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Weddings

Santa Barbara County Courthouse Reviews

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Santa Barbara, CA
4.6 out of 5 rating, 36 Reviews
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Reviews

4.6 out of 5 rating
4.6 out of 5 rating
36 Reviews
92% recommend it
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    4.6 out of 5 rating
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Awards

36
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
Weddingwire
4.6/5 36 reviews
Google
4.6/5 395 reviews
  • Dr. Fathy
    Dr. L. Sent on 11/04/2023
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    Amazing staff

    Such a magical experience eloping on the courthouse grounds
  • Erin
    Erin Sent on 07/22/2023
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    Mural Room was lovely for our ceremony

    We were nervous about using the Mural Room for our ceremony because the room needs to stay accessible to the public during the ceremony. BUT everything was so beautiful and went so smoothly that we didn't even notice if we had some extra spectators :) We were also worried we would be able to hear noise from the hallway, but when you are at the front of the room, something about the acoustics really dampens any noise and none of our guests had any trouble hearing the officiant or us during our vows. Everything turned out perfectly despite our worries and we had a gorgeous ceremony!
  • Megan
    Megan N. Sent on 06/10/2022
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    A Perfect June Wedding

    We booked the afternoon and had a ceremony with about 50 people. It was gorgeous (I wanted some June gloom -- the pics turned out PERFECT!) Would highly recommend for an outdoor location for a quick and easy ceremony!
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  • J
    Julie Sent on 04/19/2021
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    The most beautiful place to do photos

    I did my wedding photos here and OMG IT'S PERFECT. I love the building and knew I wanted to do pictures here with my now husband (Highly recc my photographer Fig + Willow Studios too I'm obsessed with my photos) . It was everything I could have dreamed of. Because of COVID, they weren't open for us to get legally married in though so we got married on the beach and then came here.
  • Chelsi
    Chelsi Sent on 01/26/2020
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    Perfect venue for our intimate wedding ceremony

    Santa Barbara Courthouse is a beautiful location and the mural room was perfect for our small intimate (40 person) wedding ceremony. We booked the 12-2pm block and had our reception at a near by restaurant. Pro tip: Time slots book up quickly so the sooner you reserve, the better. We chose not to add any additional decor or flowers since the room is already so beautiful on it's own. Since the courthouse only allows for a acoustic guitar music to be played in the mural room, we booked a guitarist for the ceremony and it worked out perfectly. All is all, if you're looking for a beautiful, intimate and reasonably priced venue for your ceremony, Santa Barbara Courthouse is the place for you.
  • Jason
    Jason R. Sent on 11/14/2019
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    Perfect and effortless

    Great location for our small group of 65. We did it in the Mural Room. Perfect setting and what a great room. We will never forget it
  • Caitlin
    Caitlin D. Sent on 11/15/2019
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    Beautiful Venue

    Anyone who lives in Santa Barbara knows that the Courthouse is a gorgeous spot for a wedding ceremony. And if you have less than 15 people attending, it can be free in one of the unreserved spots. This is what we did!
  • Kristy
    Kristy C. Sent on 10/03/2019
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    Beautiful venue...can't go wrong

    Beautiful background inside & out! We just did our ceremony here & had the reception elsewhere.
  • Lucy Perez
    Lucy Sent on 10/05/2019
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    Beautiful place for a ceremony!

    We absolutely loved getting married at the Sunken Gardens. We were surrounded by a well maintained garden that was so lush, green, and beautiful. The Fiesta Stage was the perfect place to have the ceremony as we avoided high foot traffic and lots of tourist. I highly recommend this venue for your wedding ceremony!!
  • Joseph
    Joseph W. Sent on 01/01/2020
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    The BEST Ceremony Deal

    This ceremony venue has to be hands down the best deal in Southern California. We looked all over, from Downtown Los Angeles warehouse spaces to central California coastal cliffsides. For $600 we had a two-hour block of time in the Mural Room, a gorgeous, historic venue with high beamed ceilings and murals of California history on the walls. It's such a beautiful room that decorations and floral weren't necessary. Our guests were wowed, and we were thrilled to be married in this room. We were a bit concerned about the process of booking because it is handled entirely via email but everything was easy and went off without a hitch. We couldn't be more pleased.
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    Katie T. Sent on 01/11/2019
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    Mural Room

    We got married in the mural room and it was fabulous. It’s beautiful inside and out!
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    Sarah Sent on 08/12/2018
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    Beautiful venue! We were married on the mezzanine in the hall of records. The grounds are breathtaking! Our officiant was so lovely and made us feel very comfortable!
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    Mindi Sent on 08/27/2015
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    The Santa Barbara Courthouse was the perfect location for our destination wedding! We eloped and drove down the coast. The SB Courthouse is beautifully preserved and maintained. We were surprised to see how open the grounds were and that we could pick ANY place on the grounds for our vows. We chose the clock tower which has a beautiful 360 degree view of the coast and hills. We loved our day!
  • Kimberly
    Kimberly Sent on 01/30/2015
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    We got married in December 2014 at the Santa Barbara Mural Room. This is a highly sought after venue for the ceremony component of a wedding. I called and spoke with Linda Van der Wyk at the County of Santa Barbara months in advance to try and book a preferred date. She was so helpful in discussing possible dates and times, which are booked at least 6 months in advance so be prepared! It's so worth waiting. I had planned a fall wedding, but opted for a December wedding just to be married in the gorgeous historic Mural Room! The room is a glorious Spanish style building with high vaulted ceilings, spectacular architecture, original mural paintings from the 1800's, wrought iron work, Spanish tiles, and natural light sunlight shining through every window, hallway, and door. It is truly awe inspiring for a wedding ceremony. My husband and I visited the Mural Room first on our list of venues. Nothing could compare after, so we wed in December and the rest is history!
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    Sarah Sent on 07/30/2014
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    This is only a ceremony venue but it is the most gorgeous affordable place to get married!! Due to it being a county location you only pay a small rental fee to get married here . We had our ceremony here and our reception and an awesome Italian restaurant. It only cost me approx $500 to rent the space I wanted in the sunken gardens. I rented some chairs and a portable batter operated PA (no outlets) the venue is so gorgeous and historical no decorations are needed!
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    Maribel Sent on 09/08/2014
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    I got married here outside on a beautiful day in November I just can't get enough on how beautiful this place is, we wanted a small wedding that's full of plant life and greenery so that's why we chose this place, I would recommend anyone getting married here or inside the courthouse. It will forever be my special place in my heart.
  • User1063042 Sent on 01/08/2013
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    Beautiful location! The mural room is stunning, and a jewel for a west coast wedding. Not to mention highly affordable and the grounds are breathtaking. Lots of memorable picture opportunities.
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    Karina Sent on 10/27/2009
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    The Santa Barbara Courthouse is a beautiful location and the Mural Room is fabulous. They provide 3 blocks of 2 hours and we chose the latest block, 2:30-4:30pm. The room was just perfect for us and requires very little decoration. We opted not to have any ceremony flowers beyond the personals, bouquets, boutonnieres etc. One thing, the room has not been fitted with air conditioning or heaters as to not compromise the historical structure. Because of this the room takes on the temperature of outside. It was 68 degrees on our day so it was perfect! It is a fantastic ceremony site and I would highly recommend using this site.
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    Tess Sent on 04/04/2009
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    The Courthouse only provided our ceremony venue, not our reception venue. It is a unique location. It's the county courthouse for Santa Barbara, but you can use the gardens for weddings. You can't reserve anything in advance, but it's free and there are so many pretty spots, it's hard to imagine not getting somewhere nice. We went by and determined that there would have to be 5 or 6 weddings going on at the same time for there not to be a nice spot. You have to set up your chairs and stuff no more than half an hour or hour before (I can't remember exactly), and then take them down right afterward. Sounds like kind of a pain, and it is a little bit, but it also means that there aren't chairs and stuff set up all day for someone else's wedding that's only going to take half an hour.

    Be aware, if you call them to ask how it works (you don't have to do this, but it's probably a good idea to check whether the rules have changed), they may try to convince you that it's a nightmare to have a wedding there. When I called, the woman I talked to said something about having brides calling her crying all the time because they didn't get the spot they wanted. It's true, if you are one of those people who has to know exactly how everything is going to look, this place is probably not for you. You're not guaranteed anything. But if you're the slightest bit flexible, it will probably work out fine. Just make sure there's not an event happening the weekend of your wedding!
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    Ross Sent on 07/12/2008
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    We had our ceremony in the Bell Tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Beautiful 360 degree views of Santa Barbara and very initimate. We had our guests stand for our short ceremony since it is open to the public, but 30-50 people up there is comfortable standing. The elevator only holds 10 people at a time, so hopefully no tour groups are in line for your wedding. But still a wonderful location!
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    Veronica Sent on 05/25/2016
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    The Mural Room is breathtaking! We are so happy we stumbled upon this gem. Only hiccup is we had an early morning wedding and didn't realize the Courthouse didn't open until about a half hour prior to our wedding. Our Coordinator (Suzie from PacWest Blooms) handled guest and vendor arrivals like the pro she is and the wedding still started on time and with little hassle. We were able to take pictures afterwards, but beware of tourists that may ruin the shot (they are technically allowed to come in the room during an event, but only to a certain point).
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    Charlotte Sent on 03/23/2016
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    If you are looking for a stunning location on a budget, than we highly recommend the courthouse. The mural room is absolutely gorgeous and can be rented in two hour blocks, perfect for a quick ceremony, but it books up quickly so better look ahead of time!
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    Matthew Sent on 08/23/2011
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    This a fantastic location for a small wedding. Even during the busy event of Fiesta in Santa Barbara, we were able to find the perfect location around the courthouse to have our ceremony. It was such a beautiful and refreshing location. I encourage any and all SoCal brides to consider the Santa Barbara Courthouse if you are looking for a small, intimate setting.
  • User2281848 Sent on 08/22/2015
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    This was an absolutely magical place to have our wedding. We had a guest list of 50 and chose the Mural Room for our ceremony. We booked the 12 - 2 block on a Friday in August. The people who manage the courthouse event space were kind, accommodating and organized. However, please note that the space does not come with a County Clerk and you will have to provide your own officiate. We thought about using a judge, but their prices were a bit high. Instead, we had our friend deputized downstairs in a process that took about 20 minutes - two weeks before. It was also a super convenient way to get our license and execute all the paperwork efficiently.

    The room remains open to the public for your wedding, so don't be surprised if unexpected tourists stop in to watch. We had about 10 very lovely and friendly Japanese tourists in the back rows, which we found charming and magical.
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    Iren Sent on 09/23/2017
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    We paid the fee to have our courthouse elopement outside in the Sunken Garden and it was beyond perfect. The only issue we had was that you have to schedule a time with a county clerk beforehand because they do not do day-of scheduling. It is not completely clear on the website so make sure you do so. Scheduling a rental day of for the outside area does not mean you automatically have a clerk. We had to hire a different officiant for additional money to get married on that day. It was a bit stressful, but the facilities were gorgeous and there weren't anyone else there. All in all, still a great experience.
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