Shannon & Rickey’s Wedding By The Sea at Big Sur

Real Elopements,
4 min read Apr 20, 2021

Shannon and Rickey have known each other most of their lives, but it took social media (and maybe a little football) to finally bring them together in 2013. Shannon loves Rickey’s protective nature, and Rickey loves Shannon’s beautiful heart, so it didn’t take long for them to know that forever was always in the cards. While there’s no shortage of great venues in Rickey’s hometown in Northern California, the couple chose a beautiful beach in Carmel to celebrate their union and create new memories together. Read more about Shannon and Rickey’s love for each other and their determination to seize the day with a beautiful wedding by the sea at Big Sur — pandemic be damned.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another?

Shannon: We met years ago in Jr. High school. We had a few classes together, but never dated. We went on with our separate lives. In 2013, Rickey liked all of my pictures on Instagram. When I went to Rickey’s page, I only found one picture and it was of the 49ers. Being a Saints fan, I commented on Rickey’s Instagram “You are going to have to put more pictures up because I can’t like this.” Rickey was both inspired and shocked. He started putting pictures up. The pictures were of him so I quickly “liked” them all. He was so handsome.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

When did you first fall in love? How did you know?

Shannon: I fell in love with Rickey’s honesty, protective nature, and the way he considered me first.

Rickey: I fell in love with Shannon’s heart, how she cared for me in such a way when she didn’t have to.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

How did you propose or accept the proposal?

Rickey: Shannon and I had dated for some time. I had picked up a ring and I simply asked her to be my wife.

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What do you love about your partner?

Shannon: I love how quirky Rickey and I are together; we are friends first and loving him is easy.

Rickey: I love her long toes, infectious smile, her sense of family, and how she encourages me throughout life.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

What is the greatest strength of your relationship?

Shannon: Our communication; good or bad we always come back to having real conversations.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

Why did you decide to elope?

Shannon: The dreaded COVID. We were engaged in 2019 and waited for the pandemic to pass. After about a year and a half, we just wanted to be husband and wife.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

How did you find Simply Eloped?

Rickey: We researched many options but felt that Simply Eloped had more of what we wanted.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

How did you know Simply Eloped was the right fit for you?

Shannon: Simply Eloped offered the beauty of Carmel, with a comprehensive package at an affordable price.

What attracted you to the venue you eloped at?

Shannon: Rickey grew up in Northern California so we wanted to get close to the area. However, Carmel was a romantic setting where we could start our own memories together.

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

What activities did you do before the wedding? How did you prepare? How did you feel leading up to the moments of your elopement?

Shannon: We drove up to Carmel the day before. We took our time and stopped along the way to enjoy some of the scenery. On the day of the wedding, we woke up early and went to the wedding location. We sat on a bench at the top of the cliff and enjoyed the natural landscape. It was so beautiful with the waves crashing, the blue waters, and the clear skies. God really shined on us that day! The weather was perfect…just for us! We took multiple pictures and went back to our hotel to start getting ready. We were like two giddy kids about to embark on a great adventure.

Tell us about your experience with Simply Eloped leading up to and on your big day!

Shannon: Keely was amazing when it came to planning and organizing our day! She was very informative and made sure to introduce us to the team early. She checked in with us regularly to provide direction and to make sure we had what we needed. Denise, the officiant, was so helpful in sending us examples of the wording for the ceremony. She did not hesitate to proofread and ask questions to ensure that the wording for the ceremony was exactly what Rickey and I wanted.

Alex was our Day of Helper. Rickey and I asked him to operate the zoom so that our loved ones could live stream our wedding. Unfortunately, the area that we were in did not have a great connection but Alex saved the day by taking it upon himself to video the entire ceremony from his phone! Joshua was our photographer. He doesn’t know it yet but he is our photographer for life!

I didn’t have multiple interactions with Joshua because we were so busy with life. I stalked him on Instagram and saw all of the beautiful pictures and I had no worries at all about how our pictures would come out. They were gorgeous! The entire team was so accommodating, nice, and went out of their way to make Rickey and I feel special. We are forever grateful!

How did you celebrate after?

Shannon: Rickey and I had multiple calls with our family and friends. We ordered in, relaxed, and enjoyed our beautiful, scenic room.

What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping?

Shannon: Make it simple and make it about the two of you. At the end of the day, Rickey and I have beautiful memories and beautiful pictures to remember our special day. Thank you, Simply Eloped!

wedding by the sea at Big Sur


wedding by the sea at Big Sur

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

wedding by the sea at Big Sur

Officiation by: Denise Adkins
Photography by: Joshua Rose
Planning by: Simply Eloped
Venue: Carmel River State Beach, Big Sur

Real Elopements
Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart,, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.