laid back bride.  She puts total trust in her wedding planner, Elizabeth of Elements Events who did a fabulous job of keeping order to the day so Kendra could soak it up and relax.  Check out all the pretty details from their day below. 0002 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0010 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0015 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0137 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0149 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0190 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0193 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0248 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0260 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0327 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0329 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0446 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0467 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0478 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0543 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0622 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0685 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0827 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0912 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0921 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0930 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0971 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 1029 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0980 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0987 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 0998 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 1005 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY 1006 j u l i e c a h i l l PHOTOGRAPHY