Blissful Carmel by the Sea Elopement


September 5, 2023

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Specializing in film & digital photographs as well as Super 8 Films. Based in Tampa, FL but will happily travel to your destination. Now booking for 2025.
Katelyn Rose
Wedding couple standing on the cliffside of Carmel

This blissful Carmel by the Sea elopement day felt like it was out of a vintage fairytale. It was filled with sweet and unique moments that will have you wanting to run to the California coast to elope.

Morgan and Nick were originally planning on having a traditional wedding, but one wine bar conversation with a stranger changed their plans completely once they learned about Carmel by the Sea in California.

If you’ve never heard of Carmel, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine quaint fairytale cottages lining the town streets that sit next to the beautiful, moody yet colorful Northern California coastline. Carmel is very close to the well-known area of Big Sur!

Whether you were thinking about having a traditional wedding or eloping, keep reading about this Carmel by the Sea elopement and let these artful digital and film photos inspire you to make your wedding day uniquely yours!

We started with a drizzly sunrise stroll in downtown Carmel on the morning of their elopement day. Slowly we wandered down to Carmel beach. It was a peaceful, romantic morning that was the perfect way to begin their elopement day.

couple photos in Carmel by the Sea
couple walking to Carmel beach
film photo on carmel beach


After spending the morning wandering around Carmel by the Sea, we went back to the Tickled Pink Inn. They ordered room service breakfast before getting ready for the rest of their elopement day.

Morgan got ready at the Senator’s Cottage. She did her own hair and makeup after taking a beauty tutorial from Makeup By Kelli Anne . This is a great option for your elopement day! Sometimes with the cost of professional glam or needing services in remote location, it doesn’t always make sense to hire a beauty team for your elopement day. Morgan looked absolutely stunning!

You’ll also notice Morgan and her mom arranging flowers – the day before got flowers at the local farmer’s market in Carmel and everyone helped put together her bouquet. I absolutely adore how simple and laid back their elopement day was yet filled with so much meaning.

Meanwhile, Nick got ready in their hotel room which had a gorgeous view of the ocean. Each of them had a few important family members in attendance who joined in the getting ready. Just because you’re eloping, doesn’t mean you have to be totally alone!

bride and groom getting ready on their elopement day
bride getting ready for elopement
groom getting ready with friends for elopement


We headed to Garrapata State Park for their elopement ceremony. It’s about a 7-minute drive from Carmel and offers stunning views of the coastline! You do need to get a permit at least 90 days in advance to get married here. The night before, we all scouted in the park to find the perfect spot for their ceremony and post ceremony portraits.

For their actual ceremony, Morgan walking down the “aisle” was the first time they saw each other. Nick’s reaction was so precious. He was filled with such giddy excitement! Morgan’s brother married them while Morgan’s mom, stepdad, and Nick’s mom and aunt witnessed it all.

wedding ceremony on a cliffside in carmel
carmel by the sea elopement
wedding portraits in carmel by the sea


After their ceremony, we headed back to Carmel for a celebratory dinner at the Casanova Carmel. We had our own private dinner space in the Van Gough room. It was the most intimate celebration for Morgan and Nick, surrounded by their loved ones.

Keep reading to see film photos from one of the most precious meals I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of!

elopement reception venue in carmel

“After the cliff side ceremony, wrangling the wild wild wedding veil, and portraits at the Senators Cottage – we drove to Casanova in downtown Carmel. We all nestled to fit around a table in this eclectic dining room.

It felt so surreal – Adam and I were guests at the wedding table and even ordered off the menu – it was such a cool experience and so intimate. If it weren’t for our cameras we would have no business being there, but the privilege to preserve everyone existing after an incredibly emotional wedding day is an experience I don’t take lightly. It was a balance of photos and conversation.

We sat across from Morgan and Nick – the giddy exhaustion apparent on their faces. This was one of those lightning in a bottle evenings.”

– My journal entry about their elopement

Carmel-by-the-Sea Elopement Vendor Team:

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