Point 16 is like no other wedding venue in North America…period. There is no website for Point 16 & it’s on private property, therefore I will try to include a bit more info about the place than I normally would in a typical blog post;) To understand the what & why of the place, you need to wrap your head around exactly where Point 16 is in Big Sur, or for that matter in California. Please note: this is my personal take based on photographing 12 weddings at Point 16 – my facts are from Google Earth & dead reckoning by & large;)
There are a gazillion microclimates in Big Sur & Point 16 is located in a prime one. The prevailing winds are blocked by the nearby Point Lopez, creating a windshadow that normally leaves clear weather with temperatures between 65 & 75 degrees. I have never seen it get uncomfortably windy during the prime wedding season at Point 16 – May to October. It can get a little chilly (by LA standards) early in the season, however the afternoon sun rakes the grounds with warming rays. Space heaters are available, but again, rarely a necessity during during the daytime in summer or fall. By SF standards it’s great weather any time during the season:)
There are no large indoor facilities at Point 16, excluding the Bridal Cottage & the bathroom aptly called The Loo With A View. The kitchen is entirely outdoors & guests can watch all the food being prepared en plein air. Cheri Gladstone’s A Big Sur Affair Catering manages Point 16. They make sure you receive the best, cuisine, service & experience for your big day! The property is owned by Monterey Congressmen Sam Farr.
There is no cell service, thank god, and guests are shuttled in by bus from Big Sur proper some 25 miles away. This gives guests a chance to see the dramatic Big Sur coastline, while getting to know each other a little. Patience with every aspect of planning to the day-of is a must for any wedding in Big Sur.
The elevation of Point 16 is approximately 550 feet. From the ceremony site, a dramatic cliff descends to an inaccessible rocky beach in about 700′ distance. It’s basically straight down – if you feel like you’re on the edge of a 500′ cliff, that’s because you are. It’s spectacular. The grounds are approximitely 5 acres with the main part being the large lawn overlooking the ceremony site. My guess is that the main lawn is about 2 acres, plenty of space for everything, with a hidden field for vendor parking closer to the highway . Giant Eucalyptus trees along with Cypress trees, greenery & a garden comprise the balance of the property. The dancefloor is perched near the edge of the slope that overlooks the ceremony site.
The ceremony site at Point 16 is on a ridge with dramatic dropoffs on both sides. The ridge extends due west from the main lawn. Guests can look up & down the Big Sur coast for miles. Cape San Martin is visible to the south some 10+ miles away with Point Lopez to the north 1.5 miles distant. There is little to no light noise at night. This stretch of the Big Sur Coast is probably the least populated or developed in any stretch of Big Sur. Cone Peak looms directly behind Point 16 at an impressive 5155 feet. The summit descends to sea level in about 3 miles making it the greatest elevation gain in the shortest distance in North America – yes that’s true;) Unfortunately you can’t see Cone Peak from the grounds at Point 16, although the mountains leading up the slope are equally majestic. It is visible from Limekiln State Park, some 2 miles down the road. Other nearby parks are Kirk Creek Campground and Plaskett Creek Campground (both are part of Los Padres National Forest).
Point 16 is a spectacular place for the perfect Big Sur wedding. I have photographed weddings with guests-family traveling from all over the world: Europe, Asia, North America, South America & Australia. The reaction is the same every time, guests in awe, staring at the expansive view, enthralled by the natural beauty – and of course the beauty of the couple. Considering that there are only a handful of Big Sur venues which can comfortably handle 60-160+- guests. Prices range quite a bit on them, and Point 16 is a great, affordable place to have a classy wedding that you & your guests will never forget;) Insider tip; it books up fast & as far out as allowed.