Santa Barbara Courthouse

Thinking of getting married at the Santa Barbara Courthouse!  Excellent choice!  You’ve found my page that talks all about the Santa Barbara Courthouse, why I love it and why you’ll love it too!  

About the Santa Barbara Courthouse

The Santa Barbara Courthouse is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara on Anacapa Street.  There is a parking structure across the street, making it easy to access any time of the year.  In addition to the wide sidewalks, there are ramps for easy access to most areas.

The courthouse was completed in 1929 and has been called the most beautiful government building in America.  I absolutely agree with that!  It was built in a Spanish-Moorish style and replaced the former courthouse that was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1925.

Weddings are the most common event at the courthouse.

View of the back of the Santa Barbara Courthouse from the Sunken Garden area

Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding Photography

There’s really not much that I don’t love about photographing weddings at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.  Once you see the courthouse and the surrounding gardens, you instantly fall in love with the place.

I love the architecture of the buildings and the abundance of palm trees and other semi-tropical foliage.  With an entire city block of courthouse grounds to explore, I’ve never run out of incredible wedding photo locations.  I really can’t get enough of this wedding venue.

Besides the great view, you’ll have amazing weather almost all year! In short, it’s undoubtedly one of the best places to get married in Southern California.

Gardens and Features

Bride and groom stand face to face at the Santa Barbara Courthouse


The Santa Barbara Courthouse has several options for outdoor wedding ceremonies.  The main gardens are available by reservation only and can hold up to 250 guests.

However, small ceremonies with up to 15 participants are offered free of charge at any of the six designated locations around the exterior of the courthouse.

Bride and groom dancing in the arched entrance of the Santa Barbara Courthouse


The Spanish-Moorish architecture of the Santa Barbara Courthouse is unmatched and it is considered the most beautiful example of this type of architecture anywhere in the world.  It also makes for some amazing wedding photos!

Bride and groom embrace at the front of the mural room at the Santa Barbara Courthouse

Indoor Ceremony Options

The mural room is a very popular option for wedding ceremonies at the courthouse. It is available to reserve for wedding ceremonies and can accommodate up to 100 people. 

Unlike the gardens, this room will not provide abundant daylight. It will, however, keep everyone out of the occasional rain shower. This is also a great choice in the case of an extra hot day.

Real Wedding at The Santa Barbara Courthouse

Summer elopement in beautiful Santa Barbara! Here’s you’ll see a selection of some of my favorite images from a recent wedding at the courthouse.

Interested in learning more?

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Fill out this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can. I’m excited to hear from you and learn all about what you have planned for your wedding.

Wedding Photography Information

Bride and groom look back at the camera on the steps at the Santa Barbara Courthouse

Couple’s Portraits

One of the great things about the Santa Barbara Courthouse is that you don’t need to leave to get absolutely amazing photos.  Between the gorgeous landscaping and the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, you’ll never be short of the most beautiful Santa Barbara backdrops for your wedding photos.

Some of my favorite locations for couple’s photos are on the steps of the Fiesta Stage, under the Anacapa Arch and in the upstairs hallway leading to the tower.  

Bride and groom stand with flower girsl at the Santa Barbara Courthouse

Large Group Portraits

The garden area is so large at the courthouse that you could fit any sized wedding at the venue. With such an open area, there’s really no limit to where large group portraits could be done. My favorites are, without a doubt, the steps in front of the large arched doorway and just to the left of that where some beautiful stairs are adorned with blue tiles.

groom placing the ring on the bride's finger

Wedding Ceremonies

Wedding ceremonies are super informal at the courthouse.  The justice of the peace will offer a few suggestions as far as location goes and you simply step outside or into the mural room for a quick ceremony and you’re all set!

Because of the architecture and abundant greenery at the courthouse, there’s almost no way to choose an undesirable location to say your vows.  In my experience, the staff at the courthouse is very flexible and they really want you to be happy with your choices.  Above all, the friendly California attitude is definitely alive and well at the courthouse.

Important Information

Courthouse Address

1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Parking structure within walking distance.

View of the side of the Santa Barbara Courthouse as seen from the Sunken Garden


The Santa Barbara Courthouse has no on-site accommodations for the bride, groom or wedding party.  All preparations need to be done off site.

Nearby hotels are perfect for guests and are just minutes away from the courthouse.

Courtyard by Marriott

Kimpton Canary Hotel

De La Vina Inn

Find The Santa Barbara
Courthouse Online

How To Find The Santa Barbara Courthouse

From HWY 101 North:
Exit at Carrillo St.
Turn left on Carrillo St.
Go left on Santa Barbara St.
Turn left on E. Anapamu St.
Then left on Anacapa.
The parking structure will be on your right and the courthouse will be on your left.

From HWY 101 South:
Exit at Carrillo St.
First, turn right on Carrillo St.
Then, turn left on Santa Barbara St.
Turn left on E. Anapamu St.
Turn left on Anacapa.
The parking structure will be on your right and the courthouse will be on your left.

There are several one way streets, which is why there are so many left hand turns on the way to the courthouse.