Finding the perfect Wedding Venue is usually the first part of planning your wedding. I’ve put together a curated list of great spots in the Bay Area + throughout Northern California.
Why you should consider the Bay Area
San Francisco + the Bay Area offer some of the most scenic, historic + quintessentially California spots in the whole state. Many venues offer ceremony + reception spaces all in one which helps keep things simple for your guests and you! The weather stays pretty mild most of the year and the fog is always rolling, especially in the city.
Wildfires in Wine Country and Northern California continue year after year during the late summer months. I have had couples with venues that were completely lost in past years. Always check to see what contingencies venues have for fires. City parks are usually packed on the weekends, parking can be tricky + peak tourist seasons are May-October.
Many San Francisco landmarks and historical locations require a permit but I know a few that are available:
Indoor Wedding Venues in San Francisco
Golden Gate Club of San Francisco
Spanish Colonial Revival exterior opened in 1949 as a first-class service club for enlisted men + women. Several historic treaty signings happened here during the early days of the Korean War. There are Golden Gate and bay views at every turn in this quiet corner of the Presidio. Walking distance to the Presidio Chapel, Main Post Lawn, and the Inn at the Presidio. Outdoor + Indoor spaces. Indoor fits 150 guests, entire weekend venue buyouts start at $6,000 [as of Dec 2020]
More Information: https://www.presidio.gov/venues/golden-gate-club
The University Club of San Francisco
Private social club with breathtaking views of the city located in the Nob Hill District. Notable members President Hoover and conservationist John Muir. Weddings have two levels at the club, both with amazing views. Right on Powell Street, you are on a stop for the famous trolley cars. They offer hotel rooms too so family + bridal party can stay on property.
Wedding Information: https://www.uclubsf.org/weddings
511 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Urban Chic Gallery Venue blocks away from the Bay Bridge. This space gives you a blank canvas to create your vision. Double leveled venue, 3,000 sq foot patio that can accommodate food trucks. Enough space for 300 seated guests and contemporary art always on display.
More information on weddings: https://terrasf.com/events-gallery/
The Green Room, San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building
Across the street from city hall, the Green Room is the hidden gem of the Memorial Veterans Opera House. The building has been home to the San Fransisco’s Opera + Ballet since 1932. Access to a bridal suite, the small gardens + the balcony. Seats 200 guests and is only available for Weddings in July and August. Starting at $6500. Website info.
Elopement or Intimate Wedding Venues
San Francisco Film Centre
Haas-Lilienthal House on Franklin Street
San Francisco Botanical Gardens [Micro Wedding Package available]
Hotel Kabuki [Bar + Gardens are beautiful!]
Many hidden backyard + unique properties on Airbnb + VRBO
Historic San Francisco Wedding Venues
James Leary Flood Mansion
Legion of Honor Museum
Asian Art Museum
Conservatory of Flowers
Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange
Old Sugar Mill
Great American Music Hall
Wedding Venues with Incredible Views
Bay Lights Charters
Ventana, Big Sur
Sens, San Francisco
Cavallo Point Lodge
Restaurant Wedding Venues
E&O Kitchen and Bar
Affordable or Free San Francisco Wedding Venues
San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
Swedish American Hall
Fort Mason Center
Marines’ Memorial Club + Hotel
Stern Grove Clubhouse
The Clubhouse at the Presidio Golf Course
Dog Friendly Bay Area Wedding Venues
Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco
Bluxome Street Winery
Magnolia Brewing Company
San Francisco Design Center Galleria [must be leashed]
Northern California + Bay Area Wedding Venues
- The Mint
Opened in 1874 and one of the few city landmarks to withstand the 1906 Earthquake. Has been a National Historic Landmark since 1961. This upscale venue is layered and full of unique staircases, rooms + hallways. The courtyard is an absolute dream in the evening.
Website Information [rates, maps, logistics] https://thesanfranciscomint.com/info/
- Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin County
Internationally recognized artist in residence campus in old military barracks. This venue sits in a quiet part of the Marin Headlands and has multi-level spaces for indoor ceremonies, dinner in the mess hall + receptions. A historical spot with lots and lots of charm. Available on Saturdays for a building buyout but other days available too. Hard guest out at 10pm. email@example.com + http://www.headlands.org/weddings-celebrations/. My Green Wedding Shoes Feature from the Center.
3. San Francisco City Hall
City Hall weddings are truly golden here. You can do photos for free but also opt for a one hour ceremony on the rotunda. One of the most treasured city halls in the nation. Pairs well with a cool hotel or Presidio location for portraits. My Mini-Guide on Civil Ceremonies. Phone: 415.554.6079 http://sfcityhallevents.org/weddings
3. Deer Park Villa, Fairfax
A place to be married amongst the redwoods! This four acre venue has a bridal suite, an indoor bar spot for the guys, a dramatic place for the ceremony + dinner and an indoor dance area. Can party until midnight. Wonderful views for portraits about 15 minutes drive from the venue. 367 Bolinas Road, Fairfax, Ca. http://www.deerparkvilla.com/
4. Log Cabin, Presidio
This rustic cabin with a Spanish red tiled roof is located within the Fort Scott, not far from the Golden Gate Bridge. Modest rates for a full building buyout. Outdoor space and indoor with a 30×30 hardwood dance floor + fireplace. Ample parking. https://www.presidio.gov/venues/log-cabin
5. Outdoor Art Club, Mill Valley
Designed in 1904 by architect Bernard Maybeck, the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club was a women’s organization committed to the environmental conservation and beautification of public places in the area. A lovely mix of outdoor spaces and a dramatic wood dinner and reception hall. email firstname.lastname@example.org website https://outdoorartclub.org/
6. Coit Tower, San Francisco
You are free to take photos on the grounds and in the building of Coit Tower. Best to try earlier in the day or weekday to avoid crowds. Parking can be tricky but is doable. Charming views. Pairs well with a church wedding nearby in the city.
7. Brazilian Room, Tilden Park in Berkeley
The Brazilian Room was originally part of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition on Treasure Island. The building was moved to Tilden Park and dedicated in 1941 with extensive renovations in 1965. Includes an outdoor ceremony and indoor space for guests. Walking distance to the beautiful botanical gardens where a special photo permit can be obtained [fairly easily!] Top Secret Fact: the trees in the front are cherry blossoms and bloom for about 3 weeks in April. I’ve shot a number of weddings here + had no idea! https://www.ebparks.org/activities/corpfamily/br/
8. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Preserve, Sonoma County
This is what the redwoods are all about. One of the best spots in Sonoma County and all of Northern California. You can get a permit for a wedding in the majestic picnic area. It’s possible to do a mirco-ceremony without a permit, a bit risky though. Full information: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450
9. Oceano Resort & Spa, Half Moon Bay
Just 30 minutes from San Francisco, right on the Pillar Point Harbor with luxury suites. Indoor + Outdoor dedicated guest spaces. Free parking for guests.
280 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
10. Stern Grove Trocadero Clubhouse, San Francisco
Built in 1892, it is one of the oldest buildings in the Parkside District as well as the last surviving roadhouse among those built in the early days of The City. Has a modest section of redwood trees and sits quietly in Stern Grove away from much of the city hustle and bustle. Modestly priced to rent out. Clubhouse fee information: https://sfrecpark.org/664/Stern-Grove-Clubhouse
11. Grand Corinthian Ballroom, Downtown San Jose
Built in 1924, the Corinthian was originally a Scottish Rite Temple. The building was converted into a movie theater and now is a luxury indoor wedding space for ceremonies + receptions. The main ballroom boasts a 50 foot ceiling with wood beams, a carved stone proscenium stage and velvet curtains. Has a dedicated bridal suite and groomsmen areas. The marble staircase is a dream and gardens are right across the street. This venue is dog friendly. https://corinthiangrandballroom.com/
12. Pfeiffer State Park, Big Sur
[December 2020 Currently Closed] A magnificent camp wedding. This spot has cabins available to get ready and a couple of options for ceremony spots. Receptions happen at the campground areas but can be decked out for a lush event. Driving distance to coastal views, this spot is a dream. Website Information
13. Historic Santa Clara Mission, Santa Clara
Gorgeous historical mission on the campus of Santa Clara. The gardens + grounds are sprawling + well maintained. You must be a student, faculty, staff or alumni to have your wedding here. More information https://www.scu.edu/missionchurch/wedding-information/
14. Saratoga Springs Camp Wedding, Saratoga
Charming wedding venue nestled in the mountains of Santa Cruz. This venue boasts natural creeks and soaring redwoods with a few different ceremony and reception spots. The bridge makes for dramatic wedding portraits + can be utilized early in the morning if you are having your ceremony in another part of the park. If you are not in the main cathedral grove the music can carry throughout the venue. http://saratoga-springs.com/wedding/
15. The Perry House, Monterey
A historic home in the heart of Monterey. This venue can accommodate 130 guests and has a beautiful bridal suite + outdoor ceremony space. I like that this venue is only 15 minutes from a breathtaking secluded sunset spot on the shoreline. https://perryhousemonterey.com/wedding/
16. Trentadue Winery + Vineyard, Geyserville
Traditional Upscale Vineyard wedding venue in Geyserville. The grounds are vast and include lots of beautiful spots for outdoor seating + gathering. A grand ballroom + lots + lots of vines for portraits. Aly + James Full Post. 19170 Geyserville Ave Geyserville, CA 95441-9603. Website.
17. Palm Event Center in the Vineyard, Livermore
Great spot in Pleasanton that has dramatic barrel rooms and ample outdoor areas for receptions + cocktail hours. https://www.palmeventcenter.com/the-venue/
18. End of the Road Retreat, Mariposa County, Yosemite National Park
No fuss VRBO A-frame cabin rental about an hour outside of Yosemite National Park. The home itself is vast and the grounds provide ample space for a ceremony, dinner + dancing into the night. The grounds have a lake + lots of nature nooks to explore for portraits. VRBO Website https://www.vrbo.com/418179