The El Cortez Don Room and Terraces Lights up Uptown San Diego with Beauty and Style

Like a beacon of style from a bygone era, the El Cortez Don Room and Terrace lights up the uptown San Diego hilltop with its rich beauty, historic charm and elegant details. Check out more about this beautiful venue and see why it has long been a San Diego wedding favorite! 

Winery Wedding Video Highlights Love, Beautiful Land and an Awesome Sunset!

We love our local wineries and the people who work so hard to bring the age old tradition of farming the land [and making wine!] to life in our day and age. And of course we love local winery wedding venues! Check out this winery wedding highlight reel by Aspect Media Works! 

Bride Rosie tells us "David and I have met in San Diego four years ago and fell in Love immediately. Our engagement was an absolute fairytale so I knew I wanted our wedding to be the same. As a hairstylist and makeup artist I have been behind the scenes at so many weddings, so going into planning our wedding I knew exactly what we wanted and what we didn’t. 

We chose to keep it small and romantic so we chose Milagro Winery which is hidden in the hills of Ramona. It is an absolute dream venue! Their day of coordination was amazing and made my dream a reality not to mention they have really good wine. We also found a one stop shop with our caterers, they provided all the food, cake, beverages, linens, and rental furniture decor. They were a breeze to work with, they completely customized our menu to stick with the BBQ/comfort food we wanted. 

When it comes to the day-of everything went off without a hitch thanks to all my amazing vendors. We had a small 60 person wedding with just close friends and family. It was very important to us to keep it personal and intimate, so we had my husbands best friend that he was in the Marines officiate our ceremony, which made it perfect.  The reception was just as amazing, from the great food, flowers, music, and company it’s definitely a day we will remember forever. And now can relive it everyday with our amazing video and pictures we have. Our videographer was such a breeze to work with and really captured the pure emotion and joy of that day and I can’t thank him enough for that. "

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Wedding Venue: Milagro Winery

Wedding Video: Aspect Media Works

Wedding Photographer Holly Sigafoos

Wedding Florist: Brandi Kwasney

Wedding Catering, Rentals and Cake: John Little Catering  

Cookies by The Cravory 

Specialty Cakes by Nothing Bundt Cakes

Photo Booth by Pixster

Bridal Beauty by the Bride @dolledupbyrosie

Transportation by Bolt Transportation

Gown Designer Pre Owned Maggie Sottero

Groom's attire by: Express

Situated just east of here in Ramona, at 2,400′ elevation and bathed in Southern California sun, Milagro Winery [and Organic Farm!] enjoys warm days and cool nights, an idyllic climate for producing flavorful grapes. Our 110 acres includes drip-irrigated, drought-tolerant vines, with 11 different varietals, an organic farm, abundant fruit and nut orchards and a stunning crush house and wine cave. Tucked into the Ramona Valley, our property features a naturally rolling landscape dotted with impressive granite boulders and Coast Live Oak trees and is nourished by deep onsite wells and granite-rich soil. Milagro embodies the essence of a commitment to working in harmony with the land. 

Lakehouse Hotel and Resort: the Most Charming Multi Faceted Wedding Venue You Can Imagine

Choosing a wedding venue is the most important wedding planning decision you will make. Your venue is the home, the very foundation, upon which you build your entire celebration of love, marriage and family. And if you're like most San Diego area couples planning a wedding, you will have guests coming in from afar, family to please, days of events to plan beyond just the wedding day and it can be a lot. That's why with four restaurants on property, two golf courses, a full marina with boating activities, and a complete hotel, all in addition to utterly charming wedding ceremony and reception locations, The Lakehouse Resort is a true wedding find! Not only will you want to hold your wedding ceremony and reception here, and entertain all your family and guests, we think with so many awesome amenities, you're going to want to live here! 

Check out all the incredible options and amenities The Lakehouse Resort has to offer you and your guests: 

Do yourself a favor and if you're still looking for the right venue, check out The Lakehouse Resort and be sure to ask for Taylor, the sweetest wedding manager you could want to meet! 


Downtown Gallery Styled Wedding Shoot Brings Industrial Texture and Rich Watercolor Pastels Together

Downtown Gallery Styled Wedding Shoot Brings the trend of gorgeous Brick Industrial Texture and Rich Watercolor Pastels Together

Industrial hard meets pretty is so hot right now in fashion and editorial! And at the exciting Sparks Gallery in Downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, the rough brick and deep wood contrasting with the exciting and bright colors in the artwork make the perfect set up for the dynamism of Justice Photography. This shoot is the perfect blend of strong lines and textures and soft colors and styling. Bonus: it even has a gorgeous geode cake, floral decorated picture frames [love!] and crystal place settings in Pantone's Color of the Year for 2108 Ultra Violet! This super design team is so on trend for weddings and style and we think they've created the perfect blend of the masculine and the feminine with this dramatic and fresh wedding styled shoot! Enjoy!

Melissa Barrad, Owner of I DO Weddings and Events and Lead Stylist in the shoot says, "Once I visited the Sparks Gallery, I knew it was a special place. I loved the lighting, and of course, that they feature California artists. With that in mind, we pooled together California based vendors and San Diego natives, like myself, to create a unique romantic feel with a laid-back vibe. We wanted to work with colors that would enhance the art, not take away from it." 

Beautiful Persian Wedding at Grand Del Mar Hotel is Abundant with Traditions

Persian weddings are some of the most beautiful, symbolic and tradition laden wedding sin the world and we are lucky enough to feature Pantea and Thomas's traditional Persian wedding at the fabulous Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel in Del Mar, California. Noted Wedding Planner Wedding Elegance by Nahid, widely known as the go to planner for Persian [and other cultural] weddings, brought together a beautiful day of love and family.

The Persian wedding ceremony has many traditions one of which is the  Kalleh Ghand  where happily married female relatives rub sugar cones over the heads of the bride and groom to symbolize showering the couple's marriage and new life together with sweetness.

The Persian wedding ceremony has many traditions one of which is the Kalleh Ghand where happily married female relatives rub sugar cones over the heads of the bride and groom to symbolize showering the couple's marriage and new life together with sweetness.

We Love a Vintage Hollywood Comes to San Diego County Outdoor Wedding!

High school sweethearts, Victoria and Jacob have been together for over a decade of love, laughs and style. They started as high school sweethearts and have been best friends for more than half of their lives. Torrie [as she is known] and Jacob have a very tight knit group of friends and many family members that have been together for decades. Torrie's niece was the charming flower girl who stole everyone's heart when she walked down the aisle! This elegant and romantic wedding was a stunner and the bride looked straight out of a vintage Hollywood movie right in San Diego's beautiful, tree filled North County area! And it looks to us like a very good time was had by all! 

Wedding Vendor Credits:

Wedding Photographer: MKL Photography

Wedding Venue: Twin Oaks Garden Estate

Bridal Salon for Wedding Gown: The Dresser Bridal

Groom's Tuxedo Fashion: Friar Tux

Florals and Decor: Soiree Designs and Events

Bridal Jewelry: BHLDN

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort offers the best in style, service and San Diego weddings

The legendary Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort, set atop the cliffs in the Torrey Pines State Reserve between the villages of La Jolla and Del Mar, is a world class resort offering the feeling of seclusion from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, while still being just a step away from all that San Diego has to offer. The hotel overlooks the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean, with stunning views as far as the eye can see. A particular favorite with wedding couples bringing in lots of out of town guests [the ocean! the restaurants! the golfing! the view!] The Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort has long  been one our favorites, with an events team who offers a truly remarkable wedding experience for all. 

All wedding photos by  True Photography Weddings

All wedding photos by True Photography Weddings

A coastal retreat situated atop the bluffs of La Jolla and overlooking the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel is a stunning venue to host social functions, local and destination weddings. Boasting 61,350 sq. ft. of gorgeous indoor and breathtaking outdoor event venues, this expansive, while intimate, La Jolla, CA hotel has the space for special events of all types and sizes. A choice of many elegant ballrooms gives you the perfect fit for anything from a grand black tie event with everyone you know and love on down to an intimate patio with Pacific views to celebrate with your small party.

When not dancing at your reception you and your guests can sip on cocktails and socialize on a patio overlooking the 18th Fairway. Challenge the boys to a round on the championship Torrey Pines Golf Course or organize a family friendly tennis tournament. Guests seeking adventure take advantage of world-class beaches and watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing. Wedding couples, family and guests, top meeting planners and outdoor enthusiasts can take full advantage of the Southern California's sunny climate right out the hotel's back doors.


Couples seeking a romantic, yet relaxed destination for their nuptials flock to Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. Stunning venues with picturesque views provide a beautiful backdrop for weddings at this captivating La Jolla wedding locale. Tie the knot in a simple ceremony under a San Diego sunset surrounded by lush gardens and panoramic ocean views, then invite guests to enjoy canapés and a champagne toast under a starry sky. The hotel's sprawling grounds make it a favorite for traditional Indian weddings and larger celebrations. Gather together family and friends from near and far to celebrate in spectacular style in one of two elegant grand ballrooms. Lavish guests with decadent menus designed to delight the palate. From hot hors d'oeuvres to a customized wedding cake, the culinary team's expansive knowledge of international cuisine will add a special touch to your big day.

All wedding photos by True Photography Weddings | Photos below courtesy Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Vintage Luxe Wedding at the glorious El Cortez Bursts with Love and Color

There are few venues as quintessentially San Diegan as the El Cortez Hotel. Towering above everything else in 'uptown San Diego', this landmark Art Deco building, with its memorable neon titled rooftop, first opened its doors in 1927 to rave reviews and a loyal clientele of dancers, diners and revelers. Shuttered for years then opened by a couple of visionary developers, The El Cortez's ambiance, with its richly designed and upgraded gold gilded Don Room, is a beautiful place to celebrate love. And that's just what Christina and Ryan did! 

With pops of bright color and gold accents to match the Don Room and plenty of delicious food, tons of fun, and loving family, this event was truly a night to remember!

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Venue: El Cortez

Event Planner: At Your Side Planning

Florist:  Sweet Ribbon Events

DJ: Battleson Entertainment

Caterer: Continental Catering, Inc.

Bridal Gown: David's Bridal

Wedding Cake: Grove Pastry Shop

From Navy to Nuptials: Steven and James celebrate their intimate wedding with clear skies, airplanes and dogs!

Steven and James met while stationed together in Japan while in the Navy, so it came as no surprise that their wedding was 'photobombed' by planes flying by during and after their ceremony, serendipitously celebrating their personal connection with the Navy, planes, and flying. With so much love and joy evident in this lovely, intimate wedding - held at a private residence then moved to Juniper and Ivy to celebrate - we think you will enjoy this featured wedding as much as we did which features happy people, a beautiful San Diego day and our favorite wedding guests....adorable dogs in bow ties!!

Couple:  Steven Barber and James Stokes

With such a small wedding, Steven and James wanted an intimate space and beautiful views that highlighted their incredible new hometown... San Diego! The ceremony took place on the roof above their home downtown San Diego with incredible views of the ocean, downtown, and airport. 

Photographer:  Derek Chad Photography

Ceremony Venue: Private Residence

Reception Venue:  Juniper and Ivy

Florals:  La Belle Bloom

Men's Fashions: Joseph A. Banks and Lim's Custom Tailer

Bow Ties and Ties: The Tie Bar

You're invited to the opening party of Horton Plaza Park May 4

Horton Plaza Park, located at the corner of Broadway and 4th downtown San Diego is soon to be San Diego’s newest outdoor venue! This exciting refurbishing of an iconic downtown location debuts May 4, 2016 and you're invited to join the party! Looks like this grand opening party will be a big deal so click here to get all the info...

Horton Plaza Park will be a dynamically activated and highly utilized resource for the community supporting the ongoing effort revitalize downtown San Diego. This world-class urban Park will be a central hub and epicenter of activity downtown, hosting a full calendar of events every year.

A little history: 

In 1895, the area of the Park was sold to the city of San Diego by its namesake, Alonzo Horton. Originally, the plaza was intended for use by his guests staying t the Horton House Hotel as well as for visitors to the area. Now, with the renovation of Horton Plaza Park, one of San Diego’s oldest civic landmarks, the Historic Irving Gill Fountain, has been restored to its original condition.

Various historical moments took place here from 1800 to present. For instance, on November 2, 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at Horton Plaza to make a last-minute appeal for votes just days before the 1960 Presidential Election!

7 flower and nature-filled San Diego wedding venues that are perfect for a romantic Spring wedding!

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.