It's all happening!*

Remember how everything was put on hold until I could find a job? Remember how my mom decided we should go ahead with the wedding plans so I can make the most of my unemployment? Well, we have certainly gone ahead with plans.

Not only do we have an official date set and a venue booked, but we also have a caterer (with the venue), a more finalized guest list, a narrowed down list of photographers to meet with, and progress on centerpieces. Suddenly, instead of dreaming about the day I could start planning for real, I am making appointments, booking vendors, and worrying about registering and DIYs.


So, what really set all of this into action? Well, the biggest contribution was finding a venue that not only David and I loved, but that my dad loved as well. To be honest, I was nervous taking my dad along to our meeting with the coordinator at our venue. He hates spending money and is very opinionated, so I thought he would make the meeting difficult to say the least. It is basically impossible to get him to put any money toward something he isn't positive my family (read: he) needs. However, on the flip side, if you can convince my dad that something is a good value, he'll buy way more of them than we could have use for. Well, I am so glad now that he came along, because somehow the trip convinced him that the venue was indeed a great deal, and he's offered to pay for all of the expenses that relate directly to the location (this includes rentals, food, lodging, staff, drinks, location fee, and more)!

So, what is this venue that has become such a great deal and the very thing that has made my planning frenzy possible?

Well, readers, I now introduce you to the Pine Hills Lodge.

The trees make a great backdrop for their lawn ceremonies. The arbor is included (SCORE!)

(sorry, the image is so small.) Imagine appetizers and drinks by sunset on this deck for the cocktail hour.

David and I love the deep wood look of the reception area.

(all photos copyright pinehillslodge.com)

The lodge was built in 1912 - perfect for our rustic, antique themed wedding. It is located up in the hills and surrounded by trees.

The history of the lodge, as quoted from their website is such:
"The Pine Hills Lodge was built in 1912 by Col. Ed Fletcher, a prominent real estate developer and banker in San Diego. The Lodge was designed by world famous architect Richard Requa, known for many of the structures in San Diego’s Balboa Park and Zoo. The bark-on wood log construction is considered irreplaceable and was done by builder Charles Engebretson.

In August 1925, the Lodge was sold to Fred A. Sutherland, owner and operator of the Sutherland Stage and Yellow Cab. He was a friend of Jack Dempsey, the prize-winning professional boxer. Sutherland built a gym at the Lodge and convinced Dempsey to come to the lodge to train for his second fight against Gene Tunney. On September 23, 1926, Dempsey lost the fight, but the gym he trained in remains standing to this day.

Over the years, the gym was used as a local movie theater. In the era of the 1920’s- 1940’s cabins and tree houses were built to accommodate the demand for more guests visiting the property. The tree houses are now gone. In 1980 the new owner, Dave Goodman, transformed the gym into a dinner theater for local amateur productions of known plays. After a 23 year run the theater closed in 2004 as the demand waned.

Since the purchase in 1998, major renovations have been completed, restoring "the famous Lodge" to its former splendor. In July 2003 the Lodge was acquired by new owners who plan to continue the legacy of rustic ambience. Under new management, the Lodge staff aspires to rekindle a reputation for delectable foods, gregarious service, and above all a genuine feeling of tranquility and amicable hospitality; a step back in time to a romantic hideaway."

So, just so we're clear: tons of history, a vintage movie theatre- turned dinner-theatre, and it used to have treehouses!? This place is right up my alley.

And finally, the best part is that the lodge - complete with it's rustic cabins - sleeps up to only 40 guests. So, not only do we have lodging covered for our out of town guests, but we can fill up the cabins and have the entire place to ourselves for the whole weekend!

I'll talk more about how awesomely flexible the lodge is and all of the opportunities we will have for our weekend getaway wedding as time goes on. I am so excited!

*words made famous by the fabulous band-aids.


  1. I like it. You had better not be getting married during Daniel's graduation though cuz that's just mean.

  2. @nicoliolihpf: well, when is Daniel's graduation?

  3. You've made an excellent choice. I momentarily considered this venue, but decided it was a little too far for my guests. It's so beautiful & rustic, your wedding is sure to be a hit.