How to Plan a Winter San Diego Wedding

How to Plan a Winter San Diego Wedding

San Diego is home to miles of sandy beaches, year-round sunshine, and endless exquisite wedding venues with panoramic views. Although summer tends to be a popular time to get married in this bright, vibrant city, the winter season is becoming increasingly more popular

The best time of year to get married is during the winter because it offers cooler temperatures in San Diego, less competition for wedding venues, and sometimes even better prices for wedding vendors. If you’re looking for tips on winter weddings in California but don’t know where to begin, you’ve come to the right spot!

At Eco Caters, we’re fans of weddings — especially magical, winter celebrations — and we know a thing or two about planning the perfect wedding party. Read on for our tricks, tidbits of inspiration, and lots of wedding-filled excitement. 

Keep Things Cozy

Although San Diego is a pocket of year-round sunshine, the winter evenings can get chilly. Keep guests warm with heaters, which are often provided by SD wedding venues or can be rented as well. Some say that a good rule of thumb is to keep the heaters in areas where you know the guests will be congregating (like the buffet table, the bar, and the dinner tables). You can also opt for baskets of cute and cozy blankets placed strategically throughout the reception venue or on the back of each seat at the table. Light big candles to fill the space with the smells of the season and to create the perfect winter ambiance. Of course, warm mugs of hot cocoa and tiny marshmallows are always a welcomed addition, too. For something extra fun, consider setting up both a kids’ and adults’ hot chocolate bar with all the cozy fixins’ — like peppermint sticks, whipped cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, and spirits for the over 21 crowds.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Venues

When choosing wedding locations in California, there’s always the question of indoor vs. outdoor venues. California boasts plenty of beautiful outdoor wedding venues — like beaches, wineries, botanical gardens and more — though it’s also home to flexible indoor/outdoor venues. You can consider doing a ceremony outside when it’s warmer, then moving on to the indoors once it cools off a bit. You can also go the route of a full-indoor celebration or if you’re feeling adventurous, a full outdoor one. If you’re doing the latter, remember to keep cozy in mind with heaters and blankets! 


Depending on what date you’re choosing for your special day, it’s important to keep in mind that the holidays get busy and people get booked up. Between work parties, family vacations, and holiday travel, it’s a good idea to let your guests know the wedding date as soon as you have it available. If your date is quickly approaching, send out a festive save-the-date by email or text. You can also opt for a snail-mail invite if you have time, though we’re fans of the eco-friendly digital options (plus, it ensures that nothing gets lost in transit or is thrown into a pile of junk mail).

Winter Wedding Favors

One of the best parts of winter weddings in California is the wedding favors. Hand out mugs with make-your-own cocoa kits or winter confetti that can be thrown into the air as your send-off. If you have extra time and are settled in during the holidays, get to work on tiny jars of homemade winter jam or a special seasoning blend your guests can use on winter dishes. Think of your favorite things that remind you of the season, and enlist the help of family and friends to come up with creative ways to showcase these. 


If guests are coming from out-of-town, they may assume that San Diego is sunny year-round and therefore, warm year-round. San Diego does have a chance of rain in the winter season and can cool off as the day progresses. Make sure to note on the attire section of your invitation or wedding website that guests will want to bring some layers. In the day, a light sweater might do the trick, whereas in the evening, it might be wise to bring along a jacket or shall. Of course, bring that swimsuit for the hotel, too! Many brave folks still like to do the polar plunge along the beaches of San Diego if they’re visiting! So far as the bride and groom, you’ll want to remember to bring along something to keep you warm, too! 

Seasonal Food and Beverages

The perfect San Diego wedding in the winter season comes complete with an array of seasonal food and beverages. If you’re working with a catering company that focuses on seasonality, like Eco Caters, you’ll be able to give guests a heightened feeling of the season. In California, winter crops include everything from fennel to cauliflower and allow for some delicious, flavor-filled dishes. Start the evening with a warm, tray-passed appetizer like soup or mini squares of lasagne bites. Beverage can range from cranberry winter margaritas to champagne with pomegranates. You can also warm guests up with tray-passed hot toddies or big crockpots of mulled wine with spices like cinnamon and cloves 

However you choose to throw your San Diego wedding in the winter season, rest assured that it will be magical and most likely filled with the sunshine this city is famous for. From winter wedding favors to venue suggestions, we hope this article has encouraged you to start wedding planning and execute your ultimate dream. 

If you’re looking for help with your winter-inspired menu, feel free to reach out to Eco Caters today. We’re fans of weddings of all sorts, and we really love bringing a winter flare to special gatherings. 

Our minds are already spinning with visions of soups, stews, and warm starters galore. From all of us at Eco Caters, thanks for reading! We look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you the happiest season of wedding planning ahead. 


Spread the love