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Getting Married in Southern California

Getting married in Southern California

We know that planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There is so much to do and know. And each state has its own little quirks in the wedding industry. Is your dream is to have a California wedding? You’ll find that Southern California has a plethora of incredible venues and very talented vendors. Today we are sharing everything you need to know for getting married in Southern California.

What you need to know about getting married in Southern California

The Basics

It’s common knowledge that California is not a cheap state. It stands to reason that the cost will be a little more than the national average to host your wedding in this beautiful state. The average Southern California wedding costs $40,000. In fact, for your venue, you can expect to pay $60 to $250 per guest.

March-May and September-November are the most popular months for weddings in Southern California. However, since the weather is decently mild all year round, wedding professionals stay busy almost all year round. When it comes to planning a wedding in Southern California, it’s important to take note of any major events taking place in the city where you will get married. Southern California traffic is notoriously bad, but it can get even worse during major events.

Getting There and Getting Around

Are your guests coming in from out of town? There are multiple airports in Southern California. When it comes to traffic in Southern California, distance does not necessarily determine how long it will take to get some where. As a result, when choosing which airport to fly into, take a look at how long it will take to drive between the airport and the destination instead of the distance. You may find that an airport that is further away will actually take less time to drive to your destination from.

Public transportation is not very good in Southern California so renting a car or planning on using Uber/Lyft is the best. If you and/or your guests are going to be renting a car, do take note that many of the highways have express lanes. These are toll roads that you will need to pay to drive on. While it is an additional expense, the express lanes can greatly reduce your drive time.


The weather in Southern California is pretty much sunny year-round. While many assume that the temperatures are also mild all year, that is not necessarily true. The summer months in the valleys can be almost unbearable, while it can get very cold up in the mountains. Take note of the region that you will be having your wedding and check the weather forecast.

As already stated, the sun is usually out. While rain is not a huge concern for most brides, be aware that it is still a possibility. Especially during the winter months. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, make sure that you (or your venue) are prepared to keep your guests comfortable no matter the weather.

For those perfect golden hour portraits, you will need to talk to your photographer. Just checking the sunset time isn’t always a good indicator of when the sun will actually be gone at your venue. Depending on where your venue is, you may lose the sun earlier than you expect. The sun can drop behind a mountain resulting in an earlier sunset or reflect off the ocean keeping your venue naturally lit for a little longer.

Wedding Venues


Southern California has so many vineyard wedding venues. While these venues may have beautiful scenery, note that the vineyards themselves will look best in September and October. During the winter, the vines will be dormant and will not make for the prettiest backdrop or photo spot.


Beach weddings are really popular in Southern California. You can have your ceremony directly on the beach or have waterfront venues that get you right over the water.


You can also go further inland and head into the mountains for your wedding. The views from many of these venues in the mountains are absolutely breathtaking. Do note that it can get very cold up in the mountains.


Estates may not be what comes to mind when you think about getting married in Southern California. But, there are some truly incredible estate venues that are perfect for those fairytale weddings.

Marriage Requirements

It’s not as fun to think about the legalities of getting married as it is to plan the wedding. But it is very important to know the requirements. Make sure that you are aware of how to properly attain your marriage certificate in the state of California.

Name Change in California

While all the wedding planning and work is done before your wedding day, some things, such as your name change, have to wait until after you are married. There are four major steps involved in legally changing your name in California (and across the US). Filing a marriage license or court order. Sharing your new title with the Social Security Administration. Updating your passport. And getting a new state ID.

Are you intimidated by the process of changing your name? You can use HitchSwitch, or similar companies to help you.

Southern California Wedding Inspiration

Planning on getting married in Southern California? Check out some of our weddings for inspiration!

Serendipity Garden Weddings >>
Lakeside Wedding >>
Kimberly Crest Wedding Inspiration >>

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