Real Wedding: Brett and J.R Take the Plunge in California

Keeping it real was on the top of Brett and J.R’s list when it came to their intimate wedding. To do this they kept things close to home and finished it up with a dip in a local swimming hole.

“The swimming hole location is very special to us and we loved having the ceremony there. It’s where I spent my childhood summers and is pretty much the most relaxing place on earth for me,” says Brett, adding that kayaking up the river with her father prior to the ceremony, and having J.R’s mother as the officiant were also highlights.

After their low key ceremony, the couple enjoyed fresh pizza and homemade desserts.

“We wanted the day to be relaxed, lighthearted and not filled with stress,” says Brett.

The whole day was captured beautifully by Kim Smith Miller in Portland.
Outdoor California wedding Brett, 32 & J.R., 34

Gasquet, CA

Wedding Date: August 18, 2012

Number of Guests:  60

 Wedding Cost: Less than $7,000

 Wedding Ceremony Location: Private Swimming Hole in Gasquet, CA

 Wedding Reception Location: Parent’s House in Gasquet, CA

Pink rose flower crown

Pink rose flower crown
Groom in seersucker suit and pink bow tie
pink bow tie
Groom's black rimmed glasses

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine anything else …  Having a smaller and more intimate group allowed us to have a low-stress wedding. A large fancy do just didn’t match who we are. We’ve also been to a number of large weddings where we felt like we spent very little time with the people we actually came to celebrate and wanted to avoid this.

wedding trail sign bride in a kayak

Outdoor California wedding

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

We really didn’t face many. Since the wedding was small, and in an area with few vendors, we did do all of the planning, setting up and much of the food ourselves. This was a lot of work but also made everything more personal. We had a lot of loving help from our families and friends (my cousins, aunts, sister-in-law and friends did all the dishes!)

BB wedding reception
Outdoor California wedding   Outdoor California wedding Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

A bit, but since the location was remote we knew many people wouldn’t be able to make the trip.

wedding photo garland
wedding photo garland

s'mores wedding favors

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No problems to speak of.

Casual California wedding
Outdoor California wedding
Casual California wedding What were the highlights of the ceremony?

So much was special, it’s hard to pick! The swimming hole location is very special to us and we loved having the ceremony there. It’s where I spent my childhood summers and is pretty much the most relaxing place on earth for me. I loved kayaking up river with my father before the ceremony, parking near a big rock and having some alone time with him. J.R.’s mom is a minister and officiated the ceremony, which I thought was really special. We also tried to keep the whole thing really relaxed (for example kids in the water with water guns) which made it feel very comfortable and real.

Casual California wedding
wedding violinists
Outdoor California wedding ceremony
Outdoor California wedding ceremony
Outdoor California wedding ceremony
Outdoor California wedding ceremony

Outdoor California wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Getting to hang out with friends and family, eating the pies my mom and aunt made, bashing the pinata and finally, going for a swim with everybody. I also loved introducing the area to friends and family. We live in Venice Beach and many of our guests had never been to that area of Northern California.

Chalkboard wedding menu
California wedding catering
California wedding catering
Outdoor California wedding reception
Wedding pinata
Casual California wedding reception
Casual California wedding reception
Casual California wedding reception

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Having it be relaxed and real.

wedding macarons
Casual California wedding
wedding pies
Bride in bathing suit
Casual California wedding reception

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Just do what you want!
Casual California wedding
Vendors:
Pies: Bride’s Mom
Flowers: Brides Aunts & Cousins
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Leave a Comment  |  Filed Under: At-Home Weddings, Beach Weddings, Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Outdoor Weddings, Real Weddings

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