For being such a sprawling cosmopolitan city, Los Angeles has a spectacular amount of great outdoor options for your big day that won't require a road trip to get there. Whether you want a view of the Pacific Ocean or to be surrounded by gardens of colorful blooms, LA offers something for every type of nature lover.
Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden
Japanese gardens are created with peace and serenity in mind, so this spot — which was restored a few years ago to its original splendor — is perfect for an intimate outdoor wedding (max seating for indoors is 40, but outdoors can cater up to 150). Situated in the middle of Pasadena on two acres, Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is a pond-style stroll garden is filled with Japanese maple trees, bamboo, ferns, a waterfall, and a formal Japanese teahouse — which is perfect for setting-up your reception. The team also has an excellent list of wedding vendors since this zen spot has been a bridal favorite for years.
Inn of the Seventh Ray
Inside the boho enclave of Topanga Canyon, Inn of the Seventh Ray is consistently voted one of the most romantic spots in the city. Say your vows under towering sycamore trees — or in front of the grounds' natural waterfall — followed by your reception on one of their patios adorned with twinkling lights. There are four different location options to choose from depending on the size of your guest list. With a fantastic, seasonally-changing menu and an in-house sommelier to help you choose your wines, this dreamy spot is the ultimate fairytale woodland setting.
Perched on a coastal bluff high above Malibu, Serra Retreat is a community of Spanish Mission-style buildings that has been home to the Franciscan Friars of California for over half a century. Usually reserved for spiritual retreats, the Franciscans recently opened their gates to couples who wish to wed in a place filled with natural and spiritual beauty. Serra is the perfect spot if you are looking for a traditional chapel feel — that also has spectacular outdoor spaces — complete with pine trees, cobblestone paths, and Malibu-tiled fountains. Add the jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, and it's easy to create a thoughtful, memorable day full of love and Mother Nature.
If you want to get married amid a myriad of plants from all over the world, this botanical garden in La Cañada couldn't be more fitting. Descanso Gardens is a 165-acre spot that has visitors every day — escaping the stresses of urban life — and it's easy to see why it's such a popular spot with seasonal gardens such as the California Native, the Oak Forest or the Lilac Garden. For nuptials, the most beautiful spots are the Japanese (for smaller affairs) or the Rose Garden, where you can say your "I dos" amidst 4,000 rosebushes under a wrought-iron gazebo. Receptions are catered by the Patina Group, who own renowned restaurants and cafes all over the city and can help you to create a personalized menu — fitting for your in-bloom big day.
Annenberg Community Beach House
You can't get closer to the beach than this venue! This public facility occupies five acres of prime beachfront right in the heart of Santa Monica. Say your vows in one of the outdoor spaces such as garden or view deck, or have a small ceremony on the beach followed by a catered reception at the Annenberg. There is a list of approved catering companies with something to suit any palate — and since beach weddings in the LA can be a bit tricky, having the employees of the Annenberg helping you organize the logistics are immensely helpful.