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Santa Barbara Courthouse Expands Wedding Services

The historical Santa Barbara Courthouse with its mural room, bell tower and sunken garden is popular with tourists, but it’s also a stunning venue for wedding receptions, according to the county’s Community Services Department.

The department recently launched a new effort to make the courthouse facilities available for wedding services.
According to a 2016 study from The Knot, a wedding marketplace, of a list of areas in the U.S. where couples spend the most on a wedding, Santa Barbara/Ventura is 12th. It led all other California cities or regions, with an average wedding costing $45,967.
Making these facilities available generates revenue and covers operational costs, but also signals the county’s focus on growing its presence to service the local community and destination wedding market, the county reports.

Rental fees range from $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the location within the courthouse facilities. To learn more, contact the Special Events Division at [email protected] or call 568-2460, ext. 5.
The courthouse is known for its historic architecture combined with vintage elegance, making it an ideal venue for any unique occasion, the Community Service Department said.

Currently, the courthouse hosts numerous community and private events, such as Old Spanish Days-Fiesta, wedding ceremonies, corporate dinners, school graduation, docent-led tours, concerts and festivals.

The courthouse has been described by Architect Charles Willard Moore as one of the “grandest Spanish Colonial Revival structures ever built.”

The building has attained multiple architectural design awards, including the 2016 AIA Design Honor Award praising the Mural Room, and the 2012 Tucker Design Award complimenting the entire Courthouse building.
For information about Community Services and its Divisions including County Parks, visit For courthouse weddings, visit

— Gina DePinto for Santa Barbara County.


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