As a bridal makeup artist, you can bet I’ve seen my share of wedding venues. Whether I am working on an editorial shoot or with a real bride on her special day, I definitely remember the spaces that stand out most. If you find yourself in San Diego and planning a wedding, first off congratulations! You’ll want to next think about if you’d prefer an indoor vs. an outdoor venue. There are even some fabulous places that offer both! Read on for a few of my top recommendations:


Carmel Mountain Ranch Estate is an absolute gem in North County San Diego! The architecture features colonial craftsmanship and reminds me of a French chateau or a building you might see in the South. The Bridal and Groom suites are roomy and very comfortable. I loved the spacious gardens surrounded by tall trees, which accommodates all of your guests while still feeling intimate and secluded. The Garden Gazebo is really unique and makes for gorgeous “you may now kiss the bride” photos!

Brick is in the heart of Liberty Station, located in the poppin’ San Diego Arts District where you’ll be surrounded by shops, restaurants, and parks. Think of Brick as a blank canvas with modern taste! The walls are of course…brick…and you’ll find it has a very cool industrial feel. You’ll also get ample lighting, expansive ceilings, and an opportunity to let your imagination run wild! If you have your own vendors, Brick welcomes this, or they also have a list to choose from. As a bonus, it’s also common (and fun!) to see roller skaters in the periphery!

Building 177, also located in Liberty Station, boasts an interior with rows of gorgeous white windows on both sides of the space. This place has an artsy, minimalistic feel and features a comfy bridal room with tons of natural light. Building 177 calls themselves an “inviting escape” and it really is! The foyer, main hall, and scenic patio are all beautifully designed. Much like Brick, this venue too is another blank slate to create the wedding of your dreams!


The Darlington House is a historic home located in sparkling and sunny La Jolla. It exudes charm in all of its details, from the gardens to the interior of the bridal suite. And the exterior is just as breathtaking featuring terracotta ceilings and colorful Mexican tile. The house itself is situated just steps from the Pacific Ocean and is really a melting pot of architectural styles from all over the world. It’s truly idyllic, romantic, cozy, and full of character.

Sacred Mountain is a gorgeous outdoor location in Julian, CA which is about an hour east of San Diego. The picturesque town is famous for apples and (of course!) apple pies. The venue itself sits amongst the Julian mountains, so you can count on amazing views with your wedding party being encircled by tall, statuesque pine trees. Your event may be just a mile from town, but you will feel like you are worlds away. This is the PERFECT setting if you’re going for a rustic, bohemian wedding theme!

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is a boutique resort in one of San Diego’s most exclusive neighborhoods. I loved the convenience of being able to have your guests stay at the property because it is also a hotel. The service was top notch here and every wedding I’ve experienced here has been stunning. Ceremonies are held in an area draped in eucalyptus trees, which make for a breathtaking yet intimate setting.

Both Indoor and Outdoor

Rancho Bernardo Inn is a gorgeous place to say “I do.” Its sun splashed terraces are located in North County, surrounded by a golf course and an amazing spa. The property is expansive and a great choice if you have a large number of guests, but also has really pretty smaller areas for a more intimate event. I can’t say enough about the staff here who go above and beyond to ensure you have a great experience. Staying here as a hotel guest was also a real treat!

The Fairmont at Grand Del Mar is one of the most upscale resorts and venues in San Diego. The grounds are truly incredible and the suites are stunning. Nestled within Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, this is the perfect venue if you’re looking for romance plus luxury. Their attention to detail, elegance, and Mediterranean style archways are an incredible backdrop for an unforgettable day. They also have the best Wedding Specialist in town. 

Estancia La Jolla is also really charming with its Spanish influenced Hacienda style architecture. Their Adobe walls sit among a variety of cacti, which seem to welcome guests into the relaxing, quaint, true Southern California vibe of this place. They have sprawling garden settings, as well as beautiful indoor spaces, and will really work with you to tailor your wedding. And as an added perk, a couple of their bridal rooms get great natural light.

Rancho Valencia is also located in the upscale Santa Fe neighborhood. It is a large resort with lush grounds, great casitas, a golf course, and a spa. They have a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, such as ballrooms and gardens, as well as those that combine both. These areas are beautiful and breezy, quite lovely and enchanting for you and your guests.

San Diego is really a gorgeous place for your wedding and I’m so thrilled you’re here and considering it as a place for your once in a lifetime event. Whether you’re a local or this is a destination wedding for you, I hope you found this helpful! It was fun for me to reminisce over these beautiful spaces, just like I’m sure you will someday as well. And now that you’ve (hopefully) found your venue, if you’d like some assistance on the makeup end, get in touch with me here!

Leave A