How to Plan a Stern Grove Wedding

The Ultimate Guide for Planning a Stern Grove Wedding
(complete with pricing, photos, and video)

Are you interested in a Stern Grove wedding and wondering how to have your wedding there? Mostly visited by locals, Stern Grove is mostly known for their outdoor concerts during the summertime, but it can also serve as a small wedding venue year round. Let’s learn more about this location and how to plan your very own Stern Grove wedding.


– Stern Grove wedding provides an outdoor environment along with the Trocadreo Clubhouse as an indoor option; seats 140 stand-up/ 120 sit down.

– Trocadero Clubhouse equipped with a full caterer’s kitchen, minus the stove/oven

– Stern Grove reservation fee begins at $50 plus an hourly rate starting at $153 (6 hour minimum); one of the most affordable venues in SF, considering the scenery.

– Coordinator recommended; responsible for cleanup and toilet paper stock


What makes the Stern Grove wedding venue special?

Stern Grove provides budget friendly indoor and outdoor options for a wedding while also providing a classic natural backdrop. The centerpiece of the site of your Stern Grove wedding will be the Trocadero Clubhouse adjacent to the outdoor ceremony location. Surrounding the Trocadero Clubhouse, you will find groves of redwoods and eucalyptus trees and a small pond. Most couples opt to have the ceremony outdoors with a background of redwood trees while moving indoors for the reception. The Trocadero House has a capacity of 140 for a stand-up setting and 120 for sit down. There is limited parking on site but plenty of street parking that does require a steep walk.

How much does a Stern Grove wedding cost?

Reservation Fee : $50- $150
Hourly Rate (6 hour min) : $153 – $178 
Outside Area Fee : $200
Refundable Deposit : $750

How do I reserve a wedding at Stern Grove?

Reservations take place through the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department’s online form. Stern Grove is one of the most affordable venues in the city, particularly when considering the beautiful setting you get for the price.

Availability at Stern Grove in the summer specifically varies because of the Stern Grove Music Festival. For all available dates, reservations can be made a year in advance. If multiple applications are received, a lottery determines who receives the use of the facility for their event.

stern grove wedding redwood trees and a green bench

Best Times for a Stern Grove Wedding

The temperature around Stern Grove stays fairly consistent with the temperatures in SF throughout the year, but with a bit more fog compared to more inland areas of the City. There are periods where its sunny downtown and foggy around here. The hot period (high 70s low 80s) doesn’t last too long, but September and October are the warmest months and are very comfortable. See the graph below for a more accurate outline of the yearly temperatures. 

Considerations for a Stern Grove clubhouse wedding

Stern Grove, in addition to the trees and pond outside for the wedding ceremony, also offers a clubhouse called the Trocadero Clubhouse. One of the biggest benefits of reserving the Trocadero Clubhouse is the use of a full caterer’s kitchen. This will provide a great deal of flexibility for your wedding planning. The kitchen includes a prep counter, warming ovens, and refrigerators. There is no stove or oven, however.

If you decide to have a Stern Grove wedding, I definitely recommend a coordinator, whether a professional one or a very helpful family member or friend. This is because you are responsible for cleaning, stocking toilet paper, taking out trash, and tearing down everything at the end of the event, which makes sense given that it is a public property and has a very low price point. Having a trusted coordinator will ensure you have nothing to worry about and can enjoy the festivities.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of hiring live music. Stringed instruments would fit well with the natural aesthetic of this location. This could be a nice touch for a couple that wants an extra bit of elegance for their day. 

Final thoughts

When planning your Stern Grove wedding, be sure to get your reservation in as soon as possible to ensure the best chances of securing the venue. There can be some competition for popular dates. It is the only wedding venue in San Francisco that offers this type of scenery. The next closest is Muir Woods, and if you are interested in a larger space that has exponentially more redwood trees, take a look at this post on “How to Plan a Wedding in Muir Woods.

stern grove wedding walkway amongst trees with water on the left
stern grove wedding trocadero clubhouse couple smiling at the camera

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415 756 9335

762 10th Ave San Francisco, CA 94118

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