California lodge wedding Debbie, 42 & Glenn, 44

Calabasas, CA


Wedding Date: May 29, 2011


Number of Guests: 70


Wedding Cost: $25,000 (excluding rings)


Wedding Ceremony Location: SaddlePeak Lodge


Wedding Reception Location: SaddlePeak Lodge

black and white bride portrait

smiling bride portrait

bride and groom portrait under tree

pink peonies and yellow billy buttons

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We had an intimate wedding for a few reasons.  Large banquet halls and hotels did not appeal to us as we didn’t want to feel like we were one of a handful of weddings going on at the same time in the same place. Also, small weddings allow you to visit with more of your guests and make everyone’s time more enjoyable. It brings the stress level down too, as more guests add to the overall cost and potential issues/complications.

bride and groom kissing on brick wall

bride and groom kissing in the park

billy button centerpieces

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

Everything is easier with a smaller wedding except paring down the guest list.

outdoor guestbook table

wedding guest book

wedding dress hanging on tree

wedding dress hanging on tree

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?


Yes, it was difficult, as there were some people that I would have liked to be there, but I was trying to stay below 80 people.

Saddle Peak Lodge sign

bride getting ready

bride getting ready

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

Yes, we had some issues from family and while “we gave in” in some cases, we pretty much stuck to our guns because we didn’t want to invite people that we didn’t personally feel close to.

groom and son

bride with tea and cake

lipstick mark on coffee cup

strappy wedding shoe

multi-colored wedding bouquet

bride getting dressed

bride with veil on


What were the highlights of the ceremony?


Walking down the long path with my parents leading from the upstairs of the restaurant down to the outdoor ceremony site and seeing Glenn for the first time.

California landscape

bride walking down the aisle

outdoor wedding ceremony

bride and groom at wedding ceremony

guest texting

laughing bride

antiqued paper table number

pink garden rose and billy button centerpiece

yellow rose centerpiece

pink rose and peony centerpiece

wedding cake with green ribbon and pink flowers


What were the highlights of the reception?


My dad’s champagne toast. It was sweet & funny as he offered advice gleaned from his 35 years of marriage and his expectations for his new son-in-law.  Also, we had our own small table where we could see all our guests.  We had Glenn’s 15-year-old son, Tyler (who was also Glenn’s best man), join us for cake, which was special for all of us.


California lodge wedding reception

bride at lodge reception

wedding guest

wedding speech

guests drinking champagne

wedding appetizers

wedding entree

wedding salmon



wedding steak

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?


The warm vibe that it creates and all the guests felt like they were close to the bride and groom.  It feels so much more personal.

pink yellow and green flower centerpieces

rose and ranunculus wedding bouquet

bride portrait

groom with yellow tie and billy button boutonniere

bride and groom portrait in the park

bride and groom embracing

bride and groom hugging

bride and groom walking in the park

grinning bride

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


I encourage those who are leaning towards a small wedding to do it.  You will likely save money overall and create an experience that both bride and groom and guests will enjoy more.


lodge library

bride and groom in library

bride and groom hiding behind books

bride and groom kissing with books

bride and groom lodge portrait with deer head

bride and groom walking down stairs



Venue: SaddlePeak Lodge

Photographer: Jonathan Roberts

Cake: A Sweet Design

Flowers: Holly Flora