San Francisco City Hall (credit: HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Destination wedding planners and local couples are usually on the lookout for new and unusual venues, and San Francisco and the Bay Area won’t let them down. Are you going for indoors or outdoors, sophisticated city style or something relaxed and low key? Find one to match both your personalities and your budget, as well as your preferred dates.

City Hall, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

San Francisco City Hall 
1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-4950

Hollywood’s most glamorous starlet and baseball’s retired hero chose a civic ceremony at the grand staircase inside City Hall. They were mobbed by the media on January 14, 1954 when Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio emerged after tying the knot under the stunning rotunda. The house rules here include no more than six guests permitted including your witness, a photographer and any children. You’ll need a reservation, a credit card to charge the $76 fee, a $99 valid license, photo identification and your intended. Splash out to reserve the Mayor’s Balcony for $1,002.

Balustrade Lawn at Legion of Honor, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miler Farr)

Legion of Honor
100 34th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 750-3698

Have you thought of a marriage ceremony conducted under the gaze of “The Thinker” by Rodin? A graceful grassy space in front of the museum leads the eye to a view of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge beyond for perfect camera angles. Booked by brides for outdoor ceremonies only, the Balustrade Lawn attracts a fee of $500 and lots of fingers crossed for the weather. When the weather won’t cooperate, Florence Gould Theater is your backup at $750. If you’d rather move indoors for a catered affair, up to 400 can be accommodated in the Rodin Galleries for a truly glittering event. Adjust your calendar and your budget accordingly.

Presidio Officers’ Club, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Presidio Officers’ Club
50 Moraga Ave.
Main Post, The Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-5444

Among the fragrant eucalyptus forest of the Presidio, one of San Francisco’s oldest buildings is now its newest. Following a painstaking restoration, the former officers’ club has set its re-opening date for October 4, 2014. The second floor Ortega Ballroom with sweeping views of the Main Post down to San Francisco Bay, and the atrium-like Hardie Courtyard for outdoor pre-event receptions, are ideal for weddings. Right next door is the charming Our Chapel of the Lady, where sunlight is filtered through the trees and the stained glass windows. Tie it all up with Traci des Jardin’s brand new Arguello Restaurant right in the Officers’ Club and the award-winning Inn at the Presidio just two doors down for a very special stay.

Mountain Theater
Mount Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 388-2070

Panoramic Highway leads up Marin County’s beloved Mount Tamalpais to an enormous natural stone amphitheater built into the south hillside. Invite up to 200 friends with a permit costing $175 to $375 to use Samuel B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre as your dramatic wedding venue. With its panoramic views from 50 miles of hiking trails, the 2,571-foot Mount Tam becomes your own backyard for your special day. Music without amplification is welcome and alcohol is allowed as long as insurance is obtained.

Murrieta’s Well
3005 Mines Road
Livermore, CA 94550
(925) 456-2395

Have a hideaway wedding in a Tuscan-like setting in Livermore Valley wine country. Bandit Joaquin Murrieta and his gang stumbled upon this bubbling artesian well as their own hide-out during the Gold Rush days. Some 30 years after their capture, the 92 acres of gravelly soil surrounding the well were planted with vine cuttings imported from a chateau in Bordeaux. A captivating, fragrant old barrel room is tucked under heavy wooden rafters strung with white fairy lights. Afterwards, your escape is facilitated by a duo of handsome Clydesdales pulling an antique horse-drawn carriage. An onsite wedding planner comes with the deal.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on