If you’re planning to say “I Do” in the Los Angeles area, your options may be a bit overwhelming. And while it’s easier to narrow them down if you plan to have a wedding on the beach, there’s still a lot of information to navigate while you’re making your decisions.
As with most counties, you’ll need to apply for a Special Events Use Permit to get married on a beach in the L.A. area. The permit needs to be applied for no earlier than 90 days before your wedding, but no later than three weeks beforehand. The permit doesn’t guarantee your date or location – reservations will depend on your desired location. Apply online here.
Once that’s settled, your biggest decision will be deciding which beach is right for your big day. And you’ll have no shortage of options.
Hermosa Beach Weddings
Hermosa Beach is a nice, mellow community that lives up to its name. Unfortunately, wedding ceremonies are not permitted on Hermosa City Beach. However, if you get married in the area, you’re welcome to take some beautiful photos here.
Long Beach Weddings
Long Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Southern California, and it’s a wonderful place to get married. Depending on your location of choice, extra permits may be required. Click here to learn more information and proceed accordingly.
Long Beach Wedding Center
One option is to leave everything up to the Long Beach Wedding Center. Located at 968 East Broadway mere blocks from the beach, they have an onsite wedding chapel and officiate beach weddings as well. Considered a low-cost, stress-free alternative to a traditional wedding, they offer same-day marriage licenses and ceremonies, making it an ideal place for an elopement.
Or consider the Queen Mary hotel for a one-of-a-kind wedding venue. Choose the bow or stern for a beautiful sunset wedding. Or, if you’d prefer a more traditional setting, the beautifully crafted Royal Wedding Chapel will make any couple feel like a prince and princess.
Located on Aquarium Way, Shoreline Park offers an opportunity for a waterfront wedding with an incredible backdrop. Planning a wedding here starts with applying for an application, then see about reserving a special spot or venue for your ceremony.
Alamitos Beach is at the western end of Long Beach City Beach near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue. This wide open stretch of sand is often less crowded than the city beach, so it’s a great place to set up for a small beach wedding. Restrooms are located nearby for your guests’ convenience.
Colorado Lagoon Park
Colorado Lagoon Park has small sandy beaches along two sides of the Colorado Lagoon shoreline. The inland lake is surrounded by golf courses and parks, with a pedestrian bridge connecting the two beach areas. There are picnic areas, BBQs and restrooms here, so you could even have a low-key reception at the park.
Located on an island in the middle of Alamitos Bay, Mothers Beach is a lively place popular with locals and families (there’s a large play area that kids love). The northeast facing beach is broad and flat, perfect for setting up for a ceremony site. As long as you don’t mind the adoring onlookers, this is a great wedding spot.
You’ll find Peninsula Beach on the ocean side of the Peninsula Neighborhood between 55th Place and 72nd Place. The nearby parking lot, boardwalk and restrooms alone make it a great option for a ceremony site. The middle part of the beach is narrow, but it widens as you go north.
Alfredo’s Beach Club
The truth is, you’ll find quite a few wedding planning companies, caterers and venues with views in Long Beach. Many of the beachfront restaurants will host your wedding reception. Alfredo’s Beach Club is one such company, offering wedding planning that includes everything from simple beach ceremonies to lavish themed weddings and receptions.
Los Angeles Beach Weddings
Here are the beaches and venues closest to the City of Angels itself that we recommend:
Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse
Photo credit: Yelp
This 1932 Mediterranean-style structure was the last of the bathhouses built in Southern California, and it has undergone a $3.5 million renovation. Its waterfront location makes it a perfect place for a California beach wedding and reception.
Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler State Beach is located near the LAX Airport, so keep that in mind if you’re worried about aviation noise. The beach is state-owned, but it’s operated by the county. You can get married right on the sand or rent out the Dockweiler Youth Center, which overlooks the beach and has a capacity of 185. Call (310) 726-4128 to inquire about the Youth Center.
Playa Del Rey
Playa Del Rey is a wide sandy beach located northwest of LAX Airport on state land at the north end of Dockweiler State Beach and south of the Marina Del Rey Harbor entrance. It’s a popular surfing and swimming spot, but you should still be able to find a quiet stretch of sand to exchange vows.
Point Fermin Park
The Point Fermin Park and Lighthouse is located in San Pedro. While the beach itself is rocky, the park has 37 landscaped areas including areas of shaded lawns, colorful gardens and a promenade alongside the palisade. The rental fee is $544 for a ceremony and includes 2 hours of event time excluding set up and clean up time. 200 guests are allowed here, but alcohol is not permitted.
Venice City Beach
Venice City Beach is the lively main beach in Venice, and it’s been the sight of many celebrity sightings over the years. While the beach is usually quite crowded, it has a three mile stretch of wide beachfront area that can easily accommodate a small to large wedding party. Contact the local parks department for details on reservations and specific permits.
Malibu Beach Weddings
Malibu is a quiet, classy, beach-lover’s dream. With dozens of hidden gems and a quiet community of locals (many of them famous) who keep to themselves, it can be difficult to determine the best spot for a Malibu beach wedding. We recommend these beaches:
Dan Blocker County Beach
Dan Blocker Beach is a long, narrow beach that sits below Pacific Coast Highway between the Latigo Shores neighborhood and the homes along Malibu Road. There is free street and lot parking here if you can find it, plus restrooms and picnic tables. If you’re looking for a super-simple ceremony, this beach is beautiful.
El Matador State Beach
Make no mistake about it, this beach is breathtaking. El Matador is the most popular beach within Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach and the closest to the city of Malibu. Beautiful sea stacks are on the beach and in the surf, making for some picture-perfect wedding photos.
Leo Carrillo State Park – North Beach
There are several beaches in Leo Carrillo State Park, but the North Beach is a wide, family-friendly, easily accessible option. Free parking for North Beach can be found along PCH west of Mulholland Highway.
Malibu Surfrider Beach
Located between the Malibu Pier and the Malibu Lagoon, Surfrider Beach is is part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Popular for surfing, swimming, fishing and sunbathing, this is definitely a popular place, so a mid-morning or late evening ceremony may be your best bet if you’re hoping for peace and quiet.
Point Dume State Beach
Point Dume State Beach is a long, wide stretch of sand with plenty of parking available above it. There is a rock bluff extending 200 feet high that will shelter you and your wedding party, and the sounds of the waves crashing into the rocks stifle the sounds from the streets above.
You won’t have trouble finding parking near this long, sandy beach. The main beach at Zuma is about two miles long and doesn’t have any homes between the sand and Pacific Coast Highway, a rarity for Malibu. While the beach is a favorite of many locals and tourists, it’s big enough that you should have no problem finding an open stretch of sand for your ceremony.
Manhattan Beach Weddings
Manhattan County Beach
Manhattan Beach is the main beach in this charming little surfing town, and you can legally exchange vows right on the sand. You’ll need a permit, and there are a few others rules to consider, such as no amplified music before 10 AM. Call the local Parks and Rec Department at (310) 802-5448 to get the details.
Verandas Beach House
Verandas Beach House is located steps from the sand of Manhattan Beach. Renting the venue grants you exclusive access to a beautiful two story home with lush gardens and amazing sunset views. Plus, you can take all your wedding photos right on the beach.
Redondo Beach Weddings
Redondo Beach is known for its beautiful golden coastline that stretch for miles. Weddings taking place on the beach will require a permit and a fee. Contact the Department of Beaches and Harbors at (310) 305-9565, and make sure to tell them how many guests you’ll have as well as other details, like if you’ll have a tent or other structure.
Redondo County Beach
The main beach in Redondo Beach is absolutely beautiful. The main part starts at the Redondo Beach Pier near Veterans Park and continues south in front of homes and condo buildings. While you’ll probably have to pay for parking, you should be able to find it easily.
Santa Monica Beach Weddings
Santa Monica is truly one of the most beautiful beach cities on Earth. Santa Monica beach weddings are allowed on Santa Monica State Beach and within Palisades Park. The City does not issue permits for wedding ceremonies at the beach but users must obey all beach rules.
You’re not allowed to reserve spots on the beach for weddings here… it’s all first-come, first-served. That being said, you can set up anywhere on the beach as long as it’s not blocking the lifeguard station. This site has more information.
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica’s main beach is divided into North and South, separated by the Santa Monica Pier. There are some paid parking lots nearby as well as street parking. Getting married here means saying “I Do” with the sounds of the iconic pier in the background.
Photo credit: Yelp
This charming beachfront park is full of flowers, palm trees, grassy knolls and amazing views. People come here to relax, read books and soak up the sun, with plenty of people walking on the paved paths nearby.
Torrance is much less crowded than some of the other spots in Los Angeles County, and while there is only one major beach, it’s a pretty spectacular one. However, THE place for weddings in Torrance is the beachfront Miramar Park. A permit is required to hold an event, but you’re allowed up to 100 guests. The cost of the special event permit is $250 for residents and $500 for non-residents.
For more information, check out our California Beach Wedding Guide.