California Beach Weddings
11 Locations Where You Can Tie The Knot On The Sand!
|As a born-and-raised California girl, I knew one thing for sure—when I got married, it would be on the beach. Not next to the beach, not overlooking the beach or on an ocean view terrace, but actually on the sand. Maybe I’d seen the film classic From Here To Eternity one too many times (you know that famous scene where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr embrace while lying in the crashing surf?). Not to be outdone, my ultra-romantic wedding fantasy included all the key elements: a movie-worthy stretch of sand, a spectacular sunset, and the two of us strolling barefoot at the water’s edge as a breeze carried our kisses out to sea…|| |
Great Tips for Planning Your Beach Wedding
I’m happy to report my wedding turned out exactly as I always imagined it would. And yours can, too! If it’s an authentic beach wedding you’re after, then any one of these coastal venues will arrange it for you, just the way you want it.
From North to South of the Golden State, the winners are:
This charming garden retreat is a few minutes’ walk from Buckhorn Cove, a private inlet with dramatic 100-foot cliffs, sea arches, and a small wooded island. Say your vows on a sandy curve of beach, while the sheltered waters provide an idyllic backdrop. The unspoiled terrain taps into the elemental, making this a stirring setting for a private heartfelt pledge, or a declaration before a casual gathering of friends and family. Afterwards, everyone returns to the inn for the reception, their spirits uplifted by the great outdoors.
Patterned after the quaint coastal cottages of 16th-century England, the Pelican Inn is a cozy world unto itself. Wedding groups have the run of the place, including a pub, a glassed-in conservatory, and a garden lawn. Couples can also exchange vows on Muir Beach, a mere two-minute walk from this storybook spot. Tucked against the forested hillsides of Mt. Tamalpais, Muir Beach captures the spiritual majesty of Mother Nature. Weddings here tend to be both unconventional and inspiring, with couples promising to have and to hold while gulls dive among pillows of sea mist. Then it’s back to the Inn for a celebratory toast and a hearty English feast by a roaring fire.
Both luxurious and eco-friendly, this blufftop oasis overlooks a secluded strand of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Windswept dunes blossom with rare wildflowers during the warmer months, while year-round, snowy plovers and wisps of twilight fog bestir the sea. Couples can’t resist the aura of wild romance, and a short walking path from the resort to the sand makes a perfect wedding aisle. Sometimes, during the surfside ceremony, dolphins can be spotted arching beyond the breakers. Sanctuary Beach Resort is a unique combination of sophisticated accommodations, earth-first values and a landscape worthy of an artist’s paint brush.
For the couple who dream of saying “I Do” in full view of the waves and the dynamic Monterey skyline, this is the place. The resort is located right on the beach, so weddings here are a snap. The staff provides a wedding arch, white chairs and an aisle runner, and you can also rent a gazebo. Sunset weddings are nothing short of breathtaking; then, instead of moving to one of the ballrooms, stay right where you are for your reception. Go for something fun and carefree, like a luau or clambake; or add specialty menu items and upscale décor for a chic beach soirée.