Elope in Santa Cruz on the beach!

        So far, 2013 is going down as the most mild winter weather I can remember! With gorgeous days like this, it’s hard to believe it’s February. Sunshine and blue skies, two of my favorite ingredients for beach weddings! And of course the third ingredient…

        seabright beach

        Love!

        seabright beach lighthouse

        Congratulations, Ellen & Troy! You picked the perfect day to elope!

        walton lighthouse in Santa Cruz

        If you’re planning to elope in Santa Cruz or the Monterey Bay area, give me a call 831-325-4183. I’ve photographed 100s of weddings and elopements and know the area well! Thank you to Lyssabeth’s Wedding Officiants for referring another awesome couple!

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        • Trudy - February 26, 2013 - 9:26 AM

          What great photos! Makes me want to grab my fiance, jump in my car and go to Santa Cruz and elope!

        Santa Cruz Love Project, a portrait fundraiser

        Every year on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, I host a portrait fundraiser for local non-profits. This year I chose the Safe Schools Project which trains area youth to help promote tolerance and understanding at their  junior high and high schools.

        a love theme portrait fundraiser

        Walk-ins are welcome! Check out our Facebook page and last year’s event.

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        A Santa Cruz beach wedding and cruising at the Boardwalk.

        Last summer was one of the busiest and warmest summers I think I’ve had in Santa Cruz. Now that it’s colder and I’m not shooting as much, I’m finally getting the chance to review and reflect on so many special weddings I captured. That’s a great thing about photography, you get to relive your memories through photos.

        Dream Inn Santa Cruz wedding

        Stephanie & Ian chose Santa Cruz for their destination beach wedding for the awesome views, tropical subtleties and fun activities. They started their day at the Dream Inn and then took their custom vintage ride down Beach Street.

        santa cruz boardwalk

        Next stop, a sweet family ceremony under the light house at Seabright Beach with the brother of the bride as the officiant.

        lighthouse wedding photos

         It was a little windy, but the skies were clear, and love was everywhere.

        love is everywhere in Santa Cruz

        Cake from the Buttery

        Keeping with their retro tropical theme, the couple chose Hulas as the perfect place for their wedding reception. Check out that adorable 60′s inspired frosting, courtesy of The Buttery.

        tattoo wedding rings

        Matching tattoos instead of rings, so cool!

        Hulas wedding reception

         Cheers to Stephanie & Ian! I wish you a lifetime of cool breezes, warm hearts and lots of love.

        If you are planning a wedding in Santa Cruz or anywhere on the Monterey Bay, give me a call 831-325-4183 or email me for more information.

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        You don’t have to be a celebrity to elope in Big Sur!

        In the past year a couple of A-list celebrities tied the knot here in Big Sur. I think they were attracted to the seclusion and beauty of this remote location. I can’t think of a more romantic place to elope than Big Sur, California. It’s equal parts gorgeous, private and magical.

        elope kiss

        Big Sur has something for everyone. There are wonderful restaurants, high end hotels, camping areas and many unique places to stay. Check out this recent elopement at the historic Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn. David and Renee travelled here from Wisconsin to get married in the ancient Redwood grove and to stay in one of the adorable cabins (above).

        wedding couple on beach

        The beaches in Big Sur are nothing short of amazing!!  I hear there is even a beach with pink sand! Another reason I must go back soon.

        a kiss on the beach

        The end to a beautiful day. Congratulations, David & Renee! Other vendors who made this elopement spectacular include Lezlie with Grand Design Floral and Zee with Lyssabeth’s Weddings.

        Check out this link to an engagement session I photographed at the Henry Miller Library a couple of years ago.

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        Tips on planning a beach wedding in Santa Cruz.

        I think it’s pretty apparent that I love photographing weddings on the beach! I’ve photographed hundreds of beach weddings all over the Monterey Bay and consider myself very knowledgable on the subject. I was really happy when my sister inlaw, Claire, called to tell me that she and her fiance had decided to make it official and have their wedding here in Santa Cruz! Since they were travelling here from the central valley with their closest friends and family, she wanted my advice on planning the perfect Santa Cruz destination wedding. I was even happier that they listened to my expert opinion!

        santa cruz beach wedding

        The first thing I suggested is to get married in the late afternoon or at sunset. Weddings on the beach during the middle of the day can be very bright causing people to squint. Not only is the sun bright but there is also reflective light from the sand. Since they wanted to celebrate all weekend the second thing I suggested is that they get married on Friday. This way they could relax and enjoy the weekend with their guests before they went on their honeymoon. I also told her that the best weather here on the Northern Coast is in late Fall and we scored a beautiful weekend on the first Friday in November. Thank you Mother Nature!

        Dream Inn Santa Cruz

        I also suggested that they stay at the Dream Inn because I love the light and decor at this beachfront hotel. Plus, there is so much to do and see right around the hotel. I also love their restaurant, Aquarius. Awesome food and an amazing view.

        pretty flowers for the alter area

         My mother inlaw and sister inlaw are also in the wedding business. For over 20 years their dress shop, Earth Angel, has been catering to brides and weddings. One thing I’ve learned from them is you can’t skimp on flowers! They were very happy with my colleague and good friend Lezlie with Grand Design floral.

        santa cruz beach wedding

        santa cruz beach wedding

        A family portrait on the beach. That’s me standing next to the Groom, Kory, aka my new brother inlaw! Thank you, Celeste, my second shooter, for taking this photo. For some reason I’m always missing from these photo opps!

        Shadowbrook wedding reception

        The reception was held at Shadowbrook in Capitola. I love to wine and dine here!! I’ve photographed many weddings at this fine establishment. I was happy when Claire chose this venue after visiting a few other places I suggested. We ended the night by launching chinese lanterns. They were completely biodegradable and the perfect way to end the evening.  Click here to see more images.  Click here for information on permits and marriage license in Santa Cruz county. Congratulations Kory & Claire!

        If you are planning a beach wedding in Santa Cruz, give me a call 831-325-4183. I can refer you to a local wedding planner or answer any questions you might have. Planning to elope in this area? Check out this link.

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