A Kentucky canyon retreat, an adorably pregnant bride, and a surprise (for the bride) outdoor ceremony are just a few of the details that make Anne and Tony’s intimate rustic wedding extra special in our opinion. The couple chose to celebrate their wedding day with those that know them best, in a relaxed and beautiful setting at the Red River Gorge Retreat in Slade, Kentucky. And while they chose to take a more unconventional route when it came to their wedding – one that their family didn’t always understand – they wouldn’t have changed a thing about their special day!

Special thanks to Cassie Lopez for sending along the photos so we could share them with you all today!

bride and bro in chairlift

Anne, 32 & Anthony, 27

Slade, KY

Wedding Date: June 272015

Number of Guests: 50

Wedding Cost: $10,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Red River Gorge Retreats 

Wedding Reception Location: Inside the big house of Red River Gorge Retreats 


wedding rings on invitation

wildflower wedding bouquet

pregnant bride

orange knotted rope boutonniere

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We both liked the idea of having just the people that we felt most comfortable with at our wedding; to celebrate with the people that know us best. We chose to have an intimate wedding so that we could have time to enjoy our time with each of the people that came to the wedding rather than just moving past their table. Also, the bride hates lots of people.

rustic cabin

wedding dress hanging up on doorway

bride getting her hair done

bride getting her hair done

bride getting zipped into her dress

groom having his boutonniere pinned on

groom tying shoe

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

Each person that wasn’t able to come to the wedding drastically changed the potential feeling of the wedding. We also had problems with passive aggressive comments made about the wedding, as it was not exactly what our family was expecting.

first look session

first look session

first look session

first look session

first look session

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Yes and no. We had the wedding in Kentucky which is not a home state for either of our families, so that naturally brought the number of people that were able to come down quite a bit. We showed the list to each of our families and asked and talked about who else should be invited. Both of our families added  people to the guest list without our consent which was more of an issue then the guest list itself.

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

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

Most of our respective family members handled the issues for us. The people that we had the hardest time with were the ones that were upset that they weren’t invited, but wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding anyways. Those were handled by just sending an invite that in most cases was ignored.

outdoor Kentucky wedding ceremony

groom watching his bride walk down the aisle

bride walking down the aisle with her father

outdoor Kentucky wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The outdoor wedding – the bride didn’t even know it was going to be outside until we came back from taking pictures. It had rained almost all morning off and on, and I had asked my family to set up the chairs while we were out taking pictures of the wedding party. Also, our friend acted as our officiant which gave her a special connection to us and the ceremony.

outdoor Kentucky wedding ceremony

outdoor Kentucky wedding ceremony

groom putting ring on bride's finger

bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom walking up the aisle

What were the highlights of the reception?

Anne’s daughter’s attitude during the entire event was so exemplary that it was a shock and a joy for the entire reception. Our first dance was a special moment for the two of us, and the entire room was interested, which was nice with such a small wedding. Esperanza, Anne’s daughter, watched from the edge the entire time. The food – everyone was worried about the food but it was the best food that a number of people had ever had at a wedding (pizza, pasta and salad).

wedding card box

guest book bookmarks

guests filling in guestbook


wedding cake with orange flowers



What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The lack of strict timelines. We found that the ability to be flexible and actually talk to everyone over the course of the wedding were huge benefits to having an intimate wedding.  Also, many decisions were made in the moment, and were made with consideration of almost all the people at the wedding.

bride and groom cutting cake




bride and groom first dance

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

Understand that you will upset someone no matter what you do, so make the decisions that are the best you and your spouse so that you can start off your life as a couple on the right foot. Make sure the food and wine are good, and take time to enjoy your wedding.

bride and groom kissing during first dance


Food: Miguels Pizzeria

Flowers: Michler’s

Cake: Martine’s Pastries

Venue: Red River Gorge Retreats

Photographer: Cassie Lopez