We may be a bit biased, but Southern California is one of our favorite destinations for intimate weddings. It’s not only easily accessible with two major international airports and lots of regional airports, but it also offers such diverse landscapes within a short drive. One huge bonus of having an intimate wedding is that it’s easier to get creative in your “venue”. There are so many unique intimate wedding venues from national and state parks, to lakeside retreats, to your grandma’s back yard, but here are a few of our favorites in Southern California.
Campgrounds and Cabins
We’re seeing campground or cabin intimate weddings pop up more and more recently and we are ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED. Many campgrounds will allow you to rent out the entire ground (or a large portion) for your intimate wedding! Imagine spending your wedding weekend with friends and family hiking, hanging by a lake, playing yard games, roasting s’mores by the bonfire and dancing under the stars. There are lots of options with small cabins, lodges, glamping yurts, or RV/camper van rentals, meaning no need to tent it if that’s not your thing. Plus, campgrounds normally let you bring in all of your own vendors and/or food and beverage. It gives you so much room for creativity to make your day exactly what you want it to be.
Some of our favorite SoCal campground venues to check out:
Really though, here’s your sign to have a campground wedding.
Getting married on a sail boat in front of your closest friends and family and then partying the night away as you sail off into the sunset sounds like the best night ever. Plus, is there anything better than stargazing from the ocean? SoCal has no shortage of marinas full of catamarans, yachts, and sail boats offering rentals for weddings. Below are a few bigger companies offering wedding packages, but we also you can also often find rentals on airbnb or by contacting a local yacht club.
How gorgeous are these boat weddings?
Estates and Lodges
Okay so maybe estates and lodges aren’t really that unique as a venue, but there are so many amazing options in SoCal and definitely one of our favorites for intimate weddings. We love that you and your favorite people can all stay there for the night or weekend to have lots of intentional time celebrating together. Think making brunch together that morning, playing games all day, having a private chef make your meals right at the house, intimate tablescapes under twinkle lights, and jumping in the pool at the end of the night.
Here are some of our favorite private estate wedding venues in Southern California:
You’ll notice most of the estates listed are through AvantStay. All of their homes cater to large groups and provide unique experiences. And, they offer a planning service free of charge for events! Their concierge team will help with booking vendors, activities, brainstorming ideas of how to best use their homes, etc. Not all of their homes can host weddings, but their concierge team will help you find the best fit without breaking any rules. And no, we aren’t getting paid to say this 🙂
Ready to live out your Disney princess dreams? Getting married in a castle isn’t only possible in Europe! There are a few options in SoCal, the Houdini Estate and Hollywood Castle are probably the most popular, but our favorite is by far Castle in the Forest. It’s right by Lake Arrowhead and has insanely beautiful grounds surrounded by huge pine trees. Note: you must contact them directly through their website to inquire about events rather than their Airbnb.
Castle in the Forest seriously looks straight out of a storybook.
It’s safe to say if you end up booking any of these unique wedding venues or somewhere remotely similar, we want an invite! But really, we’d love to document your day – reach out here to chat. And if these aren’t really your vibe, we’ve got a long list of other ideas for unique wedding venues in Southern California. We always offer to help with planning along the way!