Leslie and I have known each other for years. I was so excited when she asked me be her photographer for her engagement photos in beautiful Sebastopol and her elopement! It was super nice catching up and seeing Leslie with Allison just shined a whole different light on her. I just love brainstorming with my couples on locations. I believe that couples should pick places that they hold dear to their hearts. It makes their photos that much more personal and meaningful. They wanted to do them in Sebastopol because they have spent a lot of their getaways together here and wanted to spend some time hanging out at the Barlow, where they have enjoyed goodies at local breweries and eateries. Allison and Leslie loves the coast wanted to have their photos at the beach. They couldn’t decide. So I asked them, “Porque no los dos?” So that’s what we did. We started by exploring Sebastopol and ended the day watching the sunset on the beach in Bodega Bay.
If you are interested in more places to visit in the area, check out my recommendation list at the end on the blog.
About the Couple
Allison and Leslie met at Kaia Fit where Allison is a fitness trainer. She was there for Leslie’s whole journey and supported her through everything. Now, they’re continuing to grow together and want to spend the rest of their lives together! They have been planning their dream wedding, but decided to switching to a smaller elopement-style wedding next year because of covid. Originally set to be held at HopMonk Tavern, a brewery in Sebastopol, they’ve switched the location to Paso Robles with vintage campers on the lake. More reason to do their engagement session in Sebastopol.
Despite all the changes, Allison and Leslie are excited about the changes to their wedding. They planned on having a small wedding, but have cut it down their guestlist even more! It will be. very intimate. They have removed all the extra fluff and they feel that it is truly in line with who they are. They are so excited to be getting married!
Their Engagement Session
I met up with Allison and Leslie at Fern Bar in Sebastopol. They are obsessed with that place and go there often—this was the town where they were originally supposed to be married after all—so they opted to do their engagement photos there instead. They decided to make a weekend out of the visit and went to Fern Bar every day.
We started out the day by walking around the town, just seeing where the day took us. Finding little nooks for them to snuggle and hang out or strolling down the sidewalks checking out what the town had to offer. We ended up at a super cute wine tasting bar called Region, which I would love to go back to one day. We hung out there for a little while, had some wine and laughed a lot. After some drinks, we then headed out to the coast.
We made our way to the Bodega Bay trailhead and got there just in time for a gorgeous sunset. Rain was in the forecast but luckily, we avoided it. It also wasn’t too cold, there weren’t clouds anywhere! It was just perfect! We spent some time on the cliffs, Allison and Leslie dancing and laughing—you could really see the love between them.
After that we walked down to the beach to hang out for a bit. The beach was empty by the time we got to the little cove. We were the only people over there! It was super nice to hang out with Leslie and Allison and seeing their love for one another.
Allison and Leslie were such a joy to photograph. They’re super kind and welcoming—they made me feel like family. I am so excited for their intimate wedding next year in Paso Robles. It’s going to be amazing with everyone hanging out by the lake and staying in vintage campers!
Start planning your adventure together!
Must visit spots in Sebastopol for eats and drinks:
Bar focus restaurant. The cocktails are delicious. Their food is just as delicious as their drinks. They serve American Sonoma inspired dishes.
Cute little self wine bar that you can taste by the oz. You get a card and you get to pick which wine and how many ozs you’d like
Mexican style street food. Order at the window quick style place with delicious tacos! There is outdoor patio space.
Spots to hike in Bodega Bay with a view:
Half a mile hike through Cypress, willows, and coastal wildflowers. The hike ends at some steps that lead you down to a beach with beautiful rock formations and tide pools.
Privately owned and made available for visitors. The property has access to sand dunes with some fishing and beach views. More secluded if you are willing to hike to the sand dunes. They have RV and campgrounds available.Parking fee $5.
2 mile stretch of beach in Bodega bay. You can choose to explore on the trails or hang out on the beach. If you want to stay the weekend, they have campground access.
Gorgeous views with the cliffs. You can stroll along the cliffs and enjoy the view or head down to the beach and get your toes in the sand.