A Wine Country Destination WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Krista Marie Photography
After interviewing our real-life wedding couples, we normally take their answers and information and transform them into a blog post write-up for all of you! For today’s real wedding, however, the bride Jennifer was so well spoken that we decided it would be best to just let her answers speak for themselves. She and her now-husband Mark decided on Paso Robles, California for their wine country destination wedding. Not only did they pull-off a beautiful event, but now the bride is sharing her insight on the entire planning process:
DID: Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
BRIDE: We were living in New York City at the time, but most of our family and friends were scattered all over the country. We wanted to take advantage of not being tied down to one specific location and invite our loved ones to celebrate with us somewhere relaxing and unique.
DID: How did your family and friends respond to the decision? If any of them had a negative reaction, how did you resolve it?
BRIDE: When we initially decided on a destination wedding, our main concern was that we’d be inconveniencing our guests. However, everyone fully embraced the idea of turning our wedding weekend into a mini-vacation. Many road tripped up the coast, and took advantage of the gorgeous vineyards that Paso Robles has to offer. There was something for everyone, and by the time our wedding day arrived our guests were in vacation mode.
DID: How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them?
BRIDE: With most of our family living out West, we decided on California and specifically Paso Robles for its relaxed, small-town vibe. We loved the idea of a small-town setting for our wedding weekend, and running into our loved ones all over town was so fun! Our guests were able to easily hop around to all of our wedding festivities and really enjoy themselves.
DID: How would you describe your overall experience of planning a destination wedding?
BRIDE: Overall, planning a destination wedding was much less stressful than we anticipated. Luckily, with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to communicate with vendors and the fact that we were planning from afar forced us to be flexible and decisive.
DID: Did you use any resources when planning your destination wedding that you feel would be helpful to other couples? i.e. books, a wedding planner, referrals?
BRIDE: We heavily relied on Internet research and reviews when shopping around for wedding vendors. Reading other couple’s experiences helped us narrow down the vendors that seemed like the best fit for our budget, style and taste, which was crucial given that we only had one weekend trip out to Paso Robles prior to our wedding. Our month-of coordinator was also a huge help. We wanted to be in control of all of the major planning, but she stepped in right in time to take over the logistical details and allowed us to slow down and enjoy the last few weeks leading up to the big day.
DID: What were the travel logistics like for your guests? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them?
BRIDE: To make travel a little easier on our guests, we did a lot of research on the Paso Robles area ahead of time and put together a fun travel guide on our wedding website with tips and tricks for our family and friends to use throughout the weekend. Because Paso Robles is a small town, we knew hotels could be hard to come by and reserved a few hotel blocks at different price ranges to ensure everyone had a good option for accommodations.
DID: Do you feel you spent more or less money by choosing to do a destination wedding?
BRIDE: We did have expenses that we wouldn’t have had planning a local wedding. For instance, we took a trip out to Paso Robles during the planning process to meet our vendors, have food and cake tastings and do a walk-through of our venue. Because location was a top priority for us, we made sure to plan our budget accordingly.
DID: Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
BRIDE: Our advice for any couples planning a wedding now is to embrace the fact that not everything will go according to plan. There will be little, unexpected issues that pop up that day, and that’s okay! There is so much pressure on couples to plan flawless, picture-perfect weddings nowadays, but in reality all of the stressful details that seem so important during the planning process will feel insignificant compared to the overwhelming excitement that you’ll experience the day of. Being surrounded by family and friends, and getting to marry your best friend will truly outweigh any stressful floral arrangement decision, cake flavor selection or DIY project.
Vendors: Photographer: Krista Marie Photography, Wedding Planner: Tasteful Tatters, Ceremony/Reception Site: HammerSky Vineyards, Florist: Lori Boe Floral Design, Stationery: Moontree Letterpress and Rosey Calligraphy, Cake: Paper Cake Events, Hair & Makeup: Lovelychic Wedding, Gown Designer: Theia, Groom’s Clothing Designer: J.Crew, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: BHLDN and J.Crew, DJ: Phi Unit & Catering: Pacific Harvest Catering
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