Out Of Site: 10 New & Renewed Wedding Venues For Tying The Knot in Southern California
Whether you imagine an alfresco affair, an elegant event in a traditional ballroom or a wedding filled with romantic villa vibes, these spaces—some newly opened, others soon to launch, and a few revamped—could provide the perfect setting for your big day.
Opened in February 2018 in the LA Fashion District, City Market Social House is a sleek, warehouse-inspired spot with vaulted wood bowstring truss ceilings, exposed ducts, brick accent walls and polished concrete floors. Located within a brand-new hospitality and lifestyle development a mile from the Los Angeles Convention Center, the venue (which can accommodate 350 guests) boasts more than 14,500 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor soiree space. Ample parking, rare for downtown, is available. Roll-up “garage” doors draw in natural light. And with Wolfgang Puck Catering operating the massive state-of-the-art kitchen, you can immediately exhale and stop worrying about the menu, as the same team and master chef have been feeding demanding celebrities at the Oscars for years.
City Market Social House, Photography by Dustin Downing
Intersect Irvine, a campus-style office complex close to the Orange County airport, is an out-of-the-box venue option that will surely make your union stand out. The spacious outdoor common area, which can handle 500 invitees, features progressively designed spaces, angular furniture, lawns, fire pits, a game pavilion with pool and pingpong tables, a basketball court and a putting green. Added this fall were Patio Marketplace, an on-site restaurant that provides catering for events; and a shipping container café, which functions as a grab-and-go coffee bar by day and a beer/wine garden by night. Both spaces can be used for parties. Some couples have also successfully used empty industrial spaces within the complex and a “living” wall in its lobby for photos. Two hotels within a mile of Intersect offer discount codes.
Tucked into Southern California’s exclusive Hidden Valley, Epona Estate Vineyard, which recently rejoined the event-hosting scene, boasts sweeping views of the Santa Monica Mountains and all the benefits (and more) of a beautiful vineyard wedding--without making the trip to Napa. This magical vineyard grows eight red varieties of grapes and will soon pick another vintage of world class wines. The meticulous grassy grounds are the perfect landscape for a wedding among the vines. Tie the knot in the breathtaking ceremony garden and then dine under starlit skies with twinkling lights. Choose from the many beautiful locations for newlywed photos including a rose garden, the vines, a koi pond and waterfalls.
After stints as a drug-rehab facility and a military barracks, this once neglected all-white vinyl and Formica nightmare on a knoll was taken down to the studs and reimagined as Villa Sancti. The Tuscan villa—a vision of wood, stone and Venetian plaster—is surrounded by two acres of Chardonnay vines and picturesque gardens, replete with statues, fountains, pergolas, peaceful nooks, a fire pit and even a waterfall. This Malibu dream house overlooks dramatic canyons and the Pacific Ocean with private access to Paradise Cove. Three hundred people can be comfortably seated for dinner across two lawns and work off dinner on an elevated dancing patio. Although events are only permitted on the grounds, the bridal suite is located inside the mansion, and some interior photography is allowed. (Don’t miss the grand staircase, or floor patterned after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.) Occasionally, the owners rent the home as a place for the bridal party or immediate family to stay in for the wedding weekend.
Relax & Resort
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles has transformed its upper pool patio into The Deck, an open-air oasis with strung bistro lights, succulents and citrus trees. Partygoers (75–120 standing, 25–80 seated) will be treated to palm-tree-dotted city views and menus created specifically to enhance the experience of dining under the stars. Among the menu themes created by Chef Matthew Kenney include California Clam Bake, with lobster corn dogs and ice cream sandwiches, LA Style barbecue featuring grilled swordfish with salsa verde and watermelon radish and plant-based stations and menus for vegan guests. Leave room for the decadent house-made pies.
South Bay’s tony enclave Manhattan Beach was founded by a Californian and a New Yorker, with its naming rights determined by a coin toss. One hundred and six years later, Westdrift Manhattan Beach, a 26-acre Autograph Collection hotel, pays homage to that fateful flip by combining California cool and East Coast class, a concept that’s perfect for couples with bicoastal connections. The hotel’s design is a nod to the pier a few miles away, with a concrete-pylon-like entrance, aquatic murals, and accents made of driftwood, rope, leather and mixed metals. The event spaces include The Loftlight (with seating for 1,000), a traditional cottage-inspired ballroom with board-and-batten wainscoting, lantern-like chandeliers and a foyer that overlooks the golf course. Shoreacre is a playful, industrial space located next to the pool with exposed ducts, roll-up garage doors, surfing pictures and a patio with fire pits (seats 700). The hotel’s pingpong and shuffleboard tables can be commandeered, as can the fleet of beach cruisers. Ceremonies can also be held on the ninth fairway.
The iconic, 24-acre oceanfront Fess Parker has a new name and look: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. While the property is still reminiscent of a Spanish mission on the exterior, its 360 rooms, hallways, lobby and ballrooms (one of which can seat 700 people) have all been refreshed with a chic coastal color palette, chandeliers that evoke jewelry and modern furniture. Restaurants, including The Set and Rodney’s Grill, also received makeovers to spotlight locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Many of the public spaces and guest rooms have connecting outdoor terraces so guests can take advantage of the American Riviera’s fab weather. The Reagan Room event space has a patio that looks out at the popular rainbow arch, palm trees and the sea. Book one of the suites off the rotunda for easy photo access to the staircases, beach views, and arches of the Plaza Del Sol and the nearby rose garden.
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Autograph Collection’s 11-story gleaming glass high-rise Hotel Nia opened its doors last May and brought over 15,000 square feet of brand-new event space to Menlo Park. Most venue choices, including the ground-level Brilliance Ballroom (capacity: 516), have large or floor-to-ceiling windows, hip modernist design incorporating blues, grays, oranges, light wood and silvery metallic accents; and connected outdoor areas. The Clarity event space property boasts a courtyard with truck access, enabling couples to easily add photo booths or food trucks to the itinerary. As one would expect from a Silicon Valley property that’s mere miles Facebook’s headquarters, the tech—from speedy Wi-Fi to cutting-edge AV systems—is on point. The hotel has 250 pet-friendly rooms, so your best fur friend can be involved in the big day. Wine-blending or sushi-rolling classes can be set up as prewedding fun, as can a day of relaxation in a poolside cabana, next to one of the outdoor fireplaces or in one of the property’s cozy hammocks. Definitely take menu inspiration from Porta Blu, the on-site Cali-Mediterranean eatery, which has a fantastic local beer and wine list.
Ojai Valley Inn is already one of the Golden State’s best event venues, but come January the inn will open its 30,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor culinary and event center, The Farmhouse. Designed by Napa Valley architect Howard Backen, the new event venue includes an 8,500-square-foot wood-and-glass “barn” ballroom, with a neutral forest brown and gray color scheme and featuring 25-foot ceilings, exposed trusses and redwood siding. Nestled among majestic oaks, lavender patches and olive trees and with views of the nearby Topa Topa Mountains, The Farmhouse is also a stone’s throw from the golf course and the resort’s apiary. The versatile grounds boast space for functions on the massive lawn or in landscaped courtyards with lounge areas and a towering fireplace. Cocktails can be served among the herb and vegetable gardens, and there are cooking options galore in The Farmhouse Kitchen by Viking, as well as the Lynx outdoor kitchen.
Ojai Valley Inn
An $8 million renovation featuring lots of steel and wood has given the interiors of the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort and Spa an aesthetic blending California desert with retro modernism. Boasting 20,000 square feet of indoor event space, the Mesquite Ballroom (the resort’s largest, accommodating 300) opens onto the Mesquite Lawn. Like most of Miramonte’s outdoor options, the lawn has partial views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and features olive trees, boxwood hedges and bougainvillea.
Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa