Courthouse Garden Weddings

Due to the surge in the COVID- 19 pandemic all personnel are working remotely for safety concerns.

For the quickest response regarding Courthouse weddings, date availability or the Gardens as a venue please e-mail staff at

For information on obtaining a marriage license, or to schedule a civil marriage ceremony performed by the County Clerk-Recorder's Office, visit   

Thank you!

This historic 1929 Spanish-Moorish structure is one of the most beautiful buildings in the U.S. Its meticulously maintained gardens and spacious lawns have become a popular site for special events.

360 Degree View provided by Bill Heller Photography

To check availability & access the Application; First, click on the green Make A Reservation! button. Then, choose Facilities & Hourly Rentals. Next, select Courthouse and click on the blue Show Facilities button. Finally, click on the grey Details button.

Weddings that choose the Exterior Gardens reserve the site for a three-hour period: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.  Please note that the Courthouse Building closes at 5:00 PM. Our fee, comparable with other sites, is listed below.  These reservation fees all fall within the BOS current fee structure. 

For small wedding ceremonies with 15 or fewer participants, we have identified six suitable locations outside of the reserved spaces, free of charge, primarily along the Anacapa and Figueroa Street lawn areas. These locations (A-H) are non-reservable. These locations will provide a place for small wedding parties with the architectural treasure of the Courthouse buildings and landscaping as a backdrop.

For information on obtaining a marriage license, or to schedule a civil marriage ceremony performed by the County Clerk-Recorder's Office, visit

Please note that the County Courthouse is a public building. Wedding areas may not be roped off and all public access ways must be maintained at all times. The County of Santa Barbara, its Directors, Employees and Representatives are not responsible or liable for the actions of the public during Weddings-Receptions-Special Events.

Courthouse Clock Tower
The Clock Tower MAY NOT be reserved.


The fee to reserve the Exterior Gardens is $1,100 ($900 facility fee + $200 non-refundable application fee.) Full Payment (application + facility fee) must be made at the time the reservation is made.

Cancellations must be made at least sixty (60) days before the event to receive a full refund, minus the non-refundable application fee. Cancellations received less than sixty (60) days before the event will be subject to a 50% cancellation charge of the paid facility fee.

Santa Barbara Courthouse Garden Wedding

The Garden is made up of 5 spaces; the Sunken Garden, Palm Terrace, Fiesta Stage, Bird of Paradise, & Rotunda Lawn. These spaces are all reserved as one. The maximum capacity is 250.

Areas marked with a letter in parentheses may be used at no charge for wedding parties of 15 or fewer participants.

On very popular dates it is possible for a Special Event and Exterior Kitchen placement to be visible from the Gardens. The following rules apply to all wedding ceremonies:

  • No amplified sound, but soft acoustic music would be permitted
  • All chairs and equipment are to be hand carried to wedding site.
  • No rice, confetti, flower petals, bird seed or open flames are permitted.
  • Wedding rehearsals are not included with a wedding reservation.
  • Taping off or coning any area of Courthouse Grounds is not permitted.
  • Food or beverages are not allowed for ceremonies. Water bottles are permitted in exterior venues only (not in Mural Room), and must be disposed of properly.
  • Stay out of planting beds
  • No officiants provided

A Valued Experience

From the perspective of wedding planners and prospective marriage partners, the proposed wedding program at the Courthouse Grounds offers several key benefits:

  • Guaranteed reserved space - Perhaps the major benefit would be the option to reserve a particular location in advance.  Rather than having to stake out a location early on a Saturday morning, planners can count on the reservation system to protect the wedding site.
  • Coordination with County Parks staff - Instead of setting up wedding ceremonies under the radar, planners and families could rely on the expertise of the County Parks staff to reserve locations and answer questions. 
  • Limiting conflicts with smaller weddings - With small, unregulated wedding ceremonies relocated to the outer perimeter of the grounds, potential conflicts, especially on popular dates, will be minimized.

***Please Note:  Reservations may be made up to, but no more than 18 months from the date of the ceremony. Reservations may not be made less than five (5) business days from the date of ceremony.  Reservations for wedding receptions may be made more than one year in advance.  

(805) 568-2460, Option 4