Why Oceano Sand Dunes
Also known as Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. It is the largest remaining sand dunes south of San Francisco. It is also the second largest in California. It stretches 18-miles along the central coastline of California and goes from San Luis Obispo County to Santa Barbara County.
Being at these sand dunes will transport you to the desert vibes of Egypt without having to ever leave the states or even California. It’s beauty will truly take your breath away.
After a Beautiful Ceremony
I love doing adventure sessions when the wedding is over. The planning and prep for the ceremony and the reception seem like an eternity. After the excitement of the big day, the newlyweds finally get to breathe! Alison and Leslie’s two-day wedding event was beautiful and intensely busy, and afterwards, the adventure session gave them a chance to really relax and have fun together while exploring the sand dunes.
Early Morning Adventure
The day of the early morning sunrise shoot started off slow; Alison and Leslie had to get up early, get ready, and beat the sun to the location! But we got there in the end, and the energy picked up as we went. In fact, by the time we were done, the two of them were totally awake, and we could have kept the shoot going all day!
The Stars Align for the Perfect Location
Things with the adventure session looked uncertain for a while. Leslie and Alison’s original location ideas for the adventure session didn’t make sense with the new wedding location, and they didn’t know what to do. I helped them figure it out and plan everything, and in the end, we found an even better spot for it. Oceano Sand Dunes was the perfect backdrop to photograph these two.
The location only has one entrance, and anticipation built as we walked to that access point, through the RV park, and up to the gate. From there, you could see the gorgeous sand dune. The view alone took my breath away, but more importantly, I could see from their expressions that we were in the perfect place. “Wow,” was all they could say as they took in this amazing sight for the first time. I don’t think any of the locations we had thought of before would have been so right for them; this was where they were meant to be.
A Chance to Breathe
We had so much fun at the sand dunes. It was a little chilly, but not as cold as we expected, and it warmed up through the morning. For the first time, Alison and Leslie had the opportunity to play together, run around, snuggle, and kiss as a married couple without an entire wedding party for an audience.
The stress of managing guests and keeping their events on track was finally over; the adventure session gave them their first real opportunity to enjoy their day. For me, that’s really what it’s all about. As enjoyable as the wedding chaos can be, it’s also distracting. It makes it hard to relax and focus on being together.
After we finished the session, we went back into Templeton, next to the town where they got married. It turns out that we all love Kitchenette, a local breakfast place, so we went there to get something to eat. That gave us the chance to talk and relax — not just a business transaction, but a genuine moment between friends. We really enjoy each other’s company, and I thank them for letting me participate in their day.
Alison and Leslie, I wish you guys the best. I hope I’ve given you the pictures and memories for a lifetime, and I know you will build an amazing life together.
If you like what you see here and want to work together to capture your special California elopement, feel free to reach out here. I’d love to talk with you!
Their Wedding Day at Fableist and The Trailer Pond
To see more from their wedding day in Paso Robles. Click here!
Their Adventure Engagement Session in Sebastopol and Bodega Bay
Can’t get enough of these two? Come adventuring with them as we follow them through Sebastopol drinking wine and ending their day with a beautiful beach sunset in Bodega Bay here.