MIchelle & Olivier
Michelle and Olivier live in Canada and wanted a romantic and exciting adventure for their wedding, so they contacted us about getting married in Big Sur. They hired us to do an all-inclusive California elopement with dreams of beautiful beaches and giant redwoods. After intense planning and getting everything in order (from booking impossible-to-get camping sites to hiring vendors) and with only a few weeks before their wedding, Big Sur caught on fire. Between forest fires and COVID, park after park had to close, but after replanning this wedding from scratch 3 times, we settled on a truly magical two-day San Francisco and Northern California Redwoods extravaganza! Disaster struck again a few days before the wedding when Michelle got a nasty injury that took her hiking abilities from a solid 10 mile hike expectation to a 3 mile tops day. After some last minute hiking plan changes, I'm pretty proud with what we came up with!
Michelle and I will be the first to admit that this wedding did NOT happen as planned, but it DID end up being even better.
We started in San Francisco, meeting at our hotel room to get everyone ready. With Michelle looking truly radiant, our tour of San Fran began. Our first stop was a first look at the Japanese Gardens, a truly meaningful spot for Michelle and Olivier, as it's where they first decided to get married and wrote down a list of vows for one another. After that, we hit up Huntington Falls. As a final though Olivier asked "any chances we can get a few photos with the Golden Gate Bridge?" Joe was happy to oblige, while I ran off to pick up and arrange their flowers (shout out to The Bud Stop, which hooked me up with great blooms for Michelle's Bouquet), get all their refrigerated foods, and generally run around San Fran like a chicken with my head cut off.
About 18 hours and more than 350 miles later, we met up again at the trailhead for Fern Canyon. Michelle was a champ and got dressed in the woods and we had our first hike of the day. After relaxing picnic of fine cheeses, nuts, figs, hardy kiwis, and Jackrabbit gin and peach cocktails (with peaches from my mom's tree) under the live oak and we were off to get Michelle and Olivier finally hitched!
We raced against the dying light to a beautiful stand of old growth redwoods where Michelle and Olivier exchanged vows. Their ceremony was beautiful and so them. It began with a 5 minute meditation and was followed by vows whispered to each other. Joe led them through a hand fasting ceremony while they were surrounded by flameless candles. After their first kiss, Joe performed a stirring rendition of "Shallow" by Lady Gaga for their first dance.
While we were a few hours behind schedule and the daylight was waining, we decided to still try for my favorite NoCal beach which was nearly 45 minutes away. While we really pushed curfew (that you to the kind officer who let it slide!), we had an amazing time eating cake, sipping bubbly and playing on the beach. P.S. The "bubbly" popping photos are actually carbonated water. We saved the vino for drinking!
"I would give Knots in the Pines 10 stars if I could. Victoria and Joe went far above and beyond to make our 2-day elopement during COVID the most incredible wedding I have ever been to ever. Not only were the pictures mind-blowingly stunning, but they worked tirelessly to create an incredible experience that was authentic to us despite forest fires, COVID, and only 6 weeks to plan. They took care of everything, from the flowers (so gorgeous!!!) to the trip planning to the food (yum!!!) to getting to know us and creating a ceremony that was highly personalized to who we are as a couple to making acoustic guitar rendition of our song for our first dance. Not only was the planning flawless, but they became the good friends that you would want at your elopement. Once again, thank you Victoria and Joe. We are truly grateful."