Planning a wedding? The Santa Ynez Valley is Loaded with Lovely Locations! — Drawn by its scenic beauty and friendly communities, happy couples planning their nuptials naturally gravitate to Santa Barbara County.
Whether seeking a storybook location loaded with country charm, a spot with forever views or a venue boasting all the amenities, they’ll find just what they’re looking for in the Santa Ynez Valley.
For those with a yen to marry in the great outdoors, the regions’s many vineyards and wineries offer a picture-perfect backdrop for the big day. Couples can opt to tie the knot in a courtyard ceremony, under a stately grove of oak trees, on horseback or even while standing among the vines themselves.
Absolutely Perfect Wedding Locations Want your wedding to be a never-to-be-forgotten memory? The beautiful Santa Ynez Valley offers so many options for wedding sites, all unique. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city for an ideal wedding location in the countryside makes perfect sense.
With the Valley’s small-town hospitality, a year-round mild climate and stunning natural beauty, the only real problem, with the bounty of available options here, is deciding upon an ideal location to exchange vows.
Vineyard/Winery Weddings Only 10 years ago holding a wedding in a vineyard was a novelty and a nuisance for the farmer. After the fame of Sideways, the Valley’s vineyards and wineries achieved a new popularity, and vineyard and winery weddings turned into a booming sideline for the vintners.
Now, nearly all of the Valley’s vineyards and wineries host weddings, and many have employees dedicated to helping you manage the details. Many popular wineries with vineyards accommodate wedding parties and receptions. For a complete list, contact the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association at www.sbcountywines.com. Ranches and other outdoor locations Ranch weddings are gaining in popularity every year.
Rolling green hills, beautifully renovated barns and ivy-covered verandas lend a rustic elegance to nuptials held on one of the Valley’s many ranches and homesteads. You’ll need the help of a local wedding planner or friend who lives in the Valley to learn exactly which ranches host weddings. Some couples have been known to get married on horseback. One of the many options for an outdoor wedding is Clairmont Lavender Farm—a picturesque location surrounded by lavender and 100-year-old olive trees.
As the Valley’s many olive grows mature, they too are becoming an option as a wedding location. Additionally there are numerous charming and historic small ranches and farms around the Valley that host weddings. A number of private estates and elegant homes are occasionally available for weddings, as are the local parks. Several choice historical structures accommodate weddings, among them Solvang’s Elverhøj Museum of History & Art in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum in Santa Ynez.
Church Locations The Valley has churches of many denominations and all perform weddings. The following are the most popular for visitors to the Valley and are most accustomed to conducting destination weddings. With over 200 years of practice, it’s no surprise that Old Mission Santa Inés is consistently voted Best Place to Get Married by Valley residents. After extensive restoration inside and out, chances are that the Mission church and gardens have never looked more beautiful.
The quaint Ballard Country Church on Baseline Road is an option for ceremonies of up to 100 guests. Built in 1898, the chapel is open to officiators of any denomination. Its white clapboard frame and peaceful location make it the perfect choice for small, intimate weddings.
In Los Olivos, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church normally holds weddings on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
St. Mark’s is large enough to accommodate a wedding of almost any size. Its trendy Los Olivos location is a plus for out of town visitors. In downtown Solvang, the austere Bethania Lutheran Church is a splendid building, built in 1928 by the early Danish settlers in the area.
An especially good choice for those of Scandinavian ancestry who will appreciate the Danish touches. Weddings at Valley Inns and Hotels The Santa Ynez Valley offers many quality hotels and inns, and many of the finer establishments offer wedding sites and are experienced at holding weddings of any size. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott offers a romantic outdoor garden pavilion as a wedding site.
Their beautiful and flexible indoor event space ranges from the stately Turf Club Ballroom to the intimate Jockey Club. Their meeting space area totals 12,000 square feet and 149 guest rooms and suites. Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos accommodates large weddings and wedding receptions indoors or on their patio.
With Petros Greek restaurant in place, seating accommodations for dining have expanded. Finding the perfect location in our wedding destination area may not be easy with so many choices. But it will be worth it.