The El Cortez Don Room and Terraces Lights up Uptown San Diego with Beauty and Style

Like a beacon of style from a bygone era, the El Cortez Don Room and Terrace lights up the uptown San Diego hilltop with its rich beauty, historic charm and elegant details. Check out more about this beautiful venue and see why it has long been a San Diego wedding favorite! 

VENUES Liberty Station: So Many Amazing San Diego Wedding Locations in One Place!

There’s no denying that San Diego has a lot of really beautiful wedding ceremony and reception venues but did you know there’s that VENUES Liberty Station has tons of wedding locations all in one place?! VENUES Liberty Station offers 28 acres of incredible, historic surroundings at the former Naval Training Center San Diego. Their unique location encompasses beautifully restored buildings and lush landscapes, ideal for weddings of all style!

Sweeping lawns and trees in open parks make for great photo opps and extra large weddings. 

We just love all the historic buildings [they make fabulous photo backdrops!] sprinkled around Liberty Station! 

The people at VENUES Liberty Station really love what they do and want you to have an amazing day full of memories, family and friends, as you step forward into your new life! 

San Diego Featured Wedding: Carlos + Daniella's Historical Museum Wedding

Do you ever find yourself thinking you were supposed to be born in a different era. That the past is just where your heart lies? Well, this featured wedding might be something you should look into. Carlos and Daniella chose to celebrate their special day at the Kern County Museum. The rustic and historical museum wedding venue was a spectacular foundation for the day's celebration, and the couple's pictures from the bell tower are unlike any other! This is definitely a wedding that will go down in history! 

Photographer: Left Coast Design Studio // Bakery: De Coeur Bake Shop // Event Designer: Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company // Tux: Fino's Menswear and Tuxedo // Floral Designer: Flower Bar // Lighting: Freestyle Event Services // Equipment Rentals: Jo Ron Co

Bridal Dress: Katie & May Bridal // Venue: Kern County Museum Photo Booth Equipment: My Bakersfield Photo Booths//DJ: Non-Stop Sound // Hair Stylist: Split Ends

Beautiful El Cortez Don Room Wedding Celebrates with Love, Adventure and Sparkle

What more could you want from a wedding than love, adventure and sparkle?! This happy and beautiful wedding at the El Cortez Hotel's Don Room in San Diego gives us everything we want and more! We especially love the way the florals [by Studio 2053] work with the bride's amazing sparkly gown to create an adventurous take on classically glamorous wedding style. 

Bride Mia tells us "We were mismatched from the get-go or so we thought based on looks/style alone, however, we could not be more alike. We met online and both went into the date thinking that it would go absolutely no where but decided to give it a go because we had nothing to lose. From there, it was adventure after adventure, with the two of us trying to best one another with the next big idea. I (Mia) used to be a nomad, and would hop on a plane to a mysterious destination without any convincing needed. Two months into dating, Curtis mentioned a downhill mountain biking race in Chile that he dreamed of attending, which was a mistake. Before he knew it I (Mia) had purchased tickets and they we jetting off on a trip that would either break or make them. Obviously things turned out just fine and we still share the same taste for adventure spending Christmas in a rundown trailer on the edge of Area 51 scouting for aliens, hopping around some of the most remote islands in the Philippines or in the center of a Luchadore ring wrestling with the locals. 

Mia and Curtis' favorite memories of the night are from every stage of the dancing.  Says Mia "for the father-daughter dance we started with an 40's jazz ensemble, then 30 seconds into it we came to a screeching halt and KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" started and my 74-year-old father went nuts- people were laughing instead of crying which was absolutely our intention. This was my favorite song to sing and dance to as a toddler with my parents so it brought back so many great family memories. And when the official dancing kicked off, the dance floor was packed until the very end. I've never seen that happen before! Usually it takes people time to warm up but that was definitely not the case - not one person was sitting down. My 90-year-old grandmother got out of her wheelchair to get down to Too Short's Blow the Whistle and my mother even got low, low, low... oops, too low."  And Grandpa getting down with the Bride is something you will remember forever. We hope you enjoy looking at this wedding as much as we did!

Mia and Curtis added some fun wedding ideas like custom drinking games to loosen up the crowd including "Drink When…" which listed common things that happen at a wedding such as people tearing up, as well as things unique to the wedding party's personalities. Rather than a guest book, the couple used vintage postcards and asked guests to give their best road trip advice for their upcoming honeymoon which was a road trip through the South. There were major breaks with tradition with the groom's 5-year-old nephew serving as the best man and the bride's 90-year-old grandmother serving as the flower girl. The groom also took the bride's last name.

Wedding Vendor Credits: 

Wedding Photography: Cassy Smith Photography
Wedding Ceremony Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Wedding Reception Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Event Planner: Jessica Beiriger
Wedding Florals: Studio 2053
Wedding DJ: DJ Dan Peterson
Catering: Continental Catering
Cake: The Cupcake Store
Officiant: Pam Neidert
Hair and Makeup Bridal Beauty: Mirza Batanovic, Ammon Carver Studio NYC
Bridal Gown by: Parker Black
Bride's Second Dress: Marchesa Notte
Private Collection: Antique Snake Brooch, Antique Snake Comb

Park your Peepers on this Vintage Wedding Styled Shoot that Puts on the Ritz in an old Speak Easy

Roll your stockings down and grab your flask it's a swanky wedding styled shoot in an old Speakeasy that we think is just swell! Inside this story-filled venue take a gander at the pocket door leading into The Ballroom you’ll find two holes, the upper hole was utilized to visualize anyone seeking access, the lower of the two holes was utilized for the weapon that helped ensure there was no trouble. 

Wedding Styled Shoot Vendor Credits:

Photography: Uriel Photography    
Venue:  Speakeasy on State
Florist: Sweet Stems Florist
Bakery: Muffin Top Bakery
Design: Laurenish Design    
Production: Gonzalez Productions    
Makeup Artist: Makeup artistry by Mirna
Hair Stylist: Anna Bianca Hair    
Bridal Gown: Adina’s Bridal    
Groom's Fashion: Friars Tux Shop
Table: Modern Table Company    

The History of Speakeasy on State:

Finished in 1899, the Columbia building was the last building built on the first block of E. State Street and has been utilized for gatherings both large and small. Located on Redland's iconic State Street, this historic gem has been closed for use since 1948. Speakeasy on State offers 4000 square feet of elegance, mixed with beautiful hard woods, raw exposed brick, and the
finest period specific details - found nowhere else in tow. Proudly representing the heartbeat of downtown Redlands, Speakeasy on State boasts two large gathering rooms, each with their own distinct feel, a bridal suite, restrooms, and a preparation kitchen. Opposite the entrance, Speakeasy on State lets out into the charming City of Redlands Alley Park, perfect for outdoor socializing. Karl C. Wells was an astute businessman and banker in Redlands during the mid to late 1800s. Mr. Wells was responsible for donating the original land to found the University of Redlands in 1907. Wells had for a long time dreamed of owning a downtown business building but was unable until 1899. The majority of East State St. had been built up during the late 1880s; however the only structure standing at 10 E. State St. was the home of M. F. Pierce which was removed by force due to a fire ordinance enforced by the city. In 1899, Wells christened his “Columbia” building and it was first occupied by Meserve’s Clothing Store the following year. Only a few years later in 1902 the Redlands City Directory shows the upstairs of 10 E. State St. was utilized as a meeting lodge for a fraternal organization founded during the American Civil War named The Knights of Pythias.

By the late 1930s, the building was home to a chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The City of Redlands leased the VFW hall to host community dances and as a recreation center. The city continued its usage of the building through the 1940s. Following the end of World War II (1945) the VFW moved to a different location. According to the City of Redlands Archives usage of the second floor of the Columbia building during this time is lacking.
The building was most recently purchased in 2012 and the second floor has been completely restored with some modern updates. It is understood that the upstairs portion of 10 E. State St. was utilized during the Prohibition Era (1922-1933) as a speakeasy (aka. illegal drinking spots).
Speakeasy on State is still equipped with its red light which helped indicate to customers the need to hide all alcohol.