Sure, you can leave your heart in San Francisco. But plan a wedding in The City by the Bay and you can leave your single life here, too!
Average Wedding Cost:
$45,000 per 100 guests
Average Number of Weddings:
13,000 per year
Average Sunny Days:
Peak Wedding Seasons:
Spring and Fall
Popular Wedding Styles:
Industrial Chic, Artsy Boho, SF Glam
What's not to love about a wedding in San Francisco? The home of charming cable cars, diverse neighborhoods, hilly views, foggy days, Beach Blanket Babylon, and Rice-A-Roni—this city is as eclectic as it is historic. You could literally have a bucket list dedicated entirely to San Francisco—but we think getting married here is an awesome way to start.
Did You Know?
This 7-square-mile urban mecca boasts over 220 parks and is built on over 50 hills!
Tying the knot in Fog City? Check out some of San Francisco's Best Wedding Venues!
Top 5 Reasons To Wed In San Francisco:
1 } The City by the Bay truly has it all. From iconic ocean views (think Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz) and roller-coaster hills to its harmonious mix of urban and park landscapes, San Francisco is as diverse as a city gets. Not to mention the myriad of wedding venue options! Whether you want a gorgeous rooftop terrace, a historic ballroom, or an industrial loft, San Francisco will surely have a place to fit your vision.
2 } San Francisco is the quintessential melting pot. From its food to its attractions to its people, San Francisco is one of the most culturally-diverse and all-embracing cities in the world. What better way to celebrate love than in a city that supports all relationships, religions, and backgrounds?
3 } Tony never sang a song about leaving his heart in L.A.! Between the 25,000 twinkling lights on the Bay Bridge and the towering outdoor sculpture Cupid's Span, this city screams—no, sweetly serenades—romance. It's the perfect wedding destination—and the ideal getaway for subsequent anniversary celebrations.
4 } San Francisco makes for a mean after-party. Whether you're into live music, dive bars, swanky nightclubs, or theatrical productions, there's no shortage of activities and entertainment for you and your guests to enjoy.
5 } San Francisco is always ready for a close-up. From historic neighborhoods, to the mile-long shoreline of Baker Beach, to the magnificent oasis of Golden Gate Park, and even hilly views from a Powell-Hyde cable car ride, your wedding photos will be as scenic as San Francisco itself.
Insider Tips for your San Francisco Wedding
Marriage License Requirements
In the state of California, couples may apply for a marriage license at any County Clerk's office. Both you and your fiancé must appear together for your appointment. You'll have to provide your photo IDs, a marriage application form, a certified divorce certificate if your last marriage ended within 90 days, and payment.
The fee for a California marriage license is $104. A ceremony must occur within 90 days from the date the license is issued. When you apply, one or both parties may elect to change your middle and/or last names—so be sure to make that all-important decision in advance!
Your wedding ceremony may take place anywhere in the State of California, in the presence of at least one witness. Your marriage license must be signed by your officiant, who is responsible for returning the license to the County Clerk within 10 days of your ceremony.
BOOM. Your marriage is legal.
Besides the holidays, you'll want to be aware of these popular annual events if you're hosting your wedding in San Francisco:
- Chinese New Year Celebration → Late February: One of the largest in the world, this full-scale celebration shuts down Chinatown and surrounding neighborhoods with a Grand Parade—attracting crowds in the thousands.
- SF Film Festival → Early April: America's longest-running film festival is attended by nearly 70,000 people each year and runs for two weeks.
- Bay to Breakers → May: This ain't your typical 12k. While it does attract serious runners, the main show is the costume parade that hits the pavement after the race. (Please note that some "costumes" are actually birthday suits, so unless you want your guests exposed to public nudity you might want to avoid this one.)
- San Francisco Pride → Late June: One of the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ parades in the world. Participants march through the heart of the city along Market Street, which is lined with more than 100,000 spectators.
- The San Francisco Marathon → July: Over 27,500 runners race along the Embarcadero, Fisherman's Wharf, and Crissy Field; enjoy the views across the Golden Gate Bridge; speed past landmarks like Coit Tower, Golden Gate Park, and AT&T Park; and pound the pavement through San Francisco's liveliest neighborhoods like Haight-Ashbury and The Mission.
- Outside Lands → August: This music festival draws over 100 artists, and over 200,000 music lovers to Golden Gate Park.
- Castro Street Fair → Early October: This LGBTQ+ street festival features hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople, and community organizations as well as live entertainment and dance stages—all to celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood.
- San Francisco Fleet Week → Early October: Crowds swarm in from all over the Bay Area and beyond to watch the Blue Angels fly overhead, and to take advantage of free battleship tours.
- SantaCon → Early December: A SantaCon is simply a gathering of people dressed as Santa for the sake of some festive holiday fun. This adult gathering includes thousands of Santas taking over Union Square and hitting up every bar and restaurant in sight. You'll definitely be seeing red that weekend.
Also, keep your eye on the San Francisco Giants schedule. Their stadium, AT&T Park, is close to the freeway, so when there's a game happening many fans crowd public transportation and the Bay Bridge heading into the city. Warn your guests to leave extra travel time if your wedding is on a game day.
Getting Around SF
Yes, parking can be a bear, but San Francisco has an abundance of convenient public transportation. Between BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), Muni buses, taxis, and trolleys—plus Uber and Lyft—you should have no problem navigating the city.
San Francisco By Neighborhood
Though there's a constant debate over exactly how many neighborhoods make up San Francisco, one thing is clear—each of the major SF neighborhoods has a distinct style all its own. Here are just a few of our faves:
- The Castro → Having a same-sex wedding? You may want to consider hosting it in San Francisco's Castro District, a place that celebrates its thriving LGBTQ+ community. Here you'll find popular bars and cafés, trendy shops, and pedestrian-friendly streets perfect for accommodating a pre-wedding pub crawl.
- Chinatown → San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest and one of the largest in the U.S. Enter through the Dragon's Gate and you'll be swept into the bustling streets and alleys of this "city within a city." It's best explored on foot, and you won't be able to resist wandering into its kitschy stores and dim sum eateries.
- The Embarcadero → Set in the financial district at the edge of the San Francisco Bay, The Embarcadero literally means "where one embarks." It features the sprawling Ferry Building filled with an artisan marketplace, vibrant restaurants, and a farmer's market. If you like, continue walking along the waterfront to the world-renowned Exploratorium, while enjoying unobstructed views of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
- Fillmore District → A stroll down Fillmore Street includes locally-owned shops, ethnically-diverse restaurants, and America's oldest and largest Japantown. But what Fillmore is really known for is its musical history. Once home to the largest jazz scene on the west coast, today this district boasts several live music venues including its most famous, The Fillmore.
- Fisherman's Wharf → For the quintessential San Francisco experience, you need to visit the world-famous Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy the attractions of Pier 39, indulge your chocolate cravings in Ghirardelli Square, check out the Wax Museum, and eat clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. While you're at it, hop on a ferry to Alcatraz Island and take a tour of this notorious landmark. SF bucket list? Check.
- Haight-Ashbury → If you're a hippie at heart, you'll love the eclectic Haight-Ashbury district. Birthplace of the 1960s counterculture movement, the Haight is filled with vintage boutiques, hip cafés, and colorful architecture. From here, head on over to Golden Gate Park and spend some time in its many gardens, museums, and galleries.
- Mission District → San Francisco's oldest neighborhood is probably best known for Dolores Park, colorful street murals, and killer Latin cuisine. From old-school taquerias to the first Michelin-starred Mexican restaurant, The Mission is a culinary destination not to be missed.
- Nob Hill → Looking for the best views—and photo ops!—in the city? Head on over to Nob Hill. Take a cable car ride to savor views of the San Francisco Bay, as well as Grace Cathedral, Huntington Park, Russian Hill, and Lombard Street—known as the "Crookedest Street in the World."
- North Beach → North Beach is San Francisco's "Little Italy" with cozy family-style restaurants, gelaterias, charming cafes, and a vibrant nightlife.
- SoMa → South of Market, you'll find more than a dozen museums and art galleries, including SFMOMA (SF's Museum of Modern Art). Another must-see attraction if you're a baseball fan? AT&T Park—home of the San Francisco Giants. And don't worry if you get hungry—SoMa has also become a dining hotspot!
- Union Square → Did somebody say shopping? San Francisco's Union Square is a shopaholic's dream. Virtually every designer label, brand, and department store can be found here, as well as beautiful hotels and tons of restaurants.
Featured SF Wedding Planner | MANDY SCOTT EVENTS
Mandy Scott Events has their finger on the pulse of what’s hot in SF weddings. Mandy and her team have decades of combined experience with hundreds of San Francisco weddings under their belts. From venue recommendations and vendor negotiations to full-scale event design, Mandy Scott Events has your San Francisco wedding covered.
Is your heart in San Francisco? Find wedding venues and vendors in The City by the Bay.
Filed under Local Weddings, Wedding Venues / Locations, Northern California, Bay Area, San Francisco
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