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Southern California Charm: Top Small Wedding Venues for Intimate Celebrations

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Small Wedding Venues

Southern California is home to a diverse range of breathtaking landscapes, from sunny beaches to enchanting gardens, making it a dream destination for couples planning a small, intimate wedding. In this article, I will explore some of the top small wedding venues in Southern California, offering a perfect blend of charm, romance, and natural beauty. As a wedding photographer, my goal is to capture the essence of these unforgettable moments in a stunning visual narrative that tells your unique love story.

If you would like for me to be your wedding day photographer, feel free to contact me, RayCee the Artist, at to learn more about the wedding packages that I offer!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!

Why Choose a Small Wedding Venue?

There are several compelling reasons why couples might choose to celebrate their love at a small wedding venue in Southern California. One of the primary reasons to choose a small wedding venue over a big wedding is the intimacy and personal atmosphere that small venues offer. With fewer guests, couples can focus on celebrating their love and commitment with the people who matter most to them. This intimate ceremony location allows for more meaningful interactions with guests and ensures that the couple can genuinely connect with everyone in attendance.

Another reason is the diverse range of unique and charming venues available in Southern California. From coastal retreats and enchanting gardens to historic estates and chic urban spaces, couples can find a venue that reflects their personal style and preferences. This variety ensures that each wedding is a unique and memorable experience, tailored to the couple's tastes.

Additionally, small wedding venues often provide greater flexibility in terms of customization and creativity. With a smaller guest list, couples can invest more time and resources into personalizing their wedding, whether it be through elaborate decor, a unique menu, or carefully curated entertainment. This attention to detail can create a more memorable and meaningful celebration that reflects the couple's personality and love story.

Southern California's pleasant climate and breathtaking landscapes also make it an appealing destination for small weddings. With sunny skies and mild temperatures throughout most of the year, outdoor venues are an attractive option for couples looking to exchange vows surrounded by the region's natural beauty. From stunning ocean views to lush gardens and rolling hills, Southern California offers an array of picturesque backdrops for unforgettable wedding photographs.

Lastly, small wedding venues (as opposed to larger weddings) often result in reduced stress and more manageable planning for the couple. With fewer guests and a more intimate setting, couples can focus on the essential aspects of their wedding without becoming overwhelmed by the logistics and details of larger events. This can lead to a more enjoyable and relaxed planning process, allowing couples to savor the excitement leading up to their wedding day.

Small Wedding Venues

The 1909 - Topanga, California

Small Wedding Venues

Nestled in the heart of Topanga Canyon, The 1909 offers a secluded and enchanting setting for intimate weddings. This small wedding venue is surrounded by majestic oak trees and lush greenery. The rustic wooden architecture, romantic market lights, and serene ambiance make The 1909 an ideal location for couples seeking a blend of natural beauty and rustic charm.

The Casino San Clemente - San Clemente, California

Small Wedding Venues

Located just steps from the beach, The Casino San Clemente is a historic landmark with a rich history dating back to 1937. This seaside venue offers several unique spaces for intimate weddings, including the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing, and the charming outdoor Rock Garden. With its stunning ocean views and Mediterranean-style architecture, The Casino San Clemente is the perfect place for couples who dream of an unforgettable experience and a coastal celebration.

The Secret Garden at Rancho Santa Fe - Rancho Santa Fe, California

Small Wedding Venues

The Secret Garden at Rancho Santa Fe is a hidden gem that offers a romantic and intimate setting for weddings. This private estate features beautifully landscaped gardens, charming fountains, and a serene koi pond, providing a picturesque backdrop for your special day. The venue's enchanting garden setting is perfect for couples looking to celebrate their love in a serene and magical environment.

The Villa San Juan Capistrano - San Juan Capistrano, California

Small Wedding Venues

Steeped in history and romance, The Villa San Juan Capistrano offers an elegant and intimate setting for weddings. This historic stone estate features lush gardens, fragrant orange groves, and a stunning courtyard with a fountain. The rustic charm and timeless beauty of this venue make it an ideal location for an intimate and unforgettable wedding celebration.

The Houdini Estate - Los Angeles, California

Small Wedding Venues

For a truly unique and magical wedding experience, look no further than The Houdini Estate in the Hollywood Hills. Once the home of legendary magician Harry Houdini, this enchanting venue offers lush gardens, romantic gazebos, and a sparkling pool, creating a whimsical setting for weddings. The estate's rich history and hidden surprises make it a captivating choice for couples seeking a one-of-a-kind wedding venue.

Smoky Hollow Studios - El Segundo, California

Small Wedding Venues

Smoky Hollow Studios is a chic and modern industrial space. With its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and eclectic decor, this venue is perfect for couples seeking an edgy and contemporary atmosphere for their wedding.

The Darlington House - La Jolla, California

Small Wedding Venues

This historic estate, located in the coastal village of La Jolla, provides a charming and elegant backdrop for intimate weddings. The Darlington House features beautifully appointed indoor spaces and lush, romantic gardens.

Maravilla Gardens - Camarillo, California

Small Wedding Venues

Maravilla Gardens is a stunning outdoor venue that offers a serene and idyllic setting for intimate weddings. Surrounded by fragrant blooms and lush landscaping, this picturesque venue allows couples to exchange vows beneath a majestic oak tree.

The Mountain Mermaid - Topanga, California

Small Wedding Venues

For a truly enchanting and unique wedding experience, The Mountain Mermaid in Topanga Canyon is an ideal choice. This historic estate features a beautiful pool, lush gardens, and rustic, eclectic architecture that creates a whimsical atmosphere.

The Lombardi House - Los Angeles, California

Small Wedding Venues

Located in the heart of Hollywood, The Lombardi House is a Victorian-style estate that offers a romantic and intimate setting for weddings. The venue features a charming barn, a lovely garden, and a stunning courtyard, providing couples with several beautiful options for their ceremony and reception.

Franciscan Gardens - San Juan Capistrano, California

Small Wedding Venues

Franciscan Gardens is an enchanting outdoor venue located in the historic town of San Juan Capistrano. With its romantic courtyard, lush gardens, and elegant mission-style architecture, this venue provides a picturesque backdrop for intimate weddings.

Hartley Botanica - Somis, California

Small Wedding Venues

This unique garden venue, situated in the heart of Ventura County, offers a magical and serene setting for intimate weddings. Hartley Botanica features stunning botanical gardens, enchanting pathways, and a captivating greenhouse.

Joshua Tree National Park

Small Wedding Venues

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the post popular national parks in Southern California. Joshua Tree National Park is a stunning desert landscape characterized by its namesake, the unique Joshua trees, and otherworldly rock formations. For couples that want a unique, small wedding venue, Joshua Tree can be the perfect venue. Joshua Tree is a tranquil, awe-inspiring, and intimate atmosphere for couples seeking a connection with nature and a backdrop that exudes romance and adventure. The park's unparalleled beauty, highlighted by breathtaking sunsets, star-filled night skies, and dramatic vistas, creates a dreamy atmosphere for exchanging vows and capturing unforgettable wedding photographs.

Several local venues near Joshua Tree National Park cater to small weddings, offering a range of amenities and services that complement the park's natural charm. Couples choosing Joshua Tree as their wedding venue can embrace the desert's enchanting spirit and create a truly memorable experience for themselves and their guests.


For couples looking for a small space to host an intimate wedding ceremony with just a small group of their closest friends and family , Southern California boasts an array of small wedding venues that cater to a variety of styles, preferences, and budgets. As a wedding photographer, I am passionate about capturing the magic and emotion of intimate celebrations in these stunning locations. If you're planning a small wedding in Southern California and would like to discuss your photography needs, please feel free to get in touch with me, RayCee the Artist. Together, we can find the perfect small wedding venue for you, and also create a beautiful visual narrative of your wedding day that you will cherish forever!

If you would like for me to be your wedding day photographer, feel free to contact me, RayCee the Artist, at to learn more about the wedding packages that I offer!

If you are in need of great wedding venues overseas in Japan, please read my article "Hilton Hotels in Kyoto" to learn about some of the stunning options available!

Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube!


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