Andrea and Gabriel headed to the gorgeous California redwoods with 14 of their closest friends and family to say their ‘I do’s.’

The couple and their guests hiked 1/4 mile into the forest before settling on the perfect spot for their ceremony.

“During the ceremony, the location felt almost surreal. Big Sur is absolutely gorgeous so we felt really lucky to be there together, and with our family,” explains Andrea.

Geoff Rivers Photography captured this intimate wedding so beautifully, as we are sure you will agree!

Andrea, 27 & Gabriel, 30

Location: Big Sur, CA

Wedding Date: June 1, 2015

Number of Guests:  14

Wedding Cost: ~ $5,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Big Sur, CA

Wedding Reception Location:   Big Sur River Inn

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We decided to have an intimate wedding because it really fit our personalities. Gabe and I are fairly private people so this kind of wedding is what came naturally for us.

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

We went back and forth a few times between having something large or more intimate. We really wanted the people that we loved and cared about there, but we also wanted to make sure that we did something that was true to us and how we live our day-to-day lives. So we finally decided that we would have something really small and only invited those in our immediate family. This was hard because we knew there were friends and family that would have loved to be there but in the end it just didn’t work for us.


Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Once we decided that we would only invite those in our immediate family, it was pretty easy. I (Andrea) come from a small family anyway, but for Gabe it was a bit more of a challenge as he has a larger family.


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

We had heard things from people but no one directly. In the end, I think people understood and were happy with our decision.

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The day was not as stressful as some bigger weddings might be. We were able to relax in the morning, have some breakfast at Big Sur Bakery and then get dressed and take pictures at our hotel. Things felt pretty easy and natural all the way up until we were making sure that everyone made it to our hidden spot at the right time. This got kind of hectic when your wedding venue has no real address!

During the ceremony, the location felt almost surreal. Big Sur is absolutely gorgeous so we felt really lucky to be there, together, and with our family.

What were the highlights of the reception?

After the wedding, we went to take some photos in Carmel. Then we met everyone for dinner at the Big Sur River Inn. Initially, we didn’t even order a cake or anything because we really wanted things to be simple and easy for us and all of our family. My mother-in-law — being the amazing woman that she is– went to a French bakery and ordered us a cake with a super cute topper. I thought this was really sweet. In addition to this, just eating with our family and spending time with them in a place many of them had not ever experienced was really special to us.

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

I loved our wedding because it felt like we could really focus on us and the things we wanted instead of getting lost in the elaborate details of a larger wedding. Planning wasn’t really too stressful and this allowed us to have an experience that was both for us and our family.

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

I would say go for whatever you think works for you as a couple. You don’t want to plan a wedding and invest all of this time and money into something that isn’t what you truly want. If your heart tells you that a small wedding is for you, then you should go for it!  bur sur elopement


Photography: Geoff Rivers Photography

Venue: Big Sur River Inn