12 Picturesque Small Wedding Venues in San Diego

These SoCal spots embrace the micro wedding trend.
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Lauren Nowack
lauren nowack headshot
Lauren Nowack
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a freelance writer for The Knot Worldwide.
  • While Lauren has been writing her whole life, she began her career by travel writing and reviewing outdoor gear.
  • Lauren is passionate about encouraging people planning a wedding to make it exactly what they want and need it to be.
Updated May 04, 2023

Looking at all the different small wedding venues in San Diego can get a little bit overwhelming, as the sunny, southern California city has so many spots perfect to host a micro wedding. On this wedding planning journey, a couple should consider whether they want an intimate oceanside ceremony, a vista overlooking the rocky, desert mountains or a hip and spunky downtown venue.

In San Diego, couples can easily get married at any time of year as the southern weather is quite accommodating in every season, although spring and summer are still the most popular. As you peruse this list of our favorite small, intimate wedding venues in San Diego, you will learn about many secret spots that are only available for celebrations of 50 people or less.

Sparks Gallery

Having an intimate wedding ceremony and reception allows a couple to pick a smaller venue, which is often richer in character than its larger counterparts. The Sparks Gallery in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is just that. Its exposed brick walls, tall ceilings and vintage floors all come together to create a hip, artistic and contemporary venue perfect for any couple.

The space can hold up to 100 guests for a ceremony and seated dinner, making this a great all-in-one venue. As it is in downtown San Diego, an event at the Sparks Gallery will be easy for guests to attend as the airport, beaches and hotels are all nearby.

Fowler House

Up in the mountains east of San Diego lies The Fowler House. With a stunning view of the California landscape, this family-owned intimate venue specializes in quiet weddings with under 50 people that are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you rent just for the day, the venue has a bridal suite and a groom's room for use in addition to the ceremony, cocktail and reception areas. This venue can also be rented for the whole weekend and accommodate up to 14 guests in its five bedrooms and eight beds.

Hooper Hollow

For a micro wedding in an enchanting spot, check out Hooper Hollow in the mountains of Jamul, just east of San Diego. The sprawling 10-acre farm has unbelievable views of the desert and provides the perfect natural backdrop to a rustic wedding. This woman-owned business can give off country vibes or host a whimsical, bohemian celebration.

Hooper Hollow has a covered outdoor space for a reception of up to 50 people and multiple uncovered spots for a ceremony. The sprawling ranch has plenty of places for a couple to steal away for jaw-dropping pictures too. In addition, the outdoor wedding venue has both a tiny house and a glamping tent set up for a few people to enjoy the San Diego mountains before or after the festivities.

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is a truly captivating small wedding venue in San Diego, CA. While large events are often hosted in the Upper Garden, the Lower Garden provides a more intimate space without compromising on the stunning natural beauty this beloved place holds. Nearlyweds can add the Inamori Pavilion and bridal suite to their package for a slightly larger crowd. Smaller "minimonies" can be held with up to 40 guests at the Koi Pond, Ceremonial Gate, Earth Bridge, Kannon Bosatsu or the courtyard.

Find your kind of venue

From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

We love the Japanese Friendship Garden for its gorgeous landscaping, unique architecture and central location to all things San Diego. For someone looking for a breathtaking, natural spot without driving outside of the city limits, this small San Diego wedding venue is it.

Avensole Winery

Nestled atop a hill in Temecula just under an hour north of San Diego lies Avensole Winery, a top pick for any couple searching for a small wedding venue in the Golden State. The expansive winery and endless California sky are the perfect backdrops for a romantic ceremony while the manicured lawn, various stone patios, garden vines and ponds are also photo-ready. All in all, this intimate wedding venue has truly been designed with a wedding ceremony and reception in mind.

While each aspect of this small wedding venue has been planned perfectly for a flawless wedding weekend, it's the staff that sets Avensole Winery apart. The owners, coordinators and attention to detail the entire team delivers to each couple is unmatched.

Speckle Rock

Prior to 2007, Speckle Rock was an avocado ranch. However, when a wildfire took out the trees, the owners planted grape vines in their place and named the wines they made from them Speckle Rock in honor of the granite that survived the natural disaster. Now, the small and enchanting wedding venue in San Diego allows couples to join in on its rich history.

Speckle Rock's main terrace provides a delightful and intimate spot for wedding ceremonies and receptions alongside a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding mountains. There is also a lake view park at the winery that can seat up to 65 guests and the Hidden View terrace for receptions of up to 40 people.


Flora provides both the to-be-wed couple and their guests a secret garden feel in the heart of San Diego. The micro wedding venue in San Diego leaves no detail untouched, bringing an abundance of greenery into the bright, airy building. With fairy lights and plenty of exposed wood, this trendy yet timeless spot begs couples to host an intimate wedding ceremony within its walls.

Between the plants, skylights and enormous windows, few areas in this stunning venue are not camera-ready. On top of all this, the team at Flora can make the venue entirely customizable to your needs. With plenty of parking and hotels nearby, Flora is truly an incredible venue for any small wedding in San Diego, California.

City Cruises

When you are hosting a micro wedding in San Diego, there are unique options available due to having fewer people to accommodate. If you want to make the most of this, consider taking your celebrations out on the water with City Cruises. This venue offers packages as simple as a dockside wedding ceremony with a yacht reception to a full-on lunch or dinner cruise to accompany your vows. With a view of the city from the water, guests are sure to remember such a celebration forever.

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

While the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa can certainly host large weddings, the Olive Lawn is a romantic garden on the premises perfect for intimate ceremonies. The natural landscaping and olive trees provide a Spanish feel to the space that can hold up to 130 people. Afterward, the newlyweds can host a reception at the Greenfinch Restaurant which holds up to 60 people for a banquet or the smaller Hidden Feather room that holds up to 30 guests.

This small wedding venue is set apart by its hacienda garden ambiance and incredible staff. With an onsite restaurant and coordinators who know exactly what they're doing, the team at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is fully prepared to pull off a wedding of any size without a hitch.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Pacific Union Pocket Park at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego is ideal for small wedding ceremonies. Tucked between the museum and the ocean, the San Diego small wedding venue provides unbeatable water views with a private space for up to 80 people in a seated ceremony. Afterward, an intimate reception can be held in the Coast Room or on Miles Terrace, each able to seat 80 guests and providing a view of the ocean. For an exquisite addition, you can add a gallery viewing for the guests or even a guided tour of the museum.

Kona Kai Resort & Spa

The Kona Kai Resort & Spa has numerous spots for an elegant and intimate waterside ceremony and reception. The resort's private beach can host as many or as few guests as you'd like, but no matter the number, they will be wowed by watching the sunset and warmed by the fire pits as the evening goes on. Views of the marina complement this oceanside small wedding beach venue in San Diego.

For a little more elegance, the resort's Circle Patio can hold up to 120 guests during a seated ceremony. This spot has a grand fountain and Spanish pillars that accent the space. This venue truly stands out for being one of the most incredible places to have a private beach wedding in San Diego. It also often offers special, budget-friendly packages tailored to couples wanting 25 guests or less at their wedding.

The Ultimate Skybox

For a truly unique small wedding venue in San Diego, California, look to The Ultimate Skybox at Diamond View Tower. The 4,500-square-foot space can hold up to 100 guests inside during the cold season or more during the warmer months. However, the 100-foot outdoor patio is perfect for a micro wedding with just a few close friends and family. All in all, the venue needs little decor as its expansive view of Petco Park, Coronado and the downtown is already jaw-dropping. With floor-to-ceiling windows, a 15-foot fireplace, hardwood floors and a stunning limestone bar, this wonderful venue is remarkable.

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