With a population of a little more than 100,000 people – Carlsbad, California is a tiny city by southern California standards - but with its small seaside-village feel, embodying the essence of quaint beach towns from days far gone - it’s an idyllic location to host a wedding.
Here, you’ll find funky oceanfront hotels, streets lined with antique shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and eclectic sidewalk eateries where surfers hang out before hanging ten. It also features many uncrowded beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing and more, as well as many local parks and trails for hiking, sightseeing, or waves-watching. You can also spend a week living like a local or live it up at one of the city’s luxury resorts, where you’ll experience everything from fresh-caught seafood on the barbie to five-star dining. While the city’s many art galleries and museums await those looking for a little culture trip to go with their beachside tans, as well as street fairs and art walks for those eager to take a stroll.
Touched by both the hot southern California sun and the Pacific Ocean’s cool breezes, Carlsbad enjoys a mild, predictable climate year-round. This makes the city perfect for sunset beach weddings, garden soirees and backyard receptions. It also features many unique indoor venues, including country clubs and vintage theaters as well. Paired with its abundance of affordable restaurants and great party vendors, the city of Carlsbad is a great one to consider hosting your wedding event.
Wedding Options in Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad is home to experienced wedding professionals ready to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Whether you serve a four-course meal or provide a variety of delicious appetizers, your guests will be looking forward to a slice of wedding cake to finish the evening. Carlsbad has a wide array of specialty bakeries that provide everything from traditional and modern custom cakes to French pastries and danishes.
Established in 2016, Plantiful Kitchen is an entirely vegan bakery offering a large selection of delicious and healthy baked goods and desserts. All products are gluten-free and refined sugar-free, making the bakery a great option for couples or guests with special dietary needs, and even non-vegans will be impressed with the taste and presentation.
You may think you’ll never forget your wedding day, and you’re correct – but an experienced wedding photographer can fill in all the small moments of the day for you to look back on years later, from the exact color of your flowers to the look on your partner’s face the moment your eyes meet. Carlsbad is home to many talented photographers who are experienced working with couples’ needs and budgets to provide keepsake memories of your special day.
No matter where you choose to say your vows, flowers can add a touch of color, elegance or meaning to an already beautiful ceremony. From classic roses and lilies to more colorful modern creations, Carlsbad florists can provide the style and experience you’re looking for at both your ceremony and reception. Going for a tropical beach vibe? Carlsbad even has florists who specialize in imported Hawaiian flowers and designs.
- Wedding Entertainment
Music can make any event memorable, and your wedding is no exception. Carlsbad’s talented musicians are available to provide elegant, classical ceremony processions and wedding marches, as well as live rock and jazz for a night of dancing. If you’re looking for a bright, energetic party feel, entertainment companies can provide lighting, dance floors, stages and DJs for a night you and your guests will remember for years to come.
Wayne Foster Entertainment
With more than 30 years in the musical entertainment business, musicians Wayne and Marin Foster know what it takes to make a great party. Now led by the Fosters’ daughter, Jacqueline, Wayne Foster Entertainment can provide the right performer for any wedding, from solo acts to dance bands of all genres.
Wedding Planning Companies in Carlsbad, California
- Sweet Blossom Weddings
For more than 10 years, Sweet Blossom Weddings has specialized in full-service wedding planning, beginning with helping couples design and concept and ending when the event has been carried off to perfection. The company also supports couples who want to do the majority of the planning themselves, but just need a few design ideas or a push in the right direction. With a vast vendor network and years of experience, Sweet Blossom Weddings ensures couples receive quality services within their budget.
- Won Love Events
No matter where you choose to tie the knot, Won Love Events is all about creating a completely customized, expertly-detailed experience for both you and your guests. The company offers complete wedding design and coordination services for the couple that wants to relax and enjoy the ride. As well as design services for those who need a few concepts to work with to kickstart the wedding planning experience. Won Love Events has claimed Couples’ Choice Awards from WeddingWire and is certified LGBTQ+ inclusive by EquallyWed.
- Evelyn Francesca Events & Design
Making couples feel valued, heard and understood during the planning process is the key to success at Evelyn Francesca Events & Design. Founder and lead designer Evelyn has been planning weddings since 2009 and strives to give couples a stress free experience so they can be fully present for friends, family and each other. The company offers a wealth of service options, including full-service planning, partial planning and wedding day management.
Pros and Cons of Hosting a Wedding in Carlsbad
- Pleasant year-round weather
Carlsbad enjoys warm weather year-round, with more than 250 days of sunshine annually and no snowfall.
- Pristine beaches
From Carlsbad State Beach to smaller, more secluded stretches of sand, the city has miles of soft white-sand beaches for swimming, surfing, fishing and more.
- Close to bigger cities
If you’re looking to experience some of SoCal’s most famous destinations, you’re only a short drive away.
The city’s climate, beaches, and proximity to major southern California destinations mean tourists often descend on the city during school vacations and holidays.
- Expensive amenities
Carlsbad’s cost of living index is twice the national average, meaning food, lodging, transportation and entertainment is more expensive.
- Limited food scene
Although fresh seafood and taco stands are abundant, other types of cuisine and fine dining establishments may be lacking.
Famous Wedding Locations in Carlsbad, CA
Check out one of these famous Carlsbad attractions before or after your wedding event!
Bringing the best in brick-based entertainment since the 1970s, Legoland is fun for visitors of all ages. Legoland features a theme park with rides and attractions, a water park, Sea Life Aquarium, and seasonal events. For a full resort experience, guests can spend the weekend at the Legoland Hotel or Legoland Castle, with shopping, attractions, and exclusive dining all in one location.
- Leo Carrillo Ranch and Historic Park
Once part of a 2,500-acre working ranch, the home became the retreat of Leo Carrillo, who starred in more than 100 films at the height of Vaudeville through 1950, and was known for playing Pancho in the hit TV series The Cisco Kid. Today, the property has been preserved and restored and features many of the original hand-crafted adobe ranch buildings, including the tack shed, cantina, cabana, reflecting pool, barn and stable.
- Tamarack Beach
Stretching for three miles along Carlsbad’s Pacific coastline, Tamarack Beach - also known as Carlsbad State Beach - is perfect for water sport activities or just lounging in the abundant sunshine. Visitors to the beach can participate in scuba diving, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, swimming, windsurfing and more. For a more relaxing experience, guests can fish off the warm-water jetties or grill up a feast at the nearby campground.