How to make that perfect winter wedding offer a unique experience at every glance.
From Downtown L.A. to Carmel Valley: 11 Unique Southern California Wedding Venues
Finding your dream wedding destination is one the hardest decisions you'll make when it comes to wedding planning...and the options in Southern California are seemingly endless. From rustic ranches, cool barns to industrial chic spaces that allow your wedding designer's imagination run wild, the perfect spot does exist. We've rounded up a few unique spaces that might not be on your radar--and should be! From Downtown Los Angele's skyhigh OUE to Carmel Valley's ranch perfection, this list will help you decide which venue is the right place to host your wedding.
Le Haute Desert Aerie: Talk about a desert oasis. Located thirty miles north of Palm Springs and a stone’s throw from Pioneertown, which was originally built as a Western movie set in 1946, this one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast and event venue sits on 40 acres of pristine wilderness. Wedding parties can rent out the Moroccan themed custom-designed adobe-style home on site (complete with bridal suite), not to mention two glamping locations for a ceremony of up to 150 guests—jaw-dropping high-desert scenery included. See more of this beautiful location in our Fall/Winter issue of California Wedding Day's fashion editorial, Desert Dreams.
Wine Country Vistas
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort: Couples in search of a perfect wine-country backdrop are in luck. Located outside central Solvang Northwest of Santa Barbara, this getaway has opened up its California ranch-style Alisal River Terrace for private events for up to 200 guests seated outdoors, or 60 in the indoor dining room, featuring wall-to-wall windows and an indoor fireplace. Soak up panoramic views of wine country and the resort’s private lake as you nibble on a feast prepared by resort executive chef Pascale Godé.
Fun fact: screen star Clark Gable and Lady Silvia said their “I do’s” here at the property’s library. Now that’s one for the books.
Bohemian in Silver Lake
Cliff’s Edge: For one of Los Angeles' most romantic destinations, look no further than Silver Lake’s rustic Cliff’s Edge restaurant; a secluded setting for private parties thanks to the surrounding bamboo that secludes the patio, and a giant 60-year old ficus tree that takes center stage. Just ask Emmy-award winning Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, who held her wedding in the boho-chic inspired indoor/outdoor setting here in 2011. Since then, the property has welcomed noted chef Vartan Abgaryan, who can whip up a feast for up to 120 guests seated outdoors, and an additional 40 inside. A petit private patio debuted late summer 2014, the ideal setting for bridal showers or for hosting intimate dinner parties with room for 12-14 guests.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: Shout your proclamations of love from the rooftop of this Hollywood landmark. A Los Angeles mainstay for more than 80 years, this Spanish colonial masterpiece gives couples the opportunity to celebrate their big moment on its rooftop against the city’s twinkling skyline and the oversize letters of the hotel’s infamous sign. Make your own history here with up to 100 of your closest friends, just steps away from the Walk of Fame.
Loews Hollywood: For the couple truly looking to be the star of their own show, head to the newly renovated Loews Hollywood for the unparalleled Dinner on the Stage program. Join as many as 600 guests directly on the Dolby Theatre Stage--home to the Academy Awards ceremony--and feast on an extravaganza prepared by chef to the stars, Wolfgang Puck. Events can also include access to the theatre’s state-of-the-art technology, including Dolby Atmos lifelike audio technology and Dolby’s cutting edge 3D technology (virtual bridesmaids, perhaps?)
Mission Inn & Spa — Follow in the footsteps of celebrities including Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, and say your vows at this historic 111-year-old Mission-style Riverside property. The site is home to the St. Francis of Assisi non-denominational chapel, which can accommodate up to 152 guests in its magnificent surrounds, complete with original Tiffany stained glass windows. Smaller parties up to ten can opt for the more intimate St. Cecilia chapel, and for an alfresco experience, couples can say their vows in the charming courtyard (holds up to 170 guests, seated), followed by a reception in one of the hotel’s jaw-dropping ballrooms.
Carmel Valley Ranch: Located on 500 sprawling acres in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, there is no shortage of picturesque settings for weddings at this beloved resort. The coveted reception spot to snag, as of late, is the blooming two-acre organic garden complete with a hen house (and live chickens) and the Salt House (where homemade salt is curated), all part of the ranch-style property’s program to grow their own ingredients used in the kitchen at The Lodge restaurant. The garden can hold a tented cocktail reception for up to 500 people after the ceremony on the nearby Vineyard Lawn. For all weddings held on-site, couples are invited to participate in the “Vine is Mine” program, which dedicates a vine to the newly betrothed in the property’s vineyard. In 2015, they will receive a bottle of the property’s yet-to-be-named wine made from 2014’s harvest. Cheers to that!
The Washbow: Inspired by their own search to find the perfect wedding venue for their nuptials last year, husband and wife team Noah Baylin and Halla Timon have debuted Los Angeles’ The Washbow, an inviting stark, urban space in Los Angeles that allows couples to create their own wedding experience as they see fit, outfitted with a commercial kitchen and plenty of space to boogie down to a live band. The space consists of a main room, which can seat up to 250 guests, and a lovely courtyard that flanks the entrance of the building, envisioned by Elysian Landscapes (who have lent their talents to the likes of the Parker Palm Springs and tony Los Angeles boutiques including Isabel Marant and Marc Jacobs), that accommodates ceremonies and cocktail receptions for up to 150.
OUE Skyspace: Located on the 71st floor of US Bank Tower, the tallest building west of Chicago at 1018 feet high, the OUE Skyspace venue made its debut in spring 2014, offering sweeping 360-degree views of the city. With LA as their backdrop, couples can tie the knot against the glittering skyline, or throw a party to remember for 400-seated guests or up to 600 for a stunning cocktail reception.
Acabar: Transport your guests to Morocco at Acabar restaurant, a Middle Eastern-inspired Hollywood haunt owned by film director Roland Emmerich. Formerly the home to Moroccan restaurant Dar Maghreb (the original space was conceived and designed in Casablanca), this sexy space has been reimagined as a go-to restaurant and lounge—and now, a private event venue for seated parties of 120 or receptions up to 350. And if the Middle Eastern-inspired décor and famous signature cocktails (flaming Zombies, anyone?) aren’t already impressive enough, wow your guests with theatrics: the open-sky atrium is rigged for aerialists to descend upon the space. The sky’s the limit!