I love weddings. I love the dress, the silk trim on the veil, the way the flowers smell—and I love that one unforgettable moment when the groom turns to see his bride for the first time and his love is so full and honest you can feel it in your heart.
It got me thinking, what is the perfect I Do?
I’ve been to a lot of wedding, in real life and in romance land, and even though there is something special about each and every one, when it comes to orchestrating the perfect I Do, not all wedding venues are created equal. Which is why I decided to create a new series, with each book based it around a wedding. Chasing I Do, the first book in the The Eastons series follows Darcy Kincaid, a once runaway bride who becomes one of Portland’s most sought after wedding planners. But when her former fiancée’s brother crashes one of her weddings, she discovers that sometimes it takes the Best Man to capture the runaway bride.
The best part about a series that revolves around weddings, was the research. So, to celebrate the release of Chasing I Do, I wanted to share some of my favorite wedding venues that I came across while creating my series.
Top 5 Romantic Wedding Venues that Inspired My Perfect I Do
5. Bear Flag Farms
If you’re looking for a rustic, sophisticated, and unique venue, Bear Flag Farm is it! Located in
Winters, California, and surrounded by lavender fields and citrus orchards, it is the perfect place to host an outdoor summer wedding. This privately own estate has its own boutique vineyard and wine label, but the best part is the antique ferris wheel.
4. The Metropolitan Building
This old world building located in Queens, NY offer three separate floors of French inspired décor. One step inside this repurposed electrical parts factory and you will be transported back to the romance of the another time. But it wasn’t just the ambiance that inspired me, it was the story behind the renovations that had me.
After 70 years as a working factory, the building fell into disrepair when, in 1980, an antiques collector purchased the building and turned it into a work space and studio for local artisans. Surrounded by a variety of turn-of-the-century antiques, and inspired art, it quickly became one of the top wedding venues in the area. It was also the inspiration behind my heroine’s desire to bring Belle Mont House back to its original glory.
3. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
If you’re looking for a little piece of Europe right her in the USA, then this private estate turned museum is the place for you! Located in Miami, it is stunning masterpiece of European architecture with some of the most lavish gardens in the states.
2. Pittock Mansion
Built by one of Portland’s first and most influence families in 1914, this private estate sits in the historic West Hills and was the original inspiration for the Easton Family. I visited this estate fifteen years ago and fell in love with the gardens and the lush stories around the Pittock family. Mr. Pittock started his career as a typesetter for the Weekly Oregonian newspaper, but quickly moved up to become the paper’s owner, then build an empire around real estate, banking, railroads, steamboats, sheep ranching, silver mining, and publishing.
His wife, Georgiana was also quite fascinating, starting many of the local charities and societies that still exist today. In fact, the first ever Portland annual Rose Festival started with Georgiana and a few of her neighbors in her back yard.
Today the gardens are still lush, the views of Portland all the way to Mount Hood are legendary, and the house has become one of Portland’s most romantic wedding destinations. Can you imagine walking down these stairs to this view?
1. Victorian Belle House
This house comes in at number one because it is the house I designed Belle Monte house after. Built in 1895 by a ship captain as a wedding present to his beloved wife, Victorian Belle is also knows as the Miracle of a Million Lights because of all of the twinkle lights that illuminate the 2.5 acre private estate and gardens. It also houses historical artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and on display are some of the old photographs and love letters from the couple, including the brides wedding dress and slippers.
It is a place where modern romance exists in a setting where time stands still, and love and romance is built into the very foundation of its existence. Making it not just the perfect venue to base my series around, but also the perfect place to orchestrate the perfect I Do.
Belle Mont House wasn’t built by a ship’s captain, but it was created to be most romantic place to exchange vows in fiction land, and house enough love for Darcy and her daughter to call home. Because even a runaway bride deserves a shot of the perfect I Do.
by Marina Adair
Released: June 7th 2016
Series: The Eastons Book #1
Darcy Kincaid might be a runaway bride, but she still believes in happily ever after, which is why she’s devoted to helping couples orchestrate their perfect I do. Even though her fiancée turned out to be unfaithful and a big disappointment, Darcy walked away from her wedding fully committed—to her unborn daughter. Now, a single mom, it’s up to Darcy to secure her daughter’s future, which is why she’s invested her life savings into renovating Belle Mont Manor, Portland’s oldest, and nearly forgotten, wedding venue. So when Wedding Magazine offers her the cover for their June issue, in exchange for planning the wedding of a high-profile couple, Darcy thanks her lucky stars. Until the star’s best man turns out to be her ex’s brother…
The last time Gage Easton saw Darcy, she was sneaking out the back door of her own wedding—destroying his brother’s life. No way is he going to entrust the gorgeous jilter with his biggest client’s special day, no matter how much in love with her he secretly was. Determined to take his client’s wedding elsewhere, he confronts Darcy, only to meet a toddler with Darcy’s blonde curls and the Easton blue eyes that has him renegotiating—the wedding for a chance to know his niece. But when a fun day in the park leads to warm family dinners, Gage finds himself stuck between his loyalty to his brother—and the two women who have stolen his heart.
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