Weddings at The Grand Del Mar

grand del mar resort destination weddingLet’s head to sunny Southern California – San Diego to be exact, where one of my favorite domestic resorts is nestled in the hills above and just a tad inland from the Pacific Ocean.  The Grand Del Mar, San Diego’s only Five Star and Five Diamond Resort, is one of those special places where service really does make the experience.  I’ve stayed on property, attended weddings and conferences here, dinned countless times and each and every single time the staff is truly extraordinary.  To know your wedding is in good hands is a luxury no one should miss out on and you’ll be cared for like a member of the family here.  Oh, and the venue is pretty much picture perfect for a destination wedding too!

Designed with the bride in mind, the sprawling location has several spots to say “I do”.  My personal favorite is the capella – an intimate chapel complete with its own entrance, removable pews, marble columns, high beamed ceilings and beautiful double doors for that oh-so grand Grand Del Mar entrance.  We asked their wedding specialist, Paige Levy about its details.  “The intimate chapel is steeped in old-world charm and infused with fairytale romance. The Capella features beamed ceilings, imported Italian pews, stained glass accents and ceremony seating for up to 280 guests.  The Capella offers the experience of a chapel setting without having to have the ceremony and reception at two separate locations.  The Capella is designed to cater to the client looking for a religious style ceremony with the option of displaying a cross and wood alter, however it can also be customized for the client looking for a non-religious unique indoor ceremony location.  The flexibility of the space caters to both desires.”  The space is so diverse, it can even be set for dinner!  With removable pews, you could chose to host your reception here too.

But if you’re traveling to San Diego for the year-round great weather, then there’s a ceremony spot for you too.  The vast Aria Lawn comes complete with a Moroccan pavilion overlooking the championship golf course.  A lovely place for a cocktail hour, dinner under the stars of that jaw-dropping, lavish ceremony.  If you or your loved ones can’t get to Italy, Morocco or other far off lands for your destination wedding, then let San Diego transport you there with the help of The Grand Del Mar!

wedding chapel grand del mar{Photos: Top Left: Paul Barnett Photographer, All Others: True Photography}

If you want to wed under a traditional gazebo, they’ve got that too!  Just in front of a long fountain for that water element you might be dreaming of for your ceremony.

weddings the grand del mar{All Photos: True Photography}

For a grand reception, the Elizabeth Ballroom is perfect!  With a built-in stage, detailed paneling on the walls, high and decorative ceilings, this is one hotel ballroom you won’t want to cover up.

But saying “I do” here isn’t all about the event itself.  A destination wedding weekend should allow guests to experience all that the location has to offer.  Paige tells us they also have, “…an award-winning five star spa, pro-style tennis courts, an 18-hole championship golf course, acclaimed restaurants, seasonal cooking classes, boutique shopping, and an abundance of outdoor recreation in the 37 miles of canyon preserve trails.   Take a scenic hike. Lounge poolside. Focus on your well-being. Dive into the ocean…or the action.  Endless options offer something for everyone – the active enthusiast, the spirited adventurer, the culinary connoisseur and the style seeker.” 

 It’s no wonder San Diego is one of the country’s most popular travel locations.  Time to pack your bags!

grand del mar wedding photos{All Photos: True Photography}

When to Wed: San Diego can pretty much be counted on for year round great weather.  But if you want picture perfect skies, and lots of activities to keep your guests occupied, consider late summer when the race track is in full season or early summer when the nearby county fair comes to town for the kids.  (Just be sure to book early!)

Travel Tip:  If you want to explore San Diego – the beach, theme parks, the downtown shopping and dining district, Coronado Island, the landmarks and more then we suggest renting a car.  The city is spread out and takes time to see it all.  The resort has a car service and can arrange offsite activities but for a bit more freedom of schedule, your own set of wheels might just do the trick!

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Elopement Packages

If you’re newly engaged and already feeling the stress of wedding planning, you may be thinking an elopement is more your style. Eloping is the perfect option for the laid-back couple who just wants to celebrate with one another, and perhaps who’d rather throw a small get together with family and friends after the fact.

Now, if you’re thinking that a local courthouse is your only option, that’s where you’re wrong! Destinations around the country and the globe are encouraging couples to escape and say “I Do” at a place that can double as the perfect honeymoon paradise!

Since you won’t be paying for a large guest count, why not splurge a little on a luxury resort experience, like the Runaway Bride and Groom package the Ritz Carlton, South Beach offers. Complete with a beach-front ceremony, bridal bouquet, officiant, photography, wedding cake and a one night stay, it’s the perfect option for those of you that like one-stop shopping and quick getaway with all the bridal bells and whistles.ritz carlton weddingsMaybe you’d rather set sail on an exotic cruise where you can experience multiple destinations in one romantic trip. Carnival Cruise lines offers a package that includes a bouquet, boutonniere, officiant, photography and wedding cake at the on shore or off-shore location of your choosing. And the best part is – they do all the planning and heavy lifting.cruise elopements

Prefer a glass of wine over a pina colada? Ponte Family Winery in Southern California boasts 310 acres of vineyards and gardens for you to elope to. Check out their package that includes a vineyard garden ceremony, bride and groom cottages for getting ready, and an officiant. Then end the celebration with a “Valentine’s Dinner for Two” at their restaurant, complete with a butler, four course meal and live entertainment. Bump up your experience a level by considering the “Estate” which includes an overnight stay at a local bed and breakfast, too.

winery elopementsStress-free and full of romance, unexpected elopement destinations may just be the answer to your wedding dreams.

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La Costa Resort Weddings

la costa resort and spa

San Diego is said to have, arguably, the best weather in the country, making it a great option for an accessible and perhaps more travel-affordable destination wedding.  It’s also my hometown so I’m slightly partial to properties there.  The city really is the epitome of relaxation and boasts numerous luxury resorts that rival any far away destination spot. The north county located La Costa Resort and Spa is certainly one of them.destination san diego weddings

The La Costa Resort has a striking Spanish style design, befitting of its Southern California roots.  Most famous for its spa destination, the vast property is an excellent option for destination weddings of any size, especially those with kids (the resort is complete with a kids camp, pool area and arcade).  This unique spot is one you never have to leave and you and your guests will feel totally fulfilled.  Golf for the guys, tennis for ladies, spa and shopping, pool time and nature walks, and of course fantastic restaurants and even fireside dinning with your own private staff, should you wish.san diego resorts and spas

If you’re looking to unpack and unwind without ever leaving the wedding property, then La Costa Resort could be just for you.  And for those of you who like to venture out every once and a while, San Diego summers have the Del Mar Fair, the Del Mar Racetrack, the beach, the harbor, and lots more to entertain you with – just outside the property’s gates.

When to Go:  San Diego has pretty spectacular weather year round but we suggest late summer when the race track comes to down.  Just one more group activity to enjoy with your guests!

Travel Tip: Rent a car!  While the resort is its own self-contained city, San Diego has so many sites to see within 30 minutes of the property that you’ll be thankful you have the freedom to venture out.

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