I am enamored with weddings because they are one of the happiest days in a person’s life. I love everything from seeing families coming together to the small details that go into making each wedding unique. But nothing beats being able to capture portraits of a newly married couple sharing their first blissful moments.
Southern California is one of my favorite destinations for shooting amazing wedding photos. Not only is it brimming with gorgeous landscapes, but the weather is always perfect so I don’t have to worry about rain debacles, people sweating in photos, or shivering cold brides. For couples looking for an outdoor wedding any time of the year, these venues are a few of my go-to picks.
This venue is great because it was designed specifically for weddings so every detail is thought out. There are gardens winding throughout the grounds so it smells amazing and saves on your floral budget. They also have furniture, flatware, and decor on site for rent that matches the rustic aesthetics so the wedding planning is a lot less stress. They even set it up and take it all down for you! Overall, I love how secluded, peaceful, and accommodating this venue is. It’s a perfect mixture of all the good things.
This charming lodge is hidden in the hills of the Santa Monica Mountain. It’s covered with sycamore and oak trees and has its own private lake. This venue boasts over 80 years of hosting weddings and celebrations for the families of the Malibou lakeside community so they know what they are doing. It has a rich history that carries a certain sense of sanctity to it. What I love is that it has both indoor and outdoor areas for your ceremony. Some couples will do their ceremony inside and then have their reception outside as the sunsets. It’s also good to have an indoor option for the off chance it actually rains.
Surprisingly found in the small marine town of Dana Point, this sprawling resort boasts a 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean and an 18 hole golf course. It embodies modern luxury with a classic feel. Almost equal to the beauty of the grounds is the customer service of the staff. The couples I’ve photographed there all mentioned how warm, accommodating, and top-notch the service was. That’s super important on your wedding day. The views are incredible so every picture from your big day will look fantastic!
This 1920s Mediterranean-style mansion lives on the coastline between Santa Monica and Malibu and has breathtaking views. Nothing says romance like exchanging your vows on the bluffs overlooking the Los Angeles bay. This venue has indoor and outdoor options as well, though most couples choose to be outdoors for obvious reasons. What I love most about this location, besides the ocean view, is their sprawling lush gardens and the fact that they have golf carts that take guests from place to place the day of. It makes the day (and my life) go so much smoother!
Nestled in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu Wine Country, Calamigos Ranch is the go-to spot for gatherings, relaxation and wellness getaways, and to watch people pledging their undying love to each other. I love the thick forest of giant trees surrounding the venue and the mini rock waterfalls scattered throughout the terrain. What’s great about this location is they have so many different areas to choose from on the property and each is very distinct from the others so you have a lot of options when creating your dream wedding. One of the locations even has a Ferris Wheel! All in all Calamigos ranch has the most variety and is gorgeous to boot.
The Gardens at Los Robles Greens is an open-air outdoor wedding and event space. The venue can accommodate ceremonies and receptions of up to 350 guests. It features a wedding ceremony site with amphitheater-style seating, wooden pergolas and a fully paved ceremony aisle. There are many locations for photos at this property and the service is unbelievable.
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