Though you may picture strip malls, surfers, and Real Housewives when you think of Orange County, the OC is actually one of the most diverse corners of the mega-diverse state of California. It’s also home to lots of history and natural beauty. From Anaheim, to Newport Beach, to the scenic mountains in the east, here are the ten best wedding venues in Orange County.
Orange County is actually home to the oldest continually inhabited neighborhood in California. The Los Rios Historic District in San Juan Capistrano is where you can experience a bit of old California, including its 18th century mission and 1894 train depot. Luckily, the neighborhood is also home to one of the best wedding venues in the OC, the Villa San Juan Capistrano. Built around the turn of the 20th century, the ivy-covered villa features fruit trees, gas lamps, and cobblestone walkways. And it all comes together to make it a magical setting for your ceremony and reception!
Typical cost: $7,000–$8,000 rental fee, $8,000–$12,000 food and beverage minimum
Bonus: Packages include rentals, catering, DJ, and valet service, providing you with almost all you need for your big day.
Speaking of history, you can find plenty at the Heritage Museum of Orange County. Aside from showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Orange County, the museum is also a surprisingly affordable venue for a larger wedding. Sitting on a secluded eleven and a half acres of land, it has a historic plaza, multiple Victorian homes, and beautiful gardens for events. The Pavilion, surrounded by citrus groves and rose gardens, is a particularly enchanting location for a reception!
Typical cost: $1,450–$4,900
Bonus: While you’re busy taking photos, your guests can tour the Kellog House (pictured above) and its exhibits during cocktail hour.
Dana Point is home to one of only a few harbors in Orange County, making it a great place for an oceanside wedding. And the Dana Point Yacht club delivers with beautiful views of the Pacific from its waterfront Ballroom and Bay View patios. These locations are perfect for a ceremony by the ocean, while the elegant interiors for the club allow you and your guests to dine in style. Pair this with the delicious in-house catering and their reputations for excellent service, and you’ve got the makings of an amazing wedding day.
Typical cost: $1,000–$5,000 rental fee, reception from $75 per person
Bonus: The nearby beach is perfect for your wedding photos!
One of Anaheim’s highest-rated venues, the Colony House doesn’t disappoint. Its beautiful interior spaces include the chic, modern loft and the exquisite Great Room (pictured above) with its craftsman style ceiling. The outdoor spaces are equally impressive. The patio features a cozy fireplace and a living wall of greenery, while the backyard is a large space perfect for tented events. Plus the catering by 24 Carrots (the owners of the venue) garners rave reviews.
Typical cost: $5,000–$6,500
Bonus: Rental of the venue includes tables and chairs for up to 250 guests, and the Colony House also provides rentals of linens, flatware, decor, and lighting for an additional fee.
The Hacienda is a stunning oasis in the middle of Orange County. The venue delivers amazing outdoor spaces, charming Spanish architecture with red tile roofs, and abundant greenery. The indoor spaces are impressive as well, with a large fireplace and interior balcony overlooking the dining area. For your ceremony there is a beautiful chapel on the grounds as well. The venue is so gorgeous in fact, you won’t really need to spend too much on decorations. And if all that wasn’t enough, the venue is especially known for its excellent in-house catering.
Typical cost: $750–$2,500 (ceremony only), receptions from $60 per person
Bonus: In addition to catering, the wedding package also includes the cake, two on-site coordinators, and rehearsal.
If you long for an affordable outdoor location for your ceremony, head to the hills of eastern Anaheim. There you can find the Oak Canyon Nature Center, a hidden gem with an enchanting grove for intimate weddings. Here you can tie the knot surrounded by nature, marveling at the gorgeous coastal oaks and taking in the sound of the stream that flows just below the amphitheater.
Typical cost: $730 (Anaheim resident)–$790 (non-resident)
Bonus: The Oak Canyon Nature Center provides their sound system with the venue rental, and they will set it up and take it down for you on your wedding day.
Newport Beach has plenty of great venues of its own, but it’s also a great place to take to the sea. From Newport Harbor you can embark on one of Electra Cruises’ luxurious yachts to enjoy an unforgettable wedding. And each yacht in the fleet offers a unique experience. For a vintage feel, the Newport Princess is fitted out like a classic riverboat. The Destiny on the other hand, has a modern feel and panoramic windows, so you don’t miss the views while your dining and dancing. And the ultra-luxurious Eternity (pictured above) can host events of up to 300 guests. Whichever ship you choose, Electra Cruises offers all-inclusive wedding packages so you can have a luxury wedding that’s easy to plan and doesn’t break the bank.
Typical cost: charter fee from $6,930, dinner from $95 per person
Bonus: The Electra, a restored 1929 fantail yacht, is great for smaller weddings and has a vintage Hollywood feel.
For a wedding in a beautiful modern space, Seven4One in Laguna Beach is an excellent choice. Built in 1940, this hotel was remodeled in 2012 in a contemporary style with living walls of lush greenery and reclaimed wood. It offers some truly amazing event spaces, including an open-air courtyard with a retractable roof and a second-floor sundeck for taking in the beautiful coastal scenery. It’s also just a very short walk from the beach, which is the perfect location for your wedding photos.
Typical cost: $12,000–$16,000
Bonus: Renting the venue gets you access Friday through Sunday, allowing you to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery more during your wedding weekend.
San Juan Capistrano is a beautiful location in itself, and it has no shortage of picturesque places to have your wedding. The Franciscan Gardens allows you to get married in a beautiful green space surrounded by high walls that give it the feel of a secret hideaway. The venue also features luxurious bridal suite and groom’s lounge so you can get ready for the big event in comfort and style. Franciscan Gardens is known for top-notch service and the catering is covered by the always excellent 24 Carrots.
Typical cost: $4,000–$7,500 rental fee, $10,000 food and beverage minimum on Saturdays and holidays
Bonus: The venue’s wedding coordinators will handle all of the rentals on your wedding day, making your planning that much easier.
Located in the mountains of Eastern Orange County, Rancho Las Lomas provides everything you need for a lavish wedding celebration. The 32-acre ranch is presently home to a zoological garden and multiple gorgeous spaces for events. La Terraza is a romantic setting that has a grand wooden staircase, antique Pasadena street lamps, and cobblestone driveways. The Grand Salon is an intimate indoor space with a cozy fireplace and stained glass windows. And last, but certainly not least, is the gorgeous El Teatro (pictured above). Covered by ancient oak and sycamore trees and featuring murals from Portugal, it’s a space that your guests won’t soon forget.
Typical cost: $3,500–$8,500
Bonus: Like a few of the other great venues on this list, Rancho Las Lomas features catering by 24 Carrots.
Bonus Venue: Disneyland
You can’t talk Orange County wedding venues without at least mentioning the Magical Kingdom. If a Disneyland wedding is just the thing for you, it’s likely you’ve already been considering it. If you’re still on the fence, though, there are a few things you should know. Disneyland actually includes 13 different wedding venues, ranging from Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure to the forecourt of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Weddings at Disneyland are also all-inclusive, and they will give you choices for floral arrangements, food and beverage, and entertainment. And if you decide that a fairy tale wedding at Disney is right for you, you can reserve your date up to 18 months in advance.
Capacity: 18 (Escape) – 1,000 (Wishes)
Typical cost: Escape Collection from $6,500, Wishes Collection from $15,000