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A Chic Rancho Santa Fe Resort

Words by Carolyn Steere
Photos courtesy of Rouse Photography

Southern California – known for sunny days, spectacular sunsets, sandy beaches and rolling hills dotted with orange groves and colorful hibiscus, may be the perfect location for your destination wedding.

After arriving in San Diego, a scenic drive along the dramatic California coast brings you to the chic seaside towns of La Jolla and Del Mar and the exclusive resort of Rancho Valencia. You know you have arrived somewhere special as you drive through the entrance to the resort and are warmly greeted by the staff. Spanish-style haciendas are nestled within 45 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds with each of the 49 bungalow suites boasting Mediterranean-inspired furnishings and hand-painted tiles. 

Start each day by enjoying the fresh squeezed juice and newspaper awaiting you at the door of your casita. There are new activities offered every day of the week including tennis, yoga in the open-air Serenity Yoga Pavilion, croquet on one of the expansive lawns and guided walking tours through olive groves to a hidden waterfall, just to name a few. The setting alone is serene enough, but if you want to “up” the relaxation quotient, be sure to unwind at the spa with a Vitality Ritual designed to invigorate your body and relax your mind. Or, detox and take a few years off of your skin with a Citrus-A-Peel or White Diamond facial.

The chefs at Rancho Valencia practice a farm-to-table philosophy at the resort’s outstanding and unique restaurants. Each of the dining spaces double for events, so when planning a destination wedding there are plenty of options to choose from.  

Greet the morning with a sumptuous breakfast in the Sunrise Room, which accommodates up to 200 guests when coupled with the outside terrace. The brick walls, soft lighting and leather touches of the Wine Cave provide a totally different ambiance, making it perfect for an intimate rehearsal dinner or small reception. Before dinner, we recommend you gather your guests on the patio overlooking the croquet lawn, order one of the bartender’s signature cocktails and watch the sunset. 

For casual dining, the Western-inspired Pony Room is the hub of the resort. Al fresco or indoor seating, craft beer, a tequila menu and locally inspired dishes are all part of the experience. Veladora is the resort’s signature restaurant, serving “coastal ranch” cuisine created by Chef Jarrod Moiles using locally sourced ingredients including produce from nearby Chino Farm. Chilly California evenings are not a problem when you can gather with your guests around a cozy fire roasting marshmallows.

The talented wedding professionals at Rancho Valencia take pride in turning your vision into reality. They know all the secret “tucked away settings” for your ceremony, the best vendors in the area and tips for making your event flawless so you can relax and focus on what’s most important.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2017 issue. You can order a copy here.

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