As I touched on the other day, a large majority of our wedding plans feel to be theoretical right now. Ninety percent of our planning gets done via emails, and I won’t see the final product until a week (!!!) before the wedding day.
Immediately after moving to Chile in October 2008, I started to get withdrawal anxiety over our beautiful wedding venue. How would I know if I still loved it just as much a year from booking it? Would I forget what it looked like when I was there?
Like a good little bridal blogger, I set out to find pictures of Westwind. Specifically, I wanted to find pictures of past weddings at Westwind. Technically I’m supposed to do a visit with our venue at about 2 months before the wedding, but that’s not realistic. I’ll do an in-person visit as soon as I get in town – a week before the wedding.
‘Til then, I’ve been lucky to find several different weddings that have taken place at Westwind. Thanks to the power of pictures, I’m just as enamored with our venue as ever. It feels like a little bite of reality to see our venue all dolled up for weddings.
Would you like the virtual tour of Westwind, on a wedding day?
The visit begins with short trip across the salmon river estuary on a barge.
Then after a short walk into the forest, you reach your little Ewok cabin, and settle in.
The cabins have full heating and lights, but they are camp cabins. This isn’t luxury camping, but look out your cabin window, and it will be worth roughing it a bit. Looking at these pictures has made me realize it’s a little silly to think I’ll be able to rent twin-sized sheets and blankets for 80-100 beds. It’s not practical to be worrying myself with things like that. Our guests (most of them) are adults, and they can tuck themselves in at night, especially if we give them forewarning to bring a blanket/sleeping bag.
See what I mean? Sleeping bags are really the way to go. (Unless some guests want to sleep on the beach – we’re a-okay with that!)
If you can get past the rough exterior, you’ll see the natural beauty to this place. Wildflowers (and lavender!) in milk jugs, dining outside at twilight, the crisp, fresh autumn air – it’s all here.
Several couples have gotten married on the beach at Westwind. Driftwood makes a beautiful “altar” for a laid-back, sincere ceremony like this.
The main lodge is like the heart of the camp. There’s a spacious balcony –
– and a grand hall on the inside (complete with river rock fireplace, just out of the picture on the left). Pictures like this one help me to visualize how things can actually be set up for the reception. We won’t be using foldable chairs for seating – my personal taste is to use the wood benches. Also, I can get a better idea of how everything can look together, all set up. Maybe floor-length linens would look better? I definitely have plans (thanks to this picture) to arrange the tables in long rows.
Not everyone has decorated Westwind the same way. I contacted one of the former brides of Westwind to ask her about her planning experience with them. She told me that a few years ago they didn’t have any plates, bowl, stemware, or silverware to offer with their catering. So, she and her (now) husband bought a whole bunch of mismatched dinnerware, and donated it to Westwind, with the intent that future couples could use them for their wedding. Thanks, Valerie! 🙂
It’s easy to understand why many couples decided to have their ceremony on the beach. It’s an easy walk from the main lodge (less than 5 minutes), and the view is still gorgeous. See how happy they look? Even without down comforters and fancy hotel rooms. (I have to keep telling myself this – I’m a people pleaser to the point that I become unhappy. I need to let go of some things, and trust that our guests will be happy, regardless of how luxurious the sleeping arrangements are.)
This picture has me hoping we can visit Westwind with our families for many years to come. When we visited our venue last September, preparations for a wedding were well under way! This is the photo of where they held their ceremony. Everyone in attendance that day seemed overwhelmingly calm and happy – honestly, I think that’s what sold me on this venue.
Even though it would be enormously easier to have our ceremony on the beach or near the main lodge, I can’t let go of the view from High Meadow. The one childhood dream for my wedding that I’m holding on to firmly is a ceremony on a meadow cliff on the ocean.
And Westwind has that. And it’s so beautiful.
Looking at these pictures really helps me to keep the faith that our wedding day is going to come to fruition (really!), and even though I am stressing about the lack of tactile progress, we booked this venue because just being there makes us happy.
Did you look for pictures of past weddings at your venue? What has helped you to build a practical vision of your wedding day?