Commonly referred to as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego, California offers idyllic weather, a laid-back culture, a tapestry of amazing beaches and nature trails, and—of course—extraordinary wedding venues. There are also especially resplendent options for couples wanting a smaller venue set along the coast, situated among tropical foliage, or featuring other natural beauty.
To help you discover the optimal setting for your indoor or outdoor wedding, and simplify your planning, we’ve pulled together six of the best small wedding venues in San Diego, all of which provide stunning, intimate spaces to tie the knot.
An enchanting, hidden garden filled with palm trees, lush gardens, and reflective koi ponds, the Garden Gazebo at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is a dream San Diego ceremony site for couples wanting a small wedding among a rainbow of foliage. And because the resort is seaside, you and your guests will be treated to an optimal combination of the warm sun and cool ocean breeze.
After the ceremony, enjoy a spectacular reception in the Polynesian Kon Tiki Ballroom which is accented by a South Pacific-inspired cathedral ceiling and elegant chandeliers. The prime wedding package at Catamaran Resort includes a ceremony, a hosted cocktail hour, a reception with meal service, chairs and linens, discounted guest room rates, and numerous add-ons.
Typical Cost: Packages start at $136 per person
Bonus: You can visit the hotel’s popular spa to help you soothe pre-wedding jitters with a massage, skincare and water therapies, body wraps, and more.
Are you into the idea of your guests immediately oohing and awing when they walk into your wedding reception? If so, book your intimate wedding at Bahia Resort Hotel which features a massive, breathtaking stained-glass ceiling in the William D. Evans sternwheeler, the most popular reception site at the resort. This Victorian-era boat is docked on Mission Bay, beside the resort, and provides stunning views of the water and city.
Before converging under the gorgeous array of glass in the sternwheeler, you can choose to say your I Dos on a golden beach or under a garden gazebo surrounded by verdant grass and exotic plants. Additionally, the hotel’s numerous wedding packages offer customized food and drink menus and comfortable accommodations, simplifying planning for your big day.
Typical Cost: $11,650 – $17,500 for a 100-person wedding
Bonus: The in-house catering team is known for cooking amazing fare and offering everything from pulled pork slider stations to Mediterranean dishes.
One of the best small wedding venues in San Diego, this 1887 Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion dazzles with stunning stained glass windows that feature the likeness of exotic animals and flowers. Rounding out the old-world elegance of Britt Scribbs Manor is a Steinway grand piano that creates a supremely sophisticated ambiance when played by a pro.
For the wedding ceremony, you can pledge your love under a soaring camphor tree or in a palm tree-lined arbor filled with the ocean breeze. When it’s time for the reception, a brick patio adorned with twinkle lights doubles as a gorgeous setting for cocktails and dinner before transforming into a dance floor. For those who don’t want the party to end, The Loft on the third floor of the jewel-hued mansion offers chic furniture, a television, a bar, and perfect vibes for an after-party.
Typical Cost: $7,000 and up for the event center; $65 and up per person for food and drink
Bonus: The seven opulent guest rooms in the house can be utilized overnight.
Sitting on a half-acre, this 1927 Spanish-style clubhouse provides gorgeous outdoor spaces for ceremonies, perfect for the ideal weather Southern California is known for. Offering fountains, arbors, and trellises, and backed by a sparkling ocean view, The Thursday Club is the perfect venue to say your I Dos.
When the air cools in the evening, your guests can move into the clubhouse which provides a stylish ambiance for receptions with its stained glass windows, hardwood floors, French doors, chandeliers, and crown moldings. If you’re hoping for a wedding with classic California vibes, look no further than The Thursday Club.
Typical Cost: Starts at $3,900
Bonus: The event space is only half-a-mile from Sunset Cliffs National Park which provides awe-inspiring settings for photos.
A premier beachfront location in San Diego, Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers showstopper San Diego bay views and dapper vibes for your wedding day. Smaller gatherings at this venue are often held at the 1,200-square-foot Sunset Terrace which provides views of the San Diego skyline, the Pacific Ocean, and a beautiful water feature.
The small Bliss Garden, Grow Garden, and Nectar Garden are also available for outdoor ceremonies or receptions. If you would rather celebrate your union indoors, eat, drink, and dance in the hotel’s 5,500-square-foot Bay Terrace which has multiple levels and features gorgeous ocean vistas.
Typical Cost: Site fees range from $1,500 – $4,000; wedding packages range from $140 – $200 per person
Bonus: If you have post-ceremony cocktails on the Marina Terrace, you can make your grand entrance on a gondola!
6. Luce Loft
This small, urban space, located within the historic 1928 Carnation Dairy Factory, provides a perfect setting for couples wanting a simple and industrial-chic atmosphere. Luce Loft is made all the more unique with its arching ceilings, stained concrete floors, and large windows that fill the room with natural light during afternoon nuptials.
And while the venue may seem most suitable for a contemporary wedding, it acts as a blank canvas in many ways, making it a great choice for a boho, romantic, or vintage theme. Plus, clean-up services, lighting, and a sound system, in addition to an event manager, liability insurance, and a bridal suite, are all included with the rental fee.
Typical Cost: Rental fee is $2,000 – $5,000
Bonus: The venue’s prime location in Downtown San Diego makes it easily accessible to many of the city’s most desirable hotels.