San Diego luxury weddings might not be as common as those in LA or Orange County, but they do exist! To me, the word luxury doesn’t just mean “expensive.” It means an experience that truly emerses guests in your wedding with special touches of service in addition to intentional, high end decor.

San Diego Luxury Weddings: Leave a Lasting Impression for Guests 

1. Determine Your Budget and Choose a Venue

The idea of a luxury wedding isn’t necessarily synonymous with “unlimited budget.” You’ll still need to set an appropriate budget by prioritizing what wedding details are most important to least important. Be sure to factor in your guest count as well, before choosing a venue that wows guests and suits your personalities.

When finding a venue, look for a space that already has a luxury feel and offers multiple sites that guests can move throughout for each event. A barn venue an hour from the city? Probably not. The Fairmont Grand Del Mar? Definitely. Alternatively, with the right design team, you can convert most spaces into a luxury venue with draping, lighting, decor, etc.

Weddings at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, Luxury Mediterranean European inspired venue, film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

2. Determine Your Style and Your Vendor Team

Think about general style types that might mesh well with who the two of you are. Do you feel more modern and chic or more boho or more traditional? It’s smarter to hire a planner who shows modern weddings on their site, rather than hire the boho planner when that’s not what you have in mind for your wedding.

For San Diego luxury weddings, it’s best worth a couple’s time to focus on vendors who already seem to work with luxury clientele. Take note of how abundant or extravagant the flower arrangements, wedding gowns, and venues on the vendors’ sites are. How personalized do they make each wedding? Are they showing the couple’s personalities in the wedding design or do all of their weddings look the same? Referrals are also excellent for finding luxury wedding vendors.

Al fresco reception with table covered in ivory velvet linen. Orange fruit escort card. Mauve charger, soft blush plates, coral napkin with grey cloth square on top and hand torn calligraphy place card. Gold flatware with white handles, pink taper candles in hurricanes, and centerpiece with ivory, peach, pink, yellow, and green roses, ranunculus, daffodils, sweet peas, and peonies.. A Wedding Photographer's Fairmont Grand Del Mar Wedding 

3. Set Expectations with a Cohesive Invitation Suite

A wedding invitation suite is the first piece of your wedding that guests see. Make it personalized and telling of what they can expect for your event. Thick papers, letterpress, foil stamping, and laser cutting can all add lavish detailing to your invitations. Be careful not to go overboard, as less is usually more. Be sure to specify the attire on the invite, such as “black tie” or “black tie optional.” Your bridal party should also be dressed accordingly.

Colorful wedding invitations.. Coral wedding invitation with venue sketch illustration in white ink, soft yellow envelope with pink floral envelope liner, and calligraphy fruit for escort cards. Fairmont Grand del Mar wedding published on Martha Stewart Weddings 

4. Provide a Memorable Experience

Creating ambience for your guests is key for the luxury wedding experience. Stylish details, such as uplighting or an abundance of moody candles, add an instant intangible feeling typical of upscale events to your wedding. Other details, such as chargers, well-balanced glassware and flatware, and table decor also ensure a cohesiveness of opulence throughout the reception.

White reception seven tier cake alternating cake and flowers with white draping and carpet ceremony Pelican Hill Wedding - Cavin Elizabeth Photography 
All that said, don’t sacrifice the art of showing your personalities in the details. Work with a design team that focuses on creating unique weddings for every client. The last thing you want is for your wedding to be a carbon copy of last week’s luxury affair.

Wooden shelving for rose glasses in front of a greenery hedge backdrop. Full Belly Farm reception by film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

5. Host like a Boss

No, I don’t mean like a dull office boss. Host the heck out of your wedding by ensuring a well-rounded guest enjoyment. Whether that means keeping them well-fed with tasty cuisines all night, entertainment that blends well with your style or theme (think a wine tasting station for your wine-centric wedding), or interactive lawn games, make your event the most exciting your guests have ever experienced.

Guests walking through a forest to get to the ceremony. Full Belly Farm ceremony on Martha Stewart Weddings by film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

6. Leave a Lasting Final Impression

Ending on a high note, exit your wedding with a memorable event. That could be a confetti popping, sparkler wielding, or an edible favor that won’t be left behind like most other favors. Whatever you choose, it should be something fun for you two and your guests!

Above view of the entire reception with market lights and round tables with oak Orion chairs. Miramonte Resort wedding reception. Photography by Cavin Elizabeth.

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