We often have visitors who are eager to tell the docents and staff their “Casa Story.” Whether the story is about the Casa as a part of San Clemente’s cultural fabric or about a wedding held here years ago, the stories are always fascinating. More often than not, we learn something new about the history of Casa Romantica.
Katie Graul and her family are a dear example of tradition and the timeless appeal of Casa Romantica. Katie was born and raised in San Clemente, as were her parents.
“I met Justin, a Major in the Marine Corps, a few years after college, and it was love at first sight,” she said.
After two years of dating, he proposed on the beach at sunset, and Katie happily accepted. When Justin and Katie began planning their wedding, the first place Katie thought of was Casa Romantica.
Casa Romantica has been a special place for Katie’s family for over 60 years. Katie’s grandparents, Pat and Eileen Murphy, spent their wedding night at the Casa on November 23, 1951. Pat Murphy’s father knew the Fred Waring family, who owned Casa Romantica at that time, and was able to make special arrangements for them to stay overnight.
“It was a magical place, and a dream come true for my bride and I,” said Pat.
A few years later, they purchased their own piece of paradise — a large lot just a few blocks away from Casa Romantica. They were married for an amazing 64 years (Katie’s grandmother passed away in 2015). Her grandfather still lives down the street from Casa Romantica, in the house where they raised all 7 of their kids.
On September 8, 1984, the hottest day of that year, Katie’s parents Jerry and Shauna also married at Casa Romantica. They have now been married for almost 32 years and still reside in San Clemente.
Katie and Justin are now looking forward to creating their own wedding day memories at Casa Romantica on September 16, 2016. We asked Katie if there were any elements of her family’s weddings that she was planning to tie into her and Justin’s big day.
“I plan on creating a memory table with photos from both my parents’ and grandparents’ weddings. Also, our photographer is going to take our picture in front of the Yucca tree on the Ocean Terrace — its’s a photo that both my grandparents and parents have hanging in their homes. It’s really special to us that we get to carry on the tradition.”