The company that invites you to "discover your perfect wedding" has found its perfect home - in Downtown Escondido.
Trademark Venues, an event planning company that owns and operates several of the region's most storied and exclusive wedding venues, has taken up shop in the former Draper's and Damon's building at the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway in the heart of downtown.
They are also opening a bridal boutique in the adjacent space this month.
The company is one of the hottest names in the wedding planning industry. Recently, "Bachelor in Paradise" alumni Chris Randone and Krystal Nielsen celebrated their engagement with a lavish party held at Ethereal Gardens, one of Trademark's signature venues.
The company's representatives said they are proud to call Escondido the home base of the operations, which includes wedding venues in Escondido, San Marcos and a future location in Bonsall.
"We saw the building and we absolutely fell in love with it," said Kevin MacGregor, Trademark Venue's marketing director. "We see the growth and potential and how downtown is changing so much and we wanted to add to that."
What they do
From outside the Grand Avenue storefront on a Wednesday morning, you can see the hustle and bustle inside of the newly refurbished building, as members of the coordination team get set to meet with clients to go over the details of their dream wedding.
Trademark specializes in what MacGregor called "handcrafted weddings" - a wedding planning experience that seeks to create a deeply personal wedding day, and a process that touches on everything from dance lessons to wine tastings and every step in between.
At the center of the process are the venues:
- Ethereal Gardens, located on a 40-acre organic farm on the upper reaches of Escondido which the website describes as "an 'out of the box' venue that is completely private and not just another golf course, winery, banquet hall or hotel. Here we are open to creative ideas and outside vendors such as florists, photographers, photo booths, food trucks and so much more."
- Green Gables, the iconic hilltop venue along near Woodland Parkway in San Marcos, described on the website as an "enchanting secluded wonderland. In the shade of a lush, landmark forest, this historic garden estate is surrounded by ivy-covered arbors, blooming rose gardens, trickling fountains, picturesque statuary, and thousands of bright twinkling lights."
- The Twin Oaks House and Gardens, which features a fully restored 1891 historic home along Deer Springs Road in San Marcos, described as a "secluded vintage venue that features artistic and poetic gardens inspired by love, imagination and tranquility."
Couples start their journey with Trademark by touring each of the three venues. Once they select a venue and reserve a date, the journey begins.
"We handcraft the wedding and tailor it to make your perfect day," MacGregor said. "We see the venues as the backdrop and help the couple decorate it as they've seen it in their dreams."
That includes the road to the wedding, where Trademark offers custom wedding packages tailored to each couple. This includes dinner-style options, the colors, the furniture, props, dance lessons, wine and food tastings, the decor and more.
"Whether you are accenting our orchard barn, brick and timber chapel, starry night meadow, nature pond, English garden, cut stone fireplace, passion vine greenhouse, garden pergola, tree house, turn post gazebo or historic forest. at Trademark we have your perfect backdrop," MacGregor said.
And Trademark offers total privacy and exclusivity with each wedding - they only book one event per day, and couples have the venue for nearly 12 hours.
"We don't want you rushing on your special day, it is 100 percent your venue for the day," MacGregor said.
A home in Escondido
For most of its existence, Trademark's wedding coordinators and client relations staff have operated on-site at the venues, but MacGregor said that company CEO Karen Sherman envisioned a hub that would serve as home base.
Enter downtown Escondido, where the location of the iconic Draper's and Damon's women's clothing store had been vacant since April 2017.
It was love at first sight, MacGregor said.
"We specialize in taking historic landmark properties, like Green Gables and Twin Oaks, and paying tribute to their history," MacGregor said. "We fully understand and appreciate that we are taking care of the building," MacGregor said. "Jay Leno once said about his collection of cars that he didn't own them, but was merely taking care of them for the next owner, and that's how we feel about the building."
Inside, the building bursts with new life, the showroom full of shimmering chandeliers, tables adorned with sleek champagne flutes and wedding decor and other props showcasing the company's wares.
MacGregor said that the business has been well received by neighbors, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Escondido Business Association, and the City of Escondido.
"Everything is easy when it's meant to be," MacGregor said. "It's been all smiles and everyone has been very welcoming and helpful."
MacGregor said that from a personal perspective, the rebirth of Escondido's historic core is profound.
"I grew up in Carlsbad, and I couldn't believe how much Escondido has changed the past few years," MacGregor said.
And employees have been well-received downtown, as they frequent spots like the Burger Bench and Kettle Coffee & Tea in large groups, boosting the local economy.
"We can directly see our footprint in downtown and are excited to see where it leads," MacGregor said. "And I am a car guy, so Cruisin' Grand is a nice treat on Friday nights."
Additionally, MacGregor said, in each city where Trademark has a venue, it actively promotes local vendors to its clients.
Escondido's economic development manager Michelle Geller praised the addition of Trademark to downtown, which she said complements a number of existing businesses, potentially making Downtown Escondido a one-stop shop for the couples planning their big day.
"Trademark Venues' new location on a prominent corner at Broadway and Grand is a great addition to our downtown," Geller said. "There are many complementary businesses nearby like Something Old, Something New Bridal Boutique, The Grand Tea Room and SIP Wine & Beer. I can definitely see future brides, grooms and their friends making a day of it in Downtown Escondido while they plan their big day."
Escondido is proud to be the new home of Trademark Venues and looks forward to their continued growth and success.