Dreaming. Romanticizing. Those are two things I am darn skilled at. Put me in charge of whipping up a swoon-worthy wedding with no budget attached and I'd be off and running in no time. But, with family on two sides of the country to consider and a bank account that's nowhere near out of this world, we had to be a wee bit more realistic.
That said, a girl can dream, can't she? Somewhere in between searching for venues back east and booking Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colorado, a few venues popped up that could be appropriately filed under "gasp," "sigh," "swoon," and, well, "unrealistic."
Let's rewind and run through my short-list of dream venues, shall we?
1. Mankas Inverness Lodge one hour north of San Francisco. It's a fishing and hunting lodge from 1910 tucked between Tomales Bay and Tomales State Park near Point Reyes. Surrounded by woods and nature, this arts-and-crafts rustic style camp (with nine rooms and two cabins) is intimate (read: probably 50 guests max), but so special. I mean check out this gorgeous wedding there. All pictures below by Mel Barlow.
2. Sea Ranch Lodge on the Sonoma-Mendocino coast in Northern California. Rolling grass and redwood bluffs surround this 1970s eco-community. Honestly, it was the barn over the ocean that had me from the start. All photos below by Ann Hamilton.
3. The final place I seriously yearned for (and actually considered with a guest list of about 20) was Hanalei, Kauai. The way the giant, lush cliffs hug the bay, the perfect surf that rolls in, the turquoise water and the gentle, warm breeze.
Out of anywhere in the world, this is where I'd have my ceremony. Too bad, weddings are not allowed on the pier.
We'd rent a beach house overlooking the ocean with a big lawn like the Faye Estate. A bunch of us would stay there. Our guests would rent houses walking distance. And we'd have an outdoor reception on the lawn.
Oh, wouldn't it be nice?
Where did you dream of getting married that was outside of reality?