Santa Barbara Wedding Venues:
Everything You Need to Know
With so many gorgeous Santa Barbara wedding venues, you’re sure to find the ideal spot for your wedding ceremony—not to mention the many picturesque venues for Santa Barbara wedding receptions, too! This coastal paradise is also often called the “American Riviera” for its stunning views and beautiful weather. If you choose to select one of the many Santa Barbara wedding venues, you’ll find that plenty of other couples also enjoyed these locales—including some celebrities! Due to the city’s natural beauty and close proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara wedding venues are in high demand.
Couples flock to wedding venues in Santa Barbara because there are venues available that suit all wedding aesthetics. Some popular Santa Barbara wedding venues include parks, beachfront hotels, estates, vineyards, ranches, and beaches, to name just a few. If you’re looking for photos of these wedding venues in Santa Barbara, our library of Santa Barbara weddings can help. See pictures of over 300 real couples who tied the knot at some of the best Santa Barbara wedding venues. If one or more of these Santa Barbara wedding venues stand out to you, you can navigate directly to their site for more information. Let your search begin!
What should you know about Santa Barbara wedding venues?
The Mediterranean-like weather is only one facet of what this city has to offer; the mix of modern and historic architecture are also what makes Santa Barbara wedding venues so picturesque. This is why somany people refer to Santa Barbara as the American Riviera. With so many Santa Barbara wedding venues on the ocean, you’ll be able to soak up all of the natural beauty that this city offers.
If you’re looking to get married in Santa Barbara, you’ll find that you have plenty of wedding venue options. There are a variety of Santa Barbara wedding ceremony and Santa Barbara wedding receptions spaces that will provide the perfect backdrop for your big day.
Get inspired by real weddings, check out the insider tips for Santa Barbara wedding receptions, and put together an all-star vendor team by checking out our local directory. You’ll be able to see what real Santa Barbara weddings looked like, and curate your vendor team appropriately.
What’s the best time of year for a Santa Barbara wedding?
Pick your wedding date with the weather in mind. June, July, and August are ideal if your potential Santa Barbara wedding venues include beaches, like one of the manySanta Barbara beachfront hotels. If your wedding party is relatively small, and you’re aiming for a sunny month when there shouldn’t be much rain, you can have your wedding ceremony right on the beach. This could also help you keep your Santa Barbara wedding cost down—but don’t forget that beach permits may be required! In addition, there are plenty of different Santa Barbara beaches, so do your due diligence to find the right one. (If you or one of your party guests uses a wheelchair, you can reserve a beach-specific wheelchair to make your Santa Barbara wedding venue accessible.) Alternatively, with plenty of gorgeous Santa Barbara beachfront hotels, you can have all of the views and the comfort an indoor wedding venue offers all-in-one. Just remember: you can have a beach wedding any time of the year in Santa Barbara, but you may have a higher likelihood of experiencing rain during the off-season. That being said, your Santa Barbara wedding cost will go down if you select an off-season wedding date.
From November to April, there are varying chances of rainfall. Indoor locations for your Santa Barbara wedding ceremony and following Santa Barbara wedding receptions would be ideal. Also, remember that local hot spots are booked months in advance.
The main reason couples opt for indoor Santa Barbara wedding venues is because of the threat of inclement weather. While Santa Barbara weather is generally gorgeous, rain does happen. Therefore, if you don’t have to worry about the potential of rain interfering with your big day, you have more flexibility with dates.
How much do Santa Barbara weddings cost?
The cost of hosting a wedding ceremony in the American Riviera varies. With so many Santa Barbara wedding venues, you’ll be able to find one or more that are within your price point
In 2020, the average Santa Barbara wedding cost was $29,029. A few years earlier, in 2017, that price reached $34,400. Compare this to the average cost of weddings in the United States, which was $20,300 in 2020. The average Santa Barbara wedding cost is slightly higher than the average wedding cost in the U.S., largely due to high demand, the high cost of real estate, and gorgeous scenic views.
However, if you are looking to keep costs down, some couples decide to elope in Santa Barbara. Not only is this ideal because Santa Barbara beaches and Santa Barbara weather are typically beautiful, but there are also plenty of chic options for elopements that are more affordable at that scale. If you choose to elope, your Santa Barbara wedding photographer will capture the magic of your big day so you can share it with your family and friends. You can even consider a Santa Barbara courthouse wedding option—which is not your average courthouse, and is actually a picturesque garden space. Many lovely spaces have little-to-know site free for parties with fewer than 15 guests.
If you want to avoid any surprises or add-ons, consider working with a resort that will offer a Santa Barbara wedding package and handle all the heavy lifting for you. While this might come with a higher price tag initially, it could lead to savings as the process proceeds.
What are the different types of Santa Barbara wedding venues?
The season determines whether your selections for Santa Barbara wedding venues should be indoors or outdoors. If you want to play it safe, you can never go wrong with an indoor Santa Barbara wedding venue that offers access to a patio. Many Santa Barbara wedding ceremony spots will double as locations for Santa Barbara wedding receptions.
Take venue capacity into account, too. If you are expecting hundreds of guests to attend your wedding, Santa Barbara wedding venue estates may be a better option than a beach. Similarly, Santa Barbara hotels can typically also accommodate large groups. Take a close look at some favorite wedding venues in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel Wedding Venues:
These Santa Barbara hotels are ideal for the couple who wants to tie the knot on or near a beach, but wants a plan “B” in case of rain. Santa Barbara beachfront hotels may even be able to set up a beach bonfire for you!
Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Venues:
Not only is the Santa Barbara courthouse beautiful, but you could also potentially stay within your price range by selecting this wedding venue. The Santa Barbara courthouse can accommodate intimate and larger parties alike. Your Santa Barbara wedding photographer will be able to take stunning pictures if you select this wedding venue option, as the mission-style courthouse is quite the sight.
Santa Barbara Beach Wedding Venues:
A Santa Barbara beach wedding is plenty of fun, but remember that you’ll need to get a permit. The sooner you reserve your spot, the more likely you will be to get the hottest spot for your Santa Barbara beach wedding. If you’d like to have a Santa Barbara wedding on the ocean but not have your toes in the sand, a Santa Barbara beachfront hotel wedding is a great compromise.
Santa Barbara Garden Wedding Venues:
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a wonderful venue. Envision it as the backdrop for beautiful music and an intimate wedding party. Garden wedding venues in Santa Barbara are especially popular during the springtime!
Santa Barbara Zoo Wedding Venues:
Your wedding planner has probably brought a Santa Barbara Zoo wedding to life before, so they’ll know how to work with the administration to plan your wedding. A Santa Barbara Zoo wedding also offers you the opportunity to have your wedding ceremony and Santa Barbara reception venue in the same spot, and it’s wonderfully unique!
Santa Barbara Ballroom Wedding Venues:
There are plenty of ballrooms available as Santa Barbara wedding venues. In some cases, you might even be able to find a Santa Barbara wedding venue on the ocean in the form of a ballroom. Many Santa Barbara hotels will also offer a ballroom wedding option.
Santa Barbara Religious Wedding Venues:
If you are a member of a specific faith community, you might be able to use their facility for your Santa Barbara wedding ceremony. Some of these might have the opportunity to double as your Santa Barbara wedding receptions spaces.
Santa Barbara Vineyard Wedding Venues:
Couples adore the beauty of Santa Barbara vineyards. There are fewer crowds than at the Santa Barbara Zoo, but have equally scenic spaces. The natural setting is breathtaking. If you are thinking of an early evening ceremony, Santa Barbara vineyards are ideal at twilight.
Santa Barbara Estate Wedding Venues:
Before committing to a Santa Barbara wedding estate for your ceremony, take a tour to see if you like the opulent setting. If Santa Barbara estate wedding venues are a good fit, make your reservation right away, as they are in high demand!
Santa Barbara Ranch Wedding Venues:
While ranch-style property may appeal to those with a love for everything rustic, consider that many have wonderful spaces that are versatile enough for many styles of Santa Barbara wedding receptions.
Santa Barbara Restaurant Wedding Venues:
If you are looking for a Santa Barbara wedding venue for a smaller crowd, you might opt to select a restaurant with a private space. Often these restaurants will offer you Santa Barbara wedding packages, and you can combine the food and venue cost.
Santa Barbara Museum Wedding Venues:
Many couples have tied the knot at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and recommend the experience. As a Santa Barbara wedding venue goes, this locale offers you plenty of unique charm and a gorgeous backdrop.
What are the different areas of Santa Barbara?
There are plenty of things to do in Santa Barbara, as there are plenty of different areas of Santa Barbara. When you are in the process of checking out Santa Barbara wedding venues, you might consider looking into venues in different neighborhoods of Santa Barbara. These locales have their own distinct look and feel, so checking out what Santa Barbara has to offer is an excellent idea if you’re wondering which is the right option for your wedding ceremony and Santa Barbara wedding receptions.
Santa Barbara weddings gained momentum because no matter what you’re looking for, you can find it in this coastal city. The neighborhoods and neighboring towns all have their own unique charm, as you will see when you’re seeking out your Santa Barbara wedding venue. For example, Montecito wedding venues cater to those who are seeking opulence and elegance. There are plenty of Santa Barbara hotels in the area, and you might even spot a celebrity, as Montecito is frequently the location for Santa Barbara celebrity weddings. On the contrary, Carpinteria wedding venues come with a small-town, barefoot-in-the-sand vibe. There are excellent Carpinteria wedding venues as well as spaces for smaller Santa Barbara wedding parties. If you select a Santa Barbara wedding venue in Carpinteria, you’re going to have a wedding with a view—which means it’s a perfect spot to bring your beach wedding dreams to life.
Heading downtown in the American Riviera gives you a beach community feel while only being steps away from Santa Barbara beaches. The Mesa is nearby but has a completely different character. An Isla Vista wedding ceremony appeals to many younger couples and artists. The area scores points for its originality, and it offers plenty of things to do. The Funk Zone should also be considered when you’re looking into Santa Barbara wedding venues. This local area has a very distinct look and feel. It’s a vibrant neighborhood, not to mention it’s extremely close to Santa Barbara beaches.
Santa Barbara hotels in Mission Canyon are beautiful. Your Santa Barbara wedding photographers will be able to snap gorgeous photos if you select one of these wedding venues in Santa Barbara. In addition, this area is largely residential, making it a peaceful location to say “I do.” Mission Canyon may also be an ideal spot if you’re having a destination wedding, as there are plenty of things to do in Santa Barbara. Last but certainly not least, Paso Robles wedding venues are an excellent option if you’re looking to swap Santa Barbara beaches for Santa Barbara vineyards. These Paso Robles wedding venues will provide the tastiest wine for Santa Barbara wedding receptions.
How do you find Santa Barbara wedding vendors?
You’ve toured the neighborhoods, narrowed your list of the best Santa Barbara wedding venues for your event, but now you need your team. Who creates the best Santa Barbara wedding receptions? Who’s the Santa Barbara wedding photographer the stars hire? No matter which Santa Barbara wedding vendor you’re looking to select and hire, our gallery can help you. When you browse real wedding photos, you’ll be able to see exactly which vendors brought the images to life for couples who married at various wedding venues in Santa Barbara, and get in touch with them directly. Here are some of the key vendors you’ll want to consider:
Santa Barbara Wedding Planners:
Your Santa Barbara wedding planner is your ultimate resource when you are planning your big day. Because they’re pros at creating gorgeous weddings in Santa Barbara, they’ll know everything from where the best wedding venues in Santa Barbara are, to where Santa Barbara celebrity weddings have taken place. In addition, your planner can help source your other Santa Barbara wedding vendors.
Santa Barbara Florists:
The blooms you select for your big day can help set the scene for your wedding. You’ll need flowers for your wedding ceremony, and in Santa Barbara wedding receptions, too. Therefore, you should find the best Santa Barbara florists who can help you make your flower vision come true. You can even find Santa Barbara wedding florists who have experience curating gorgeous flower arrangements for your particular venue.
Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers:
Santa Barbara wedding photographers do more than snap pictures, they capture the ambiance of your Santa Barbara wedding receptions, wedding ceremony, and your celebration of love. Santa Barbara wedding photographers will also know the best places for pre-wedding and post-wedding shoots. Whether you’re getting married at a Santa Barbara beachfront hotel or on a Santa Barbara vineyard, your Santa Barbara wedding photographer will capture the beauty of your wedding and your love.
Santa Barbara Wedding Cake Bakers:
Santa Barbara wedding cakes are the perfect sendoff at the end of your Santa Barbara wedding reception. You’ll want your Santa Barbara wedding cakes to be freshly created by a talented baker who knows how to customize a cake so that it’s uniquely you and your partner.
Santa Barbara Wedding Musicians:
Music infuses energy into your Santa Barbara wedding day. Whether you’re looking for music to play at your Santa Barbara reception venues, or you’re looking for wedding ceremony music, there are plenty of options. You might select a delicate string quartet to play during your wedding ceremony and select a talented Santa Barbara wedding DJ to get the party started during Santa Barbara wedding receptions.
If you are working with Santa Barbara hotels, you should reach out and see if there are Santa Barbara wedding packages available. You might be able to package several of these Santa Barbara wedding vendors together, including wedding catering. Alternatively, you could inquire with your Santa Barbara wedding planner about the potential for Santa Barbara wedding packages.
Where do celebrities get married in Santa Barbara?
A Santa Barbara wedding has long since been a favorite of celebrities. With so many things to do in Santa Barbara, some celebrities even combine their wedding with a honeymoon. Another reason Santa Barbara wedding venues stand out to celebrities is because of the beauty of the area and Santa Barbara beaches. For those curious, you can look into renting the same Santa Barbara wedding venue that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin selected. The actress isn’t the only one who chose Santa Barbara; Chris Pratt & Katherine Schwarzenegger also said “I do” in the American Riviera. With so many gorgeous Santa Barbara reception venues, it’s no surprise that these two couples aren’t the only ones who took advantage of the ambiance Santa Barbara offers. Fergie and Josh Duhamel also wed in Santa Barbara, and Oprah even lives in Montecito. If you are heading to Santa Barbara beaches, you might even have a celebrity sighting in Santa Barbara!
How do you get to Santa Barbara?
The popularity of Santa Barbara reception venues and tourist attractions establishes this coastal city as a popular destination for travelers. Airports include the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport for commercial flights and Santa Barbara Aviation for private jets and charters. In addition, Route 101 links the beach city to the Central Coast region, which sees San Francisco on the north end and Los Angeles in the southeast. While driving may take a few hours, consider taking a connecting flight from the large cities on a local carrier.
Are you ready to tie the knot at your Santa Barbara wedding venue of your dreams? Check out photos of the venue all dressed up for past Santa Barbara weddings in our gallery, and book it!