A secret garden

California
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Wendy Maclaurin Richardson

So a traditional church or synagogue ceremony isn't your thing. Fair enough. Take advantage of San Francisco's stunning scenery by exchanging vows al fresco. I recently asked wedding planner Mary Mix, of Mary Mix Events, about some of her favorite outdoor venues in the city, and she told me that she recently hosted a ceremony at One Maritime Plaza. "Public, open spaces like this are a great little secret," she says. "One Maritime Plaza sits hidden in the heart of San Francisco, and it's the perfect location for my urban sophisticate clients. Nothing beats the drama of having the iconic Transamerica Pyramid as a backdrop for your ceremony." She admits that it can takes a bit of leg work to track down permits and approvals, but it's well worth it. "If the space isn't attached to a building, you'll likely have to go through City Hall. In the case of One Maritime Plaza, we went through the building management. The groom happened to work in the building, which helped, though it's not a requirement," says Mary.

For more planners' picks for the top outdoor ceremony venues in the area, check out the latest issue of Brides Northern California, on newsstands now. —Lauren Matthews, editor, Brides Northern California

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