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Wedding 101: Unique Southern California Wedding Venues

Southern California is literally bursting with wedding venues. From beachside ceremonies, to quaint historic buildings, we pretty much have it all! I love photographing at new locations, but over the years several venues have landed a special place in my heart. It might be the location, decor, or amazing light – either way these distinctive venues have something special going for them! Take a look at my top picks for unique wedding venues in Southern California.

The Portofino Hotel & Marina Redondo Beach – This Redondo Beach venue is perfect for the couple looking for an oceanside ceremony, with an ultra cool hotel vibe. Take a look at their AH-MAZING lobby; I could photograph here all day!

The Victorian – Right in the center of Santa Monica this historic house is full of colorful books, and old world charm. Plus it’s only a few blocks from the beach, which is perfect for couple’s portraits.


Villa Del Sol – Located in the heart of Downtown Fullerton this Spanish Colonial-styled California Hotel has been revitalized to house a collection of boutiques, restaurants and businesses. This 1920’s landmark with alluring center courtyard makes a delightful choice for an outdoor wedding.

Bridges Auditorium – Located inside Pomona College, this striking building is just as beautiful on the inside as the surrounding campus! With a grand ballroom and capacity for 250 guests this location is something you’ll guests will talk about for years!

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens – Situated inside Cal State Long Beach, these picturesque grounds are truly one of a kind!

Brookside Equestrian Center – Located in Walnut, this Equestrian Center is a great location if you’re looking for that Southern charm. These grounds are absolutely stunning, with unrivaled appeal for any horse lover.

Hotel Maya – Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the downtown Long Beach skyline, this super cool hotel features bright Spanish decor, with endless nooks and crannies to photograph in!

Laguna Beach Marriott – With enchanting Victorian-style architecture, award-winning cuisine, and stunning surroundings, you’ll understand why this Dana Point venue is a popular wedding destination.


The Center Club – With a blend of Old World grandeur and Asian simplicity, the Center Club is an exceptional site for weddings. Located on the ground floor of the 21-story Center Tower, and adjacent to Orange County’s Performing Arts Center, the club is bordered on three sides by a lovely Japanese water garden.

Fullerton Arboretum – Part of Cal State Fullerton, this peaceful setting is comprised of acres of botanic gardens, featuring different collections of plants from around the world. The perfect choice for nature lovers, looking for a quaint and scenic wedding location.

Ponte Winery – Located in the heart of Temecula Wine Country and nestled among 300 acres of vineyards and gardens, Ponte Family Estate Winery is one of the most elegant wineries in the area.

Shorebreak Hotel – This Huntington Beach hotel showcases modern hotel design, while drawing inspiration from Southern California’s cultivated yet laid-back surf culture. Only a few blocks from Huntington Beach Pier this dog-friendly boutique hotel offers ocean views, outstanding culinary delights, and modern furnishings.

These select venues are only a small collection of what Southern California has to offer. Any must-see venues I’ve missed?

  • brandi Welles - I LOVE it!!! Great advice for brides looking for a great venue in So. Cal. I will definitely be passing this on to some friends who are looking. :)

  • Kerry Geiger - Just north of LA is a new venue site, Bella Vista Groves, I had the privilege of doing the web design. We had a “launch party” and it was very beautiful. The sun slowly setting overt the mountains in the background gave the place a magical and very secluded feeling. I’m already married, but if I had know about all the wonderful options near ventura I would have considered it.

  • kim - We r looking for a casual but classy garden venue in the valencia, ca. Area and have a tight budget. Can u recommend anywhere?

  • ellen - Looking for a resort type venue for our son’s wedding. Would like to find something for 100 people July 5, 2014

  • Harold Lamp - That is definitely unique and stunning. I love all of it.

    I know what to say to my niece when it comes to wedding venues. Thanks for the post!

  • Mark - Hey! Looking for my fiancé for a historic/historic looking venue that’s inexpensive and allows outside catering for around 220. Any ideas? I want to try and surprise her with it!

  • Yolanda brewer - Looking for a small intimate garden or beach area to accommodate 75 guests in sept 2015 for a wedding. On a budget

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