If you dream of a having wedding at a beautiful wedding venue, you are looking in the right place. Northern California offers a multitude of wineries, historic hotels, lush gardens, museums, and more for your big day.
With the exception of San Francisco’s foggy disposition, the chances of planning your wedding on a day when the sun is shining are very high. This makes outdoor weddings in Northern California a very popular choice for couples. However, if you prefer to not have your wedding outside, there are plenty of indoor venues that are just as charming.
Popular wedding destinations in Northern California include but are not limited to: Napa/Sonoma, San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento. Common venues in these areas include museums, country clubs, wineries, parks, and hotels. However, the possibilities are endless in the lovely Bay. You can even get married at the zoo!
In the Napa and Sonoma area, wineries might be the first type of wedding venue that comes to your mind, but there are, in fact, many other stunning outdoor venues. Choose from gardens, spas, golf clubs, farms, lodges, and more. The bottom-line is, there is something magical about being away from the city and having your special day at such a scenic place. Not to mention, the wine.
If you choose to plan your wedding in San Francisco, be prepared for some gorgeous views of this charming city. Whether your wedding is in the top floor of a historic hotel overlooking the cityscape or by the Golden Gate Bridge, chances are, it will be gorgeous.
The East Bay refers to the cities along the eastern shores of the San Francisco Bay. Oakland is the largest city and is home to parks, museums, and event centers, but in areas such as Walnut Creek and Berkeley, there are many wineries and beautiful outdoor venues to choose from, as well. There is even an option to get married on a small lighthouse island.
The South Bay is known for its natural beauty, and you can definitely see that reflected in its wedding venues. It is also referred to as the Silicon Valley. Enjoy your wedding at a lovely suburban country club, a picturesque mansion, or even something more urban in the center of downtown.
Although Sacramento is the capital of California, it has a nice balance of urban and suburban charm. Downtown, wedding venues range from ballrooms and private clubs. When you head outside of the city, options include farms, vineyards, chateaus, and even ranches.
Wedding Venue Prices in Northern California
Due to the mild weather year round in Northern California, there is not much of a difference in ambiance if you were to plan your wedding in an “off-peak” month. The most popular months are March, September, and October due to the weather. Off-peak months are between November to April, and the peak months are between May to October. On average, prices will hover around $200 per guest, although it's quite variable depending on the venue, catering, and ceremony and/or reception rental selections. All fees are subject to California state tax. This includes any labor charges, set up and take down fees, ceremony fees, and more. The current California state sales tax is 7.5%.
Information and Resources for Weddings in Northern California
When applying for a California marriage license, you will need 3 elements:
Proof of identity (e.g. driver’s license, passport, or state/federal I.D.) It is important to note that some counties will require a birth certificate.
There must be at least one witness.
You must be at least 18 years old or have guardian’s approval if younger.