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Planning Your San Diego Wedding: A Local's Guide


With its beautiful beaches, scenic gardens, and year-round warm weather, San Diego is a popular wedding destination. Planning a San Diego wedding, whether you're a local or a destination wedding couple, can be both a complicated and exciting process. This guide will assist you in navigating the numerous decisions and steps involved in planning a stunning and memorable wedding.


Choosing Your San Diego Wedding Venue

Choosing a wedding venue is the first and most important decision you'll make when planning a wedding. San Diego offers a diverse range of venue options, including historic hotels and charming gardens, as well as stunning beaches and elegant ballrooms. Consider the size and style of your wedding, your budget, and the availability of your desired date when choosing a venue.


Visit several potential venues and imagine yourself and your guests in each one. Pay close attention to each venue's lighting, design, and overall ambiance, and make sure to ask plenty of questions to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations.

Still looking for your San Diego Wedding Venue? See a few of our favorites here.


Hiring Your Wedding Vendors

In addition to your venue, you'll need to hire a number of other vendors to make your wedding day vision a reality. A photographer, videographer, caterer, florist, dj or band, rental companies, officiant, bar service, and beauty team are examples of additional vendors you will need to hire for your wedding day. Consider their portfolios, reviews, and recommendations from friends and family when selecting vendors.


Before hiring any vendor, make sure to inquire about their availability as well as their pricing, services, and policies. It's critical to establish open lines of communication with your vendors and to be open about your budget and expectations as early on in the planning process as possible.


Budgeting for Your San Diego Wedding

Setting a wedding budget is one of the most important steps in the planning process. Begin by researching average San Diego wedding costs and determining how much you can afford to spend. Keep in mind that San Diego is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the United States, so prices will be higher than in most other parts of the country. Prioritize your expenses and allocate your wedding budget to the most important aspects of your wedding, such as the venue, catering, and photography.


Consider ways to save money, such as having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, inviting a smaller number of guests, and avoiding peak wedding season, to help you stay within your budget.


Planning Your San Diego Wedding Timeline

It's time to make a wedding timeline after you've decided on your venue and vendors. This will help to ensure that your wedding day runs smoothly and on time. Consider when your ceremony, sunset time, reception, and other important events, such as your first dance and cake cutting, will take place.


Include time in your wedding timeline for unexpected delays, such as traffic or weather, as well as a few quiet moments to sneak away with your new husband or wife.


Legal Requirements for Getting Married in San Diego

Before you can exchange your vows in San Diego, you'll need to obtain a marriage license and comply with other legal requirements. You'll need to present identification, pay a fee, and get married within 90 days of receiving the license, for your license to be valid. You can obtain a marriage license from the San Diego County Clerk's office.


You'll also need to hire an officiant, or enlist the help of a close friend or family member, to handle the legal requirements of your wedding ceremony. This person will ensure that your ceremony is legally valid and will also provide guidance and support on your wedding day. After the ceremony, the marriage license will need to be signed by your officiant and return it to the San Diego County Clerk's office.

Planning a wedding in San Diego can be a complex and difficult process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful and memorable wedding day. To ensure that your wedding day is everything you've imagined and more we suggest following these guidelines above and also hiring a San Diego wedding planner or month-of coordinator.


Learn more about our San Diego wedding planning, coordination and event design packages!

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