As a Wedding Photographer based in the Bay Area, I am constantly being asked for advice when planning a wedding in the area. There are lots of “perks” to being a part of the marriage industry, but I think my favorite is getting to know the ins and outs of wedding planning.
Being a local, I am a bit of a self-proclaimed Bay Area Wedding Professional. Want to learn more? Make sure to keep reading.
LOCATING THE BAY AREA
If you don’t know much about the San Fransico Bay Area in California, here is a brief run-down.
It is located in Northern California. It runs across San Fransisco and into surrounding counties. According to VISIT CALIFORNIA’S website
, “San Fransisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities…” It is home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, exciting Cable Cars, and colorful Victorian houses.
Just north of San Fransisco, you will find the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. These are known for large vineyards and incredible wine.
BAY AREA WEDDING: NEED TO KNOW’S
Without a doubt, weddings are expensive. However, getting married in the Bay Area will cost a pretty penny. According to WEDDING WIRE
, a wedding in this location averages about $40,000. It is actually the second most expensive place to get married.
Although money is a big deal, don’t let the price scare you too much. More often than not, you don’t need to pay everything upfront.
Most vendors allow you to split up payments and/or allow you to pay a deposit in order to save your date. If you are looking to save money, try booking a Friday or a Sunday.
WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE & BOOKING WEDDING VENDORS
A fun fact that not a lot of people know is that couples in the Bay Area get married relatively late compared the to rest of the United States. The average age to get married in the USA is around 27 years old. The average in the Bay Area is about 30 years old.
- Choose a Venue
- Decide on a Wedding Date
- Lock Down Wedding Photographer
My advice to you is to start planning early. Most venues have every Saturday full a year in advance. To ensure that you are able to book the venue and vendors you want, I recommend beginning planning at least a year and a half before your wedding’s date.
If you aren’t picky about a particular date, instead of choosing a day to get married first, check with your dream venue and to see what openings they have available. If you do it in this order, you will definitely be able to book the venue you want.
Be aware that venues in the Bay Area sometimes host several weddings on the same day. Make sure to see if you will be the only wedding happening on your date.
Most wedding vendors ESPECIALLY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS, are booked over a year in advance. If there has been someone you have been eyeing on Instagram, send them a message! The sooner you reach out, the more likely they will have an opening for your special day.
NOW TRENDING FOR BAY AREA WEDDINGS
A lot of couples in 2021 have been ditching the large ceremony and just getting married at San Francisco City Hall
. Once they are married, they hold a larger wedding somewhere in the near future.
This option is amazing if you need those benefits or are eager to get married quickly. You can easily get married at city hall, receive some amazing portraits, and also have a fun party in the future.
Because this is a wedding photographer’s guide to a Bay Area wedding, it is safe to say that I love the area. Like anything else, it has its pros and cons, and I love that there is such a variety of venues and cultures that I am able to experience and celebrate.
LOOKING FOR A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE BAYAREA: CONTACT ME