Best wedding locations in Southern California
Planning a destination wedding in California? It seems that more and more couples we talk to that are getting married in California are not even from the area and are traveling out of the state to have a small intimate wedding or elope on the beach. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about a few of our favorite locations to get married at in Southern California. From the beach, to the mountains and the rolling vineyards in between, there is no shortage of beautiful destinations to run off to and say I do with just your spouse and maybe a close group of family and friends. Here is a look at a few favorites.
San Diego – Being from San Diego we are obviously biased and this would be our first choice of where we would choose to get married. A San Diego beach wedding is enticing for many reasons; the smashing waves against the cliffs, watching the sun dip below the Pacific Ocean, or taking a boat out to explore the coast and taking creative wedding photos with the skyline of the city behind you. If California is on your list for having your wedding, definitely consider San Diego, for a glimpse of our favorite engagement locations head over to our other article.
Laguna Mountains – The mountains of East County San Diego are often untouched, unless you are an avid hiker or into mountain biking. That is why we love going up here for engagement photos and elopements as we have the entire mountain range to ourselves it seems. If you are visiting San Diego and looking for a nature scenery to have your wedding ceremony at, this is a place we highly recommend. As we park our cars, there is a trail that winds through the hills covered with trees, about ¾ of a mile in opens up to a massive wide-open field which is the ideal setting for wedding photos. This is by far one of our favorite hikes and is so easy and peaceful.
Los Angeles – If you are set on having a beach wedding, LA is another place to consider. There are so many unique areas to take photos at along the coast, and Los Angeles is known for having some incredible spots for caves and hidden gems as you head north toward Malibu. Leo Carrillo is one of the most iconic parks in Los Angeles and is the perfect setup for a boho wedding with jagged cliffs and caves right on the beach. Not to mention, the incredible hiking trails that offer overlooks of Los Angeles city with an ocean view in the background for romantics. If you are traveling from out of town, and Los Angeles has always been on your bucket list, this might be the best place for your wedding photos.
Orange County – Although Los Angeles is a dream spot for many, chances are if you have visited before you attest it is a bit different than how you imagined. Orange County is by far one of the nicest, wealthiest cities in California. From Laguna Beach to Huntington there is endless opportunities for a beach wedding. A few of our favorite spots are Table Rock Beach, Victoria Beach and Corona Del Mar
Table Rock Beach: Table Rock Beach is a locally-known tucked away beach in South Laguna Beach, CA. The flat sandy beach is ideal for a small intimate wedding located in a deep cove with homes high above. Rocks of all shapes and sizes exist near the center of the cove and at low tide allow you to walk across the rocks to access another beach.
Victoria Beach: This beach, while to locals, may seem like a played-out spot to non-natives is still one of the more unique beaches. Victoria Street is one of Laguna’s most famous beaches in Orange County mainly because a giant tower that leans up against the cliffs gives this beach a diverse setting and looks incredible for engagement photos. Getting here is not the easiest of destinations which makes the trek way more worth it as it is often secluded other than skim boarders or other photographers capturing the beauty of this Orange County coastal beach.
Little Corona Del Mar: If you have never been to Corona Del Mar, you are in for a treat. From the endless overlooks of Newport Pier and The Wedge to cliffside mansions towering over the water, CDM is the La Jolla of Orange County. We often walk down a walkway to an isolate protected beach called Little Corona Del Mar that has tidepools and some of the most impressive rocks that dart off into the ocean. This is by far one of the top beaches to get married at in Orange County.
Temecula – If you are from northern California or anywhere outside California for that matter, and a huge fan of wine, Temecula may be the fit for you. With over 50 wineries now, Temecula has created a niche for itself with being a destination wedding spot hosting bachelor and bachelorette parties at many of the vineyards. Many of these venues are for larger weddings however if you are planning for a wedding with all of your family look into some of our favorite wedding venues. We grew up in the area and love shooting weddings in Temecula, from De Portola to Rancho California you really can’t go wrong with the wine here.
We hope this has helped in your decision! Choosing your wedding location is the first, and we think the best part of the planning especially when in Southern California. We have touched upon a few more iconic spots throughout the state and if you are looking for more off the beaten path locations, make sure to check out our blog on the best wedding locations in California. Planning a wedding is a ton of fun and also a ton of work! If you are recently engaged and searching for a wedding photographer in San Diego we would love to connect and see what you are looking for and how we can help make the process a little easier for you and a lot more fun! We love getting to work with couples during their engagement photos and connect before your wedding day as it gives both of us the opportunity to work together and flow! It is such a crucial decision when picking your wedding photographer as you will be with them the entirety of your wedding day, especially if you are deciding to elope in a different city from home. Our objective is to capture those moments that just happen, those moments that typically go unnoticed, the natural reactions of laughs; We live for those little moments that happen within a split second. What may be just as much for as shooting the wedding photos, is helping be a part of choosing a location. As we travel we spend days planning and scouting new areas that we think will be cool and have potential. Google earth and Pinterest have become great friends of ours and led us to finding some incredible places! So, if you are planning a wedding and still looking for a local wedding photographer and wanting to do something a little different and get off the beaten path we would love to chat! From small destination weddings to large weddings with the whole family at a large venue like the wineries we are there to capture your day. We are stoked to be riding into 2020 wedding season, and can’t wait to hear about your wedding plans!