Our Wedding // Intimate Big Sur Adventure Wedding // Nate & Megan
Lately we've had a lot of our couples & friends ask about our wedding. I love showing photos & sharing about how we did things, so I thought I'd put it all together into one post. Seeing as how yesterday was Valentine's and we spent the day reminiscing about our favorite memories together, the timing seemed appropriate. This is probably going to be long & a bit mushy, so if you feel like skipping ahead to the photos, I totally understand.
People always ask if there’s anything we would change about the way we did our wedding now that we’re photographers and have photographed lots of beautiful weddings. And the answer to that question is always a resounding no. I loved our wedding so much, and there isn’t a single thing I would have done differently. When we got married, we didn’t know that “adventure weddings” were a thing, and even now, almost three years later, our wedding feels so true to who we are. We had an intimate wedding on a cliffside in Big Sur, California. It started with us saying our vows and holding tight against the wind & fog, and ended with a campfire on the beach as the sun went down. I can honestly say that our wedding was one of the best days of my life, and every time I look back on it I feel so happy & proud of the way we did it.
We had a very small budget, so we wanted to make the most out of it. We picked the things that were most important to us and focused our budget around those things (photography, a dress, and having our close friends with us). Our photos were done by our dear friend Andrew Czap, whose work I still look up to for inspiration. My dress was handmade by our talented friend & designer, Eduar Lamprea. Our friends performed the music for our ceremony. And everything else was secondary to that. So we picked wildflowers for bouquets & boutenniers, I made my own headpiece from my grandmother’s pearls and some string and flowers, and as an art student at the time, I handmade all of the plates & platters to serve food on. Nate’s outfit was mostly thrifted, and we had friends bring blankets to sit on for a picnic on the beach. It was simple, and because so much of it was made by ourselves & friends, everything felt especially meaningful.
We started our wedding week with a caravan of two cars & our closest friends. We drove from Texas to California, stopping to camp in New Mexico & Joshua Tree National Park on the way to Big Sur. We drank lots of coffee, slept in hammocks, woke up for sunrise, and had a ton of fun with the people we love most. This was one of the best parts of our wedding, spending a few days before the big day adventuring around with our buds.
There's so much I could say about our wedding, its hard to narrow it down to something even remotely cohesive. This is probably going to be overly flowery & emotional, and I don't care because it was our wedding and I loved it so much. When planning our wedding, one of my biggest priorities was to not be stressed on the day. I'd been to so many big weddings where the bride is pulled on from all sides, people asking how she want the napkins folded and what length of ribbon should go around the centerpieces. All things I could care less about. Everyone talks about how your wedding day is a blur, it goes by so fast, and you're just left with the photos to remember it. I didn't want our wedding day to be a blur. I wanted to be fully present, to soak it in, to truly feel & experience every part of it. In the morning, I got ready with my mom & sisters & friends, then Nate and I went to lunch together. No photographers or anything, just the two of us. We exchanged gifts, had a few drinks, and talked through all of our nerves & anticipation. I put my wedding dress on in the dressing room of a gift shop next to the restaurant, and we showed up to the ceremony site together.
It was foggy & cold, even more beautiful than I could have anticipated. I thought I would cry while hearing the vows Nate had written or while reciting mine, but we were more giddy & excited than I have ever been in my life. We had communion & prayed together, and Nate wrapped me up in his jacket to keep me warm. We kissed, hugged our families, and went down to the beach for a picnic.
Yep, we had a BYOB wedding. And we had an array of hors d'oeuvres catered from Whole Foods. Nate's sister made cupcakes. We ran around the beach and got in the water and played music next to a campfire. It was relaxed, intimate, and pretty much everything I could have ever dreamed of for my wedding day.
There's nothing like getting to watch the sun go down in a beautiful place, with the people you love most in life, while the one you love sings you a song by a campfire. I didn't have a single ounce of stress or a worry in the world that entire day. And I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could.
My biggest piece of advice to couples planning their wedding is this: put tradition & everyone else expectations aside, and think of what is most important to you. Then add in traditions & whatnot as you see fit, as support pieces to your main goal. For us, the most important thing was to have a laidback day in an inspiring place with the people we love. Like I mentioned above, our wedding day was one of the best days of my life, and I truly believe that everyone deserves to feel that way on their wedding day. It wasn't about the flowers, or the dress, or the cake, or even the photos. It was about experiencing love fully--love of nature, love from our closest friends & family, and committing to love for each other, for eternity. And I'd like to think we succeeded in not letting anything else distract from that.
I have to shoutout to these wonderful people who made our day what it was.
Photography: Andrew Czap
Videography: Nate James Wood
Dress: Eduar Lamprea
Music: David Stimson, Nick Kantor, Jon Chapman
Invitations: Jon Chapman
Flowers: nature, the yard of the Airbnb we stayed at, and of course Lauren, Rachel, and Emily who helped put them together.
Officiants: Nate & Sarah Ndjerareou
Catering: Whole Foods
And a special shoutout to our wonderful families who made the whole thing possible.
Cedar & Pines is an adventure wedding photography duo made up of Nate and Megan Kantor, a married couple based in the mountains of Colorado. They believe in honest wedding photography, capturing the small candid moments to the epic landscape views. They love photographing intimate weddings and adventure elopements from the mountains of Colorado to destination weddings in California, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Washington and the ends of the earth.