By Lindsay Matousek, Writer
Where better to celebrate your special day than from an authentic archival venue in lively San Diego? Waterside locale and rich history make for the perfect place to celebrate your future — plus, these San Diego wedding venues are impressive architectural feats in themselves. From science centers to maritime museums, we share nine striking San Diego wedding venues that allow you to gaze into the sunset while soaking in years of historic charm and excellence.
For a unique and elegant weekend experience…
One of the newest San Diego wedding venues on the market is the gorgeous Pendry San Diego. Multiple event spaces within the space offer flexibility for a weekend full of wedding celebrations. This beautiful venue is located in the city’s historic gaslamp quarter, with close proximity to plenty of the city’s must sees. Between the spa and the impressive cuisine — both local and sustainable — your guests will feel well cared for all weekend while celebrating your big day. Consider utilizing one of the three parlor spaces as a bridal gathering suite for getting ready before walking down the aisle in one of two of the Pendry’s elegant ballrooms.
Parlors I, II, & III Capacity: up to 150
Gallery Ballroom Capacity: 200 (seated) – 250 (standing)
Grand Ballroom Capacity: 450 (seated) – 750 (standing)
For a romantic, Spanish-style spot…
We adore the beautiful outdoor seating area of the San Diego History Center where guests can enjoy their dinner under luminous twinkling lights. Host your reception beneath the covered courtyard space which peaks through Spanish arches boasting vibrant and stunning views of the sunset. The rustic-style indoor area is fit for an intimate wedding ceremony. A Juliet-style balcony overlooking the space is the perfect spot for speeches given by family and friends or the bouquet toss.
San Diego History Center Capacity: 130 (seated) – 250 (standing)
For a rustic environment rich in photo spots…
Leo Carrillo Ranch is a gem amongst other San Diego wedding venues. The spacious 27-acre ranch is an idyllic spot for a gorgeous garden-inspired outdoor wedding. Surrounded by blooming nature, the venue provides a relaxing atmosphere and endless photo opportunities — guests will love striking a pose under the beautiful floral-covered gravel arch. Aged stone walls and rustic wooden cabins evoke an authentic, rich history that’s perfect for celebrating your future.
Leo Carrillo Ranch Capacity: 240 (seated) – 300 (standing)
For a lush garden celebration…
The red brick road leading up to the Darlington House is an enchanting way to enter this sensational outdoor garden space. The inside of the house blends modern amenities and polished furniture with antique décor, adding visual interest and lovely spots for toasting. Darlington House oozes both historic charm and modern elegance from both their house and garden space.
Darlington House Capacity: up to 200 guests
For a scenic getaway that’s close to home…
Wow your loved ones — and treat them with a mini vacation — from the Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens. This venue is customizable for all your wants on your wedding day. Opt to exchange vows from the Arbor Terrace for a natural environment breathing with life, or move inside the Beverly Mansion for a weather-proof celebration. The stunning Beverly Mansion’s grand staircase makes for an extraordinary entrance, while the romantic waterfall elegantly flowing beneath a beautiful stone bridge creates the perfect photo op for the first look.
Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens Capacity: 240 (seated) – 300 (standing)
For a nature-infused utopia…
The name says it all about this San Diego wedding venue. Paradise Falls creates an illusion that you’ve just arrived in the middle of a lush jungle. Imagine your ceremony taking place besides a private pond while guests sit below towering trees. Surrounded by lush, diverse greenery and plants from around the world, you’ll feel like you’re in a magical forest from Paradise Falls.
Indoor Reception Capacity: up to 300 guests
Ceremony Space Capacity: up to 350 guests
Outdoor Reception Capacity: up to 350 guests
For a roaming party through various unique spaces…
We love how the San Diego Museum of Man has three different wedding venue options with varied funky styling throughout each. The St. Francis Chapel is an iconic 100-year old Spanish chapel filled with historical significance and Mediterranean romance. The California Building’s Grand Rotunda is a unique location with extravagant architectural style. Meanwhile, The Administrative Building Auditorium, is charming yet laid back — perfect for a more casual celebration.
The Administrative Building Auditorium: up to 30
St. Francis Chapel Capacity: up to 100
California Building’s Grand Rotunda: up to 350
For an art-filled celebration…
The San Diego Museum of Art has a magical outdoor area that’s perfect for a romantic ceremony. The museum’s private garden offers a breathtaking environment for exchanging your vows. Following the open-aired ceremony, gather for cocktails and a seated dinner in the courtyard surrounded by towering ancient columns. The Spanish Colonial-style architecture, paired with modern art, creates a familiar yet unique setting for your evening celebrations.
John M. and Sally B. Thornton Rotunda Capacity: 200 (seated) – 500 (standing)
May S. Marcy Sculpture Court & Garden Capacity: 400 (seated) – 500 (standing)
For love-to-learn newlyweds…
The Fleet Science Center’s vast event space and epic exhibits make this San Diego wedding venue one of a kind. We love the juxtaposition of elegant florals and tablesettings surrounded by studies of space, matter, and astronomy. Dramatic uplighting and mood setting music transform this educational museum into a swanky evening spot. Outdoor event space next to the stunning grand water fountain is ideal for cocktails and passed apps between the ceremony and reception.
Downstairs of Fleet Science Center: up to 750 guests
Fleet Science Center: up to 1,000 guests
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