Archive for the ‘Venue Visits’ Category

Dawn Ranch Lodge

Sonoma County, CA

February 14th, 2012

Take a look at this video of Dawn Ranch Lodge. Looks super cute to me. I’d go in a heartbeat. Nadine and Arno chose a very charming location for their wedding. Big love.

Oceanfront Venue: The Chanler

Newport, Rhode Island

August 1st, 2011

For the past few years I’ve been reading about The Chanler, a historic hotel perched high above the famous Cliff Walk in Newport, RI. I’m visiting my sister in Newport right now, and this weekend as we were driving aimlessly through town, I mentioned that I wanted to take a look at it for blog purposes. Her eyes lit up as she told me what a fantastic place it is and that we weren’t far from it. Quite unexpectedly, my sister crossed two lanes of traffic and pulled through an iron gate (already open, luckily) right into the driveway of the majestic mansion. Well, hello gorgeous!

Not only was this 20-room hotel voted #1 Small Hotel in the US by Conde Nast Traveler in 2010, but it was named #3 Best Inn in the US by Travel + Leisure for 2011. The mansion was built in 1873 as a summer house by Civil War-era NY Congressman John Winthrop Chanler, who just happened to be married to Margaret Astor Ward, great granddaughter of John Jacob Astor, the first multi-millionaire in the US. Obviously, the standards were pretty high, and they remained high when the building was refurbished and re-opened as The Chanler in 2003.

Lucky for me, the hotel staff was setting up for a wedding on the Cliff Lawn as my sister and I barreled into the parking lot. Not only did I get to see the venue, but I got to see it during set up! It wasn’t until we hopped out of the car looking a little beach-abused in our bathing suits and cover ups that we realized we might not be welcomed at the hotel with open arms. That could not be further than the truth. While The Chanler is very refined (about beautifully decorated), it is not stuffy. And what a view of the ocean it has! I took several photos with my phone, but none were as good as the photos on the website, so those I’ve posted are courtesy of The Chanler.

The hotel has three ceremony sites, but the Cliff Lawn has the spectacular ocean view. The covered, columned Terrace is a beautiful spot for a reception, also with ocean view. While you do not need to stay at the hotel in order to have a wedding (up to 200 people) there, it is possible to rent out the entire mansion for your event, including the 20 guest rooms. Driving out through the gate, my sister concurred…we’re on a mission to attend a wedding at The Chanler. As guests, of course.

Welcome to Waterside!

Seabrook Island, South Carolina

August 17th, 2010

I read a quote recently that more or less stated once you’ve done something 100 times, you’re pretty much an expert at it. Since I’ve directed well over 100 oceanfront weddings in the past few years, I guess I’ve reached expert status in that department. That, along with my experience as a magazine editor, a photographers’ agent, a culinary school graduate, and a wedding coordinator, puts me in a pretty good position (I hope!) to curate a blog on waterside weddings and all that they entail.

This blog will not only feature real weddings (I could look at them all day long), but it will highlight great venues and vendors, include DIY instruction, offer tips, and morph in many wedding directions, if I’m lucky. While I don’t know how or where Waterside will go, I can’t wait to get it started.

I do know one thing for sure – it’s a certain kind of person who wants (needs, actually) to get married on the water. Whether her dream is of a ceremony along the seashore, at the edge of a lake, or floating in a swimming pool, a wedding on water is a unique, memorable experience for everyone. For some couples, no other option will suffice. Does this sound familiar? Then this blog is for you.