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January 17, 2017

2016-17 Editor’s Picks

By Adam

Our Favorite Wedding Venues Around San Diego
By: Kristen Castillo

Editor’s Picks: Our Favorite Wedding Venues Around San Diego

Everyone wants to know, where are you getting married?
It’s a big choice and an important one too. The location, views, style and amenities at your ceremony and reception sites matter.

From private estates to resorts to hotels to ranches and wineries and more, the San Diego and Temecula region has many standout event spaces.

So read on as we share our editor’s picks for the area’s best wedding

Overall TOP picks for 2017

True Photography

Rancho Bernardo Inn
This stunning property has lush gardens and courtyards for ceremonies, as well as impeccable ballrooms for weddings as large as 650 guests. With a goal of making the couple’s wedding experience “easy, accessible, and overall memorable,” the property includes four main ballrooms, an award-winning spa, 18 hole championship golf course, two on-property restaurants and 287 overnight guest rooms. There’s a bevy of natural lighting indoors, as well on ballroom’s adjoining patios, courtyards or gardens.


THE US GRANT, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Built by the son of 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant, THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel was built in 1910. The venue has a history of opulence, impeccable service and attention to detail. With over 33,000 square feet including four ballrooms, the hotel can accommodate weddings and events, large and small. Their food and beverage program is focused on excellence and customer service, such as having a wedding wine list curated for romance.

Best Resort Style Weddings

Walter Wilson Studios

Hilton San Diego Bay Resort
Overlooking Mission Bay, Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa has gorgeous outdoor wedding spaces: a white sand beach, a lush green garden with arching tropical palms, a terrace, a patio and an outdoor lounge.


Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Located on its own 15-acre peninsula in Coronado, Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers great views of the sparkling bay waters and the San Diego skyline.  There’s natural water in every direction, featuring spectacular ocean, bay and city views. The venue also boasts lush gardens. They offer a variety of outdoor and indoor ceremony and reception sites.

Runners Up


Manchester Grand Hyatt
Guests will be in awe of the stunning views of San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean views from this venue’s Bayview Terrace, located on the 32nd floor of this waterfront hotel. Located near Seaport Village, Manchester Grand Hyatt can host small weddings and large ones too – for over 1000 guests.  This contemporary space was refreshed a year ago with a stylish “California Coastal” renovation.


Bahia Resort Hotel
With nearly 20,000 square feet of event space and 16 locations, Bahia Resort Hotel is ready for weddings of all sizes. For example, the Mission Bay Ballroom can accommodate up to 1200 guests, while smaller rooms fit weddings under 200.
Catamaran Resort and Spa
This beachfront resort overlooking Mission Bay has four ceremony locations: on the sand, on the lawns or in the garden gazebo. Catamaran Resort and Spa, which has a tropical feel, boasts award-winning dining and personalized five-star service.


The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Located in downtown San Diego, The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is a versatile venue. It’s Garden Terrace works as a shaded wedding ceremony site on a perfect San Diego day; as a sunset cocktail reception; and as a dinner under the stars and twinkling market lights.

Charming or Unique all in One Venues


Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls, an event estate in Oceanside, features an outdoor ceremony and reception site, as well as a bridal cottage and groom’s retreat. They only host one event per day and they pride themselves on not being cookie cutter. The venue is a match for many different styles including rustic, vintage, tropical or traditional. Full of natural beauty, Paradise Falls features lush trees and blooming gardens, as well as a natural rock waterfall, which cascades into a picturesque lagoon.


Bernardo Winery
Bernardo Winery is Southern California’s oldest operating vineyard and winery. The space is steeped in history and old world charm. There are three wedding options on site – Uncle Vito’s Park, a large park circa 1905 that’s surrounded by vineyards; a redwood Barrel Room, an intimate are for under 50 guests; and Rosario’s Pavilion, a large reception area featuring trees lighting and a covered cocktail area.


Carmel Mtn. Ranch Country Club
A semi-private country club, Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club can host weddings for members and non-members. This charming venue features an 11th hole waterfall and pond, photo-ready for your big day!  The gazebo garden is ideal for outdoor nuptials while the Mountain View Terrace room indoors has 180-degree views of the mountains and the club’s golf course.


Ponte Winery and Vineyard Inn
Situated among 300 acres of vineyards in Temecula Wine Country, Ponte Winery and Vineyard Inn is a romantic place to get married. Ceremony sites like the Vineyard Garden at Ponte Winery and The Pond at Ponte Vineyard Inn, have mountain vistas and vineyard views.

The venue’s Vineyard Pavilion is rustic, yet refined with grand wooden beams and chandeliers. The Barrel Room at Ponte Winery is an authentic, working space featuring oak barrels and casks. Capacity for these Ponte Winery spaces ranges from 200 to 400 guests.


San Diego Safari Park
A wedding at San Diego Safari Park is one-of-a-kind. Couples and guests may feel like they’re on an African Safari. What other wedding venue features roaming herds of giraffes, a pack of cheetahs or rhinos in the background?

The park can accommodate weddings as small as 25 or as large as 250. They have three outdoor ceremony sites and five reception venues, which either have an open-air, covered pavilion or an outdoor setting. They offer on-site catering and bartenders.

Since San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a not-for-profit organization, proceeds from booking a wedding will go back to the park’s efforts to save endangered specifies around the world and lead the fight against extinction.
An added bonus? All-day admission to the park on the wedding day is a built-in party favor for guests.

Best Views


Coasterra shares this top pick for best view. The coastal venue combines breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline with exquisite cuisine.

Newly opened, Coasterra is a customized mid-century modern space. It features an expansive indoor ballroom and patio terrace, as well as the new floating event deck.

The Bayview Ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and a large interior space. The Skyline Terrace holds up to 300 guests for a seated dinner or reception. Coasterra’s Harbor Float accommodates 250 guests all while offering incredible views of San Diego’s skyline.

Coasterra’s chef Deborah Scott, one of San Diego’s most renowned celebrity chefs, offers a fully customizable event menu of Mexican fare. The venue’s beverage program is impressive too, housing over 70 labels of high-end tequilas and artisanal mezcal.


University Club Atop Symphony Towers
Prepare for stunning views of America’s Finest City! For the third year in a row, University Club Atop Symphony Towers is a SDSW top pick for best view. The club, located on the 34th floor of Symphony Towers, has breathtaking panoramic views of downtown San Diego.

Ready to host wedding celebrations, this full service private club provides all food and beverages needed for an event. This intimate and exclusive venue is happy to customize menus to couple’s preferences.

Also Highly Considered


La Valencia
Known as the Pink Lady of La Jolla, La Valencia is 90 years old and fabulous! This stylish hotel overlooks the Pacific and offers great views of La Jolla Cove. The hotel, which accommodates up to 175 guests, has indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception spots.


Springhill Suites Oceanside
A coastal, downtown venue in North County, SpringHill Suites Oceanside has two wedding spots for ceremonies and receptions: the elegant indoor ballroom which has a capacity of 120; and the outdoor View Deck, with beach views overlooking the Oceanside Pier. That outdoor space accomodates 150 for a banquet or 200 for cocktails.