Well, I just got back from California, and I could not wait to tell you about my awesome experience at Capri Laguna. As you might remember from my earlier venue post, Capri Laguna was a place I had never been to but thought we could afford and really wanted to check out. I was going to avoid looking at venues on this trip due to major time constraints, but I happened to be near Laguna Beach on Thursday, so I decided to go take a quick look at Capri Laguna to see whether I was getting my hopes up for nothing.
I wasn't. The location is exactly what it made itself out to be. Both the upper and lower decks had EXACTLY the view that I wanted: ocean, waves, and even a palm tree blowing in the breeze. The lower deck is pretty close to the sand, so we'll have to see if Daniel is OK with that, but I really don't think it would be a problem in the evening. I loved that the lower deck had a gazebo AND a more open covering that we could still dress up nicely. And what a place to take pictures! We could get us overlooking the ocean, in the gazebo, and on the sand all with only minutes to walk! And the hotel is very quaint which I think will work well for us since we're going for the intimate wedding feel. Also, as a friend pointed out, less space equals more of a reason to turn potential guests away, and frankly, I'm going to need all the help I can get in that department.
Downside: why money of course! After seeing the site, I figured out that the $1,200 and $3,000 locations that I originally thought were separate wedding options are actually the ceremony and reception site fees respectively, bringing our total site cost to $4,200. This is still doable because their catering company has really good deals, but it would definitely put a strain on our budget and would have to include a lot of fixings (tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc.) for it to be a real possibility. We'll definitely have to meet with somebody when we move back to California to talk about what they can offer us before I get my hopes up too much, and I'm still on the look-out for a site that will only require a permit from the government, but it's very nice to know that we might have a real venue option!