Love isn’t canceled, but the pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench into many couples’ wedding planning. Guest lists were whittled, over-the-top affairs were scaled down, and many a nuptial was postponed, if not canceled outright. Now, couples are making up for lost time and getting back on track with their wedding plans. As restrictions relax and vaccinations put travel back on the table for some out-of-town friends and family, the future looks as bright as the San Diego sunshine. With a little foresight and ingenuity, your dream wedding is still possible. This guide to the city’s most in-demand venues and vendors will help you get started (or restarted).
First comes love, then comes marriage—and with it a band of planning professionals to ensure the day you get hitched goes smoothly. Wedding planning can be overwhelming, even if you’ve been dreaming of this day since kindergarten and have Pinterest boards dedicated to everything from centerpieces to celebrity inspo. It’s enough to turn even the most well-meaning of the betrothed into a bride- or groom-zilla.
The Perfect Setting
The venue is pretty high on the list of what makes a wedding memorable. Fortunately, in San Diego, couples have plenty of options.
Outdoor weddings along the coast or in one of the city’s scenic parks are always a solid choice and bode well for beachy, boho, carefree couples. Nature provides the perfect backdrop, and the ocean breeze will add an unforgettable element to your ceremony. Make sure you file the proper permits and reservation forms to ensure your ideal locale is yours and yours alone.
If you’d rather get married indoors, San Diego’s event spaces were literally made for it. Often built into nondescript warehouses, these spaces give off a sleek, modern vibe. Their openness serves as a blank canvas on which you can add your own personal touches, like fun furniture or a funky photo backdrop. This type of venue also lends itself well to the uncertainty that comes with wedding planning in 2021, since seating arrangements can be scaled and separated to fit your occasion.
For couples who want to go big, local bayfront resorts are the perfect place to say “I do.” Aside from ample ceremony space and ritzy reception areas that can accommodate a large crowd plus staff and entertainers, hotels and resorts offer a convenient lodging option
for out-of-town wedding guests and on-site staging areas for the wedding party. Resort staff and preferred vendors with a few weddings under their belt can also take the guesswork out of booking a caterer, picking floral arrangements, and designing a floor plan.
After 10 years of hosting events at their original Carnation Dairy warehouse location on 10th and J downtown, Luce Loft is expanding with two new historic building venues. Luce on Kettner is Little Italy’s first dedicated event space, featuring capacity for more than 300 in a modern farmhouse-style warehouse. Luce Cielo is a gorgeous brick venue in East Village, featuring a massive 60-foot skylight with brilliant natural light and an outdoor cocktail hour space. Each venue is a beautiful blank canvas for clients to customize their own event, with open vendor policies and a BYOB bar. All three Luce venues have prime weekend dates available in 2021 and 2022!
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Explore nine scenic indoor and outdoor venues at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay. Set on the shores of Mission Bay and boasting waterfront views, the spaces range from small to large, accommodating wedding ceremonies and receptions from 10 to 400 guests. Allow our dedicated event planning specialists to help customize a package tailored to your preferences.
Do You Need a Wedding Planner?
Many couples choose to DIY their wedding, but hiring a professional planner can streamline some of the more cumbersome parts and open your minds to options you may not even have considered. You definitely want to have attention to detail and experience in your corner on your big day. Planners can bring your vision for a one-of-a-kind wedding to life and put you in contact with the right florists, caterers, photographers, musicians, and more. Even hiring only a day-of coordinator can take some of the stress out of the event.
Dress for the Occasion
For many brides, the dress makes the wedding. You can shop online or hit a big-box bridal store, but you’d be remiss not to savor that Say Yes to the Dress moment at one of San Diego’s bridal boutiques. Whether it’s a ball gown, mermaid, A-line, or fit-and-flare, purchasing the dress of your dreams from a local vendor is a win-win. Shop local and support small businesses to find the right look for your special day without the cookie-cutter vibe.