When we think of traditional wedding months, June is usually the month that pops into mind. We think of springtime flowers and warm breezes, not snow flurries and winter chills, right? Well, not necessarily. The fact is: February actually holds the title of “National Wedding Month”—and if that surprises you, let us fill you in on a few reasons why.

First of all, February boasts the most romantic day of the year—St. Valentine’s Day. And what is dreamier then marrying your one-and-only on a day designed around the concept of love? (Not to mention there’s a major hidden bonus: it’s hard to forget a wedding anniversary when it falls on February 14.)  Another big day for weddings falls on February 29—yep, Leap Day. That may seem a little strange since it only comes once every four years, but that day holds the allure of being incredibly special. And when you only celebrate your anniversary every four years—you have an excuse to throw a few quadrennial parties and get some pretty excellent anniversary gifts over the years.

Aside from focusing on specific February dates, the month is really just a gorgeous month for a wedding. Whether you choose the pristine temperatures of a Southern California beach locale or the postcard backdrop of Napa Wine Country, California delivers the most spectacular winter wedding destinations in the nation. Take a look at a handful of spots that we believe take the three-tiered cake.

 

1. Big Sur

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If eco-elegance is the wedding theme you’re after, then Big Sur has to be your choice. The natural magnificence of the mountains jutting up from the Pacific, the pristine beaches and age-old redwoods create a setting that is raw and breathtaking. Have a private ceremony on the beach or choose one of the areas renowned venues, like the award-winning Post Ranch Inn or the historic Big Sur River Inn.

 

2. Napa

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The beauty and allure of Wine Country never grows old, which could be why it’s always at the top of the list for memorable wedding destinations. Gorgeous vineyards, charming accommodations, award-winning restaurants—what’s not to like? For an intimate, truly unforgettable ceremony, check out the Inn on Randolph in historical downtown Napa or for something a bit grander, consider the beautiful Silverado Resort and Spa.

 

3. Santa Barbara

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Just 100 miles north of Los Angeles is the quintessential coastal town of Santa Barbara; one of the state’s most popular (and beautiful) wedding and honeymoon spots. From low-key beach weddings to the heights of elegance—Santa Barbara can deliver whatever you have in mind. Two always-rave-worthy venues to consider include the exquisite Bacara Resort & Spa and the legendary Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore.

 

4. San Diego

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For those who want a summery wedding even at the height of February’s chill, make San Diego your destination. It’s such a cosmopolitan city, you have endless wedding options—and we’re not just talking about the pristine beaches, premier hotels or lovely B&Bs in town. No, you could go for something a little different and have your wedding at the San Diego Zoo or Birch Aquarium at Scripps.  Or forget marriage by land; try tying the knot by sea on a Hornblower cruise ship. It’s supposed to be a day like no other—why not make it truly unforgettable?

 

5. Half Moon Bay

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Just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco is one of Northern California’s most idyllic coastal areas: the city of Half Moon Bay. Between the unbelievable natural beauty, the charming historic downtown, and the welcoming atmosphere, this small San Mateo town is a hidden gem of the region. Some venues worth looking into include the Oceano Hotel & Spa with its outdoor wedding garden and indoor 4,000 square foot ballroom or the stunning Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

While destination weddings are clearly a well-loved option for many, an at-home wedding can sometimes be the best setting of all. Here are a few homes that could host your wedding of a lifetime.

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1112 Palmetto Av

Pacifica, CA 94044
$1,145,000

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17390 Mallard Dr
Sonoma, CA 95475
$3,300,000

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5001 Tierra Del Oro
Carlsbad, CA 92008
$6,900,000

 

Are you a fan of destination weddings? Or do you think “home” makes the best setting? Let us know in the comments section below—and if you’re interested in any of the properties above (or any other beautiful homes in California), visit California Moves!