Is there any better place to get married than on a beach with the wind in your hair, the sand between your toes, and the gentle sound of the surf as a backing track?
Beach weddings are absolutely stunning, an experience that you will remember for a lifetime, and one that will provide an epic set of photos as a bonus!
As beach wedding destinations go, California is hard to beat. With an exceptional array of beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes to act as a backdrop, and a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for the peaceful vibes of a beach wedding, it’s an exceptional choice.
There are also some absolutely stunning beach wedding venues, offering that little extra touch of glam and luxury that you might miss in other beach destinations.
So if the idea of tying the knot in Big Sur, Santa Monica, or Malibu before leaving California on a cruise for your honeymoon is an appealing one, look no further! Here are seven of the best beach wedding destinations in California.
#1 Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach
This gorgeous Orange County resort is set right on the beach, and ceremonies take place on the sand, almost in the surf itself. The resort then offers a selection of outdoor terraces or the beautiful Pelican Ballroom for the reception.
Laguna Beach itself is world-famous, one of California’s most sought-after beach destinations, and absolutely gorgeous to boot. Set in over 20,000 acres of protected wilderness, and with a dramatic coastline of tiny bays, hidden sea caves, and rugged cliffs, it offers a fantastic setting for the beach wedding of your dreams.
#2 Beachcomber Cafe at Crystal Cove, Newport Beach
Take advantage of Southern California’s ‘endless summer’ at this stunning Newport Beach venue, organized and run by Beachcomber Catering. With a wealth of experience in coastal events, Beachcomber Cafe offers ceremonies on the sand, a gorgeous terrace at the Beaches Cottage, or the amazing oceanfront Beach Promenade for a touch of glitz and grandeur.
Newport Beach is one of California’s warmest seaside locations, with glorious summer weather and delightful water temperatures that stretch all the way through into October – perfect for an autumnal beach wedding, even!
#3 The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara
For a wonderful combination of deluxe treatment and picturesque environs, look no further than the Ritz-Carlton in Santa Barbara. It is high end, high quality, jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and offers an absolutely superb beach wedding experience.
Not only do you get all of California’s inspiring ocean views, but you also get lush, terraced lawns, and a ballroom full of mirrors.
#4 San Diego Mission Bay Resort, San Diego
San Diego is often a little underrated as a beach destination, but has some of SoCal’s best beaches, with Mission Bay being a standout example.
The resort here is perfect for an elegant beach wedding, with calm waters, picturesque sailboats in the background, and a glorious natural wedding arch formed by palm trees in the Garden by the Bay.
#5 Alfredo’s Beach Club, Junipero Beach
For over 35 years, Alfredo’s Beach Club has been an oceanside institution on Junipero Beach. A Long Beach institution, Alfredo’s is perfect for beach weddings large and small, from grand Hawaiian-themed extravaganzas to more intimate, stylish affairs.
Junipero Beach itself is a stunning spot to tie the knot, with amazing views out past the Queen Mary all the way to Santa Catalina Island.
#6 Faria Beach
If you are looking for a completely different style of wedding, getting off the beaten track and doing something totally alternative, you might like to consider the hidden joys of Faria Beach. Sitting pretty at the foot of the Santa Ynez mountains, it has an incredible backdrop for a more adventurous event, and is peace and tranquility personified.
It is renowned as one of the best camping beaches in the US, so if your wedding party are up for it a night under the stars before or after the ceremony is a must. You will need to come prepared for a DIY affair, as amenities and facilities are limited, but this could be the setting for something unique, and truly special.
#7 Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
The amazing Hotel del Coronado is a San Diego icon, and is one of the most eye-catching and unforgettable beach wedding venues around. It is absolutely drenched in vintage, old-fashioned glitz and glamor, and a truly special place to say your vows.
The Del is one of the oldest hotels in the country, and a rare example of an almost lost architectural style, the wooden Victorian beach resort. It has hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities through three centuries, and is a truly special place for a wedding ceremony.
#8 L’Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar
L’Auberge Del Mar is a superbly flexible venue, suitable for large and small wedding parties alike. For grand affairs the Seagrove Park and Pacific Terrace locations can accommodate the largest of weddings, while the intimate Ocean Terrace makes even tiny, 20-person nuptials a wonderful event.
Even in California, Del Mar is known for its beautiful, eye-catching beaches, and has been a favorite beach vacation spot for the Hollywood elite for decades.
#9 Pacific View Tower by Wedgewood Weddings, Oxnard
Oxnard is one of the most picturesque beaches in Ventura, and the eye-catching, dramatic Pacific View Tower makes for a wonderful wedding setting.
With the gorgeous Channel Islands in the background and a fabulous penthouse for your reception, this is one of California’s finest wedding venues. Pacific View Tower itself is a local landmark, offering 360 degree views from ocean to mountain, making it a remarkable spot for your beach nuptials!
Whatever your tastes are, and whatever you are looking for in a beach wedding destination, California will provide.
From empty, secret beaches for the most intimate of ceremonies to lavish resorts in the grandest buildings for a big wedding party blowout, you’ll find exactly what you need to bring your dream beach wedding to life and have a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life!