September 14, 2020
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Cue the wedding bells. Wedding season is in full swing, but the landscape looks a bit different this year: Micro weddings have become the latest trend, with many couples deciding to hold more intimate ceremonies due to the pandemic. While brides and grooms may have originally desired a larger bash, a perfect wedding doesn’t necessarily mean a long guest list and an extravagant reception, so this wedding trend will likely be here to stay.
Everything you need to know about micro weddings
Micro weddings are smaller events but should not to be confused with elopements. Couples who decide to elope typically want to save money and eliminate the pressures associated with planning a large wedding, so they invite only a handful of loved ones and may even be secretive about it. (The secrecy of elopement is what makes it exciting and adventurous for some.)
What differentiates a micro wedding from an elopement or a traditional wedding is the number of guests. Micro weddings usually include a guest list of 50 or fewer guests—often immediate family and close friends only—and have a simpler (yet just as entertaining) reception.
The Top Micro-Wedding Reception Venues in California
While a tiny wedding is a more intimate affair, planning it is still a process, and one of the most important decisions is choosing the ideal wedding destination. Fortunately, beautiful micro-wedding venues are abundant in California, so you can have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of without the stress that usually accompanies it. Check out these micro-wedding venues in California to see where you can celebrate the best day of your life.
1. Flora Vista Inn
Location: 1258 San Andreas Road, Watsonville
Amenities: Bed and breakfast, patio, terrace, catering, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $10,000 per package and up, with 20-percent gratuity
Located near the flower fields and beaches of Santa Cruz County, Flora Vista Inn is a beautiful micro-wedding venue. The property also offers an all-inclusive micro-wedding package that includes a luxe home on the estate for the perfect wedding weekend. The property has over 3,800 square feet of living space with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces in each room, and a commercial kitchen. There are also two clay tennis courts available for guests to enjoy.
The use of the grounds, event coordination, and planning are included in the starting price (which varies depending on the number of guests). The venue showcases a gorgeous view of meadows, fields, water features, gardens, and panoramic landscapes. Essentially an outdoor sanctuary, Flora Vista Inn allows for a unique and unparalleled mico wedding.
2. SkyPark Weddings
Location: 28950 Highway 18, Skyforest
Amenities: Chapel, patio, deck, catering, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $65–$165 per person and up, with 18-percent gratuity
Bringing together Southern California’s best elements, SkyPark Weddings is a micro-wedding venue straight out of a fairytale. The ceremony and reception sites are located in the forest surrounding the historic Santa’s Village property, and the majestic mountains in the background are the icing on the cake. With its multiple micro-wedding packages, SkyPark Weddings provides the coordination, catering, ceremony and reception sites, and 150 acres of lush lands for photos.
The micro-wedding packages—Whispering Pines, Creekside Brunch, Bridal Suite, and Creekside Dinner—vary depending on the spaces desired and the guest count. But no matter which package you choose, you can't go wrong here. Walk down the aisle and gaze out at the forests, mountains, and lagoon as you say "I do." Then, celebrate the occasion under a sky full of stars in the heart of SoCal’s towering pines.
3. Harmony Chapel and Gardens
Location: 2177 Old Creamery Road, Harmony
Amenities: Chapel, patio, deck, catering, on-site accommodation, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $1,500–$7,500 and up
Host your dreamy California micro wedding at Harmony Chapel and Gardens. The charming Central Coast venue handles everything and offers various packages for different desires. The All-Inclusive Tiny Wedding package includes private use of the chapel, a licensed officiant, a photographer, customized floral arrangements, a wedding cake designed by a local baker, champagne, and keepsake toasting flutes.
For an additional $400, you can even rent out an ice-cream truck to treat your guests. Harmony Chapel and Gardens also offers couples a stay at the century-old cottage, complete with a spacious yard, gardens, and patio overlooking Harmony Valley. Manifest the humble and modest micro wedding of your dreams, and embark on a new journey with your life partner.
4. Surf and Sand Resort
Location: 1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach
Amenities: Banquet hall, patio, spa, catering, on-site accommodation, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $1,000–$4,500 and up
Renowned for its prime location in Laguna Beach and its proximity to the ocean, Surf and Sand Resort is the ideal California micro-wedding venue for sophisticated, beach-loving couples. Ceremonies take place on the Catalina and Ocean Terrace, where you can peek out at Catalina Island as you tie the knot.
Following the ceremony, have your tiny-wedding reception in the Pelican Ballroom overlooking the ocean. Another gorgeous micro-wedding reception area is the Sand Dollar Terrace and Ballroom, which features a series of elegant arches and a vine-covered patio covered. With multiple micro-wedding packages, including an all-inclusive option, Surf and Sand Resort is a spectacular setting for the day you’ve always dreamed of.
5. Presqu'ile Winery
Location: 5391 Presquile Drive, Santa Maria
Amenities: Banquet hall, penthouse, patio, catering, vineyard, on-site accommodation, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $7,000–$25,000
A 200-acre property nestled in the hills of the Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile Winery is a picturesque California micro-wedding venue. The tasteful location features a multitude of thoughtfully designed spaces with luxurious natural elements. Presqu’ile Winery also provides numerous packages including Presqu'île Premier, Almost an Island, The Lily Pond, and Vows with a View (the latter’s capacity holds up to 40 people).
Fit for tiny weddings, the Vows with a View package offers the Viewing Terrace as the ceremony location, the Grand Room for the reception, and the use of the Bridal Suite (which provides ample natural lighting for your glamorous pre-wedding moments). Bringing together a team of culinary professionals and wedding planning experts, Presqu’ile Winery's micro weddings are rich with elegance, happiness, and love.
6. The O’Donnell House at the Willows
Location: 412 West Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs
Amenities: Villa, garden, guest rooms, catering, on-site accommodation
Price range: $8,250–$9,000
Floating above Palm Springs, at the base of Mount San Jacinto, is the stunning O’Donnell House at the Willows. Plan the perfect outdoor California micro wedding at this breathtaking location, where unique gardens, impressive rockwork, and exquisite views of the desert surround you.
Walk down the aisle as the mountains stand tall as you walk down the aisle, then enjoy your wedding celebration with your closest friends and family. Your reception can be held in two spaces—one is surrounded by hand-laid stone nestled against the mountainside, while the other offers vistas of the canyon and city below—and both choices are wonderful for a micro wedding. The property even offers four guest rooms, private baths, changing areas, and a bridal suite, making it possible for your glamorous California desert wedding vision to come to life.
7. Korakia Pensione
Location: 257 South Patencio Road, Palm Springs
Amenities: Bed and breakfast, garden, resort, guest rooms, pet-friendly, catering, on-site accommodation
Price range: $15,000–$26,000
Located in the heart of Palm Springs, the 1.5-acre Korakia Pensione resort is a hidden gem that's ideal for a rustic-bohemian micro-wedding in California. Offering an intimate and dramatic setting, the desert oasis enables couples to host an outdoor micro-wedding ceremony amidst candlelit walkways, jasmine-scented air, and striking views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Korakia Pensione features lush gardens, pools, lounges, and fountains alongside 28 bungalows, guesthouses, and villas. The Morrocan courtyard with its beautiful library, the pool deck with its firepit and waterfall, and the Orchard House with its cozy ambience are all scenic spots for capturing one of the very special moments in your life. Whichever package you choose, an unforgettable destination wedding awaits you at this exceptional venue.
8. Hornblower Cruises and Events
Location: 13755 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey
Amenities: Rehearsal dinner, terrace, yacht, dressing areas, catering, on-site accommodation
Price range: $78 and up per person
Always wanted to tie the knot on a yacht? Experience a once-in-a-lifetime micro wedding with Hornblower Cruises and Events. Boasting five yachts based in Marina del Rey, the company's vessels are adorned with brass railings, mahogany, and teak boiseries. Each has a distinct style—ranging from a Roaring Twenties’ vibe to a luxe, royal atmosphere—and all are authentic choices.
A Hornblower Cruises micro-wedding package includes a dockside ceremony performed by the ship's captain, a four-course seated meal, a heart-stopping wedding cake, and more. Say “I do” with a sweeping view, and start your happily ever after in true California fashion.
9. The Barns at Cooper Molera
Location: 447 Figueroa Street, Monterey
Amenities: Barn, garden, catering, on-site accommodation
Price range: $4,500 and up
Plan a country-chic micro wedding at The Barns at Cooper Molera in downtown Monterey. The grounds offer a serene and tranquil setting to celebrate your union; a historical and unique location, it features a classic barn, clay-brick houses, and stunning landscaped outdoor spaces. The decorations are impeccable, too—from lanterns hanging in the grand old oaks to era-reminiscent furnishings, everything you need for a micro wedding is right here.
The Barns at Cooper Molera even offers a special Micro Wedding package for any available 2020 date, with space available for up to 20 guests. The package includes custom florals, a photography session, an officiant, a champagne toast, a fruit and cheese platter, and a small wedding cake with two hours of event time. Start a new chapter of your love story, and surround yourself with loved ones and century-old oak trees on your special day.
10. Colony 29
Location: 147 South Tahquitz Drive, Palm Springs
Amenities: Garden, saltwater pools, gazebo, koi pond, on-site accommodation, pet-friendly, wheelchair accessible
Price range: $16,500–$50,000
Colony 29 is a one-of-a-kind boutique hotel with multiple wedding and reception venues that total over 12,000 square feet. Set underneath the Palm Springs foothills, the Amphitheater has an open lawn and a stage with lilac-covered pergolas and a koi pond. A rose-lined path leads to the Gardens, a lush space covered with vineyards and flowers.
For a more intimate event, Mountain Vista is a prime choice. Towering palms and a desert landscape provide the perfect backdrop for your serene outdoor micro-wedding ceremony. The indoor area accommodates up to 26 people and features Spanish-style tiles, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Walk down the aisle at this intimate wedding venue while carnival lights illuminate your beauty.