San Francisco is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, which makes it a much sought-after setting for both local and destination weddings. And although it has a reputation for being pricey, there are quite a few affordable venues where you can host your event.
Looking for a historic mansion? An urban winery? A room with a view? Here are 8 unique places that won’t break the bank.
And don’t forget—even in the City by the Bay, many locations offer discounted rates when you book a non-Saturday or off-season event.
Neighborhood: Fisherman's Wharf
Located in SF's famed Ghirardelli Square, this tri-level restaurant specializes in impeccably fresh seafood from all over the world. As an added bonus, it overlooks the bay—which just happens to be right across the street—and almost every diner has an unobstructed view of Alcatraz, Marin, and a variety of historical ships that are docked at Hyde Street Pier.
Neighborhood: Pacific Heights
This famous church offers traditional, contemporary, same-sex and interfaith ceremonies, and has charm to spare. Built in 1895 by a group of artists, architects and spiritual seekers, it’s an Arts and Crafts-style gem with with a warm wood interior and a huge brick fireplace that can be lit with candles. Intimate receptions take place in the Fireside and Dining Rooms of the adjacent house, while the quiet garden out front is a pretty spot for mingling and photos.
Neighborhood: Union Square
This is one of SF's hidden jewels. Built in 1926, it later became a memorial to the Marines who died during World War II. The entire 10th and 11th floors are dedicated to sophisticated and unique banquet and meeting spaces. All the rooms are impressive, but the majestic Commandant's Ballroom is a real stunner, with a 22-foot-high intricately painted and coffered ceiling, wood detailing, and striking iron chandeliers with matching sconces. Enhancing this ballroom's splendor are vaulted east-facing windows that capture a sparkling city vista.
Neighborhood: Presidio Heights
Known for its warmth and inclusivity, the JCCSF is open to everyone and welcomes secular and same-sex weddings. Their light-filled three-story Atrium connects to two reception rooms—both have state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and one boasts a parquet sprung-wood floor that’s perfect for dancing. A major perk: the center has its own parking garage! And with three separate kitchens they can accommodate any celebration, including kosher.
Neighborhood: Marina District
Located on some of the most prime real estate in the city, the center’s historic buildings sit adjacent to the Marina Green, right on the water, with postcard-worthy vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands. Sites on the property include the budget-friendly, bayfront Firehouse (it’s got an outdoor patio that’s perfect for exchanging vows); the Conference Center, offering three adjoining rooms with spectacular seascape vistas; and the General’s Residence, featuring period décor, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, and a bayview lawn for ceremonies.
Neighborhood: Pier 3, The Embarcadero and Pier 40, South Beach Harbor
Yes, it IS possible to have your wedding ON THE BAY without going into debt for life. Hornblower offers a number of smaller vessels as well as reasonably priced, all-inclusive packages. They take care of everything (cruise, meal, bar program, champagne, wedding cake and more), plus the captain will perform your ceremony at no extra charge. And don’t forget the to-die-for views—both bridges, Alcatraz, the SF skyline and the Pacific.
Serene gardens with a koi pond, waterfall, and delicate ferns…priceless art (some from the 1700s!)…hand-painted murals and a shoji-coffered ceiling…these are just a few of the elements that reflect the Hotel Kabuki’s elegant Japanese aesthetic. Some of the event spaces also feature large picture windows that overlook the venue’s lush landscaping, bringing the outdoors inside. Overnight guests will love relaxing in the deep-soaking tub in their guest room, a unique experience not available anywhere else in San Francisco!
Neighborhood: Cathedral Hill
What we love most about this church is that it welcomes everyone, including same-sex and interfaith couples. Built in 1889 in the Gothic Revival-Romanesque style, the landmark building features a soaring sanctuary with exquisite stained-glass rose windows and a remarkable 3,100-pipe organ. There’s also a small chapel for intimate ceremonies, two large reception areas that can be combined, and a sunny outdoor courtyard for small gatherings (and photos!).