How To Plan an Indian Wedding in Southern California

So you want to get married in Southern California but you’re not sure where to start. This is a detailed guide that walks you through how to plan an Indian wedding in Southern California. I will discuss everything from why Southern California is great for Indian weddings, how much Indian weddings cost in Southern California, things to know about each region in Southern California and specific venues in each region.

Additionally, in the links below under the section “Looking for Indian Wedding Venues”, you can back out of venues – by searching for venues that are suitable for your total wedding budget. Below are the links to the sections of {long} article, so feel free to jump to sections and keep referring back to this guide as a resource.

Contents: Jump To Sections That Interest You:

Looking for Indian Wedding Venues in Southern California? Start Here.

Why Plan an Indian Wedding in Southern California?

  • Because of the year round great weather
  • Outdoor cocktail hour under the stars
  • Most venues in Southern California have an outdoor ceremony space, which is nice in general, and makes things easier for weddings that require an open flame.
  • Large supply of venues with experience with all types of Indian weddings
  • Large supply of vendors that specialize in or have vast experience in Indian weddings
  • Desirable location for everyone – whether you have guests coming from India, the UK, or New York, Southern California is a desirable destination where your guests could easily add on holiday to their visit for your wedding.
  • Accessible to all types of religious institutions – Mandirs, Derasars, Gurdwars, Masjids, Churches, and Synagogues.
  • Accessible to shopping. While many couples opt to go wedding shopping in India or Pakistan, LA’s Little India in the city of Artesia, is also a good place to shop for your wedding. Though I will admit that New York and New Jersey have more stores and more variety.

Indian Destination Wedding in California

If you’re planning a destination wedding in Southern California, then presumably you are seeking a venue that exemplifies its beauty. We recommend that you look into these venues with marina/ bay views and these venues with ocean views. And these are all of the venues in Southern California with capacity of 500+. The pricing of Bay view and ocean view venues range from budget friendly venues such as the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach at under $40++ per person to ultra luxury venues like the Montage Laguna Beach and others that are at least $100++ per person.

It is possible to have a $50,000 destination wedding in Southern California with 350 guests. I will be honest, the budget will be tight and you’ll have to make a lot of trade offs.

Steps Involved In Planning an Indian Wedding

  1. 12 months prior: Make a guest list or estimate how many people you anticipate at your wedding. It’s impossible to know exactly how many guests you will have, but give it your best guess and add a few extras for buffer. Doing this step first, will help you narrow down venues in terms of size and cost.
  2. 12 months prior: Think about what events you want to have for your wedding: religious events, sangeet/garba, maiyan, jaggo, wedding ceremony, reception, send off brunch. Are you going to have the wedding day with a long time gap in-between the ceremony and reception or will the cocktail hour start right after the ceremony?
  3. 12-11 months prior: Select a venue | research vendors | schedule a shopping trip to India/Pakistan (if you’re going).
  4. 12-11 months prior: selecting a venue is a time consuming process. We have the largest marketplace of Indian wedding venues. Research online, request info and quotes from our website.
  5. 12-11 months prior: think about dates and locations for bachelor/bachelorette weekends, and the bridal shower + whom you will ask to be in your wedding party, dates for an engagement photo session.
  6. 12-11 months prior: you’ve probably already started thinking about your fashion and decor for your wedding. Now is a good time to start looking online and pinning things you like to your own Pinterest boards.
  7. 11-3 months prior (ongoing): Fashion, jewelry shopping
  8. 10-9 months prior: ask people to be in your wedding party
  9. 10-4 months prior ongoing: Hire vendors
  10. 7-6 months prior: send out a Save the Date. Your guests from out of town will appreciate an even longer lead time.
  11. 5-4 months prior: engagement photo session
  12. 5-4 months prior: coordinate wedding dances and performances, think about whom you want to speak at the reception.
  13. 4-3 months prior: send invitations and the link to your wedding website which includes; info for travel and accommodations.
  14. 4 months prior: start planning details: welcome bags, gift sign in book/board, signage-decor, by pinning ideas on Pinterest
  15. 3 months prior: start thinking about reception entry song, ask speakers to prepare speeches, prepare your remarks and performances.
  16. 2 months-1 week prior: final decor details: signage, escort cards, return gifts, sign in book/board, welcome bags
  17. Week of: bride gets her nails and mehndi done (nails 1st, then mehndi). Five things every bride should do before getting her mehndi done for her wedding.

How Much Does An Indian Wedding Cost In Southern California?

There are 3 ‘buckets’ that most couples fall into:

ShaadiShop’s Indian Wedding Budget Infographic

When To Plan an Indian Wedding in Southern California

Guides to help you select your wedding date:

  • Hindu holidays 2020-2025
  • Jain holidays 2020-2025
  • Muslim holidays 2020-2025
  • Sikh holidays 2020-2025

    Events Impacting Wedding Dates and Venues in Los Angeles
  • Lakers Schedule and Clippers Schedule (impacting venues in Downtown LA)
  • Los Angeles Chargers Schedule (impacting traffic)
  • Los Angeles Rams schedule (impacting traffic)
  • The Grammy Awards are usually at the end of January, impacting venues in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Even though the Grammys are usually on Sunday, the preparation starts several days beforehand and could impact rates and access.
  • The Academy Awards are usually at the beginning of February, impacting venues in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Even though the Grammys are usually on Sunday, the preparation starts several days beforehand and could impact rates and access.

    Events Impacting Wedding Dates and Venues in Long Beach
  • Long Beach Convention Center Schedule
  • The Long Beach Grand Prix is usually in mid April and may impact room rates.

    Events Impacting Wedding Dates and Venues in Orange County
  • Anaheim Convention Center schedule. If there’s a big conference in town it could drive up room rates.
  • Disneyland and that area is impacted by increased traffic particularly during the December holidays and spring break (March/April). This doesn’t mean not to get married in that area at that time, but there may be increased traffic.
  • US Surf Open is usually at the end of July – beginning of August and may impact traffic and room rates in Huntington Beach.

    Events Impacting Wedding Dates and Venues in San Diego
    Comic Con San Diego is usually at the end of July. In general, good to avoid that weekend as hotel rates are very $$$.

    Other Events:
  • Coachella is usually in mid-April
  • Burning Man is usually around the end of August through Labor Day weekend

    California Wildfires. Over the last few years, wildfires have become a yearly occurrence in Southern California with fires throughout the area from Santa Barbara to Riverside to, LA, Orange County and San Diego. Wildfire “season” is generally September-November but it varies based on weather.

Weddings at Gurdwaras, Masjids, Jamatkhanas, Derasars, Churches in Southern California

For an Anand Karaj where the ceremony and langar will take place at a Gurdwara, the costs can reduce significantly. The same applies for any wedding at a Mandir, Masjid, Church or Derasar. Note: that you will be expected to adhere to the strict food and beverage and other policies of any religious institutions.

There are many Gurdwaras and Masjids in Southern California, from San Diego all the way to Ventura County, Riverside and Palm Springs.

There are only three Jain Centers in Southern California: Jain Center of San Diego, Jain Center of Southern California and the Jain Center of Corona (mostly frequented by Marwari and Punjabi Jains).

Here is a list of Mandirs, Masjids, Jamatkhana, Gurdwaras, and Derasars in Southern California.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills is popular for Hindu weddings. It is stunningly beautiful and a peaceful environment and they make delicious food. Similarly the Jain Center of Southern California is beautiful. Though it’s mostly a venue for garbas, and not weddings, they can and have done wedding ceremonies there as well.

Hindu wedding at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, California. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography
The beautiful BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, California. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography
The mandir is gorgeous and there are many wonderful places to take photos at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, California. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography
The Jain Center of Southern California in Buena Park (Orange County).
The Jain Center of Southern California, couple’s photo session. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography
The hall at the Jain Center of Southern California seats about 400 people for a reception, features beautiful marble floor, has a built-in stage, lighting and sound system. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with:

In What Order Do You Hire Vendors?

Is there an order to hire vendors? Definitely the venue first. After that, it really depends on your priorities. If you really want a particular DJ or decorator, or photographer then book them first. In general, summer is peak season for weddings in Southern California – especially late June through Labor Day Weekend. So if you’re planning to get married during that window, plan ahead and do your research so that the vendors that you seek are not already booked. Other popular times for Indian weddings in Southern California are all of the three day weekends – July Fourth, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day. Spring – April and May as well as September to early November.

How To Decide on What Events To Have During The Wedding Week?

There are the standard events that pretty much everyone will have: the baraat + ceremony + cocktail hour + the reception. What about the sangeet and religious ceremonies before the wedding? What about serving lunch after the ceremony? What events to host, have as big events with lots of guests food and drink will depend on your budget.

For a wedding with 350 guests where the pre-wedding religious ceremonies are done at home and not huge events, with the sangeet at the same venue as the wedding + lunch after the ceremony + cocktail hour + reception will be in the $100K+ budget range for budget venues and $140K+ at any, more expensive venues.

We published a whole separate article about this, to help you determine the best option for you. It’s a nice thing, to serve lunch but it really comes down to your budget. Depending on the venue, the outside catered lunch for a 350-person wedding can cost anywhere from $14,000 at budget venues to $20,000 at mid range venues and $25,000 at higher end and even more at luxury venues. (note: we included service charge and tax and non-alcoholic beverage estimates in these estimates).

Two, Indian Wedding Day Schedule Options

As far as the wedding day schedule for Indian weddings in Southern California, you can select from either Indian Wedding Day Type: back-to-back or the time gap. What Do these Mean and How Do They Differ?

A Back-to-Back Indian Wedding refers to when there’s no long time gap in-between the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Instead the wedding ceremony starts in the late afternoon and goes straight into cocktail hour. That means there’s no lunch after the ceremony.

The Downsides of the Back-to-Back Indian Wedding Day Are:

  • a lot less time for the bride to get ready for the reception
  • a lot less time for the couple for a pre-reception photoshoot

How much less time to get ready and for photoshoots? A lot less – instead of a 2-3 hours, you have like 1.5 hours at most – because you have the length of cocktail hour to complete post-ceremony photos, change and get ready, and do another photoshoot. Thankfully, these days most brides aren’t draping a huge dupatta for the reception so getting dressed takes way less time than it used to.

The Indian Wedding Schedule With A Long Gap

This is the schedule where the ceremony is in the morning, generally starting somewhere between 10-10:30am and followed by lunch. All of which ends between 2pm-2:30pm, followed by a break where all of the guests leave. And the couple and their families take photos, have the vidai, hopefully eat something, and get ready for the reception.

  1. Early Wake Up For the Bride. The bride may have to wake up really early to start hair and makeup to be ready in time for a pre-ceremony photoshoot.
  2. More Time After the Ceremony. On the flip side, the couple will have more time to change and get ready as well as more time for a photoshoot in-between the ceremony and reception.
  3. It’s A Long Day. It’s a long day for you and all of your guests – morning ceremony > lunch > break + change > cocktail hour > reception.

So as you can see there are trade offs to each type of day.

What Do Guests Care About at an Indian Wedding?

First of all this is subjective. What each person cares about and prioritizes is personal. But in general, people care more about the experience they had than how great things look. If guests have a fab time at your wedding AND it was beautiful then you’ve pulled off a hit wedding. Bu if guests are not having a good time, they will tend to remember that more than ow stellar the decor was.

  • Easy to get to the venue and park
  • Good food
  • Having a good time – a good DJ, good speeches, a program that’s not too long, good entertainment (if any)
  • Decor and aesthetics matter, but less compared to the experience of the guests.

Where In Southern California To Plan an Indian Wedding?

Types of Venues. In this section I am going to go into the various regions of Southern California. But before that I want to address types of venues. A lot of couples don’t want your ‘typical’ hotel or resort venue. The reason why hotels and resorts are so popular is because they have large capacity, they offer a lot of services that make it very convenient for you to not have to worry about – tables, linens, china, stage, dance floor, servers, bartenders and more. Many hotels and resorts look great.

Real Indian Weddings in Southern California

Real Story. There was an Indian wedding reception at a museum. The couple was so focused on having a reception that was unique and different, that they compromised on the guest experience. The reception was overcrowded, with seating for only about 30% of the guests at a single time. And with heavy tray passed hors d’oeuvres only. Guests ended up leaving and going out for dinner. And what’s funny is that they weren’t impressed with the unique atmosphere at all. All they remember from that wedding is not having a good time and leaving early.

Real Story. Unfortunately it rained unexpectedly on the wedding day of at a beachfront resort in Southern California. The bride was naturally very upset. And though it was pouring, was going to make guests sit through her ceremony in the rain. She ended up deciding so late to move the event indoors that the entire day was pushed back two hours. When cocktail hour was supposed to end, it was just getting started. Guests were hungry, tired, cold (cocktail hour was outdoors), and bored from all of the waiting around; and most left immediately after dinner was served.

Just to be clear, I am not advocating for hotels and resorts more than untraditional venues. I am recommending, in your effort to be at a unique locale, don’t forget about the experience of your guests.

Another point I want to emphasize is that I am not suggesting that decor doesn’t matter to guests. It absolutely matters. But I am suggesting that the factors that directly impact the guest experience – such as ease of getting to the venue/parking, food, music/speeches/fun – matter more to guests than decor.

Get Your Bearings: Breaking Down: The Regions of Southern California

First of all, most people think of Southern California as Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. But there’s more to it than that. There’s Santa Barbara, Ventura County, Palm Springs, and the Inland Empire as well.

On this map:

  • Southern California is generally defined as Santa Barbara and south.
  • Central California is everything in between Santa Barbara up to Monterey.
  • Northern California is Monterey and everything north of it.
map-with-cities-of-california-7

Most people opt to have their wedding either in southern California or northern California. Why? Because those areas have the bigger population centers = more and nicer venues with large spaces = accessible to airports.

Based on that assumption, let’s drill down into each of those regions even further. You can break down ‘SoCal’ into regions, as illustrated below. Below the region map, you’ll find a city map. I’m gonna go through both in detail to help you understand the various areas and considerations for each.

Colloquially when people say, they live in LA or that they are going to LA, they mean pretty much everything on this map. That area covers just over 200 miles! So when you’re selecting a venue for your wedding, really understanding “where in LA”, is pretty important. So let’s go through each area starting with Indian weddings in Santa Barbara.

Southern California Regions

socal_act_map-regions-southern-california

Cities in Southern California

Southern-California-cities-map

In this article, I am going to cover all of the regions of Southern California, including:

  • Venues
  • How to get there
  • Things to consider and keep in mind

{Indian Weddings in Santa Barbara, California}

Santa Barbara is a gorgeous coastal town with a rich history that started approximately 13,000 years ago, was a major center of the California Gold Rush and film making. Today Santa Barbara is known as a fun college, beach town with a handful of venues that host Indian weddings which you can find here.

Santa Barbara is about 100 miles north of Los Angeles International Airport, which is the closest major international airport in the area.

Learn more about Santa Barbara Indian wedding venues and pricing and request a quote on ShaadiShop.

All of the venues have ceremony spaces with ocean views that seats several hundred guests. At The Ritz-Carlton Bacara there are a few event spaces to select from. Most couples opt for the higher elevation garden space for the ceremony. You can have an indoor or outdoor reception for the entrances, speeches and dinner, then they’ll move you indoors for dancing due to noise levels.

Things To Consider for an Indian Wedding in Santa Barbara, California

Guests Getting To-From The Venue. Santa Barbara is kinda far from any major airports. The closest major airport is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is almost 100 miles south of Santa Barbara. There is an airport in Santa Barbara, but it’s very small, with limited airlines and flights. Most of your guests that are flying in will probably arrive to LAX or Burbank Airport.

Map-LAX-to-Santa-Barbara-Venues
Map showing the locales of the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, The Hilton Beach Resort Santa Barbara and the Ritz-Carlton Bacara relative to Los Angeles International Airport. LAX to Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach approx. 70 miles. LAX to Hilton Beach Resort Santa Barbara, approx. 95 miles, LAX o The Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort approx. 110 miles.

Guests that are from Southern California will drive from their homes and guests arriving from out-of-town will rent cars and drive to Santa Barbara. As you’ve probably heard traffic in Southern California is a thing, so if guests are flying in on Thursday or Friday late afternoon, they’re going to encounter traffic which can add anywhere from 1-3 hours to the drive.

Also that means in order to attend your Friday events, guests will probably have to take two days off from work – Thursday to travel to Santa Barbara and Friday. That also means that you may be on the hook for serving lunch on Friday as well as Saturday.

Hiring Vendors and Guest Hospitality

Hiring Vendors. You’re likely to hire vendors that are based in Los Angeles and Orange County, as there aren’t vendors that are experienced with Indian weddings that are based in Santa Barbara.  That means you’ll be paying for their trips to and from the venue during the planning process and for some vendors you’ll probably have to cover their overnight accommodations and meals during the wedding weekend. Ensure to factor in those costs when you’re thinking about your wedding budget.

Guest Hospitality. Most guests will be staying at the wedding hotel. So you may want to arrange and host their breakfasts. You may also want to arrange welcome bags.

What Kind of Budget Should You Think About for an Indian Wedding in Santa Barbara?

The venues in Santa Barbara vary in terms of pricing. The Embassy Suites is in the $45++per person range, the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront is in the $60++ per person range resort and The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is in the $100++ per person range.

In general for a 350-guest wedding, you’ll want to think about a total wedding budget of at least around $150,000. And this number will vary based on your guest count and whether or not you are serving lunch.

Budget for The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara is an encompassing resort set away from the city and everything else. Once you enter the resort, you’re away from anything else – meaning once you enter you’re not likely to exit the property, until you leave. So, it would be considered poor form to not offer your guests all of their meals – breakfast and lunch for the wedding weekend in addition to meals that are part of the wedding celebration.

Budget at Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach and Sandpiper Golf Club

The same applies to the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach. But the Hilton Beachfront Resort, on the other hand, is right in downtown Santa Barbara, so you could opt for a back-to-back wedding day and maybe only host lunch and breakfasts for family and relatives. The reason this is even a consideration is because the lunch and other meals add up in your budget.

And at Sandpiper, which is also a bit removed, you’d want to host lunch at the venue or back at the host hotel where all of the guests will be staying.

{Indian Wedding Venues in Santa Barbara}

There are a handful of venues for Indian weddings in Santa Barbara (that host at least 200 guests) and they vary in pricing and offerings, Do you want to be on the beach? Then select Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach. Do you want to overlook the ocean? Then select The Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Are you looking for a venue near downtown Santa Barbara with ocean views? Then select the Hilton Beachfront Resort. Are you looking for a non-hotel/resort venue? Then select Sandpiper Golf Club.

{The Ritz-Carlton Bacara}

The ceremony venues at The Ritz-Carlton overlook the ocean and cliffs from above sea level.

An Indian wedding mandap in the Ocean Lawn at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Video: Robert Michael Films

Photos of Indian wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara resort by: Matei Horvath Photography

167345-000067-matei-horvath-mukti-hemant-wed-min-Ritz-Carlton-Bacara-Resort-Santa-Barbara-Indian-wedding-baraat

Video: Lin & Jirsa

{Indian Wedding at The Embassy Suites
Mandalay Beach Resort}

At the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, wedding ceremonies are practically on the beach.

Sanika and Chris
Photo: Geeta Randery Photography; The Presidental Lawn at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, set up for Hindu wedding ceremony.
Sanika and Chris
The Embassy Suite’s beautiful, beach-lined pathway – awesome for a baraat! Photo: Geeta Randery PhotographySanika and Chris
Sanika and Chris
Another view of the Presidential Lawn. Photos: Geeta Randery Photography

{Indian Weddings at the Hilton
Beach Resort Santa Barbara}

At the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, the Plaza del Sol ceremony venue is across the street from the beach and seats up to 700 guests for a ceremony. You can see the ocean through the archways of the venue.

This resort was recently rebranded from the Doubletree by Hilton Fess Parker to the Hilton Beach Resort. The property itself hasn’t changed so you’ll really get  good sense in these videos.

You see that at this venue the ocean views are through the archways.

Plaza del Sol ceremony venue at the Hilton Beachfront Santa Barbara. Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Video
fess_parker_santa_barbara_indian_wedding_Wedding-Documentary-Hilton-Beach-Resort-Santa-Barbara-Indian_wedding-venue-ocean-view
You can see the ocean behind the couple. Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Video.
fess_parker_santa_barbara_indian_wedding_Wedding-Documentary-Hilton-Beach-Resort-Santa-Barbara-Indian_wedding-venue-beach
Have your photo session on the beach. Photo: Wedding Documentary Photo + Video

Video: Wedding Documentary Photo + Video

Video:  Robles Video Productions

Learn more and Get Quotes
for Santa Barbara Venues.

Now let’s move on to Indian weddings in Los Angeles.

Indian Weddings in Los Angeles

We can break down Los Angeles into regions: Westside, South Bay, East LA, Downtown, and Long Beach. There are many venues and a variety of venues in Los Angeles, ranging from golf clubs, banquet halls, and theaters to hotels and resorts. There are so many, that we can’t list them, but you can see them here.

In Los Angeles you’ll find everything from luxury oceanfront resorts where you can easily spend $400,000 for a 350 guest wedding weekend to theaters, and budget-friendly venues that are inland where your budget can be anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. We recommend researching venues on ShaadiShop and determining a budget to narrow down your venue search.

Some popular venues are Hotel Maya in Long Beach, which is a bayfront resort hotel that starts at about $55++ per person and features an awesome baraat path and ceremony venue with the bay in the background. The Westin Long Beach is newly renovated and has large capacity and a competitive package – ideal for couples looking for a venue for 400+ guests.

These are just a couple of the many venues in the area. Visit our website to see all of them.

Things to Consider for Indian Weddings in Southern California

Hiring Vendors Is Easy

Since most Indian wedding vendors are based in LA and Orange County, you’ll find many and their travel charges (if any) will be minimal compared to a wedding in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs or San Diego.

Inclement Weather and Ceremony Flame Policies

Most venues in Los Angeles have an outdoor ceremony space. One important consideration is to plan ahead for inclement weather (mostly rain or wind – especially from November through February). Does the venue offer a back up space in case the ceremony has to be moved indoors? Does the venue allow the ceremony flame indoors? There are some venues that don’t allow the ceremony flame – and for many people that is a deal breaker.

Traffic

Traffic is real in Southern California. And if your venue is far from the host hotel or on a day when there’s a major event happening, or far for people to get to from the airport – it’s something to consider when scheduling the weekend.

It can take an hour to get from one part of LA to another. During summer all of the beach areas are VERY popular so your guests could be waiting for 30 minutes or longer just to exit the freeway. So when you’re selecting venues for the sangeet, ceremony, and reception, host hotel, it’s best to have everything in close proximity where guests have minimal travel.

Wildfires

California Wildfires. Over the last few years, wildfires have become a yearly occurrence in Southern California with fires throughout the area from Santa Barbara to Riverside to, LA, Orange County and San Diego. Wildfire “season” is generally September-November but it varies based on weather.

Temperature

It gets VERY hot in this area during the summer, and being outside for a few hours for a baraat ad a long ceremony can almost become unbearable as we have seen guests leave the ceremony to seek shade at these venues. Make sure you build a sturdy canopy to shade guests for the ceremony and that the venue will setup water stations for guests to stay hydrated.

Indian Weddings in Ventura County

Now let’s move on to venues in Ventura County. These are the most popular Indian Wedding venues in Ventura County, and there’s something for everyone:

Four Seasons Westlake Village – luxury resort venue
Hyatt Regency Westlake – mid range hotel venue
Hummingbird Nest Ranch – all outdoor, non-hotel venue

If you look at the map, you’ll notice that even though you’re in California and even though you’re in “LA”, you’re nowhere near the ocean at any of these venues. This is really important because often when people think of California or a wedding in LA they’re usually envisioning a breezy, beachy atmosphere. These are great venues and popular, I’m just setting expectations. If you get married here during summer (July-August) it is HOT! and there’s no ocean breeze.

Ventura-County-Popular-Indian-Wdding-Venues
The Hyatt Regency Westlake is the tiny black dot just NW of the Four Seasons Westlake. LAX to Hummingbird Nest Ranch is approx. 35 miles. LAX to the Four Seasons Westlake Village and LAX to the Hyatt Regency Westlake is approx. 40 miles.

Hummingbird Nest Ranch is popular because:

  • It’s one of the few non-hotel venues that has a large capacity in a beautiful setting
  • Everything is outdoors – ceremony + cocktail hour + reception (you’re not allowed to use the building).
Hummingbird Nest Ranch at night shot by Lin and Jirsa for Indian wedding reception.
The perimeter of Hummingbird Nest Ranch is already very well lit so we didn’t have to worry about that. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

The Four Seasons Westlake Village is a stunning, luxury resort with beautiful lawns and multiple event spaces.

Indian wedding at the Four Seasons Westlake Village. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

The Hyatt Regency Westlake is minutes from the Four Seasons and is more budget-friendly.

A wedding in the Gazebo Lawn at Hyatt Regency Westlake.

Tips for Planning an Indian Wedding at These Venues

At the Hummingbird Nest Ranch it doesn’t make sense to have a Time Gap day. All of your guests will either be driving from their homes in Southern California, so they’ll be expecting to be there just for the day. Out of towners will be staying at a nearby hotel. So in-between the ceremony and reception there’s really nowhere for most people to go. Plus, you’re paying for that entire block of continuous time at Hummingbird whether you use it or not as it’s not like the venue can sell the space to someone else in-between your wedding ceremony and reception.

The Best Wedding Day Schedule Depends On the Type of Venue

At the Four Seasons as well as the Hyatt Regency Westlake, what kind of wedding day schedule to have is a judgement call. If most of your guests are local-long distance meaning they’re driving in from places like Orange County or LA where it wouldn’t make sense for them to attend the ceremony, leave and return in the evening for the reception, then you might opt for a back-to-back day. If you don’t, then what will happen are a couple scenarios:

  • most guests will only attend the reception.
  • many guests will RSVP yes for the ceremony and lunch but not attend, which sucks because you’re paying per head on expected numbers, not actual numbers.

However, if most of your guests are staying at the hotel or nearby then you can go for a Time Gap day.

Hiring Vendors

There are some vendors closer to this area but the ones that are further will charge you to go back-and-forth and you may have to pay for their room and board for the wedding weekend. Here’s a list of Indian wedding vendors in Southern California.

ProTip: DJ Raj from Sound Nation and Yogi Patel from Global Photography are both based in the area.

California Wildfires. Over the last few years, wildfires have become a yearly occurrence in Southern California with fires throughout the area from Santa Barbara to Riverside to, LA, Orange County and San Diego. Wildfire “season” is generally September-November but it varies based on weather.

Indian Weddings in Orange County

We can break down Orange County into North Orange County and South Orange County. In general, you’ll find more of the oceanfront resorts in South Orange County. Below you can see that Orange County covers a vast area of over 40 miles, north to south and nearly 40 miles west to east. Most Indian wedding venues are centered around the coastal cities: Dana Point, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach. And further north and inland in Irvine, Anaheim and Garden Grove, as well as a handful in Buena Park/Yorba Linda/Fullerton/La Habra area.

Getting to Orange County. The closest airport is John Wayne Airport (SNA) which is the best option for any guests arriving on domestic flights. Bonus: the car rental area is at the airport – no taking a lengthy shuttle to an of site car rental facility.

For guests arriving from abroad, they will most likely fly into LAX and make their way south to Orange County. Depending on where in Orange County is the final destination, it can be anywhere from 40-65 miles from LAX. If you leave LAX between 2pm-6pm on a weekday, expect it to take at least 1.5-2 hours to get to the destination.

There are a variety of ways to get to Orange County from Rideshare Apps, car rental, to shuttles.

Heads Up: LAX recently changed their pick up/drop off policies and procedures and it largely been painful for travelers and can add an hour, simply to get out of the airport.

You can see Orange County Indian wedding venues here. The oceanfront resorts in South Orange County are luxury venues that cost approximately $100 per person. There are many golf club venues and hotels that range from $40-$65++ per person. These three resorts in Huntington Beach are popular:

Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
Paséa Resort

They are popular because they all feature oceanfront ceremony venues, outdoor cocktail space, have large capacity, and are less pricey than the luxury resorts in South Orange County. These venues are in the $70++ per person range.

Other Popular Orange County Venues

The Hilton Anaheim is across from the Anaheim Convention Center and is an elegant venue that starts at $40++ per person. The Delta Marriott Anaheim is popular amongst those looking for something very budget friendly as they start at approximately $40 per person inclusive of service charge and tax and include unlimited soda in their package.

In the middle in terms of pricing, of the Huntington Beach resort venues and the Anaheim hotel venues are venues like the Marriott Newport Beach, Hotel Irvine, and several more.

These are just a few of the popular venues, visit our website to see all of them.

Indian Wedding Venues in San Diego

San Diego has its own regions:

Carlsbad
La Jolla
Mission Bay
Mission Valley
Downtown
Coronado Island

View San Diego Indian wedding venues.

Getting to San Diego and About the Area

The San Diego International Airport is the best option for weddings in that area. It’s a major international airport so it’s perfect for anyone arriving from within the United States or abroad. San Diego is beautiful with a lot to see and do, making it a great option for a destination wedding or local destination wedding.

Great food, great beaches, walkable areas, safe, and fun await in San Diego.

Regions for Indian Weddings in Greater San Diego

Carlsbad is north of San Diego and is a popular holiday destination. There are a handful of hotel and resort venues that do Indian weddings in Carlsbad. World famous La Jolla is beautiful and a popular holiday destination. The most popular Indian wedding venue in La Jolla is the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines – a lovely venue.

In downtown San Diego the venues that are most sought after are the large resort venues on the Bay. They all have large capacities and stunning outdoor ceremony spaces such as the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina and the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Indian wedding at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s lawn with views of the marina.
The Promenade Plaza at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

For luxury venues, the iconic Hotel del Coronado is gorgeous for a beachfront wedding.

Beachfront Indian wedding at Hotel del Coronado, luxury resort.

Mission Bay vs. Mission Valley; They’re Not the Same Thing. This is understandably a source of confusion for people who are not from the area. Mission Bay and Mission Valley are two very different things. Mission Bay, as the name implies is on the Bay. and Mission Valley in inland. See the photo below which shows Mission Bay, Mission Valley and the airport.

Indian-wedding-venues-San-Diego-Mission-Bay-vs-Mission-Valley
Mission Bay and Mission Valley are two distinct regions in Greater San Diego. It’d be really easy to confuse them. As you can see Mission Bay is on the water and Mission Valley is inland.

Indian Weddings in the Inland Empire and Riverside

Another area of Southern California is the Inland Empire and Riverside area. As you can see from the map below, this area is inland, east of the beaches. In general, in this area you’ll find less expensive venues as they aren’t charging a premium for being near the ocean. There are all types of venues ranging from golf clubs and banquet halls to hotels.

This area is mostly popular for locals as opposed to destination weddings.

Getting to the Inland Empire and Riverside

Ontario International Airport (ONT) has several airlines and flights and would be the best airport to direct guests for a wedding in this area. Many guests may also fly into LAX and drive to the final destination.

Things To Consider For Indian Weddings

  1. It gets pretty hot during summer. For a summer outdoor wedding ceremony, consider building a sturdy canopy to shade the guests.
  2. Again because people combine this area as ‘going to LA’ they think they’re going to be immersed in the iconic images of LA with palm trees and views of the Pacific Ocean. This area is pretty far from the ocean. It will be difficult for guests to enjoy those iconic scenes in-between wedding events – something to save for before or after the wedding weekend.

Popular Indian Wedding Venues In this Area

The Sheraton Fairplex is popular in the area for the large capacity and outdoor ceremony lawn. Below is the Diamond Bar Center which is very popular for sangeets, garbas as well as ceremonies and receptions. Saturdays at this venue are typically sold out 1-1.5 years in advance.

The BAPS Mandir in Chino Hills is also popular. And couples will often combine venues. They will have the sangeet at the Diamond Bar Center, the ceremony at the Chino Hills Mandir and the reception at the Sheraton Fairplex.

Indian wedding at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona, CA.

An Indian wedding in the Ceremony Oval at the Diamond Bar Center set aside the rock steam and can accommodate up to 240 guests. Photo: Lin & Jirsa Photography

Indian Weddings in Palm Springs

Palm Springs is another area to consider for an Indian wedding. Palm Springs is a destination wedding and local destination wedding area. It’s similar to Santa Barbara in terms of the logistics and considerations.

The Palm Springs Airport (PSP) is small with limited flights and airlines, which means most guests arriving from out of town will fly into LAX or Burbank Airport and drive the 140 miles or so, east to Palm Springs.

Indian Wedding Venues in Palm Springs

There are a handful of beautiful sprawling resorts and other venues in the area that can host Indian weddings, which you can find here. As far as a wedding budget goes, the venues in Palm Springs tend to start in the $65++ per person range as they are resort venues. So for a 350-guest wedding, you’re looking at a budget between $200K-$300K because you’ll probably host the entire weekend at that venue and include breakfasts and lunches.

You will find a Gurdwara as well as a Masjid and of course Churches in the Palm Springs area. No Jain Centers nor Mandirs.

Additional Considerations for Indian Weddings in Palm Springs

You will likely hire vendors that are based mostly in LA and Orange County and will pay for their travel to the venue as well as overnight accommodations for the weekend.

It gets very hot in this area during the summer in particular, so keep that in mind when planning outdoor event decor and building a sturdy canopy for guests to sit under for the wedding ceremony.

Summary and Conclusion

This article is a detailed guide on how to plan an Indian wedding in Southern California. We broke down the regions of Southern California and Indian wedding venues in each, covered things to keep in mind, and hiring vendors.

In this article, we also covered general wedding planning tips such as major events in Southern California that could impact the venues and dates you choose, we broke down the steps of planning an Indian wedding, how much an Indian wedding costs and even what venues to consider based on your budget.

There are a lot of venues in Southern California to choose from for an Indian wedding. And there’s something for everyone; coupled with an abundance of vendors with vast experience or that even specialize in Indian weddings, which means you can be sure your event will run smoothly.

Cover image: Lin & Jirsa Photography