The Legion of Honor Museum was completed in 1924 – a gift to the city of San Francisco by Alma de Breteville Spreckels. It is an imitation of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris. The museum holds a collection of ancient and European Art, as well as an impressive set of over 70 sculptures by Auguste Rodin. The Legion of Honor has recently featured such prominent exhibitions as the works of Frida Kahlo and the stunning contents of Marie Antoinette’s private residence. The building features impressive neoclassical architecture and has stunning views of the Bay and the Golden Gate bridge.
Planning Your Wedding Photography at the Legion of Honor
With its magnificent Balustrade lawn, sculpture garden, and several spacious, airy galleries, a wedding at the Legion of Honor can accommodate about 300 guests and is an impressive venue for your ceremony and reception. But even if you decide to host your wedding elsewhere, the Legion is freely accessible as a setting for beautiful wedding photography.
Legion of Honor wedding photos are instantly recognizable. The stately columns in the Court of Honor, the expansive courtyard of the museum, contribute to a unique architectural beauty not found anywhere else in the relatively young city of San Francisco.
Cruise the Courtyard
When you arrive at the Legion, take the time to walk around the courtyard, entrance and fountains, and really explore different photographic possibilities. The light is constantly changing throughout the day, and the white stone courtyard offers both beautiful reflected light, as well as protection from harsh midday sun (should you happen to arrive on a rare sunny day in the Outer Richmond). Don’t stand in one place – move around and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles. The Legion is truly one of the most fertile photographic environments in San Francisco.
Pay special attention to the textures found in the courtyard and surrounding areas. The floor, the inside of the arches, the walls, the columns – they all offer different textures and moods for your Legion of Honor wedding pictures. Just across form the main entrance, located adjacent to the parking lot, is the fountain. With the right angle, the reflections in the water can serve as a beautiful complement to your wedding photos.
Avoid the Crowds
The museum and the courtyard can be quite crowded on some days – especially on weekends during the warm months of September – October in San Francisco, when many couples choose to take their wedding photos at the Legion of Honor. Usually, a beautiful bride in a wedding gown, accompanied by a professional photographer, will have the right of way in any public place, so you won’t have any trouble navigating the museum’s architecture. In case you do cross paths with another wedding party, take it in stride. Explore a different part of the venue to give the other party some space, and let your photographer negotiate the photo opportunities!