Today’s bride is utter elegance in her Vera Wang gown and a classic updo – a gorgeous foil to the rustic, eclectic style of this Big Sur wedding. Photos by Nancy Neil.

Has pleating ever looked so dreamy?!

The invitation suite highlighted the rugged Big Sur coast, and described the location of the wedding as “where the mountains meet the sea.”

A unique detail about this wedding location? “There is very little cell phone service in Big Sur,” says Sally, “Which most event planners would say is less than ideal when executing an important event! But we loved the fact that once you were there, you were there, and you just had to go with the flow. It helped people disconnect, relax, and be really present in the experience.”

Says Sally, “Music is a huge part of our life and our connection, so the music was very personal and so memorable! We asked several friends (most of whom had previously never even met) to come together with multiple guitars and vocals and perform “My Sweet Lord” for the processional and “If I Needed You” during the ceremony. Having a live music element, (as tricky as it was to coordinate given that we were outdoors, perched on the edge of the earth) was absolutely worth it.”

From Sally: “I’m a warm weather person (a Texan!) and was really hopeful that we’d have a sunny, clear day. It was the one thing I was fixated on up to the last minute! I was pretty bummed and anxious when the fog wasn’t lifting throughout the morning. But once we got to the venue, I realized all was exactly as it should be. The fog shrouded the coast and created a really beautiful, dramatic setting. Looking back, I’m so glad the weather turned out as it did. The photos were gorgeous and the sound carried really beautifully in the fog. It felt like we were all nestled together in a cloud. It was perfect.”

A custom neon sign with the newlyweds’ last name added a little rock ‘n’ roll flair to the reception site.

Guests roasted “Sosa’mores” (a play on the newlyweds’ last name) over a bonfire.

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We share a deep love and connection to the outdoors, and have spent many killer weekends in Big Sur together. We both just sort of knew and agreed that it had to be outdoors and that Big Sur was the dream. We chose this particular spot because it is stunning, charming, and unfussy. It’s all about the natural landscape, and despite the expanse of the view, it still feels very intimate. It’s hard not to feel something when you stand there, wedged between the ocean and the mountains, looking out across the most beautiful horizon.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  My family on my mother’s side has a tradition of engraving a small gold clover with the wedding date to be sewn into the bride’s gown on a blue string. My sister was the most recent bride in the family, so she did the honors. Also on the thread was my grandmother’s wedding ring and a gorgeous vintage watch face that belonged to my namesake. That’s a lot of good luck to have stashed below the belt! Charlie and I also chose not to see each other before the ceremony. This was no small task, as the property is pretty much one big open lawn! But we managed and it was worth it.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To make sure I continued on with life outside of wedding planning – hanging out with friends, prioritizing a self-care plan, and in general not becoming completely consumed by it. Luckily, I had amazing planning partners in my sister and my mom so I was able to maintain some normality to life and not get completely overwhelmed! Also, to respect and honor that getting engaged and getting married are profound life experiences. To take time to reflect and have patience with the transition Charlie and I were going through together.

What advice do you have for other brides?  I’d share with them the advice above – try not to let the planning overtake your entire life. Make time for things you love to do, take good care of yourself, and be patient with yourself, your groom, and your family. Also – when it comes to the event, there are no rules! Make sure that you fill the day with things that you love over trends or things you think you “should” do. Ultimately, the best wedding will be one that reflects exactly who the two of you are.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Charlie is a screenwriter, so instead of the traditional escort card, Charlie wrote a mock screenplay. The story focused on an energetic little ringman (our 2 year old nephew) as he and the groom made their way through a beautiful wedding day setting pre-ceremony, searching for a lost wedding ring, and greeting guests and bantering with friends and family along the way. Every single guest’s name at our wedding was included in the screenplay either as a character name, in a scene heading, or action. The page on which your name appeared within the screenplay was your table number. On arrival, guests were met by a table displaying Henry Miller’s typewriter and stacks of mini screenplays that directed them to their seats.


See more eclectic details from this Big Sur wedding in the gallery.

Photographer: Nancy Neil / Venue: Point 16 in Big Sur, California / Event Planner: Brooke Rogers of Ruby Rogers Studio / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang / Groom’s Suit: Ben Sherman / Bow Tie: Barney’s New York/ Bridesmaid Dresses: Tadashi Shoji / Stationery: Andrew Johnson / Floral Concepts: Brooke Howsley of Pollen Floral Art / Floral Design: Kate Healey / Rentals: Classic Party Rental, Alexis Party RentalAvista Rentals  / Caterer: Cheri Gladstone of A Big Sur Affair / Hair & Makeup: Dionne Stevens, (415) 260-9823 / Super 8 Videographer:  Brian Guihan (818) 471-6580 / DJ: Colm Larkin and Dan Calderon
  • Foggy Big Sur Wedding with Eclectic Design

    6 March 2013
  • 19 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings
    1. Lisa

      I love their invitation suite, and their portraits are so stunning!

      / Reply
    2. Joody

      Oh how beautiful! Love the natural decors and all the images. It’s also very clever of the couple to do it in big sur so everyone will be present in the moment vs checking their phones and what nots. Love this!

      / Reply
    3. Ashleigh from Marry Metro

      Now THAT’S an invitation suite! Nailed it, Andrew Johnson!!!

      / Reply
    4. lydia {ever ours}

      gorgeous invitation sweet…and of course, you can’t go wrong with a vera wang.

      / Reply
    5. lydia {ever ours}

      *suite not sweet! you know what’s on my mind now…

      / Reply
    6. Inspired by This Blog

      Love the beauty of the outdoors in this wedding! And that invitation suite…incredible! :]

      / Reply
    7. Em

      Gorgeous gown!

      / Reply
    8. Simone

      So many pluses that come with out door weddings. The natural beauty and then the best of all SMORES! :–)

      / Reply
    9. Margaret Johnson

      What a beautiful wedding. So sorry we were unable to attend. I loved seeing all the pictures. Sally, you were beautiful. So proud of you and Charlie.

      / Reply
    10. Dress Envy – Something Pretty

      […] Be sure to check out the gorgeous, foggy Big Sur wedding this amazing dress came from! It was photographed by Love Nancy Neil Photography and featured on Snippet and Ink. […]

      / Reply
    11. NY Wedding Photographer

      Wow! This is an amazing wedding. The invitations are really unique, and I really love the bride’s dress.

      / Reply
    12. Alison

      The invitation suite is amazing! Do you happen to have contact details/website for Andrew Johnson? The link doesn’t work. Thanks!

      / Reply
      • Sally

        Hi Alison,
        You can reach Andrew at He is amazing and fantastic to work with!

    13. Sally

      Also, Brooke Rogers (event planner) was heavily involved in the design as well:

      / Reply
    14. Maggie

      Just beautiful. A joy to revisit the day!

      / Reply
    15. Loretta

      We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
      Your site provided us with valuable information to
      work on. You have done an impressive job and our
      entire community will be grateful to you.

      / Reply
    16. A Warm SF Home with a Rock ‘n Roll Twist | Rank Up To Live

      […] with family. The neon Sosa sign was a surprise gift for Charlie from my mom and stepdad on our wedding day in Big Sur. When the sun set, the sign lit up behind the bar. The barstools are Crate and […]

      / Reply

      There is certainly a lot to learn about this issue. I love all
      of the points you’ve made.

      / Reply
    18. Theresa

      WHO did those invitations? Obsessed.

      / Reply

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