How to Get Married at the Berkeley City Club

Dreaming of a wedding that’s as enchanting as it is accessible?

Look no further than the Berkeley City Club—a mini Hearst castle in the heart of Berkeley, boasting a million nooks and crannies, breathtaking light, and unexpected beauty around every corner. Here’s how to get married at the Berkeley City Club: 

Step 1: Appreciate the Architecture 

About the Berkeley City Club: Designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan, the Berkeley City Club opened its doors in 1930 as a social club for women. Known as the “Little Castle,” the building showcases a unique blend of Gothic and Moorish architectural styles. Over the decades, it has become a cherished landmark in Berkeley, celebrated for its historical significance and architectural beauty.

Step 2: Relax in Style

Where to Stay: Whether you choose to get ready in one of the Club’s luxurious rooms or opt for the nearby Claremont Hotel, you and your guests can conveniently start the day in comfort and elegance. Coffee spots and pastries are plentiful in this Berkeley-Elmwood area. 

Step 3: Capture the First Look and Pre-Ceremony Moments

Photo Ops: Consider a first look in the main courtyard, a moment of anticipation and emotion set against the backdrop of this historic building. It’s a private and intimate moment before the whirlwind of the day begins. You can also take advantage of the pool area for beautiful and unique portraits.

What’s in the Neighborhood: The Berkeley City Club is located one block away from the UC Berkeley campus and downhill from wonderful sunset opportunities and Botanical Gardens so you can slip away to capture more images in other nearby iconic locations. 

Step 4: Explore the Castle

A Lovely Patina: Built in 1927, the Berkeley City Club’s stunning architecture offers a plethora of picturesque spots for your special day. From its wonderful high ceilings to its three courtyards and balcony, outdoor space abounds for ceremonies and receptions alike. 

Capture Family Portraits: Take advantage of the courtyards for family and friend portraits. There’s ample space for large groups and intimate corners for couple shots.

Step 5: The Ceremony

Say “I Do” in Style: Exchange vows on the second-floor balcony space, a picturesque setting that combines grandeur with intimacy. The draped ceilings and open archways add an air of fluttery romance to the event. 

Step 6: Celebrate in Grandeur

The Cocktail Room:  After the ceremony, immerse yourself in the ambiance of the cocktail room, where two grand pianos and a library set the stage for group portraits and intimate moments. Let your guests wander and enjoy the high walls, open air, and winding staircases. 

Step 8: Dance the Night Away

The Grand Ballroom: The grand ballroom sets the mood for dancing, with its elegant stage lending itself to bands and performances. Breakdance, boogie, or do the horah, creating unforgettable moments with your loved ones.

Final Thoughts: Why Choose the Berkeley City Club

With its rich history, exquisite architecture, and enchanting ambiance, the Berkeley City Club offers a unique and unforgettable wedding experience. The elegant combination of Gothic and Moorish design elements creates a romantic and timeless setting. From the enchanting courtyards to the grand ballroom, every corner of the venue provides breathtaking photo opportunities. Additionally, its prime location in the heart of Berkeley offers convenient access to nearby hotels, restaurants, and amenities, making it easy for your guests to enjoy the celebration and explore the vibrant local area. The Berkeley City Club is the perfect venue for a wedding that is both classic and extraordinary.

berkeley city club
groomsmen berkeley city club wedding
groom getting ready
groom getting ready, cuff links
groom and mother of the groom
bride getting ready

Photographer: Hazel Photo
Venue: Berkeley City Club
Planner: Events by Courtney Ann
Florals: Violet & Aster
Band: Golden Bell Music
Hair & Makeup: Triple Twist
Cake: Love Natty Cakes
Rentals: Joe Squared Productions


Exhaustive Guide to Bay Area Wedding Venues

When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding venue in the Bay Area, engaged couples are spoiled for choice. I’ve had the privilege of capturing breathtaking moments across the Bay Area – from working ranches to the redwoods from intimate garden spaces to the golden vineyards. Read on for inspiration for potential wedding venues and the scene they might set for your wedding day. 

Slide Ranch

Rustic coastal charm meets breathtaking ocean views, especially during a classic Bay Area foggy summer afternoon. Aside from the spectacular vistas, what sets Slide Ranch apart is its affordability, ensuring you can create the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Enjoy the freedom to bring your own caterer and alcohol and the peace of mind knowing that every dollar you invest in this magical venue supports Slide Ranch’s nonprofit mission. Slide Ranch is a partner of the Golden Gate National Parks, located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service.

With three distinct locations to choose from for your ceremony and reception, Slide Ranch offers versatility and charm. Whether you prefer a coastal ceremony, a rustic barn reception, or a garden celebration, Slide Ranch has it all. Your Slide Ranch wedding promises not just a celebration of love but also a commitment to a brighter, sustainable future.

lesbian wedding slide ranch, bay area documentary wedding photographer
slide ranch, bay area documentary wedding photographer, coastal wedding

Beltane Ranch

Set in the heart of wine country in Sonoma Valley, Beltane Ranch features picturesque vineyards and rustic barns against the backdrop of rolling hills. Majestic oaks and quaint architecture provide quintessential wine country charm for romantic weddings and serve as a beautiful backdrop for a variety of styles. I recently shot a fantastical garden party/cottage core wedding complete with roaming chickens, Wally the lamb, and exquisite florals at Beltane – see the detailed shots here.

beltane ranch wedding, documentary wedding photographer
beltane ranch wedding, documentary wedding photographer
beltane ranch wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Carneros Resort and Spa

Located in the renowned Napa Valley wine region, Carneros Resort and Spa provides a luxurious and vineyard-laced backdrop. Its elegant views of rolling hills and upscale amenities offer an ideal setting for capturing the beauty and sophistication of wine country celebration. The dinner pictured below felt especially warm and cozy as it was nestled in an outdoor patio between buildings. This venue truly offers a variety of spaces that are flexible for all types of celebrations.

documentary wedding photographer, carneros resort and spa, luxury wedding, napa valley wedding
documentary wedding photographer, carneros resort and spa, luxury wedding, napa valley wedding
documentary wedding photographer, carneros resort and spa, luxury wedding, napa valley wedding

Cornerstone Sonoma

Cornerstone Sonoma, with its picturesque vineyards and rolling hills, presents an idyllic setting for weddings. This property, renowned for its world-class wines and unique terroir, offers more than just scenic beauty; it provides a romantic backdrop perfect for special moments. The vibrant colors and fragrances of the vineyards enhance the atmosphere, making every ceremony feel like a page out of a fairy tale. The stunning sunsets paint the sky in warm hues, creating a magical setting for evening celebrations. Moreover, the exceptional local cuisine and world-renowned wines add a gourmet touch to wedding feasts. With such a combination of natural beauty and culinary excellence, Cornerstone Sonoma stands out as a premier choice for couples seeking a memorable and picturesque wedding venue.

cornerstone sonoma wedding, documentary wedding photographer,  napa valley wedding
cornerstone sonoma wedding, documentary wedding photographer,  napa valley wedding

Sausalito Woman’s Club

Celebrate your special day in timeless elegance at the Sausalito Woman’s Club, an enchanting wedding venue that transports you back to 1918. This intimate space offers sweeping views of the Bay and San Francisco, providing a picturesque backdrop for your celebration.

Designed by Julia Morgan, California’s pioneering woman architect and the mastermind behind the iconic Hearst Castle, the unique craftsman-style building adds a touch of historical charm to your wedding experience. Marvel at the exquisite gardens, panoramic views, and the simple yet sophisticated interior décor that reflects the Club’s rich traditions and historical significance.

The Sausalito Woman’s Club stands as a testament to the passage of time and the celebration of love. Since its dedication as a woman’s club in 1917, it has become one of the most sought-after wedding venues and event spaces in Sausalito.

sausalito women's club, documentary wedding photographer, coastal wedding
sausalito women's club, documentary wedding photographer, coastal wedding

Triple S Ranch

Nestled in the mountains above Calistoga, Triple S Ranch, a secluded estate, boasts an elevation that treats guests to some of the most breathtaking sunsets in California wine country. There are so many visually interesting and quirky parts to this venue including the restored “Grand Victorian” farmhouse and a 2,200-square foot vintner’s barn. Guest accommodations include glamping tents and treehouses and they’ll be busy enjoying the organic garden, outdoor pool, and pizza ovens while you take portraits. Most ceremonies take place under a 175-year-old grand walnut tree that demands attention as if the vows weren’t enough. Here’s a dedicated blog post about Triple S Ranch for even more photos. The beautiful natural setting paired with the comfort offered by Triple S Ranch provides you with a truly outstanding location for your wedding.

triple s ranch, sss ranch, napa valley wedding, documentary wedding photographer
triple s ranch, sss ranch, napa valley wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Old Mill Park Ampitheatre

Nestled in the heart of charming Mill Valley, Old Mill Park Amphitheatre emerges as a captivating wedding venue, seamlessly blending natural beauty with historical charm. Surrounded by towering redwoods, this enchanting amphitheater offers a magical ambiance for your special day. The rustic allure of the venue, combined with its serene creek-side location, creates an idyllic backdrop for exchanging vows. What sets Old Mill Park Amphitheatre apart is its versatility, accommodating both intimate ceremonies and grand celebrations. The amphitheater’s historic significance adds a touch of nostalgia to your wedding, creating lasting memories. With its convenient location and picturesque surroundings, Old Mill Park Amphitheatre stands out as an ideal choice for couples seeking a timeless and enchanting wedding venue in the heart of Northern California.

mill creek, mill creek community center, old mill park, bay area documentary wedding photographer, redwood wedding
mill creek, mill creek community center, old mill park, bay area documentary wedding photographer, redwood wedding
bridesmaids, fall color, mill creek, mill creek community center, old mill park, bay area documentary wedding photographer, redwood wedding

Mill Valley Recreation Center

The Mill Park Recreation Center offers an abundance of natural light with its large windows and scenic outdoor spaces, providing ample opportunities for beautiful photographs. The Center’s expansive outdoor areas, including an inviting patio, provide the perfect canvas for romantic ceremonies and lively receptions. Opened in April 2001, this award-winning facility offers a stunning backdrop for your special day.

mill valley recreation center, mill valley wedding, documentary wedding photographer
mill valley recreation center, mill valley wedding, documentary wedding photographer
mill valley recreation center, mill valley wedding, documentary wedding photographer

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

The 34-acre UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world. Exchange vows in the Stephen T. Mather Redwood Grove, surrounded by coast redwoods planted in the 1930s, and host a reception in the Julia Morgan Hall, designed by Julia Morgan in 1911 and relocated to inside the Botanical Garden in 2014. The newly restored Julia Morgan Hall, with its warm redwood character, gas fireplace, and modern amenities, is full of character and intimate. The 20-ft wide deck overlooks the native California plant collection of the Garden with broad vistas. From other sections of the garden, such as Garden of Old Roses, you can enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

uc berkeley botanical garden mather redwood grove, bay area wedding venue, bay area documentary wedding photographer
uc berkeley botanical garden mather redwood grove, bay area wedding venue, bay area documentary wedding photographer
uc berkeley botanical garden mather redwood grove, bay area wedding venue, bay area documentary wedding photographer

Berkeley City Club 

Immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural marvels of the Berkeley City Club, a captivating wedding venue with a story to tell. Originally commissioned as the club house for the Berkeley Women’s City Club in 1927, this historic hotel stands as a testament to social, civic, and cultural progress. Once exclusively for women, the club is now open to all, offering its iconic building for overnight stays, weddings, and special occasions. The club seamlessly blends Moorish and Gothic elements, creating a landmark of California design. It’s often referred to as the “Little Castle” in a nod to Morgan’s Hearst Castle. This architectural gem exudes timeless grandeur – there are endless photo opportunities with backdrops of ornate details, lush vegetation, and intimate alcoves. It’s a historic and elegant environment, perfect for a wedding right in the heart of Berkeley.

berkeley city club wedding, bay area documentary wedding photographer

Seven Branches (formerly Ramekins)

Seven Branches Venue & Inn is a Sonoma county culinary-inspired wedding venue choice. Bordering enchanting parklands and mere blocks from Sonoma’s historic town square, this venue seamlessly encapsulates the romance of wine country nuptials. The expansive ballroom, intimate patio, enchanting courtyard, and luxurious bridal suite provide diverse settings to tailor your wedding to perfection. Whether you envision an indoor gala or an outdoor soiree, Seven Branches ensures a captivating backdrop with a dash of creativity and gourmet flair.

seven branches, ramekins, culinary wedding experience, documentary wedding photographer, napa wedding
seven branches, ramekins, culinary wedding experience, documentary wedding photographer, napa wedding
seven branches, ramekins, culinary wedding experience, documentary wedding photographer, napa wedding

Silverado Resort

Napa Valley vineyards meet an elegant resort. The Grand Ballroom, adorned with stunning chandeliers and ambient lighting, sets the stage for a truly elegant atmosphere. For a peaceful and relaxed setting, the Vintner’s Court is ideal for more intimate occasions. The Mansion Gardens, surrounded by manicured lawns and ancient trees, offer an idyllic outdoor setting, while the Fairway Deck provides a serene backdrop for your special moment. At Silverado Resort, your wedding dreams become a reality with unmatched service and an array of breathtaking settings to choose from. If iconic palms, vineyards, and manicured lawns are your vibe, look no further. 

silverado resort, documentary wedding photographer, bay area wedding.
silverado resort, documentary wedding photographer, bay area wedding.
silverado resort, documentary wedding photographer, bay area wedding.

Stanly Ranch

A luxury resort/working ranch in the heart of Napa Valley. Ideal for couples seeking a touch of modern elegance in wine country for their wedding celebration. Dramatic landscapes, intense evening shadows, and texturally interesting interiors can all be found here. The suites for getting ready are elegant and chic with indoor-outdoor options. For a detailed photo journey of this venue see this recap from a recent wedding Stanly Ranch.

stanly ranch, documentary wedding photographer, modern wedding, napa wedding wine country wedding.
stanly ranch, documentary wedding photographer, modern wedding, napa wedding wine country wedding.

Ralston White Retreat

This historic Mill Valley retreat offers peaceful ambiance and stunning views for couples desiring a tranquil celebration. The venue is hidden away down a series of long winding roads. The wedding ceremony can be held in a majestic redwood grove. Located on a vast 43 acre plot you enjoy numerous spaces to gather before the grand home designed by one of San Francisco’s most prolific architects, Willis Polk, lends itself to your wedding reception.

San Francisco City Hall

An iconic landmark for both grandeur and intimacy. Its stunning architecture and spacious interiors are perfect for unforgettable wedding photos. Whether you choose a One-hour Wedding on the Mayor’s Balcony with stunning views of the Grand Staircase, or an Evening Wedding with dinner and dancing under the ornate dome of the Rotunda, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime being wed in this historic landmark. After the ceremony you will be perfectly positioned to access the rest of SF. Click here for a four part run down of a City Hall wedding turned cable car romp through the city. Click here for a Southern-Northern CA love story turned Mayor’s Balcony wedding, followed by a reception at Wayfare Tavern.

san francisco city hall, courthouse wedding, bay area documentary photographer, sf wedding

Terra Gallery

Terra Gallery & Event Venue, located in the heart of San Francisco, is an exceptional choice for wedding celebrations. Spanning two levels and encompassing 24,000 square feet, it offers a versatile space adaptable to any wedding theme or size. Its expansive area can be transformed to create multiple environments, from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations. The venue’s modern design and flexible layout allow for a personalized touch, ensuring each wedding is unique and memorable. Terra Gallery & Event Venue’s central location in San Francisco adds to its appeal, making it convenient for guests and providing a range of urban backdrops for stunning wedding photos. For those looking to host an unforgettable wedding, Terra Gallery presents an ideal blend of elegance, space, and adaptability.

terra gallery, sf art gallery wedding, sf bay area documentary photographer
terra gallery, sf art gallery wedding, sf bay area documentary photographer
terra gallery, sf art gallery wedding, sf bay area documentary photographer

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Exchange vows in the midst of a living museum, spanning 55 acres and showcasing an impressive array of 8,000 plant varieties from around the globe. The themed gardens, including the Garden of Fragrance, Moon Viewing Garden, Redwood Grove, Celebration Garden, and Zellerbach Garden of Perennials, serve as extremely special backdrops to a wedding. Additional open-air spaces, such as the Palm Terrace, Orchid Pavilion, and Conservatory Lawns, provide versatile options for your event rentals. It’s timeless and seasonal, embrace nature at the Botanical Garden for your wedding and you’ll have created memories that bloom for a lifetime.

san francisco botanical garden, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
san francisco botanical garden, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
san francisco botanical garden, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Roaring Camp

Roaring Camp Railroads in the Coastal Santa Cruz Mountains is for couples seeking a touch of nostalgia. This venue is home to a tourist railroad attraction that uses steam locomotives to bring guests up the mountain through a redwood forest. Choose from three distinctive ceremony sites: the exclusive Steam Train to Cathedral Grove, the expansive School House Lawn, or the rustic charm of Bret Harte Hall inside a Redwood barn. The celebration continues at Bret Harte Hall, a 6,000 square foot rustic barn with wrought-iron chandeliers, twinkling lights, and adaptable theatrical lighting. Your wedding at Roaring Camp is a magical journey through nature and history, where the rhythmic chug of a steam train and the embrace of ancient Redwoods create unforgettable moments. All aboard for a wedding experience that transcends time and captivates the heart.

roaring camp wedding, documentary wedding photographer
roaring camp wedding, documentary wedding photographer

The Gardens at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Heather Farm, Walnut Creek, provides an enchanting backdrop for couples seeking a timeless and versatile wedding venue. With 1000 blooming rose bushes enveloping the Gazebo, couples with a taste for classic romance can exchange vows in a storybook setting from spring through fall. The Meadow Lawn, offering panoramic garden views and an open, grassy expanse, serves as an idyllic spot for group photos or lawn games amidst the natural beauty of surrounding trees and shrubs. Versatility is key at The Gardens, accommodating a spectrum of wedding themes—from rustic chic to vintage country to modern garden glam. This venue offers a captivating journey from lush garden ceremonies to delightful cocktail hours and unforgettable banquet receptions.

the gardens at heather farm, wedding, documentary wedding photographer
the gardens at heather farm, wedding, documentary wedding photographer

The Brazilian Room

Boasting panoramic hillside and forest views, the Brazilian Room creates a captivating backdrop for couples seeking a romantic and picturesque setting for their special day. Steeped in history, the rich hardwood paneled, light filled building was gifted to the East Bay Regional Park District after being exhibited at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition. The large flagstone patio surrounded by meticulously landscaped gardens, provides a charming outdoor space for ceremonies, cocktail hours, or leisurely strolls. Inside, the Brazilian Room welcomes guests with hardwood floors, creating an elegant and versatile space for celebrations. The lovely Tilden Botanical Garden is also nearby and can be reserved for photos. 

brazilian room, tilden park, wedding, east bay wedding, east bay wedding photographer, jewish wedding, documentary wedding photographer
brazilian room, tilden park, wedding, east bay wedding, east bay wedding photographer, jewish wedding, documentary wedding photographer
brazilian room, tilden park, wedding, east bay wedding, east bay wedding photographer, jewish wedding, documentary wedding photographer
brazilian room, tilden park, wedding, east bay wedding, east bay wedding photographer, jewish wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Officer’s Club at the Presidio

The Presidio Officers’ Club emerges as an irresistible wedding venue, seamlessly blending historic grandeur with modern charm. Once a haven for Army brass, this iconic venue, the park’s oldest building, now offers a spectacular setting for weddings and celebrations, steeped in the rich history of San Francisco’s Presidio. Dating back to the late eighteenth century, the meticulously rehabilitated Officers’ Club showcases Spanish colonial revival architecture and reopened in 2014 as a premier park venue. With three distinct gathering spaces, including the grand Moraga Hall, loft-style Ortega Ballroom, and the open-air Hardie Courtyard, couples can choose an ambiance that perfectly suits their vision.

presidio officer's club wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
presidio officer's club wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
presidio officer's club wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Rockefeller Lodge

The Rockefeller Lodge, in San Pablo, with its rich history dating back to the Mexican Grant era, offers a unique and enchanting wedding venue. Its journey from a grand Colonial showplace to John D. Rockefeller’s hunting retreat, and even a Buddhist monastery, adds layers of intriguing character. Today, this venue dazzles with its serene garden atmosphere, elegant gazebo, market lighting, and outdoor firepit. The dedicated bar space and formal indoor area provide a perfect blend of charm and sophistication. With a history of hosting joyous events, and amenities like a cozy dressing room, historic fireplace, and relaxing waterfall, it’s an idyllic setting for any wedding, creating memories in a place where history and romance intertwine.

rockefeller lodge, san francisco presidio wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Log Cabin at the Presidio

Another Presidio gem, the Log Cabin dates back to the late 1930s when it served as a gathering place for military personnel and their families during World War II. Its rustic yet elegant architecture, featuring exposed wooden beams and a cozy fireplace, adds a warm component to what is often a cool evening in the Presidio. Wedding ceremonies often take place out on the lawn with a lovely view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

log cabin at the presidio wedding, presidio wedding, sf wedding, sf documentary photographer
log cabin at the presidio wedding, presidio wedding, sf wedding, sf documentary photographer
log cabin at the presidio wedding, presidio wedding, sf wedding, sf documentary photographer, sf golden hour portraits

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts, located at the eastern edge of the Presidio, was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, and adds a heft dose of grandeur to any wedding. Wedding ceremonies are allowed only under the rotunda, accommodating up to 250 people. It’s a timeless and iconic setting and conveniently located near areas of interest in the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. For J & D’s wedding pictured below we also made portraits in Golden Gate Park by the ferris wheel and California Academy of Sciences.

golden gate park wedding, palace of fine arts, sf wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer
golden gate park wedding, palace of fine arts, sf wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer, palace of fine arts wedding
golden gate park wedding, palace of fine arts, sf wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer, fort mason
golden gate park wedding, palace of fine arts, sf wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer

Stable Cafe

Stable Cafe, located in San Francisco’s Mission District, is a charming cafe/garden venue, a perfect haven for couples seeking an intimate wedding experience. Its rustic indoor space, lush garden, covered patio, and outdoor fireplace are all comfortable and lived in spaces that invite you to wine, dine, relax, and enjoy yourself. The venue seamlessly combines urban sophistication with rustic charm, offering versatility for smaller ceremony and reception packages or just the celebration after an off-site ceremony. Either way, its a special experience in a unique and comfortable space.

stable cafe, sf mission district wedding, stable cafe wedding, farm to table dinner reception, sf documentary wedding photographer
stable cafe, sf mission district wedding, stable cafe wedding, farm to table dinner reception, sf documentary wedding photographer
stable cafe, sf mission district wedding, stable cafe wedding, farm to table dinner reception, sf documentary wedding photographer
stable cafe, sf mission district wedding, stable cafe wedding, farm to table dinner reception, sf documentary wedding photographer

Ruth Bancroft Gardens

The Ruth Bancroft Garden, unassumingly placed in the heart of Walnut Creek, California, stands as an enchanting and distinctive wedding venue, offering a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Established by Ruth Bancroft, this 2.5-acre public dry garden boasts over 2,000 cacti, succulents, trees, and shrubs native to California, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, and Australia. Bright florals stand out against the gardens desert tones and there are surprises around every corner (perfect for portraits and guests alike). Indoor and outdoor spaces are available and flexibility with bar carts and amenities make this an exciting space to personalize.

ruth bancroft gardens, walnut creek wedding, documentary wedding photographer, botanical garden wedding
ruth bancroft gardens, walnut creek wedding, documentary wedding photographer, botanical garden wedding
ruth bancroft gardens, walnut creek wedding, documentary wedding photographer, botanical garden wedding

The City Club of San Francisco

The Stock Exchange Tower, now home to The City Club of San Francisco, presents a stunning and sophisticated wedding venue. Renowned for its architectural brilliance by Miller & Pflueger and adorned with Diego Rivera’s famed fresco, this space offers a blend of artistic history and modern elegance. Rivera’s mural, a captivating representation of California’s spirit, provides an unforgettable backdrop for any wedding. The building’s interior, a showcase of art deco style with intricate metalwork and luxurious materials like Belgian blue marble and Hungarian ash, creates an atmosphere of timeless romance. The grand staircase and detailed elevator doors add to the venue’s unique character, making it an ideal setting for couples seeking a venue with both historical significance and architectural beauty.

the city club san francisco, gay wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer
the city club san francisco, gay wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer
the city club san francisco, gay wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer

Oceano Hotel and Spa

This venue takes advantage of its position in Half Moon Bay and offers breathtaking ocean views, sunsets, and seaside wedding photography. The building’s architecture is reminiscent of a charming seaside village, with its shingled exteriors and coastal-inspired details providing a visually captivating atmosphere. The Grand Ballroom, adorned with golden chandeliers, and the Atrium, featuring an ethereal glass ceiling, create a magical ambiance for your celebration. Additionally, The Gate House, a rustic event space with French doors opening onto a scenic patio, and the Wedding Garden, a romantic seaside outdoor venue, enhance the charm of this Half Moon Bay destination for weddings.

Oceano hotel and spa wedding, documentary wedding photographer
Oceano hotel and spa wedding, documentary wedding photographer
Oceano hotel and spa wedding, documentary wedding photographer

The Golden Gate Club

The Golden Gate Club captivates with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, and Alcatraz Island. Nestled in the Presidio’s Main Post, this historic venue, once an enlisted men’s service club, now serves as a picturesque setting for weddings. Its original Mission architecture and surrounding landscapes create a memorable backdrop. From the Ventana Ballroom with bay views to the Cypress and Hawthorn Ballrooms and a picturesque courtyard, each space is uniquely stunning, providing an ideal setting for ceremonies and receptions.

the golden gate club, presidio, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer
the golden gate club, presidio, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer
the golden gate club, presidio, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding photographer, indian wedding

Eagle Ridge

Situated in the rolling hills of Gilroy, California, this Wedgewood property offers a charming and scenic backdrop for weddings with its lush golf course surroundings. Eagle Ridge boasts Colonial American architecture, spacious versatility, and vintage charm. With rustic features, a dramatic built-in bar, picturesque chandelier, and stunning backdrop of Santa Clara County hills, it offers historic elegance for an unforgettable celebration.

eagle ridge wedding, wedgewood wedding, sf wedding photographer, documentary wedding photographer

Hacienda de las Flores

Hacienda de la Flores in Moraga is an ideal Spanish-style estate for weddings. The Flower Mansion, with its open-air patio, central fountain, and beautiful gardens, exudes timeless charm. The Pavilion, featuring neo-classical architecture, Corinthian columns, and lush enclosed gardens, adds grandeur to celebrations for up to 200 guests. Originally owned by the Moraga Family, this venue seamlessly blends architectural styles, providing a natural and scenic backdrop for weddings. With meticulous interiors, beamed ceilings, and hardwood floors, Hacienda de la Flores offers a haven for nature-loving couples seeking an elegant yet serene setting.

hacienda de las flores, moraga wedding venue, sf documentary wedding photographer,
hacienda de las flores, moraga wedding venue, sf documentary wedding photographer,
hacienda de las flores, moraga wedding venue, sf documentary wedding photographer,

Gar Woods

Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Lake Tahoe offers a picturesque setting for weddings, with stunning lake views and a vibrant atmosphere. Renowned for their signature Wet Woody cocktail and a menu featuring hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood, it’s a perfect blend of elegance and fun. The venue’s casual sophistication, combined with breathtaking natural scenery, makes it an ideal choice for memorable celebrations. Its floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor seating enhance the scenic beauty, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

gar woods, lake tahoe wedding, documentary wedding photographer
gar woods, lake tahoe wedding, documentary wedding photographer
gar woods, lake tahoe wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Thomas Fogarty Winery

The Thomas Fogarty Winery nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, offers a unique and breathtaking wedding venue. Established by Dr. Thomas Fogarty, the estate spans approximately 350 acres, primarily dedicated to open space and vineyards of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This setting provides an exceptional backdrop for weddings, with its panoramic views high above Silicon Valley. The vineyards, organically farmed and meticulously cared for, add to the venue’s rustic charm and elegance. The preservation of the estate under the Williamson Act ensures that its natural beauty, encompassing Heritage Oak and Fir forests, remains untouched, offering a serene and picturesque setting for your special day. The combination of stunning views, lush vineyards, and a commitment to preserving the natural landscape makes the Fogarty Estate an ideal choice for couples seeking a unique and memorable wedding experience.

thomas fogarty winery, documentary wedding photographer
thomas fogarty winery, documentary wedding photographer

Shakespeare Garden

Behind fencing veiled by lush foliage, the Shakespeare Garden is a hidden gem of a location for a lush and intimate wedding ceremony. Upon entering the charming iron gate, guests are transported to a fairy-tale atmosphere. The garden’s kid-friendly and flexible nature allows for a variety of celebrations, ensuring that your wedding vision becomes a reality. The lush surroundings, blooming flowers, and serene atmosphere make the Shakespeare Garden an ideal backdrop for capturing the essence of love and commitment.

shakespeare garden wedding, golden gate park garden wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
shakespeare garden wedding, golden gate park garden wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
shakespeare garden wedding, golden gate park garden wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
shakespeare garden wedding, golden gate park garden wedding, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer

The Faculty Club, UC Berkeley

The Faculty Club is located in a lush part of the UC Berkeley campus just south of Strawberry Creek and east of the what is colloquially known as 4.0 Hill, where Freshman are advised that if they want a 4.0 they need to roll down the aforementioned hill. The club is old-timey, wood-paneled, scholarly lodge with big tables and heavy armchairs. The intimate patio space is dappled in shade and the adjoining lawn and garden space are lush with maples, camellias, and oaks. The Faculty Club offers an elegant and comfortable backdrop for capturing classic and refined wedding moments, not to mention the myriad of photo opportunities throughout the rest of campus.

uc berkeley faculty club wedding, uc wedding, berkeley wedding, documentary wedding photographer
uc berkeley faculty club wedding, uc wedding, berkeley wedding, documentary wedding photographer
uc berkeley faculty club wedding, uc wedding, berkeley wedding, documentary wedding photographer, dinner
uc berkeley faculty club wedding, uc wedding, berkeley wedding, documentary wedding photographer

University Club SF

Perched high in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown, this venue boasts stunning skyline views from its rooftop terrace. It’s always fun to capture the wedding party’s parade through downtown, sometimes via streetcars, to the venue. It has a true old-time club feel, with Audubon prints on the walls, dark paneling, and touches of velvet. The libraries are perfect for portraits, the cocktail and dancing spaces are convenient and flexible. I’ve seen the billiards room turned into a champagne tower cocktail bar taken some seriously romantic photos of newlyweds kissing with the reflection of the city in the background.

university club of san francisco, san francisco club wedding, club and hotel, sf documentary wedding photographer
university club of san francisco, san francisco club wedding, club and hotel, sf documentary wedding photographer, railcar wedding photo
university club of san francisco, san francisco club wedding, club and hotel, sf documentary wedding photographer
university club of san francisco, san francisco club wedding, club and hotel, sf documentary wedding photographer
university club of san francisco, san francisco club wedding, club and hotel, sf documentary wedding photographer, sf street wedding photography

Pizzaiolo

Located in the lively Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, Pizzaiolo is a culinary haven with a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it an ideal locale for romantic and local wedding scenes. Beyond its cozy courtyard adorned with twinkling lights and lush greenery, Pizzaiolo boasts a renowned culinary experience. The restaurant’s commitment to using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients ensures that each dish is a flavorful masterpiece, adding a delectable touch to your celebration. With its dedication to quality, Pizzaiolo promises an enchanting blend of delectable flavors and an inviting environment, setting the stage for a wedding celebration that delights all the senses.

Pizzaiolo, temescal, oakland, wedding, documentary wedding photographer, east bay wedding venue
Pizzaiolo, temescal, oakland, wedding, documentary wedding photographer, east bay wedding venue
Pizzaiolo, temescal, oakland, wedding, documentary wedding photographer, east bay wedding venue
Pizzaiolo, temescal, oakland, wedding, documentary wedding photographer, east bay wedding venue

Gallery 308

Overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, Gallery 308 at Fort Mason offers a versatile event space with historic military architecture. Originally host to maritime trade, this venue boasts panoramic views, an open floor plan, and state-of-the-art lighting, creating a captivating backdrop for weddings. Meticulously rehabilitated by Jensen architects, known for SFMOMA’s rooftop garden, Gallery 308 provides an iconic setting, blending historic charm with contemporary elegance for couples seeking a unique and memorable celebration. A unique and iconic setting for capturing eclectic and historic wedding memories.

fort mason wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer
fort mason wedding, sf documentary wedding photographer

Olema House

Nestled in the heart of Marin County, Olema House seamlessly blends rustic wilderness with a modern-eclectic style. With idyllic views of Olema Creek, the Inverness Ridge, and Mt. Wittenberg, Olema House’s twenty-two guest rooms and two cottages offer thoughtful and elegant accommodations, providing a perfect blend of comfort and sophistication. The venue’s tranquil, verdant surroundings bring the magic and natural wonder of Northern California to life, making it an ideal setting for a romantic celebration.

olema house wedding, documentary wedding photographer
olema house wedding, documentary wedding photographer
olema house wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Stonetree

Stonetree Estate is an enchanting retreat offering sweeping views of rolling hills, parks, and wildlife that create a captivating backdrop for weddings. Its elegantly rustic ceremony site seamlessly complements various wedding decor styles, ensuring every celebration is truly spectacular. Couples are drawn to this venue for its jaw-dropping views, rustic-yet-elegant interior styling, and a spacious terrace ideal for cocktail hour. The lush ivy wall, grand windows, and well-manicured garden provide the perfect canvas for stunning photo opportunities. Conveniently accessible from Napa and Sonoma Counties, Stonetree Estate is a charismatic destination that attracts couples from all over seeking a classic Northern California wedding.

stonetree wedding, documentary wedding photographer
stonetree wedding, documentary wedding photographer
stonetree wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Deer Park Villa

Deer Park Villa offers a fairytale-like setting with its wooded pathways, charming bridges, and cascading waterfalls, creating a magical environment for dreamy wedding vignettes. The highlight of the venue is Grandpa Joe’s Grove, where couples can exchange vows surrounded by the magical Redwood Forest. The Redwood Grove, Redwood Deck, and indoor facility provide versatile spaces for wedding receptions. The venue also features a historic Bridal Cottage, adding a touch of vintage elegance to the experience.

deer park villa wedding, documentary wedding photographer
deer park villa wedding, documentary wedding photographer
deer park villa wedding, documentary wedding photographer
deer park villa wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Leal Vineyards

Set in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley wine region, Leal Vineyards offers vineyard views and Mediterranean-inspired gardens, providing a romantic and sun-kissed backdrop for celebration amidst picturesque grapevines. Set across 50 private acres, the venue provides a captivating backdrop for celebrations year-round, accommodating up to 500 guests. The rustic architectural charm creates an unforgettable atmosphere, while on-site accommodations in three charming homes offer an immersive escape amidst the rolling vineyards.

leal vineyards, indian wedding, documentary wedding photographer
leal vineyards, indian wedding, documentary wedding photographer
leal vineyards, indian wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Fay Park

Located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood, Fay Park is a sweet and intimate pocket park tucked away among the Victorians. The garden park has three terraces, connected by stairs and ramps, which climb the hillside for half a city block. The top most terrace has two latticed wooden gazebos that overlook the Bay. Fay Park is just a block away from the famous Lombard Street and a bunch of restaurants and bars along Polk and Hyde Streets for a reception.

Fay park, russian hill, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
Fay park, russian hill, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Firehouse

The Firehouse venue at Fort Mason offers a picturesque and versatile setting for weddings. Overlooking the bay waters, its windows provide a picturesque backdrop, complemented by adjacent patios offering unparalleled vistas of Angel Island and Alcatraz. This one-of-a-kind venue features fully carpeted interiors with track lighting, creating an inviting ambiance for small weddings and receptions. The Firehouse’s unique appeal extends to its spacious setting, allowing for the inclusion of food trucks and cocktail carts outside. As the sun sets, the venue transforms during golden hour, offering a delightful atmosphere against the iconic backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge.

firehouse at fort mason wedding, fort mason wedding, sf wedding photographer, documentary wedding photographer
firehouse at fort mason wedding, fort mason wedding, sf wedding photographer, documentary wedding photographer, golden hour bay views
firehouse at fort mason wedding, fort mason wedding, sf wedding photographer, documentary wedding photographer, cocktail bar

Oz Farm

Situated in the serene wilderness of Mendocino County, Oz Farm encompasses acres of organic farmland and redwood forests. Ceremony sites include the serene Redwood Grove or scenic Tai Chi Hill. Site facilities include the Barn, the communal gathering spot of the Community House & Bath House, and various accommodations such as Tiny House, Tai Chi, Newbird, Rainbow, Springhouse, Sunset Yurt, Tower, and Queen’s Quarters. Indulge in the wood-fire hot tub, make use of the pizza oven and firepit, and take a refreshing swim in the Garcia River. Wander through on-site trails, explore lush gardens and orchards, all within the tranquil ambiance of Oz Farm. Everything is as fantastical as it sounds and makes for a truly immersive wedding experience.

Barndiva

Located in the heart of wine country in Healdsburg, this upscale restaurant boasts a charming rustic barn surrounded by rolling vineyards and blooming gardens. Immerse yourself in the rustic elegance of a Barndiva wedding, where heritage trees set the stage for a charming ceremony, followed by cocktails in the art gallery, dinner in the illuminated studio garden, and dancing in the gallery into the night. Barndiva promises seasonally inspired menus using locally sourced ingredients and you can expect high quality food service since it’s coming from a Michelin-star restaurant!

barndiva healdsburg, sonoma county wedding, documentary wedding photographer
barndiva healdsburg, sonoma county wedding, documentary wedding photographer
barndiva healdsburg, sonoma county wedding, documentary wedding photographer

The SF Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers stands as a historic gem within Golden Gate Park, boasting five exhibit spaces adorned with exotic plants and flowers from all corners of the world. Each gallery showcases not only botanical wonders but also features custom metalwork and architectural beauty throughout the building. The white greenhouse is a dramatic feature and dresses, flowers, and faces pop against its background. Added up-lighting and ample space make this a special and grand venue.

san francisco conservatory of flowers, golden gate park, documentary wedding photographer
san francisco conservatory of flowers, golden gate park, documentary wedding photographer
san francisco conservatory of flowers, golden gate park, documentary wedding photographer

MacArthur Place

Set in the heart of Sonoma on a historic 19th century estate, this venue encompasses historic charm with beautiful gardens, centuries-old trees, and vine-covered walkways. It’s a romantic and picturesque backdrop for a quaint wine country wedding for anywhere from 40 to 100 guests. Event room blocks rentals allow you and your guests to truly relax and stay awhile in this top-rated hotel experience. Indulge in the culinary delights offered by the rustic-chic restaurant, where locally sourced ingredients create a farm-to-table dining experience.

macarthur place, sonoma county, wine country wedding, documentary wedding photograher
macarthur place, sonoma county, wine country wedding, documentary wedding photograher
macarthur place, sonoma county, wine country wedding, documentary wedding photograher

Exploratorium

Unconventional and interactive. Located along San Francisco’s waterfront, the Exploratorium offers a unique blend of science, art, and stunning Bay views. The Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace boasts panoramic views of the city and Bay, offering an enchanting outdoor terrace for ceremonies or receptions. The East Gallery, featuring captivating views, hosts a dynamic life-sciences exhibit collection, adding a touch of natural beauty to your special day. It’s an innovative and contemporary setting for couples seeking a creative wedding venue and will leave your guests gasping with childlike wonder.

exploratorium, sf pier wedding, documentary wedding photographer
exploratorium, sf pier wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Saint Ignatius Church

Saint Ignatius Church is located on the University of San Francisco campus. As one of the city’s largest churches it is a prominent landmark and known for it its mix of Italian Renaissance and Baroque elements. This majestic church boasts ornate detailing, a grand dome, and intricate stained glass, making it an exquisite backdrop for wedding photography.

saint ignatius church wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding
saint ignatius church wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding
saint ignatius church wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding

Julia Morgan Ballroom

Located on the 15th floor of the Merchants Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco, the Julia Morgan Ballroom combines a timeless Beaux-Arts interior with modern amenities. It’s a stunning and versatile event space that is well-equipped to handle any kind of event, especially weddings. Photos in this space are rich, sophisticated, lux, and opulent.

julia morgan ballroom, merchants exchange building, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
julia morgan ballroom, merchants exchange building, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer
julia morgan ballroom, merchants exchange building, sf wedding, documentary wedding photographer, fine dining

OVY Camp

Located in the Santa Cruz mountains, deep in the redwoods, OVY camp is a traditional camp ground that makes for an untraditional wedding venue. On site cabins accommodate guests and day of getting-ready festivities, ceremonies can take place in the redwood grove or ampitheatre, and receptions are often held in the Main Hall. With access to a pool, an extensive network of trails, BBQs and plenty of recreational space, a wedding weekend here is sure to be one to write home about.

OVY camp wedding, documentary wedding photographer, santa cruz wedding
OVY camp wedding, documentary wedding photographer, santa cruz wedding, food truck
OVY camp wedding, documentary wedding photographer, santa cruz wedding

The Stern Grove Clubhouse (Trocadero)

Built in 1892 the Trocadero roadhouse was a lively gathering space that offered dancing and gambling at roulette tables. Sounds like a party, right? As of this writing (1/2024) Trocadero is unfortunately out of commission since it was damaged by a fallen tree in March 2023. However, if you’re in luck and looking far enough ahead, perhaps this could be your opportunity to party like its 1986 (when Trocadero was renovated last).

stern grove clubhouse, trocadero, roadhouse wedding, documentary wedding photographer, Stick-Eastlake architectural style, 19th century roadhouse
stern grove clubhouse, trocadero, roadhouse wedding, documentary wedding photographer, Stick-Eastlake architectural style, 19th century roadhouse
stern grove clubhouse, trocadero, roadhouse wedding, documentary wedding photographer, Stick-Eastlake architectural style, 19th century roadhouse

Trione Vineyards

Trione Vineyards cultivates more than 650 vineyard acres in Russian River, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast. You are truly in good hands when it comes to wine.. and weddings here. The Old Stone Building at Trione is straight out of a fairytale wedding, it’s texturally interesting and rustic and grand, making for a beautiful backdrop for ceremony and reception alike. Wine and dine like kings and queens as you enjoy drinking from two redwood service bars on each floor of the Old Stone Building.

Lucie Stern Community Center

Constructed in 1934, the Spanish Mediterranean-style Lucie Stern Community Center (LSCC) is a charming complex in Palo Alto. Home to the City of Palo Alto’s Recreation Department, as well as a Community Theatre and Children’s Theatre, it offers a versatile venue for weddings. The LSCC provides a spacious and well-lit ballroom, creating an inviting atmosphere for both intimate ceremonies and elegant receptions. With ample garden and courtyard space, it’s an ideal setting for cocktail hours, reception festivities, and capturing timeless portraits. The picturesque surroundings make the Lucie Stern Community Center a captivating California backdrop, ensuring a delightful and memorable celebration for couples and their guests.

lucie stern community center, palo alto wedding, documentary wedding photographer
lucie stern community center, palo alto wedding, documentary wedding photographer
lucie stern community center, palo alto wedding, documentary wedding photographer

Overwhelmed?

The Bay Area boasts an impressive array of wedding venues, each offering its own unique charm. From lush gardens to historic landmarks, the options are as diverse as the region itself. As a wedding photographer, I’ve witnessed the magic of these venues firsthand, and I can confidently say that no matter your style or vision, there’s a perfect Bay Area venue waiting to host your special day. Please reach out if any of these photos have piqued your interest and you would like to see more from a specific gallery!


How to Get Married at the University Club of San Francisco

How to Plan and Capture a Stunning University Club of San Francisco Wedding: An Extended Guide

Planning a wedding at the University Club of San Francisco is an opportunity to create an event that’s as rich in history and culture as it is in beauty. This enhanced guide aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the University Club of San Francisco as a wedding venue, highlighting not just its beauty but also the practical steps to ensure your wedding day is as picturesque and memorable as possible.

Step 1: Dive into the Venue’s Rich History

The University Club’s Heritage: Originally a meeting place for alumni from prestigious universities, the University Club has become a celebrated spot for social and intellectual gatherings. The building’s Italianate architecture, designed by Walter Bliss & William Faville and completed in 1909, echoes the grandeur of the Gilded Age. Its location on Nob Hill offers sweeping views, making it a prized landmark in San Francisco.

Step 2: Plan Your Wedding Day

Starting the Day: Choose between getting ready at the Club itself or at nearby luxury hotels like the Fairmont, Stanford, or Mark Hopkins. Consider the ambiance and photo opportunities each location offers to start your day perfectly.

Step 3: Capture the First Look and Pre-Ceremony Moments

Iconic Photo Opportunities: Utilize the University Club’s staircase and balcony for breathtaking first look photos. Nearby hotels like the Mark Hopkins provide unique backdrops, such as the Top of the Mark’s panoramic views or the Fairmont’s pristine gardens.

Cityscape Portraits: Embrace the urban charm of San Francisco for your portraits. Capture moments on the street trolley, with the Bay Bridge or the Trans America building in the background, or near the majestic Grace Cathedral. Some of my favorite moments are simply the in-between moments when we are moving from spot A to B. Something about hearing a chorus of “Congratulations!” from strangers as you move throughout the city is really an exciting and energizing way to kick off the wedding day.

Step 4: The Library Session

A Literary Backdrop: The University Club’s library, with its rare books collection, offers a unique and intellectual setting for photography. The shelves of historic volumes and the quiet ambiance of the library add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your wedding photos.

Step 5: The Ceremony

A Fourth Floor Affair: The fourth-floor space, with its elegant chandeliers and floral decorations, provides a romantic setting for your vows.

Step 6: Enjoying the Cocktail Hour and Reception

Exploring the Club: Transition to the cocktail hour on the fourth floor’s balcony, followed by dinner on the third floor. Cocktail hour can flow into the pool room as well, where I’ve seen the pool table transformed into a dining table, complete with a champagne tower. These locations offer an intimate speakeasy vibe and stunning city views, perfect for memorable photos.

The Vibe: Picture high ceilings, big windows, walls hung salon style with taxidermy, old prints of San Francisco, and Audubon imagery. The interior is fairly dark with dark leather and dark green stained glass windows representing different universities, but the big picture windows bring the city life and light in both during the day and night.

Step 7: Mastering the Venue for Photography

Photography Challenges: Be prepared to work with the mixed lighting of the Club. Understanding how to use different lighting techniques is key to capturing the mood and ambiance of the venue. The interior light fixtures are often on during weddings and provide a warm ambience to the space.

Step 8: Evening Celebrations

Dinner and Dancing: The spacious layout of the University Club facilitates smooth transitions between different parts of the event, from dinner to dancing, allowing for a seamless photographic narrative. Throughout the night we capture numerous spaces as they come alive with different wedding-goers moving through them.

Step 9: Coordinating Your Day

The Role of the Coordinator: Rely on the expertise of Yvonne, the in-house coordinator, to streamline your wedding day flow, ensuring a stress-free experience.

Final Recommendations

Why Choose the University Club: With its blend of historical charm, architectural beauty, and modern urban energy, the University Club of San Francisco stands out as an ideal wedding venue. The variety of backdrops, from the rare books in the library to the panoramic city views, ensures a wedding day filled with unique and stunning photographs.

university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, bride
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, the fairmont hotel
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, fairmont hotel
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, fairmont hotel
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, sf skyline
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf, wedding party
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf, wedding party
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf, wedding party, muni wedding
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf, muni sf wedding
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, downtown sf skyline
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, hotel portrait
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, club wedding, pool, billiards,
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, club wedding, pool, billiards, classy cocktail
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, club wedding, pool, billiards, classy cocktail
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, transamerica pyramid
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, transamerica pyramid
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, transamerica pyramid
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, golden hour, sunset portraits
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, band at wedding,
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, dancing
university club of san francisco wedding, documentary wedding photographer, sf wedding, sf wedding photography, dancing


Essential tips for having a dog at your wedding in the Bay Area

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen it all, from furry friends as ring bearers to four-legged performers stealing the show. If you’re thinking of including your beloved pooch in your big day, here are 8 things you should keep in mind to ensure it’s a tail-wagging success – for all involved!

1. Plan, plan, plan: Before you decide to bring your furry friend to your wedding, make sure your venue is pet-friendly and arrange for a designated handler to look after them during the ceremony and reception. Also consider your guests and determine if anyone might be scared or allergic! Consider logistics such as their transportation and access for their handler for their drop off and pick up. 

Bridge and groom in tuxedo posing with small black and white dog, documentary style photo, botanical garden wedding

2. Be honest with yourself: Not all dogs will do well at large, bustling events like weddings – and that’s ok! If your dog becomes easily agitated or frightened, it may be best to leave them at home. Perhaps they are better suited for an intimate photo shoot with just your photographer!

wedding guest couple posing with wedding dogs, cocker spaniel, black and white dogs, formal wedding, sonoma county wedding

3. Dress them to impress: You want your dog to look as good as you do on your wedding day! Make sure their outfit is comfortable and doesn’t impede their movement. A simple bandana or bow tie will do the trick. Avoid accoutrement that might end up falling off and getting gnawed on.

documentary photo of wedding couple dressed in all white posing with small terrier dog, country wedding, outdoor wedding, documentary photo style, sonoma county wedding

4. Hydration is key: Weddings can be long, tiring events, and your dog will need plenty of water to stay hydrated. Make sure you have a water bowl readily available for them throughout the day. Additionally you will want to prep their handler with their food, treats, doggie bags, and perhaps even some toys. 

5. Never leave them alone: Your dog should never be left alone during your wedding, even for a few minutes. They may become anxious or disoriented without you there, and could end up running off or causing a disturbance. Again, make sure someone is aware of their responsibilities regarding your beloved dog!

bay area Indian wedding, cultural wedding, dog at wedding, dress up dog at wedding, bay area documentary photographer, bride and groom with dog candid photo

6. Accidents happen: Accidents can happen, even with the most well-behaved dogs. The last thing you want to deal with is a less than savory stain at a historic venue or on you or your guests’ outfit. Make sure you have cleaning supplies handy in case your dog has an accident during the ceremony or reception.

dog at wedding, dog walking down aisle, ring bearer dog, formal wedding attire, documentary style wedding photographer, bay are wedding, san francisco wedding photographer, large dog at wedding

7. Capture the moment: Make sure your photographer gets some shots of your furry friend on your big day. After all, you’ve put in all the effort to make sure they are well taken care of and smiling! 

8. Have fun: The most important thing is to make sure everyone, including your furry friend, is having a good time and no one is stressed out or uncomfortable. Have a backup plan with the handler in case something goes awry or the pooch needs a rest from the excitement of the event!

Incorporating your dog into your wedding can be a wonderful way to add a special touch to your big day, but it’s essential to be prepared and ensure that both you and your furry friend are having fun. By keeping these eight things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a memorable and stress-free wedding experience for everyone involved.

Lesbian wedding couple with two dogs at wedding, dogs in rainbow bandanas, Olema house wedding, Bay area Olema House wedding photographer, documentary wedding photographer.

2022 Hazel Photo Weddings Year in Review

I’m going to “kick” this off by saying that 2022 kicked my butt. There was a metric ton of pent-up demand for live events this past year.

In 2022 I photographed:

37 weddings,

3 elopements,

A baby naming,

3 multi-day corporate conferences,

5 corporate parties,

3 family sessions,

6 engagement sessions,

and 150 headshots.

I’m incredibly grateful to every last client I worked with, and every person who referred me to clients. To be busy again after the pandemic, has made me feel alive and useful. This was the best year my business has seen to date. It was also the queerest year of weddings I have photographed!

Most of my photo work transpired in the greater San Francisco Bay Area… from Oakland to Orinda to Walnut Creek, from Napa to Calistoga to Mendocino from Sonoma to Healdsburg, from Gilroy to Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay, from The Financial District to Civic Center to the Presidio, from San Rafael to Mill Valley to Bodega Bay.

I did have the chance to travel to Lake Tahoe, Mendocino, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Jamaica to make photographs for clients as well.

I haven’t had time to share very much of the work I made this year, because I was so busy making it. In this coming January and February I am looking forward to reliving 2022 and updating my portfolio with some of the beauty I witnessed this past year.

A few wedding clients this year told me, “We don’t want any posed portraits. Just ‘documentary style’ photos of our wedding day.” I loved those opportunities to turn my entire focus to storytelling images. I felt seen, like my clients understood what I was up to, and wanted me to lean into that strength on their wedding day.

On the home front, our 2-year-old started preschool and brought us on vacation to Japan and Mexico. We bought an old house in Berkeley and have begun to fill it with art, and surround it with gardens.

Venues :
Carneros Resort
Stanly Ranch
San Francisco City Hall
University Club of San Francisco
Triple S Ranch
Ralston White Retreat
Sausalito Women’s Club
Jamaica Inn
City Club of San Francisco
Shakespeare Garden @ Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Club @ The Presidio
Log Cabin @ The Presidio
Beltane Ranch
Hacienda de las Flores
Cornerstone Sonoma
Oceano Resort
The Brazilian Room
The Legion of Honor
Leo’s Oysters
Zaytuna College
Rockefeller Lodge
Grace Cathedral
Ruth Bancroft Garden
The Gardens at Heather Farm
The Secret Gardens, Bodega Bay
Seven Branches Sonoma
Bell Valley Retreat
Eagle Ridge
Gar Woods
Thomas Fogarty Winery
Muir Beach Overlook
Pizzaiolo
Wayfare Tavern
Terra Gallery

Planners:
Boheme Events
Taylor Rae Weddings
Downey Street Weddings
Sachi & Maja
Emily Coyne Events
Limelight Productions
Showrunner Events
Riley Loves Lulu
Sabrina & Co.
Small Shindigs
Dreams on a Dime
MK Event Planning
2 Friends Events


Sutro Baths Engagement Photos

This is part 1 of 2 of an epic engagement session spread between Sutro Baths and Ocean Beach. Marie, Charlie and I met near San Francisco’s Sutro Baths for their engagement session. We started in the shade at Point Lobos where we made portraits amongst the cypress while the sun was still a bit higher in the sky. Then we made our way down the hillside stopping along the way in good light until we reached the rocky shore of the Pacific Ocean. Down on the rocks we were joined by birds and ocean spray, which made for some majestic images. Satisfied with our time during “golden hour” at Sutro Baths, we headed over to Ocean Beach for “blue hour.” click here for the Ocean Beach engagement session photos.


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google