Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Wedding at the Mission Inn

With Christmas 2011 out of the way, it's time to start planning your 2012 California Christmas wedding! And, what better place than the AAA 4-Diamond-rated Mission Inn in Riverside. Any time of the year is a great time for a wedding at the historic Mission Inn, but December is when the Mission Inn puts out its Christmas lights, turning the Inn into a magical, breathtaking place for a wedding.

The Mission Inn has a long history of helping couples with their "I do's." In fact, Richard Nixon and his wife Pat had their wedding at the Mission Inn. And, Ronald and Nancy Reagan honeymooned at the romantic Inn. What makes the Inn such a popular spot for weddings is their St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, with grand mahogany doors and Tiffany stained-glass windows. The pic below shows the exterior of the chapel.

But, it's during their "Festival of Lights," from late November through early January, where the Inn puts on its best face. With over 3.6 million Christmas lights on display, you and your love can be transported into a fairytale world, complete with lighted horse-drawn carriages.

In addition to the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, which can accommodate up to 152 guests, couples can have their ceremonies in the Oriental Courtyard, which can accommodate up to 170 guests or the smaller St. Cecilia Chapel, which can accommodate up to 15 guests. In addition, there are seven banquet rooms available for receptions.

You and your guests may also enjoy Kelly’s Spa at The Mission Inn and 54˚ at Duane’s®. Kelly's Spa features 11 private spa treatment suites, with specially designed treatments for couples, bridal parties and Mother's-to-Be. 54˚ at Duane’s® is one of the Inn's fine bars, where you can sample some outstanding wines paired with items from their sushi and tapas menu. On my recent stay there I found 54˚ to have that great combination of casual atmosphere, but with some great wines to choose from. I went for the Sequoia Grove cabernet and was not disappointed. Nor was I disappointed with the service and accommodations at the Mission Inn, which were definitely top-notch.

For more information on the Mission Inn's wedding packages, go to

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fallbrook Wedding Venue with Private Lake

Care to make your grand wedding entrance by boat on a private lake? Or, perhaps you'd like a horse-drawn carriage instead? All that is possible just one hour north of San Diego at Los Willows, a luxurious private garden estate located in Fallbrook. Los Willows was designed for weddings, and with their luxury B&B, for honeymoons as well. This 44-acre estate hosts one wedding at a time, so your event will be totally private. And, your wedding package includes the basics: use of the private estate for 6 1/2 hours; professional wedding planner; wedding rehearsal, etc. But it's the wonderful amenities and available options that set Los Willows apart:

  • On site professional, modern salon for the bride and bridesmaids
  • Bridal lounge and groom's retreat
  • Picturesque gardens and manicured lawns overlooking a pristine private lake
  • Wedding boat grand entrance available across their private lake
  • Or a horse and carriage grand entrance
  • Just-married champagne boat cruise on the lake for the newly married couple
  • Reception at their climate-controlled pavilion with 6' Swarovski crystal chandelier
  • Luxury B&B available for overnight stays
  • Vintage Rolls Royce available for departure to your awaiting car

Los Willows is an ideal venue for larger weddings up to 250 people, but, they also specialize in smaller, more intimate weddings as well. When it's just the two of you and a small group of family and friends, Los Willows provides many different intimate settings, such as a shady oak tree next to the creek or a lakeside gazebo.

For more information on this fabulous venue, you may want to visit their website at

Here's a YouTube video shot at Los Willows to give you an idea of what to expect:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Intimate Wedding Venue in South Pasadena

It's not easy to find small wedding venues in the Pasadena area, but, here's the perfect one for those of you wanting a small, intimate wedding, but in an elegant venue.

Located at 201 Orange Grove Avenue in an area known as the historic "Millionaire's Row," The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast is a three-story Victorian mansion built in 1887. The mansion has had several owners during it's history, including the daughter of Melville Bissell, the guy who made the popular Bissell line of vacuum cleaners. She used to entertain in the house, inviting many prominent people of her day, including Albert Einstein. But, you don't have to be a genius to have a wedding in today's Bissell House, you just have to be in love!

The Bissell House specializes in intimate, outdoor weddings, accommodating up to 40-50 people. And, it's located near many popular Pasadena area attractions: Old Town Pasadena, Rose Bowl, Norton Simon Museum, and Burke Williams Spa. Out of town guests can stay at the Bissell House, or at one of the nearby hotels, such as the Westin Pasadena. Go to for more info. Below you'll find a YouTube video of The Bissell House to give you an idea of what you might expect:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lompoc Wedding Venue - La Purisima Mission

Looking for a lovely wedding venue in the wine country of Lompoc, Buellton or Santa Ynez? Then consider having your wedding at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc, California. Lompoc is home to Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Lompoc and the surrounding area is home to some of the finest wineries in Santa Barbara Country (including my favorites - Fiddlehead, Palmina, Melville, Hitching Post and La Fond.)

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is rustic (no electricity or chairs for guests), but the gardens and fountain are a lovely and serene spot for a wedding of 100 people or less. Do keep in mind that the park is public, so people are allowed to wander by. You will need to fill out an application form and pay a $250 fee. Their contact information is 805-733-3713.

I visited the park recently and snapped a couple popular spots for wedding ceremonies:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wedding Venue Between Los Angeles and Orange County

His family lives in Orange County. Yours lives in Los Angeles. So, where do you have the wedding? Well, midway, of course. And, where might midway be? At the Rio Hondo Events Center at the Rio Hondo Golf Club!

Located in Downey, the Rio Hondo Events Center is a beautifully romantic venue with a golf course lake and waterfall backdrop for your outdoor ceremony, and a choice of event rooms which are perfect for smaller weddings of under 100 guests, on up to larger weddings of 300 guests. And, they offer a wide range of options for your reception, including several different buffet choices such as a barbecue buffet and a "Taste of Italy" buffet.

Contact Info:

Rio Hondo Eventers Center at the Rio Hondo Golf Club
Office: 562-806-5020 Fax: 562-806-5040
10627 Old River School Road Downey, Ca

Below is a YouTube video so you can get an idea of the event space for weddings: