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[Photo: Wedding Bee’s Mrs. Creme Puff]

Once we decided to consider alternatives to the Berkeley City Club, we (err…more like my mom) stumbled on the Green Room inside the SF War Memorial & Arts Performance Center. Hands down, this has to be the city’s best kept secrets as far as wedding venues goes. You will not find it on Here Comes The Guide or Yelp (people talk about it under the SF War Memorial listing, but it’s not listed by itself).

So why is this venue so elusive? I’ll give you three reasons:

  1. It’s cheap compared to other SF venues (just take my word for it, any venue that costs less than two grand is a good deal here)
  2. It’s gorgeous and elegant (just look at the wood floors, the decorative details on the walls and the fancy chandeliers…how can you not fall in love with this place?!?)
  3. It’s extremely competitive (holy crap, this was nuts…read below)

Let me drill down more on reason #3 by explaining why they call this place the green room. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s painted green. If you’re an actor, comedian or dancer, etc, then you’re well aware of how the backstage of a theater is traditionally called a green room. Well…during the performance season, this green rooms serves as a performance and reception hall for concert and lecture series, fundraisers, dinners, receptions, recitals and meetings. In other words, it’s ONLY available in July and August. Yea, you heard right…so you can imagine how cut throat it can be to book this venue.

We called the event coordinator in May 2010 and asked for its availability in July 2011. Not surprisingly, the green room was completely booked solid for all Saturdays in July and August. Since my mom had pretty much vetoed any day except Saturday, we regretfully had to take our hat out of the ring.

Let this be a lesson to you all. If you have a really long engagement and are currently looking for a great indoor ceremony venue in San Francisco, then you should check out the Green Room. Just be warned, you may need to book your wedding two years in advance in order to get a Saturday in July or August.