Envisioning a fragrant garden, where flowers practically drip down, and the sun shines through leafy trees as you say “I do”? Then you’re in luck. Southern California is home to some of the nation’s most enviable gardens perfect for any bride’s dream wedding.

Wedding at Descanso Gardens (credit: herecomestheguide.com)

Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4200
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Southern California brides love Descanso Gardens, for good reason. With eight themed gardens, including the Oak Forest, Japanese Garden and the Camellia Collection, Descanso Gardens has just about anything a bride could want for her intimate wedding and reception. Descanso Gardens itself is nestled in the hills of La Canada Flintridge, where not much but nature can be heard – and maybe a waterfall, depending on where you are. Weddings and receptions are catered by Patina Restaurant Group. Rental fees include a 1-year membership to the Gardens for the couple.

(credit: laparks.org)

Exposition Park Rose Garden

701 State Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90037
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For many Angelenos, their first introduction to a rose garden is the Exposition Park Rose Garden, surrounded by USC, the L.A. Coliseum and the California Science Center. The Rose Garden is run by the Los Angeles City Parks & Recreation Department and accommodates up to 200 people. Wedding times are limited, however – the earliest starting time is 9 a.m. and the latest starting time is 2 p.m. But the grounds are charming – wide walking paths converge on a large fountain and many brides love the gazebo surrounded by blooming roses.

(credit: arboretum.org)

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

301 N. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 821-3222
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The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden could be considered Southern California’s “Secret Garden” – hidden away in Arcadia, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, the Arboretum’s grounds feature waterfalls, a lagoon, historical homes and expansive lawns where peacocks prance about all day long. All ceremonies and receptions begin after 5 p.m. and can be held in a number of spots on the Arboretum’s property. Plus, if you would like your reception to be indoors, the Arboretum offers banquet halls. The Arboretum schedules weddings only during April through October.

Rancho Las Lomas (credit: southern-california-weddings.com)

Rancho Las Lomas

19191 Lawrence Canyon
Silverado, CA 92676
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Tucked into the hills of South Orange County, Rancho Las Lomas is an enchanting picture straight out of Old California. The Spanish-style buildings of the ranch are hardly noticeable for the towering oak and sycamore trees. Not that the buildings aren’t picture-worthy – the Teatro, an outdoor theater with a marble ceremonial stage, is the perfect spot to put the bride and groom front and center for the ceremony. Receptions large and small can be held in the Conference Center or Rick’s Café, respectively. Weddings are held year-round and Rancho Las Lomas can accommodate parties of up to 500 standing guests.

(credit: calamigos.com)

Calamigos Ranch

327 S. Latigo Canyon Road
Malibu, CA 90265
(800) 821-2097
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Calamigos Ranch encapsulates nearly everything Malibu residents love about their fair city in one location – a beautiful retreat surrounded by nature and not much else, just a short drive from Los Angeles. The 130-acre property boasts waterfalls, lakes and the lush surroundings that Malibu is famous for. Calamigos Ranch offers both indoor and outdoor areas for ceremonies and receptions for up to 800 seated guests.

(credit: Arlene Catherine/projectwedding.com)

Villa Del Sol D’Oro

675 West Highland Avenue
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
(626) 444-3377
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The estate that is now Villa del Sol d’Oro is a duplicate of the Villa Collazzi on the outskirts of Florence, Italy – a quarter scale to the original. The venue is hidden in the San Gabriel Mountains in the city of Sierra Madre on 13 acres of trees and flowers over looking the San Gabriel Valley. It is now part of Alverno High School, a private Catholic girl’s school, but is often the site of intimate garden weddings. Villa del Sol d’Oro is exclusively catered by Santa Anita Gardens Catering and there are some restrictions, but brides rave about holding their weddings on the grounds of a beautiful Italian villa, right here in Southern California.

(credit: thejapanesegarden.com)

The Japanese Garden

6100 Woodley Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 756-8166
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Can’t afford to fly your guests to Japan? Then persuade them to drive to Van Nuys, where The Japanese Garden is a serene “garden of water and fragrance” (Suiho En) built on 6 ½ acres. Weddings at The Japanese Garden are limited to three hours at $750, with no food or drink and parties are limited to 84 people or less.

Camarillo Ranch

201 Camarillo Ranch Road
Camarillo, CA 93012
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Camarillo Ranch’s grounds feature beautiful gardens, a turn-of-the-century Queen Anne-style home, vine covered archways, fountains and manicured lawns. This venue is one of the few where you can have cocktails in a mansion and a whimsical barn reception during the same wedding in Southern California. Camarillo Ranch can seat as many as 200 indoors or as many as 3,000 outdoors for wedding receptions. The Ranch is available year-round.

Darleene Powells decorated weddings for at least a decade alongside her florist mom. She blogs at www.weddingdecoratorblog.com.