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Saint Francis Chapel

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The San Diego Museum of Man welcomes people of all faiths and sexual orientations to celebrate their weddings, same-sex unions, commitment ceremonies, and other important life events in our beautiful facilities, especially in the historic and unique Saint Francis Chapel. Contact Events Manager Teri Saffon at (619) 239-2001, ext. 31, tsaffon@museumofman.org, to find out more.

The Saint Francis Chapel is located in scenic Balboa Park on the south side of the California Plaza, across the street from the main entrance to the Museum of Man. Designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue as an example of a Spanish Colonial church, the Chapel was built to add a religious note to the Panama-California Exposition of 1915.

The interior decoration was chosen by Goodhue and Carlton M. Winslow and features stark mission simplicity with its tile floor, ceiling of heavy beams, and bench seating. By contrast, the Chapel also boasts an elaborately decorated altar which includes gold leaf and meticulously crafted figures of the Virgin and Child in the center, flanked on the left by Saint Francis Xavier and on the right by San Diego de Alcalá.

This dignified sanctuary is non-denominational and hosts services of all faiths, making it one of San Diego's favorite choices for wedding and commitment ceremonies. 

To plan your ceremony, service, or reception, please contact our Special Events Manager, Teri Saffon, at 619-239-2001 ext. 31 or tsaffon@museumofman.org. Follow these links for our Policies and Procedures and Fee Schedule.

Details of the facility and services offered for wedding parties include:

Services Provided:    

  • Dressing area for bridal party.
  • Organ (wedding party must provide organist).
  • Altar candles.
  • Five reserved parking spaces for wedding party.

Time allotted:

  • The bridal party shall have access to the Chapel from one and one-half hours before the scheduled start of the wedding until one and one-half hours after the scheduled start.


Chapel capacity:

  • The Chapel seats 88 people on the main floor with an additional 12 seats in the balcony.
  • There is wheelchair access to the balcony only. (A wheelchair will take the space of two seats.)


Rehearsal:

  • A one-hour rehearsal may be scheduled for a weekday without charge from noon to 3:30 p.m. Other arrangements may be made at additional cost.


The wedding party must make its own arrangements for flowers, minister, photographer, music, etc. The Museum may be able to assist upon request.


For additional information, or to make arrangements to view or reserve the Chapel, please call (619) 239-2001, ext. 31, or contact our Events Manager Teri Saffon at tsaffon@museumofman.org.

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