Muir Beach Wedding Venue
10 Pacific Way
Muir Beach, California 94965
In one of its scrapbooks, the Pelican Inn has a sepia photo of a wedding party sitting in the inn’s conservatory, at a table with a long row of blazing candles down its center. The light bathes faces that look content, well-fed and empty of the desire to be anyplace else on earth.
The Pelican Inn has that effect on people. In the 23 years since it was built at a small crossroads in Marin County, the inn has drawn many wedding parties into a small, cozy other world. The two-story Tudor-style inn, made of rough-hewn timbers and stucco, is patterned after Shakespearean-era country inns. Set in West Marin’s rolling, chaparral-covered hills, which look like the heather and gorse-swathed hills of Britain, the inn seems an apparition from the English countryside. Vines grow up the chimney and first story, and there are flower boxes on the second-story windows. There’s not a straight line in the place. Nooks, crannies and twists are everywhere, and stairways run hither and yon. Memorabilia and bric-a-brac from 400 years of British history adorn all the walls: entering here is like walking into a favorite old story from childhood.
The Pelican is a perfect place for an intimate wedding. Parties typically rent out the inn’s seven rooms and use the conservatory for a reception or dinner. This glassed-in space, with abundant vines and flowers, has long medieval-style plank tables lit by both candles and soft lights. As festivities progress, celebrants often push the tables aside to make room for dancing.
Ceremonies are usually held on the inn’s great outdoor lawn, with its view across the way of horses at pasture, or in the Snug Room, a comfy private space just past the bar that’s chock-a-block with stuffed chairs, bookcases and a fireplace. It’s a favorite site for rainy-day weddings or for use as a pre-wedding reception area. Sometimes people exchange vows on nearby Muir Beach, a two-minute walk from the inn.
All the guestrooms, different from one another, feature queen beds, bathrooms, and little sitting spaces that seem designed for wine and conversation. The period construction details are authentic, including short doors, odd door widths, late medieval-style hinges, timbers and floor planks. The Bridal Room, atop a flight of stairs, has a king-size bed, bookcase, dormer window with a seat, and the only bathtub in the place. Great little touches abound: one room’s ceiling beam was recycled from another building, probably a barn. The beam has scores of names and initials carved on it over the years by lovers.
Catering is in-house, and the constantly updated menu has a wide range of options including vegetarian, British, continental and California-style dishes. A superb selection of British brews and California wines is also available.
Weddings are a public disclosure of the intent to build a lifelong intimacy. That element of intimacy finds wonderful reinforcement here. Everything at the Pelican Inn, from the nearby beach and surrounding greenery to the inn’s handmade feel and homey spaces, encourages chats and laughter, merrymaking and the feeling that the Big Bad World can be held at arm’s length for a blissful little while.
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The facility holds up to 100 guests.
A $500–5,000 deposit is required, and varies based on space(s) rented. Meals range $40–70/person. Tax, alcohol and a 20% service charge are additional, as are fees for waitstaff.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided, no BYO
Parking: on site
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Accommodations: 7 guestrooms
Tables & Chairs: provided
Telephone: pay phone
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Dance Floor: yes
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
View: panorama of mountains and trees
Meeting Equipment: BYO or CBA, extra charge
Other: event coordination
Alcohol: provided or corkage $15/bottle
Wheelchair Access: limited
Smoking: outdoors only
Insurance: not required
Music: amplified OK indoors only
BYO w/ Corkage Fee
Year-round, daily, noon–midnight.