Q&A: The Experts at Pelican Hill Resort On Planning Your Wedding

photography courtesy of The Resort at Pelican HIll

Set in the hills of Newport Beach overlooking the expansive Pacific Ocean, the Resort at Pelican Hill is a dream wedding location. The elegant 16th-century Palladian architecture and sweeping ocean views are coupled with flawless service--and one of the Southern California's most iconic nuptial spots, the magnificent rotunda. The resort's Director of Weddings and Special Events, Fernanda Jaime shares her tips for planning the perfect wedding--and gives unparalled insight to saying 'I do' at Pelican Hill. And, be sure to browse the beautiful real weddings at Pelican Hill on our website

What is special/ unique about your venue?

Aside from our gorgeous oceanview location, The Resort at Pelican Hill is designed for privacy, exclusivity and Five-Star service. For example, the Rotunda Event Lawn – the most popular ceremony location – is conveniently located just steps away from the Wedding Estate’s Bridal Suite, reception terrace and ballroom. We limit weddings to one at a time, so couples enjoy heightened exclusivity and attention on their special day. Personalized attention includes a catering manager to oversee all event details, a wedding butler to personally support the bride and a wedding concierge to assist the wedding guests. Additionally, the service ratio is one server to every 10 guests, which is better than the luxury industry standard. Another special aspect of Pelican Hill is our culinary creativity. With chefs on our staff from around the world, we customize wedding menus with cultural touches, special dietary preferences and even family recipes! Incorporating family traditions in the menu continues to be a growing trend, and we love bringing this type of vision to the table!

 What advice do you typically give to brides searching for a location?

Whether your top criteria include the location, views, privacy, culinary offerings, service standards, space capacities, specific dates or something else, focus on the top three most important features to you, your fiancé and your families. I suggest touring a short list of select venues, as too many options may be confusing and overwhelming. Doing a little pre-site visit research with your top three criteria in mind is extremely helpful to narrow down the options that best match your vision and budget. Also, keep in mind that some guests will make a vacation out of the destination wedding trip, so be open to exploring Friday, Sunday and weekday dates. I encourage multi-day celebrations for the main event and time to enjoy the Resort with golf, spa, beach, pools, family activities and dining at leisure. Finally, one new trend you will find here at Pelican Hill is wedding couples and their families preparing for the big day with wedding etiquette sessions. We have an expert who covers topics like invitations, couple’s cake-cutting and gracefully entering a car, so everyone feels confident and relaxed when the spotlight and cameras are on them all day.

 What is your favorite part about your venue?

Besides the privacy and exclusivity, I love that our Italian seaside village feels a world away. It’s like a piece of Italy that just happens to be located in Newport Beach. So, Pelican Hill weddings have romantic, timeless Mediterranean charm, but without the international travel! In fact, we’ve seen a growing trend in wedding couples kicking off their honeymoon here at Pelican Hill with a “mini-moon” following their wedding celebration.