San Francisco Wedding Venue
1187 Franklin Street, corner of Franklin and Geary
San Francisco, California 94109
As you drive past the bustling corner of Geary and Franklin Streets, you’ll notice a beautiful old building that contrasts sharply with its modern neighbors. Built of sandstone in the Gothic Revival-Romanesque style, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco looks as if it has existed for over a hundred years—and it has.
Although this is the church’s third location in the city, it has occupied this corner since 1889. The First Unitarian Universalist Church marries all loving couples, and does not discriminate based upon gender or spiritual belief.
In the sanctuary, Gothic and modern design elements create an atmosphere that is open and airy, yet visually stimulating. White plaster walls, set with exquisite stained-glass rose windows, soar up to meet the tracery of the carved beam ceiling hung with wrought-iron and gilt chandeliers. On the chancel, the imposing carved Gothic chairs, pulpit and lectern are lightened by a delicate abstract metal candelabra hung on the wall behind them. A custom-built 3,100-pipe organ—said to be one of the best on the West Coast—sits regally in the choir loft. For an extra touch of magic, six-foot-tall candelabras can be fitted into brackets at the ends of the pews, giving an ethereal glow to your ceremony.
The 70-seat Chapel is ideal for smaller weddings. Octagonal in shape, its tall concrete walls are inset with narrow, stained-glass windows in shades of blue and gold, and hung with Oriental rugs and wall hangings. What makes the Chapel truly unique, however, is its fabulous acoustics. Not only do they enhance every type of music from harp to string quartet, they give the Chapel a feeling of real intimacy, and ensure that your guests will hear even your softest-spoken words.
The 35-seat Fireside Room, with fireplace, beamed ceilings and wood paneling is a cozy spot for intimate weddings, receptions or business functions. A favorite place for wedding photos and outdoor celebrations is the Allyne Courtyard, a sunny space whose focal point is a free-form bronze fountain, surrounded by flowering trees and plants.
For indoor events, the Church has two large function areas. The Thomas Starr King Room is named after the Church’s beloved minister from 1860 to 1864. This spacious room has a parquet floor, impressive pyramidal beamed skylight hung with wood-and-opaque-glass light fixtures, and a recessed stage area that is perfect for a bride’s table or DJ setup. The artwork on the walls is changed monthly. The adjacent Martin Luther King Room, named after the civil rights leader, is a smaller version of the Starr King Room, and sliding doors allow you to combine the two if desired.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the First Unitarian Universalist Church is its acceptance of diverse faiths, cultures and lifestyles. You are invited to work with their clergy to create a ceremony that celebrates your values and the unique commitment you are making. So, whether you want a traditional wedding with organ music accompanying your procession, or a less conventional ceremony, you’re sure to find a warm welcome at the First Unitarian Universalist Church.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Sanctuary can accommodate up to 350 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The church’s two reception rooms combined hold up to 270 seated or 300 standing guests indoors.
50% of the rental fee is required to reserve your date; the balance is due 30 days prior to the event. A $550–1,950 ceremony fee includes an hour for rehearsal, 2 hours for setup, an hour for photos after the ceremony, the organist, and an event coordinator. Rental fees for receptions and business functions range $700–1,500 depending on guest count and space rented. Events running past 10pm incur additional fees.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: yes
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Areas: provided
Meeting Equipment: TV/VCR, microphones, sound system, CD/DVD capability
Parking: nearby garages
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: emergency use only
Outdoor Night Lighting: n/a
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: n/a
Cleanup: through caterer
View: inner courtyard
Other: event coordination
Smoking: outdoors only
Music: amplified OK indoors only
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Year-round, daily, 8am–10pm.