With its year-round balmy weather and close proximity to the ocean–it’s no wonder Canadians flock to California time and again. From the lush vineyards in the north (Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley) all the way to the beaches of the south (Newport, Coronado and Hermosa), it’s easy to get swept off your feet by the atmosphere of this beautiful state. And, Southern California (or SoCal as the locals like to call it) is certainly no exception. San Diego, in particular, holds much appeal for Canadians looking to tie the knot–from the local organic cuisine to the verdant Palm-covered hills–it’s easy to see why the city is becoming a hot spot for Canadian destination weddings. For those of you considering a wedding in San Diego, here’s what you need to know:
The best time to go: For typical Canadian summer-like conditions, the best time to travel to San Diego (wedding or not) is from March through the first two weeks of November.
The flight: Direct flights from Toronto are approximately four and a half to five hours long. Canadians can also fly in from Vancouver (roughly four and a half hours) with connecting flights in San Francisco and other major cities. Airlines that fly to and from Canada include US Airways, Alaska, Delta, American, Air Canada and United.
The legal paperwork: If you are getting married anywhere outside of Canada, most countries will require a statement in-lieu of certification of non-impediment to marriage abroad, according to Service Canada. You can apply for one by mail via the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade before departure.
The venue: We highly recommend the fabulous Rancho Valencia Resort for a luxurious wedding that reflects everything SoCal stands for. Set on 45-acres of land amidst verdant greenery–brides have 11 site options at their fingertips.
From a ballroom terrace, which holds up to 200 guests, to a private hacienda (complete with a sprawling pool) to the croquet lawn surrounded by hibiscus and palms–the choices are endless. Food and decor are an essential component and truly personalized with help from on-site planner Tracy Schwarz. “Weddings are such customized event and we make it our mission to ensure that the couple gets everything they envision, whether it’s an intimate wedding party or a huge vintage-like celebration–we can do it all,” explains Tracy. “We do have wedding packages, but everything is so customized and we work with our catering department and other vendors to make sure the couple gets what they want.”
The budget (for 50 guests): Food and beverage begin at $165 per person–including parking and cake cutting. Come 2014, prices will rise by $10. Ceremony fees are approximately $3,500. Click here for of Rancho Valencia Resort’s current wedding package.
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