Lake Tahoe Destination Wedding

California Wedding Inspiration

December 14, 2017
Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of

Today’s Destination: California post is all about inspiration! We’ve created a Pinterest board dedicated to the destination, are sharing some past real-life bride advice and also past articles we’ve written about various locations throughout the state. Of all the Destination: X weeks we’ve done so far, California is perhaps the most diverse. Most people think of this West Coast state for Pacific beach weddings, but there is also wine country, desert, redwood forest, Lake Tahoe and Central Coast cliffs. We’ve done our best to cover all our Cali bases, so read on no matter your destination wedding style!

Indulge Your Pinterest Passion

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, odds are you have a Pinterest account that you’ve explored for wedding or honeymoon inspiration. If you’re considering a West Coast wedding away we’ve created a Destination: California Pinterest board. We’ve also added some Cali-friendly pins to some of our other boards including Reception Ideas, DIY Divas, Wedding Florals/Bouquets and Fashion Forward. No matter your chosen destination wedding location, you’ll want to stick around and check out the rest of our Pinterest page, which includes almost 3,800 pins!

Real Bride Advice

We’ve featured dozens of California real weddings over the past 13 years and we’ve combed through past real-life brides to share some of the best advice on a variety of topics. You can also check-out their wedding features to read more.

“Invest in your photographer and videographer; that was very important to us. Those are the two memories you can turn to at any moment and be brought right back to that day. Also, find people who share your vision to help create the most magical day of your life and turn over the responsibility to them. That is their job. Don’t stress over the small stuff – I didn’t and it was the best day of my life!”  ~ Fawn, Santa Rosa destination wedding bride 

“The Central Coast has some of the most unique and picturesque landscapes in the world and the historic Santa Margarita Ranch is one of those places – we even got a barn.” ~ Marissa, Santa Margarita destination wedding bride

 “Nothing really matters, but the love you have for one another and for the friends and family who are all there to celebrate with you. Enjoy it, soak it in, be 100 percent present and you will have the time of your lives.” ~ Thuy, Sonoma destination wedding bride

“I couldn’t believe a place as beautiful as Tahoe existed in the U.S. and I had never been there. After one day of exploring the town, we knew Lake Tahoe was the place we wanted to say our vows.” ~ Maureen, Lake Tahoe destination wedding bride

“Andrew loves the ocean and I love the first, so we felt Big Sur was the ideal location to satisfy both our loves for nature. The space allowed us to keep an intimate setting with those who have shared our journey, which I do not think we could have achieved if held anywhere else. [Also,] make time for the planning. Luckily, we did not have high expectations, so it was easier for us.” ~ Shanna, Big Sur destination wedding bride

“Having to plan a wedding when you are an ocean away and have a 16-hour time difference is a nightmare. That is why you need a very competent wedding planner. They will be your life saver! I didn’t have time to do research and, honestly, when you have a good planner, you don’t have to.” ~ Stephanie, Beverly Hills destination wedding bride 

“We fell in love in California. We thought it would be a great homage to our love to get married under the sun.” ~ Sabrina, Palm Springs destination wedding bride

“I was obsessed with trying to plan ahead so everything would be perfect, but I’ve come to realize with destination weddings (and all weddings, really) that something will not go exactly as planned. I am glad we worked hard planning to ensure all the big things went smoothly and the problems we had were only minor, but there is always something you don’t think of or something out of our control…” ~ Megan, Catalina Island destination wedding bride 

Fashion Forward Features

Every issue of DID includes our Fashion Forward department that features various professional photo shoots meant to inspire your own destination wedding! We also share posts on our blog five says a week – some of which include lovely photo shoots! Below are some of our favorite inspirational features over the years that were shot in and/or inspired by California.

Tropical Wedding Fashion in Malibu

Wildly Refined in Silverado

Golden Summer in Agoura Hills

Modern Romance in El Segundo

Sail Away With Me in Newport Beach

Get Away With Me in Santa Ynez

Wine Country Couture in Paso Robles

SoCal Couture in Malibu

Ship Wrecked in Santa Barbara

Lake Tahoe Wedding Inspo

French Romance in Arroyo Grande 

A Round-up of our Reviews

Here at Destination I Do, we don’t feature any location, venue or property in the magazine that one of our contributing writers or editors hasn’t visited and experienced in-person. Below, please find a round-up of some of our highest reviewed California properties and venues.

If you’re just joining us in our Destination: California journey, be sure to check out this week’s previous posts: California Venues with SPG Weddings, Sonoma Destination Weddings and Big Sur Destination Wedding. Stay tuned tomorrow for another beautiful real-life destination wedding!

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Heather Scharf Photography, Amelia Lyon Photography, Caroline Tran Photography, Corey Fox Photography, Ashley Strong Photography, John & Joseph Photography, Happy Confetti Photography & Brian Leahy Photography

Wyndham Alltra

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.