Enjoy 20% OFF at Minted Weddings!

When you shop via links on our site, we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Learn more.

Santa Cruz Elopement

We have an absolutely stunning real wedding for you today. Luisa and Matthew shared their first look before walking hand-in-hand into the forest for a quiet moment together. Their family and friends hiked their way into the woods to stand in a circle around them for a beautiful, free-flowing ceremony. The night ended with a sunset portrait session at the beach. You will love this Santa Cruz Elopement! Xoxo, Jessica

Luisa + Matthew

November, 3rd 2018

Santa Cruz, CA | Panther Beach

What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.

Venue: 0
Attire: 1000
Flowers: 250
Suit: 200
Reception: 100
Rings: 300
Books: 20

Total: $2,100


How many guests did you have?

We had 45 guests.


How did you meet?

We met at a RAW art show that we both were artists at, Matthew was drumming and I was showing some of my art. I remember seeing Matthew on stage and was like OH SHOOT he cute!! Matthew said he saw me and his friends pushed him to go talk to me. He came up to my booth and started talking to me, from there we became friends on the magical facebook. We were friends for about 2 years, then started dating!


What is your proposal story?

We proposed to each other in our kitchen, he asked if I wanted to get married I said sure I'm down. We spit in our hands and shook on it, hahaha we didn't really care about doing anything fancy for one another we knew we wanted to so we did.


What were your favorite parts of the day?

We did our first look then we waited for everyone else at the ceremony, it was nice and silent. Just the two of us in the redwoods nervous to hear and say our vows. We had our friends and family come to us. The location was about a 10-minute walk so we had them walk through an old abandoned camp that was overtaken by growth. Once they arrived we were standing there waiting for them.

We really wanted our friends and family to surround us because we thought that we would make it about them, not just about us. It was like a little surprise for them, it felt unique and more emotional.


Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?

Plan for yourselves. Be happy and don't feel pressured. The entire day is about how you feel and being with loved ones.



Photography: David + Drew Photography  • Ceremony Venue: Panther Beach, Santa Cruz, California • Reception Venue: Beer thirty bottle shop and Pour House • Event Planning: DIY by the Bride • Floral: Pompelmo Floral • Hair: DIY by bride • Makeup: DIY by bride • Wedding Dress: Boudoir Wedding  •  Wedding Ring: StoneWood Dezines • Wedding Ring: BibelotLA • Earrings: SaressaDesigns • Vow Notebooks: CustomCraftedStudio • Wedding Dress: Boudoir Wedding  • Groom's Attire: ASOS • Bride's Shoes: Lewit • Submitted via: Matchology


The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!