California is a dream wedding destination for many couples, but it can also be an expensive one. From the stunning venues to the delectable catering options, the costs of planning a wedding in California can add up quickly. If you are wondering how much a wedding costs in California, you are not alone. In this section, we will take a closer look at the average wedding cost in California and provide budgeting tips to help you plan your dream wedding without breaking the bank. We will also recommend some of the most popular wedding venues across the state that cater to different styles and budgets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Planning a wedding in California can be expensive due to the wide range of options and vendors available.
  • Knowing the average cost of weddings in California can help you set a realistic budget.
  • By utilizing budgeting tips and tricks, you can save money without sacrificing your vision for your big day.
  • There are many stunning wedding venues across California that cater to different budgets and styles.
  • Consider outdoor event lighting rentaland wedding lighting rental to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding venue.

Factors Affecting Wedding Costs in California

When planning a wedding in California, it’s essential to understand the factors that affect the overall cost. Several elements can influence the final expense of your big day.


Wedding venues in California can vary significantly in price, depending on location, capacity, and included amenities. Generally, venues in urban areas, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, tend to be more expensive than those in rural areas.

Consider venues that offer all-inclusive packages that cover catering, furniture rentals, and other essentials for a more affordable option.

Venue Type Average Cost
Hotel $15,000-$25,000
Beachside $10,000-$15,000
Rustic Barn $5,000-$10,000

Guest Count

The number of guests you plan to invite can significantly affect your wedding costs in California. Most venues charge per head, and more guests mean more expenses in catering, rentals, and more.

An excellent way to reduce the costs is to keep the guest list small and intimate. You can also consider hosting the event on a weekday instead of a weekend, as some venues offer lower rates for weekday weddings.


The catering expenses can significantly affect the total cost of a California wedding. The food and drink costs can depend on the menu selection, the type of service, and the number of guests.

Buffet-style service is usually cheaper than a seated dinner and can also create a more relaxed atmosphere. Consider serving signature cocktails and wine instead of a full bar, as this can also help reduce expenses.

Photography and Videography

Photography and videography are essential to capture your special day’s memories. However, these services can be costly, ranging from a few thousand dollars to over tens of thousands.

To reduce costs, consider hiring a photographer and videographer package deal. You can also limit the hours of service to capture only the most important moments.

Time of Year

The time of year you choose to get married in California can significantly affect wedding expenses. Peak wedding season in California is typically from May to October, which can mean higher rates for venues and vendors, especially on weekends.

Consider planning your wedding during the off-season, which can help you save costs. You can also aim for a mid-week wedding rather than a weekend ceremony.

By understanding these factors that affect wedding costs in California, you can better plan and budget for your dream wedding while still enjoying a beautiful, memorable day.

Budgeting Tips for a California Wedding

Planning a wedding in California can be a dream come true, but it can also quickly become expensive. With a little creativity and some smart budgeting, you can still have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Here are some budgeting tips to help you plan an affordable California wedding:

1. Prioritize Your Spending

The first step in creating a budget is to determine what aspects of your wedding are most important to you. Create a list of your top priorities, whether it’s the venue, catering, or decor, and allocate a larger portion of your budget to those areas. This will help you avoid overspending on less important aspects of your wedding.

2. Consider Alternative Venues

Wedding venues can be one of the most expensive parts of planning a wedding. Consider alternative venues such as parks, beaches, or even a friend or family member’s backyard. Not only can these options be more affordable, but they can also provide a unique and memorable setting for your special day.

3. Opt for a Smaller Guest List

The number of guests at your wedding can have a significant impact on your budget. Consider inviting only close family and friends or having a more intimate ceremony and reception. Remember, fewer guests mean less food, fewer decorations, and a smaller venue, which can all lead to significant cost savings.

4. DIY Decorations and Favors

Creating your own wedding decorations and favors can be a fun and cost-effective way to add a personal touch to your wedding. Consider making your own centerpieces, wedding favors, or even invitations. Get creative and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family to make your DIY dreams a reality.

5. Be Mindful of Seasonal Pricing

Many wedding vendors offer discounted prices during off-season months. If you’re flexible with your wedding date, consider getting married during the off-season months to save money. Additionally, be mindful of peak wedding season pricing when booking vendors and venues.

6. Shop Around and Negotiate Prices

Do your research and shop around for vendors and services. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices or ask for a discount. Many vendors are willing to work with you on price, especially if you’re willing to book multiple services with them.

7. Incorporate Cost-Saving Ideas

There are many ways to incorporate cost-saving ideas without sacrificing the quality of your wedding day. Consider having a daytime wedding instead of an evening reception, providing a signature cocktail instead of an open bar, or opting for a smaller cake instead of an elaborate one. Small changes can add up to significant savings.

With these budgeting tips, you can plan an affordable and unforgettable California wedding. Remember, your wedding day should be about celebrating your love and commitment to one another, not about how much money you spent.

Wedding Venue Recommendations in California

California boasts some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the world, from oceanfront estates to charming vineyards. Choosing the perfect venue for your special day can be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered. Here are some recommendations for California wedding venues that will take your breath away.

Villa Montalvo

Villa Montalvo is a stunning Mediterranean-style estate located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. With its lush gardens, dramatic archways, and romantic courtyards, it is the perfect setting for a fairy tale wedding. Outdoor event lighting rental and wedding lighting rental are essential to create the perfect ambiance for your special day.

The Inn at Park Winters

The Inn at Park Winters is a charming Victorian estate located in Winters, California, just 30 minutes from Sacramento. Its sprawling grounds include an orchard, barns, and even a sparkling pool. The estate’s rustic charm is perfect for a barn wedding or an outdoor celebration under the stars.

La Quinta Resort & Club

For an elegant and luxurious wedding, look no further than La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. This legendary resort has hosted countless weddings over the years, and for good reason. With its lush grounds, mountain views, and stylish accommodations, it is the ultimate California wedding destination.


How much does a wedding cost in California?

The cost of a wedding in California can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the location, guest count, and level of extravagance. On average, couples can expect to spend between $25,000 to $50,000 for their wedding in California.

What are the factors affecting wedding costs in California?

There are several factors that can affect the overall cost of a wedding in California. Some of the key factors include the venue rental fee, catering expenses, photography and videography services, floral arrangements, wedding attire, and entertainment. Additionally, the time of year and day of the week can also impact the cost.

Do you have any budgeting tips for a California wedding?

Absolutely! Planning a wedding within a budget can be challenging, but there are ways to cut costs without compromising on your vision. Some budgeting tips for a California wedding include prioritizing your spending, opting for affordable wedding options such as DIY decorations or buffet-style catering, and exploring cost-saving ideas like having an off-peak season wedding or weekday wedding.

Can you recommend some wedding venues in California?

Certainly! California offers a plethora of beautiful wedding venues to suit different styles and budgets. Some popular options include beachside resorts, vineyards and wineries, boutique hotels, and charming garden venues. It’s also important to consider outdoor event lighting rental and wedding lighting rental to create the perfect ambiance for your special day.

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