Ojai, CA Wedding On A Budget


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


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.



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.


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.



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. External staff like wedding photographers often enjoy taking advantage of our luxurious venue. I’m sure many wedding photographers like Chris Brodell (Learn More) would love to scout beautiful wedding venues out like the Hotel Del and thanks to how organized we are you get to feel like it is all effortless. 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.


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.


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.




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.


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…

Wedding Options At the Hotel Del Coronado

So.. if you’re seriously considering a destination wedding…do you think the Hotel Del Coronado could be the right fit?  Think about it, you get the perfect weather of the south of France, but you’re still in the US.  And it’s every bit as beautiful!  I was gifted with a generous property tour, provided by the lovely Andrea, focusing on the multiple ceremony/reception sites the resort offers.  I think what most impressed me was the vast options a bride has to choose from — eleven in all!



The above two photos are my own, – the top one being from my room’s balcony.  We had a perfect day, as you can see, but then every day is perfect in the San Diego area. The green lawn in both pictures is “The Windsor Lawn”.  Remember, in my post, “Destination Weddings“, I pointed out the summer cottage Wallis Warfield Simpson shared with her second husband?  Well, the lawn is aptly named for the ‘Windsor Connection’.  Just click on the pink link if you’d like to read my post.



One of the most popular ceremony/reception sites is the Windsor Lawn. The hotel stock photo above showcases just how perfect a wedding would look.

Considering an evening affair, or just prefer your reception to be held in doors?  Then the Ballroom is for you!  Below is my photo of the Ballroom waiting to be dressed for the next event.  The following picture is the room in all it’s festive glory.  Notice any differences despite the decor?  Look at the chandeliers.


In my photo above, the chandaliers are stationed much higher.  They can be raised or lowered, depending on the guests’ preference.



Do you take the phrase, “Beach Wedding” to heart?  Then you have the option of being married RIGHT – ON – THE – SAND!



Perhaps you have a smaller gathering, and want a slightly more intimate affair – with an art deco vibe?  Then the “Crown Room” is the perfect choice.  Named for the crown shaped lighting fixtures, the room itself is a work of art.  Look at the fabulous room ceiling.  It’s breathtaking, but the maintenance that is required to keep it pristine is mind boggling.



Tomorrow, we’ll explore several more ceremony/receptions options on property.



Services Unique to The Hotel Del Coronado

Our discussion of more Hotel Del wedding venues will have to wait until tomorrow…I am just too excited to share some unique services to the resort!

It’s happened to many of us…we are enjoying a delicious picnic lunch on the beach, or an early dinner on a resort patio…and in dives a seagull to steal our meal.  Urrrg!  Or perhaps worse…we are  bombed with a “seagull surprise.”  Well, that doesn’t have to be the case at the Hotel Del where a falconer is employed.  Enter Jorge Herrera, as seen below.



According to a hotel source “…Herrera doesn’t have to do much more than show up to scare the gulls. The simple tactic of walking around with his hawk on a perch or doing short flights is enough to flush the pesky birds away. It’s an easy job for the predators….What George does is he brings in his birds sets them up here on our Windsor Lawn then he will walk around the property… The birds of prey… frighten the other smaller birds and the seagulls.”

Think this would be a good idea for your wedding at the Hotel Del?  It is advisable to contact hotel staff and see if this is a routine thing, or if there is an up-charge for your event.  During my stay, I saw a falconer walking the perimeter of the “Windsor Lawn”.  It was fascinating, and the hawk so majestic.



Hey, guys, want to surprise your bride with a “little something extra” on her wedding day?  How about a sand castle on the beach of the Hotel Del?  The Sandcastle Man, Bill Pavlacka, shares his talent with the Hotel Del – for a fee of course.  While, yes, it will eventually wash away, photos will last forever!  I just love this idea.

Just can’t get enough of the Hotel Del Coronado, and want to return after your Destination Wedding?  Another novel approach “The Del” has taken is the creation of it’s “Club At the Del” Details follow below from their own website hoteldel.com

“This private beach and social club membership provides VIP access to the legendary resort and the luxuries of Beach Village on a daily basis. Members experience the best of what Hotel del Coronado and Beach Village at The Del have to offer, whether it’s a beach party, wine dinner, sunrise yoga, surf lesson or holiday celebration. Enjoy secluded pools, private full-service beach cabanas, an executive locker room with whirlpool and steam room, fitness center and classes, along with fireside dining and sunset libations in the glamorous Windsor Cottage clubhouse.

Members also receive preferred rates on resort services and amenities like fine dining at 1500 OCEAN and relaxing treatments at the spa. Entertainment includes a full social calendar of events from comedy nights and beach barbecues to live music and holiday galas. Club Adventures take members to sporting events, horse races and more.

Experience the iconic Hotel del Coronado as your own private club.

Member Access

  • The Del’s state-of-the-art Fitness Center
  • Executive-style member’s only locker room
  • The Beach Village pool (only Beach Village owners and guests also have access)
  • The Main pool and Boardwalk (adult-only) pool
  • The Windsor Club Cottage (a member’s ocean-view cottage/social area)
  • Private, full-service beach area”


My photo above…One seating area for the private club members.  Love having sofas right on the sand.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you about more ceremony/reception options at the resort.  And then…about the unique lighting fixtures, created by a very famous man…