Ahh, the Bay Area—made up of the nine counties that border the San Francisco Bay (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma)—is truly a wedding paradise!
If you’re considering getting married in the Bay Area, you’re making an excellent choice! Whether you’re a Golden Gate City local or you’re planning a destination wedding, this place has so much to offer when it comes to tying the knot.
The real answer is that—surprise surprise—there is no SINGLE best time of year. The time of year you choose for your Bay Area wedding, depends on plenty of factors. Including, of course, your vision for the big day!
While we can’t pinpoint a single day, or even month, we have broken down some important factors to consider when choosing the best time of year to get married in the Bay Area.
The Bay Area is known for having fairly nice weather year-round, so really the whole calendar is open for the wedding season. Temperatures throughout the year range from about 45F – 73F, but typically stick closer to the 55F – 65F range.
But it’s important to note that the weather varies A LOT depending on the area, no matter the time of year. First of all, the weather in San Francisco can be quite different from the weather in the rest of the Bay Area. San Francisco, and anywhere along the coast, is typically cooler and foggier. The fog that SF is known for isn’t as prominent once you move inland towards the rest of the counties in the Bay Area. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, the fog can definitely make for some stunning and unique photos!
The rest of the Bay Area is typically warmer than the city of San Francisco and varies more in temperature. The Bay Area itself is basically made up of a bunch of different microclimates, so you can drive for 30 minutes and feel like you’ve entered a whole other world. If you’re considering getting married in the East Bay or Wine Country, like Sonoma or the Napa Valley, the ‘prime’ wedding season extends a little longer than in the city. To be honest, in these beautiful regions, it’s tough to go wrong!
Winters in the Bay Area are mild, with average temperatures around 51F – 55F, but can be quite wet. The rainy season is from November to March, so if you’re planning to get married in San Francisco or the rest of the Bay Area in winter, be ready to look for indoor options for your reception and ceremony. It can get a bit chilly, too, so be ready to bundle if you plan to spend any extended time spent outdoors.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing indoor wedding venues in the Bay Area, like San Francisco City Hall or Fort Mason Center’s Gallery 308. And a little rain on your wedding day isn’t the end of the world as long as you’re prepared!
No matter where you go, it’s pretty common for winter to be a slower time of year for tourism, events, and weddings. So, if you are already planning to have an indoor wedding in the Bay Area and aren’t too bothered by the weather, a winter wedding could help ensure that you can obtain your top choices for venues and vendors. Plus, it might be more affordable. You’re welcome, honeymoon fund!
Spring can be a really beautiful time to get married in the Bay Area. Especially May, which tends to be reliably dry enough for an outdoor ceremony. The average temperature in the spring months usually sits between 57℉ – 63℉ during the day—nice and mild!
You may also want to consider other activities, especially if you have guests traveling from out of town for your wedding. The Bay Area is big on sports, so there are plenty of options to catch a game in the spring! The San Jose Sharks hockey season typically goes until March, the Golden State Warriors basketball season often runs until April, and the San Francisco Giants’ and Oakland A’s baseball seasons start in April. If you’re sports fans, a spring wedding could be a home run! See what I did there??
Summers in the Bay Area are dry and warm—July being the driest. Because of this, you’ve probably guessed that a lot of people think that summer is the best season to get married in the Bay Area. It gets warm, but it rarely gets TOO hot, and the mornings and evenings are typically cooler year-round, even in the summer months.
Of course, this also means it’s the busy season. San Francisco had a record-breaking year for tourism in 2018 with 25.8 million visitors, and plenty of couples are eager to tie the knot in the Golden Gate City or beautiful wine regions of the Bay Area in the summer. This means there might be more competition for venues, vendors, and hotels for those traveling from out of town.
The good news is that there is no shortage of amazing wedding venues, wedding planners, bridal boutiques, wedding photographers, caterers, florists, hair and makeup artists and more in the area. So even during the busy months, pulling off your dream wedding in the Bay Area is no problem!
Fall weddings are really popular, too! While there’s a slightly higher chance of rain, the weather in September and October is quite reliable and it can be a really gorgeous time of year. Actually, September is typically the warmest month of the year in San Fran! They don’t call it a “second summer” for nothing 😉
According to Wedding Wire, October has been the most popular month for weddings for the last few years. Move over, June—there’s a new kid in town!
Fall is also football season, so San Francisco 49ers fans may be able to catch a game if you’re having guests in from out of town.
Fall is also an amazing time for wine and food lovers in the Bay Area. It’s Harvest Season in Napa Valley, so it can be a bit busier and more expensive at this time, but things tend to start quieting down a bit in November.
So, when is the best time of year to get married in the Bay Area?
It’s really up to you and what works best for your special day! Each couple, situation and wedding are totally unique, and it’s tough to go wrong in this beautiful and vibrant region of California!
Looking for more wedding inspiration? Check out these 10 incredible California wine country wedding venues!
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in San Francisco or the Bay Area, let’s chat! I would be happy to answer any questions you have about getting married in California and would love to capture all of the special moments of your big day.