Oh, San Francisco weddings, the things you do to us. The West coast couples posed against stunning backdrops. The wedding décor that takes our breath away time and time again. The talented local wedding vendors whose creations make our hearts skip a beat. It’s safe to say we’re obsessed. But if we had to pick one element of San Francisco weddings that tops all the others, we’d tell you that urban wedding venues take the wedding cake.
Located in the heart of the city and reflective of the hip, culturally cool San Fran aesthetic, urban venues are a popular pick for couples who opt to exchange vows in the Golden Gate City. To get you inspired, we’ve chosen our top 4 favorite San Francisco urban wedding venues, so keep scrolling. You never know—your dream venue just might be listed below!
The first venue on our list is probably one of the most unique spaces we’ve ever discovered, and we’re totally smitten. After opening its doors in 1999, this restaurant venue has continuously found favor with San Francisco locals and visitors. Maybe its popularity is due to the gorgeous “industrial chic”-inspired atmosphere. Perhaps it’s because of Foreign Cinema’s mouth-watering California-Mediterranean dishes (we’ll take two orders of the lavender-baked goat cheese, please). Or, maybe its success can be attributed to the courtyard movie screenings—a fun way to share a photo montage with your friends and family at the wedding. Whatever the reason for Foreign Cinema’s fame, we have no doubt that couples will love this San Fran venue.
When couples book Foreign Cinema for their big day, they’ll have several different spaces to choose from. With the main fireside dining room, an art gallery dining room, the glass-covered outdoor patio (complete with a gorgeous bar), and an upstairs, semi-private mezzanine, Foreign Cinema comfortably accommodates parties up to 350 people. Because the venue is a fully operating restaurant, couples can also easily treat their guests to some of the most exceptional food San Francisco has to offer (did we mention the goat cheese?). Work with the head chef to tailor the menu according to your tastes, creating a custom culinary experience for you, your spouse-to-be, and your guests.
We can go on and on, but one look at Foreign Cinema and this place speaks for itself. If you’re as captivated as we are and want to know more, check out their website for more details.
Where do we even start with Tank18, Inc.? This restaurant, winery, and urban wedding venue was dreamed up by its founders one day over lunch. Both techies working in Silicon Valley, they decided that creating an atmosphere of wine, food, and fun is something that everyone can get behind. With that thought in mind, they launched what is now Tank18, Inc., a luxurious restaurant located at a winery in the SOMA district.
Since opening its doors, Tank18, Inc. has stayed true to the founders’ original vision of bringing good wine, good eats, and good times to their visitors. Sounds like the recipe for a successful wedding reception, doesn’t it? This winery-restaurant hybrid even offers customized wine labels to give your event a personal touch. And we haven’t even mentioned the dance floor. The spacious, flexible floor plan of the venue’s event area boasts 6,000 square feet, a 200+ guest capacity, and a large bar. Whether you’re performing the Cha Cha Slide or the Charleston, you’ll have plenty of space to bust a move.
A chalkboard wall, rafted ceilings, and wine-bottle-lined walls are just a few additional details of Tank18, Inc. that have won us over. See these features and more on the venue’s website.
Located in the stunning Golden Gate Park, this venue is unlike any other, and local couples will tell you the same. Since 1895, the de Young Museum has undergone many renovations to give it the beautiful architectural, artistic, and landscape features it boasts today. The surrounding property offers endless photo backdrops, but the main event is indoors where the venue offers not one, not two, but five different ceremony and reception spaces to choose from for your wedding day. We have a hard time making decisions, too, which is why we’ve written a short breakdown of each space and its theme:
Wilsey Court Thanks to white walls and simplistic flooring, this room functions as a blank slate for couples who want to have full reign when it comes to creating their dream wedding. Wilsey Court and the adjoined lobby are perfect for large weddings of 200-800 guests.
Hamon Observation Tower Providing panoramic views of San Francisco, the surrounding Golden Gate Park, and the Pacific Ocean, this event space is ideal for a luxurious cocktail hour or an intimate ceremony and reception of up to 150 friends and family. Our favorite feature of this room is the 360-degree views thanks to windows that line each wall. No matter where you turn you’ll be privy to stunning views, both day and night.
de Young Cafe The de Young Cafe is the only indoor/outdoor wedding space on the premises. Inside the cafe, blown-glass light fixtures and modern decor provide a unparalleled atmosphere in which to host San Francisco weddings of up to 275 attendees. Through the glass doors, guests can step outside onto the patio or enjoy a stroll through the adjacent Barbro Osher Sculpture Gardens. Yes, it is the best of both worlds.
Piazzoni Murals Room Adjacent to Wilsey Court, the Piazzoni Mural room provides a warm and inviting environment for up to 250 people. Featuring mural walls and a polished hardwood floor, this space is perfect for a ceremony and reception or a lounge area for larger weddings.
Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden The most popular ceremony site at the museum, the Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden offers a magical backdrop for vow exchanges with up to 200 seated guests. We’ve seen a lot of outdoor wedding spaces in our day, but this one reigns supreme for its artistic ingenuity and creativity!
“From a wedding reception for 400 to a 50th birthday bash for 25, the unique event spaces in the de Young will make your special private event unforgettable,” the venue’s website promises. We wholeheartedly agree and encourage you to peruse their site to preview each event space and learn more about the ways this place can fit you and your partner’s needs.
Last, but certainly not least, is Fort Mason Center, one of the coolest wedding venues on the west coast. Ready to hear these numbers? You’d better take a seat. Fort Mason Center has 28 venue options, ranging from 500 to 50,000 square feet in size, for you to select from for your upcoming wedding. Yes, you read that correctly: 28 separate ceremony or reception spaces.
We won’t go over all of the possible event areas, but we will highlight a few noteworthy spaces to help you narrow down your search. The chapel is perfect for those who want to have a traditional church ceremony. There are also two theaters, a historic fire house, a conference center, a fully restored old house, two pavilions, and so much more. Think every kind of venue you could ever imagine all conveniently located within a single compound. It’s safe to say that no matter what style you’re going for, how many guests you have, or what your wedding budget is, there is certainly a place for your special day at Fort Mason.
If you’re interested in snagging an event space at Fort Mason, you’ve got some big decisions ahead of you, so let us point you in the right direction: their website. There you can view each venue option, sizing charts, floor plans, and more.
We hope these venues have inspired you—or better yet, encouraged you to pick up the phone and make a reservation ASAP. Happy planning!
Featured Image Credit || Vero Suh Photography