Like many of the couples we feature here at IW, Rachel and Trager wanted to be fully present with a smaller group of close family and friends, so they opted for an intimate wedding.
“We wanted an intimate wedding because we are intimate people and appreciate and value our friends and family who have grown along with us and our relationship…We wanted our wedding to be more of an intimate party with our closest family and friends versus a traditional wedding, and have it reflect what we value,” explains Rachel.
As beach lovers, they chose to say their vows with a breathtaking view of the pacific ocean.
Special thanks to Tracy from Pine & Sea Photography for capturing their heartfelt big day.
Rachel, 29 & Trager, 30
Location: Malibu, California
Wedding Date: April 8, 2017
Number of Guests: 65
Wedding Cost: $30,000
Wedding Ceremony Location: Private Beach Front Estate in Northern Malibu
Wedding Reception Location: Same location
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We wanted an intimate wedding because we are intimate people and appreciate and value our friends and family who have grown along with us and our relationship. We also know this is one day (a really great day) but we wanted to save money for our life together after the wedding. We wanted our wedding to be more of an intimate party with our closest family and friends versus a traditional wedding, and have it reflect what we value.
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
It was definitely hard to make those involved with helping to plan our wedding see our vision and agree with what we wanted to do. We chose to do most of the planning ourselves and some of the coordinating on our own, as well as creating our own website and invitations. We wanted total control of what our wedding would be but it proved to be a lot of work, mostly convincing family members of each decision as we made them. Our Day of/Month of planner definitely helped alleviate some of the stress when she took over to make sure everything went as planned.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
It was more difficult than we had thought it would be! Our original guest count that we had planned for was 50, so you can see we did increase it. We chose to invite only those we felt made an impact on our relationship and who we knew would want to be there to celebrate with us. Of those we invited, only four were unable to attend.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
Yes. It was difficult to let our parents know there would be some family and family friends who would not be invited, mostly those we haven’t seen or spoken to in years. It was tough to not invite longtime friends, but when we decided to have an intimate wedding, it became clear who would be invited. It took some time, but eventually our family understood what we were trying to create for our wedding. With larger weddings, it is hard to have the time to speak to all guests who attend, and we really just wanted to be able to spend time celebrating with our close friends at our wedding.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Definitely the location and view. We are beach people and wanted a wedding overlooking the ocean we love. Our officiant also gave us the tools to customize his script to reflect who we are and what we are hoping for in a marriage. We also wrote our own vows and included a sand ceremony.
What were the highlights of the reception?
We loved that we were able to spend time with all of our guests. We had a cocktail style reception with tray passed hors d’oeuvres so that no one was forced to sit at a certain table and encouraged to mingle throughout the property. The food was amazing! Our chef prepared all of the food in the kitchen inside the Estate making it entertaining and interactive for our guests. And everyone was raving about our music duo, they created a perfect backdrop.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
It turned out exactly how we wanted. With a smaller guest list, we were able to spend more money on the things we felt were important: great food, fun music, and a ton of alcohol.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Do what is right for you. Spend money on the things that are important to you, and don’t waste money on things that you don’t need just because it is traditional or expected.
Event Planner: Pink Sparrow Events
Florist: Brooke’s Flowers
Photography: Pine & Sea
Website & Invitations: Trager Acker Design
Rentals: Choura Events
Wedding Gown: Grace Loves Lace
Catering: Malibu Seaside Chef
Officiant: Marrying Marc
Chalkboard Signage: Pine & Sea Lettering
Cake: Torrance Bakery
Venue: Private Estate