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If a church wedding and garden reception don't appeal to you, then plan your non-traditional wedding around the things that matter most to you - surround yourself with animals, soar into the sky or step up to the plate at a big league baseball diamond. With or without the pomp and circumstance, you can make your wedding day truly your own.

Some things to keep in mind when planning your unique wedding include:

  • There are no rules here, so relax, get creative and let your personality shine through
  • You don't have to start from scratch; sometimes a non-traditional wedding simply means giving old traditions a new twist that's more in sync with your style
  • Wearing attire that matches your theme can be less expensive than a traditional bridal gown, plus you might be able to wear it again
  • Unfortunately, you should be prepared for some adversity for doing something that isn't wholly traditional

One-of-a-kind San Diego wedding locations include:

  • San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    If the idea of having giraffes and gorillas in the background of your wedding photos sounds exciting, this might be the place for you. Perhaps you envisioned sharing your first married kiss overlooking a vast savanna while herds of rhinos, giraffes, and gazelles roam in the distance or in a lush tropical setting on the edge of a lagoon filled with rare birds. From animal print linens to exotic entertainment, and even the occasional furry visitor, a zoo wedding is sure to drive your guests wild.
  • SeaWorld San Diego
    Maybe you met at the beach, or share a love of scuba diving. If so, SeaWorld San Diego is a natural spot to take the plunge. Imagine having your wedding ceremony adjacent to the graceful manatees, followed by a reception at the ever-popular Penguin Encounter. Other possibilities include the dramatic Shark Encounter and Rocky Point Preserve, home to playful dolphins and sea otters. The park can provide full service catering, a dance floor and complimentary parking for guests.
  • Birch Aquarium
    Celebrate your special day with an ocean theme at Birch Aquarium. Imagine an outdoor wedding on Tide Pool Plaza overlooking La Jolla Shores at sunset followed by an indoor reception surrounded by Pacific marine life in more than 60 habitats.
  • Petco Park
    A baseball lover's wedding dream come true can happen at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Take to the mound for an all-American wedding ceremony, followed by a baseball-themed reception on the playing field. Hand out signed baseballs for wedding favors, and have guests sign a custom baseball jersey or home plate in lieu of a guest book. The Petco Park staff can even arrange for a current Padres player to make a guest appearance at your event.
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
    The coastal communities just north of downtown San Diego are among a few places in the world where hot air balloons can fly both at sunrise and sunset, providing wonderful opportunities for romance in the sky. How about holding an intimate ceremony high above the shores of San Diego or lifting off right after the ceremony? The possibilities seem endless, and all end with a champagne toast and some tasty goodies on land.
  • Center Stage Wedding
    If theatre is your passion, why not get married on stage with your wedding as act one and the reception as act two? With professional lighting, sound and theatrical effects at your fingertips, your once-in-a-lifetime event can be as dramatic as you like. San Diego theatre choices include Birch North Park Theatre, Lambs Players Theatre and Horton Grand, and California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Find additional information for planning your destination wedding at Resources for Getting Married in San Diego.

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