Intimate Elopement at Carmel’s Ribera Beach :: Ashley & Jake

The California coast has a special place in our team’s hearts, so when Douglas Despres sent us this stunning Carmel beach elopement, we were delighted! The gorgeous light and natural beauty of Ribera Beach provided the perfect backdrop for Ashley and Jake’s intimate celebration.


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“We had originally planned to have a traditional wedding with friends and family. We even had a venue selected and deposit paid! But as we began working out the details, the day began to feel less about us. We decided, on a whim, to eat the costs we had already spent, forego the traditional wedding, and elope. Two weeks later we were married, and we didn’t tell anyone until after the wedding! It ended up being the greatest day.”


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The Ceremony

“One of the first connections was our love of water sports and the ocean. Both Ashley and I felt that being married next to the ocean would be the ideal place for us to connect with each other and our love of the ocean.”


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Your ceremony in three words.  Intimate, simple, serene.

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  One tradition we wanted to include was keeping the bride’s dress hidden from the groom until the ceremony. Since we dressed together that morning, Jake blind-folded himself while I zipped into my dress. It made for a tricky trip down the two flights of stairs to the car, but it was worth it to have that moment during the ceremony!


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Who officiated your ceremony?  Ken Robins was a local officiant we found on Yelp. After speaking with him for an hour on the phone, we both agreed that he would be the perfect person to lead us on our wedding day.

What was your ceremony music?  The sounds of the ocean, wind, and birds.


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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  The rare beautifully clear day in February in Carmel. Not a cloud in the sky nor a hitch in the day.


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What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Make the day about the two of you and your love!


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What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Don’t get caught up in everyone else’s wants and needs for your big day! Focus on planning a celebration that will honor your relationship and the love that brought you to your wedding.


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If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Nope!


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In a little twist on tradition, Ashley tossed her bouquet of garden roses, hydrangeas, and dusty miller by Twiggery Carmel into the ocean following the ceremony and portraits on the beach.


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Vendor Credits

Photography: Douglas Despres / Venue: Ribera Beach in Carmel, California / Floral Design: Twiggery Carmel / Dress: White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal / Shoes: Ted Baker / Jewelry: Kate Spade / Suit: Suit Supply / Shirt, Tie: David Donahue / Shoes: Cole Haan / Cufflinks: Tiffany / Officiant: Ken Robins


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