A wedding couple strolls on the beach in front of San Diego's Hotel del Coronado

Ritzing it Up

Ritzing it Up
These romantic hideaways are dream locations for a perfect ceremony

California excels at exclusive (and discreet) retreats fit for movie stars—and anyone else who wants 5-star luxury in ultra-romantic settings. These destinations are known for sigh-inducing settings and spoil-me-now lodgings. Along the North Coast, Mendocino, with wisps of fog above coastal bluffs dotted with charming cottages, is a wedding favorite. Luxury B&Bs and resorts abound, many with complete wedding packages.

Further south along the Central Coast, wedding options abound. Consider Clint Eastwood’s historic and meticulously restored Mission Ranch in the beautiful Carmel Valley, or the dream destination of Post Ranch Inn, perched on cliffs along the spectacular Big Sur coast. Santa Barbara, with its ocean vistas and red-tiled rooftops, has a host of spectacular hideaways, like El Encanto in the hills above town, and Four Seasons’ The Biltmore along the edge of the sparkling Pacific.

Warm evening air, a desert breeze, cabañas by the pool—what’s not to love about a luxurious wedding in the California desert, especially with choices like the Parker Palm Springs or Two Bunch Palms, both in the Palm Springs area, or the Oasis at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Resort) in Death Valley National Park.

If it’s glitz and glamour you seek for your nuptials, it’s difficult to rival Southern California. Known for movie-star liaisons, Beverly Hills  has plenty of exclusive—and posh—places to get married. To live in Elizabeth Taylor’s shoes, consider the expansively refurbished Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows; La Liz had six of her eight honeymoons there. In San Diego, vamp like Marilyn at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, where the blond bombshell steamed up Tony Curtis’s glasses in 1959’s Some Like It Hot.

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