Sonoma Coast Elopement Overlooking Cliffs and an Epic Sunset

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Don't freak out about this being the biggest wedding year since 1984 -- 2022 bookings are still available with me!

Sonoma Coast State Park Elopement // Bodega Bay, CA // Elopement Photographer

A man is about to place a ring on the hand of his wife during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.

Wow, what a day this was! Kseniya and Nathan booked me super last minute for their Sonoma coast elopement (they actually snagged my personal record by two days — I received their inquiry 19 days in advance!) and I was so excited to be able to work with them and help plan their dream wedding day! They were originally looking at eloping somewhere on the Pt. Reyes coast, but were open to other ideas. I had just come out to Sonoma Coast State Park a week or two earlier to scout some new spots, and was able to offer them up to these two, including where they decided to have their ceremony.

The other incredible thing about them is that they now have three anniversaries on this date! They chose to get married on the day of their dating anniversary, which also happened to be the anniversary of their engagement. How cool is that?!

Kseniya and Nathan’s elopement was filled with so much contagious joy that it was hard not to smile, literally the entire day (including after I came home and started editing their photos). We met in the parking lot shortly before their ceremony, where they said their vows overlooking the ocean cliffs and exchanged rings. A few people driving by on the roads shouted congratulations throughout the day; if you look closely, you might be able to spot the two photos I snagged of those (separate) moments where they’re looking off camera.

After their ceremony, we wandered the trails that line the cliffs, stopping once for them to take in the view, and once for Nathan to empty Kseniya’s shoes of pebbles (I told them I was getting major Cinderella vibes with the way he helped her back into her shoe 😂). By the time we climbed 75 feet up the trail we stopped to catch our breath and bring all of our body temps back down — because who likes feeling gross and sweaty from hiking in wedding clothes? Uh, no one. Anyway, that was when Kseniya surprised us with her awesome dance skills to help the breeze circulate through her heavy dress. And you bet I got both those moments on film. I’m serious when I tell couples that the majority of what I’m photographing on a wedding day is how it naturally unfolds!

After taking some portraits at the literal top of a cliffside mountain, we headed straight down to the beach, where these two popped a bottle of bubbly, and shared a picnic with their four friends they’d brought along as officiant and witnesses. In between bites we ran up and down the beach taking some of my favorite portraits ever, and occasionally stopped to stare and drink in the incredibly breathtaking sunset happening in front of us on the water. Once the sun went down, we all started climbing back up to the cliffs in twilight; every so often stopping to turn over our shoulders and witness the incredible sunset that seemed to be putting on a show just for us as the bookend to their Sonoma coast elopement.


Kseniya and Nathan left me the most magical review and I couldn’t help not share it. Truly, reading words like these from my couples is the most humbling thing ever!

“We are so happy Meg was our photographer! She is super responsive, flexible, funny, and incredibly easy to work with. We were planning our special day on an extremely tight deadline and Meg genuinely cared to help us make it memorable. She went above and beyond to suggest great spots for our ceremony, portraits, and she even had a list of cute Airbnbs to recommend! Meg is extremely knowledgeable and she made us feel comfortable throughout every step. On the day of our elopement, she made everything natural and fun.The results exceeded our expectations! The photos captured the personality and joy of our wedding day as well as the most intimate and detailed moments in such a beautiful and unique way. Meg is a real gem!”

A man holds his wedding vows in both hands and reads them aloud to his wife during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
A woman holds her wedding vows in both hands and reads them aloud to her husband during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
A woman holds her wedding vows in both hands and reads them aloud to her husband during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
A man and woman embrace with a laugh during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
A man places a ring on the hand of his wife during their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
Officially pronounced husband and wife, a couple cheer at the end of  their wedding ceremony on the Sonoma coast.
A man has his arm around his new wife as they share a kiss, with her flowers in hand pn the Sonoma coast.
A couple walk hand in hand on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple walk hand in hand on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple walk hand in hand on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple walk hand in hand while smiling at cheering onlookers on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple run laughing hand in hand down a street on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast with the ocean in the background.
A couple run laughing hand in hand down a street on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast with the ocean in the background.
A couple run laughing along the beach on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple run laughing hand in hand along the beach on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple run laughing along the beach on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.
A couple run laughing along the beach on their elopement day on the Sonoma coast.

Um and how about that fucking sunset??! Yeah, multiple expressions needed there because it was that insane. The orange and pink is not an editing exaggeration whatsoever. Anyway I hope you loved scrolling through Kseniya and Nathan’s Sonoma coast elopement as much as I do! If you’re wanting another elopement gallery to check out, highly rec Jasmine and Alejandro’s Sonoma backyard Airbnb elopement! Or, if you want to check out Kristen and Ian’s engagement session I happened to photograph at the same exact place, that’s a great one too.

What do you even spend an elopement day doing? The possibilities can feel overwhelming, so let me give you somewhere to start!

So you're curious about eloping, but...

Get access to my free PDF guide walking you through three real-world elopement timelines. 5, 8, and 12 hour days are included to give you broad examples across all kinds of days and activities.

Download the guide

Wondering what an all-day elopement looks like?
Download my Elopement Timeline guide to get real-world examples of 5, 8, and 12 hour elopement days!

p.s. This is a great resource even if you aren't totally sure you're going to elope! Download this just to see the possibilities that are out there.

Enter your email on the right so I can send this Elopement Timeline Guide straight to your inbox. Cheering you on!

And if you run into any issues accessing this, please don't hesitate to email me at hello@megcooperphoto.com so I can help! 

Enter your email below so I can send this Elopement Timeline Guide straight to your inbox. Cheering you on!

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