Southern California Weddings
Thinking of a Southern California destination wedding? Well, there, my friend, you have a problem. A big problem. Why? Because there are so many wonderful Southern California cities to choose from in which to get married! Whether you’re a local Californian looking for a venue for your big wedding, someone looking for a great California destination wedding, or a couple who wants to elope, just the two of you, Southern California has it all. Let’s take a look:
Southern California Beach Weddings
Southern California has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beach cities, from the smaller communities of La Jolla, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Malibu, Newport Beach and Oxnard, to the larger communities and beaches of San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Most of the beaches are free (you have to pay to park, of course) should you desire a small ceremony with you, your soon-to-be spouse, some guests (or not), and your officiant. Therefore, the beaches are perfect for planned destination weddings as well as a more informal elopement ceremony. Before making your plans, though, it’s a good idea to call the California State Parks at 800-777-0369 to inquire about any permits that might be needed. Some Southern California beaches of note are:
Huntington City Beach
Huntington City Beach boasts a wide, sandy beach with spectacular sunsets. Almost every inch of sand in Huntington Beach is completely public, so if sticking to a budget is your concern, there are plenty of free beach spots to choose from. Huntington Beach has numerous resorts, hotels and motels within walking distance from the beach should you desire to bring family and friends to your wedding.
Located 26 miles from the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island is and always will be "the island of romance," and abounds with great spots to hold your wedding or elopement.
If you wish a larger ceremoney, you might want to choose some of the more formal venues like the Casino Ballroom, Descanso Beach Club or the Catalina Country Club. If you're eloping or wish a small, intimate ceremony, you can hire an officiant to perform a wedding at such places as Buena Vista Point on Mt. Ada overlooking the ocean, the beach, or the Wrigley Botanical Gardens. Of course, you will have to get a permit for the public areas.
La Jolla Cove , 1100 Coast Boulevard, is a very small beach in La Jolla (15 minutes north of downtown San Diego) and claims to be one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California. Another La Jolla beach is La Jolla Shores, 8200 Camino del Oro, a sandy beach one mile in length adjacent to a residential area. The City of La Jolla requires a permit to hold a wedding on the public beaches. For permit information call Coastline Parks at 619-221-8901.
Crystal Cove is a stretch of coastal cliffs and a beach front cove between Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean just north of Laguna Beach. Call 949-494-3539 to inquire about permits for weddings.
Another option in Laguna Beach is the Surf and Sand Hotel, 1555 South Coast Highway, a fabulous resort hotel with their own private 500-ft. white sandy beach. Their Grand Pelican Ballroom can host receptions of up to 250 people, or provide an intimate sit down dinner wedding reception with dance floor for up to 160 people. Call 888-869-7569 for reservations.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach features wetlands, flower gardens and sandy beach. The lagoon is where Malibu Creek meets the sea. You can have your wedding on the beach or at the Adamson House, designated a National Historical Site and registered California Landmark. The Adamson House is visible from most places on the state beach, but with entry only off the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway One), and located a few hundred feet down the coast in Malibu Lagoon State Beach. The house and grounds share one of the most beautiful beach locations in Southern California where one can view the Malibu Lagoon, Malibu Beach and the Malibu Pier. For weddings at Malibu Lagoon State Beach or Adamson House call 310-457-8185
Ventura San Buenaventura State Beach
San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura is the perfect place for a bonfire. Imagine your wedding at sunset, followed by a dinner by bonfire. To rent a firepit and reserve space for your wedding at San Buenaventura State Beach, call California State Parks at 1-805-648-4059. If you desire to rent chairs for your event, or need help choosing a caterer to come and cook for your guests, call the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau at 1-800-483-6241.
Inland Southern California Weddings
As wonderful as they are, the beaches aren’t the only places in Southern California to have your wedding. For example
Get Married at Disneyland!
That’s right, Disneyland. You loved it as a kid, now get married at the Magical Kingdom. How does reciting your vows in Sleeping Beauty's Castle sound to you? Or, perhaps a more traditional wedding at one of the Disneyland Resorts? Three of the most sought-after resort areas are the Wedding Garden at Disney's Grand Californian Resort, the Rose Court Garden at the Disneyland Hotel, and the Sunset Gazebo atop Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. Now, it just so happens that Disneyland is a very popular wedding venue, so be sure to make your reservations about a year in advance. You can start now by calling the fine folks at Disneyland's Fairy Tale Weddings at 714-956-6527.
Temecula is California’s other wine country. It is approximately 85 miles south of Los Angeles, 60 miles north of San Diego and 20 miles inland from the cities of San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside. Numerous wineries in the area host weddings, including Callaway Vineyard & Winery (800-472-2377) and Falkner Winery (951-676-8231), both with beautiful landscaped grounds. Wish to have your wedding in a castle? Then you might be interested in the Enchanted Forest Weddings, located in the De Luz Valley between Temecula and Fallbrook. The Enchanted Forest is a privately-owned estate tucked behind gated columns, offering a castle, lake, swans, waterfalls, & gazebo. You can call 760-451-8683 for more information.
Be sure to check out our other pages for information on:
Best Wedding Locations
Las Vegas Weddings
Southern California Weddings
Northern California Weddings
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