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San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I have lots of ideas for San Francisco weddings on a budget, and, well, I’m only having one wedding. So, it occurred to me that I could *share* my bright ideas, and then maybe, if I’m very lucky, someone will steal my idea, implement it beautifully, and then send me the pictures. Deal? Deal!

I have two ideas that I’ve been dreaming about. Both of them involve a small personal ceremony, a reception for 50-60 people, quite a bit of wine, and between $6,000-$7,000 dollars for the whole shebang (in San Francisco dollars, that’s something of a steal).

Idea #1
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingHave a small personal ceremony on telegraph hill. You could get married right by Coit Tower, or in San Francisco’s hidden wonderland – the Filbert Street Steps.
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingThat evening, around 8pm, have a small cocktail reception at my favorite wine bar in the city – Hotel Biron. It’s dark, moody, and sophisticated all at once. Last time we were there we discovered you could rent it out for the whole evening for $5,000, and that includes high quality wine and tasting plates. Mmmm… if you do this, you should invite me.
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingWear a sophisticated cocktail dress, and of course, killer shoes.

Idea #2
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingHave a small personal ceremony in the most beautiful building in San Francisco – City Hall.
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingThen at 5pm, rent out one of my favorite cafes in the city, Nook, on Nob Hill. Cable cars will go by both windows of the restaurant, and the sun, or fog, will stream through the leafy trees. You’ll serve simple appetizers and sandwiches, wine, and good coffee.
San Francisco Budget Wedding Ideas | A Practical WeddingWear a outfit reminiscent of a 1940’s wedding suit, a feather fascinator in your hair, and killer shoes, natch.

Photos: Filbert Street Steps via Flickr, Hotel Biron via, City Hall via Flickr, Nook via Yelp, and outfit by the talented Emily at Emily Style.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371172824707301749 Cate Subrosa

    High quality wine and tasting plates… sounds perfect!

  • MAS

    Love these! Great ideas that can hopefully be translated to any city :) You may have already seen this, but the Washington Post had a little piece about cutting back wedding prices this weekend…check it out here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/26/AR2008072600054.html
    I do not love their suggestions but it did make me think of your blog!

  • http://wemetinabar.com Heather from the bar

    ooohhh. If I lived In SF i would totally steal the first idea, and quite possibly the second! I think once i book my reception venue, I will do the same thing for the southern orange county area! I have so many weddings already planned in my head, it is just a matter of finding the one that is a perfect fit!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11465853625720898199 MrsEm

    Love this!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17572133516556386284 *Michelle

    Lovin’ that idea #1 comes with built in florals! All you “need” is a bouquet!

  • http://becomingmrsjones.com future Mrs. Jones

    Mr. Jones and I live in the East Bay and we are trying to think of interesting venues and chic budget friendly ideas, thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06110679428727545656 krisi

    i love these ideas.. with a beautfiul place such as SF , anything event is sure to be wonderful… any tips for a fort lauderdale wedding?

  • Denise

    Aw, David and I had our fourth date at Biron and it was on that date that I called a friend from the bathroom saying that I thought I’d met the guy I was going to marry. And I was right. We considered it for our own April 2008 wedding, but it was a tad too small for our 85 guests.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13781314774264492284 blind irish pirate

    I would hate living in the city, but those are some ideas I can get behind.

  • http://make-a-wedding-bouquet.blogspot.com/ Mary
  • Anonymous

    I got married at SF City Hall. It was magnificent and I dont think we could have planned a more thoughtful ceremony. And now, our son looks out our living room window and says “That is where you and Daddy got married!” IT really is gorgeous in there…

  • Erika Murdock

    Lovely lovely ideas!!! I’m with you on the under 10K, with NO MORE than 75 people and a lot of tequila (I’m marrying into a mexican family). However I’m in SF and we are both natives so we want to get married IN the city in a place that just bleeds SF. We’ve talked about City Hall (still 1K an hour), Bernal Heights hill….what I’d really love is a friends house big enough to hold everyone, but alas, we don’t have any friends with houses that large yet. Meg, any other ideas for SF? I’m kind of getting stuck at this point.

  • http://funweddingideassite.com/ Abigail ‘wedding girl’ Horton

    City hall certainly is one of the most beautiful buildings in SF, but can be a bit on the steep side to rent out for a wedding…

  • http://www.iqphoto.com/cityhall Joseph @ SF City Hall Weddings

    San Francisco City Hall can be a great place to have an intimate weekday wedding. It offers breathtaking architecture and a convenience of indoor location. On weekends City Hall can be rented to host a up to 500 guests wedding.

  • Stephanie

    San Francisco City Hall is a gorgeous setting for a ceremony, and if you choose a weekday, it’s quite reasonable. Soluna Cafe & Lounge is just across the park- about a three minute walk! They are open for lunch Monday through Friday, it’s delicious and won’t break the bank!

  • Natalie

    I have a question, do you know if you can even get married at the telegraph hill? i tried finding that out on google but no luck. Do you have a link? do you know how much? I just need space for 30 people