April 21

A Bride’s Diary: The Perfect Wedding Venue

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff brides who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this new feature!

Once I got engaged and started my wedding planning, I faced the dilemma of blending together the vibrant, vintage and elegant look I wanted as my theme. All of these styles were specific enough to stand on their own, but I really wanted to meld them together since I knew they were an accurate reflection of who I am. I did a lot of research about what type of venue would go best with my themes, and I was determined to have either a vineyard or beach style wedding for two reasons: first, to entertain my out-of-town guests, and second to incorporate my style requirements.

After one and a half months of scouring different venues in Napa and Carmel, I realized that driving four hours round trip was just too taxing and unrealistic for everyone involved. I wanted to be a part of the most intimate details of the wedding planning process, so I took into account that I would have to visit the venue three or four more times to make sure that every detail was perfect—right down to the cake and entrees I was dreaming up.

Taking all of this into account, my fiancé and I decided to forget about having a destination wedding and began to focus more on the venues closer to home. It was an internal struggle for me, since I felt most of the venues here were way too formal for my preferences, but I lined up appointments anyway. I drove up to a local winery, but found it too hard to navigate for my out-of-town guests. I drove all over town and couldn’t find anything I liked.

All my visits left me feeling discouraged until I chanced across Villa Montalvo, a venue that I ruled out even before visiting since it seemed unoriginal. It had the elegance that I was looking for, and also a very natural environment that I could use to incorporate vintage details. It’s perfect!

From my own experience, I advise all brides out there to keep an open mind when selecting their wedding venues. You can always find a way to include different elements that speak to who you are as long as the venue is versatile enough. Remember that distance can be a strain when you want to personally tie the elements of your wedding together, so keep in mind that places that might have initially been completely out of the question may just turn out to be perfect for you.

Meet Joyce

Joyce met Alex six years ago at a church event, and the pair have been laughing together ever since! She was enamored by his Australian accent and warm demeanor, and he fell in love with her sense of humor. They got engaged in May 2009 and have been planning their perfect wedding ever since!


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About Katie

Katie M. is a Writer at Wedding Paper Divas. She has the privilege of viewing nearly every piece of stationery before it goes up on the website, giving her the ultimate inside scoop on upcoming trends in the stationery world. She loves classic designs with a surprising twist, and enjoys finding new ways to express her ever-evolving personal style—a blend of traditional glamour and bohemian whimsy that makes Wedding Paper Divas a perfect fit! In addition to her love for writing, Katie is obsessed with health and fitness, skincare, UC Santa Barbara, all things adorable, the beach, dancing, cooking, getting real mail, fresh flowers, discount shopping, and shoes (who isn’t?). Katie is a contributing editor to Diva Dialogue. Be sure to check out her recurring feature, “Rant or Rave.”

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