Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same. Helen Keller
It's Spring in San Diego and with the longer days and better [usually] weather our thoughts turn to flowers and gardens and greenery for special outdoor weddings. We have pulled together a few inspiring garden wedding venues for you to dream of a flower and nature filled wedding day!
Known as The Pink Lady, La Valencia Hotel in downtown La Jolla is a charming, elegant wedding setting with a beautiful garden complete with tiled fountains, blooming flowers and, wait for it... a view that will have your out of town guests moving to San Diego within a year! Intimate, dramatic, timeless and truly unforgettable, La Valencia Hotel has been a destination to remember since its' doors opened in December 1926. The distinctive Mediterranean silhouette with its pink exterior, the lush foliage, the intimate spaces and perfect evenings – all impart an atmosphere of traditional elegance, creating one of the most romantic and sought-after wedding locations in Southern California.
Any self respecting article on garden wedding settings in San Diego would have to include the diverse, multi gardened San Diego Botanical Gardens [formerly known as Quail Gardens} in Encinitas. The San Diego Botanical Gardens offers numerous natural settings like a Victorian Gazebo Lawn: a beautiful large lawn framed by natural borders of flowing plants and mature trees with a Victorian Gazebo for a classic garden setting, the Walled Garden; an intimate location enclosed within a lovely original adobe and tile wall and surrounded by lush ferns and trees, The Waterfall View Deck, The Lawn House Garden, The Bamboo Garden, and more natural spots for photos [or kisses!] than you can ever wish for, even a Cactus Garden.
In the village of La Jolla sits an old private home that years ago was converted into a facility for special [truly special] event, The Darlington House is like an elegant grande dame with its pretty pink walls and beautiful garden patios, hand tiled waterfalls and library. This charming venue is alive with designs and details from many cultures like a foyer with an Italianate chandelier and a romantic sweeping staircase, a warmly decorated living room with French doors leading to a brick-paved Egyptian Patio, which features a beautiful fountain and pool lined with colorful Egyptian tiles.
The Andalusian Patio is adorned with Roman arches and Azulejo tiled benches and floor and the Library, filled with changing sunset shadows and the warmth of a Moroccan fireplace, was inspired by Moorish architecture. Both the Egyptian and Andalusian Patios open to the Rose Garden with its charming summerhouse, surrounded by roses, azaleas, and the sights and sounds of water creating a natural melody for your celebration.
Located in North County you can find Twin Oaks Garden Estate, a secluded estate featuring vintage twinkle-lit English gardens. Nestled among tall forests, vibrant floral, and cascading streams. this vintage venue features artistic and poetic gardens inspired by love, imagination and tranquility.
This turn of the century historic landmark estate is set in total seclusion with an Old San Marcos Schoolhouse dating back to 1891 nestled among a towering forest that dates back well over 100 years. The unique statuary, flora and fauna encompass every corner of this magnificent garden and it’s totally private garden gazebo are set in the shade of the landmark forest. The grand tented pavilion showcases towering peaks of chiffon gathered over head with crystal chandeliers and intimate lighting, all surrounded by cozy garden nooks.
The Twin Oaks House (circa 1891) is exclusively restored as a wedding estate. With its Grand Parlor reserved for the bridal party, towering tin ceilings, fainting couches and rich antiquities make this an ideal space to relax before the wedding.
Another North County gem is Mt. Woodson Castle in Ramona just east of Rancho Bernardo. This rustic stone castle, once a private home, has been standing in the midst of a beautiful natural setting since 1921. We love trees and Mt. Woodson gives you trees and plants and birds and more. 'The Castle' offers a truly magical setting unlike any other in San Diego for your Special Day. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, the photo opportunities are endless, and the venue is private for you and your guests.
One of the best kept secrets in San Diego may be right in front of you in the one of the most popular parks. The Japanese Friendship Gardens offer a timeless elegance in a very private setting. This hidden gem in the heart of San Diego's historic Balboa Park strikes the perfect balance between beauty, tranquility, and romance. At 2.5 acres, the Japanese Friendship Garden provides a uniquely intimate and unforgettable venue for weddings. Surrounded by lush trees and tall bamboo, private events enjoy exclusive private access to the entire garden to explore its winding pathways, waterfall, peaceful koi pond, and authentic Japanese garden features.
Perhaps one of the best known garden settings for wedding in San Diego is the very sweet and lovely La Jolla Woman's Club. At the turn of the 19th century, La Jolla was a simple village sparsely populated by small cottages. In 1894 a small group of women in La Jolla met to talk about current affairs and literature. This group, initially known as the Women’s Literacy Club of La Jolla, evolved into a large and prominent group who hosted speakers such as Helen Keller and Lucy Stone to inspire women of their day to change the world. Today, with its exquisite private gardens, historic Irving Gill building and ocean view, this architectural gem is a magical setting for any special occasion. With a separate parlor on either side of the main auditorium, conversation spots are convenient for just catching up with old friends during the evening. To take advantage of the exceptional San Diego weather, The Club has two lush outdoor gardens on both sides of the building. The South Garden is the ideal location for an intimate family and friends type wedding ceremony and the North Garden is a wonderful area to host a larger outdoor cocktail party, anniversary or reception.
This is by no means a complete list of natural or garden wedding settings in San Diego, just the San Diego County Parks Department alone boasts over a dozen natural settings, so wherever you wed, we wish you a beautiful, love filled day surrounded by the most beautiful setting of all; loving family and friends.
The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits. Rumi
Thank you to True Photography for all lovely wedding images.
For a list of many more top notch Venues see our Wedding Venue Directory.