San Diego is home to some of the best, most talented, and most creative wedding vendors in the country. And part of that is because there are SO MANY incredible San Diego Wedding Venues! I’ve created a list of the best wedding venues in the San Diego County, based upon the photography experience. These are the best to get incredible wedding photos from- and I specifically did not rank them because I love them all! It would be like trying to choose my favorite child! haha
There are more than 22 venues on this list, and a couple of “special mentions” towards the bottom (:
Most photos on this page are by yours truly, My Sun and Stars Co, but a few images are pulled from other sources so you can get a better feel of the space.
L’Auberge Del Mar is one of those venues that you really have to see to believe. It has an INCREDIBLE view of the ocean, that you really can’t get anywhere else (unless you literally get married on the sand!). L’Auberge is definitely more of a luxury venue with an above-average price tag, but that
Darlington House in La Jolla is consistently named as one of San Diego’s best wedding venues- and no-freakin’-kidding. It’s a historic home with gardens and courtyard for events. It’s filled to the brim with historic charm, spanish details, and beauty in every corner.
Rancho Valencia is an INCREDIBLE blank space venue. They have a grand lawn where you can dress it up (or down) as much as you like! I’ve seen incredible floral installations, escort displays. It’s the perfect wedding venue for events big and small- they’ve got little nooks for amazing photographs (or micro ceremonies or elopements!) and huge open spaces for weddings with larger guest counts.
The Inn is one of the most versatile on this list because they’ve got 5 separate venues on their property! You can choose from all outdoors under the stars, or an intimate indoor dinner setting.
I don’t usually like Hotel Wedding Venues… but this one is just *chef’s kiss*
The Westgate Hotel in Downtown San Diego is a wedding venue like none other- no tacky carpets or boardroom walls. A truly stunning place to hold a wedding ceremony and/or reception- it’s got beautiful details on every wall, a grand foyer with a piano excellent for portraits, and even a rooftop terrace with a gorgeous view of downtown.
Carmel Mountain Ranch Estate (or CMR) is tucked away in the hills of a residential neighborhood in Poway. Your hardest choice about this venue will be where to have your ceremony and/or reception. Indoors with ornate chandeliers, gorgeous crown molding, hardwood floors, and big open windows to bring the outdoors in? Or outdoors surrounded by stunning views of mountains and natural foliage to compliment any color palette, along with the feeling of a secluded retreat.
Looking for a high end-esque wedding with enough versatility to showcase your big day? Flora the Venue is walking distance from the iconic Gaslamp Quarters in Downtown San Diego, but don’t be fooled by what you don’t see on the outside. Inside you’ll find modern concrete floors and plants spread throughout to give an organic touch. Time seems to almost stand still in this premiere venue.
If you like Country Club wedding venues, Vista Valley Country Club is by far the most beautiful and elegant. Usually Country Clubs aren’t my cup of tea- golf courses make for the same image over and over… but Vista Valley is a historic and ultra-charming venue right here in San Diego. It’s next to Cal-a-Vie Health spa and ties a lot of similar design elements- very luxurious european and romantic.
Building 177, named for its place in Liberty Station, is a grand venue that should never be overlooked. With it’s vaulted ceilings, white interior, and gorgeous wood floors, you’ll have a clean slate for any type of wedding your heart desires. With this indoor venue, you’ll be able to really create some stunning images from all the natural lighting beaming in as well. One of my favorites for photography and florals.
Fairmount Grand Del Mar is like a little taste of Europe right in San Diego. Nestled in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, you’ll have the choice of three reception sites -2 indoors, all with Mediterranean style elegance sure to awe everyone, especially any architect aficionados. With the outdoors lit up at night and the indoors set up like royalty, you’ll be living your own fairy tale wedding!
Talk about goals! The Ethereal Open Air gives you greenhouse vibes with a mix of organic fairy romance. For your ceremony you’ll be encapsulated in a giant arch style covering that’s been ‘taken over’ by the natural surroundings. A boho babe’s holy grail, a fairy girl’s fantasy, and a classic sweetheart’s dream come true. For the reception you’ll have an amazing outdoor setting that’s complete with coverage and a breathtaking space. The lights that are all throughout the gorgeous garden that surrounds you makes for a magical night scene.
Waterfront views, an open layout, modern fixtures, giant sliding glass doors to bring the sunshine in. Just a few key features of The Lane, located where the original Padres Stadium once stood. There’s even an outdoor terrace for your guests to enjoy the waterfront views. Perfect for a modernized ceremony, cocktail hour, or a timeless reception.
I took part of a styled event here at Julep and the amount of possibilities that this space can transform into, are endless. Seeing how gorgeous any style is suited in this open indoor space, you’ll be gifted a flexible venue with beautiful hardwood floors, an outdoor courtyard, and an epic event. There’s even a neat feature where the walls facing the courtyard open completely! Now if only we could make that a feature for every venue.
Balboa Park has long since been a top spot for engagement and wedding photos with it’s timeless buildings and an epitome of natural perfection. It’s also a top spot for a wedding ceremony and reception at the powerfully peaceful Japanese Friendship Garden. Having a wedding here is like being taken right out of San Diego and placed in an enchanted island that’s filled with luscious greenery, trickling waterfalls, a koi pond, and a pavilion that will host even your finest visions.
The Estancia has vibes of a 2006 James Bond film and Antonio Banderas is waiting for your hand in marriage, at the end of a grassy aisle surrounded by swaying olive trees. Or perhaps your a ‘Front Stage and Penelope Cruz’ kinda’ gal, who dreams of walking up [a few steps] to the edge of a spanish-style building? No matter if you want to dine with chandeliers and candelabras, or have an intimate 30 person reception in a private wine cellar with close family and friends, Estancia has it all.
*Sigh*. The Valencia Hotel. Their website describe themselves as ‘Classic Charm’ and honestly, I can’t think of any way to better describe this gorgeous venue other than perfect? Alexis Rose [Schitt’s Creek anyone?] would approve. Also, there’s a part in the ballroom where they have a black and white checkerboard-patterned floor makes me think of a 19th-century romcom.
I know what you’re thinking…but no. Great Aunt Greta will not be attacked by a monkey due to her lack of smell and trigger-happy finger when she’s holding a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Imagine this: You’re about to be Mrs. Queen and you want to show your beautiful strength as a freaking goddess. The San Diego Safari Park, gives you all that and more. They have a few different choices in locations -personal fav is the Kijamii Overlook. Umm, hello?! You could end up having GIRAFFES in the background of your wedding photos ~and~ Great Aunt Greta is going to have the time of her life?! YES PLEASE!
Las Mariposas Estate is a brand new venue out in Escondido- and it’s run by a former wedding photographer! Also, an incredibly sweet mom. So you know it’s got aesthetics in mind. It definitely makes you feel like you’re living the rich life with it’s sultry view of hillside as far as the eye can see. With a stone area for seating or dancing under warm-white glow lights, this is the setting for a Pinterest Perfect, Southern California wedding.
This La Jolla Women’s Club is a couple blocks from the beach (and Darlington House!). It hosts some of the most extravagant looking weddings, without charging an arm, a leg, and part of your spleen. But this isn’t ~just~ for the expensive weddings. A San Diego based company, The Picnic Club Co., hosted a small intimate event at this venue that really brought a new play to the future wedding game, in my opinion. Picnic. Style. Receptions. Perfect for when you don’t have a huge wedding party and you’re more on the “casual classic” wedding vibe. Definitely a hidden gem. Oh. And they have an outdoor chandelier. Just sayin’.
Twin Oaks House and Gardens is basically a wedding factory. They have got the process nailed. down. And a garden Aurora -and Maleficent- would guard with their lives. With a stunning foliage backdrop and an amazing bougainvillea tree, you can’t go wrong with this storybook venue. They have a giant permanent tent with incredible draping, and literally every corner of Twin Oaks is charming and sweet.
Balboa Park is like San Diego’s very own Central Park (except better… but I might be a tad biased). The Prado is a resturaunt/event space smack in the middle of Balboa Park- but you don’t have to deal with the crowds! It’s a large space so you can have bigger receptions
Palm trees and beach sunsets are kind of the staple to the beginning of any good ‘happily ever after’ film from the 90’s. La Jolla Cove Bridge Club gives you that ‘remake’ while still having a sense of personalized paradise. Honestly, if you want to really show off that you’re getting married in freaking San Diego, baby! ….add this venue to your lists of must-haves. Would even be SUPER cute for an intimate socal elopement.
Cal a Vie Health Spa has a 400 year old French Chapel, a 300 year old Parish House, a 300 year old reception hall equipped with a 16th century rustic stone fireplace, and a windmill to choose from when having your wedding. Whether you have 6 in your party or 120, you’ll fall in love, with everything.
The Thursday Club makes me imagine Elle Woods (post law) getting married in a quaint, Beverly Hills styled backyard, with perfectly sculpted bushes, but in a beach town with an ocean view so spectacular, Bob Ross would paint the crap out of it.
BRICK is located in Liberty Station in San Diego. It has some extraordinary exposed brick walls with sleek white trims and beams. A stunning high ceiling lit with strung, globe bulbs will put you in rustic-industrial heaven.
CHAPEL the perfect place if you’re looking for a slightly more ‘traditional’ style church wedding. Located at the site of the old Naval Training Center (also in Liberty Station near Brick), you’ll have a beautiful big day and some killer photos. The background. Is. Perfect.
I hope this list has helped you in your venue search! It can be overwhelming to find a great venue in a city where there are ~literally~ hundreds. But as a wedding photographer- I’ve seen them all!