Destination I Do
Friday, October 12, 2012

A Bride with Beautiful Advice

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Melissa McClure Photography
Vivian and Charlie knew from the moment they got engaged that they wanted to get married on Catalina Island in California. The destination held deep meaning for the couple and while their hearts were set on the idea, they were concerned about the logistics for their families and friends. However, after attending the destination wedding of friends in Costa Rica, they knew a destination wedding was the only thing which would make them happy. “Not only was the wedding picture perfect, but because a large group of our friends were there together, we got to go on adventures together and the wedding at the end of the trip was the icing on the cake,” recalls the bride. “After that we realized the friends and family who love you will go that extra mile to be there for your wedding.”

So, Catalina Island it was and the couple quickly became thrilled to begin planning the wedding of their dreams. “The things I love most about a destination wedding is that it allows you to relish a little bit longer in the magical time of your wedding,” says Vivian. “Instead of an event that your guests attend for an evening and then go home from, they come to a destination which means so much to the couple getting married, spend more time with other guests and enjoying the sites. It adds a beautiful layer to the whole experience.”

Planning a wedding on an island presents a unique challenge, but one this couple was up for. “One example was that I desperately wanted to have a photo booth, but the logistics and cost of getting one to the island was not an option for us,” says the bride. “Fortunately, our videographer came up with an idea during the reception to invite our guests to leave us a video message. It was an amazing and hilarious surprise for us to hear our friends’ well wishes when we watched the final film.” Vivian made several trips to the destination to meet with vendors and tour wedding sites, but was able to tie the trips into other events her and Charlie typically attend every year. 

One Vivian and Charlie’s largest pieces of advice is to hire a wedding planner. “Within the last three months of planning I decided I had to hire a wedding planner and that is one thing I almost wish I had done sooner,” recalls Vivian. “When I first met with my wedding planner she brought up points and ideas that I hadn’t even thought of. The weekend of the wedding she handled so many little details…”

Come wedding weekend, the couple had no doubts they selected the right route for their dream wedding. “Our guests had an amazing time and it still gives me chills to think of how beautifully it all came together,” says Vivian. “Little things that go a different way than planned just don’t matter on your wedding day, the love and magical moments take over. Since the city is so small, you couldn’t walk more than ten feet without running in to a guest from the wedding – making the guests feel like a little community by the end of the weekend. We were able to hug and kiss so many people the morning after the wedding as people headed back to the boats to head off for home. I loved it – that is something we just wouldn’t have had if we did it near home. The location really brought everyone together.”

This happily married and delighted destination bride has some final words of advice for other couples looking to plan their dream wedding away, “One of the best pieces of advice that a dear friend gave me while planning was to focus on three things that you really want for your wedding (can’t-live-without iteams) and spend your time/money there. Then let the rest of the details and plans be fun additions to the wedding. Try not to stress yourself out over every single aspect and detail of the wedding day, otherwise you will find yourself stressing as opposed to enjoying the process. The time of your engagement is such a short window in comparison to your marriage; the less stress and tasks that you add to your plate, the more you will be able to relish this very special time.”

Photographer: Melissa McClure Photography
Wedding Planner: Lindsey Weinstein
Ceremony/Reception Site: Descanso Beach Club/Wrigley Casino Ballroom
Florist: Bloom Floral
Catering/Rentals: Catalina Island Resort Services
Videographer: Nate Schute
DJ: Aaron Massey, VOX DJ’s
Makeup: Vanessa Broin, Bee Pretty
Wedding Cake: Rossmoor Pastries
Gown Designer: La Soie
Groom’s Clothing Designer: SuitFellas
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Priscilla of Boston/SuitFellas

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