Intimate Micro Wedding in the Hills of Cambria. California

Posted By Holly Castillo Photography on Saturday 09th January 2021

If you’re one of the couple’s who had their 2020 or 2021 wedding plans changed due to the pandemic, you certainly aren’t alone. And if you’re a newly engaged couple who is trying to figure out what the heck you’re going to do for your wedding in an increasingly uncertain world, this blog post is for you!


Melanie and Aaron had their wedding booked at the Camarillo Ranch House, which is a gorgeous historical property and wedding venue in Ventura County in Southern California. I’ve done a couple weddings there before and I was excited to go back for their wedding, but life had other plans. As the pandemic continued and wedding venues in California decided to cancel all their remaining 2020 weddings, Melanie and Aaron had to come up with a new plan. They wanted to keep their original wedding date but needed a venue change.


Melanie contacted me and asked if I was willing to come to Cambria, California for their intimate wedding with just their families and closest friends. My husband and I frequently travel to Morro Bay and the Central California area of Cambria, Cayucos, and Pismo Beach for a favorite getaway spot, so being familiar with it I said “Um yeah!” We normally stay in Morro Bay when we head up to San Luis Obispo County, but this was a great opportunity to branch out and stay in Cambria (I had always wanted to stay at one of the inns on Moonstone Beach). 


So the final venue decision was made through AirBNB, a venue called Saddlerock Ranch in the hills of Cambria. And I mean the hills of Cambria, as in from Highway 1 (PCH) to the venue was a pretty crazy drive through rural roads and farmlands, up hills and through secured gates to get to “The Big House” on the property. But gosh it was worth the drive for the view! From the house and porch you could see all the way to the Pacific Ocean, which led to some pretty spectacular sunset views.


Micro weddings and elopements were already gaining popularity prior to the 2020 shut downs, and now with restrictions on the amount of guests still being enforced, they are a really good option to have a beautiful celebration of your marriage while keeping costs down, and having a range of options available to you that wouldn’t be available with a traditional wedding guest count of 100+ people. AirBNB is a great option, as well as National Parks where you can privately exchange vows in gorgeous locations with your officiant and wedding photographer! 


Smaller weddings also give your wedding photographer more opportunity with just you as a couple to take photos instead of having a jam packed reception and lots of events to capture. I spent a good hour with Melanie and Aaron taking wedding portraits, and we reconvened during dinner to watch the sunset and do more. 


I’m splitting this post into 2 parts because it’s just chocked full of goodness and a lot of photos. Stay tuned for Part 2!


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