Experience Europe in California: Stunning Wedding Venues You’ll Love

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In this blog we’ll unveil my top three stunning Southern California venues to host the Italian getaway wedding of your dreams. We’ll get to know Monserate Vineyards in Fallbrook, South Coast Winery in Temecula and Cielo Farms in Malibu – along with the key features that make them a notably European experience.

Monserate Vineyards and Winery

Photo credits:
@allielindseyphotography on IG (left)
@amyhuang.photos on IG (center)
@shiloeee on IG (right)

About This Location:

Monserate Vineyards and Winery is a vast family-owned property that was established in 2016 and  opened to the public in 2021. The property boasts 116 acres in total with 85 full acres of vines. For the planning couple, Monserate offers three distinct wedding venues, each of which can be tailored and organized to materialize your dream day. Whether you prefer vineyard scenery, a garden backdrop, or Lakeside views, Monserate has it all.

Photo credits:
@makenamaephoto on IG TL
Briana Nolan on IG TR
@ashgabes_photography on IG BL
@shiloeee on IG BR

Why I Love It:

This venue specifically feels like Tuscany. The location, the materials and the architecture all come together to make it feel like you have been literally transported. The stonework and architecture all throughout the venue gives it a very authentically aged feel – with the lush foliage of the venue contrasting charmingly against the stone. 

I specifically love the reception area at this location, which  features two staircases leading to a terrace that overviews the whole reception space, all adorned with stunning stonework. While Monserate offers several options for the ceremony location, the most popular one has a beautiful waterfall in the background that gives ceremonies a very peaceful, tranquil feel. Overall, this venue is super romantic and Tuscan.

Photo credits:
@alyssaricolephotoon IG L
@lysspricephoto on IG R

South Coast Winery

Photos by @taylerirenephotography

About This Location:

South Coast Winery is Temecula Valley’s only full-service winery-resort — as mentioned on their site’s backstory page. The property boasts a private villa right in the middle of their award-winning, 63-acre vineyard. Its website describes the South Coast winery experience as a combination of “the quaint serenity of a vineyard” and a luxury “Tuscan-inspired” resort experience. 

Photos by @taylerirenephotography

Why I Love It:

This venue has very chic, European vibes. The ceremony space here is secluded with a beautiful view of the valley and winery, and is surrounded by lush greens giving it a distinctly European look. The reception space absolutely blows me away. It’s complete with gorgeous architecture, a terrace that overlooks the winery and beautiful greens sprinkled with Cedar Pines. I love Cedar Pines for the way they instantly elevate any space.

 The organic features of this venue make it just naturally beautiful. It’s the type of location you tell will age gracefully without any additional curation. The sunset hits perfectly at the peak of the winery buildings making it the most beautiful sunset backdrop. Overall South Coast winery is one of the most downright romantic places I’ve ever shot a wedding.

Photos by @taylerirenephotography

Cielo Farms

Photo credits:
@foolishlyrushingin on IG L
@jennyquicksall on IG R

About This Location:

Not only for myself, but for every SoCal-based wedding photographer I know, Cielo Farms is a dream venue. Self-identifying as a “magnificent Tuscan-inspired estate,” on its site woodstockmalibu.com, the 40+ acre property has a reputation for standards of excellence. The family owned mecca holds eight California Wedding Day awards for best outdoor and overall venue.

Photo credits:
@heirlumephotography on IG TL
@josealvaradophoto on IG TM
@beatricehowellphoto on IG TR
@lindseyboluyt on IG BL
@redamancyphotofilm on IG BR

Why I Love It:

This is the number one venue that comes to mind when I think of Italian vibes in SoCal. As soon as you enter the property, you’re immersed in a striking SoCal valley landscape with astronomical views. Being here feels like you’re on the coast of Italy, the coastal vibes coming from being so close to the Malibu shores. 

Upon arriving at this venue, you’re met with a beautiful walkway that’s adorned with canopying greens. This tunnel of greenery is truly a show-stopping entrance that sets the vibe for the whole day. Like South Coast Winery, there’s not much that needs to be done in planning to make a day here beautiful – it’s just naturally bound to be. With its reception area draped with romantic string lights, its smartly coordinated grounds and luxury European vineyard vibe – Cielo Farms is the pinnacle of Italy meeting the southern California coast. 

Italian California Wedding Venues

Photo credits:
@foolishlyrunningin on IG TL
@johnpolicarpio on IG TR
@davidmendozaiii on IG B

In Summary

While it’s not always realistic to travel abroad for the occasion, many couples still seek to emulate their Italian wedding fantasy. These stunning Southern California venues make it possible to host the Italian wedding of your dreams while staying close to home. We are so blessed here in SoCal to have so many beautiful vineyards that genuinely replicate the look and feel of European romance. You can find an european-esque venue on the San Diego coast and then go all the way up to Malibu, and still find those same precious landscapes and vibes. Reflecting on these locations truly reminds me why SoCal is a wedding destination, and what a blessing it is to capture our views. Cin cin!

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