After all of this, I haven’t even introduced you to our venue! Let me bring you up to speed.
After deciding on Catalina Island instead of a hometown wedding, we eagerly searched for a location. This took me months and months! Where…without visiting the island in person? I searched feverishly on the web. Googling, Flickring, and aimlessly searching photographer’s sites that contained images of other weddings on Catalina Island. Yep, I pretty much stalked Catalina Island trying to find out what locations were out there and what I would like best.
There was one thing guiding my search: I had my heart set on was that the ceremony was going to be outdoors. This is what I always imagined for myself. For the reception, I’d like it outdoors as well but that was slightly more open to what was out there.
There were two sites that had what I was looking for: Catalina Island Conservancy and Santa Catalina Island Company. From what I understand most of Catalina Island is actually administered by the Conservancy since it is protected land, while much of the city of Avalon was once owned by Wiley Rigley (yes, the chewing gum guy) and now his property is ran by The Santa Catalina Island Company. Hence, these two sites were the major players on the island.
The Conservancy offered 10 locations that consisted of beaches, gardens, and scenic bluffs. While The Company offered a Country Club, Beach Club, and a Ballroom. Mr. Pash wan’t that crazy about having a beach wedding since we had been to so many the year before. So that took away all the locations where you would need to stand on sand. My preference was either a garden or overlooking the ocean on the bluffs. So this is what I focused in on.
At first it seemed like the final contenders were going to be between the Summit Overlook and the Botanical Garden, both owned by The Conservancy. But then the Overlook would need a vehicle to transport people and all ceremony items rented, so it got canceled out after pricing and logistics got factored in to it. Then after talking to a coordinator about the Botanical Gardens that idea got canceled out. The Garden’s memorial building courtyard was a bit too small for 75 people and would be quite dusty that time of year.
So after researching a bit more that left one place we both loved: The Catalina Country Club. It had an outdoor courtyard (yes!!) and beautiful, historic architecture (super yes!!). I had a vision of an vintage California wedding so it seemed like a perfect match for us!
Actually most of the Catalina Island was build in the 1920’s and The Country Club was part of this boom. In fact, it was built in 1921 as the Chicago Cubs’s spring training facility by Mr. Wrigley–the Cubs’s owner. Now the place has been turned into a country club/restaurant.
Here are a few pics of the place. I absolutely love the Mediterranean feel of The Club. The red tile roofs, the heavy wooden doors, the white washed archways, and the black wrought iron lights. All of this combined with my most favorite element: the colorful tilework on the floor and in the fountain. These tiles were created in Catalina Island due to Wrigley’s building projects. The tiles are glazed in the most beautiful colors and depict amazing geometric designs and also pictures of native animals and oceanlife, not just at The Country Club but throughout the island.
*all images from The Santa Catalina Island Company or Panoramio.com