How to Find Unique Wedding Venues in California
(or anywhere, really!)
Selecting your wedding location + venue is a big, BIG decision. Luckily, almost everything else falls into place from there! I’m sure you have tons and tons of ideas on how you want things to look and what kind of vibe you want for your day but it’s not always easy finding “the one” to fulfill all of those dreams! I’m here today to share my top tips on how to find unique wedding venues in California (and beyond!) These tips will help you discover “off the beaten path” venues, private land, and stunning national park spots in any destination to help you plan a unique and personalized event!
Guide to Finding Unique Wedding Venues in California
Everyone’s first stop is always google. Once you’ve decided on a specific region, park, city, or scenic area it’s easy to get your google on! More often than not, a simple search isn’t quite bringing up all you had dreamed (since you are looking for unique, and all;) Here are a few other ideas on how to find unique wedding venues in California that can also apply to any destination you are looking at!
check under-the-radar directories
↠ There are plenty of well-known directories, like The Knot or WeddingWire, that share lots of venue listings but try finding a more local directory for your desired location! You’d be supporting a smaller business and those folks will know firsthand all of the awesome local spots!
↠ If you happen to be looking for wedding venues in Southern California — I have a treat for you! I have blog posts rounding up all of the venues in the area!! Check it out for a little help finding your perfect spot!
- Temecula Wedding Venues
- San Diego Wedding Venues
↠ Another amazing directory resource that I just recently found is Peerspace! It’s like Airbnb but for EVENT SPACES!! You can score amazing private properties like Tuscan-style vineyards, ranches, Malibu estates with pools and amazing views, mountain retreats, and beach homes. The entire site is a GOLDMINE of private estates that are available to rent for any number of guests you specify in your search for a set hourly rate. It’s basically the best idea ever!!
hello, wedding blogs!
↠ Another little tip I’ve used on my travels is to visit my favorite wedding blogs (Green Wedding Shoes, Junebug Weddings, ect) and utilize the search bar. I type in the city or area that I’m visiting and check out all of the amazing weddings that have been featured! I’ve found some really neat venues this way that I can then visit in person during my trip! Give it a try on your favorite blogs!
utilize the power of the hashtag
↠ Utilize the power of the hashtag! Goodness, there are a million out there –but lucky for you, you just need a few specific ones! Take your region, park, city, or scenic area and add an extra keyword at the end like “wedding” or “wedding venue.” (Examples #glaciernationalparkwedding #palmspringsweddingvenue or #bigsurwedding) Scour the posts and find something you really dig and reach out! Geotags can also be helpful, especially when looking for specific spots or hikes in national parks!
consider the middle of nowhere
↠ Don’t rule out rural areas, campgrounds, open spaces, national parks, BLM land, state parks, cliffsides, beaches, and mountaintops. Anywhere that means something to you and just feels right CAN BE DONE. Seriously, you can do it!!! You can always bring in tents, chairs, and all that needs to be added to make it your dream spot! I’ve had so many couples essentially build their own venue in a natural area and it’s been truly incredible! I’ve got some examples below!
↠ Annnndddd turns out, it’s often more affordable too. Parks usually just require a small permit fee to use the grounds and that’s it!
Dawn & Rich (above) hosted their ceremony and reception at the base of the peak they summited when Rich proposed. They knew this was the perfect spot and they didn’t let the desolate desert stop them! They built up a ceremony space, campground, scenic walk + game area, and reception tent all off a desert sand road in the wilderness (and Leave No Trace style, too!)
Similarly, Lorelei & Mark (above) wanted their intimate ceremony under “their tree” off of trail in a Bay Area park. This tree is where they had their first date and where Mark proposed so it was a huge part of their life together! With picnic blankets for seating, this spot was transformed into the most amazing ceremony site!
think outside the box to find your unique wedding venue in california
↠ Go crazy and think outside the box but then dial it back in on what matters! Don’t forget you can rent treehouses, yurts, boats, gondolas, castles, gardens, and campgrounds all to host your event! Woah. The possibilities are endless! Out of all the amazing options, it will be clear what is right for you two when you focus on what will fit with your aesthetic, personality, and what is meaningful to your relationship.
If you’re interested in perusing any of my venue guides, here is the list:
- Temecula Wedding Venues
- San Diego County Wedding Venues
- Malibu Wedding Venues