I saw the Hotel del Coronado for the first time on June 25, 2005. I was visiting my parents in San Diego for the weekend because my dad was attending a conference at the beautiful Marriott on the bay and my mom was there with him. That Saturday we took a trolley tour of San Diego and one of the stops was on Coronado Island, right across the street from the world-famous Hotel del Coronado. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. Our trolley stop there was way too short, but it was long enough for me to decide that the Hotel del Coronado would be the location of my dream wedding. I think it even trumped the Avalon Casino on Catalina Island at the time and that’s saying a lot. But as much as I loved it I was sure that I would never be able to afford a wedding there. It was just too incredible. Plus, I wasn’t even engaged yet! I did, however, mention how much amazing Hotel del Coronado was the next time I saw Dan and told him that I would love to get married there. I imagine that Dan the boyfriend was a little scared when he heard that, but it wasn’t long before the pieces started falling into place. Later that summer a few members of Dan’s family were visiting Southern California and one of their stops was in San Diego. While they were there Dan got his first glimpse of the Hotel del Coronado and he was just as amazed as I was on my first visit. He even took his appreciation one step further by picking up some brochures about planning a wedding there from the hotel staff! That was a surprise at the time, but it turned out to be our first step towards our wedding day. Dan and I got engaged on December 29, 2005 on the pier overlooking Big Bear Lake and a few weeks later we started planning our wedding. One weekend in January 2006 we drove down to San Diego to take a look at potential wedding venues, including the Hotel del Coronado. By the end of the weekend we had visited five places – three of those we hated, another one was beautiful but way too expensive, and the last one was the real reason we were in San Diego. Dan and I had an appointment with one of the event coordinators at the Hotel del Coronado that weekend, but we arrived a couple of hours before our appointment so we had lunch at the Sheerwater Restaurant. From our table we had a view of the Windsor Lawn and Coronado Beach. It was spectacular. I think it took us about five minutes to decide that we definitely wanted to get married there, but we were worried about our somewhat limited budget. Luckily the hotel event staff is prepared to accommodate just about any budget and they convinced us that we could have a beautiful wedding for exactly what we wanted to spend. Dan and I were ready to book a wedding date right then and there, but unfortunately the hotel doesn’t allow you to reserve spaces more than eleven months in advance. So it took quite a few follow up calls to the event coordinator to find out when our chosen date was going to open up, but in April 2006 I was able to book a ceremony site and a reception room for our June 23, 2007 wedding. And the rest, as they say, is history. I could go on and on about the Hotel del Coronado, but I won’t bore my faithful readers with more details of my wedding. Let’s just say that it was a dream come true!