Orange County Wedding Venues:
Everything You Need to Know
It’s time to head to the OC! An Orange County wedding celebration can be the perfect way to celebrate the love shared by you and your partner. Orange County wedding venues offer elegance in a variety of settings, including scenic beachside and waterfront options and even elegant resort ballrooms and other event spaces. Whether you are interested in the best beach wedding venues California has to offer or are planning a glamorous estate gathering, you can easily find a spot that suits your needs in this area of Southern California.
Orange County wedding venues are available in a wide range of price points that will suit most budgets. Celebrations hosted in public parks require permits but will generally be far less expensive than comparable wedding celebrations at the most popular wedding venues in Orange County. With our directory of real weddings, you can compare various venues and to decide on the right option for your wedding ceremony and reception.
From an elegant ceremony on a Newport Beach wedding yacht to a garden wedding in San Clemente, there are so many ways to plan your Orange County wedding. We offer information on venues, vendors, and other key information you will need to make your wedding an unforgettable experience for all those in attendance.
What's the best time of year for an Orange County wedding?
While there is no bad time of year to plan an event at any of the Orange County wedding venues, some seasons are more likely to experience high demand for venues and higher concentrations of tourists. Knowing what to expect can help you to schedule your Orange County wedding venue at a time that works for you and that allows you to achieve the best results. Here are some points to keep in mind when planning your wedding in Orange County:
This is the most popular season for wedding venues in Orange County. As a result, many of the top beach wedding venues California is famous for will be booked solid for months or even years in advance. The cool breezes from the ocean in beach cities can ensure that summer weddings in Orange County are comfortable for everyone who attends your celebration too. These cities can sometimes reach triple-digit temperatures during the hottest part of the summer.
By contrast, Orange County wedding venues are often less expensive and less busy during the winter months. Outdoor wedding venues in Orange County, however, could experience a higher chance of rain and cooler temperatures that could make them less conducive to a stress-free outdoor wedding celebration. Making sure you have a backup for the beach wedding venues California couples recommend is essential if you plan to marry between November and March too. Cold temperatures are common during the winter in desert areas of the inland or at some of the beach wedding venues California has to offer. If you are looking for a winter wedding in this area, choosing Orange County wedding venues that are located between the coast and the far-inland areas can reduce the risk of chilly temperatures that could mar your outdoor ceremony. Alternatively, you can opt for indoor wedding venues in Orange County that can provide shelter from less comfortable outdoor weather. All of that said, even the beach wedding venues California is known for should be gorgeous and pleasant during this time.
Spring or Fall
If you are planning to get married at one of the many Orange County wedding venues, think through the exact location. Given the information about summer and winter above, opting for a spring or fall wedding in these areas can allow you to manage temperatures for outdoor weddings in Orange County.
Other Weather Considerations
At all Orange County wedding venues, making plans in case of rain can prevent sudden storms from affecting your ceremony or reception. Though the state is known for having a serious drought issue, there are rainy days here and there. Selecting Orange County wedding venues that feature indoor-outdoor options can often be the best way to manage the threat of rain and to ensure that your plans are not spoiled by raindrops falling on you and your guests.
Wedding venues in Orange County are available in a wide range of types and price ranges. In some cases, working with experienced Orange County wedding planners can help you find the perfect venues and options for your once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.
What are the different types of Orange County wedding venues?
Orange County spans almost 950 square miles of territory and offers plenty of options for wedding venues within its borders. From Huntington Beach wedding venues to the natural beauty of Orange’s Santiago Oaks Regional Park, you can find the right places all over this region. As you review your options, it’s important to narrow it down to the wedding venues in Orange County that reflect your desired theme and allow you to create the ideal backdrop for your upcoming celebration.
- Outdoor wedding venues in Orange County: Outdoor Orange County wedding venues are among the most popular options for couples who are planning to tie the knot in this area. From beaches to gardens to parks, you can easily find the perfect outdoor Orange County venues.
- Vineyard wedding venues in Orange County: Finding the best vineyard wedding venues in Orange County can be challenging thanks to the wide selection of options in the area. Vineyards offer a romantic backdrop for your exchange of vows and your wedding reception, which can make them an excellent choice for your big day. Silverado is a popular city for a vineyard wedding, and nearby Temecula (technically part of neighboring Riverside County) is another popular Southern California region for winemakers.
- Garden wedding venues in Orange County: Choosing one of the many garden wedding venues in Orange County can reduce the cost of decor for these venues and can allow you to enjoy the beauty of nature on your wedding day. Many of these are at luxury hotels in the area, and there are botanical gardens throughout the county too.
- Seaside wedding venues in Orange County: Beach wedding venues in Orange County offer iconic experiences that reflect the beauty of the ocean and allow you to say your vows with your toes in the sand. If you are looking for the beach wedding venues California couples recommend most, consider the popular beach cities like Newport, Huntington, and Laguna.
- Hotel and resort wedding venues in Orange County: If you and your partner want the ultimate in comfort and convenience, selecting one of the many hotel wedding venues in Orange County can allow you to avoid any issues with the weather on your special day. Hotels and resorts in Orange County are often located close to the most popular beach wedding venues California has to offer. This can make it much easier to combine a beach wedding with a reception in an elegant ballroom or other indoor setting.
- Park wedding venues in Orange County: The California Department of Parks and Recreation offers a number of options for Orange County wedding venues. And while they guarantee natural beauty and greenery galore, it is important to check for which amenities and facilities are available in these locations too. There is a chance you’ll need to bring in necessary things like bathrooms or a kitchen for your catering company, or it might serve as a better location for a ceremony only.
- Estate wedding venues in Orange County: Orange County wedding venues at estates typically offer unmatched elegance and an array of amenities for you, your partner, and your guests. From well-known mansions to cultural centers with gardens aplenty, these are ideal for the most glamorous events imaginable.
- Restaurant wedding venues in Orange County: These wedding venues in Orange County can make your reception even more special for you and your guests, and allow you to really prioritize food and catering. You can choose from top-rated restaurants or select an eatery with special significance for you and your partner when choosing one of these wedding venues in Orange County.
The location you choose among the many wedding venues in Orange County will also have a real impact on the weather you will experience and the difficulty you may have in finding available dates for your special event. Orange County wedding venues fill up fast, so reserving your Newport Beach wedding yacht or other popular option early is important to ensure the best selection and the right dates for your epic celebration.
What are the different areas of Orange County?
Orange County consists of three basic regions, each of which offers its own unique flavor and options for wedding locations. To the north, Orange County wedding venues are largely concentrated in the following cities:
- Anaheim: Some of the most beautiful spots in California are located close to Anaheim. Disneyland is also in this area, which can make it a popular activity for guests traveling for destination weddings in Orange County.
- Fullerton: The home of California State University, Fullerton is also the site of many of the most popular wedding venues in Orange County. With 53 city parks serving just under 142,000 residents, you can find the most incredible Orange County wedding venues at affordable prices in Fullerton.
- Brea: This city is known for its public art program, which can add beauty and style to the Orange County wedding venues in this area. A serene spot for your celebration, Brea can provide some of the most elegant wedding venues in Orange County.
Central Orange County wedding venues are located in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and several other cities in this area. Newport Beach wedding venues are especially popular and include several cruise options for happy couples. For a more relaxed approach, Huntington Beach wedding venues are a popular option for boho and rustic weddings with a surfing theme (cowabunga!). Some of the most popular central Orange County wedding venues include the following:
- Huntington Beach: Huntington Beach is commonly referred to as Surf City, USA. Finding affordable Huntington Beach wedding venues can not only allow you to enjoy access to sun and sand but can also provide access to surfing opportunities for your guests. Huntington Beach wedding venues often focus on sand and sun. If you are looking for the best Huntington Beach wedding venues, many include beachside resorts and other dreamy spaces near the coast
- Newport Beach: Newport Beach wedding venues include some amazing options for you and your partner. Planning your ceremony and reception on a Newport Beach wedding yacht can offer surprising benefits, and makes for pretty remarkable photos. These Newport Beach wedding venues can allow you to be married by the captain of the ship or any other officiant you choose. By selecting a Newport Beach wedding yacht as your venue, you can exchange your vows on the high seas with a group of your closest friends and family members. Newport Beach wedding cruises are the perfect solution for couples looking for a unique approach to their event, and love the idea of being surrounded by the bay. You can also choose from other Newport Beach wedding venues at golf courses, yacht clubs, or hotels to find the best options for your needs.
- Irvine: As a master-planned community, Irvine is home to more than 300,000 people. The Orange County wedding venues in this area can potentially provide more affordable alternatives for couples looking to marry in California. Venue styles include gardens, parks, and many more.
Southern Orange County offers plenty of sunshine to brighten up your wedding day. Many of the top wedding venues in Orange County are located in this area, which will make it easier for you and your partner to select the right options for you.
- Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach wedding venues include museums, gardens, and resort hotels. Your Laguna Beach wedding can also be held on the beach for the most romantic toes-in-the-sand celebration. When checking out Laguna Beach wedding venues, be sure to inquire about indoor-outdoor options. While rain is not common at most Laguna Beach wedding celebrations, making sure you have a backup plan can provide you with added options when planning your wedding at these Orange County wedding venues. Because it’s such a popular area, Laguna Beach wedding venues may require you to book at least a year in advance. Keep this in mind when choosing a date for your Laguna Beach wedding.
- Dana Point: Dana Point wedding venues in Orange County are located south of Laguna Beach. Just north of San Juan Capistrano wedding venues, these elegant and attractive options also offer water views and plenty of other pros. Locals and visitors alike love these Orange County wedding venues, and you and your guests will love the trolley system that takes them all over town. The free public transportation system could even take you to Laguna Beach wedding venues and other more popular areas within Orange County.
- San Juan Capistrano: Founded by the earliest inhabitants of this area, the return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano (a city recognized as a bird sanctuary) every March is a focal point for activities in this town. San Juan Capistrano wedding venues could be more in-demand around the time of this event, which can make it difficult to book venues during this time period. The Fourth of July is another holiday that can increase the cost of reserving San Juan Capistrano wedding venues (and all over Orange County) for your event. If you are looking for a beautiful site for your wedding that is somewhat off the beaten path, San Juan Capistrano wedding venues could be the perfect options for you and your partner. You can find the best San Juan Capistrano wedding venues in gardens and nearby the historic California mission.
- San Clemente: San Clemente wedding venues offer a small-town coastal appeal at the halfway point between Los Angeles and Los Angeles. If you are looking for the ideal San Clemente wedding venues, you can find many of them near the shore. Our directory offers photos of many of the most popular San Clemente wedding venues to help make your decision even easier.
From the best Newport Beach wedding options to gorgeous gardens in San Juan Capistrano, there’s no shortage of inspiration all over this part of Southern California. Many Laguna Beach wedding venues guarantee absolute luxury and chic waterfront photo ops. Meanwhile, San Clemente wedding venues offer the perfect coastal getaway in the most southern region of the county. All in all, you really can’t go wrong with any of these top spots.
How much does a wedding cost in Orange County?
When budgeting for an Orange County wedding, it is important to remember that Californians typically experience a higher cost of living than many other areas of the United States. Studies have shown that residents of California pay an average of $46,636 in living expenses. As a result, weddings and Orange County wedding venues specifically will likely cost more than those located elsewhere in the country.
Couples planning an Orange County wedding spend an average of more than $26,000, which is well above the national average of $20,300. Some wedding experts put that figure even higher, with estimates for Orange County wedding celebrations topping out at a significantly higher rate. Since about half of your wedding budget will go toward the venue and catering costs of your events, finding ways to cut costs on these items can often allow you to splurge a little on other areas of your wedding plans.
Your vendors will also make up a significant percentage of your wedding costs. Hiring Orange County wedding caterers typically will require about one-fourth of your total budget. And Orange County wedding florists and photographers, will also dip into a significant portion of your total budget too.
How do you find Orange County wedding vendors?
Your wedding vendors will have a significant impact on the success of your wedding plans. Selecting the right Orange County wedding photographers, videographers, florists, and wedding planners can help to make your wedding even more special for you and your partner. Here are some of the most important vendors you will need to make your wedding plans come to life:
- Orange County wedding planners can provide added help in managing all aspects of your wedding. Your Orange County wedding planners can often provide you with information specific to this part of California. By selecting one of the Orange County wedding planners California couples often recommend, you can gain valuable assistance in finding the right vendors and ensuring the best results. This includes finding the best vendors and of course, determining which of the many Orange County wedding venues will work best for you.
- Selecting the best Orange County wedding photographers can be challenging, but fortunately, that’s because there are so many to choose from. Finding a vendor who offers superior Orange County wedding photography services, however, can allow you to capture all the most important moments of your wedding ceremony and reception. Finding the right Orange County wedding photographers can be much easier with a little help from your planner too. Doing some research on Orange County wedding photography pros, like looking on their websites and social media accounts, can help you determine which expert’s style matches your vision.
- Orange County wedding videography specialists are an absolute must if you want professionally created videos of your wedding to share with friends and family. By investing in Orange County wedding videography, you can achieve the most magical results and have the full day documented by a trusted pro. Just as professional Orange County wedding photographers can achieve remarkable results not possible for amateurs, professional videographers can capture the moments you most want to remember from your wedding ceremony and reception.
- Choosing the best Orange County wedding caterers is one of the more fun tasks, especially if you get to have tastings in the lead-up. You can generally expect to pay a higher price for better-known Orange County wedding caterers than for smaller companies, but there are a range of experts in the area. You might also need to check with your venue to determine which Orange County wedding caterers they recommend or even require. Some larger Orange County wedding venues may have catering teams on site, which will make this process even more seamless.
- Vendors who provide Orange County bridesmaids dresses and bridal gowns can provide recommendations for coordinating colors and matching attire for your wedding party on your special day. Light and airy fabrics are typically chosen for Orange County bridesmaids dresses because of the warm climate in this part of the world. You can also take cues for the design and patterns of your Orange County bridesmaids dresses from the venue you choose and the decor you want for your celebration. Checking with your chosen Orange County wedding photography and videography team can also ensure that your wedding attire photographs well to create lasting memories from this special day.
- Your Orange County wedding hair and makeup team can put the finishing touches on your look for your big day. Taking the time to sit down and have a trial with the Orange County wedding hair and makeup professionals you are considering can help you look and feel your best on the day. Asking your Orange County wedding photography team for any recommendations, based on the pros they’ve worked with, can also ensure that you have a trusted glam team.
- Orange County wedding florists play a key role in helping you create the perfect decor at your event. Scheduling a meeting with the Orange County wedding florists you are considering can often provide you with greater insights into the services they can offer. You can also look for Orange County wedding florists online (including through our directory) and browse social media to see their work.
From the most beautiful Orange County bridesmaids dresses to decor and flowers for your Newport Beach wedding, finding the perfect vendors is well within reach–so long as you spend time during the research phase. Orange County wedding hair and makeup pros are all over the region, and there are plenty of photography and floral experts too. Once you have chosen your venue, we can help you select the vendors you need, including Orange County wedding videography experts and other professionals to make your day extra special.
What are some things guests can do in Orange County?
Since guests spend an average of almost $1,000 in travel expenses, gifts, and other costs associated with attending a wedding, making sure they know about the best things to do in Orange County can make the trip even more worthwhile for them.
Fortunately, there are plenty of activities and sightseeing opportunities in Orange County. Disneyland is always popular and offers activities for guests of all ages, and is an iconic part of OC history. For surf enthusiasts, planning a wedding at one of the numerous Huntington Beach wedding venues can allow your guests to enjoy Surf City for themselves too. Plus, Newport Beach wedding cruises can provide entertainment while on board and can ensure the best access to other attractions in the area. For guests staying in that area, they can enjoy the many Newport Beach piers, beaches, and popular islands like Lido and Balboa.
Making sure your guests know about the not-to-be-missed attractions of Orange County is best accomplished on your wedding website. Carats & Cake can make it easy for you to find the best options and the most beautiful places to visit for you, your partner, and those you invite to share your magical day with you.
Where do celebrities get married in Orange County?
Celebrities that include Chance the Rapper and Ian Ziering have chosen to get married in this beautiful part of the country, and many famous people have attended or hosted a Newport and Laguna Beach wedding. Looking at where celebrities tie the knot in Orange County may provide you with added insights into your own wedding plans. This can assist you in selecting the best Orange County wedding venues for your celebration and can ensure that your wedding lives up to your expectations.
Adding a few luxury touches to your chosen venue can allow you to create a wedding fit for royalty or celebrity. For example, ordinary Newport Beach wedding celebrations can be transformed by taking your guests aboard for the most unique celebration. Newport Beach wedding cruises, for example, can help your guests see the area they’re visiting while celebrating your love. Keeping everything contained to one luxury boat can also ensure that your Orange County wedding videography and photography team will easily capture unforgettable images of your event.
How do you get to Orange County?
Most guests who do not live in the area will depend on air travel to reach your wedding venues in Orange County. Both domestic and international airlines fly into the local area, allowing them to reach most Orange County wedding venues easily. Some of the biggest airports in the region are listed here:
- Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX as it is more commonly known, is the fourth busiest airport in the entire world. In 2018, more than 78 million passengers traveled through LAX on their journeys. LAX is conveniently located and offers car rental options to help your guests reach your Orange County wedding venues much more easily (within an hour or two, depending on the final destination).
- Long Beach Airport is also close to many of the beach wedding venues California offers and can provide easy access by car to most other Orange County wedding venues. With three runways and more than 1160 acres of land, Long Beach Airport is a center for aviation in the state of California as a whole.
- Located directly in Orange County, John Wayne Airport served nearly eight million passengers in 2021. It’s also near major highways and is ideal for those attending a Newport Beach wedding or other event in the central Orange County region. All in all, John Wayne Airport offers the most efficient access to many of the best wedding venues in Orange County.
Providing your invited guests with information on transportation options to your wedding venues in Orange County will make it easier for them to make plans to attend your celebration. You can provide maps or instructions to guide your guests to your wedding venues in Orange County as part of an insert to your printed wedding invitation or on your wedding website.
How can you start planning an Orange County wedding?
At Carats & Cake, we offer an inside look at real weddings and Orange County wedding venues that can help you make the most appropriate choices for your wedding day plans. Want to check out San Juan Capistrano wedding venues? Or perhaps you’re dreaming of a bayfront fete aboard one of the Newport Beach wedding cruises? Whichever wedding venues in Orange County you prefer, we can help you find the best options for your budget and any other priorities you might have. If you want to find the perfect Orange County wedding photographers, florists or other vendors, you can also discover your best options within our directory.