About San Francisco
Established along Califonia’s central coastline in 1776, San Francisco grew from a gold rush hotspot to one of the country’s booming economic hubs. Located near Silicon Valley, the epicenter of big tech, San Francisco is a melting pot not only for some of the world’s best minds, but members of many different communities.
The city’s many neighborhoods are an opportunity to experience a wide variety of cultures both ethnic and social, from Chinatown to the Hispanic-influenced Mission District to the welcoming communities in Castro. The city has an elevated food scene with fare from around the world, as well as endless options to sample vintages from nearby Wine Country. While shoreline attractions are some of the most popular, there are activities for visitors of all ages throughout the city.
With a long list of unique buildings and open spaces, both historic and modern, finding a reception venue in San Francisco is as simple as deciding what kind of look you want your event to have. Beachfront pavilions, historic hotels and sleek lofts are just a few of the options available to you, as well as a host of local businesses ready to provide anything else you may need.
Reception Options in San Francisco
Whether you’re celebrating a wedding or toasting a successful artist or author, your reception venue will shine thanks to the efforts of local caterers, photographers, rental agencies and other local companies.
A reception is a great time to sit down and break bread with family new and old, as well as friends, colleagues and guests. San Francisco has a vast array of restaurants and catering services available to provide a variety of delicious treats, from fresh seafood to authentic Chinese or Mexican entrees to specially-baked European baked cakes and pastries. Many companies can also provide bar services if needed, and most special dietary needs can be accommodated.
A special gathering of friends, family, fans and guests is a memorable occasion, and a talented reception photographer can help you preserve those memories for years to come. Your photographer will capture the best moments from your event, from family photos to candid shots of you and your guests enjoying themselves. Not only will the event be recorded in detail, the photos make cherished keepsakes and gifts.
- Rental Agencies
No matter what kind of reception venue you choose, you’ll want it to look special. If your venue doesn’t include tables and chairs, there are many companies that can provide furniture essentials, as well as table linens, dinnerware, centerpieces and other decorative elements. You’ll also be able to find dance floors, audiovisual and lighting equipment, along with balloon art and event inflatable entertainment for younger guests.
Reception Companies in San Francisco
While planning a reception may be at the top of your to-do list, you may have many other tasks that require your attention. A professional event planner can provide organization and attention to detail while creating an event to your personal standards, leaving you free to focus on other things.
- Ashley Smith Events
Founder and lead planner Ashley Smith is a San Francisco native and has been a force in the special events industry for more than a decade. Smith strives to create connection and flow throughout her events, from table design to dance floors and flower arrangements. There are no pre-designed packages – planners will work with you to determine your needs and set up a custom arrangement that meets your needs and your budget.
- Shannon Leahy Event Design and Planning
With many years of experience planning weddings all over the country, Shannon Leahy Rosenbaum has been named one of the top wedding and reception planners in the world by Martha Stewart Weddings, Bride and Harper’s Bazaar magazines. She excels at bringing a party-like atmosphere while still making sure the event feels intimate and personal with impeccable style. The firm offers full planning and design services for a stress-free wedding and reception experience.
- Kate Siegel Fine Events
Offering full service planning and design, as well as a host of a la carte and partial planning options, Kate Siegel Fine Events creates events expertly tailored to clients and their guests. The firm can take the lead in planning all types of events, from wedding receptions to author receptions. The team is dedicated to creating expertly customized events for every client while making sure plans are designed and flawlessly executed.
Pros and Cons of Receptions in San Francisco
San Francisco offers nearly endless options for reception venues, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to consider before making a final decision.
- Elevated food scene
San Francisco has nearly every cuisine you can think of, in addition to freshly-caught seafood and innovative fusion dishes.
- Public transportation
The city is easily navigated without a car using abundant public transportation options and rideshare services.
Plan an outing after the gathering. There is something for everyone, from outdoor recreation to professional sports to art and more.
The costs for visiting and living in San Francisco are among the highest in the country. Work with a budget as these costs may carry over to the reception.
- Vendor competition
San Francisco is a popular town. Both locals and visitors enjoy holding events here so book your venue early to get the location you want.
- Traffic woes
Freeways and main thoroughfares are frequently clogged and parking can be very difficult to find in many areas.
Famous Locations in San Francisco
- Fisherman’s Wharf
With many attractions, restaurants, shops and recreation opportunities, Fisherman’s Wharf is a perfect way to spend a day in San Francisco. Cruises of the bay, as well as fishing excursions, leave from the wharf, as well as ferries to Alcatraz. You can also rent a bicycle or arrange a private tour. There are more than two dozen dining options, from snack to freshly-caught Dungeness crab, as well as numerous boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores. Special events also take place at Fisherman’s Wharf throughout the year.
- Golden Gate Bridge
One of the most recognized bridges in the entire world, the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco city with the outlying Marin Headlands and other small communities including Sausalito, Manzanita and San Rafael. Just up the road is Muir Woods National Monument and part of California’s well-known wine country. The Art Deco-style bridge sees more than four million crossings every year. Visitors can drive, walk or bike across the bridge with beautiful views of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Angel Island and the Marin Headlands.
- Coit Tower
Another of San Francisco’s famous Art Deco structures, Coit Tower, has been serving as a welcoming beacon to the city since 1933. Visitors can walk the grounds of Telegraph Hill and visit the tower’s observation deck, which offers unparalleled views of San Francisco and the Bay.