A Sweet SoCal Destination WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Garrett Richardson Photography
Rachel and Arley met in sunny San Diego while he was on active duty in the Navy. After falling in love and living there for a few years, Arley and Rachel were transferred to Jacksonville, Florida. After they got engaged, the couple had a tough decision to make. “We weighed our options between his hometown and mine,” explains the bride. “We decided to tie the knot, not where we were individually from, but where we fell in love.” So, San Diego it was for this couple’s lovely destination wedding. Not surprisingly, their loved ones were thrilled with the idea of a SoCal soirée. “The guests were able to not only enjoy our wedding, but the majority took advantage of coming to California and turned it into a vacation.”
When it came to picking a venue, the couple had a very specific look and feel in mind. “We didn’t want our guests to feel as if they were showing up to a wedding that was described as ‘beach themed’ and land in a formal setting,” says Rachel. “L’Auberge Del Mar was the last venue we looked at and became our first choice. [It] offered a unique laid back setting for our guests. We had looked at other venues that offered what we wanted, but we found them to be over the top in an almost intimidating fashion.” Once the venue was decided, Rachel and Arley were able to pull off the laid back, lovely beach wedding of their dreams, but it wasn’t without help.
"I think any destination wedding can be somewhat overwhelming,” says the bride. “Planning an event so special, with such detail from across the country always brings a bit of anxiety with the package, but once we found our wedding planners, the stress went away every time we spoke with them. When a problem would arise they were there to help and fix it. They gave us timelines, ideas and arranged all of the meetings. After getting to know us, they got to know what we wanted and that was the biggest blessing, because we knew we were not alone at any point during the wedding process. Elizabeth and Krissie from White Lace Events and Design not only made our process stress free, but were present from the first phone call to the end of the wedding. They were our one and only resource and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Thanks to their own wedding planners and the staff at L’Auberge Del Mar, the couple didn’t have any major issues planning their destination wedding. “Our wedding planners connected us with vendors they knew matched the theme of our wedding. They gave us options, helped narrow them down and set up all meetings and first introductions with our vendors. Because of this, we never ran into any problems.” Once the details were in place and the big day finally arrived, the couple’s loved ones traveled from near and far for the seaside nuptials.
“Our guests did everything from taking trains to buses, road trips and airplanes. Because of the research and planning we did with each guest beforehand, we were lucky our guests did not run into any issues or problems.” We asked the couple how hosting a wedding away in San Diego affected their budget. “We certainly spent more money having a destination wedding because of factors such as: we had no option but to have wedding planners. Without them we would not have known the area as well, we also would not have known of the brilliant vendors that they suggested. But I will say, although more money was spent, it was all worth it because we truly did have our dream wedding!”
Because Rachel and Arley achieved the destination wedding they always envisioned, we asked the bride if she had any final words of advice for other couples currently planning or considering a wedding away. “Appreciate and acknowledge everyone who was able to make it to the wedding and also everyone who made the wedding possible. Make sure to remember to have fun, and even if something doesn’t go as planned, its ok because your wedding day will end up being the best day of your life.”
Vendors: Photographer: Garrett Richardson Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: L’Auberge Del Mar, Wedding Planner: White Lace Events & Design, Florist: Isari Flower Studio, Cake: VG’s Donuts, Hair & Makeup: Beauty by Stacey, Gown Designer: Mary Kay, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: David’s Bridal/Men’s Wearhouse, Music: Still Listening Productions, Officiant: Rev Ron, Market Lighting: SD Socialights
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