Blog : El Cortez San Diego

El Cortez – lovely historical venue for weddings in San Diego!

One of our favorite venues in San Diego is the gorgeous Don Room at El Cortez. We love coordinating weddings here.  Not only is the venue breathtaking, but the staff is amazing.  From the ladies managing the pre-wedding planning to the bellboy and day of contact, we have always had a spectacular experience at El Cortez. Sitting atop Cortez Hill in beautiful downtown San Diego, El Cortez is one of San Diego’s most historical landmarks, opening Thanksgiving day of 1927. Since opening its doors, the venue has been renovated to once again host some of San Diego’s finest events. Keeping its original Spanish architectural feel, El Cortez has maintained its character through renovations and is as charming as ever. The wood floor at the Don Room is stunning and the detail throughout the ballroom…breathtaking. The El Cortez Don Room has hosted some of history’s most notable guests and celebrities. Including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bing Crosby, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more. We love planning weddings at the Don Room and would love to share some of a recent wedding photos.

Photo Credit – Desire Rohlfs

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Out of Africa Wedding

Christina Horton and Tony Ortiz met when they were only 6 years old!  Their family were close friends so they’d see one another during the summer and some holidays.  Years went by before Christina realized Tony was “the one” for her!  We were so excited when we were chosen as their wedding planners! The wedding of Christina and Tony was a beautiful Out of Africa styled evening.  The guests entered to a grand and gorgeous ballroom for the ceremony. It was decorated in fine seating, exotic trees and lush floral in a color palette of orange, burgundy, eggplant and yellow. The bride’s bouquet was lavished with feathers and animal print ribbon.  The bride was stunning and glowed in her beautiful dress from The Limited.  The ceremony besides teary yet joyful guests included a beautifully adorned broom which the mother of the groom created for the jumping of the broom ceremony.  Following the ceremony guests enjoyed a patio cocktail hour lavished with African inspired elements and appetizers.  Leopard print elements were incorporated within the pillows, the frames, the food trays, votives and more! The black lounge furniture from Tavola Chasie completed the style. Once the reception began, the guests walked into a transformed room with gorgeous centerpieces, amber lighting and 4 delicious food stations.  Authentic Flavors created a customized African influenced cuisine which included vegan and non vegan options.  The dessert table included vegan and non vegan cupcakes, vegan tarts, dark chocolate covered strawberries (hanging on manzanita trees)  and an assortment of popcorn!  Favors were African soaps.  Even the children’s table included safari toys and binoculars. Everything for Christina and Tony’s wedding was just breathtaking! Their one of a kind theme and style shined through in every part of the day.


Thank you vendors!

Photography: Desiree Rohles

Videography: Side by Side

Floral: Barliz Flowers

Catering: Authentic Flavors

Officiant: Craig Does Weddings


Venue: El Cortez

Beverage: Best Beverage

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