"It was such a happy day," Gore, 35, told PEOPLE. "My husband Patrick and I chose the spot in Carpinteria because there is an enormous Torrey pine tree there, in a beautiful field next to a coffee shop and a bike shop."
Added Gore, an artist and the youngest daughter of former Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore, "We loved the energy of the tree and what it represents for our marriage, with strong roots and shade – and warm drinks just steps away!"
Of her new groom, a Montecito, Calif.-based pianist, Gore said: "Patrick and I met at a real-estate open house on the street he grew up on, in June of last year. I was getting to know the neighborhood, walked into this little house, and he was there, sitting on the couch."
She admits, "Once we started talking, we didn't want to stop. We took a walk to get coffee, ended up having dinner and afterwards dancing at the Biltmore [Hotel], where he sat down at the piano and played – he's an amazing pianist and songwriter."
Their engagement took place last Christmas day, atop Saddle Rock on a local hiking path called Hot Springs Trail.
"Just this past week," said Gore, "we decided to opt for a small ceremony under the Torrey pine. Our friend Kathy Corcoran lent me her beautiful wedding dress, which had been made for her years ago. It's gorgeous."
A friend put together her bouquet, and another pal took photos.
As for the music, "Patrick has played piano at many ceremonies, so he asked his friend Sarah Farmer, whom he'd worked with, to officiate," she said. "Only people who could come on short notice joined, so we hope to find a nice way to share the moment with more family and friends in the future."
Fortunately, as she noted, "Patrick's family, and my mom, dad and sister, were able to make it in town – and for us, the ceremony was just perfect. Once we decided to do it, it came together like magic."