City Hall in San Francisco is without a doubt one of the most beautiful courthouses to get married in the United States. It’s about as grand as they come, lush in architecture and ornate design. I wanted to feature a few of my favorite photos but first wanted to share some logistics:
Options: Civil Ceremony [6 guests-including photographer, $93 fee, public hours], One Hour Ceremony [100 guests, $1000, public hours], Two Hour Ceremony [200 guests, $5000 plus extras, Saturdays] + Full Evening Weddings [Guests from 4pm-midnight, exclusive event, $10,000+, private, all days except Tuesday].
Civil Ceremonies are usually perfect for the intimate elopement. The one hour ceremony with more guests + more privacy is also a good bet.
Important Things to Know:
- You can book your reservation up to 90 days in advance
- The marriage license is $112, ceremony fee is $93
- Arrive at least ten minutes before to check-in at the Office of the County Clerk. You’ll get a number and wait outside in the hall. When you are called you will meet the marriage commissioner who will officiate your wedding. This is where the witness will sign the official marriage license and your commemorative certificate. You will then head to the top of the stairway with your guests and the ceremony will commence.
- It’s wise to schedule an hour before if you don’t have prior plans to sign your marriage licsense. Most couples do this beforehand so it’s already handy on the day.
- It can be crowded, especially during the day. I recommend first spot in the morning or later in the afternoon.
- The guest count is very strict + enforced.
- You can get in the building at 8am, this is always what I recommend for photos without too many people around.
Photo location ideas to pair with your City Hall Wedding:
Coffee or Cocktail Hour nearby [or with a view like pictured above at The View Lounge at the Marriot Marquis]
Stroll through the Japanese Gardens at Golden Gate Park
Drive up the coast to Pacifica or Half Moon Bay for some dramatic coastlines
Enjoy city views at Coit Tower, Pier 7 or Twin Peaks
Taking a boat ride through the Bay
Bring your dog along and picnic on Baker or China Beach
Invite friends and family out for a celebration dinner or drinks at a Brewery or Wine Bar
In a nutshell, the San Francisco City Hall is one of the most opulent and easiest places to tie the knot in California. Below are some packages of what I offer for City Hall Wedding Photography as well as some of my favorites