About San Francisco
Situated on the west coast of the United States, San Francisco is a vibrant city with a long history. Founded in 1776, it was the first European settlement in what we now know as California. Since then, it has been through several phases: from a Gold Rush boomtown to an industrial powerhouse during World War II to its current status as a high-tech hub.
The city's outdoor weddings industry began in the 19th century with couples exchanging vows on the beaches and forested areas of San Francisco Bay. In addition to traditional beach and forest venues, many couples opt for unique outdoor wedding spots like gardens, rooftops, vineyards, and parks. This trend has only grown over the years, with more couples opting to tie the knot in nature's beauty outside traditional ceremony settings such as churches or banquet halls.
Although plenty of indoor venues are available for San Francisco weddings (including some beautiful historical buildings), there’s something special about saying “I do” outdoors, surrounded by nature’s beauty and friends and family who have come from near and far to celebrate your union.
Outdoor Wedding Options in San Francisco
Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime occasions, so it is crucial to capture the beautiful memories. Professional photographers in San Francisco can collaborate with you to make sure that the key moments of your big day, and everything in between, are documented for posterity.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to catering for an outdoor wedding in San Francisco. You can opt for a traditional sit-down dinner or a more relaxed buffet-style setting. Most caterers specialize in preparing delicious dishes using organic and locally sourced ingredients, which is also a great way to support local businesses.
- Wedding Planners
Organizing a wedding is a big deal, but with the help of an experienced wedding planner in San Francisco, every moment leading up to the grand occasion will be a breeze. From hiring the right vendors to supply various aspects needed for your big day to enlisting the services of a DJ, planners handle all the logistics, leaving you with nothing much to do except for looking forward to saying, “I do."
- Makeup and Hairstyles
San Francisco offers lists of talented makeup and hair stylists ready to help you achieve your desired look for the big day. Perhaps you prefer a natural look or something more glamorous; these professionals have the experience and skills to glam you and your bridal party to perfection.
Outdoor Wedding Vendors in San Francisco
- Carrie Chen Photography
Carrie Chen is a San Francisco-based photographer who offers a contemporary, refined art approach to wedding photography and portraiture. Carrie has been honored with multiple awards for her work and has been featured in several publications. Her goal is to capture each moment's unique beauty and create images that her clients will cherish for a lifetime.
- Pleasanton Catering Company
The Pleasanton Catering Company is a full-service food delivery business. They offer catering services to parties, corporate events, weddings, and other special occasions. They are passionate about food service and strive to provide the best catering experience possible.
- DJ BUSY B
DJ Busy B is one of the most popular entertainers in the Bay Area, with over 15 years of experience in the business. He often headlines more than 100 shows annually and knows how to keep a crowd entertained. Busy B frequently uses his turntables to create original sound effects that get people moving, and his high-energy sets are always a hit with partygoers and wedding guests.
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Weddings in San Francisco
San Francisco has stunning scenery, a unique atmosphere, and vibrant culture. The city provides the perfect backdrop for any outdoor wedding with its picturesque beaches, rolling hillsides, charming outdoor spaces, and iconic landmarks. Here are explored the pros and cons of outdoor weddings in San Francisco to help you make an informed decision about your big day:
- San Francisco offers some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. From lush green parks to breathtaking oceanside views, there are plenty of options to provide a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos.
- Outdoor weddings often allow couples to save money on decorations as they can take advantage of the natural beauty around them.
- An outdoor wedding can also be more relaxed than traditional indoor ceremonies as guests don’t have to worry about sitting in a stuffy church or ballroom all day.
- The climate in San Francisco is generally mild, which makes planning an outdoor event much easier since you don’t have to worry about extreme temperatures.
- Hosting an outdoor wedding poses risks due to unpredictable weather patterns, such as strong winds or foggy conditions that may affect the setup or overall ambiance at your event.
- Reserving an outdoor space requires extra planning as not all parks and beaches require prior reservation, whereas most indoor spaces do.
- Depending on where you get married, there could be additional restrictions, such as noise ordinances that prohibit some aspects of your ceremony or reception.
Tips on How to Organize Outdoor Weddings in San Francisco
So you're planning an outdoor wedding in San Francisco, congratulations! The City by the Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world to tie the knot. But before you start sending out save-the-dates, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch.
- Check the weather: Remember that San Francisco can be chilly, even in summer: So if you're planning an evening ceremony, have heat lamps or fire pits to keep your guests warm. And don't forget blankets for your guests to snuggle under during the reception!
- Be familiar with the city's noise ordinances: Amplified sound is not allowed in most parks, so if you're planning on having live music at your reception, you'll need to find a venue exempt from the ordinance.
- Plan your menu: Talk to your caterer about menu options that will hold up in both hot and cold temperatures. While San Francisco is home to some of the best catering companies in the country, if you're planning on serving food outdoors, it's essential to make sure it will stay fresh and delicious in unpredictable weather.
Famous Locations in San Francisco
- Montalvo Arts Center
Nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains lies the Montalvo Arts Center: a stunning, one-of-a-kind Mediterranean villa. With impeccably manicured gardens, the Arts Center is home to an artist residency, a small gallery, and indoor and outdoor theaters. The array of things to see and do at Montalvo makes it a perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the arts.
- Sigmund Stern Grove
Sigmund Stern Grove is a recreation center that rests in a valley of redwoods and eucalyptus trees. The park features community rooms, a dog play area, tennis courts, outdoor pickleball, and picnic areas. It is also where you’ll find a concert meadow that hosts the famous Stern Grove Festival.
- Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park unlike any other in the city. With over 1,400 acres of trails, woods, and gardens, it's the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. And because it's located right in the heart of San Francisco, you don't have to spend hours driving to get there.