For couples local to California, or those desiring a coastal destination wedding, Los Angeles offers a number of beautiful wedding venues. From seaside nuptials to city celebrations, getting married in Los Angeles means that you have a number of options to choose from. The best part is that many of these choices are historic locations that have been beautifully restored or repurposed.
If you're looking for a unique space with personality, charm, and history, you'll find plenty of interesting options in the "City of Angels." Here are some of our favorite historic L.A. locations that are sure to wow your wedding guests and help make your day perfectly unique.
1. Union Station
The largest railroad passenger terminal in the western United States, Union Station was designed by John and Donald Parkinson and built in 1926. It is designed with combination of Dutch Colonial, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne architecture. The location is considered small in comparison to other stations, but its grand designs make it appear large, open, and airy.
While it is still a major hub for travel, it has also become a popular wedding and reception site in recent years – in fact, some of the most intriguing and decorative areas of Union Station are used exclusively for large events and film shoots. You might just recognize this last “great American train station” from several scenes in The Italian Job as well as Pearl Harbor and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. There are several areas to choose from, including a beautiful space just inside the main terminal. The South Patio is a wonderful place to hold a ceremony thanks to its formal garden and courtyard feel. Fred Harvey restaurant is now closed, but it still serves as a retro event space for any celebration. Photo by Amy & Stuart Photography; Consulting by Sterling Engagements
2. Page Museum & La Brea Tar Pits
If you are looking for a truly historical event space, you might want to try a prehistoric one. The Page Museum is a place to say "I do” while surrounded by the earth’s first creatures. The museum is full of exhibits, including a full skeleton of a giant Colombian mammoth, and your guests can discover the tar pits that are tens of thousands of years old. There are several areas to exchange vows, but our favorite is the courtyard where you and your guests are surrounded by lush foliage and beautiful landscaping. This is also a fantastic place to take pictures and a beautiful way to start your marriage. You and your wedding attendees will never forget this unique and lovely location. Photo courtesy of the Page Museum
3. Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens
If you want to bring some beautiful history and art into your nuptials, you can have an estate wedding at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. While the venue only allows a few weddings a year, this is an ideal and historic location. Located just east of L.A. in San Marino, the Huntington Library is a collections-based museum featuring 18th- and 19th-century European and 17th- to 20th-century American art. Founded in 1919 by businessman Henry Huntington, the main part of the museum is installed in what used to be the residence of Huntington and his second wife, Arabella.
While the various art displays throughout the property are magnificent, the real draw of the Huntington is the 120-acre Botanical Gardens. When all the flowers are in bloom, it’s like your own personal secret garden. So whether you are at the Chinese Garden (which took artisans from China six months to create), the cacti and succulent collection in the Desert Garden, or the beautiful bridge and peaceful nature of the Japanese Garden, you will feel as though you are enveloped in one of the rare works of art you'll find inside the museum itself. Photo by sorayas via Creative Commons
4. Paramount Ranch
If you are looking for an outdoor location that is also a historic filming area, check out Paramount Ranch. Located about 45 minutes outside of L.A. in Agoura Hills near Malibu Creek State Park, Paramount Ranch has been a movie and TV filming location since the 1920s. In 1927, Paramount Pictures purchased around 2,700 acres of land in the mountains in order to create a “movie ranch.” They built several sets on the land, including a replica of early San Francisco, a Welsh mining village (created for the film How Green Was My Valley), and an Old West town. While the land was sold off in the 1950s and changed hands several times until the National Park Service purchased it in the 1980s, you can still see the old Western town that was built there. The ranch has been used in hundreds of productions, such as Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Chips, The Dukes of Hazzard, The X-Files, Shanghai Express, Gunsmoke, The Texas Rangers, The Love Bug, and Van Helsing, among others.
The site has a covered pavilion, lawn area, hiking trails, restrooms, and other amenities, which make it a perfect outdoor locale for your special day. Many couples have held theme weddings, which can be fun for all of your guests. And, given that the weather in L.A. is nearly always pleasant, its outdoor locale works any time of the year. Photo by akasped via Creative Commons
5. Annenberg Beach House
For a beach wedding in a historical locale, look no further than the Annenberg Beach House. What used to be a mansion that belonged to silent film star Marion Davies and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, as well as a playground of the rich and famous, is now a community playground in Santa Monica. While the original 110-room mansion and most of the guest houses that were on property are no longer standing, you can still enjoy this fantastic piece of real estate along five acres of beach. Choose from a variety of locations for your wedding in this beautiful venue, from historic to modern spaces, or a combination of both. The venue has floor-to-ceiling ocean views, verandas, and decks and accommodates intimate groups of 10 loved ones as well as elaborate celebrations of up to 400 guests. Photo courtesy of Entertaining Adventure Instagram