My wife, Elizabeth, and I could be said to have “eclectic tastes.” As an engaged couple, we were the type of clients that either made vendors excited to work with us, or terrified of the idea. We have very broad inspirations, and yet specific expectations. So our hunt for the perfect venue for our Celtic, Gothic, Victorian, Steampunk, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, Indian, Circus Wedding was going to be a grand and adventurous quest. We imagined we might look at dozens of locations over 100 miles in every direction, then merely be disappointed. But we were intrigued when people kept telling us “The Don Room is perfect for you.”

Situated at the base of the classic El Cortez in downtown San Diego, The Don Room is in a league of its own for San Diego. Everyone from US Presidents to Movie Stars have danced between the columns in that historic spot. The El Cortez building used to be a hotel, but now those units have been converted into condominiums. Thank goodness the owners decided to keep the stunningly gorgeous Don Room available to the public for special events.

When we showed up for our tour with Jessica Beiriger, we both felt an electric surge of excitement upon stepping inside. I remember standing in the middle of the octagon shaped room, spinning around in a circle, and gazing at the intricate wood work on the ceiling. I thought “This is a room of artistry, this is a room of beauty, this is a room of passion. It is sacred space, and it is where I will pledge my everlasting love to my queen- Elizabeth.”

After getting a very thorough and informative tour of the whole facility Jessica sat us down to go over more of the details about what could be offered during the cocktail hour and reception. We were excited to find out that their preferred caterer was not only capable of making Indian food, but they had already provided a sample menu. Most every venue that we had toured or talked to simply told us that Indian food was not possible. So Jessica really hit a homerun by providing us with a sample Indian menu on our first visit. On her recommendation we did a tasting with Continental Catering. The food was great and we decided to go with them as well.

The closer we got to the wedding, Jessica consistently contacted us to make sure we were covering all the important details with each and everyone of our vendors. Then she made sure we passed on all of the relevant information to her so she could be well prepared to be our day of wedding coordinator. Her persistence and attention to detail were very helpful for us and she helped us pull everything off very smoothly.

Now I think it is important we make clear how challenging our wedding was for a location, staff, and coordinator to handle. In addition to a Celtic wedding ceremony with a handfasting ritual, and a bagpiper…our reception had a champagne dress girl, two separate belly dance performances, a fire show, a circus aerialist, a contortionist, a sword swallower, a wizard, and a top-secret vocal performance by the groom – Me! On top of our circus rolling in, Jessica had to tend to all the normal responsibilities like seating guests, flipping the room for the reception after the ceremony, serving the food, and keeping everything on track so we had time for traditional activities like the first dance, the speeches, the cake cutting, the garter toss and the bouquet. If being a wedding coordinator was a form of martial arts, our wedding was the black belt test! Jessica and The Don Room aced it.

If you are scouting locations for your special event The Don Room just might be the oasis you are looking for. And be sure to hire Jessica Behriger as your day of coordinator. She will marshall all the forces together to pull off a great wedding, and protect your vision. Take it from a Baby Sitar playing Wizard – They are both Magic!

Greg Vaughan
Liz And The Wiz
Wedding Date