Santa Barbara is SUCH a beautiful place to get married; there is no shortage of options for stunning outdoor (and indoor!) wedding venues to choose from, and couples travel from all over the place to get married here.
We’ve compiled a few of our top eight personal favorites, and in our humble opinions and photography experience, these are the very best Santa Barbara wedding venues, listed in no particular order.
Belmond El Encanto // with sweeping ocean views and the loveliest bungalow rooms, El Encanto is nestled in the Riviera neighborhood in the Santa Barbara hills. We love El Encanto because it’s a hotel (which means you can get ready, get married, host a reception, and head to an after-party at the bar, all on the same property), but has a distinctly non-hotel vibe. The cottage-style buildings and lush greenery (as well as the lily pond ceremony space) make it an incredibly picturesque location for a wedding.
Sunstone Villa // the architecture at Sunstone Winery’s hilltop Villa in Santa Ynez (about 45 minutes northwest of Santa Barbara on the 154 highway) is inspired by the Tuscan countryside and built from French-imported limestone. It’s a stunning estate and can sleep up to ten guests, so it’s also a fabulous spot for the bride and groom to stay overnight with their bridal party and/or family for the weekend.
San Ysidro Ranch // another hotel that doesn’t feel like a hotel, San Ysidro Ranch is located in Montecito (slightly south of Santa Barbara proper) and offers a variety of options for ceremony and reception locations. The Lower Gardens, the Wine Cellar, and the Hydrangea Garden are our favorite spots (and we ADORE the small lavender field at the entrance of the property for “magic hour” portraits at sunset).
Santa Barbara Historical Museum // the courtyard at the museum (as well as the adjacent Plaza Terrace and nearby Adobe Courtyard) is a romantic homage to early Spanish California architecture and culture.
The Narrative Loft // we’re big fans of raw, warehouse-style spaces, but so many of them are in the Los Angeles area. The Narrative Loft is a refreshing exception; the intimate space can be flipped for ceremony-to-reception space, and also serves as a production studio for filming and commercial photography.
Bacara Resort & Spa // the Bacara offers a jaw-dropping ceremony lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean (with beach access for easy portrait time!) while maintaining the luxurious convenience of a fully-equipped hotel and resort. The pools are beautiful, the spa is decadent, and the landscape is divine.
Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse // if you’re looking for an overgrown field with a mountain backdrop (and access to an incredible farmhouse for accommodations), this stunning property is rustic and charming without compromising on the grandeur of the Santa Ynez environs. Nestled off a rough country road near Los Olivos, Fig Mountain Farmhouse is definitely one of our all-time faves.
Four Seasons Biltmore // any Santa Barbara wedding venue list is incomplete without the Four Seasons. Spanish tile accents and lush landscaping provide ample opportunities for gorgeous portraits, and the convenience of Butterfly Beach right across the street means you can have your hotel wedding AND sunset beach portraits, too.
What did we miss? Are you getting married in a killer Santa Barbara location that we’ve managed to overlook? Let us know in the comments below!