Headlands Center for the Arts

Weddings & Celebrations

Celebrate the moment in this rustic, artistic setting

Headlands Center for the Arts is a unique and memorable venue for weddings and special events. The beautiful natural setting, close attention to detail, and excellently prepared food make Headlands a warm and convivial gathering place for celebrations of all kinds. Set against a backdrop of coastal California, Headlands’ Main Building 944, a former army barrack, is a voluminous, four-story structure with big windows, expressively treated walls, tin ceilings, oak balustrades, maple floors, and yard after yard of history, character, and possibility.

Each and every person had glowing things to say about the energy and character of the place. We’re certain it left a mark on all who attended…” A & J

“The feeling that we were supporting the arts with our choice of wedding venue brought a lot of extra happiness to the day.” K & M

Headlands’ multi-room Saturday rental in Building 944 can accommodate all components of your large gathering including wedding ceremonies, cocktail receptions, holiday parties, dinner, and dancing. Headlands’ newest outdoor gathering space, The Commons, is available for ceremonies or cocktail hours. Also outside of our doors is a large open field (the Fort Barry Parade Ground), which is available for outdoor ceremonies and events by obtaining a day-use permit from the National Park Service.

Wedding rentals include a private rehearsal on Friday afternoon, overnight storage of décor supplies, use of on-site artist-designed seating and dining tables.

For more information, download our event PDF or fill out the rental request form linked to below for a customized quote.

Rental request form

The Basics

  • Headlands is available on Saturdays for weddings and large events. Occasionally other days of the week are possible for large-scale celebrations – please contact Headlands for more information.
  • Large event rentals include first two floors of Headlands’ Main Building 944.
  • Saturday venue rental is available as a “building buyout” only for a flat rate of $9,500. A 50% deposit and a signed contract are required to secure a date, $1,000 of which is non-refundable.
  • The flat rate does not include the cost of catering services, which are provided through Katie Powers Catering. Please note that headcount and catering minimums may apply.
  • The maximum capacity for a sit down dinner in the Mess Hall dining room is 140 guests. Larger events are possible with a different format. Contact Headlands’ Special Events Manager to discuss options.
  • Liability Insurance is required ($1,000,000 coverage policy).
  • Renters will have access to Building 944 from 12–11:30PM on the day of the event. Additionally, a window of time for a rehearsal, décor drop-off, and staging is available the day before the event.
  • Music and alcohol service must end by 10PM. Guests depart by 10PM. All vendors, décor, and rental equipment must be completely out of the building by 11:30PM.
  • Use of Headlands’ new outdoor gathering space, The Commons, for a ceremony or cocktail hour is available for an additional fee.
  • Catering and bar service is provided through Headlands’ exclusive catering company, Katie Powers Catering.
  • Katie Powers Catering provides bar service, but renters must provide their own alcohol (there are no corkage fees).
  • A representative from Headlands will be present to monitor each event.

Contact Headlands’ Special Events Manager for a more information about weddings and celebrations at Headlands.

How To Set Up a Site Visit

  • To set up a tour of Headlands, contact Headlands’ Special Events Manager at info@headlands.org. The timing of a tour is based on the availability of Headlands’ Special Events Manager and Exclusive Caterer. Typically, tours are available Monday–Friday between 9AM and 5PM, and Saturdays by appointment. Headlands is open most Sundays between 12PM and 5PM for self-guided tours, but please contact us to confirm. Closed days are noted here.

Available Dates – 2021 & 2022

Contact info@headlands.org for available dates or more information.

How To Book a Date

Step 1: Holding a Date

  • Check the list of available dates online.
  • You may place a “soft hold” on one date for up to 5 business days at no cost by contacting the Special Events Manager at info@headlands.org.
  • Include names and contact information (phone, email, mailing address).

Challenging a Hold

  • If a date you are interested in is being held by another group, you may challenge that hold.
  • Challenging a hold gives the other group a 24-hour window to confirm their hold by putting down a deposit.
  • If the other group does not put down a deposit, you (the challenger) must do so immediately to secure the date.

Step 2: Confirming Your Hold

  • To confirm a hold, you must call or email the Special Events Manager by 5PM on the 5th day of your hold.
  • Your hold will automatically be released at 5PM on the 5th day if you do nothing.
  • When you confirm your hold, a contract will be created and emailed to you, along with other relevant paperwork, within a day or two.
  • You will have one week to review this paperwork and send in your signed contract and deposit.

Step 3: Signing A Contract & Putting Down A Deposit

  • To secure your date, you must send in a signed copy of your venue rental contract along with your deposit.
  • You may pay by check (please make out to Headlands Center for the Arts), or via a Square using your AMEX, Visa, or Mastercard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an elevator?

Headlands’ historic facility (Building 944 was erected in 1907) does not have an elevator. The ceremony and reception take place on the second floor of the building.

Is there cell phone service?

There is no cell phone service in the Marin Headlands. There is a house phone onsite available to guests (if they need to check up on a babysitter, contact a vendor, etc.) Headlands’ day-of Event Monitor will be onsite to assist guests with making phone calls. A guest Wi-Fi network is available on a limited basis.

How do we get there?

Encourage your guests and vendors to follow the directions on Headlands website. Sometimes GPS systems can lead guests astray, and there is NO CELL PHONE SERVICE IN THE MARIN HEADLANDS. For this reason, car service phone apps are unreliable. We recommend scheduling your trip with a local taxi service.

Should I rent a shuttle bus for my guests?

We recommend hiring a bus service for groups larger than 80. Parking is available, and it is possible to arrange for cab service, but due to Headlands’ location in the National Park, the roads can be quite dark at night. Plan ahead, and encourage your guests to carpool.

Can you tell me more about the bathrooms?

Headlands artist-renovated restroom facility, The Latrine, is both an art installation and a unisex restroom. Recently, California Home + Design named The Latrine, the work of Bruce Tomb and John Randolph, as one of “50 Places to Pee Before you Die.” Many groups choose to hang dividing curtains in the space, and we recommend bringing an iPod and dock station to play music. Guests will feel right at home in this unique space by the end of the night!

Can I have my ceremony outside?

All outdoor ceremonies are at the discretion of the National Park Service and require a permit. Please contact NPS directly if you’d like to reserve outdoor space within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

What are some nearby accommodation options for my guests?

There are quite a few lodging options in Marin County and San Francisco that are easily accessible to Headlands. Additionally, nearby Cavallo Point Lodge features lovely, comfortable accommodations.

How much is catering?

Katie Powers Catering will work with you to create a customized catering quote based on your needs and food interests. The catering fee is separate from the venue fee. Please note: catering minimums do apply, visit the catering page for more information regarding pricing.

Tell me more about the Friday rehearsal options.

You are welcome to a one-hour rehearsal on the Friday before your event. The rehearsal can take place between 3:30PM and 5PM, and you may arrive as early as 3PM to drop off non-perishable décor and alcohol.

How does clean-up work?

We recommend enlisting a day-of coordinator, or close friend or family member to act as the point person for clean-up and load-out. Everything brought into the building must be removed by 11:30PM the night of the wedding. Floral arrangements and other large objects may not be disposed of in Headlands’ dumpster. A team of friends and family can typically load-out in an hour or less—just remember when you’re planning your decorations that what goes in must come out.