Curious Epicurean

Posts Tagged ‘wedding venues

With 54 days to go, the bridesmaids dresses are here, shoes have arrived and I just picked out jewelry today! Having a casual Hawaiian wedding means I wanted my bridesmaids’ look to appear fun and effortless. In all reality, it takes a lot of work to plan a casual, laid back look and event.

The beach-ready sandals:

Steve Madden flat sandals for the North Shore beach.

The dress we picked out at J’aime Bridal as modeled by my MOH and baby sister:

The Bill Levkoff not-so-ugly bridesmaid dress.

Completing the look with accessories proved to be a challenge, until coral became the color of the season!

Coral drop earrings to match the bright orange hues of the flowers.

The bracelet that matches the earrings.


I ordered my dress last August. I found it on the first day of trying on dresses, and it was the fifth dress I tried on. It was so easy! And I was shocked. I am usually picky, non-committal and indecisive. I fully anticipated driving to every dress store in Northern California and trying on dozens–if not hundreds–of dresses. Luckily, the awesome little boutique down the street from my work in Pleasanton had just the dress I wanted. It was that easy!

So, in August my dress was ordered and  waited and waited and waited. The seven months it took to make the dress seemed like a lifetime passed. I tried to avoid every image of another bridal gown in magazines, in stores and online. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy! I tried really hard not to fall out of love with my dress, but I was worried that I wouldn’t love it just as much when it finally arrived. This would be the worst time to get buyer’s remorse because of a purchase.

When my dress finally arrived this month, I gathered my bridesmaids, mom and fiancé’s mom and adorable flower girl to see me try it on. I still had this sinking feeling that, after all those months, I wasn’t going to LOVE it.

Just a preview of my dress.

Luckily, when I tried it on, the feeling and all the emotions that I had felt in August came rushing back, and I knew this was still the dress. I never want to take it off! I’m counting down the days until I’m wearing it at our wedding at Turtle Bay.

For so many people who think of a destination wedding, wine country is a natural choice. I thought it was for me too. Aside from the fact that my fiancée and I both have a pretty healthy little wine habit, we also live in what is argued to be California’s oldest wine country and I work to promote the more than 50 area wineries.

Really, what could be more romantic than rolling hills of lush vines? What about the perfectly paired local varietals and wine country cuisine? What about the sheer variety of  hospitable venues to reflect any style or theme and accommodate a group of any size?

The size of the group certainly proved to be the issue. Before I could blink, the intimate late-summer winery wedding I had envisioned more than double in guest count. The price tag followed accordingly.

Inevitably, it was too much to deal with. I’m used to planning events. I’m comfortable with the ins and outs, deadlines, contracts and stress. But that’s when I’m paid to stress.

This was our wedding and I refused to stress. The solution: a destination wedding. Next August, as the suns sets on the North Shore of Oahu, we’re having our intimate wedding surrounded by close family and friends.

I’ve learned that a destination wedding can mean different things to different brides- and grooms-to-be. The location holds such value and is so meaningful. Wine country can be  the perfect, relaxing fit for many couples’ dream wedding. Wine country is our favorite go-to weekend escape, but I guess we just got spoiled having wine country at our fingertips whenever we choose. For us, we needed somewhere a little different with an oceanfront sunset and our toes in the sand.