Say “I Do” To This Wine Country Hot Spot
By: Kristen Castillo
You don’t have to be a wine lover to fall in love with Temecula. Located in the southwest corner of Riverside County, Temecula is very close to San Diego. It’s a simple drive north on Interstate 15, about an hour from downtown San Diego.
“We’re centrally located which makes it nice,” says Peggy Evans, executive director of the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association. “We’re an hour from everywhere – the desert and the coast.”
“Temecula wine country is a local destination wedding place,” says Annette Nielsen, the founder and director of the Temecula Valley Wedding Professionals, a trade group that has 90 wedding vendors as members. “It’s a wonderful weekend without having to pay airfare.”
Couples from all over Southern California – including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs – are coming to Temecula to get hitched.
“It’s a great weekend getaway,” says Evans. “It’s like a destination wedding without getting too far out of town.”
Non-locals want a Temecula wedding too.
“We get such a collage of brides from all over,” says Nielsen, noting couples from Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Seattle and even China are marrying in the region.
The region has so much to offer brides, grooms and their guests.
You and your guests can do wine tasting, take a hot air balloon ride, test your luck at a local casino, go outlet shopping in nearby Lake Elsinore and get pampered at one of the nearby spas.
“Now I’m seeing more and more brides making a true weekend event of out it,” says Nielsen.
You’ll love the ideal weather too with winter temps ranging from mid-60’s to mid-70’s and summer temps ranging from mid 80’s to mid-90’s.
ECONOMICAL “I DO’S”
Getting married in Temecula can be good for your budget too.
According to CostofWedding.com, the price of a Riverside County wedding (which includes Temecula) ranges from $22,369 and $37,281 compared to a San Diego County wedding, which costs anywhere from $24,816 to $41,360.
“Temecula Valley weddings are a nice value,” says Nielsen, explaining some all-inclusive winery packages range from $100 per person to $160 per person.
VENUES & VIEWS
Lots of Temecula area venues host outdoor and indoor weddings for parties large and small.
“There are venues like no other,” says Evans, who describes the Temecula area as “very open and spacious.”
There are 35 wineries in the Temecula Valley region, many of which host weddings. That’s a big deal because some wine regions such as Napa Valley have harsh restrictions blocking wineries from hosting weddings, since events there are limited to the promotion of the wine industry only.
“Here in wine country, most weddings are done outside in the vineyards,” says Evans.
Still Temecula has more to offer than wineries alone. The region is also considered horse country and golf territory. Choose from a variety of venues such as boutique hotels, golf courses and country clubs, casinos and luxury resorts.
Temecula venues offer so many wonderful views and photo opportunities including imagery in the grape vines and citrus groves, park views and mountains.
If you’re considering tying the knot in Temecula, follow Nielsen’s advice: “Do your research.”
She encourages couples to first figure out their budget and then research venues online. Follow up by calling and emailing the venues to find out the “true package prices,” meaning an estimate for the total bill, including venue rental fees and price minimums, alcohol tab and other extras.
Next up, schedule in-person site visits at a few of your favorite Temecula venues. Once you find a venue you like, decide whether you want to work with local wedding vendors such as photographers or whether you’d like to hire a vendor from San Diego who’s willing to travel to the wedding.
From wine weddings to golf nuptials, Temecula is a diverse and beautiful area that has a lot to offer brides and grooms. The area is close enough to be convenient for you, your guy and your guests but it’s also just far enough away to be an awesome destination to say “I Do.
ADDITIONAL TEMECULA RESOURCES: