Stunning Cali Coastal NuptialsWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Lindsey Gomes Photography
San Francisco couple Katie and Alan wanted to show off their new home state to those they love most. What better opportunity to get everyone to the West Coast than by hosting a destination wedding? “Our families are from the East Coast and we wanted to bring them to California to drive the Pacific Coast Highway and share the beauty of Northern California with them,” says the bride. Not surprisingly, their friends and family were more than willing to make the journey! Katie and Alan had a very specific vision in mind for their wedding – one that involved a remote location in Jenner, California.
“We spent a weekend at Timber Cove taking walks along the coast, watching the sunset over the ocean, playing cards in the lodge, listening to a local band, eating delicious food and wine,” reminisces the bride. “As soon as we got engaged, I thought it would be the perfect location! Part of the reason we loved the remote location was the nonexistent cell phone service. We wanted our guests to be free from distractions and enjoy each other’s company for the weekend.” Once the location and venue were chosen, the couple planned their dream destination wedding without the help of a wedding planner and in only eight months. Their relative proximity to Timber Cove was very helpful.
“We live in San Francisco now, about three hours from the location,” explains Katie. “We drove to visit the venue and met with the onsite coordinator, Margaret Grahame, who was wonderful in helping us plan the day. The resort was undergoing some construction and at maximum capacity with our guests, so it was a little stressful assigning each guest a room so we would all fit.” Thankfully their loved ones didn’t mind the close quarters and the weekend was one filled with love and laughter.
When it came to picking vendors, the couple took a straightforward approach. “Referrals from friends for vendors were extremely helpful,” says Katie. “There are so many options out there, so if someone had a positive experience, I went with that. We tried to use people that we knew or had a personal connection with to support local businesses.” When it came to their stationery, Katie decided to take on that task herself as a way to save on the budget. She designed nearly all the paper goods and then had them printed at a professional printer. Her favorite part? A custom map for her guests.
“We created a little map with our favorite spots between San Francisco and Timber Cove so our guests could stop at them during the long drive. We including a café in Stinson Beach, Tomales Bay Oyster Company for fresh shuck-them-yourself oysters, Cowgirl Creamery for the most delicious triple cream cheese you’ve ever had and a spot along the coast to see Pacific Harbor seals.” With their maps in hand, most of the couple’s guests flew into San Francisco, rented cars and made the drive up the coast to the wedding location.
Going with their gut and choosing a far-flung spot for their nuptials paid off in more ways than one for the couple. “Having the wedding at a more remote location was probably more cost effective than if we had it in San Francisco,” says the bride. “It was a really special weekend having all of our guests in one location for the duration of the events. I’m happy that we did it that way.” While she was in a reflective mood, we asked the bride what advice she would share with other couples considering a destination wedding.
“We planned our wedding in eight months and it was plenty of time. Don’t feel like you need a year to plan. [Also,] it was really great having a venue that was pretty all-inclusive – accommodations, food, tables and chairs, etc. And we loved having everyone in the same location for an entire weekend since people came so far. [Lastly], remember that the day is about you as a couple, so make a conscious effort to never get separated during the weekend. Take mental snapshots during the day so you’ll remember everything clearly, because it can be a whirlwind.”
Vendors: Photographer: Lindsey Gomes Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Timber Cove in Jenner, California, Florist: Lushbubble, Stationery: printing done at Mercurio Brothers Printing, Cake: Carrot Cheesecake by Timber Cove, Hair & Makeup: The Powder Room, Gown Designer: Marchesa, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Alton Lane
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