FOR AN EASY DESTINATION WEDDING, CALIFORNIA’S TERRANEA RESORT IS A SHORT FLIGHT FROM DENVER, BUT FEELS A WORLD AWAY
When my husband and I were engaged and debating the idea of a destination wedding, we asked ourselves: Could we afford to invite everyone on our list? Would our families be willing to foot their airline bills? Would it still feel like a honeymoon if guests stayed post-party? How hard would it be to plan a wedding via email, phone and Facetime?
In the end, we decided to get married in Colorado, but a recent visit to the breathtaking Terranea Resort, A Destination Hotel in Los Angeles, made me reconsider. A two-year anniversary is worth a vow renewal, right?
Sitting on the brim of the Palos Verdes Peninsula overlooking Catalina Island, the luxury coastal resort offers geographical convenience—it’s just 30 minutes from both Los Angeles International and Long Beach airports, 30 miles from downtown L.A.—and offers 140,000 square feet of wedding-worthy event space surrounded by beautiful, serene scenery.
Terranea’s largest venue space can hold up to 900 guests. The 75,000 square feet of outdoor space includes a number of separate nuptial spots: Catalina Point faces Catalina Island and holds 220 guests, with a wooden arbor ideal for the “I do’s.” The Ocean Lawn, which accommodates up to 450, is framed by the Point Fermin coastline. And the Palos Verdes Meadows, extending from the Grand Ballroom and seating 900, is famous for sunset views and the Point Vicente lighthouse. Or head down the road to the Wayfarers Chapel, dubbed “The Glass Church.” Want an outdoor reception? You and 100 guests can party the night away on the Point Terrace and lawn. Five ballrooms/rooms, all decorated to mirror the resort’s natural beauty, complete the venue options.
And when it comes to planning, you can toss all your worries into that big, wide ocean. The Terranea team makes it simple: For its Weekend-Long Celebration, the resort pros plan a welcome reception, rehearsal dinner and post-wed- ding brunch, each catered by the culinary team or one of the eight restaurants on site. But the sprawling property—a 102-acre estate with 582 guestrooms, suites, ocean-view casitas and villas, plus more than 75 acres of roaming space, 50,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, four heated pools, a nine-hole golf course, hiking, horseback riding, ocean kayaking, paddleboarding and other watersports, all on-proper- ty—makes private time easy. Or relax with your honey in one of the spa’s three couples’ signature suites, featuring copper soaking tubs, fireplaces, infrared saunas, couples’ massage tables and Swiss showers.
The resort brags, justifiably, that it feels like an exotic wedding destination without the exotic travel arrangements. We couldn’t agree more.
A LONG HISTORY
A few historic tidbits from Palos Verdes Peninsula:
In the early 1900s, Japanese farmers helped create this area’s natural character. One of the last Japanese farmers is still working today, growing flowers and prickly pears.
Since the 1950s, Hollywood has loved this landscape. “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Wonder Woman,” “Sea Hunt,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Aviator,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “This Is 40” have all filmed in the area.
From 1954 to 1986, the peninsula was home to Marineland of the Pacific, once the world’s largest oceanarium. It was then bought by Sea World in San Diego.