Photo Credit: Beautiful Day Photography, courtesy of MOXI
When searching for the ultimate outdoor wedding venue, it’s easy to be swept off your feet with luxe locations available in the Santa Barbara South Coast. From Goleta to Montecito, every inch of The American Riviera® exudes romance, and its sheer beauty is unparalleled. Couples are quick to begin their lifetime of adventure in settings just as inspiring as their love. And with Santa Barbara as the backdrop, your love is sure to make a lasting impression.
Use this guide to fall in love with Santa Barbara’s most swoon-worthy outdoor wedding venues.
Venues on the Sand & Sea
Oceanfront wedding venues are plentiful in Santa Barbara like the popular Cabrillo Pavilion at East Beach, where many couples hold their reception after a wedding on the sands of East Beach or Leadbetter Beach. Butterfly and Summerland beaches are other enticing options for smaller beach weddings. If you’d like to get out on the water for your wedding, experienced boat charters going out of Santa Barbara Harbor and SEA Landing include the Double Dolphin (41-passenger catamaran), Sunset Kidd (15-passenger Out Island Ketch) and the Channel Cat (149-passenger luxury catamaran). Continuing the seafaring theme, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum on the Harbor offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for weddings and receptions.
Note: Permits are required and easily obtained for beach weddings in city limits.
Countless green spaces and fragrant gardens dot the Santa Barbara South Coast. For a truly magical garden wedding, membership has its benefits at Ganna Walska Lotusland in Montecito. The 36-acre estate—one of the 10 best gardens in the world—is available for weddings if certain membership requirements are met. You won’t have to jump through as many hoops to access the view at Santa Barbara Zoo with its 30 acres of gardens and scenic event spaces…complete with animal encounters. Elings Park also offers elevated views of the ocean and mountains with three different private wedding spots: Godric Grove, Singleton Pavilion and South Bluffs.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden welcomes weddings with earthy, organic flair on its 78-acre grounds of California native plantings including meadows and a redwood forest. Just around the bend, the Mission Rose Garden presents a more manicured option with rows of 1,500 roses and an expansive grassy lawn. Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens spans an entire city block and offers elegant garden settings (think gazebos and ponds) at a very affordable price point given it’s a public park. Chase Palm Park is another budget-friendly city gem where you can marry ocean and park atmospheres.
Two leading luxury boutique hotels in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara offer prime rooftop perches for nuptials and receptions. The Kimpton Canary Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean-style fifth-story rooftop can be reserved for weddings with a 360-degree view of the Santa Ynez Mountains and downtown’s sea of red tile rooftops. Hotel Californian on lower State Street offers a choice of rooftop locations with panoramic ocean and mountain views. The Hotel Californian’s neighbor, MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, also has an incredible rooftop Sky Garden event space.
Luxury Outdoor Venues
Santa Barbara’s beachfront resorts have earned themselves top spots as best locations for outdoor wedding venues, and it’s easy to see why. These enchanting seaside locales speak for themselves with breathtaking views and exquisite attention to every detail. At Rosewood Miramar Beach, lawn and garden settings are lush, manicured and groomed to perfection while Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort offers 180-degree ocean views from Plaza Del Sol, a 20,000 sq. foot open air patio. Commit to forever alongside the sweeping bluffs and setting sun at The Ritz-Carlton, Bacara, Santa Barbara or look towards your future and gaze out over Santa Barbara from the hilltop at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel.