Finding a wedding venue was one of the hardest and most stressful experiences of our wedding planning journey. Unlike the ease of choosing our planner, florist, and hair and makeup team, finding the perfect venue in San Diego was so difficult for us because our aesthetic style just doesn’t really exist here in Southern California.
How We Chose Our Wedding Venue in San Diego, European wedding venues in Southern California

Our Requirements

David and I love texture, old world features, and European architecture just as much as we adore bold, clean, and modern (but still elegant and grand) spaces. We were having a hard time finding either style that allowed us to bring in our own catering and bar service and wasn’t more than an hour from the airport in San Diego. We were totally excited when we found Hidden Castle in Rancho Santa Fe, but were too early to book so we needed to wait until January 2018 to book for our 2019 wedding. January rolled around and we were sad to find that they were no longer taking on weddings. Back to the drawing board!

I scoured wedding directories, blog features, and social media to find properties that were hidden gems. Everything we found was either hours away or not the right style or didn’t allow cocktails (a deal breaker for me!). We were offered the opportunity to host our wedding at another private estate, but sadly that option was taken off the table a few weeks later. At this point, we started freaking out and pretty much all of my wedding excitement was gone. I felt a little hopeless and some properties that we did like were already booked for our date.

Being Flexible

Our only option next was to give up on our outside food and beverage requirement, as well as expand our location range. Sometimes you have to reprioritize your wedding must-haves in order to find the right fit for you. So that we can have the food and beverage we initially were dead-set on, we’ve decided to have it for our rehearsal dinner. Best of both worlds!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

We went on a series of venue visits in San Diego and finally found a perfect gem! We picked a picturesque European-inspired property with a gorgeous lawn: the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, a Italian Mediterranean-inspired property with the most stunning grounds. It’s a short drive from the beaches of Del Mar and feels like it’s in it’s own world.

We are so thrilled to have found such a stunning property for our San Diego wedding next April. We’ll have our cocktail hour and reception on the Aria lawn in front of the iconic pavilion. After searching through hundreds of local venues, we are so relieved to have found an amazing venue and our excitement levels are fully charged again.
fairmont grand del mar san diego wedding

Stay tuned for more blogs and videos on our wedding planning experience!

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