Destination Wedding: California

California has wonderful weather, varied topography, beaches, wineries, ocean, big cities, quaint towns, hills, valleys, and snow-capped mountains you really can’t find a better state for a destination wedding. Whether you want to get married among the vineyards in Napa Valley, amid the trolley jangle of San Francisco, or in the foreground of the breaking surf in San Diego, California has a bevy of choices ripe for the picking.

Popular Destination Wedding Venues in Napa Valley

Even though destination weddings are usually of smaller caliber, in-country destination weddings may allow for a larger guest list. This is especially true if you choose to lure guests with the near-impossible-to-resist locale of the California wine country. Here are a few places that have made the top lists year after year for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

The Spanish-inspired Vintage Estate & Inn is the perfect place to accommodate destination weddings that have a burgeoning amount of RSVPS. Nestled among golden grape vines and green velvet hills, this Yountville estate sprawls across 23 acres. Not only is the land spacious, but it has room to accommodate up to 400 guests in its brick-walled reception room or the outdoor pavilion. If you still like the idea of a quaint wine-country wedding, you can set up your ceremony in the immaculate courtyard or in the historic barrel room which is ideal for 50-100 guests.

Vianasa Winery and Marketplace feels like Tuscany in the heart of Sonoma. With a romantic wine cave and views worth toasting a private reserve Chardonnay to, this smaller venue is idyllic and offers full service wedding coordination. If you are looking to blow the budget, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers an immaculate golf course, five-star spa services, and exquisite cuisine.

Popular Destination Wedding Venues in San Francisco

One of the main draws for a San Francisco destination wedding is the downtown urban appeal; chock full of so many activities to entertain out-of-towners. A loft-event space with exposed beams and downtown views is what most young and funky couples are looking for. If that’s you, then you can’t go wrong with The Terra Gallery & Event space in the SOMA neighborhood. With abstract art and warm-hardwood floors, this space can be as eccentric or as elegant as you are.

However, if unique is what you are looking for, the Presidio Log Cabin has been climbing the charts in popularity for quirky outdoor weddings. From Asian inspired to rustic chic, this venue can be transformed to fit your needs in a flash. Perhaps you want regal and awe-inspiring? Check out The Legion of Honor Courtyard. With massive stone pillars, a walkway of prestigious proportions, and Romanesque arches, you can get married in the out-of-doors while feeling like you are a royal undercover.

Popular Destination Wedding Venues in San Diego

Sunny and light hearted, San Diego is the perfect place for laidback lovers to entertain their equally fun loving guests. Two of the best are the outdoor appeal of Balboa Park and the barefoot variety of Coronado Beach. If you choose to take advantage of the plethora of indoor spaces or garden venues in Balboa Park, get in touch with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department for your permit to wed.

If you choose Coronado Beach, look into the luxe Hotel Del Coronado for a dream beach wedding. There are also local wedding planners (like Elope San Diego) that can get you set up for a small wedding on the beach itself, for a less intimidating price tag.

Find more California wedding planning resources here.

about the author
Sarah Sarah has been editing the blog at mywedding for four years. She enjoys watching classic movies, spending money on eyeliner that she never wears, and convincing brides to write thank you notes.

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