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Less is More at this Ocean Front Wedding in Big Sur


Talk about a WOW factor! With panoramic ocean and mountain views, this French garden wedding in Big Sur has us in awe. It is full of low saturated colors, California vibes, amazing finds on Etsy, and has lots of DIY wedding inspiration. All the wedding decorations outside of the flowers were done by the couple! Keep scrolling to see the long farm tables at the reception, a dance floor, and of course gorgeous sun set sky views!

Big Sur Flowers created all of the amazing florals and Nate Puhr photographed and filmed this special day at BigSurific Retreats. You can see all the images in the full gallery.


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Less Is More

You know the saying "less is more"? Well, that statement certainly rings true for this stunning ocean-front wedding in Big Sur. Melody & Chris focused their wedding plans on what mattered most: their most precious union and ensuring those who came to celebrate had a great time.

The BigSurific Retreats private estate offered such a scenic setting with panoramic ocean and mountain views, the wow factor was already there. The rest of their design fell perfectly into place with a grounded floral arch in hues of blue and blush by Big Sur Flowers for their ceremony. Wooden estate tables and chairs encircling the dancefloor served as the canvas for their reception decor. Fun touches were brought in by Chic Event Rentals, such as gold chargers and silverware and floral plates. Clear glass bottles and vases lined the tables with pretty blooms, adding to the “less is more” natural elegance of their reception.

Guests enjoyed an intimate meal from H Jackson Events and wedding cake from Sweet Weddings. As the sun set, the sky came alive. Without city lights to mar the view, guests had the most beautiful starlit evening. The details came together beautifully thanks to BigSurific Retreats and Nate Puhr captured it all to perfection.





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From the couple

The original wedding was planned for May 23rd, 2020 at Charles Krug in Saint Helena for 120 guests. Like many other couples in the area, we had no option but to delay the wedding. With no clue we were getting into a global pandemic, we delayed the wedding to 7/11/20, only to find out the situation worsened. Knowing it'd be impossible to fly our loved ones across the country and the Pacific safely (Chris's family mostly in NYC, mine mostly in China), we had no option but to indefinitely delay the wedding so as to not keep our hearts hanging.

After two years of waiting, we decided to move our choices outside of Napa (which was very popular and expensive). When we started to research alternatives, Big Sur was the first thing that came to mind, we had beautiful dates in our early times and it's a coastline like no other. More importantly, it's a perfect place to look out to the Pacific ocean, you may find it silly but I personally found it being the closest path to my grandparents who would have attended my wedding in 2020, but passed away in China during covid. We toured a couple of locations in Big Sur that could host a wedding of 50 guests (i.e. Wind and Sea), and the view of BigSurific took our breath away and met our needs to have a long farm table and a dance floor.



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Overall wedding vibe is a French garden wedding with low saturated colors, but full of Big Sur/California local vibes. And as you already know, it's an all D.I.Y wedding when it comes to any decorations outside of flowers.

One fun fact is that the wedding color scheme was inspired by Flowers in a green vase by American artist Leon Dabo. When sharing inspiration photos and flower requests to Kate from BigSurflowers, I literally just shared this painting haha.

Our signature drinks have a lot of Asian cultural influence using ingredients such as jasmine tea and Buddha's hand. In Asia, Buddha's hand fruit is a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune. It is also a traditional temple offering and a New Year's gift. I'm a huge tea collector and my friends couldn't find my cocktail drink more suitable (Melo-tea, haha). As for Chris, orange is his favorite color and he's famous for wearing nothing but orange (if you remember the groom's socks), so we made sure his theme is included :)

As I shared, with so much passion in art, I dreamed of designing all the details of my wedding and I did!! Thanks to Canva and so much support from my beloved husband and family! Our logo is at the back of all of the prints, and it's our name initials overlapped on a Chinese "double happiness sign" which is often presented during weddings. We also used a simplified version which only has our initials hugging.




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Materials and Custom Items 

1. For our guest name cards, seating chart, table signs and menus, we printed them on hand-made cotton cardstocks with blue bell petals to match with our color scheme and the romantic french style that we were going for (cardstocks from Etsy).

2. For linens, we brought 50 cotton Napkins, 30 yards of blue cheesecloth runners, and 20 yards of chiffon fabrics. We cut them out and decorated them together the day before the wedding! Despite the hard work, I found it extra fun and special that we were able to decorate our own wedding (and saved tons!)

3. Customized guest books to match with vow books!

4. Everything in gold photo frames to match with the aesthetics of the flatwares and chargers that we picked from Chic Events.

5. Natural Light Oak wood dance floor matching Guest welcome signs on easels (also in similar wood color, as well as guest book).

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