Capistrano’s at Embassy Suites – Mandalay Beach Resort2101 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA
If you canâ??t imagine getting married anywhere but at the beach, youâ??ll definitely want to pay a visit to the Mandalay Beach Resort. The entire complex is built right next to the ocean, with nothing between it and the water but a wide strip of sand. Almost every ceremony here takes place seaside on the Presidential Lawn, a broad semicircle of grass that slopes gently down to the sand. The bride makes her entrance from one of the Presidential Suites, a marvelous hideaway that just happens to have two bedrooms, three baths, two Jacuzzi tubs, a fireplace and, of course, a view of the Pacific. As she walks down the aisle to a white gazebo, she and her guests canâ??t help but be uplifted by the setting: a sunlit shoreline dotted with palms, the Channel Islands in the distance, sailboats gliding by and maybe even some dolphins playing in the surf. If you prefer a more sheltered spot, tie the knot in the Courtyard, a mission-style garden enclosed by the resort on all sides. While you canâ??t see the ocean from here, you still have access to plenty of water; the space is dominated by a pair of massive rock waterfalls. Couples exchange vows on a raised lawn, surrounded by palms, flowers and the sound of rushing water.
Receptions are usually held in one of the resortâ??s two banquet rooms, the Embassy Ballroom upstairs or the larger Mandalay Ballroom on the ground floor. Both are done in sunny tropical shades of vibrant blue, yellow and seafoam green; faux-candle, wrought-iron chandeliers and spots provide adjustable lighting. Each room has a long beautiful foyer, where your guests can enjoy cocktails and hors dâ??oeuvres or linger for a private chat. Tall multipaned windows let in fresh air, and French doors open onto an outdoor terrace. The decor is a successful mix of comfortable contemporary couches, potted palms and artwork with antiques and hand-carved benches. If youâ??re planning a small reception or rehearsal dinner, reserve Capistranoâ??s, the Embassy Suites award-winning restaurant. This space reflects the resortâ??s Spanish-Mediterranean style better than any other; an arcaded courtyard, it has a terracotta flagstone floor, 50-foot ceiling, and windows all around the top with tiny balconies and wrought-iron railings. Thanks to all the light pouring in, the giant potted ficus trees are thriving, as are the lush pothos vines flowing out of the fountain in the restaurantâ??s center. At the entrance to Capistranoâ??s the semiprivate Wine Room (named for the wine bottles that line its walls), is also available for intimate dinners.
Note that almost everywhere you go at the Embassy Suites there are terrific photo opportunities. Capistranoâ??s, which caters the weddings here, has decorated their office with some winning shots that make the most of this siteâ??s lighting, architecture, gardens and seashore. You may come here to get married at the beach, but if these pictures are any indication, youâ??ll get much more than sand and sea breezes.