You're Engaged! You're planning a wedding! What a wonderful time for you. I'm excited and I know you are. In planning your perfect wedding, there are many things you must consider. Your dress, your flowers, your menu. Before you go there, you have to define two very important things. 1) Your Style 2) Your venue.
Your style and your venue will dictate EVERYTHING. It will define if you purchase a ball gown or a simple A-Line gown. Your venue's surroundings will influence your florals and all the fine details. To help you determine what style of venue is right for you, I'm going to break it down for you. Sit back, grab a glass of wine, coffee or tea, and enjoy the process:
HOUSE OF WORSHIP: Let's start here....your ceremony can take place at many places. If you decide to honor your faith, your choice will probably be at the house of worship you attend. Many have very specific rules, so be sure that you follow them.
Bridget & Alex and the world renowned Wayfarer's Chapel in Palos Verdes
COUNTRY CLUB: Southern California is blessed with hundreds of beautiful Country Clubs. They are an excellent choice for you, as most are facilities that can accommodate your ceremony, reception and catering. Pricing often includes all of your rentals, including tables, chairs and linens. A note about linens..ask if they are full length. Many charge a fee for full length. You can expect the chairs to be a banquet style chair, and your reception to take place in a ballroom. Your menu will usually be pre-packaged and you will be provided a tasting. The views are typically of a golf course.
Cindy & Josh's wedding at Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks
HOTEL RESORT: The most stunning resorts can be found all around you. From Los Angeles to Orange County, all inclusive resorts are ready and waiting for you. You can expect full service catering from highly regarded executive chefs. Pre Determined menus are typical, but resorts are open to special requests. If you are having a cultural wedding, and require specialty food such as Indian or Kosher Caterings, they work with restaurants and caterers, in partnership to give you what you desire. They offer beautiful gardens for your ceremony, and often ballrooms that accommodate many guest lists. Resorts can offer your guests a get away. Room blocks can be negotiated for your friends and family. Most even have an on-site spa for you and your girls to have a little pre-wedding pampering. Views can be ocean, mountain, city...anything you can imagine.
Sonia & Danny's ceremony at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point
Sonia & Danny's reception at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point
RESTAURANTS: Many restaurants offer reception services. Most are appropriate for a smaller guest count, but there are a select few that can accommodate up to 200 guests. If you and your fiance are foodies,and cuisine is a focus of your day, a restaurant is perfect for you. Chef's are traditionally classically trained and their menus are inventive. Special menu requests are welcomed. Chairs and tables are part of your package, but you can dress up the space with specialty linens and beautiful floral designs.
Monique & Adam's reception at The Penthouse Restaurant in The Huntley Hotel, Santa Monica
MUSEUM OR GALLERY: Art lovers have the advantage of being married at visually stunning galleries. Imagine taking your photos among artwork that speaks to you. Many galleries offer contemporary ballrooms. One of my favorites hold ceremonies in their sculpture garden. Some offer rentals such as tables and chairs, but others require you to rent these items. Catering is often offered by private caterers. A list of three to five is provided, and you can work directly with the caterer to create your perfect menu.
Mayra & Tramon's ceremony in The Museum of Latin American Art, Sculpture Garden
PRIVATE VENUE: Get ready to open your mind. Anything you can possibly imagine is available in a private venue. There are hidden gems all around. Gardens, wineries, courtyards, historic buildings, offer ceremony and reception sites. My favorite part of a private venue is the option to have a private caterer create your menu. Pricing for a private caterer is traditionally more affordable, as well as more creative. The world is your oyster...literally. You can have an oyster bar! (ok, i love oysters and I got off topic...lol) Some offer limited rentals, and others require you to bring in your own. Working with a planner who has the right connections can make this monumental task, manageable.
The Historic Ebell Club of Los Angeles was the site for Gwen & Mark's Vintage Style Wedding
Alexis & David's Lush Garden Celebration at Arbor Terrace
Dawn & Adam's Rooftop Reception at The Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown LA.
So we've talked a little bit about venues. I hope you are able to define your style with this information. I would love to show you the perfect venue for you. My relationships with venues and caterers have given me access to the best Southern California has to offer. Sharing them with you would be a wish come true.
Stay tuned for the next blog post if you're considering getting married at HOME. Home weddings are my favorite, as well as my specialty. See you soon.