A Sunny SoCal SoiréeWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of KLK Photography
Tricia and Dee’s families both hail from the Midwest, so there was no question of their guests traveling. So, the New York City residents decided to go back to where it all started. “We didn’t really feel like it was a destination wedding,” says the couple. “We met in Southern California and lived there for years. It has always felt like home, no matter where we lived in the world. So, even though we were living in New York City at the time of the wedding, SoCal was the most obvious choice for the location.”
Thankfully, the couple’s loved ones were on board and quickly booked their flights to sunny Temecula, California. “Our families were excited! They are both in the Midwest, so they were prepared to travel to our wedding, regardless. They were much happier to head to Southern California and make a vacation out of it.” So, with everyone excited and supportive, Patricia and Dee started to hammer out the finer details of their wedding away.
When it came to choosing their venue, the couple had an obvious place to start. “We chose a winery because Dee is a certified sommelier and really loved the idea of getting married at a winery. When we saw Falkner Winery, the setting was so beautiful that it was an easy choice.” These two lovebirds were smart in choosing a venue that highlighted their gorgeous destination!
In terms of the planning process, the couple relied heavily on family. “The best resources we had through the whole process were Tricia’s mother and two sisters, both of whom had gotten married in the past few years. While they didn’t have destination weddings, they were helpful in making decisions as they had the experience of what worked and what didn’t.”
Overall, Dee and Tricia were pleasantly surprised with how smooth the entire process went. “There really isn’t much you can’t do online or through email when coordinating a wedding. We had no trouble dealing with any of our vendors and they were always just a phone call away if needed, but email was usually sufficient. Plus, there’s a trail of messages that keeps all of your info in one place and easily accessible. It all went very smoothly, especially considering we were thousands of miles away on the other side of the country.”
Looking back, the couple has no doubts about their decision to host a destination wedding in Southern California. “If we had held our wedding in the Midwest, where our families are, it would have been much bigger and therefore much more plain. We also most likely would have had the wedding indoors as we wouldn’t feel comfortable trusting the weather in the Midwest like we did in SoCal. Having a destination wedding gave us more options and a much prettier setting.”
When it came to the details and logistics of hosting a wedding on the other side of the country, what could be seen as drawbacks, Tricia and Dee saw as perks. “We probably spent less money by doing a destination wedding. First off, you will have fewer guests when you have a destination wedding, which greatly cuts down on the costs. And, when you have to use air travel to get to your wedding day, it makes you simplify things a lot because you can’t bring that much with you. It’s a great incentive to make you realize what’s really important on your wedding day and what is just excess.”
Tricia and Dee were successful in hosting the beautiful, sunny destination wedding of their dreams and have some words of advice for other couples going through the same process. “Our biggest advice is to do what the two of you want, whether it’s the location or the smaller details. It’s your wedding day – go with what you both want, not what you think you should do or what everyone else does. Make it your own and once the day arrives, take a deep breath and don’t worry about anything that day. It will all work out – just enjoy your day!”
Vendors: Photographer: KLK Photography, Wedding Planner/Florist: Nancy Gallegos, Ceremony/Reception Site: Falker Winery, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Hair & Makeup: Genevieve Mininni and J. Stacey, Gown Designers: David’s Bridal
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