Wedding arch styles, from simple to sensational

Flickr photo by uproot311

The last time I did a post about arches for a wedding ceremony, I didn’t really focus on them, and it seems a lot of people are looking for them.

Its unfortunate but true that most of my pictures of weddings I’ve decorated have been of wedding receptions, and most arches are used for the ceremony and vows. And of the pictures I’ve taken of ceremony decorations, they’ve been of churches. So, that means most of the weddings I’ve decorated have not had arches. So of course I turned to Flickr, where I found a lovely variety of arches, including the one above. I really like this one. It’s a portable wood arch, with tulle entwined around its front legs and its top. In front of the ocean, you really don’t need more decoration than this.
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Wedding Venue: Annenberg Community Beach House

I first came across the Annenberg Community Beach House earlier this summer when I was looking for a splash pad where I could hold my youngest son’s first birthday party. The Annenberg Community Beach House would have been so awesome, but it would have been a logistical nightmare, trying to hold a party in Santa Monica, more than 30 miles away from where we live.

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Wedding decoration ideas for a gazebo


If you can score a wedding venue with a gazebo, do it! Gazebos are so easy and so much fun to decorate and make your wedding look spectacular. Best part is, you don’t need a whole lot to make a gazebo look fancy.

Flickr photo by Zandania

It’s not easy to find a spectacular gazebo set up like this, but they seem to be common in resort areas, where you don’t need a whole lot of space for dozens of guests. This gazebo, in Cuba, was decorated with white chiffon and a couple of vibrant flower arrangements at the front.

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Wedding ceremony decorations

When you say “I do,” what are you hoping your surroundings look like?

Photo by Hoang

A lot of brides-to-be hope for a beach wedding, which can mean so many things here in Southern California. You could aim for an actual on-the-sand ceremony, or you could do something like this — have your wedding within the comfortable confines of a beachfront hotel like the Huntington Beach Hyatt. You won’t accidentally get some uncomfortably large man sunbathing in an uncomfortably small swimsuit (or, heaven forbid, in nothing at all!) in your wedding pictures, but you still get the sunshine and refreshing salty air of a beach wedding.

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Market California state parks as wedding venues, don’t close them

I’ve been reading with dismay about the imminent closure of more than 200 state parks and beaches in California because of our budget crisis. Below is a picture of Cabrillo State Beach, which is on the list.

The move may result in savings as much as $70 million, according to an LA Times blog post. I keep wondering where all that federal stimulus money went. Anyway, California is rich in beautiful parks and beaches, and to shut them down seems like a sinful waste. Here’s an idea — why don’t we keep them open and maybe work a little harder to promote them to the people and, oh, how about marketing them as wedding venues?

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Want to get married on the beach? Check out a state park

Everyone wants to get married on the beach. In California, its totally possible. It can get expensive though. One way to get around that is to take advantage of the vast number of California state parks.

Photo by Flickr’s steveroake

There are a few in the metropolitan Los Angeles area that you can take advantage of, including San Clemente State Beach, pictured above. San Clemente State Beach is probably most often used for engagement and wedding photos, but did you know they have a Historic Cottage? Yeah, its available for rent for weddings, receptions and special events.

Photo by Flickr’s Sonia and Anil

Adamson House in Malibu is another one of those spots. Its owned by the state parks system, so its probably a bit cheaper than other spots in Malibu. The grounds of the house overlook the ocean, and probably makes for a chilly evening reception, hence the portable heaters in the picture above. I’ve actually been planning to visit Adamson House for months, so I’ll take tons of pictures and share them on flickr.

Photo by Flickr’s rbenjaminross

Again, down south in Orange County, another spot I’ve been wanting to visit (for camping, really) is Crystal Cove State Park. Apparently, there are bluff tops perfect for beach weddings. For receptions, though, I’m not sure what facilities are available. Maybe the Interpretive Center? Who knows. You gotta call them to find out.

Getting married on the beach in Long Beach

This is a very late post, but better late than never. My friend Sam above got married on the beach in Long Beach in July 2007. I think I initially didn’t post this because I didn’t anticipate blogging her wedding. Lo and behold, here I blog. As with most of my friend’s weddings (since they’d like me to be able to enjoy the wedding), I did not do these decorations. The bridal flowers were by a florist whose name Sam couldn’t remember the other night, Sam and her bridesmaids did the table arrangements and most of the draping decorations were done by the venue, La Palapa Delmar Restaurant.

La Palapa Delmar’s location was spectacular — right on the sand in Long Beach. But it being July, it was quite hot. La Palapa was a visually interesting venue, but perhaps not well ventilated. Thankfully, its right on the beach, so it wasn’t hard to get out and catch the ocean breeze.

Sam’s parents escort her to the altar. One of the things about getting married at the beach is that you might end up with an audience not included on your guest list. Unless you somehow end up on your own private beach; if you’ve got game like that, then you probably don’t need this blog anyway.

You can tell I wasn’t expecting to blog this wedding by the complete absence of overall room pictures. I’m usually pretty good at that. Anyway, if you look past Sam’s very adorable mom, you’ll see the draping that’s already included in the room, from the chandelier in the center of the room. There are a few other restaurants that have similar ceiling drapes, like Almansor Court. But the room, in my opinion, didn’t need much in terms of decoration — check out those burgundy drapes and the fancy sheers. Plus, the room itself was not your usual blank canvas hotel banquet room — like I said, visually interesting on its own.

Sam and her maid of honor with their yellow rose bouquets.

The places of honor, decorated with fancy netting and candelabra.

The places of honor, occupied.

Finally, the newlywed couple’s first dance.

It was a great wedding, with great music deejayed by my buddy Moonie — yes, Moonie, whose wedding was once also featured here. It was also my first time at La Palapa — seriously, I was surprised I’d never heard of the place before.