Our founder, Tamara Kerbs is originally from Orange County. Tamara moved to Santa Barbara when she was 21 years old. She wanted to buy a house, which was impossible to do in OC at her age. So, she drove out to north and bought a beautiful home near Cal State, where she earned her degree in teaching. Tamara continued her education and earned a master's degree in Educational Administration from University of Redlands. She went on to teach elementary school in Redlands and figured she would someday be a principal. Of course being a teacher, Tamara thought needed a summer job,because all teachers have a summer job, right?
People often ask Tamara what made her think to start a wedding venue. It all began at a wedding in the fall of the year 2000. It was a Sunday evening, and when she found out what they paid for the venue, on a Sunday night, serving finger sandwiches and eating on plastic plates and plastic table cloths, Tamara knew what she wanted to do. She decided right then and there between the turkey sandwich and the potato salad, that she wanted to build a wedding venue. One that exuded class and was all inclusive.
Finding the perfect location wasn't easy, but when a friend told Tamara to check out Oak Glen, (which coming from the OC she had never heard of), she went up for a visit and instantly fell in love. What a beautiful mountain community, remote enough, yet close to all you would need to plan a dream wedding.
It took a few years to purchase the land, apply for the proper permits, and build the bones of what we have today. We hosted our first 6 weddings in 2006. In 2007 we hosted 24 weddings, and continued to do so until 2011 when we jumped a bit to 35. This was the year Tamara married the Love of her life, Philip. They say you can do anything with the right partner by your side, and whoever "they" are, they're right.
In 2012, the year after they were married, we hosted 50 weddings, and the next year in 2013, we hosted 138 weddings. Since then, we have nearly 150 couples married at Serendipity every year. We are blessed, and we know it, and we are grateful. Tamara finally retired from teaching just 3 short years ago after 17 years.
In 2015 we were contacted by Southern California Bride. They said we had been nominated for Venue of the Year by several brides of ours. We didn't think a lot of it, but when they told us we won, we were pleasantly surprised. Being a bit skeptical, we wondered who we were actually up against. we figured it was a few venues maybe. Tamara did some research, and found out that we were up against 102 other venues spanning from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Including the Four Seasons Santa Barbara, the Bacarra, the Ritz Carlton in Laguna, all the wineries in Temecula, and are you ready for this....even Disneyland. We were humbled and so appreciative that our couples thought so much of their experiences at our venue.
In the 12 years we have been in business, we have hosted over 950 weddings. Although we do have local couples married at Serendipity, many of our couples come from out of our area....OC, LA, SD, San Francisco, Texas, and even New York City. Most have never heard of this little community called Oak Glen, and we are thrilled to draw nearly 25,000 people into our area every year. They all fall in love and are in awe that such a beautiful place exists right here in our local mountains.
We do what we do everyday, for our couples. We love what we do and want your experience to be nothing short of flawless. When Serendipity was born, it was a summer job. Now we have weddings from February until just before Christmas. Because we are so booked, so far in advance, couples wanting a date are picking dates farther out in order to get a date at all. This is when we decided to build our stunning Barn! We have been diligently working on this elegant, grand, yet cozy indoor space to gather and celebrate. Once the barn is passed for occupancy, we know this will minimize any stress our couples feel leading up to their Big Day, and this is our goal. Minimize stress and leave them with flawless memories of their most special day. We hopefully anticipate the passing of our Barn in the near future.
Thank you for taking the time to read all about the history of Serendipity. It has been a journey. A labor of love to be sure, and the biggest blessing one could ever hold. We are grateful for every couple that graces us with their presence on their most special day. They become family to us.
We anxiously look forward to the future, as we continue to grow and become better with each passing year.