At Sky and Reef Photography, we focus on getting a mix of both candids and posed. We are about having fun and getting those once-in-a-lifetime shots that last a lifetime. Our photos are bright, vivid, true to life color, which showcases Hawaii's natural beauty. Ultimately, I am here to make you look Damn good in your photographs. 


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Beach Wedding

October 13, 2018

Bel Air Bay Club Wedding Venue

Behind the Scenes at The Bel Air Bay Club Wedding Venue

I recently spent an afternoon with the Bel Air Bay Club’s venue coordinator, Tessa, and I was beyond impressed. We walked around the stunning oceanfront wedding venue and she offered me a grand tour as well as shared some great wedding insights, behind the scenes wedding tips, and advice for couples getting married. Tessa is practically the expert of all things Bel Air Bay Club wedding venue. It was such a treat, and I am lucky to share the information with you for your upcoming wedding plans!

About the Bel Air Bay Club

Along the Pacific Coast Highway, just outside Santa Monica is nestled Malibu’s premier oceanfront wedding venue. The venue was built in 1927, it is a clean slate its classic architecture allows for you to design your wedding however you’d like.  On-site they have chairs, linens, florist, caterers, furniture, practically everything but your dress!  Although it used to be an exclusive club that only allowed members to use the facilities, recently they started to offer the property to non-members for events.

Bel Air Bay Club: The Best Of Both Worlds

The Bel Air Bay Club offers you a Mediterranean villa feel, without the long flight. As you’ve probably gathered on your hunt, most of the time when you go into a ballroom you need to add draping and special designs to make it feel elegant, that is not the case at the Bel Air Bay Club. Because of the picturesque landscape, you can keep the venue as is, or add your own touch of decorations to enhance the ballroom. Due to the ocean views, you get the California vibe, with a clean, classic romance that any wedding goer will be sure to enjoy.

Now Meet Tessa!

the events coordinator at the Bel Air Bay Club

During our afternoon together, Tessa treated me as if I were a bride viewing the Bel Air Bay Club wedding venue. She offered me a behind the scenes glimpse of what it is like to be married at this extraordinary venue.  While Tessa has been behind the scenes for so many weddings as the event coordinator at the Bel Air Bay Club, she herself was married just last year and went through all the bridal angst as all of you.

Tessa grew up in the hospitality business. Her parents own and run several restaurants in Texas, and has “hospitality in [her] blood.” She is warm, sweet, informative and I can tell she really loves her job.


(Here are a few questions that I asked Tessa)

What is your favorite part of working here?

I love being a part of weddings, it is the happiest day of someone’s life. It is such a fun energy. Every event is the biggest event ever. But with those kinds of stakes, she mentions it can be stressful since she wants to make sure each event goes flawlessly. She is the kind of women who is always on her A-game.

Tessa loves to work at the Bel Air Bay Club because come on, the view! Of course,  she can never get sick of this view. You can see Catalina, dolphins, and at night you can see the Ferris wheel in Santa Monica.

Since you have worked here, What is the most unique event you have had at the Bel Air Bay Club?

About 80% of our events are weddings. Each wedding has its own unique style. A different event I was a part of was the Genesis car release. We turned the yard into an outdoor concert and Gavin Degraw performed. The cars were craned into the patio. Because of our location, other fun events have been filmings and tv show releases. I love when they bring out the red carpet and this place gets glamorous.

What has set certain weddings apart from others?

They’ve been able to accommodate all types of weddings, from all cultures. Indian Weddings are amazing. The attire is absolutely stunning. I think a cultural aspect really sets a wedding apart. We have had almost everything, from a berate, a horse or an elephant come down the driveway. I am really excited for an Ethiopian wedding in the next couple of weeks. Bring a part of what makes you and your significant other you to your wedding.


What kind of special send-offs for newlyweds do you allow?

We have had fireworks set off in the ocean in front of the club in a barge. A few other options that we allow are ribbons, glowsticks, bubbles, butterflies, dove release. Another option is going with classic fancy cars and of course the venues golf cart. Actually, a fun fact about the butterfly release is that we just had a couple use a company that delivered butterflies for their wedding day, but the butterflies were too cold from their delivery so the butterflies fell to the ground instead of flying away. So keep them cozy!


Photo TIP: The classic cars photograph really well in front of the venue.


 ADVICE from the coordinator

You have been a part of so many wedding now, What advice can you give Brides and Grooms?

  1. One piece of advice on the day of the wedding is to never leave each other’s side during the wedding
  2. Do what you would do on a normal date. Don’t do what you have to do. DRINK, EAT, DANCE, HAVE FUN! Have NO regrets.
  3. Everyone on their wedding day thinks there is a certain tradition of rules to follow but there shouldn’t be
  4. LET GO an enjoy your day. DON’T STRESS. You are in good hands and we are working hard to make your wedding exactly as you planned
  5. Come to your wedding like you are ATTENDING  the party, rather than the HOST. Get a PLANNER, a coordinator, or even a family member to handle things for you. Just show up like a guest!
  6. RELAX. We handle every detail. Up to the position of the wine glass. Let me know ahead of time and I will take care of it
  7. Be Selfish on your wedding day. Above all, HAVE FUN! Do what makes you happy. It goes by so fast.


Some Interesting FACTS & TIPS about the Bel Air Bay Club

1. We have monarch butterflies around the venue just flying around.

2. When the back wall is draped it totally transforms the room

3. You can see dolphins while getting married!



Photographer’s Perspective on the venue

  The Bel Air Bay Club wedding venue is absolutely breathtaking. First of all, it has some of the best natural light in the reception area I have ever seen! There is practically a window in every corner. My only concern would be the time of day for your ceremony, seems like you may get harsh light, so keep that in mind when booking.  This venue is lush and perfect. I love the sound of the tiled floor underneath my toes and the sound of the waves crashing in the distance and the smell of the ocean breeze. Finally, I think you would be very happy about selecting the Bel Air Bay Club wedding venue for your special day.

If you are looking for a luxury beach and oceanfront wedding venue then check out the Bel Air Bay Club!


Find out how to book your wedding and schedule a tour!





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