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Destination I Do
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Magical Malibu Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Studio 7 Photography

Scottsdale couple Jenna and Eric knew they wanted to say “I do” with their feet in the sand and surrounded by their nearest and dearest. Since desert sand wasn’t quite what they had in mind, the couple opted for beautiful Malibu, California instead. Before deciding on a destination wedding, the couple sought-out some much-needed advice. “We asked all of our married friends, if they had it to do over again, what would they do differently and almost all of them said they would have a small wedding in a fun location – so that’s what we chose,” says the bride.

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The couple credits their local wedding planner for the pleasant planning experience. “Having a planner made the process much easier and more fun,” says Jenna. “We knew we wanted to get married on the beach, but we didn’t realize that Malibu had a wine country until we met with our planner. We were able to experience new things by incorporating a wine tasting tour into our rehearsal dinner. Our planner was also able to locate a little-known beach for us to get married on.”

After the ceremony details were squared away, the couple had to rethink their original reception idea. “We really wanted…an intimate dinner at a nice restaurant,” says the couple. “Renting out a space in a restaurant came with strict time limits and a ballroom would have been too large. With the help of our planner we were able to find a private home in Malibu where we had a catered dinner in an intimate atmosphere, which worked out great and let us have the party we wanted without any time constraints.”

Jenna and Eric really made the most of all the resources available to them for their destination wedding: “We worked with a travel agent to help secure room blocks for our guests at two different hotels…and also hired a photographer who was willing to take pictures for the whole weekend,” recalls the bride. “That helped me relax knowing all the amazing details, the joy and interactions happening around me were being documented. I did not feel like I needed to stop and take pictures of anything since she was there.”

The couple also got creative when it came to transporting lots of details for the wedding. “Since we planned on bringing the dress and alcohol for the reception, we decided to drive an RV from Scottsdale to Malibu, which acted as transportation for grandparents and acted as lodging for my younger brother and the babysitter,” says the bride. “This also worked great for any extra items we needed to take back home and the RV park was within a couple miles of the wedding site.”

These crafty lovebirds have some final words of advice for other couples considering or planning their dream destination wedding: “Have fun. A wedding can be really stressful, but we think the fact that we were far away from all the planning allowed us to distance ourselves from the stress. Find a planner or vendors whom you trust and give them leeway in planning the wedding. As long as your planner knows your style and what you want – let her deal with all the little things. That way you can be a little surprised on your wedding day and feel more like a guest than the person in charge.”

Vendors: Photographer: Studio 7 Photography, Wedding Planner: Caileen Designs, Ceremony/Reception Site: Escondido Beach/Casa Oceana Malibu, Gown Designer: Vera Wang, Florist: Bride and Bloom Flowers, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tommy Bahama, Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Tommy Bahama, Stationery: Page and Mason, Catering: Command Performance Catering, Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop, Rentals: A Rental Connection, Linens: La Tavola Linen

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