Beyond Expectations


stunning, panoramic view of the Pacific. A fairytale rotunda perched beside a stately, Tuscan-style resort. A practiced team of professionals poised to turn dreams into reality. On this canvas, couples sketch their ideal wedding. While every day is a wedding day at The Resort at Pelican Hill,® no two couples will ever share one, as only one per day holds that place of honor. The array of venues and the expertise of the staff allow couples to personalize this seaside oasis and make it their own. From welcome party to bon voyage breakfast, the Resort guarantees that every event of every wedding celebration is unique and unforgettable.  The possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.

It’s tough to imagine improving on the Pelican Hill® Rotunda, but each wedding that takes place under this iconic structure does manage to adopt a style all its own. Local resident Molly Guran, who had been planning her dream wedding since she was 10 and describes herself as “very, very picky,” had a non-negotiable vision. “Molly’s celebration was a seamless combination of elegance and bold pops of color — very much like her personality,” said Eryin Choi, wedding and social events manager for the Resort. “She is graceful and understated and the secluded ceremony was ideal for her.”

Molly’s wedding came to life under the Rotunda in an Independence Day ceremony attended by 85 guests. The Resort blended the intimacy and personal touches that exemplify a private venue celebration with the amenities and service that only a five-star property can offer.

She is graceful and understated. The secluded ceremony was ideal for her. — Eryin Choi, Weddings & Social Events Manager

“The Resort is very generous with staff and delivers superb service,” said wedding planner Paula Laskelle of Champagne Taste. “Everyone has a can-do attitude and spirit that makes them perfect partners in creating meaningful and stunning weddings, be they small or large, simple or lavish.”

Together with the Resort staff, Laskelle and her team endeavor to make each wedding unique. For Molly and her fiancé, Alex, the aisle leading to the Rotunda was flanked by exquisite cherry blossom trees that lent a magical quality to the setting. Because Molly also has an affinity for greenery, the floral designer incorporated cascading foliage inside the Rotunda and continued the theme on the fixtures and tables in the Mar Vista Ballroom, site of the elegant wedding reception.

As darkness fell, Molly and Alex, along with their families and guests, were treated to an impressive bit of fanfare not usually available to wedding couples: Fourth of July fireworks. It’s safe to say that this is an anniversary that will not soon be forgotten.

Danielle DeMarsh-Palmeri and her father, David, discovered The Resort at Pelican Hill while attending a business conference in 2013. Hailing from Minnesota, Danielle was smitten with the pastoral setting. “We were looking out at the Rotunda and they were setting up for a wedding,” she said. “I said to my dad, ‘One day, I would love to get married here,’ and he said, ‘One small hitch: You’ve got to find the guy.’”

Three years later, she’d found the guy, and groom Jon Palmeri enthusiastically agreed to Danielle’s plan. Since it would be a destination wedding for most of their 150 guests, the DeMarshes planned four days of on-site events, beginning on a Thursday evening with a welcome party.

“It’s always nice to get everyone together and thank them for traveling such a long distance to be a part of your big day,” said Danielle. Guests dropped by the Executive Terrace between 6 and 10 p.m. and were treated to food stations ranging from chilled seafood, carved tenderloin sandwiches and street tacos to chocolate-dipped churros and The Resort’s house-made gelato. For some, though, the best surprise was yet to come.

They say it was the best wedding they’ve been to. And I would have to agree. — David DeMarsh

“Typically, guests receive a welcome bag in their room,” said David. “We decided to make it a real reception where you pick your own bag of goodies.” Each guest received a California-themed bag to fill with their choice of local specialties including hand-crafted toffee, California pistachios and Pelican Hill hats. As the sun set, guests were invited to select a special keepsake: a gray or light blue pashmina wrap.

“[Wedding planner] Jeannie Savage turned the welcome party into a boutique shopping experience,” said Danielle. “To go with our coastal chic theme, she packaged everything in crates and cool little boxes and added cute sayings describing what things were. The Welcome Party set the stage for the series of events that would take care of Danielle’s entire wish list. She and her father credit the staff for a smooth and professionally run affair. “We’re thrilled with how everything went,” Danielle said. “The Resort was so accommodating.”

“Our guests are still talking about it,” chimed in the proud father of the bride. “They say it was the best wedding they’ve been to. And I would have to agree.”

Indian weddings can last for days, so the numerous events surrounding the nuptials of Meena Neti and Nimesh Amin came as no surprise to guests. The autumn festivities kicked off with a traditional Sangeet, a music-filled affair celebrating the union of two families. With its bounteous presentations of Indian food, this Sangeet was executed to perfection by the Resort’s international and experienced kitchen staff.

“We welcome events that honor cultural traditions from around the world,” said Fernanda Jaime, director of weddings and social events. “Taking our cues from our guests, the staff really enjoys creating the ambiance and providing traditional foods for virtually any gathering.”

While Sangeets typically feature a vibrant,  jewel-toned color palette in décor and attire, Meena added her own interpretation to the event, requesting a pure monochromatic backdrop. “She was set on having white on white on white,” said Event Designer Shawna Yamamoto, who transformed the Resort’s Pacific Ballroom by draping the walls from floor to ceiling in sumptuous fabric, installing an all-white dance floor and creating white canopied lounge areas.

They trusted the wedding team to bring their vision to life. — Pamela Wolter, Senior Weddings & Social Events Manager

Valences had to be custom-made and imported from India. To achieve an eclectic effect, Yamamoto created a bold background décor with the use of marigolds, which grow abundantly in India and are often associated with wedding celebrations.

“Sangeets frequently resemble a traditional bazaar,” said Yamamoto, “so we again blended modern and traditional looks and brought in Indian-style carts and shelving.” But, in keeping with the bride’s vision, the team painted everything stark white. Offering favors including decorative bindi, colored bangles and dandia sticks to tap together while dancing, the hosts also delighted guests by providing elegant pouches to fill with goodies. A henna station allowed everyone to share in the tradition known as mehndi, in which the hands and feet of the bride and sometimes the groom are painted in an intricate design meant to symbolize beauty and joy.

“Meena and Nimesh were dream clients,” said Pamela Wolter, senior weddings and social events manager for the Resort. “They trusted the wedding team to bring their vision to life. Between the Sangeet’s vivid colors, tantalizing food and intense energy, things just buzzed.”

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