Few places in California are as eclectic, picturesque, and architecturally beautiful as San Francisco and its environs. Unique San Francisco wedding venues abound in the city and surrounding areas, from nearby San Jose and Oakland, to the stunning Napa and Sonoma wine regions. From historic downtown venues with a decidedly Old World aesthetic to renovated industrial spaces that are perfect for hosting a modern, trend-setting event, wedding venues in the Bay Area have a lot to offer. If you're in the market for a shortlist of unique wedding venues in San Francisco, look no further! Here are our top picks.
These unique San Francisco wedding venues were made to impress.
Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor is one of the most popular San Francisco museums, partially because of its massive exhibition of ancient and European art spanning more than 4,000 years, and partially because it’s gorgeous Beaux-Arts architecture allows for impressive views of the Golden Gate Bridge. As a wedding venue, couples choose from several of the art museum’s open, light-filled spaces for their ceremony and reception. The Legion of Honor can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 650 wedding guests and offers both indoor and outdoor locations. Like most museum wedding venues, little additional decor is needed as the site’s artful instillations provide beautiful backdrops for your special day. However, some couples do add extra accents to their altar, like Robin and Matt.
Corinthian Yacht Club
One of the most surprising things about the wedding venues in the San Francisco Bay Area is there are always more surprises. Corinthian Yacht Club, located on the Tiburon Peninsula just north of the city, is one of those surprises. An all-white, colonial-style building that’d be right at home in Cape Cod, the Yacht Club is as simple and unassuming indoors as it is outdoors. Dark wood floors and wood paneling are accented by the stone fireplace and stunning views of Belvedere Cove and city of San Francisco. If you choose this venue, keep the classic and cozy decor as is, or play up the bright, natural light with strung fabric and colorful flowers like Kerry and Mike, who hosted their sophisticated wedding at Corinthian Yacht Club.
The San Francisco Mint
While we’re pretty sure you won’t find any errant scraps of precious metal on your wedding day, the San Francisco Mint is a classic revivalist-style wedding venue in downtown San Francisco is pretty lucky. Built at the height of the California Gold Rush, at the time of the city’s 1906 earthquake it held about a third of the United States’ gold reserves — all of which managed to survive the devastating natural disaster. No longer an operating mint, the granite building is one of our favorite unique San Francisco wedding venues and a gorgeous shrine to the state’s history with 52,00-square feet of usable event space, including a main floor flanked with industrial gold vaults. The two event floors feature 30-foot ceilings while a 4,000-square foot interior courtyard serves as an outdoor wedding option.
Piedmont Community Hall
Just across the Bay, tucked between Berkeley and Oakland, sits the teeny city of Piedmont and the magical, hidden treasure of its Community Hall. It’s rare among San Francisco venues to find three distinct venue styles in one facility, but the weddings location rentals available from the city include the hall—a stucco-tiled, ranch-style building surrounded by terracotta-tiled outdoor space; veteran’s hall—a simpler, indoor space and Exedra Plaza—an ornate, Spanish mission-style arch that serves as the backdrop for outdoor ceremonies. Couples can’t go wrong with any of the venue spaces in Piedmont, especially since the facilities’ location adjacent to Piedmont Park and Prospect Mountain Trail means lots of woodsy trees and forest brush to delight outdoorsy guests, or just serve as an opportune photo op. Jennifer and Allegra’s fall wedding at Piedmont Community Hall took advantage of both the location’s lush outdoors for the ceremony and its more traditional indoor setting for the reception.
Asian Art Museum
Mixing modern design elements with European Beaux-Arts architecture, the Asian Art Museum is one of the most unique San Francisco wedding venues. Housing one of the most vast collections of Asian art in the world, the grand building on Larkin Street was originally built as the main San Francisco public library in 1916. Samsung Hall, the museum’s 3,100-square foot wedding space, is super stately with cathedral ceilings, marble Renaissance columns, elaborate chandeliers and room for up to 350 guests. Other wedding locations within the museum include Loggia and Grand Staircase, which accommodates up to 175; the North and South Courts, which hold up to 300 and a Japanese-inspired garden with the capacity for 50 guests.
The Palace of Fine Arts
This massive exhibition space in San Francisco’s Marina District was originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition but quickly found a home as one of the city’s key waterfront landmarks. Situated around a rose-colored Greco-Roman rotunda, this unique San Francisco wedding venue includes a 120,000-square foot ground floor, 20,000-square foot mezzanine, 40-foot ceilings and multiple event spaces for couples. Not only is it one of the coolest spaces in town to get married, but it's also one of the most affordable wedding venues in the Bay Area — the reservation fee is about $460 and the hourly rental fee is a practically steal at $132. Whether your guest list includes Bay Area locals or out-of-towners, the Palace’s convenient location near many of the city’s biggest attractions and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and East Bay will make it a hit.