Summer Destination Wedding – Whale of a Crime

Can you think of a better Summer Destination Wedding site than a New England Bed and Breakfast?  I can’t.  I recently had the pleasure of reading “Whale of a Crime” by Karen Macinerney.  It’s the 7th book in a delightful cozy mystery series set on fictional ‘Cranberry Island’ off the coast of Maine.  The Amazon synopsis gives a wonderful overview:

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“When a tour company books the Gray Whale Inn for a full week, innkeeper Natalie Barnes can’t wait to get cooking — and to hitch a ride on the antique schooner Summer Winds, getting up close and personal with the local whales. But when one of the humpback whales turns up dragging a mass of fishing gear from its tail, the tour takes a dark turn. It turns darker still when the schooner’s handsome captain winds up attached to the vessel’s anchor, sixty feet underwater… and not by accident. Before long, the tour naturalist (and Natalie’s best friend’s beau) is behind bars, charged with a murder Charlene swears he didn’t commit. Stir in a surprise visit from Natalie’s quarrelsome sister, midnight kitchen sabotage, a sick orphan kitten, and a mysterious investor with plans for a massive resort on the quaint island, and Natalie’s got a recipe for potential disaster. When a second body turns up just outside the inn, the heat is on Natalie to solve the double murder… or risk ending up with her own goose cooked.”

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If you’re looking for wedding venues, and you would like a small affair, consider a B and B.  They are usually located in a scenic venue, (love the photo below!), and if you rent out the entire inn for your wedding, your guests won’t have to worry about making their way home!  Hosting a Destination Wedding, (click on the link if you’d like to read another post about Destination Weddings), encourages you to trim the guest list.  This way you will include your nearest and dearest, and keep your budget on the smaller side.

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Was the book everything it promised?  Yes, and then some.  I was never bored, the characters were loveably believable; the action always flowing.   Yet “Whale of a Crime” still provided the warm domestically we all love in the cozy mystery.  The recipes incorporated in the story made my mouth water.  There are several that I will actually try…and you know me, I don’t like to cook!  I can’t wait for the next installment in the Gray Whale Mystery series.  Hurry and write another soon, Karen!  If you like cozies, you’ll love this one.  Click on the following links to be directed to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon to obtain your own copy.  Once you do, you’ll want to read all seven!

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Love the cake above.  Its simple elegance seems to go with the more causal vibe a Bed and Breakfast Wedding offers.

Destination Wedding – Your Alma Mater?

What about a destination wedding – held at your alma mater?

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My alma mater is the University of Redlands, located in Redlands, CA – an hour from the beach, an hour from ski resorts, an hour from Palm Springs, an hour from LA.  Does it get much better than that?

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I’m not sure of the fees for holding a private event at the University.  I don’t discuss fees on my blog – I could be wrong, or fees could change.  I am making an assumption, however, that an alumnus may receive a better deal that someone who is not. Above  you see the  exterior and interior of the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel – a work of art.  This would be a very traditional spot to say, “I do!”.  But not the only one…

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The photos above and below are of the Greek Theatre.  It is where large groups of students convene, and where graduation is held. Above, you see a wedding party taking advantage of the great photo op.  Perhaps they were actually married on the stage.  Below, is my own photo of my daughter’s freshman orientation held at the Greek Theatre.

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The ‘Hall of Letters’, where I attended most of my classes, is another lovely wedding site.  I don’t know…For me…. I think I’d start having flashbacks to a test I needed to take…  🙂

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The Alumni House, formally the University of Redlands President’s residence when I was a student, is another great venue.  I was a bridesmaid in a wedding held there once upon a time. The gazebo makes for a most romantic setting.

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And below — the majestic Office of the Registrar. Even if you don’t have your ceremony there, the photo opportunities are many.   And yes, it really is that beautiful…

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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.  🙂

Destination Wedding – Ojai, CA!

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What about a destination wedding where the stars go to decompress, and MARRY?  I’m talking about Ojai, California, where I grew up.  Ojai is home to an electic group of people — from the Ultra swank, ‘Ojai Valley Inn and Spa’ to posh prep schools – in order of prominence, 1) The Thacher School, 2) Villanova Prep, and 3) The Ojai Valley School – to religious gurus who prize the small natural valley. (Supposedly it’s the smallest valley where the mountains run east and west AND north and south).

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Photos #1 and #2 via Facebook. 🙂  The bell town to the right of the photo is our post office.

Ojai has been vacation home to the late Larry Hagman and Reece Witherspoon to name a few.  Will and Jada Smith to Kate Walsh have chosen to marry at the world famous Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. It’s one of my favorite, “happy places”, as well as my daughters’  My oldest, KK, celebrated her bachelorette party there.

My family still makes their home still in Ojai, and we try to visit at least twice a year.  We try to get  to OVI’s exceptional spa at least one day a trip.

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Above, the women’s indoor hot tub

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The exterior of the spa at night, and below one of the resort’s beautiful live oaks.

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The last four photos are mine.  Rather proud my photography on those!  While I can not speak on the overnight accommodations, or their wedding packages/options, as I have yet to be a hotel guest or take a ‘wedding tour’, I WILL praise the spa. It is exceptional. I will report in a future post, if I made an overnight site visit and tour the wedding venue options. I’m sure it’s lovely, but not will to speak to what I haven’t thoroughly researched.

Perhaps you wish to marry in Ojai, but your budget is limited.  Tomorrow, I will explore THOSE options for you.