Presidio Chapel of Our Lady
45 Moraga Avenue, SF Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129
Contact: Special Events
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Why We Like This Place
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 wooden building, with its gabled roof and steeple, was built in 1864 to serve as a place of worship for a small group of 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 church 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 real estate in Northern California. In fact, this former military base is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
To get to the church, we followed Presidio Boulevard from the Marina, but it doesn’t matter which road you take through the Presidio—it’s a lovely drive from every direction. Our route curved through woods and past old 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 and the Golden Gate Bridge through the trees.
From the outside, the little chapel is still 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. Contemporary-styled 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 make life easy on themselves by having their reception at the Presidio Officers’ Club, Golden Gate Club or the Log Cabin which are popular for all types of celebrations.
After the wedding, consider staying the weekend at the new Inn at the Presidio. 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, wild open spaces and public and cultural events.
Max. Seated Indoors: 200
Max. Seated Outdoors: 100
Max. Seated Indoors: 0
Max. Seated Outdoors: 75
Max. Standing Indoors: 0
Max. Standing Outdoors: 100
|Max. Seated: 200|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Chapel holds 200 seated guests for ceremonies or 100 seated guests in the Courtyard.
RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Chapel Courtyard holds 100 standing for a cocktail reception.
MEETING CAPACITY: The Chapel can accommodate 200 seated.
Fees & Deposits
A nonrefundable $340 reservation fee is required to secure your date and will be applied to the total rental fee. The balance of the fee is payable within 6 months of the event date. A $250 insurance fee and a refundable $500 security deposit are due with the signed contract. The rental fee for ceremonies is $1,000. Rehearsals are $150/hr. A surcharge may apply for use of the courtyard and/or events with food and beverages.
Year-round, daily, 10am–2pm or 3pm–7pm for ceremonies. Not available on national holidays, Christmas Eve or Day, or New Year’s Eve or Day.
Catering: BYO, licensed and insured
Wheelchair AccessNot Wheelchair Accessible
Site ViewsGarden Patio/Courtyard
Alcohol: BYO, licensed and insured server
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