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Palace of Fine Arts Wedding

Ultimate Guide to a Palace of Fine Arts Wedding

3601 Lyon St. 94123

Having a Palace of Fine Arts Wedding is one of the more popular choices for Couples that want a gorgeous venue in the heart of San Francisco. While it doesn’t offer reception potential, this wedding venue is one of the best in the City for your outdoor ceremony. Take a look at the photos below to imagine your Palace of Fine Arts wedding and CONTACT me to discuss your wedding!

How to Book

For couples that have their sights set on a Palace of Fine Arts wedding, the most critical first step is knowing how to reserve the venue. It is administered by San Francisco Recreation & Parks. Reservations can be made one year in advance of the date, and we certainly recommend placing a reservation at that time as it is popular. If more than one person places a reservation for a date, a lottery determines who gets the space. 

Reservations themselves must be for a minimum of two hours and start on the hour. Wedding ceremonies can only be conducted beneath the Rotunda; however, while the grounds are beautiful, the Rotunda is the prime spot you’ll want for your Palace of Fine Arts wedding. 

For couples having an elopement, you can potentially just show up and exchange your vows. It is an area that is open to the public. However, you run the risk of the space being in use by someone else. 

Reservation Fees

Weddings can be very expensive affairs; however, you will be pleased to find that hosting a Palace of Fine Arts wedding is very affordable. The reservation fee is $506. There will additionally be an hourly rate of $144 with a two-hour minimum. Thus, this location can be held for a wedding for under $800. There is also a refundable cleaning deposit of $500. 


When planning a Palace of Fine Arts wedding, there are a number of important considerations for couple. Most prominent is that this is a public area. Reserving it means reserving the right to use it; however, the space will not be completely private. The park is very popular, and people will be walking around the park and may accidentally walk into the Rotunda area. 

Additionally, it is important to realize that there are no bathrooms on site. While this may seem concerning for guests, there are bathrooms nearby. However, it is approximately a one block walk to them. Thus, this is information that you will want to provide to guests ahead of time. Lastly, it has a maximum capacity of 250 guests if you are wanting a large wedding.


One of the biggest benefits of a Palace of Fine Arts wedding is that there are plenty of opportunities for memorable photos. In fact, many people will opt for wedding photos here even without getting married at the location. The columns and pond make for an excellent setting for stunning shots. This is the second most photographed location for me, and I have been here at least 75 times, so rest assured I can guide you at this location.


Many couples opt to hold a ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts and then a reception offsite. However, there is also the option of having the reception on site. This is an excellent choice as the grounds are simply beautiful with lush landscaping surrounding the pond. 

Holding a reception on site for your Palace of Fine Arts wedding will require a minimum cost of $5,000 including a refundable cleaning deposit of $1,000. Staffing is required for all receptions at a three-hour minimum with a cost of $88 per hour. Receptions are open-air, but you can arrange for a tented reception for a cost of $15,000 per day (including tents and setup charge). 

What Is Included?

If you’re planning on a wedding at the Palace of Fine Arts, one thing you’ll have to do is do some more planning. The reservation only includes use of the place. This means you will need to rent tables, chairs, an audio system, photographer, and arrange for catering. You’ll also want to determine and plan décor. Most couples choose to host their ceremony only and have their reception elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

While there are many great wedding locations around San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts weddings are truly in a class of their own. This is an ideal setting that combines beauty and grandeur. With the ability to add a great deal of versatility into any ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts, this provides a wealth of options in terms of the style and aesthetic for a beautiful San Francisco wedding.  

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415 756 9335

762 10th Ave San Francisco, CA 94118

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