Best Summer Wedding Venues in Southern California

Planning a summer wedding? We may be a bit biased, but we think there is no place on earth more fitting for a summer wedding than Southern California. With its beaches, gardens, lush landscaping, luxury hotels, historic architecture, wineries, and perfect weather, SoCal features an endless number of venues to choose from to create that unforgettable backdrop for your wedding.

With so many stunning locations, it may be difficult to narrow it down to just one for your special day. As an experienced wedding photographer, we have been to just about every possible venue in Southern California, and we can tell you our top picks. There is something for everyone’s individual style, taste, and requirements.

Here is our list of the top 5 summer wedding venues in Santa Barbara:


1. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum


  • Cultural landmark in the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic district
  • The early Spanish California influence makes it a beautiful and romantic setting
  • Different options to choose from in terms of size/accommodations: Museum Courtyard (50-450 occupancy); Adobe Courtyard (250 ceremony/cocktail; 175 reception). There is also a smaller area for a cocktail reception: Plaza Terrace (100 cocktail reception), and for dinner there is The Galleries (75 dinner; 130 ceremony/cocktail)
  • A gorgeous Bridal Room
  • Give back on your special day! Your rental fee contributes directly to the community, educational, and curatorial goals of the Museum.

Contact Info:

136 E De La Guerra St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 966-1601 x115
Erica Reynolds, Rental Coordinator

2. The Four Seasons Santa Barbara


  • Nothing says A-list like a wedding at The Four Seasons
  • Picturesque mountain and ocean views
  • Choice of either outdoor or indoor venues, amazing gardens and private terraces
  • Spanish-Mediterranean influence
  • Onsite wedding professionals who will help with all the details, from event planning to invitations, menu, wedding cakes, floral creations, and more
  • “Green” initiatives: The Four Seasons is big on being green; they like to help guests reduce the carbon footprint of their celebration; by creating a sustainable foods menu, for example
  • Spa onsite for the bridal party or newlywed couple

Contact Info:

1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
(805) 969-2261

3. Bacara Resort


  • Awarded 2013 “Best of Weddings” by the Knot
  • 78 acres on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, this spectacular resort offers sweeping views of the California coastline
  • Beach wedding perfection
  • Various ceremony and reception venues to choose from, including gardens, oceanfront, or grand ballroom
  • Some of the exceptional venues include the Ocean Terrace with a cozy wood-burning fireplace and the Wine Cellar that can accommodate an intimate party of up to 40 people surrounded by an impressive display of 12,000 wines from around the world
  • Also, spa packages are available for the bridal party, including onsite salon services
  • Plan additional guest events like golf tournaments or yachting

Contact Info:

8301 Hollister Ave
Goleta, CA 93117
(805) 571-3139
Lead Sales Coordinator

4. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa


  • Step away from the roar of the ocean to experience the peacefulness of the Ojai Valley, nestled in the mountains
  • This venue can best be summed up with two words: “rustic glamour”
  • Fabulous and different pre- and post-wedding activities for your wedding party like art lessons and custom aromatherapy blending at Artist Cottage and Apothecary, horseback riding, tennis, guided hiking, fishing and kayaking
  • Truly original sites for ceremony and reception, like the Herb Garden complete with wooden dance floor and the Big Red Barn with rustic hayloft, saloon, and adjoining outdoor space. The bride & groom can even ride up to the altar outfitted with matching Western saddles!
  • Daily villa rentals with amenities such as gourmet kitchen, Bentley-inspired golf cart, stone pizza oven and gas BBQ, library and bar
  • Website features Interactive Resort Map 

Contact Info:

905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 640-2070

With such an incredible list to choose from, you have your work cut out for you in selecting a summer wedding venue. Hillary Moore Photography has been photographing weddings at these locations for years and can help you decide what is right for you if you are floundering. Give us a call and we can help guide you through the decision making process. After all, this is going to be the setting of the most magical day of your life – so choose wisely! Congratulations and we hope to hear from you soon.

5. Pasadena Courthouse / Pasadena City Hall


  • Gorgeous architecture influenced by the early Renaissance style of 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio
  • Courtyard with rose garden and fountain
  • Lit up at night
  • Free & open to the public so you can scout it out beforehand
  • Parking is available and handicap accessible
  • You may recognize it as Pawnee City Hall from Parks and Rec!

Contact Info:

100 N Garfield Ave
Pasadena, CA 91199


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