The Best Places in California to Get Married

by Matthew Huntington

From Napa Valley wine country to the San Diego beach, California offers hundreds of impressive locations for weddings and receptions. Most venues cater to small, intimate affairs as well as large events, and most also offer a wide variety of amenities and cuisine options. On-staff wedding coordinators are usually available to help with planning.

Meadowood Napa Valley

Meadowood Resort, in St. Helena, is located 65 miles north of San Francisco in the Napa Valley wine country. The resort, which has the look of a New England country club, was number 90 on Travel & Leisure's list of World's Best Hotels in 2010, the highest-ranking Napa property. Michelin awarded the Restaurant at Meadowood three stars in 2011, and the resort is a featured honeymoon destination on Brides.com. Meadowood offers complete wedding packages, as well as the services of a wedding planner, who will coordinate florists, photographers, musicians and ceremony officials.

Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado, which sits directly on Silver Strand Beach on San Diego's Coronado Peninsula, provides a stunning wedding location, with its white, wooden exterior and red-shingled turrets overlooking the Pacific Ocean. USA Today has called the hotel one of the top ten resorts in the world, and the hotel is number two on The Travel Channel's list of best places in the world to get married. The National Historic Landmark has catered to weddings of up to 600 guests for more than 120 years. Couples can choose from ballroom, garden or beach locations.

The Presidio

If you're looking for a wedding with true California ambiance, the Golden Gate Club, part of San Francisco's Presidio complex, combines Spanish-style architecture with panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. Here Comes the Guide, a website devoted to wedding sites and services, recommends the venue for its sense of history and period details. The Golden Gate Club features an arcaded courtyard with palm trees and box hedges, as well as the Ventana Room, which has a wooden dance floor, a fireplace and a two-story wall of windows overlooking the bay. Two nearby chapels are available for wedding ceremonies.

Roosevelt Hotel

For a wedding filled with Hollywood glitz and glamor, you can't beat the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, listed by Brides.com as one of the world's top historic wedding venues. The 1927 property, which was completely restored in 2005 with a pool mural by David Hockney, made Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List, and has been featured in Vanity Fair and the New York Times. Wedding venues at the Roosevelt accommodate up to 1500 guests. Venues include the Spanish-Moorish Blossom Room, which was the site of the first Academy Awards ceremony; and the Marilyn Monroe Bridge, which overlooks the pool.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Matthew Huntington has been writing travel articles since 2002. His pieces have appeared in "National Geographic Traveler," "American Way" and "The Miami Herald." Huntington speaks fluent Spanish and has lived in many parts of Latin America, including Ecuador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in European studies from Brigham Young University.