FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE
I often get asked what my favorite wedding venue is – that’s a difficult question because everyone has a different dream for their wedding day experience.
My dream wedding for my fiancé and I was to be on a gondola in Venice and to be serenaded by a handsome gondolier as we romantically glided to a little chapel on a secluded canal. However, if you have ever looked into getting married in Italy – there’s quite a lot of red tape involved (to say the least)! Plus it was very unrealistic to hope that my friends and family would be available to travel so far. Therefore, I came back to reality and opted for a lovely garden ceremony at a private estate in Beverly Hills – it was in the early evening in late Spring so that it wouldn’t be too hot. For us – it was perfect.
ANY MISTAKES THAT COUPLES MAKE WHEN CHOOSING A VENUE?
The most common mistake is choosing an outdoor venue in Winter and not anticipating the heat or sun placement over the altar area when the date finally arrives in mid-Summer. Guests and the bridal party dread standing or sitting for 30-45 minutes in the direct heat if the temperatures are high. Couples need to keep in mind, that if your guests are seated in a comfortable environment, everyone will truly enjoy your special event.
A beach wedding may sound romantic but ask yourself some questions. Will it suit elderly guests? And what about wind? Or, unexpected rain? Or ambient loud noise and people you don’t know who are on the beach! What if there’s a heatwave and the sand is red hot and your guests and bridal party are melting! Choosing a beach venue means keeping an open mind and being willing to take a risk. The beauty of the ocean and the hour before sunset is only perfect if the temperature is perfect. I suggest that couples weigh up all the plus and minuses.
The points I have made should also be considered with any outdoor setting on a very hot day. A park may be lovely when it's about 74 degrees, but if there are no shady trees and it's 94 degrees - not so lovely. Don't be afraid to bring in colored or white umbrellas - they will look great and add depth to the décor.
If choosing a restaurant or indoor venue to get married – well, that’s easy. There's no weather factors to be concerned about - you are in a controlled environment and so that's one less thing to worry about. My favorite restaurant for weddings is il Cielo in Beverly Hills www.ilcielo.com. It’s gorgeous and romantic and they do wedding ceremonies there all the time, so they know exactly what they are doing. And the food, ambiance and staff are great too!
There are so many amazing hotel venues that I couldn’t even begin to go through them all - but feel welcome to ask me because I have worked at nearly all of the major hotels in Los Angeles. I do love the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey, and also Casa del Mar in Santa Monica. It all depends upon your budget, therefore you will need to research hotel venues very carefully and find out exactly what they provide in their event package.
I was born in Sydney, Australia, however, I am now an American who has lived in sunny California for over 30 years. I have been creating and officiating wedding ceremonies for two decades. Each couple I meet, and each marriage I perform, brings me the greatest pleasure. It is truly an honor to know that my carefully chosen words will remain within the couple’s hearts forever.