San Francisco Wedding Venue
45 Moraga Avenue, The Presidio
San Francisco, California 94129
For soldiers stationed at the Presidio during its early years as a military garrison, this little white church was known as the “Ivy-Covered Chapel” for the abundance of vines on its walls. The simple wood-frame building, with its gabled roof and steeple, was built in 1864 to serve as a place of worship for military officers and their families. These days, both the ivy and the soldiers are gone, but the Chapel of Our Lady has endured and is now a nondenominational setting for ceremonies of all religions.
Although the Presidio is only minutes from downtown San Francisco, it’s completely removed from the “urban-ness” of The City, and it encompasses some of the most beautiful land in Northern California. In fact, this ex-military post is now a national park site.
The route to the chapel curves through woods and past former officers’ houses and military buildings, all neatly maintained and painted off-white with red roofs. The Chapel of Our Lady is set back from the sidewalk, surrounded by a grove of eucalyptus trees and shrubs. Standing on the front steps, you can see snippets of San Francisco Bay through the trees.
From the outside, the little chapel is reminiscent of an old country church, but renovations have widened its original footprint and added decidedly modern elements. The chapel has been expanded with side aisles, a baptistery, a dressing room, a choir room, and a sanctuary.
Standing in the chapel on a sunny day, you notice right away how warm and bright it is. The main room is filled with light flowing in through two walls of windows constructed entirely of clear and multicolored glass block panels. The altar stands in front of a huge floor-to-ceiling window, which lets in even more light. Wooden pews flank the center aisle, and wooden beams support the vaulted ceiling. Small iron chandeliers and wall sconces provide ambient lighting for ceremonies in the evening or on a misty day.
When the weather is glorious, consider extending the celebration onto the chapel grounds. Guests can gather in the front courtyard to congratulate the happy couple as they emerge from the chapel, then walk over to the side courtyard for champagne and light hors d’oeuvres. For a festive touch, add a few umbrella-shaded tables, clad with linens and flowers.
Many couples who get married in the Chapel of Our Lady have their reception at another Presidio venue such as the Presidio Officers’ Club.
After the wedding, consider staying at the Inn at the Presidio, located next door to the chapel. Formerly the bachelor officers’ quarters, this historic 1903 Georgian Revival-style building has been remodeled into an elegant lodge. It features an inviting front porch with rocking chairs, a dining room, and an outdoor deck with a fire pit. From here you can enjoy everything the Presidio has to offer, including miles of hiking trails, wide open spaces and public and cultural events.
CEREMONY & MEETING CAPACITY: The Chapel holds 200 seated guests.
RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Chapel Courtyard holds 200 standing for a cocktail reception. A variety of other venues are also available nearby within the Presidio.
A nonrefundable $350 booking fee is required to secure your date and will be applied to the total rental fee. 50% of the rental fee is due with a signed permit. The balance of the event rental fee, insurance fee and security deposit are due 90 days prior to the event date. The rental fee for ceremonies is $1,200. Rehearsals are $150/hr. A reception fee will apply for use of the courtyard for events with food & beverages.
Catering: in-house or BYO, licensed and insured
Kitchen Facilities: no
Tables & Chairs: BYO or through caterer
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO or through caterer
Restrooms: not wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: no
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: large lot nearby, restrictions may apply
Accommodations: Inn at the Presidio
Outdoor Night Lighting: access only
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: courtyard and landscaped grounds
Alcohol: BYO, licensed and insured vendor
Smoking: outside only
Music: amplified OK until 6pm with volume restrictions
Wheelchair Access: no
Insurance: available, extra fee
Other: no glitter, confetti, birdseed, rice or balloon releases; votive candles and decoration restrictions
Not Wheelchair Accessible
Year-round, daily, 10am–1pm or 3pm–6pm. Not available on national holidays, Christmas Eve or Day, New Year’s Eve or Day, Thanksgiving or the day after, and the 4th of July.