Santa Barbara Courthouse

The Santa Barbara Courthouse has been called the most beautiful government building in America.  Designed by William Mooser III, the Spanish-Moorish style building was completed in 1929, after the 1925 earthquake ruined much of the city. It occupies a square block in downtown Santa Barbara.  Gardens and lawns surround this working courthouse.  Civic events, performances and numerous weddings are held on the attractively landscaped Sunken Garden where the 1872 Courthouse once stood.The Gardens surrounding the courthouse are a great location for a wedding ceremony. There are five areas available for rental in three hour increments that will accommodate a variety of different sized ceremonies. The beauty of the landscaping and the architectural splendor of the buildings also lend a unique backdrop to all of these gardens that is sure to set the perfect mood for a ceremony. The Gardens’ great downtown location and strong Santa Barbara feel make it a wonderful option for a classic Santa Barbara wedding ceremony or elopement.


Phone: (805) 568-2460


Pricing $

Rental fees and capacity vary depending on what area of the Gardens is reserved

Areas: Bird of Paradise Area (Cap: 50, Fee: $350)

Fiesta Stage (Cap: 80, Fee: $550)

Palm Terrace (Cap: 125, Fee: $675)

Rotunda Lawn (Cap: 25, $225)

Sunken Gardens (Cap: 200, Fee: $750)

Restrooms: On-site

Requirements: $50 non-refundable administrative fee paid at time reservation is made

Time Allotments: Available for rental in 3-hour increments:

9:00 AM-Noon, Noon-3:00 PM; or 3:00 PM-6:00 PM

Vendors: Only local area vendors with experience at the Courthouse are allowed

Parking: Not on-site, but available directly across the street from the Anacapa St. entrance is a four level parking garage (Cost: first 75 minutes free and $1.50 an hour after that).

Music: No amplified sound, but soft acoustic music is permitted

Alcohol Policy: Alcohol not allowed on premises

Decoration: All chairs and equipment are to be hand carried to wedding site and may be placed on site no more than one hour prior to ceremony. No rice, confetti, flower petals, birdseed or open flames (including candles) are permitted.

Restrictions: No receptions, food, beverages, alcohol or smoking is permitted on grounds. Taping off or coning any area of Courthouse Grounds is not permitted. Existing plants and lights must not be moved, not allowed to place signage.

Cancellation Policy: If reservation is cancelled less than thirty days prior to the event and fees have already been paid, a credit for a rescheduled wedding at the Courthouse Gardens will be given, and must be used within 12 months. Cancellations more than thirty days prior to the reservation may be refunded except the non-refundable administration fee.

Photos: By Cherry Photography