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The Dreamiest Places to Tie the Knot

Santa Barbara is a sought-after wedding destination for good reason. With breathtaking ocean views, magnificent Spanish architecture, and tranquil vineyards, there’s something inherently romantic about the idyllic wedding venues in Santa Barbara County.

A wedding on the beach is one example of the idyllic wedding venues in Santa Barbara

Image courtesy of Kelsey Crews Photo

For starters, the happy couple is welcome to tie the knot with a ceremony held right on the beach. There are several options of our pristine coastline available where spectacular ceremonies can be held, including East Beach, Leadbetter Beach, Montecito’s Butterfly Beach, and Summerland Beach.

Or perhaps you want to recite your vows at sea? Then Santa Barbara’s Channel Cat Charters is for you. As the biggest, most elegant catamaran in the world, the Channel Cat is a unique Santa Barbara wedding venue, providing a dreamy sail down the coast featuring postcard-worthy views of the Santa Barbara coastline.

Then there’s the 1929 Santa Barbara County Courthouse, revered as one of the most beautiful public buildings in the country. This historic landmark is a working courthouse, so you can get a marriage license and be married by a County Clerk in the Hall of Records on the same day.

If you are looking to throw a more elaborate affair, however, Santa Barbara County has every option imaginable. Whether you’re dreaming of an elegant French countryside wedding or a chic, sophisticated celebration, these 5 Santa Barbara wedding venues will have the happy couple saying “I do” in style.

Wedding set up above the beach at the Ritz Carlton

Photo Credit: Brandon Todd

    This spellbinding venue expresses the romance of the American Rivera with a collection of distinctive wedding locations combined with expert planning services. Exchange vows against a breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, or celebrate with a lavish reception in the Bacara Ballroom, where 23-foot ceilings and gilt-framed mirrors create an aura of romantic indulgence. Whether you envision an outdoor ceremony on the resort’s 78-impeccably landscaped acres overlooking the coastline, or an indoor affair to remember, the happy couple will find everything needed here. Of course, the natural light is unsurpassed, and there are ocean or garden views and outdoor sea-view terraces; all with infinitely adaptable square footage.

Photo Credit: Chris J. Evans – Photographer, Tyler Speier – Event Planner/Creative Director

    If the panoramic views of the scenic mountains and oceans aren’t enough, the Canary Hotel offers an impressive list of wedding amenities to make wedding dreams a reality. There are seven ceremony spaces to choose from. Saying “I do” on Canary’s romantic rooftop pool and lounge area is just the icing on the (wedding) cake while a grand affair in one of the hotel ballrooms sets the stage for a life filled with love. Your catering? Let the culinary visionaries from the property’s signature restaurant, Finch & Fork prepare your favorite farm-to-table dishes. Outside catering can also be arranged. The wedding experts at Canary will obsess over every detail, from the flowers, to booking rooms for out-of-town guests. Its mission is to ensure everything goes smoothly from start to finish.
Night time wedding behind a lovely fountain at the Santa Barbara  Historical Museum

Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Historical Museum

    Evoke the romance of early Spanish California with a wedding held on the grounds of this cultural landmark located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic district. The museum offers two private interconnected courtyards for your ceremony and reception. Both areas are distinguished by native and exotic landscaping, accented with fountains and Spanish California architecture. The ambiance sets the stage for the perfect, romantic traditional outdoor wedding. 
A reception dinner set up at a local vineyard

Photo Credit: MK Sadler

    Tucked away in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, Sunstone Vineyards will make the entire wedding party feel like they’ve left the country for a romantic retreat into the Italian countryside. A ceremony overlooking the vineyard in this Tuscan-inspired courtyard is one for the record books, surrounded by beautiful architectural details like French limestone, wood beams, and roof tiles from a 19th-century lavender factory once owned by Queen Victoria. Meander through the grounds to the 8,500-square foot Sunstone Villa, a breathtaking backdrop for the nuptials and the party afterward. There are several other perfect wedding locations on the grounds.
Cuple getting married in Ojai in front of a majestic tree

Photo Credit: Wild Whim Photography

    This is the all-in-one wedding venue that offers a breathtaking setting for a one-of-a-kind wedding with romantic locations throughout the property. We’re talking ballrooms of every scale, private gardens, cottages, and more, customized to make memories of the special day live forever in your heart. Here, the couple can host all their pre-and post-wedding needs, from relaxing treatments at Spa Ojai, and fitness classes, to a golf green, and even art lessons at the Artist Cottage. 

When it comes to wedding planning tools, Santa Barbara Wedding Style and the Santa Barbara Independent Wedding Resource Guide have everything you need when it comes to idyllic Santa Barbara wedding venues, as well as everything else that goes along with the big day.

Meantime, if you’re thinking of moving to a new home, or buying one for the happy couple in any of the lovely Santa Barbara area communities, please take a look at my comprehensive website. Then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for your complimentary consultation.

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