Rachael and Ryan

Destination Catalina Island


May 1, 2013
Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Erin H. Photography

While Costa Rica was Rachael and Ryan’s destination wedding dream, they reconsidered after some of their most prized relatives wouldn’t be able to make the trek. The groom grew up making summer trips to Catalina island with his father, so the spot was not only beautiful, but sentimental. Once the decision was made, details fell into place for the couple thanks to a good number of friends who were able to double as vendors.

“The only problem we ran into was we had to bring everything to the island and pay for room and board for all our vendors,” says the couple. “We were lucky that our cost was low for our vendors due to us being friends with everyone. Everyone was excited to donate their time at a fraction of the cost. Our DJ had never done a wedding on the island and worked with us on getting all their equipment over by boat. It’s all about communication!”

With vendors dialed in, the venue selection was a cinch. “Lucky for us, Catalina Island only has about four places to get married,” recall the newlyweds. “The Catalina Country Club just had a lot of history and went perfect with our vintage, travel-chic theme we wanted. The country club was built in the 20s for the Chicago Cubs spring training and is perched up in the mountains.”

The couple admits that getting married on an island creates some unique challenges. They suggest making the most of the location by using as many local resources as possible, thus limiting the amount of items/people you need to bring over from the mainland. Thankfully, once on the island, things went smoothly with guests being able to walk virtually everywhere or rent golf carts to get to and fro.

The couple rented out pool cabanas the day before their wedding so their 150 guests, who had traveled from all over the U.S., got the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and get to know each other. W-Day went off without a hitch and the couple has some final words of advice for other couple’s planning their own destination wedding, “Relax, relax, relax! You planned your own wedding and no matter what, it’s going to be perfect!”

Vendors: Photographer: Erin H. Photography, Wedding Planner: Sugar Magnolia, Ceremony/Reception Site: Catalina Country Club, Florist: Sugar Magnolia, DJ: InJoy Entertainment, Invitations: TJ Creative, Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero’s “Presca Marie,” Groom’s Clothing Design: 3 Day Suits, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Pretty Maids/3 Day Suits

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