Publisher’s Picks for 2018

Wedding venues in San Diego seem abundant, but top places book up quickly, sometimes as far as two years out. Clearly your wedding venue selection is a big choice, always keep in mind before booking the size, style and type of wedding you are hosting. In our Celebrations Locations section and in the front of the book we feel like we represent some of the best. I have gone through and selected some that particularly stood out to me this year for our 2018 Publisher Picks!

Top Unique Venues

Mission Brewery

Mission Brewery Located in the historic Wonder Bread factory in downtown San Diego’s East Village, Mission Brewery has two levels: a cellar and an upstairs loft. The venue, which has lots of exposed brick, fits up to 300 guests. Views are impressive. Check out the floor-toceiling open-air sliding window, overlooking downtown and Petco Park. Their award-winning beer, which is brewed on-site, pairs well with meals and snacks catered by food trucks.

The Pearl Hotel

If you are looking for a boutique hotel with a unique vibe, The Pearl is your place with a 1960s vintage modern style and contemporary feel. This venue is perfect for small, romantic receptions or engagement celebrations. They offer affordable food, beverage and hotel room packages for up to 150 people for wedding groups. The Pearl is a hip, fun-fueled San Diego destination that adds stylish sizzle to any event.

The bash! Boutique

Such a great setting for a smaller event, engagement party, or shower. This unique neighborhood venue is located in the heart of San Diego. A place where friends and family gather to celebrate life’s special moments.

The Lafayette Hotel

With abiding charisma and a touch of glam every bride deserves, not only does The Lafayette Hotel offer an affordable wedding venue in San Diego, it competes with the top San Diego romantic hotels. Love this venue for weddings it makes me escape into the past with old school charm.

San Diego Wine & Culinary Center

Situated in downtown San Diego, San Diego Wine & Culinary Center mixes urban and wine bar vibes. Event spaces include the indoor Fallbrook Cellar and Bordeaux Cellar and the outdoor Sunset Patio. The full facility, which can accommodate 500, is also available for bookings. Proud of their craft wines, outstanding customer service and attention to detail, this venue is poised to please couples and guests.


Favorite Weekend Wedding Celebration Locations

Catamaran Resort & Spa

A wedding venue favorite by San Diegans as it provides the complete socal wedding experience. This bayfront beach property allows you to virtually have your wedding in the sand and dine overlooking the bay. Complete package with great opportunities for your out of town guest accommodations

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers a breathtaking location for your wedding celebration including: Six ceremony locations, most with beach-side, bay or

skyline views. Various reception locations to host a whole weekend of wedding events, from a cocktail party as guests arrive, to the wedding and reception in one of thei wonderful event spaces or one of the waterfront outdoor venues, then a brunch the next morning. All can be achieved without leaving the venue!. Who wouldn’t want to come and stay in San Diego for your fun wedding weekend?

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

Here is the quintessential California resort & retreat with white sand beaches, lush greens and arching tropical palms provide a number of gorgeous and unique backdrops for the special day of your dreams. Central to everything in San Diego this resort has it all for a full weekend of activities, even if you choose to use it as the home base and host things at various places we feel you can’t go wrong with choosing Hilton San Diego Bay Resort.

Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa

(Formerly The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa)

The expansion of the Sheraton Carlsbad with a scheduled open date for Spring of 2018 soon to be known as The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa will bring another great upscale venue to coastal north county. With an additional guest accommodations and upgraded event space and a world class spa and only minutes to the beautiful north county beaches, is why I picked it for one of my top choices for a complete weekend weddings celebration!


Favorite Views

Hornblower Cruises & Events

Showcase your love and the San Diego coastline with a wedding aboard one of the Hornblower Cruises & Events yachts! Typical packages include a three to four hour celebration for up to 500 guests. You can say your “I Do’s” and then savor sumptuous food and drink, all while you take in the impressive water view. Photo opps are all around so be sure to take professional pictures along with all your selfies!


Bali Hai Restaurant

An Enchanted Island for the perfect event. The Bali Hai Restaurant continues to be a favorite San Diego venue. The spectacular 180 degree view of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline, offering a Polynesian catering menu with many choices options great for receptions of rehearsal dinners. Accommodating staff and a relaxed wedding environment!


The University Club Atop Symphony Towers

Get ready to take in the San Diego skyline from your wedding at The University Club Atop Symphony Towers. This newly-remodeled venue, located on the 34th floor, can accommodate weddings small and large (their max is 300 guests). The multi-million dollar “reinvention” of this private club includes an expanded and renovated bar and contemporary finishes and furniture. Anytime of day or night, you and your guests can toast your love story and San Diego’s beauty.


All Under One Roof Top Picks

Carmel Mountain Ranch

This semi-private country club hosts weddings for members and non-members. Choose your spot at Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club to get

hitched: the gazebo garden for an outdoor experience or indoors in the Mountain View Terrace room which boasts 180 degree views of the mountains and the club’s golf course. Check out the course’s 11th hole waterfall and pond.


El Cortez

A historic venue, overlooking downtown San Diego, El Cortez opened in 1927. The El Cortez, which prides itself on offering luxury in a gorgeous setting, has classic décor like mahogany ballroom floors, oiled bronze handrails and a 24-karat gold leafed ceiling with mica chandelier. It can accommodate up to 230 guests. Their two most popular event spaces are The Don Room, an indoor area and The Terrace, a 10,000 square foot outdoor space complete with an urban fireplace.


Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

This venue offers not only amazing deals and wedding packages, but also has a picturesque backdrop of the San Diego Bay, the downtown skyline and Coronado Island. The entire building sits over the San Diego Bay, which allows views from every space. They have 3 unique banquet spaces, offer free parking for guests and ample space for your private event.


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 area for under 50 guests; and Rosario’s Pavilion, a large reception area featuring trees lighting and a covered cocktail area.


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.


Horton Grand Hotel

A boutique hotel dating back to the 1800’s, The Horton Grand Hotel has historic and romantic charm. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel has indoor ballrooms as well as outdoor venues, like the New Orleans inspired Courtyard. They offer comprehensive wedding package, custom menus and a commitment to service.


Best Wedding Deals

Marina Village

Many couples choose Marina Village for affordable waterfront weddings. The venue, on Mission Bay near Sea World, can host up to 350 guests. With two outdoor ceremony sites with marina backdrops comes with white wooden arch and 100 chairs. Marina Village doesn’t have in-house catering and welcomes outside caterers. You can provide your own alcohol too. That definitely can help keep your costs down!


Milagro Farms Winery

Milagro is the perfect outdoor venue in East San Diego, amidst the rolling landscape of the Ramona Valley, Milagro provides an intimate and naturally beautiful outdoor setting for your weddings and, private events. With exclusive and unique spaces, such as a granite Wine Cave, Old Crush House, and private stone reception patio, plus sweeping views of magnificent vineyards, lake, and meadows, Milagro provides a spectacular backdrop for your special event.


Top Picks for Larger and Ethnic Weddings

San Diego Marriott La Jolla

Their new look is Love Inspired Just for YOU! With freshly remodeled guestrooms, lobby, pool area, restaurant, and ballroom! Here at the Marriott La Jolla we offer on-site wedding planners that ensure every aspect of your event goes smoothly. Because we know that successful Weddings don’t just happen, they’re planned; we are here to make your event seamless!


Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

This recently renovated hotel, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego boasts some of San Diego’s best views. The new look, which has Californian coastalinspired décor, is “contemporary and comfort-chic.” The venue, located near Seaport Village, has 316,000 square feet and can accommodate weddings with over 1,000 guests. There are four ballrooms and don’t miss the magnificent The Bayview Terrace on the 32nd floor.


Best Resort Style Vibe

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. There are indoor sites too: three ballrooms and an enclosed garden pavilion. The largest rooms hold up to 500.


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.


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.


North County Hot Spot Picks

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 accommodates 150 for a banquet or 200 for cocktails.


The Crossings at Carlsbad

Lush golf course grounds this craftsman-style clubhouse, built in 2007, is adorned with elements of wood and stone, enhanced with vaulted ceilings, a beautiful stone fireplace, a custom dance floor, a grand built in bar, a wrap around veranda and heavenly panoramic views of the golf course, along with the surrounding rolling vistas and the Pacific Ocean. Whether you are planning a small intimate event for 20 or a lavish gala for 300 this is a top choice.


Lilac Canyon Estate

Surrounded by mountains, Lilac Canyon Estate in Escondido, is a private venue with farmhouse charm and incredible views. The peaceful, country setting will be able to accommodate weddings of up to 200 people. The property’s wedding sites include the terrace for the ceremony, barn area for the cocktail hour and terrace for the reception. They offer different rental packages for items like the wedding arch, chair, tables and more.


The Karlan

Hotel Karlan recently completed a $12 Million property-wide renovation and rebrand. Formerly DoubleTree Resort San Diego, the hotel has 11 indoor indoor and six outdoor options and is ready to customize a couple’s wedding experience. The remodeled property, located in the foothills of the Carmel Mountains, features new guestrooms, a new chef, dining concept and gastropub, spa, fitness center, lush landscaping, and an upgraded pool featuring cabanas.


Overall Top Venue Picks of the Year


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!



This coastal venue combines breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline with exquisite cuisine. Opened in 2016, 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 Skyline Terrace holds up to 300 guests for a seated dinner or reception. The Harbor Float accommodates 250 guests all while offering incredible views of San Diego’s skyline. Take a look for yourself and you will see why I couldn’t help but have Coasterra as a top pick.


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Whether you're looking for the latest trends in decor, themes, or floral arrangements, this section is your go-to resource for creative concepts that will make your wedding truly stand out.

Dive into this treasure trove of inspiration to find unique elements that resonate with your vision and elevate your big day to a masterpiece of personal expression.