Best Places To Get Married In California: Top Venues for Your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding in California offers you a chance to tie the knot in some of the most beautiful and diverse locations in the United States. From breathtaking coastal views to enchanting vineyards, the Golden State provides a wide range of venues to suit any couple’s dream wedding.

A picturesque vineyard set against rolling hills with a golden sunset casting a warm glow over the ceremony site

Whether you’re looking to exchange vows by the Pacific Ocean or surrounded by majestic redwood forests, California has the perfect spot for your special day. Prepare to be inspired by the stunning places you can consider for making your wedding day unforgettable.

1) La Venta Inn

La Venta Inn is a charming wedding venue in Palos Verdes Estates. Perched on a hill, it offers stunning ocean views. The setting is perfect for an unforgettable day.

This venue dates back to 1923 and has a rich history. The Spanish villa style adds character. Your guests will love the historic surroundings.

Catering at La Venta Inn is managed by Made by Meg. They focus on seasonal cuisine and high-quality service. Your wedding menu will impress everyone.

You can also enjoy the peaceful sounds of the Spanish fountain. Combined with the breathtaking views, it makes for a magical experience.

Rating: 4.6 (145 reviews)
Location: 796 Vía Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
Contact: (310) 373-0123
Website: Visit Website

2) Millwick

Millwick is a hidden gem in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. This wedding and event venue spans 7,000 square feet and combines organic elements with an industrial style. You can enjoy an open-air layout perfect for romantic ceremonies, receptions, and even corporate events.

This venue holds 150-175 guests for weddings and seated events, and up to 250 for standing receptions. The Garden Courtyard, surrounded by lush plants and original brick walls, offers a beautiful setting for ceremonies and cocktail lounges. Inside, the Grand Hall’s high ceilings and glass doors provide plenty of space for dining, drinking, and dancing.

Millwick features indoor and outdoor bar areas, hand-crafted wooden tables, and casual patio furniture. You’ll also find vertical gardens, a cinematic screen, and a DJ-ready sound system. Nina’s Lounge offers a private space for the wedding party to relax.

Originally a livery and cold storage warehouse, Millwick’s redesign preserves its historic charm. The venue is eco-friendly with permeable outdoor areas and passive lighting in the Grand Hall, perfect for those who value sustainability.

Rating: 4.7 (129 reviews)
Location: 800 E 4th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Contact: (424) 261-8204
Website: Visit Website

3) Serendipity Garden Weddings

Serendipity Garden Weddings is an elegant wedding venue located in Oak Glen, California. This venue offers stunning mountain views and an all-inclusive experience for your special day. It proudly welcomes all love stories and provides a sophisticated space to create unforgettable memories.

The venue includes beautiful galleries for every part of your wedding, from vows to the reception. With onsite catering and expert wedding coordination, you’ll have everything you need in one place. The Barn Gallery and other unique spaces add a charming touch to your celebration.

Serendipity Garden Weddings ensures that every detail is taken care of, making your day stress-free and enjoyable. The venue’s extraordinary inclusions and decor add a special touch, making it a perfect choice for a Southern California mountain wedding.

Rating: 4.7 (304 reviews)
Location: 12865 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399
Contact: (844) 749-5683
Website: Visit Website

4) Calamigos Ranch

Calamigos Ranch in Malibu offers a breathtaking setting for your wedding. Nestled in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains, its natural beauty includes ancient oak trees and cascading waterfalls. The venue’s rustic charm is perfect for creating unforgettable memories.

You’ll find several stunning locations to tie the knot. The Redwood Room is surrounded by 100-year-old oaks and vines, ideal for a picturesque ceremony. The Oak Room, with its sunset views and stone waterfall, creates a magical atmosphere for your special day.

The Pavilion provides a serene environment with a multi-level waterfall and a canopy of oak trees. If you’re looking for something intimate, The Birchwood Room can host up to 135 guests amid redwood trees and a nearby waterfall. Each space at Calamigos Ranch offers unique features, ensuring a memorable wedding experience.

If you’re planning a company event, Star C and The Barn provide charming settings with unique attractions, like a merry-go-round and beautiful views of Malibu Wine Country. North 40 features a classic Ferris wheel and spacious open areas, perfect for larger gatherings.

Rating: 4.6 (767 reviews)
Location: 327 Latigo Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Contact: (818) 889-6280
Website: Visit Website

5) Fresno Fields by Wedgewood Weddings

Fresno Fields by Wedgewood Weddings is a true gem in Central California. The venue features towering palm and cypress trees that create a stunning backdrop for any wedding. There’s a spacious built-in dance floor and a charming garden with bistro lights, perfect for a romantic evening.

The grand hall combines elegant styling with earthy elements, setting the stage for a memorable wedding. Everything is conveniently located, making it easy for you and your guests to move between the ceremony site and the reception room. The expansive countryside and rolling hills add to its appeal, creating a picturesque setting.

Fresno Fields has earned notable awards from The Knot and Wedding Wire, recognizing their top-notch facilities and excellent service. Couples from various parts of California, including Clovis, Riverdale, and Bakersfield, choose this venue for its central location and beautiful scenery. Their wedding professionals are dedicated to helping you plan a stress-free and unforgettable day.

Rating: 4.3 (221 reviews)
Location: 4584 W Jacquelyn Ave, Fresno, CA 93722
Contact: (559) 785-9099
Website: Visit Website

6) The Hollins House Weddings & Events

The Hollins House is a historic home built in the 1920s, offering stunning views of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. It’s perfect whether you’re planning a wedding, hosting a party, or just want a sunny spot for a tasty dinner. The views are spectacular, especially with the surrounding golf course.

The culinary team, led by Chef Ryan Soden, crafts mouthwatering dishes using fresh, local ingredients. You can enjoy your meal plated, family-style, or buffet-style at your special event. Their menu includes a variety of delicious options that will surely impress your guests.

Service at The Hollins House is known to be top-notch, with friendly and professional staff making sure your event runs smoothly. From the waitstaff to the event team, everyone is dedicated to helping you create memorable moments.

Rating: 4.7 (80 reviews)
Location: 20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Contact: (831) 459-9177
Website: Visit Website

7) Hacienda De Las Flores by Wedgewood Weddings

Hacienda De Las Flores by Wedgewood Weddings is a beautiful open-air venue in Moraga, California. Surrounded by mature gardens, it offers a natural landscape perfect for any event. The Flower Mansion boasts a charming patio area with a central fountain and spacious lawn.

The Pavilion features a neo-classical design with Corinthian columns, accommodating up to 200 guests. Its circular patio lawn and well-kept garden provide a picturesque setting for your big day. The interior bar and get-ready area are perfect for both elegant and informal events.

This Spanish-style estate includes the original mansion and grand neoclassical additions, creating unique photo opportunities. Couples from all over California and beyond choose this venue for its scenic beauty and historical charm.

Rating: 4.6 (119 reviews)
Location: 2100 Donald Dr, Moraga, CA 94556
Contact: (866) 966-3009
Website: Visit Website

8) Beaulieu Garden

Beaulieu Garden in Napa Valley is a beautiful spot for weddings. It’s a private estate and one of the oldest vineyards in the area. The property features formal gardens, old stone fountains, reflecting pools, statues, and a lovely sycamore arbor.

The grounds offer a park-like setting with plenty of space for your special event. Whether it’s a wedding, social, or corporate event, the garden provides a perfect backdrop. You can contact Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events for more information on hosting an event.

The estate has roots dating back to 1899 when Georges de Latour bought the land. He wanted to surprise his wife, Fernande, who exclaimed, “Quel beau lieu!” which means “What a beautiful place!” The name Beaulieu Garden was born from that moment.

Rating: 4.7 (21 reviews)
Location: 1901 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573
Contact: (707) 968-0975
Website: Visit Website

9) Sterling Hills by Wedgewood Weddings

Sterling Hills by Wedgewood Weddings offers a charming retreat. Located in Camarillo, it has sweeping views of rolling hills. The venue features an intimate garden ceremony site that embodies romance.

Recently renovated, it boasts an inspiring pagoda ceremony site. The dramatic wrought-iron chandelier, sparkling stone fountain, and warming log fireplace add to its charm. Guests appreciate the grand entrance and built-in bar.

The venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive views impress all. With awards from The Knot and Wedding Wire, it is highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5 (80 reviews)
Location: 901 Sterling Hills Dr, Camarillo, CA 93010
Contact: (805) 507-7072
Website: Visit Website

10) Aliso Viejo by Wedgewood Weddings

Experience the beauty and charm of Aliso Viejo by Wedgewood Weddings. With its Mediterranean-style architecture and stunning views of Saddleback Mountain, this venue offers a serene retreat. Multiple ceremony sites ensure a perfect fit for any wedding style.

Guests will enjoy the spacious patio with lounge furniture and lush green surroundings. The outdoor fireplace adds warmth and ambiance. Conveniently located, this venue is easily accessible from San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties.

This award-winning venue has received honors from The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Here Comes the Guide. The team at Aliso Viejo by Wedgewood Weddings prides itself on providing top-notch service, helping you create a customized wedding package and introducing you to their vendors.

Rating: 4.6 (109 reviews)
Location: 31 Santa Barbara Dr, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Contact: (949) 541-0374
Website: Visit Website

Best Time Of Year To Get Married In California

The golden sun sets over a vineyard in Napa Valley, with rolling hills and lush greenery creating a picturesque backdrop for a wedding ceremony

California offers great weather and beautiful venues year-round. Each season has its own charm and benefits, so you can decide which one fits your dream wedding the best.

Spring Weddings

Spring in California spans from March to May. This season brings mild temperatures, making it comfortable for outdoor ceremonies. You’ll find beautiful blooming flowers, perfect for picturesque wedding photos. Popular venues like gardens and vineyards are at their most vibrant during spring.

Keep in mind that spring is a popular time for weddings, so venues and vendors might book quickly. You may also need to factor in the possibility of occasional rain. Planning a backup indoor venue or having tents available can ensure your wedding goes smoothly.

Summer Weddings

Summer runs from June to August and is a popular time due to the long daylight hours. Beaches, parks, and outdoor spaces are in their prime. The weather is warm and consistent, ideal for late afternoon or sunset ceremonies.

However, summer can get quite hot, especially in Southern California. If you’re considering a summer wedding, look for venues offering shade or indoor-outdoor flexibility. Staying hydrated and providing fans or cool drinks for guests can make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Fall Weddings

Fall months, September to November, are often considered the best time for weddings in California. The weather is still warm, but more temperate than summer. The scenery includes stunning autumn colors, especially in areas like Napa Valley and Northern California forests.

Fall is less crowded than summer, so you might find more availability and sometimes better rates for venues and vendors. The mild climate makes it comfortable for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and the risk of rain is low.

Winter Weddings

Winter, from December to February, offers unique opportunities. It’s the least popular season for weddings, so you might find significant off-season discounts on venues and services. California’s mild winters ensure pleasant weather, especially in Southern regions like Los Angeles and San Diego.

Winter weddings can have a cozy, intimate feel, with options for elegant indoor venues. While Northern California might see some rain, it rarely disrupts plans in the southern parts of the state. Keep an eye on weather patterns when planning to ensure a smooth event.

Popular Wedding Themes In California

A beach wedding with palm trees, white sand, and a sunset backdrop in California

California is a diverse state offering a variety of stunning settings for weddings. You can find something unique whether you love the beach, rolling vineyards, lush forests, or luxury resorts.

Beach Weddings

Beach weddings in California offer a relaxed, yet stunning backdrop with ocean views and sandy shores. Popular spots include Malibu, Santa Monica, and Laguna Beach. You can exchange vows with the sound of waves and a beautiful sunset.

Many venues handle permits and decor for you, so you can focus on your special day. Remember the weather; it can be windy or cool in some areas. Consider a simple gown or barefoot ceremony to complement the beach vibe.

Wine Country Weddings

Wine country weddings are perfect if you love serene vineyard views and fine wine. Regions like Napa Valley, Sonoma, and Paso Robles offer elegant settings with rolling hills and lush vineyards. Outdoor ceremonies often have breathtaking backdrops of grapevines under the Californian sun.

Many vineyards have facilities for both ceremonies and receptions, often including wine tasting and gourmet meals. The rustic and elegant vibe, combined with delicious local wine, creates an unforgettable experience.

Forest Weddings

Forest weddings bring a magical and earthy feel. Locations like Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, and the Redwood National Park offer venues surrounded by towering trees. Imagine saying “I do” in a secluded grove or next to a serene lake.

Venues like Loma Vista Gardens offer a blend of rustic charm and natural beauty. These weddings often feature natural elements in the decor, like wildflowers, leaves, and wood. Perfect for couples who love nature and want an enchanting setting.

Luxury Resort Weddings

Luxury resort weddings are ideal for those desiring a lavish and all-inclusive experience. Resorts like Alila Ventana Big Sur, The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, and Montage Laguna Beach offer top-notch services and stunning locations.

You can enjoy breathtaking coastal or mountain views, gourmet dining, and deluxe accommodations. These venues often provide wedding planning services, making the process stress-free. From grand ballrooms to intimate terraces, you’ll find a perfect spot to celebrate in style.

Legal Requirements For Getting Married In California

A couple stands before a county clerk, exchanging vows. The sun sets over a picturesque California beach, where a small crowd gathers to witness the ceremony

To get married in California, you need to follow some legal requirements.

First, both of you must be at least 18 years old. If you’re under 18, you’ll need written consent from one parent and a judge’s permission.

Marriage by proxy (having someone stand in for you) is not allowed. You both need to be there in person.

Residency isn’t required. You don’t have to live in California to get married there.

You’ll need a marriage license, and it must be used within 90 days. After that, it expires.

Same-sex marriages are legal in California.

You can’t be married to someone else. You can only marry one person at a time.

Blood tests are not required.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Age: 18+ (or 17 with consent and judge’s approval)
  • Residency: Not required
  • Proxy marriage: Not allowed
  • License validity: 90 days
  • Same-sex marriage: Legal
  • Blood tests: Not required

Your marriage must be performed by an officiant and, if applicable, a witness should be present. The officiant and any witness must sign the marriage license for it to be valid.

Following these rules helps ensure your special day goes smoothly and your marriage is recognized legally.

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