If you’ve chosen San Luis Obispo, California as your destination wedding location, then you’re in luck. I happen to live there and love everything about this beautiful town. For the past two years, I’ve gotten to know San Luis Obispo quite exclusively (we’ve been dating you see), and he has let me in on some secrets you can thank me for later. Just kidding – but I have lived in SLO for a few years now (that’s what the locals refer to it as) and I can offer a lot of advice that not everyone knows.
For starters, did you know that many people travel to San Luis Obispo to hike? That doesn’t really pertain to your wedding (or maybe it will), but that fact alone should spark your interest. You might have chosen SLO because it’s surrounded by beautiful mountains or because you’ve visited before you and love what you saw. Whatever the case may be you’ve chosen well and here’s how you can use this lovely town to your advantage:
Local wedding photographers know best
Whereas you may be tempted to bring a photographer with you to SLO from your hometown, hiring a local San Luis Obispo wedding photographer is your best bet. Why? They can offer recommendations as to where you should get your photos taken and also where they know they can capture the best photos. There’s a lot more that goes into photography besides your pretty smile, and a local photographer knows where to go and when to go. Lighting and the backdrop will create stunning photos and trust me; they’re going to turn out gorgeous in SLO. They also can quiz you and find out what you like and love, which will help them come up with the perfect backdrops before and during your wedding.
You get the best of both worlds: mountains and the ocean
Sure, you are surrounded by tons of mountains in SLO (you must hike Bishop Peak and Cerro San Luis if you get the opportunity), but just a few miles away is Avila Beach. Avila is not only a darling little town you can walk around with your sweetheart, but it also has a gorgeous ocean setting that you may choose to have a bachelorette party or your honeymoon after your wedding takes place in SLO.
Incorporate nature into your wedding
Since I’m assuming you are having your wedding in SLO because it has stunning views, you should stick to having your wedding outdoors. If you were planning to have your wedding indoors, that would be a shame because SLO has some beautiful outdoor venues and natural backdrops at your fingertips! The Madonna Inn is one option for your wedding day, which is a well-known hotel and a local favorite (I love to eat my picnic lunch here occasionally). You can also surround yourself by nature at Spreafico Farms, which is a family owned ranch nestled amongst vineyards and rolling hills.
Take your wedding party for a hike
Since SLO has made me into an avid hiker, I have to recommend that you take the time to at least go on one hike while you’re there. If you have enough time before your wedding, I would recommend driving to Montana de Oro and hiking to the top of Valencia Peak where from the top you’ll get to see the ocean and Morro Rock. But if time is of the essence hike to the top of Bishop Peak where you will not only be rewarded with a killer workout (if you’re concerned about not fitting in your dress this hike will cure that), but you’ll also be rewarded with stunning views.
Enjoy your time in SLO and soak up the rolling hills and picturesque views! I do every day and feel blessed by it all.