Destination I Do
Friday, February 11, 2011

This Couple Got Resourceful in Planning Their Real-Life Wine Country Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Choco Studio
Wedding planning by Elsa Vera Productions

There can be really practical reasons for choosing to have a destination wedding, at least that’s the case with Kacie and Jon. The adorable couple hails from San Diego, a destination in itself, but most of their family lives in and around northern California. So, holding their wedding in Sonoma made the most sense - not only is it gorgeous, but the travel was a cinch, especially for the elderly members of their families.

When it came to planning their wedding, the couple went with the flow. “Neither of us had preconceived ideas of what we wanted our wedding to be like, other than to have good food and good company,” says Kacie. “Once we saw the Sebastiani Winery and their barrel room, we knew that it was perfect. It had the character we were looking for in a venue and we could see ourselves being married there.”

Planning a destination wedding requires the ability for a couple to have great trust in their vendors. At least in most cases, couples aren’t able to meet with every person involved in pulling off their big W-day. Kacie and Jon did a great job using the resources available to them and really took a laissez-faire approach to dealing with multiple vendors from afar.

“We knew going into the planning process that it was impossible to see every venue and meet with every vendor,” says Kacie. “By using online resources like The Knot and Yelp, we were able to narrow down our searches and learn more about each vendor before making any appointments. The distance and lack of visits to the area forced us to make decisions and not dwell over small details. This constraint might have actually eliminated some of the stress that other couples encounter.”

This is the first I’ve heard of a couple using Yelp to help planning their wedding, but for Kacie and Jon, it seems to have been just the thing they needed. “With the help of a list of preferred vendors from our venue location, we began to search Yelp for reviews for everything from the coordinator to the catering,” says Kacie. “We were able to narrow down our choices using other people’s reviews as guidelines and made appointments to meet with these vendors on weekends that we were in the Bay Area.”

The couple did run into a couple hiccups holding their wedding in the wine country of California. It’s pretty well known that this area of the country can be pretty pricey, Kacie and Jon’s guests had to get a little inventive. Because the couple held their destination wedding within driving distance of most of their guests, their friends and family had the option of staying where they felt most comfortable.“There were very few inexpensive hotel options for our guests in Sonoma and many family members decided to stay in surrounding areas to save on hotel costs,” says Kacie.

It’s obvious from the couple’s W-day photos that their destination wedding went off without a hitch. Their happiness with the final product is evident in their expressions in nearly every photo! Kacie and Jon admit that planning their wedding from afar was a little complicated, but they don’t regret it for a second. “The planning process would have certainly been a bit easier, but there was something exciting about planning a destination wedding.”

About: Courtney Cox is a writer and editor at Destination I Do Magazine and recently graduated with a degree in Print Journalism from Arizona State University. Her passions include traveling and she’s greatly anticipating an upcoming trip to Australia as a representative of Destination I Do. For travel deets and the inside scoop on Destination I Do, follow Courtney on Twitter here.

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