Photo credit: Rose Photography

Beach Wedding 101

O’side wedding dreams include the warm sun, blue skies, cool breezes, toes in the sand, and salty kisses. With Southern California’s iconic beaches often topping the list for destination weddings, we created this blog on how to assemble the perfect beach wedding ceremony in Oceanside. The beach is a special and unique environment and certain precautions should be taken to ensure your wedding isn’t a wipe out.

Oceanside Beach Weddings

“What beach can I get married at in Oceanside,” is the question that we receive most often. Our top choice is always Oceanside Harbor Beach. There is plentiful sand, lots of parking (including free parking within walking distance) and access is easiest for any vendor set up that is required. Our second choice would be North of the Pier, off Breakwater Way. There is a parking lot on the corner of Breakwater and Pacific that gives guests easy access. While Buccanear Beach is more quietyly tucked away, the City does not permit weddings at that location due to its size.

A permit is most likely going to be required for your wedding ceremony. Please note that permits are not issued between May 15 and September 15 as our beaches are at max capacity during that season. You may apply for a permit up to a year in advance and at least 60 days prior. Your preferred date may not be available due to other permitted events at the beach so it’s best to have a little flexibility.

If you have under 25 guests and you want to literally walk up and have a ceremony (30 minutes or less) with NO set up, you’re good to go anywhere at any time. This includes no chairs, arches, equipment, decorations, tenting, or amplified music. All reception activities will always require a permit

To start the application process, complete this form on the City of Oceanside website to book your beach wedding in Oceanside.

Oceanside beach venues

Coastal cities embrace the beach lifestyle so we have a host of alternatives from restaurants to resorts that will give you that “beach feel” without the elements. In Oceanside, CA wedding ceremony with coastal views include:

Mission Pacific Hotel

Pacific Garden at Mission Pacific Hotel is The North Shore’s premier outdoor wedding venue, offering a beautifully landscaped, 2,800 square foot lawn & garden setting set against a spectacular coastal backdrop – all just steps from the historic, picture-perfect, and architecturally significant Graves House.

The Seabird Resort

The Coastal Terrace at The Seabird Resort is a beautiful, 3,050 square foot open-air deck with direct ocean views – an incredible and magical setting where up to 250 guests can gather and toast with the setting sun and then celebrate under a blanket of stars.

Oceanside Marina Suites

If the idea of feeling like you’re on your own private island appeals to you, you will not want to miss this venue. Oceanside Marina Suites features a wedding gazebo for your ceremony and a lush green lawn perfect for receptions. There is nothing but a few rocks between you and the harbor mouth leading out to the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Strand Gazebo

The Strand Gazebo, also known as Pacific Street Linear Park, features a white lattice overhang providing partial shade with stunning views of the Oceanside Pier. This oceanfront park is available by permit year-round based on availability and the city’s discretion. 

Tyson Street Park

The south lawn of Tyson Street Park is perfect for a wedding. It’s a large even grassy lot sitting right on the strand with easy access from Pacific Street. This oceanfront park can easily accommodate a reception as well. This park is available by permit through the City of Oceanside. 

Wedding & Special Events

Plan a picture-perfect wedding or special event in Oceanside. The Group Travel Department is here to help.

Request a Wedding Guide

Visit Oceanside’s list of area wedding, special event, banquet venues, vendor referrals, and local accommodations is a one stop shop for event information.

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