While I love a destination wedding weekend in Aspen, Hawaii or even France, there is something special about creating a destination wedding weekend in your own backyard. For Amy & Jason’s Vibiana wedding, we did just that. Both Angelenos and guests from all over the nation traveled to Downtown Los Angeles to spend a weekend exploring one of the couple’s favorite spots in the world. In case you’re considering this area for your wedding weekend, here are some of the must-dos:
Consider one of the historical venues in DTLA for the perfect introduction to the area. Olvera Street, LA’s first street can be the perfect spot. Dining on cobblestone in front of Pico House gives guests a look at what old LA looked like. Or, if dining outside isn’t your thing, consider a blow out at Union Station. The enclosed gardens and art deco designed waiting room makes for a magical and historical backdrop to start the weekend off. Lastly, if you want a completely different and unexpected experience, consider hosting a private celebration at Hotel Figueroa. With it’s Moroccan decor, poolside bar and hidden rooms throughout, you won’t be disappointed. Consider getting a DJ paired with bongo drummers after having a full on family style feast.
Bottega Louie is a must for any group of ladies looking for the perfect bridal luncheon location. With it’s floor to ceiling windows, marble floors and beautiful desserts on display, the aesthetic alone will make you all warm inside. But then there’s the food…Plan to enjoy an extra long lunch with course after course of delicious salads, portabello fries and handmade pasta. Don’t forget to end with some of their beautiful macarons or budino.
If you’re group is into the arts, plan your wedding weekend around the 2nd week of the month. Every 2nd Thursday, there is an Art Walk in downtown LA that isn’t to be missed complete with tons of authentic LA food trucks. Loosely plan to meet up in the area, or simply add this to your “Must-Do’s” on your wedding website or in your weekend itinerary.
FOR THE HISTORY BUFFS
LA Conservancy offers historical walking tours every Saturday throughout downtown Los Angeles on a variety of topics from seeing some of the world’s most beautiful architecture and art deco designs to hearing about the rise, fall and current revitalization of the area.
There is so much nightlife in DTLA it’s hard to narrow it down, but if it were my group, I would do a bit of bar hopping through the area making sure to hit the Veranda Bar at Hotel Figueroa, have sunset cocktails at Perch and ending the evening at The Varnish, the hidden gem at the back of Cole’s, where coincidentally is known to have the best french dip in LA.
MORNING AFTER BRUNCH
If it were my wedding, I would likely skip brunch because I know after a wedding at a place like Vibiana, followed by an impromptu after party somewhere like The Varnish, my guests would rather sleep in. Instead, I recommend having a pillow gift waiting for your hard partying guests when they return to the hotel. Inside I would put none other than an assortment of donuts from Nickel Diner. Don’t you dare forget to include Maple Bacon and Red Velvet Donuts and perhaps a little recovery kit (Aleve, water, perhaps a bloody mary kit?). I promise, your guests will love you for allowing them to have breakfast in bed, just this one time!