Updated: Jun 15
Planning a destination wedding in San Diego can be an exciting and memorable experience for you and your guests. San Diego is a beautiful, lively city that offers wedding venues for every style, however, as with every location, there are a few items to consider:
Mirelle Carmichael Photography
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET: set a realistic budget for the wedding. San Diego and coastal California in general are more expensive than many other locations. Consider expenses such as venue, accommodation, transportation, decor, flowers, beauty, and entertainment. Decide on the number of guests that are invited: the higher the more expensive everything gets. If your budget is not flexible, consider reducing the guest count.
CONSIDER THE WEATHER: while the weather in San Diego is pleasant all year round, winter evenings are not that warm. If you are going for a winter wedding, really think of the location, if you selected an outdoor area, make sure the venue has heaters and think about providing cute blankets for your guests.
WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE CITY ON THAT SPECIFIC DATE? Try to avoid peak tourist seasons, national holidays, and big annual events that take place in San Diego such as Opening Day, Farmers Open, Del Mar Fair, etc.: traffic can get pretty bad, hotels bump up their pricing quite a bit, and restaurants get packed.
DO SOME RESEARCH ON ACCOMMODATIONS: Since it's a destination wedding, you'll need to arrange accommodations for your guests. Look for hotels and resorts close to your chosen venue. Consider negotiating group rates or providing a list of recommended accommodations to make it easier for your guests to find suitable options.
CONSIDER TRANSPORATION: Consider providing transportation for your guests to and from the venue, especially if it's located far from the accommodations. This will ensure everyone can enjoy the celebration without worrying about logistics. For a large wedding, transportation can easily get expensive. The easiest way to avoid this is to choose a hotel/resort where you can have a ceremony, reception, and a block of rooms for your guests.
LOOK INTO POSSIBLE WEDDING WEEKEND ACTIVITIES: San Diego offers a wide range of activities and attractions for you and your guests to enjoy before and after the wedding. Consider organizing day trips to popular landmarks, arranging a beach day, or providing a list of recommended activities for guests to explore on their own. Consider adding a welcome reception, a rehearsal dinner or a post-wedding brunch.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR GUESTS: As it's a destination wedding, it is imperative to keep your guests informed about everything. Creating a wedding website can help answer most of their questions along with sending detailed information with your physical invitations.
HIRE A FULL WEDDING PLANNER who is in San Diego or knows the city very well. That way, on top of not having to do all the research above on your own, you have a trusted professional at the location that can help you navigate the local vendors, handle logistics, provide recommendations, and ensure that everything runs smoothly on your big day. Unexpected challenges can arise anytime during wedding planning, especially when you're in an unfamiliar location. We, as wedding planners are experienced in problem-solving and can anticipate and resolve issues before they escalate. At VWE we do offer venue search as an add-on to the full planning package and most of our couples who are not from the area hire us for venue search as well. You can use this link to reach out to us and schedule a consultation!