venue search

I got back into the routine of things here so quickly that I totally forgot to blog about my trip to LA last weekend. The first thing that comes to mind is that it was HOT. Unbelievably hot. But seriously, I had a fabulous weekend. Rob and I were running around LA & the OC for wedding meetings but we still had time to hang out… I got to catch up with my best friends (and bridesmaids!), we attended a friend’s barbecue and sat around their pool, and we even took our parents’ out to dinner so we could all finally sit down together. It was the kind of weekend that reminded me of how much I love Southern CA. I really do miss it.

OH! I also got to try Pinkberry, which is the frozen yogurt craze that’s taken over LA (the chain has been seen on MTV’s The Hills). I really, really liked it. I had an original yogurt with strawberry and mochi (rice cake) toppings. YUM. It’s expensive, though.

Anyway, does anyone remember the last time Rob and I were in LA scouting out possible wedding venues? Well, now that we’ve picked a venue, I thought I’d go back and post pictures and thoughts from the others that we didn’t choose. Mostly because I think it might be nice to have a journal, if you will, of the wedding planning process.

(I know it’s starting to be ALL WEDDING, ALL THE TIME here but I can’t help it! It’s pretty much taken over my life… but I’m trying my best not to blog exclusively about wedding stuff. Really, I am!).

Here we go…

La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes

It’s located high on a hill in the Palos Verdes Estates and it’s a phenomenal venue. The ceremony site overlooks the Pacific Ocean…

I could totally see us getting married here if the set-up for the reception area was different. As it is, the dining tables are in a separate room than the dance floor so the whole flow didn’t feel right. The dining area was also super tight, like there wasn’t a lot of room to move around freely.

Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach

seven-degrees looks like a fun, fun place to have a wedding but pretty much as soon as Rob and I got there, we knew it wasn’t for us. It has a totally hip and modern feel and we’re not exactly a hip and modern couple, lol. It’s a multi-purpose creative space that’s used to showcase art, paintings, etc. I wish I had a photo of the ballroom to share because it’s amazing… it has the latest in audiovisual technology and super cool lighting. (Carmen, if you’re reading this, I can totally see you getting married at a place like this — it’s so trendy and chic).

Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach

This is the view of the museum from the outside.

I am in love with ocean backdrops for a ceremony. Sooo pretty.

Another beautiful venue but again, it was just a touch too modern for us. An outdoor wedding would have been nice but unfortunately the museum is located in a residential area, which means the reception could only run until 10pm (boo). It’s also on a major thoroughfare so I was really concerned about the noise from the street and cars that would be driving by (you can see how close the traffic lights are in the picture below of the reception area).

Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado

RLL is an absolutely gorgeous private estate in central Orange County. The grounds are lush and colorful and it even houses a semi-private zoo!

The ceremony area. Please excuse the horrible lighting in the picture. It’s really beautiful. Trust me.

The courtyard where the cocktail area is normally held. The building in the background is the Grand Salon, where the reception would take place…

The ballroom. Just imagine it with tables and a dance floor.

I *adore* this place. It was actually tied with the Grand Newport Plaza (our eventual venue) for our first choice… until I found out that there’s no air conditioning in the ballroom. And I wanted a summer wedding. Yeah. No go. I couldn’t put my family and friends through that excruciating heat. I even looked into possibly having an April or October wedding when the weather is cooler but RLL books fast. The majority of the dates I wanted were already gone. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, my dad is paying for the reception and while he thought RLL itself was nice, he hated that it was so far and difficult to find (which yes, it is — when Rob and I went to see it, we missed the turn into the estate too). I (begrudgingly) had to admit he was right but I was really bummed about it for awhile.

We really didn’t visit a lot of venues (I know people who have visited 20+ and we only saw 5!) and we even contemplated taking a second trip down to visit more places and expand our search to include golf courses and/or hotels but honestly, my mind kept going back to the GNP. The Spanish-style architecture is lovely and the ceremony area is breathtaking. When we go back to visit it again, I’ll have to take pictures to show you all. 🙂