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By: Jaime Purinton

Creative Photography

Have you been dreaming about having a romantic vineyard wedding but can’t figure out how to bring Napa to your backyard?

Luckily for you, we have the inside scoop on a beautiful wine country right here in Southern California! Located just 45 minutes north of San Diego, Temecula Valley Wine Country has over 35 wineries, many of which have gorgeous wedding facilities and offer top notch food, award winning wine, and exceptional service.

From the minute you enter wine country, you know you are somewhere special and unique. Everything seems to slow down and you can feel the tranquility. Temecula Valley Wine Country is known for its dramatic scenery and relaxing atmosphere which is a perfect combination for a beautiful and stress free wedding. There is nothing quite like it in Southern California.

Each winery offers a unique wedding experience for you and your guests ranging from rustic chic to grand elegance and everything in between. The options are endless, including jaw dropping sunset ceremonies and vine covered arbors set amidst perfectly manicured lawns, flowered arches with sweeping views of the valley in the background, intimate candle lit barrel rooms, and grand reception rooms all with their own personality and charm. In addition, there are several places for your guests to stay including quaint Bed and Breakfasts and full service resorts complete with spas, dining, and concierge services. Many guests choose to stay the weekend and participate in other local activities such as wine tasting, hot air balloon rides, golfing, horseback rides, and shopping in Old Town Temecula.

Your guests will be impressed as they sip on award winning wine and sensational wine country cuisine created by some of the best chefs in Southern California. Nothing is average in wine country, especially the wine and food. With all of the time spent by the winemakers to create incredible wine, it would all be for nothing if the food wasn’t up to par. Good food paired with good wine is part of the wine country culture. Many of the wineries offer complimentary wine pairing to maximize your guest’s experience.

People are down right friendlier in wine country. It probably has to do with the wine and atmosphere, but it definitely shows in the warm and welcoming service that is provided.

Most wineries have professional staff coordinators that are included in the wedding package. They know the ins and outs of their winery and will assist you with all of the planning start to finish. They have insider knowledge of their winery and know the best photo spots, who the greatest local vendors are, the most popular wines, and so much more. You and your guests will feel like a member of the wine country family.

Just because you live in San Diego doesn’t mean you can’t have the vineyard wedding of your dreams!

Savoring Wine, Vines & Love
By: Kristen Castillo

White Haute Photography

Friends and family, a beautiful venue and a glass of wine in hand. For many couples, that’s the perfect wedding.
Whether or not you love wine, a winery wedding could be ideal. With great weather, rich landscapes and lots of room to celebrate, wineries and their accompanying vineyards can be very inviting.

“Not only are wine country weddings absolutely stunning and picturesque, they have such a relaxed feel,” says Jaime Purinton, events sales manager at Wiens Family Cellars in Temecula. “They are perfect for that couple that wants a gorgeous wedding but wants their guests to feel like they are welcome.”
Read on as we introduce you to some of the best winery experiences in the San Diego and Temecula region.

Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Opened in May 2012, this 22-acre Temecula estate is family owned and home to grape vines and citrus groves.
“It’s a serene and tranquil environment,” says Patrick McIlvain, general manager of Lorimar Vineyards and Winery.  “It’s truly an escape from the day to day.”
The winery can host weddings small and large. Intimate weddings are suitable for the Parlour Room, which fits up to 60 guests; or in the barrel for up to 175 guests. Larger events with up to 200 guests are typically held in the vineyard, which includes a built-in arbor; or on the sunset patio, which accommodates up to 200.
“Our sunset patio overlooks rolling hills and mauve sunset colors shining through,” says McIlvain.
Lorimar offers walk-through wine tours and a stomping station where you and your guests can jump in a barrel and pretend to stomp grapes, à la Lucille Ball in “I Love Lucy.”
The winery takes customer service and attention to detail very seriously.
“We create a calm ambiance so you can relax on your big day,” says McIlvain, noting brides get ready for the wedding in a bridal suite, while grooms prepare in a decked out RV complete with foosball, recliners and a fridge, among other amenities.


Known for its “Big Reds” red wines, Wiens Family Cellars in Temecula is family owned.
For an indoor ceremony and reception, the Event Pavilion hosts weddings with up to 250 guests. For something more intimate, consider the barrel room – it has American and French oak barrels and can accommodate 100 guests for a ceremony and cocktail hour or 50 guests for a seated reception.
“Our Barrel Room is a jaw dropping space to use for a wedding,” says Purinton. “Many guests gasp when they walk in for the first time.”
The Vineyard View ceremony and reception site backs up to the vines and is perfect for outdoor weddings with fewer than 200 guests. There’s also a Mountain View Amphitheater and Patio which features a rustic arbor and seats up to 300 guests.
“We also are big fans of the Farm-to-Table movement and use as many local farms as possible for our food,” says Purinton.
The winery’s extensive menu includes free-range chicken breast, New York strip steak, wild salmon and gourmet mac and five-cheese pasta.

White Haute Photography

Nestled on a 1500-foot hill, Falkner Winery in Temecula has what owner Loretta Falkner calls, “Panoramic hilltop views of vineyards, mountains and painted sunsets.”
The winery, which is 25 acres, has both an indoor and an outdoor wedding venue. The Yard-Garden Package, which has sunset and vineyard views, offers a ceremony and reception in romantic tree-lit Yard-Garden area adjacent to the tasting room.
There’s also the option to marry in a vineyard pathway, followed by a reception inside in the private Pinnacle restaurant. The candlelit barrel room is another ceremony or reception option.
“We’re all about good customer service,” says Falkner, who notes her owner involvement keeps her in-the-know about wedding and events on property.
The winery has a solid reputation as a leader in the region.
“Eighty-five percent of all our wines have won awards,” says Falkner. “We’re a boutique quality winery. We pride ourselves on really good food and wine.”

Opened in 2011, Europa Village can accommodate up to 200 guests.
“We offer an old-world feel,” says the venue’s Lisa Ferguson. “It’s just beautiful. You feel like you’re in a small town in Europe. It’s an intimate feeling.”
Like many wineries in the Southern California region, Europa Village gets brides and grooms from the surrounding areas like San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and Arizona.
“We love sitting with the bride and groom and creating a custom menu,” says Ferguson. “We design something that’s uniquely theirs.”
Europa Village has many photo opportunities, such as the vines, the C’est La Vie tasting room, the cave, which has an Italian feel, and near a vintage wine cart from the 1800’s.
“You and your guests can stay on-site at the Inn at Europa, which has 10 rooms. “It’s homey and comfortable,” says Ferguson.

Open for nearly three years, Monte de Oro Winery has a 10,000 square foot patio overlooking the Temecula valley.
“You can have that gorgeous vineyard feel for half the cost of Napa,” says Kelly Harris, the venue’s event sales and catering manager.
The patio space seats 400 guests; the barrel room fits 300 people; and the tasting room can accommodate 160 guests for a seated dinner.
Receptions in the main tasting room have a great view too. “Even when you’re inside, you feel like you’re outside because it’s so beautiful,” says Harris.
Another great feature of the tasting room is the 16 x 16 glass floor, which is often used as a dance floor.
Grab your photographer and head outside for some breathtaking photos. “We go into the vineyard with the bride and groom and they get some amazing shots,” Harris says, noting the orange groves next to the vineyard also make for pretty pics.
Adventurous couples may want to pose for photos in the venue’s rectangular fountain.
“I’ve had couples get in the fountain,” says Harris. “It’s a gorgeous photo opportunity that ends up being pretty neat.”

Destination Wine Country Weddings helps brides and grooms coordinate destination weddings in Temecula’s wine country.
“Brides want a destination wedding,” says Sheri Proskow of Destination Wine Country Weddings. “It’s a romantic winery. How can you not want romance?”
   Destination Wine Country Weddings offers a one-stop-shopping approach to help brides and grooms coordinate weddings at a variety of venues in the Temecula area, including private estates, villas and wineries.
“The vineyards are a big draw,” says Troy Buck, a photographer who works with Destination Wine Country Weddings. “Just about anywhere you go is rolling hills or vineyards.”
Couples and their guests love the charm of the region. “There are a lot of antique and historical buildings here. It’s fantastic, “ says Proskow. “This area is amazing.”
Wherever you host your winery wedding, consider exploring the vino theme. You can arrange your place cards in cork holders, give guests custom labeled bottles of your venue’s wine and invoke the romance of wine colors like grape and deep burgundy. Cheers to you and your groom!

By: Guest Writer Jaime Purinton

Hulse Photography

Have you been searching for the perfect venue for your wedding but can’t seem to find the one that takes your breath away? With the ambitious development of many amazing and unique wedding options in the Temecula Valley, located just 45 minutes north of San Diego, you will be sure to find a venue that will take your breath away. From vibrant vineyards to classy country clubs and everything in between, Temecula Valley has a wide variety of options that will fit any personality and style. 

Clifton Photography

Vineyard weddings are the valley’s forte and they offer an exceptionally romantic experience for your wedding. The choices in wine country are endless, including jaw dropping sunset ceremonies performed under gorgeous vine covered arbors, sweeping views of the vineyards in the background, intimate candle lit barrel rooms, and grand reception spaces all with their own personality and beauty. Local fare is carefully paired with award winning wines in order to give your guests the ultimate wine country cuisine experience. Some wineries even have luxurious accommodations including guest rooms, spas, and concierge services, while others offer more of an intimate experience.

If a vineyard wedding isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other elegant wedding venue options available. Temecula Valley is home to some of the best country clubs surrounded by world class golf courses that offer stunning wedding sites. Wedding packages can be tailored to include everything from golf packages, rehearsal dinners, accommodations, wine tasting tours, and post wedding brunches. You are able to book one amazing venue for all of your wedding events, accommodations, and guest entertainment.

Maybe an urban setting with modern décor and a late night after party is the style you prefer. A stunning city view from one of the Valley’s casinos is also a popular choice by many. You will have plenty of time to dance the night away in the after party lounge that stays open until 2am. Guest accommodations are available along with multiple entertainment options, a highly acclaimed spa, five star dining, and gambling for your guests.

Leah Marie Photography

If your dream wedding is more of a storybook setting under glowing string lights hanging from century old oak trees, Temecula Valley has several wooded sites that will fit your vision. One of the sites is set next to a hundred and fifty year old historical stone house and is known for it’s Farm-to-Table dinner options. It is truly a magical venue your guests will never forget!

Whether your dream wedding includes a romantic vineyard, a classic country club, a modern lounge, or a historic site under century old oak trees, Temecula Valley has them all. Take a weekend to visit and see for yourself the variety of wedding venue options available in Temecula Valley. Enjoy your time sipping on wine, savoring local cuisine, and taking in the beautiful sights of the valley while finding your dream wedding venue.   

Say “I Do” To This Wine Country Hot Spot
By: Kristen Castillo

Hulse Photography

You don’t have to be a wine lover to fall in love with Temecula. Located in the southwest corner of Riverside County, Temecula is very close to San Diego. It’s a simple drive north on Interstate 15, about an hour from downtown San Diego.
“We’re centrally located which makes it nice,” says Peggy Evans, executive director of the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association. “We’re an hour from everywhere – the desert and the coast.”

Hulse Photography

“Temecula wine country is a local destination wedding place,” says Annette Nielsen, the founder and director of the Temecula Valley Wedding Professionals, a trade group that has 90 wedding vendors as members. “It’s a wonderful weekend without having to pay airfare.”
Couples from all over Southern California – including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs – are coming to Temecula to get hitched.
“It’s a great weekend getaway,” says Evans. “It’s like a destination wedding without getting too far out of town.”
Non-locals want a Temecula wedding too.
“We get such a collage of brides from all over,” says Nielsen, noting couples from Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Seattle and even China are marrying in the region.
The region has so much to offer brides, grooms and their guests.
You and your guests can do wine tasting, take a hot air balloon ride, test your luck at a local casino, go outlet shopping in nearby Lake Elsinore and get pampered at one of the nearby spas.
“Now I’m seeing more and more brides making a true weekend event of out it,” says Nielsen.
You’ll love the ideal weather too with winter temps ranging from mid-60’s to mid-70’s and summer temps ranging from mid 80’s to mid-90’s.

Hulse Photography

Getting married in Temecula can be good for your budget too.
According to, the price of a Riverside County wedding (which includes Temecula) ranges from $22,369 and $37,281 compared to a San Diego County wedding, which costs anywhere from $24,816 to $41,360.
“Temecula Valley weddings are a nice value,” says Nielsen, explaining some all-inclusive winery packages range from $100 per person to $160 per person.

Lots of Temecula area venues host outdoor and indoor weddings for parties large and small.
“There are venues like no other,” says Evans, who describes the Temecula area as “very open and spacious.”
There are 35 wineries in the Temecula Valley region, many of which host weddings. That’s a big deal because some wine regions such as Napa Valley have harsh restrictions blocking wineries from hosting weddings, since events there are limited to the promotion of the wine industry only.
“Here in wine country, most weddings are done outside in the vineyards,” says Evans.
Still Temecula has more to offer than wineries alone. The region is also considered horse country and golf territory. Choose from a variety of venues such as boutique hotels, golf courses and country clubs, casinos and luxury resorts.
Temecula venues offer so many wonderful views and photo opportunities including imagery in the grape vines and citrus groves, park views and mountains.

Holly Ireland Photography

If you’re considering tying the knot in Temecula, follow Nielsen’s advice: “Do your research.”
She encourages couples to first figure out their budget and then research venues online. Follow up by calling and emailing the venues to find out the “true package prices,” meaning an estimate for the total bill, including venue rental fees and price minimums, alcohol tab and other extras.
Next up, schedule in-person site visits at a few of your favorite Temecula venues. Once you find a venue you like, decide whether you want to work with local wedding vendors such as photographers or whether you’d like to hire a vendor from San Diego who’s willing to travel to the wedding.
From wine weddings to golf nuptials, Temecula is a diverse and beautiful area that has a lot to offer brides and grooms. The area is close enough to be convenient for you, your guy and your guests but it’s also just far enough away to be an awesome destination to say “I Do.


Temecula Valley Wedding Professionals

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

Temecula Valley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

City of Temecula