A Southern California Wedding in San Juan Capistrano

Thinking of a Southern California destination wedding? There are certainly many cities and locations from which to choose: Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Juan Capistrano. Wait, you don’t know about San Juan Capistrano? Situated halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, San Juan Capistrano is a perfect place to get married or elope. That is, if perfect to you means beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

San Juan Capistrano is a quaint, laid-back beach community loaded with history, boasting, among things, the oldest neighborhood in California, dating from the late 1700s to early 1800s, as well as the Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded more than 200 years ago.

But, what most couples come for are the beautiful beaches and sunsets in San Juan Capistrano and nearby Dana Point and San Clemente. Here is a sprinkling of the venues in San Juan Capistrano which will make your wedding memorable:

San Juan Capistrano Mission Inn Hotel

Conveniently located within walking distance of the Amtrak and Metrolink train depot, and adjacent to the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, this charming 20-room boutique hotel is situated in an 80-year old Valencia orange grove in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano, California. With seven-layer bedding, imported English towels and French-milled soap, however, you know it’s probably not a cheap venue for a wedding. Two-day, weekend event packages begin at $12,000 and include use of the entire inn, all 20 guest rooms and suites, swimming pool, parlor and gardens. The event fee also includes a continental breakfast served each morning from 8-9:30 am as well as Sherry and homemade sweets served each afternoon. The Mission Inn can be reached at 1-866-234-0249. The hotel does not allow children under the age of 12. Pets of all ages are welcome, however.

La Casa del Camino

La Casa del Camino has several settings to choose from, including indoor or outdoor wedding settings. You can choose from the Rooftop Garden, a sprawling, sun-drenched terrace with breathtaking ocean and coastal views, the Italianate Courtyard, which is lushly landscaped, the Cress Room, an intimate meeting/reception room off the Italianate Courtyard, and the Catalina Room, a rooftop meeting/reception room with views of the Pacific Ocean. You can reach La Casa del Camino by calling 888-367-5232.

The Franciscan Gardens

Another venue located in historic downtown San Juan Capistrano, the Franciscan Gardens is a very romantic wedding spot, with blooming rose trees, bubbling fountains, wedding arches, white columns and a unity candelabra.

The Tea House On Los Rios

Located in the Los Rios Historic District, the Tea House is a great spot if you’re interested in a garden setting. Although the Tea House can accommodate a wedding for up to 200 guests, it’s also a perfect place for a more intimate ceremony, making it a wonderful spot for a small destination wedding of close family and friends.

Anytime’s a great time for a wedding in Orange County, although Southern California is often hit with “June Gloom” during the month of June when the sun is obscured by a thick marine layer. But, you might want to keep in mind some annual events in the area which can keep you and your wedding guests occupied, such as the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race in April, the Shakespeare Festival in San Juan Capistrano during the summer months, the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach from July to September, and the Tallships Festival in Dana Point in September. While visiting the area from December through April, do treat yourselves to a Whale Watching excursion.