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Planning a San Diego Beach Wedding

Culver Park San Diego Wedding Photograph

Does a wedding on the beach, with sand in your toes and the sound of waves breaking seem perfect to you?

Many of the ocean and bay front hotels and resorts are happy to help you plan and host a wedding on the sand.

If a hotel or resort wedding is not what you have in mind, there are still great ways to have a wedding on the beach.  There are many popular city parks that require permits for weddings. Most cities make reservations through the Parks and Recreation Department.

In the city of San Diego some of the most popular beach wedding locations are Cuvier Park (the Wedding Bowl), Ellen Browning Scripps Park (the grassy park above La Jolla Cove), Calumet Park (in the Bird Rock Neighborhood), and Kellogg Park (the grassy park at La Jolla Shores), and Hospitality Point and all the other Mission Bay parks. The popular Powerhouse Community Center and Seagrove Park are in Del Mar.  Coronado has several nice parks on the bay side as well as the ocean front area, with the Hotel Del Coronado and Point Loma as backdrops.

The La Jolla Bridge Club is a fantastic beachfront location for wedding photography with a small garden area and a delightful old building looking out on to the water from the cliffs above La Jolla Cove.  Reservations are handled directly through the club.

Weddings and wedding photography are allowed on most public beaches without a permit, but check to see if one is needed, and if not, what you are and are not allowed to set up.

Be sure to check a tide calendar and sunset time before planning your beach wedding.  For your San Diego beach wedding photos to look the absolute best, you want to plan to be on the beach about an hour and a half before sunset until just about dark.  High noon on the beach is not the most comfortable light for you or your guests, nor the most flattering for photos.

The most popular beach wedding locations book a year in advance, some seven days a week, so if you’re hoping to have a beach wedding, get started with your planning early to get the location of your choice.

Helpful Links

Julie Edwards is a San Diego wedding and portrait photographer who loves the beach, beach weddings, and beach portraits. Visit her website at

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