They say that the third time’s the charm, and we think this charming and inclusive cathedral will make you and your fiance(e) feel right at home. In this post, we will be highlighting what makes Old Saint Mary’s truly unique and a community favorite.
The Old Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception (or Old Saint Mary’s for short) has been served by the Paulist Fathers in San Francisco for a while — for over 100 years, in fact! Built in 1894 in the Victorian Gothic style, Old Saint Mary’s became a designated San Francisco landmark in 1968.
If you happen to be strolling through the lantern-lit streets of Chinatown, you’ll come across charming Roman Catholic cathedral if you wander toward the direction of the Financial District. After all, how could you miss its lofty 90-foot clock tower or its dazzling rose window of art glass? Although the Salesforce Tower takes the record for being the tallest building in S.F., Old St. Mary’s was actually the tallest building in the city at the time of its opening.
Old St. Mary’s abides by the tenet of less is more. As soon as you enter the premises, you’re greeted by the simple and elegant nave. Don’t worry about the lack of adornments, because the towering murals and stained glass windows are all the decor you will need. Your wedding won’t need extravagant bells and whistles when you have the gentle sunlight pouring through the windows and candles illuminating the altar.
From the very beginning, Old Saint Mary’s dedication to diversity and inclusion have been obvious. While the bricks came from New England, the cathedral’s stone foundations were cut to order in China. To better serve the Chinatown community, Old St. Mary’s offers Cantonese mass every Sunday on top of choir mass and contemporary music mass. Old St. Mary’s is also an LGBT-friendly institution and strives to make everyone, no matter who or where they’re from, feel welcome.
If you want to exchange your vows while surrounded by history and community, Old Saint Mary’s is a wonderful choice for a wedding venue. This cathedral is perfect for a straightforward and beautiful wedding ceremony, with music accompanists and a private waiting room that is available to the bride and some attendants before the ceremony. After you and your partner say, “I do,” you can wrap up the ceremony and enjoy the delicious offerings of Chinatown with your friends, family and newly wedded spouse!
- Website: https://www.oldsaintmarys.org/
- Phone Number: (415) 288-3800
- Point of Contact: Friar Bart Landry
- How far in advance do I need to book a spot for my wedding ceremony?: Book at least six months in advance. At Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral + Chinese Mission, weddings are usually scheduled on Saturdays at 10 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Weddings may also be scheduled at 6:30 p.m., or on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.
- Estimated Cost: A nonrefundable deposit of $500 toward the church donation plus $2000 or $2500 for evening or Sunday weddings, secures the date for your wedding. The fee for the use of Old Saint Mary’s includes the services of the priest who will assist you prepare and celebrate your wedding, an organist, and a soloist. Since 6:30 p.m. weddings require our sacristan to stay overtime, an additional fee is required.
NOTE: Featured image c/o J-Fish on Flickr.