The Best Places to Get Married in California
California is the state that has it all when it comes to getting married. It’s time to start planning a day you’ll never forget.
Picking California as your destination to get married in may just be the best decision you’ll ever make (aside from picking out accommodation here with us at Plum Guide, of course). From golden coastlines and dazzling blue oceans to world-class wineries, magical deserts and breathtaking mountains, California is the state that has it all. It’s a place that’s guaranteed to give you a day you’ll never forget.
So, what are the best places to get married in California? Luckily, we’re experts with this kind of stuff. Read on to find your dream location.
When it comes to beaches, California enjoys an overwhelming surplus of dreamy, golden coastline. If your ideal wedding ceremony takes place with white sand between your toes and a big blue roaring ocean behind, you’re coming to the right place. Bear in mind, you will need to acquire a permit for this but we think it’s well worth it. Beaches are undoubtedly some of the best places to get married in California.
Locations of note include Zuma Beach in Malibu – one of the largest and most popular beaches in all of LA and California. It’s known for its long, wide stretches of golden sand (perfect) and some excellent surf (not sure this features in your plans). Just around the corner, there’s also the stunning Point Dume - a nice piece of headland with great views up and down the coast in both directions.
Also check out El Matador if you’re looking for something a bit more rural and rugged. The amazing rock formations offer you the chance to find hidden coves and quiet, secluded corners away from the crowds.
If you’re looking for an urban vibe, California has plenty of unforgettable cities on offer. First of all, there is of course LA. Who would say no to tying the knot here amongst the stars, up in the Hollywood Hills? It’s the stuff of dreams and completely plausible, given some of the Plum Guide accommodation on offer. If you’re going full La La Land, have a look at Griffith Park. This place offers some really special wedding locations with great views across the city, as well as iconic landmarks such as the Griffith Observatory and the infamous Hollywood sign.
Further down the coast, there’s always San Diego. You’ll find a great variety of venues along the coast, in the city itself and up in the mountains. There are ranches, cottages, resorts and spas aplenty. The choice is yours.
Lastly, a special word for Palm Springs. It’s been the playground of movie stars and presidents for decades - a fun, laid-back desert destination with a focus on art and design that’s perfectly blended with nature. It’s almost always perfect weather, too. What’s not to love about this sophisticated oasis?
Speaking of deserts, there’s the Coachella Valley right next door to Palm Springs. While for some, the idea of sweating heavily in a full three-piece suit or your dream wedding dress may not be ideal, a desert wedding could be great. It’s something that’s a little bit fun and different. All around Coachella and Palm Springs, you’ll find an abundance of swanky resorts, golf clubs, and just about anywhere else the rich and famous like to spend their time.
A bit further out, you’ve also got the stunning Joshua Tree National Park. This desert is the real deal, offering a landscape unlike any other. Of course, as tempting as it may be, it’s still a good idea to stick with a bouquet of flowers rather than swapping them out for a prickly cactus. Not only are there some incredible (and remote) locations on offer here, but some equally interesting mansions, villas and state-of-the-art homes. Don’t say we never spoil you.
As sure as the sun will rise, vineyards were always going to feature on our list of best places to get married in California. We would have failed you if they weren’t. California is home to some of the world's very best wine regions. What’s more, the landscapes and views they offer are every bit as good as the wines they produce.
Santa Ynez is a warm, rusting and inviting region with a cowboy vibe - saloons, feed stores and perhaps even the odd horse hitched to a post. It’s got a real cham to it and there are plenty of estates offering delicious glasses (or bottles) of red and white throughout the surrounding hills.
Meanwhile, Los Olivos (the region right next door) is a small, charming town boasting some brilliant tasting rooms. You’ll also find plenty of stunning properties up in the hills with beautiful views. The perfect place to say ‘I do’ (when the waiter asks if you’d like a third bottle).
Your options here are countless and we could write a whole article just dedicated to the many wine regions of California but we’ll leave you with one more - Ojai. There’s a real rustic charm to this region and it’s only a 90 minute drive away from LA. A great option.
Rounding off our list of the best places to get married in California, we couldn’t leave you without a word on the mountains. We told you - California really does have it all. There are plenty of marvelous mountain regions running all across the state and all of them offer some brilliant locations for the big day. The views are so good you may well find your guests are far too distracted and end up missing the whole ceremony.
The Santa Monica Mountains are of particular note. They’re a coastal mountain range that parallel the Pacific Ocean. It’s a dream location with a mix of wild, rural areas, stunning properties (ranches, resorts, villas) and amazing views.
Also worth mentioning are the two ranges that sit either side of Palm Springs. In the south, you have the Santa Rosa Mountains and in the north, the San Bernardino Mountains - both remote locations that offer something different, including a few hidden gems when it comes to wedding venues.