Redwoods + Coast in Big Sur, California

the hearnes » adventure elopement photographers

debbie + rick's intimate elopement among the redwoods and portraits on the coast of Big Sur

When Debbie and Rick first reached out to us, they were on the fence about the idea of eloping in the first place! They loved the idea, but weren’t sure how their families would feel about it. We never want to pressure people into a decision, especially one as big as choosing to elope, but we explained why we’re huge fans of elopements and left it up to them. A few weeks later, I got an email from Debbie that was full of excitement, they had decided on an elopement! They both knew they’d wanted that in their hearts, and when they committed to it they were both over the moon with the decision. We got to planning and they immediately requested Big Sur in California because it held so much meaning and value to them as one of their favorite destinations. After sending me some photos from their road trip scouting mission, I knew we were in for an epic day. 

One really fun aspect of their wedding was they had my brother Conner as their officiant! They chose to hire someone they didn’t know personally to do their elopement because they didn’t want anyone to feel left out, so when we suggested Conner they were psyched! He came in a few days early and got to experience some van life with us - and his trip happened to fall on my birthday which felt extra special. We spent a few days before exploring the Big Sur area to re-familiarize ourselves with it since it’d been over a year since our last visit. When we finally met up with Debbie and Rick for their elopement, we were so excited to explore it through their eyes!

They planned their ceremony in a little Redwood Grove that we all hiked into together. After a tearful exchange of the sweetest vows, Conner announced to the forest that they were officially married and their joy was overflowing!! I am so in love with these photos right after their ceremony. We then spent the next few hours hiking around the woods, exploring the rocky beach, and finally taking a secret trail out to some rad cliffs for sunset. Debbie + Rick popped champagne, we all watched for mountain lions, and enjoyed the last few minutes of day light in a gorgeous wildflower field surrounded by cows. It was the type of wedding day you just never want to end, and by the time we were packing up our cars we were all smiles and full of disbelief that it had been so perfect. Debbie + Rick may have been a little hesitant to elope at first, but I can guarantee by the end of their day they were so glad they did!

The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads in their big white van, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.