Ojai, CA Wedding On A Budget

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Love the resort town of Ojai, CA, week-end kick-back of the stars?  But are the prices of venues like the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa a little out of your price range?  You DO have options… The photo above is the beautiful gazebo in the lovely Libby Park – right on Ojai Ave, Ojai’s “Main Street”.  Can’t you see yourself getting married here?  62647240

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Above, another shot of the interior of Libby Park.  There is a very famous tennis tournament played every May in Ojai – the “Ojai Tennis Tournament”.  All the greats played there when they were rising stars. Libby Park is where the finals are held.

Want a religious ceremony?  There are plenty of churches in town that don’t require membership to allow you to marry at their place of worship.  (Not the Cathoic Church, of course.  One must prove all your sacraments are in tact and are a member of good standing in their parish – (If you’d like to read about a Catholic Wedding, click on the link).

One such church, is my home church growing up, the Ojai Presbyterian Church.

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Perhaps things have changed since my wedding, but then, non-members were allowed to marry in their church.  Below is a picture my new husband and myself in front of the Ojai Presbyterian Church 32 years ago.

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Where to go for your reception?  Parks are a nice option for a low cost affair.  Rental costs are minimal, and then you have the choice of supplying your own food or having it catered.  Be warned, however… if you hold your reception in a park, they may have  a “no alcohol” policy.

Holding the reception in the nearby beach town of Ventura is another lovely choice.

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The beautiful two photos are of Ventura, via Facebook.  I’m a little partial to Ventura…I was born there.  🙂

More Wedding Options at The ‘Hotel Del’

There are so many Wedding Venue Options on site at the Hotel Del.  The Wedding Specialists’ goal is to make your day a once in a lifetime experience, whether you are hosting four or four hundred.  They have the specialized locations and experienced staff to accomplish this.  Think about it.  When you go to a wedding, you have a wonderful time.  You eat delicious food, drink good wine, dance to fun music.  Easy, right?  No…to pull off an elaborate affair such as a wedding, countless hours go into the creation.  I know this from the stand point of a ‘mother of the bride’ and a professional wedding planner.

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The Vista Walk, ( photo from the Hotel’s own website), is a lovely wedding venue for a party under 100.  The top photo shows it all decked out for a wedding with a rather eclectic theme.  Below, my own photo, on an average day, waiting to be transformed…image

Below, the Garden Patio, my own photo, in it’s everyday attire. Isn’t the grass lush?  It so impressed me, especially with the drought California is experiencing.  Then I walked on it.  My heels didn’t sink in!!  What?!?  Yup…it’s turf.   And the best, most realistic turf I’ve ever seen.  What a wonderful, ecological choice for the resort to make at this delicate time in California’s climate crisis.

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Next photo showcases the garden patio ready for a wedding!  This venue also hosts a smaller group than say, the Crown Room, or the Windsor Lawn.  The venue is intimate without being cramped.

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Garden Tea Room – (photo, hotel website).  Feeling in the mood for an indoor affair?  I visualize this space used by a bride with a late-morning, early afternoon wedding.  It feels light and airy.

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Beach (Hotel website stock photo)

And really..can you get any better than a celebration on the beach like the one above?  It IS the Hotel del Coronado, after all…

Not Just Any Old Fare…World Class Food

 

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Like any 5 star resort, The Hotel Del Coronado serves world class food, but with a twist. It’s not just any old fare… They grow much of their greens, herbs and peppers on property – to be used in their fine dining restaurant, “1888”  (aptly named for the year the resort opened).  If you look at the top photo, (all photos on this post are mine), you see a green grouping of plants in the center.  This is the view from my balcony – I’m looking right.

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The next two photos  show in closer detail the well-loved and well-cared for garden.  Unlike New England, where I reside, the hotel staff doesn’t have to worry about winter freezing the crops, or dreaded deer.  I used to love deer.  It was always a treat to see them.  No longer.  The love to eat my plants, and can be huge road hazards.

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What does this mean for your wedding fare, if you choose to use the Hotel as your venue?  Delicious food, that’s what.  Even if you don’t get to enjoy the kitchen garden, Southern California has the best available fresh produce in the world, all local restaurants use it. You are in for a treat!

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No worries about your wedding meal, and perhaps you’ll want to have your rehearsal dinner on site…or a post wedding brunch the next day.  You will have plenty of options, whether it’s pool side, (see above), or one of the more causal eateries – (see below).  And let’s face it…the view can’t be beat.

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Illumination of the Hotel Del…and More!

The illumination of the Hotel Del Coronado is more than just a way to light a room…it is a work of art.  Not only was great thought, detail and expense put into the lighting of each public room, there is also a fascinating bit of trivia about one special room…

Who among us AND our children has not seen “The Wizard of Oz”?  I’d wager to say.. almost no one.  But do we know who the author was?  Probably my mother does, as she read each and every book. He is none other than L. Frank Baum.  And he has another grand distinction.  He loved Coronado Island!

According to sandiego.com

“Four years after publishing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a children’s book that would become the first in a beloved series of 14, L. Frank Baum checked into the Hotel del Coronado for a wintertime respite. He and his wife would do so every year but one until 1910, during which time he wrote three more “Oz” books and parts of another. Later, the Baums would winter at a house not far away from the hotel, on Star Park Circle. The house, like the storied Victorian hotel, still stand today. Baum passed away in 1919, but his memory and his legacy in San Diego cultural history live on…So fascinated by the hotel was Baum that he volunteered to design the lighting in what would be renamed, in tribute to his vision, the Crown Room.”

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hoteldel.com Sunday Brunch in the Crown Room.  Look at those gorgeous hanging “crowns”!

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hoteldel.com Coronet Room, an auxiliary room off the Crown Room.  I do not know this for fact, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say Baum designed the fixture in this room as well.

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hoteldel.com Ballroom

The fixtures in the Ballroom are exquisite.  A bride would almost require no more decor than to have these lovelies hanging down from their noble perch!

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Windsor Complex

And how about these art deco creations from the Windsor Complex?  While not my favorites, no one can deny their elegance.

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Lobby

And the Grande Dame of them all, the gigantuan chandelier from the main lobby.  I adore this!

And a last bit of trivial…The Hotel Del Coronado has bragging rights to the oldest continuously running elevator in the United States.  Always run with an attendant, and most often by the famous, gem of an employee, “Andrew”.   He’s been with the resort 40+ years.  Andrew knows more about the Hotel Del than any reference guide.  It was my pleasure to ride with him.  You know a company’s a ‘good one ‘ when an employee chooses to stay so long.