A Traditional Hometown Wedding

The Old Mission Rose Garden. Personal photo.

Did I mention that my hometown is a resort town? Where all the stars from Los Angeles come to have a retreat? Whenever I mention that I come from Santa Barbara, California the person’s response is always, “Oh, it is beautiful there!”

…And it really is. I love it there, I miss it!

I was so excited to share my beautiful hometown with my fiance’s family (many of whom never have been to California).

There are so many sites that would make a beautiful ceremony site. Top on my list were a.) Chase Palm Park (it is on the waterfront and even has a vintage carousel!), b.) Manning Park, a woodland enclave in the midst of Montecito, c.) The Old Mission A.C. Postel Rose Garden–just across the street from the historic California Mission.

Chase Palm Park. Image from lotsafunmaps.com.

And did I mention the reception venues? The Bacara Resort & Spa and The Four Season’s Biltmore. These were the top two on my list.

So being the planner that I am, I researched all my top sites. Talked to the wedding coordinators at each facility. Then I figured out the best pricing, the best ambiance, the best food. Then proposed our pick to our parents.

A mid-morning ceremony at The Old Mission Rose Garden and a late lunch reception at The Bacara. It was all decided! It was going to be beautiful!!

The contract for the Rose Garden was signed. It was a public park so the fee was (somewhat) minimal at $650 with a security deposit of $150. The checkbook came out, everything was mailed, and I received confirmation for the venue. Then after negotiating the price with The Bacara and the final contract was drafted something just didn’t seem right. Why did the venue need 90% of the total food and beverage fee over 12 months in advance. Every other site only required 5-10-25-50%. I had never seen something more than that. Was The Bacara going through hard times? Were they going to go bankrupt before our wedding? Was I being swindled? So I gave the wedding coordinator a call. And that is when I found out that our site was secured for July 31st, 2009 not 2010!

After figuring out the SNAFU, the wedding coordinator was going to call me back and let me know the price increase for the 2010 date. I guess they were going to give us a good deal for the close 2009 date. But then after I left messages, and emailed he didn’t call me back. A week or two went by. Then second thoughts went through my head.

What about Catalina Island–the place we vacationed last year and had a blast at. The place where I attended my first wedding as a child. Should I switch our traditional hometown wedding for a (semi)destination wedding on Catalina Island?

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One thought on “A Traditional Hometown Wedding

  1. So this is totally cracking me up that I came across your website! I just recently got engaged, less than a month ago… and and am trying to decide between having it on Santa Barbara (where I live) and Catalina Island where I vacationed a lot as a kid 🙂
    I found your site looking up saja dresses and am stoked to read back on your planning details!

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