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Museum Weddings and Historic Locations

Add a touch of elegance and history to your special day

From an art-filled rotunda to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, a San Diego museum or historic wedding venue is a wonderful backdrop for the celebration.

From a magnificent rotunda amid the San Diego Museum of Art's old world collection to the flight deck of the USS Midway to a reception amid World War II aircraft at the Air & Space Museum, San Diego is home to some incredibly unique wedding locations for memorable, one-of-a-kind ceremonies.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • These distinctive settings add a historical element to your wedding
  • Usually only one event is booked at a time, so you have the location all to yourselves
  • You can take one-of-a-kind wedding photos surrounded by unique architecture, great works of art or prehistoric mammals, depending up on the location of your choice
  • Most venues provide private tours of the galleries or rooms
  • Timing is usually restricted to evenings when the venues are closed to the public

Popular Museum or Historic Wedding Locations:

Hotel Del Coronado

It is hard to imagine a more romantic setting than the historic Hotel del Coronado. The resort celebrated its first wedding in 1887, when the daughter and son of two supervising engineers exchanged vows during the hotel's construction. Since then its romantic legacy has only grown, with the Travel Channel naming The Del the #1 best place to get married in the U.S. Wedding and reception settings include the wide, sandy beach adjacent to the hotel, the seaside Windsor Lawn with the hotel serving as your backdrop, the blooming Rose Garden, the historic Crown Room with chandeliers designed by Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum or the elegant Ballroom with views of the Pacific Ocean. Whatever the location, you are assured excellent service at this luxurious resort and one-of-a-kind photographs amid the stunning Victorian architecture. After the reception, simply check into a hotel room or nearby cottage or villa for the honeymoon and become part of The Del's romantic history.

Balboa Park

Known as the "Smithsonian of the West," Balboa Park features 15 museums, plus gardens and other architecturally striking buildings, offering countless locations for indoor or outdoor weddings. Sites for a museum wedding include the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum, Fleet Science Center and Museum of Photographic Arts.

ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station

Situated on acres of lush landscaping, this property combines 75 years of naval history, romantic ambiance and picturesque scenery. Liberty Station venues offer beautifully restored Spanish-Revival venues at the decommissioned Naval Training Center in Point Loma. From 1923 to 1997, thousands of Navy recruits called Liberty Station their home and many were married on the base. With 10 unique indoor and outdoor spaces available for ceremonies and receptions, brides and grooms have many choices where to celebrate their special day Including two modern banquet halls (originally the library and a barracks building), several courtyards, multiple verdant promenades, a quaint Rose Garden, and a charming North Chapel.

The Abbey on Fifth Avenue

In 1910 In 1910, master architect Norman Foote Marsh unveiled the Park Place Methodist Episcopal Church, an acclaimed structure that would eventually become "The Abbey " set on the fringe of glorious Balboa Park,  This striking embodiment of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture boasts a dozen stained glass windows, and is topped with a triumphant status of Gabriel blowing his horn. Today, The Abbey on Fifth Avenue is a private special event facility managed by Hornblower Cruises & Events. Gourmet cuisine is prepared on-site in The Abbey's commissary, where bread has been broken and wine has been shared for the past ten decades.

Saint Francis Chapel

Perhaps one of the most beautiful buildings in Balboa Park is the Saint Francis Chapel, connected to the San Diego Museum of Man. This non-denominational chapel, built in 1915, is a unique, private space for intimate wedding ceremonies. Outside the chapel, the beautiful offerings of Balboa Park abound.

Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

Conveniently located near downtown, The Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park is a pretty Mission-style building with both indoor and outdoor spaces. Offering spectacular views of the city, it's especially beautiful at sunset, when you can see all the way to the ocean and up the coast.

Darlington House

One of San Diego's most popular and romantic wedding venues, this stunning mansion in La Jolla features a dramatic entryway with sweeping staircase, period décor, and several lush patios and gardens. The attractive indoor and outdoor spaces here make it easy to hold the ceremony in one area, then move to another for the reception and refreshments. Another special feature: the bridal suites on the second floor, where members of the wedding party can dress and relax before the event.

Marston House

The charming and historic Marston House is a 100-year-old mansion-turned-museum located in northwest Balboa Park. One of California's finest examples of the Arts and Crafts movement, the property was designed and built by the internationally renowned architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill. Surrounded by five acres of rolling lawns, manicured formal gardens, and rustic canyon gardens, this 8,500 square-foot home became a house museum in 1987 after the Marston family gifted it to the City of San Diego for the enjoyment of the public. While wedding guests may tour the house, the formal gardens and a covered terrace are the only locations available for a ceremony or reception.

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