Hey there my traveling lovebirds and welcome to my post where we will check out my 12 best locations in California for a wedding. With its beautiful beaches, stunning vineyards, and breathtaking landscapes, California offers endless possibilities for your special day.
If you’re looking for a venue with outdoor space, California has plenty to offer. From the picturesque vineyards of Napa Valley to the sandy beaches of San Diego, you’ll find a variety of stunning outdoor locations to choose from. If you’re looking for a rustic and charming setting, consider a barn or farm wedding or for a more upscale affair, you might want to consider a country club or hotel venue. Whatever your vision, California has a venue to match it.
Map of Wedding Locations in California
Use this map to identify the location of the best wedding spots in California listed below:
Best Locations in California for a Wedding
If you’re looking for an unforgettable wedding venue in California, there are plenty of iconic locations to choose from. Here are just a few of the most popular options for those looking for luxury, location or even a wedding on a budget:
1. Vineyards in Napa Valley
The rolling hills of Napa Valley are home to some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, making them the perfect setting for a romantic wedding. Some of the most popular vineyard wedding venues in Napa Valley include:
- Calistoga Ranch: This luxury resort offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards, as well as a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces.
- Brix Restaurant and Gardens: With its lush gardens and elegant dining room, Brix is the perfect spot for a sophisticated wine country wedding.
- V. Sattui Winery: This family-owned winery has been producing award-winning wines for over 130 years, and its picturesque grounds are a popular choice for weddings.
2. Beachfront in Santa Monica
If you’re dreaming of a wedding by the sea, Santa Monica has some of the most beautiful beachfront venues in California. Here are a few of the most popular options:
- Shutters on the Beach: This luxurious hotel sits right on the sand and its elegant ballroom and oceanfront terrace are perfect for a beach wedding.
- Casa Del Mar: With its stunning Art Deco architecture and panoramic ocean views, Casa Del Mar is one of the most iconic wedding venues in Santa Monica.
- Annenberg Community Beach House: This historic beach house has been restored to its former glory and its oceanfront event spaces are perfect for a laid-back beach wedding.
3. Historic Mansions in San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture and there are plenty of historic mansions in the city that make for unforgettable wedding venues. Here are a few of the most popular options:
- The James Leary Flood Mansion: This elegant mansion in Pacific Heights has been restored to its former glory and its grand ballroom and sweeping staircase are perfect for a glamorous wedding.
- The Fairmont San Francisco: This iconic hotel has been a fixture of the San Francisco skyline for over a century and its stunning event spaces offer panoramic views of the city.
- The Julia Morgan Ballroom: Located in the historic Merchants Exchange Building, this stunning ballroom features soaring ceilings, intricate detailing and plenty of natural light.
4. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for outdoor weddings in California. The park’s stunning natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for your special day. The park has several wedding venues to choose from, including meadows, waterfalls, and historic buildings.
Keep in mind that weddings in Yosemite require a permit, so be sure to plan ahead.
5. Redwood Forest
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable outdoor wedding location, consider the Redwood Forest. The towering redwood trees provide a magical and enchanting setting for your special day.
The forest has several wedding venues to choose from including groves, meadows and historic buildings. Keep in mind that weddings in the Redwood Forest require a permit, so be sure to plan ahead.
6. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is another popular destination for outdoor weddings in California. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain views provide the perfect backdrop for your special day. The area has several wedding venues to choose from, including beaches, meadows and historic buildings.
As with the two above, weddings in Lake Tahoe require a permit, so be sure to plan ahead.
7. Palm Springs Desert
If you’re looking for a desert wedding, Palm Springs is a great place to start. The area is known for its stunning desert landscapes and there are plenty of venues that take advantage of the natural beauty. Some options include:
- The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens: This venue offers a unique combination of desert scenery and wildlife. You can choose from several locations within the park including the Eagle Canyon Amphitheater and the Palm Garden.
- The Parker Palm Springs: This chic hotel offers a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces including a lawn surrounded by palm trees and a ballroom with a retro feel.
- The Lautner Compound: This mid-century modern venue features several buildings designed by architect John Lautner. The property includes a pool, a fire pit and plenty of outdoor space.
8. Santa Barbara Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, the Santa Barbara Zoo might be the perfect wedding venue for you. The zoo offers several locations for ceremonies and receptions including:
- The Hilltop: This outdoor space offers views of the ocean and the mountains. You can exchange vows under a gazebo and then dance the night away under the stars.
- The Palm Garden: This lush garden features a pond, a waterfall and plenty of tropical plants. It’s a great spot for a romantic ceremony or a cocktail hour.
- The Zoo Train Station: This historic train station has been converted into a unique event space. You can host your reception in the Grand Plaza or the Giraffe Deck, both of which offer views of the animals.
9. Catalina Island
If you’re looking for a wedding location that’s a little off the beaten path, Catalina Island might be just what you need. This island off the coast of Southern California offers plenty of natural beauty and charm. Some options for your wedding include:
- Descanso Beach Club: This beachfront venue offers stunning views of the ocean and the mountains. You can exchange vows on the sand and then enjoy a reception under the stars.
- Catalina Island Casino: This historic building has been a landmark on the island since 1929 and offers several event spaces including the Art Deco Avalon Theatre and the romantic Casino Ballroom.
- Hotel Metropole: This elegant hotel offers several indoor and outdoor spaces for your wedding including a rooftop terrace with views of the harbor. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s spa and other amenities.
10. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a picturesque coastal city located in Northern California. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, redwood forests and laid-back vibe. If you’re looking for an affordable wedding location in Santa Cruz, consider the following:
- Seascape Beach Resort: This resort offers stunning views of the ocean and access to a private beach. Wedding packages start at $3,500.
- The Seymour Center: This oceanfront venue offers a unique and memorable setting for your wedding. Rental fees start at $2,500.
Sacramento is the capital city of California and is located in the heart of the state. It’s known for its historic architecture, museums and parks. If you’re looking for an affordable wedding location in Sacramento, consider the following:
- The Firehouse: This historic venue offers a unique and elegant setting for your wedding. Rental fees start at $1,500.
- The Sterling Hotel: This boutique hotel offers a charming and intimate setting for your wedding. Rental fees start at $1,000.
Bakersfield is a city located in Southern California and is known for its agriculture, oil and country music. If you’re looking for an affordable wedding location in Bakersfield, consider the following:
- The Westchester Event Center: This venue offers a spacious and versatile setting for your wedding. Rental fees start at $1,500.
- The Noriega House: This historic venue offers a charming and intimate setting for your wedding. Rental fees start at $1,200.
There you have it, my 10 best locations in California for a wedding. As usual, let me know of your experiences here or if there is anything you think I need to add.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.