Wedding Venue Highlight: China Cabin in Marin

Just Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay…

Tiburon’s China Cabin, a Victorian Social Saloon salvaged from the USS China steamer.

After over a decade of photographing weddings in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve come across some pretty unique venues. Here’s one of my faves.

Gold leafing, etched glass windows and waterfront views of the San Francisco skyline are the a few of the many charms that make China Cabin in Belvedere Tiburon a one-of-a-kind Bay Area wedding venue gem.

Intimate wedding reception in the historical China Cabin in Tiburon.
Vintage Chandeliers and gold leafing are some of the interior details that make China Cabin a unique wedding venue.

The Quick Details

A historic landmark, a social saloon from a steamer ship, now sitting on the dock of the Bay.

Natural Beauty: the deck — a great spot for cocktail hour —  overlooks the harbor, the Bay, and the San Francisco skyline

Location: Marin, specifically Belvedere Tiburon, a 20 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge

Size & Feel: Cozy & intimate but with a wow factor

Guest Capacity: 40-45 seated, 55 standing

Photo Perk: A lot of windows so beautiful natural light!

Historical venues have a special place in my heart! The sense of history of the many stories taken place in the venue adds to its depth and character. Built in 1866, the USS China was a steamer ship traveling between San Francisco and the far east. When it was taken out of commission, the officer's saloon was carefully removed and set on pilings in Belvedere Cove. It has been completely restored to its Victorian era stylings, making it the perfect venue for a classic bride with an appreciation for vintage style.

Model of the SS China steamer ship, inside China Cabin in Tiburon.
Close-up of a model of the China Cabin Social Saloon when it was on board the steamer ship.

Though best suited for an intimate-sized wedding or rehearsal dinner, it never feels too tight when you can just step out onto the deck for the fresh breeze and exapnsive views.

Cocktail hour on the deck outside the China Cabin in Tiburon, perfect for a small Bay Area Wedding.

Yes the views! They are stunning. Especially as night falls and San Francisco’s skyline sparkles in the distance. This is truly both and indoor and outdoor venue.

Views of the Tiburon harbor and the San Francisco Bay from China Cabin.

China Cabin is close to San Francisco but can feel like a destination wedding as well. And how many wedding venues sit right over the water on a dock?

China Cabin sits right on a dock at the Tiburon harbor, and has views of the San Francisco skyline and bay.

And if you love historical venues, this place will transport you and your guests back in time to old world elegance. And with all it’s great architectural details, it doesn’t need a lot of decor brought in to fill or fancy up the room.

Parisian Jazz era wedding reception at China Cabin.

Insider Tips

• Going to the Chapel: China Cabin pairs well with another Tiburon historic landmark, Old St Hilary's, a little non-denominational white chapel up on the hill.

• Cozy Catering Space: Space for a caterer to set-up is quite small, and most will need to set up a tent just off the dock, so it's recommended to work with a caterer that really knows the space!

Assorted mini wedding cakes from Miete bakery on display at the wedding reception in China Cabin.

Find out more about China Cabin.

Or to inquire about wedding photography for your event there, contact Sonya.