Weddings, Halls, Wedding Receptions & Special Events in Sausalito
This article started out as a question in our "Ask Annie" section, but we realized that the topic merited creating a complete new page.
Q: We're considering having our wedding and wedding reception in Sausalito. I worry that I may miss some good spots to consider. What are some of the options?
A: There are a wide range of facilities in Sausalito that can be rented out for wedding receptions and other events. We have dedicated pages covering Churches in Sausalito, Hotels in Sausalito, Halls and Meeting Places in Sausalito and our collection of Restaurants with Banquet Facilities.
Sausalito has a number of beautiful parks that can be lovely wedding locations, some with gazebos or other special settings for the ceremony. You can contact the Sausalito City Parks and Recreation Dept. for information on park rentals, and you can rent just one section of a larger park rather than having to pay for the entire facility.
Q: Any advice from a native on the best way to work with local venues?
A: The best advice about Wedding planning in Sausalito is true everywhere: once you know your budget, the size of the wedding and your calendar date, it's all about how you feel when you do a site visit:
-- Is this where you want to get married? Do you like the setting and view (if any)? This is a day you'll remember your entire life and it's not a time to compromise and settle for what you can get.
-- The chemistry between you and the coordinator at the facility. This seems like a secondary factor, but it can mnake the difference between a dream wedding and a day of disappointments.
Always visit the facility personally before you commit, meet the person who will actually be in charge the day of your event (not just the person's boss or assistant), and watch how thoroughly and efficiently they handle communication with you. Are they well organized? On time? Do they interrupt their meeting with you to take calls from other people? If they don't return your calls to set up a visit or treat you with anything but courtesy, it suggests there will be problems later.
Annie's sad story: One of our editors once planned a wedding reception in San Francisco, but the facility manager was on vacation the day pf the ceremony. Someone else managed the event, whuich was held in a major hotel.
Juat as the bride was about to make her entrance, three busloads of tourists were led through the event venue, some of them stopping to take pictures of this American cultural display. Inside the music was playing and people wondered why she had not appeared. Outside she was engulfed in a mob of strangers as it surged around her en route to the buses.
Like we say, make sure the person you work with will be on site that day and has the authority to make and keep their commitments.
It's your reception. It doesn't matter how exclusive the property is or how prestigious the address. They're not doing you a favor by hosting your wedding and getting paid for it, and you are the customer whose wishes should be central to everything about the day. If something about the people or the place doesn't feel right, keep looking.
Here are some of the top "Picture Postcard" places for weddings and receptions in Sausalito:
Cavallo Point Lodge -- Classic buildings converted from beautifully designed old officers quarters at a 19th century military base, gourmet restaurant, view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Christ Episcopal Church, 70 Santa Rosa Ave. Sausalito CA 94965 415-332-1539 Campbell Hall and Gardens are a lovely spot for weddings.
Empress Cruises & Events of Sausalito at Clipper Yacht Harbor, 310 Harbor Drive, Sausalito CA 94965; Offices at 3020 Bridgeway Blvd. Suite 271, Sausalito CA 94965, Toll Free number 888-922-4898. They offer wedding and rehearsal dinner cruises.
Horizons -- Bay view restaurant with great views of San Francisco and an outside deck over the water.
Ondine -- Upstairs in the same building as Horizons, this elegant restaurant is used only for special events and has fabulous views.
Poggio -- This elegant Italian restaurant, built into the Casa Madrona Hotel, has a number of very elegant private dining rooms of various sizes. We've hosted events there and were very pleased with the management and the service. (Full disclosure: After we were pleased by their service to us as customers, Poggio subsequently became a charter sponsor of this website.)
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 180 Harrison Ave. Sausalito CA 94965 , has a beautiful old building on the hill with lovely views from some areas. 415-332-1765
Sausalito Presbyterian Church, 112 Bulkley Ave. Sausalito CA 94965 is on the hill above downtownh Sausalito and has some terrific views. 415-332-3790
The Spinnaker -- Fabulous views from this elegant restaurant, and they have a large banquet facility.
And, since you're already here, check out our page about Honeymoons in Sausalito.