Where was The Wedding Planner filmed?
San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA
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About The Wedding Planner
The Wedding Planner is an American romantic comedy movie directed by Adam Shankman and written by Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis. It stars Jennifer Lopez as Mary Fiore, a successful and workaholic wedding planner, and Matthew McConaughey, playing the role of a charming doctor Steve Edison.
If you’re new to this fun and sweet 2001 movie, this guide covers some important and funny scenes in The Wedding Planner (spoiler alert!) We’ve also included several must-see attractions in California in case you want to see some of the great sites where this movie was filmed.
The story follows Mary Fiore, an ambitious and hard-working supplier of romance and glamor, catering to some high-profile clients who decide to tie the know with her help. She is career-oriented, extremely organized, and focused on her work. She knows exactly what to say and do to make your dream day flawless from start to finish. She’s the wedding planner you’d want to work with if you want to have the most memorable and spectacular wedding day.
As someone so busy and devoted to her career, Maria doesn’t have time to find her own happily ever after. This remains true until she meets a charismatic pediatrician, Steve, who literally and figuratively sweeps her off her feet as he rescues her from an accident involving a rolling dumpster.
Then they spend a wonderful evening together, watching an outdoor movie and dancing at a local park. There’s no doubt they’re both attracted to each other. Mary is convinced that she’s found the man she wants to be with and likes.
However, her love and world turn upside down when she finds out that Steve is engaged. But the biggest twist is that he is the groom-to-be of her most important client, the ultra-rich Donollys. It’s the biggest wedding of her career and an event she can’t just turn down. So imagine how they feel as Mary continues to organize the wedding of the man she’s highly attracted to.
The Wedding Planner Locations
Mary is an established wedding planner in San Francisco, so it’s no surprise to find some of the city’s iconic landmarks and sights in the film. One notable The Wedding Planner location is the picturesque San Francisco City Hall. It’s a historic destination frequently featured in movies and visited by tourists, videographers, and photographers.
While some golf shots were taken in Los Angeles, the filmmakers also used the Lincoln Park Golf Course, a must-visit golf course in San Francisco. It’s been serving the San Francisco Peninsula since 1902. It’s a public golf course accessible to all, whether you’re a tourist to loves golf or a city local.
In addition, one of the famous and best scenes in The Wedding Planner occurred at Taylor Street and Sacramento Street in San Francisco. It’s where Mary and Steve meet for the first time as he tries to save her and her luxury shoes from being crushed by a dumpster. The Golden Gate Park is also one of the main filming sites used several times throughout the movie.
Although the film is set in San Francisco, it also uses other film shoot sites in San Mateo County and Los Angeles County. These include the Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside town and The Huntington in San Marino City.
The two film writers found the idea for The Wedding Planner after seeing an ad for a wedding planner class. They were also a couple when they started writing the script but eventually broke up during the first rewrite. Despite the split, they still worked on the film together until it was produced.
The golf scene in The Wedding Planner
Lincoln Park Golf Course, San Francisco, CA
Do you remember the scene where Steve confides with his friend, Dr. John (Kevin Pollak), that the dumpster girl turns out to be their wedding planner? While playing golf, the two doctors discuss Steve’s feelings and the situation involving Mary.
Given their uncomfortable and tricky situation, you’ll probably agree with Dr. John when he said that his friend’s feelings toward the wedding planner are “not chemistry - that’s anxiety.” In response, Steve convinces himself that he has deep feelings for his fiancé, Fran (Bridgette Wilson), which are “not something that can be swept away with one dance.”
The entire golf scene in The Wedding Planner was filmed in LA. But an aerial shot of the two guys playing golf while overlooking spectacular ocean and mountain views was taken at the Lincoln Park Golf Course in San Francisco. If you check out their official website, you’ll see a similar image on their homepage.
Nestled on the northwestern edge of the San Francisco Peninsula, Lincoln Park offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, SF Cityscape, and more. It’s been around since the early 20th century with a three-hole course built by local golf enthusiasts. After over a decade, it expanded to fourteen holes until it had full eighteen holes in 1917.
Today, Lincoln Park is a favorite destination among golf lovers of all ages and levels. It is one of the world’s highly scenic urban golf courses, close to a historic art museum. To get there via public transportation, use buses 1, 18, and 38R. These bus lines stop near the golf course
The venue tour scene in The Wedding Planner
Filoli House and Gardens, Woodside, CA
Mary, Steve, and Fran head to the Gardens to see the potential wedding venue. But an uninvited visitor arrives to surprise Mary, carrying a handmade nest with a couple of eggs and a pink bird. Massimo (Justin Chambers) appears in the scene, introducing himself as Mary’s fiancé.
Of course, everyone was surprised by this revelation, including Mary, who isn’t really fond of the Italian guy. Later, while the ‘brides-to-be’ tour around the picturesque gardens, Steve and Massimo spend time doing “the manly bonding,” as Massimo calls.
Provided the setting for the scenic location is the famous Filoli Gardens. It is located 30 miles south of San Francisco, providing visitors with a relaxing respite and exciting nature experiences. At Filoli, you can discover sixteen acres of gorgeous gardens and travel back in time in the house museum. The seemingly endless gardens feature lush flower beds, unique centerpieces, and majestic forests.
No matter what time of the year you visit, there’s always something to enjoy here. After strolling the gardens and exploring the house, refuel and grab a refreshing snack at the café or buy some souvenirs at the Clock Tower Shop. It also hosts exhibits and events and offers venues for weddings, parties, and special celebrations.
To visit this beautiful attraction, take bus 295. This bus line stops near Filoli Estate. If you’re coming from San Francisco, you can take San Francisco Caltrain Lines 1, 2, or 3. Then catch Belmont Caltrain to get to Filoli.
The horse riding scene in The Wedding Planner
Ventura Farms, Thousand Oaks, CA
One of the memorable scenes in The Wedding Planner is when Mary, Massimo, Steve, Fran, and her parents go out horse riding after visiting a prospective wedding venue. Mr. and Mrs. Donolly (Joanna Gleason and Charles Kimbrough) are singing the classic The Red River Valley in the background while Mary and Fran talk about Steve’s future career.
Startled by Mrs. Donolly’s singing, Mary’s horse starts acting up and is difficult to control. Thankfully, Steve is there to rescue her for the second time. Before their company arrives at the scene, he rebukes her for condemning his actions when she’s also engaged.
The Ventura Farms served as an idyllic setting for this scene in the movie. It is a state-of-the-art facility, almost half an hour from the Pacific Ocean, set against the majestic Santa Monica Mountains.
With its stunning setting that includes a farmhouse, barn, trees, and open fields, it’s an ideal location for filming. It also has a covered arena, round pen, equine swimming pool, and more, suitable for a wide range of projects. However, due to its secluded location, the easiest and most convenient way to get to the farm is by car.
The falling statue scene in The Wedding Planner
Carmela Garden, San Marino, CA
“Fran wants statues at the wedding,” says Steve, so he and Mary head to the statue garden. But their shopping experience isn’t as smooth as they might’ve desired. One of the statues falls when Steve leans on it, causing its male genitals to fall off.
Fortunately, the ever-so-prepared wedding planner carries super glue to reattach it to the statue. However, the unfortunate event doesn’t end there. Steve’s hand gets glued to the statue until it ends up getting stuck on his hand.
This scene was recorded in the Camellia Garden, one of the spectacular gardens in The Huntington Botanical Gardens. Its botanical collection includes nearly eighty different species of Camelia and 1,200 other cultivated varieties. It’s a great spot for a relaxing stroll or taking photos.
The Huntington is a major attraction you don’t want to miss in San Marino, California. Besides the spot where the statue shopping scene was filmed, there are many areas on the site you’ll enjoy. You can visit the library, explore the museum, marvel at the impressive art collections, attend lectures and programs, and more.
The flower market scene in The Wedding Planner
Legion of Honor, San Francisco CA
Mary and Steve are out shopping for wedding flowers at the market. They’re busy picking flowers in preparation for Fran and Steve’s big day when Mary sees a familiar face. It’s Keith (Greg Lauren), Mary’s ex-fiance, with his heavily pregnant wife Wendy (Kathy Majimy).
Mary tries to hide, as she doesn’t want to be seen by her ex-lover, to no avail. When Steve asks how they know each other, Mary reveals how she found her then-fiance making out with Wendy, his high-school girlfriend, during their wedding rehearsal in her car.
It seems like an awkward and uncomfortable situation for the characters. But thankfully, there’s nothing unpleasant about this scene’s setting. Eagle-eyed viewers will probably notice the large white structure that serves as a backdrop for this scene.
Does it also look familiar to you? If so, that’s because it’s the Palace of the Legion of Honor located in Lincoln Park. It’s an art museum in San Francisco, which holds European paintings, decorative arts, sculptures, ancient art from the Mediterranean basin, photography, and more.
Whether you’re an art lover or not, the Legion of Honor is worth a visit. A bus is the most recommended mode of transportation to the museum. Bus 18 will stop directly in front of the museum, but you can also catch buses 1 and 38, which are about half a mile from the palace’s entrance.
“Why do you want to marry me” scene in The Wedding Planner
Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
A few minutes before they walk down the aisle, Steve and Fran head out to “take a walk.” When it’s just the two of them, Steve asks his bride, “Why do you want to marry me?” Naturally, Fran is confused and perhaps a little hurt. She becomes anxious and tries to walk away from the conversation. But eventually, they both realize they’re not ready to marry each other.
This heartbreaking yet liberating scene was filmed in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. This fascinating green space in San Francisco allows visitors to witness and enjoy the harmony, tranquility, and unmatched beauty of a Japanese-style garden.
The garden is one of the remarkable attractions in Golden Gate Park. It features plants that are native to Japan, stone lanterns, koi ponds, a zen garden, and pagodas. It also boasts an arched drum bridge, a classic garden element you’ll see in the film.
You don’t have to worry about not having a car when going to the garden. It is served by various public transit routes, including buses 5 and 7, 44-O’Shaughnessy bus, and the N-Judah streetcar. There’s also a free shuttle that provides access to the garden and the eastern half of the park. It operates every day, including holidays and weekends.
This well-liked romantic comedy movie was released over two decades ago. But The Wedding Planner filming locations continue to inspire travelers to visit the movie landscapes and see them with their own eyes. They’re able to recreate their favorite scenes or simply take photos of the settings that have played host to the cast and crew.
There’s no question that Los Angeles and San Francisco made the ideal backdrop to the romantic scenes of The Wedding Planner. Their diverse landscapes and features, including glorious natural parks, gardens, and bustling cities, have impressed both the filmmakers and viewers and perfectly complement each scene. Every setting is unique, allowing them to make the project come alive with beautiful scenery that matches the story and theme.
So if you haven’t found any reason to visit these dynamic cities, grab your map and explore The Wedding Planner locales. There are also different types of locations worth discovering throughout the area.