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20+ Best Places for an Elopement in San Francisco

Ultimate Guide to the 20+ Best Places for an Elopement in San Francisco
(with prices and photos)

Eloping and curious about the best places for an elopement in San Francisco? Want to say your vows in the outdoors but don’t want to drive too far away from the City? Elopement locations in San Francisco range from redwoods to rooftops, and choosing a venue setting can be just as varied.

While everyone raves about Yosemite or Lake Tahoe (with good reason), the reality is we don’t always have the time or desire to drive several hours one way to get married. This being said, I created this list of best places for an elopement in San Francisco to help those who still desire an intimate and beautiful outdoor location in the San Francisco Bay Area for their wedding. 

If you would like to see what an elopement might look like, check out this Hastings House Garden Weddings Elopement

Top 10 Best Places for an Elopement in San Francisco

1) San Francisco City Hall

Marriage License : $110
Ceremony Fee : $90
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102

This is easily the most popular and best place to elope in San Francisco hands down. The stunning interior and exterior rival actual wedding venues and its centrally located in SF so you can easily explore the City afterwards. With over 200 weddings photographed here, I always strive to give you images that aren’t so cookie cutter and like anyone else’s. If you want to keep things as simple as possible, let San Francisco City Hall do it all for you! They will provide the officiant, standard vows, and your ceremony will be done in less than 5 minutes. 

Check out my Ultimate Guide to San Francisco City Hall Weddings for more detailed information!
In addition, take a look at the Best Places to Eat Around SF City Hall if you want to stay nearby.

San Francisco City Hall + Fort Scott Evening Wedding Shoot - Mariame and Andrew - 5.2.19_46_1 web (1)
San Francisco City Hall NYE Wedding Photographer - Kayla and Carl 12.31.19_91 (1) (1) web (1)

2) Palace of Fine Arts

Reservation Fee : $506
Hourly Rate (2 hr min) : $144
Refundable Deposit : $500
3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123

One of the most recognizable landmarks and best places for an elopement in San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts is known for its rotunda and architecture in the heart of San Francisco. For such a popular and ornate location, just having your ceremony is surprisingly affordable since it belongs to SF Park and Rec.

Take a look at my ultimate guide to a Palace of Fine Arts Wedding for more detailed information!

silhouette of couple touching foreheads at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at dusk
Palace of fine arts wedding photography of grooms head to head as a silhouette with the dome reflected taken by San Francisco wedding photographer Ian Chin Photography

3) Stern Grove

Reservation Fee : $50 – $150
Hourly Rate (6 hr min) : $153 – $178
Outside Fees : $200
Refundable Deposit : $750
19th Avenue and, Sloat Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94132

Locals will know this location for its free summer concerts, but for most of the year it is a quiet park that occasionally holds smaller weddings. This park sits near the edge of the City and offers a small redwood grove seemingly meant for intimate weddings. The Trocadero Clubhouse can also be rented out if you want to host a little reception as well. Since it’s not the most centrally located SF venue on this list, it is one of the more forgotten wedding venues, which makes it one of the best places for an elopement in San Francisco in my opinion.

Check out my “Ultimate Guide to a Stern Grove Wedding” for more details!

stern grove wedding redwood trees and a green bench

4) Shakespeare Garden

Reservation Fee : $506
Hourly Rate (2 hr min) : $144
Refundable Deposit : $500
335 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

One of the more popular and best places for an elopement in San Francisco, this small garden in Golden Gate Park allows a great setting for an intimate place to say your vows. Because of its size and isolation from the other more popular gardens, this is a preferred setting for those wanting a more natural background with less natural foot traffic compared to the Botanical Gardens. 

Check out this Shakespeare Garden Wedding for inspiration!

shakespeare garden wedding with bride and groom smiling in the middle while the wedding party is pretend fighting

5) San Francisco Botanical Garden

Reservation Fee : $875 – $10,000 (5 locations to choose from)
Golden Gate Park
1199 9th Ave San Francisco, CA, 94122

This well manicured Garden in the middle of Golden Gate Park is a passed over gem from even San Francisco residents. With 55 acres showcasing plants from all over the world, they offer the perfect natural backdrop for your wedding ceremony. Several locations within the Garden are available for your elopement, with even a 1 hour rental package available. The more popular places to elope are the Moon Viewing Garden and the Redwood Grove.

6) Fay Park

Reservation Fee : $289
Hourly Rate (2 hr min) : $72
Refundable Deposit : $500
2366 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Located a short walk from the crooked street that is Lombard St, this small park has gazebos that act as natural backdrops for your elopement. Blocks away from North Beach and the Marina districts, it is conveniently located in between two of San Francisco’s more popular areas for food and nightlife. If you are wondering the less known places for an elopement in San Francisco this elopement venue is not as popular for now so take advantage of it while you can!

fay park wedding venue gazebo and garden photo
fay park wedding venue two white gazebos and garden

7) Fuchsia Dell

Reservation Fee : $289
Hourly Rate (2 hr min) : $72
Refundable Deposit : $500
Conservatory Drive E, San Francisco, CA 94117

This site is a hidden area in San Francisco right next to the Conservatory of Flowers. With the Conservatory garnering all the attention, it is easy to miss this secret garden in Golden Gate Park that offers a quiet escape from the more popular GGPark locations such as the Shakespeare Garden. This is more or less a large field (approx 200 x 100 feet) and from May – November the purple and red flowers are in bloom.

8) Sunnyside Conservatory

Hourly Rate : $105 – $420
Refundable Deposit : $500
236 Monterey Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94131

This site is a hidden venue in San Francisco and has a beautiful rustic conservatory for your elopement. I’m a native San Franciscan and only found out about this location a few years ago! With ample street parking and a very seldom used garden, you can be sure to have a very intimate ceremony at this location. Its seclusion and recent upgrade make it one of the more secret places for an elopement in San Francisco.

9) The Olympic Club

Rental Fee : $2000 – $3300 (City Clubhouse)
Rental Fee : $1500 – $3300 (Lakeside Clubhouse)
550 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The Olympic Club has two locations in San Francisco – the Lakeside Clubhouse and the City Clubhouse. Personally, I would recommend the Lakeside Clubhouse since it has a better skyline and ocean view as it is on the western edge of San Francisco by the ocean. 

Check out my Olympic Club Walkthrough for more details!

the-olympic-club-wedding-venue 1 (1)
olympic club wedding sunset sihouette with the bride and groom walking

10) Lands End

680 Point Lobos Ave. San Francisco, CA 94121

If you are wanting an elopement in San Francisco that offers ocean views, Lands End is the perfect spot for you! Lands End Lookout also has a grove of trees that are popular backdrops for photos. Another potential elopement location is the Lands End Labyrinth, which requires an easy 20 minute hike from the Legion of Honor parking lot. This is a very secluded location that offers Golden Gate Bridge views as well.

silhouette of couple touching heads against tree at Lands End in San Francisco at dusk
lands end labyrinth place to elope in san francisco

Top 10 Best Places to Elope Outside of San Francisco

1) Muir Woods (Mill Valley)

Permit Fees : $60
Mill Valley, CA 94941

This popular elopement destination offers the perfect escape to nature by surrounding you with redwood groves all around. It is centrally located between San Francisco and Napa, allowing your out of town guests options in how they explore northern California. In addition, it is next to another option in Mount Tamalpais (see below). For an outdoor venue, this is hands down my favorite place for an elopement in San Francisco.

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Planning a Wedding in Muir Woods for more details!

Muir Woods Wedding site with benches and redwood trees all around
Wedding in Muir Woods walkway with redwood trees in the background

2) The Mountain Terrace (Woodside)

Rental Fee : $2500 – $4000 (ceremony only)
17285 Skyline Blvd, Woodside, CA 94062

With decades-old trees acting as a wedding ceremony backdrop, The Mountain Terrace is the ideal setting for anyone who appreciates natural beauty and basking in the sun and fresh air. They recently remodeled their mega deck, allowing several options for outdoor and indoor receptions. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit here privately and made a video walkthrough below to allow you a virtual tour!

Read more about The Mountain Terrace with my walkthrough

the mountain terrace wedding venue bride being walked down the aisle by her parents with guests watching her and redwood trees in the background
35 - The Mountain Terrace Wedding Photos - Scarlett and Stephen web

3) Hastings House Garden Weddings (Half Moon Bay)

Rental Fee : Packages start at $12,000
347 Mirada Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

If you are looking for a secluded “secret” garden look no further than the Hastings House Garden Weddings for your elopement! This enchanting garden only allows for a small number of guests and is seemingly made just for elopements. You need little to no decor at this Half Moon Bay wedding venue since the beauty is all around you!

Read more about Hastings House Garden Weddings with my walkthrough

Hastings House Garden Wedding
hastings house garden wedding parasol kiss

4) Shelldance Orchid Gardens (Pacifica)

Rental Fee : $1400 for a full day
2000 CA-1, Pacifica, CA 94044

With a setting seemingly straight from a movie, Shelldance Orchid Gardens is truly a one of a kind elopement setting and one of my favorite wedding venues in San Francisco. Simply looking around, there is little doubt why this is one of the most gorgeous and my favorite place for an elopement in San Francisco. 

Read more about Shelldance Orchid Gardens with my walkthrough 

shelldance orchid gardens wedding venue with flowers and plants showing with a groom and groom standing in the distance wearing black tuxes
shelldance orchid gardens_2

5) Marin Headlands (Marin)

Permit Fees : 
Sausalito, CA 94965

The Marin Headlands offers one of the best views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge and is magnificent at sunset/sunrise. At sunrise, this is the best place to elope in San Francisco to get the iconic chance of seeing the Bridge half covered in fog. One thing to note is that it can be a bit windy and chilly since its by the ocean and has no wind cover.

Marin Headlands Elopement golden gate bridge in the background
Marin Headlands Elopement Location 1 (1)

6) Old Mill Park (Mill Valley)

Rental Fee : $150 – $275 / hour
Refundable Deposit : $100 – $1000
64 Cascade Dr, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Outdoor seating and a raised stage at this quiet redwood park allows for a small gathering for your elopement under the trees. It is one of the only places I know that offers seating, so this is a perfect choice when considering other guests. The seating is roughly 25 feet away, so having a mic would be helpful if the guests are going to be seated.

old mill park wedding venue in marin county
old mill park wedding venue in marin county green trees

7) Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tam offers 40 miles of trails in Marin County, offering popular hike options after your ceremony and panoramic views of the North Bay. Conveniently located by Muir Woods, popular itineraries include a ceremony in Muir Woods and then an adventure session and summit on Mt. Tam. I suggest having a post ceremony picnic or your actual ceremony here as a way of celebrating being “on top of the world.” 

Check out this Ultimate Guide on Planning a Wedding in Muir Woods for more details.

mt tamalpais wedding
mount tamalpais wedding

8) Marin Art and Garden Center (Ross)

Rental Fee : $2000 – $7500 (depending on hours and area rented)
30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA 94957

This well maintained 11 acre garden has enough space to cater to 300 guests, but also serves intimate weddings and has multiple locations to marry. It is run by a non profit organization, so this location potentially has a lower rental rate than other similar venues of similar size. I think it is one of the best places to elope in Mill Valley for this reason with a compromise between price and setting.

9) Cavallo Point Lodge (Mill Valley)

Rental Fee : contact for pricing
601 Murray Cir, Sausalito, CA 94965

Cavallo Point is located across the Golden Gate Bridge, and offers scenic views of the infamous Bridge for your elopement ceremony. The award winning venue can cater anywhere from 10 – 300 guests, and is centrally located between San Francisco and Napa. For unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge behind you, this is the best elopement venue in San Francisco.

10) Point Reyes

Permit Fees :

Point Reyes offers a little bit of everything – hiking trails, wildlife viewing, scenic ocean vistas, and even a lighthouse! Having a Point Reyes wedding anywhere in the 71,000 acre national seashore guarantees wonderful natural backdrops. The more popular locations to have a wedding in Point Reyes are Chimney Rock and McClures Beach.

11) Elizabeth Gamble Gardens (Palo Alto)

Rental Fees : $600 – $1200
1431 Waverley St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Having a Gamble Gardens Wedding allows you to elope in the middle of Palo Alto, perfect for those who might consider exploring the Peninsula after their wedding ceremony. It is a 2.5 acre garden that offers several areas to wed and several buildings to utilize for the reception or getting ready portion of your day. 

Where to Elope in San Francisco - My Top Picks

Interested In More Information? Please Fill Out the Form Below!

415 756 9335 

ianchinphotography@gmail.com

762 10th Ave San Francisco, CA 94118

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