Here Comes the Guide brings you expert articles and blog postings about California wedding locations. We’ll give you tips on how to make sure you ask all the right questions and head’s up posts on the coolest receptions venues in the state.
The list below gives you the option to read longer, more detailed pieces from our Articles + Ideas section or shorter, topical and timely pieces from our blog. Either way, you’ll get great info from the experts on everything related to California weddings.
Dear Here Comes The Guide: My fiance and I are considering a destination wedding somewhere in California. We aren’t sure what the expectations are in terms of covering the costs of our guests. Also, what do you think is the best place for a California destination wedding? Thanks!—Janet O., Clackamas, Oregon
Chicago is not only the most visited city in the Midwest, it’s one of the most dynamic cities on the planet. From its fabulous parks and museums to its world-class dining, shopping, entertainment and hotels, it has everything you (and your guests!) could want—including a long list of amazing wedding and special event venues.
San Francisco is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, which makes it a much sought-after setting for both local and destination weddings. And although it has a reputation for being pricey, there are quite a few affordable venues where you can host your event.
My colleague Jan invites me to spend the upcoming weekend with her at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, where she’ll be staying while profiling new locations for Here Comes The Guide. I jump at the chance for some quality Ritz time. It’s a well-known fact around the office that I ♥ the Ritzes. (What can I say? I have a soft spot for superior customer service and a swanky setting!)
Think about it: rehearsal dinners include a high concentration of people you love who have gathered in your honor. So why not relax and let your hair down? With very little effort, you can assemble a pre-wedding event that provides some much-needed calm before the busy storm of your wedding weekend. Learn how to make the most of your rehearsal dinner.
California’s Central Coast, celebrated for its charming wineries and photogenic vineyards, also lures visitors with landmarks like Hearst Castle, and the chance to golf, surf or go horseback riding amidst spectacular natural scenery. If you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding in one of the area’s picturesque towns, you might think beyond the winery.
With all its gold medals and high style, the Central Coast retains its small-town friendliness, and locals have positively thrown out a red-carpet welcome to bridal couples from near and far. Recently we did our own Central Coast Wine Country investigation.
Fola and Alvin had an awkward chance meeting at a conference of medical students in April 2004. Although both had attended Harvard Medical School, they had never met. When they did, Alvin was tired from the conference and could think of little to say—an unusual circumstance for him. Fola informed her conference roommate that she had met “a really rude guy.” The roommate insisted that Alvin was great and arranged another meeting.
Make sure your guests know that the wedding is actually on the sand, so they can dress appropriately. This can be communicated with the invitation (included with the map/directions), on your wedding website and through word-of-mouth.
10 Locations Where You Can Tie The Knot On The Sand!
by Jolene Rae Harrington, Director of Creative Content
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.
Francesca and Justin first met at six a.m. at an aquatic center where Justin was a Masters Swim Team coach and Francesca a new swimmer in his class. Francesca felt attracted, but was occupied with studying for her medical exams. Still, they saw each other frequently at Starbucks where she studied and he would “breeze in for tea.
WANTED: A special place for a romantic escape. Scenic, natural surroundings required. Must be lavished with sensual creature comforts. Obliging yet unobtrusive service preferred. Does this imaginary classified ad sound like something you might have written? If so, we’re answering your cry for help with a dozen of the best places in California for a romantic weekend—choice spots bound to inspire relaxation and heartfelt moments. (No need to thank us—an emailed photo of your happy, rejuvenated selves will do!)
Fortunate is the bride who weds in Marin County! Surrounded by water on three sides, Marin is a scenic wonderland whose natural treasures—ancient redwood forests, a dramatic coastline, and a wide range of flora and fauna—make for dynamic celebratory settings. Here are 10 unique wedding locations, each offering a different way to experience Marin’s legendary beauty:
Use our location search tool to find a fabulous location for your company holiday party. You’ll find photos and virtual tours, plus detailed information about fees, capacities and services to enable you to quickly sift through hundreds of options and select potential sites. Find out more about planning the Office Holiday Party.
Out-of-the-ordinary scenarios can become your reality if you wed at one of the Bay Area’s acclaimed art galleries or museums. No longer the sole province of school field trips, galleries and museums have found a fresh calling as novel places to throw a party. Here are locations for an artful Bay Area wedding.
Friends and relatives who've come from afar often stay for a few days, and they won't want to sit around twiddling their thumbs before and after the wedding. Since you're not going to have the time to play Tour Guide, have a list of activities prepared in advance. You can include familiar options like Disneyland and Universal Studios, but Southern California offers so much more.
Invaluable tips on how to select a wedding location in Northern California. Your first big decision is to select a location that makes geographical sense to you, your family and the majority of your guests. Get more tips for choosing your Northern California wedding location from the HCTG experts.
Invaluable tips on how to select a wedding location in Southern California. Your first big decision is to select a location that makes geographical sense to you, your family and the majority of your guests. Get more tips for choosing your Southern California wedding location from the HCTG experts.
Palm Springs is HOT and we're not talking about the temperature. The Palm Springs of the new millennium is young, chic, and a great place to party. Here are some of our own suggestions for local activities and “can’t miss” Palm Springs ceremony and reception locations.
Estate wineries, golf courses, day spas, new hotels and historic downtown areas exert an unquestionable appeal in the Tri-Valley area. We're going to take you on a quick tour of some the Other Wine Country's best wedding and special event locations.
You no longer have to wrestle with your conscience to have a celebration that is both beautiful and "green"— here's how.
Whether it's on a faraway tropical island, at a secluded wine country villa or at a seaside manse, weddings at signature private properties top the charts for couples tying the knot—and we're not just talking about the celebrity set. More about private estate weddings...
We dined in the Lake Room upstairs, which extends over the lake and has views on three sides plus a fireplace and it’s own bar. This room, as well as the Gondola Room on the opposite side of the restaurant, is a charming space for a rehearsal dinner, reception or other kind of private party.
I recently visited Ca’ del Sole Ristorante for Here Comes The Guide, and I have to say: If you’re looking for a great venue for wedding rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and bridal showers, this North Hollywood restaurant should be on the list:
I confess to major butterflies for my interview with celebrity wedding planner and TV show host, David Tutera at the elegant Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena last month. I needn’t have worried. He was warm and charming, and very open to sharing his wedding planning pointers. Later when I dished the dirt with two of his “My Fair Wedding” Season 2 brides, Dee and Quiana, they both agreed that he was way more personable and down-to-earth than they had expected. I was particularly excited to confirm that David and I were in complete agreement about several key “Wedding Dos & Don’ts.”
The Dream Inn, a Santa Cruz landmark, has just reopened after a fantastic retro-chic makeover—and their stylish new oceanview banquet space is so ready for primetime.
Sure, plenty of zoos have the requisite elephant or giraffe… but the Santa Barbara Zoo has something more: 30 acres of lush, exotic gardens laced with majestic ocean views! Such stunning scenic attributes make the location a “natural” setting for out-of-the ordinary weddings.
I spent my 4th of July at The Carneros Inn in Napa for the wedding of Christy & Christian. It was such a treat to be a part of this event. Not only did I get to go to one of my favorite places in Wine Country but I got to witness a truly beautiful wedding. Martha Stewart eat your heart out!
Exactly two years from the day Troy and Craig met at the snack machines at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank they married in front of 180 lucky wedding guests at The London West Hollywood. The theme of the event was “Celebrate the Seasons of Love,” and every detail was perfectly planned, all the way down to every detail was perfectly planned, all the way down to their toast with chocolate milk instead of champagne (they’re not fans of the bubbly!)
Who says a vineyard wedding means you have to use bunches of deep purple grapes to decorate your cake, centerpieces, and bridal bouquets? For a garden wedding, I’d rather take my cues from a tossed salad: crisp greens with tomato and carrot-colored blooms. I’ve been in love with this cabbage leaf arrangement from Panacea Event Floral Design since we posted it. It makes me hungry just looking at it!