Rich with history and a classic style all its own, San Francisco plays host to a number of great urban wedding venues, and has for decades! The city is also full of limitless entertainment and dining options for your guests, and has an iconic history behind it that lends perfectly to bespoke events. Have guests flying in from out of town? Multiple local airports and hotel options are also a bonus in the city. If you grew up here, perhaps booking an SF city wedding is a nod to your childhood. Or perhaps you hail from a more rustic locale, and are looking for an urban wedding with lots of history behind it. Whatever the case, the architecture and detail that are part of San Francisco’s history make a perfect backdrop for your big day (fog optional). Check out our favorite iconic venues around the city 7×7 – which one is your favorite?
Originally opened in 1921, the Legion of Honor is a smaller replica of the Hôtel de Salm in Paris, and was a gift of the Spreckels’ family (sugar magnate and horse breeder) to the city of San Francisco. A huge colonnade, open plaza, and structured rotunda are home to some of the most famous European artworks of all time. The museum houses paintings, sculptures, and artworks spanning more than 6,000 years of history, and is famous for playing host to Pierre Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ in its front plaza. Couples are welcome to say ‘I-do’ in the plaza, or on the front lawn with sprawling views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio. Dinner and dancing are hosted indoors, where guests are free to mingle with sculptures and paintings in the galleries, as well as dine under the rotunda. Weddings at the Legion are an immersive experience in classical art and San Francisco culture, and are truly unforgettable.
2. The Fairmont, San Francisco
Perched high atop the highest point of Nob Hill and originally named after Senator James Graham Fair, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco is as classic as a foggy morning in the city. Built ornately and intended to stand out on the hill, the structure features sprawling stone colonnades and flags of the world above its classic black awnings. Although the original structure was almost leveled by the 1906 Earthquake, the Fairmont still stands today as one of the oldest and most luxurious hotels in the city. Whether you prefer a church ceremony across the street at the Cathedral (not affiliated), or a reception in the lavish ballroom or exclusive penthouse, the Fairmont’s ample entertaining venues provide a glorious context for your city wedding.
Having officially re-opened as the local seat of government in 1915 after the catastrophic 1906 earthquake, the SF City Hall building has stood as a monument of the city for last 100 years. Built in the Beaux-arts style, the building epitomized the high-minded ‘American Renaissance’ of the early 20th century, and continues to dazzle visitors and locals alike with its beautiful facade. The dome on the building is the fifth largest in the world, and the structure is now comfortably seated in the heart of the city’s civic center plaza. San Franciscan’s will note that the evening lighting on the building reflects the current happenings in the Bay Area – whether that be a Giants’ baseball victory or the Fourth of July. A wedding at City Hall, whether a small scale elopement or full affair, is guaranteed to be classic and glamorous, like the building itself.
Built in the Beaux-Arts architectural style in 1898, the Ferry Building that once served a major port and transit terminal has been adapted in the 20th century to serve as office space, a market hall, and an enduring modern ferry terminal. Events at the property are managed exclusively by the great Paula LeDuc, and are resplendent in the great nave area, no matter the occasion. The background of the venue setting is the San Francisco Bay, and boasts views of Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, and Oakland/Berkeley. Wanting a nautical vibe at your event? The docks on the water are the perfect setting for sunset photos or happy hour cocktails.
Sitting high atop the crest of Pacific Heights, Flood Mansion is a historic mansion built of marble in 1915. During the week, Flood Mansion houses Sacred Heart SF (a private Catholic girls school), and on the weekend can be rented out for private events and weddings searching for San Francisco Splendor. You will not find a view better than that of Flood Mansion, and the classic architectural characteristics and property lend themselves perfectly to a formal event in a glamorous setting. Looking for classic splendor, but not interested in the congestion of downtown? This property is located off the beaten path in a residential area that boasts views of the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco Bay.