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Why You Should Choose San Francisco City Hall for your Intimate Destination Wedding

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The History of San Francisco City Hall and its Historic Architecture

Congratulations on considering San Francisco City Hall for your intimate wedding. Your heart led you to an ideal choice, a location that brims with beauty and rich history. San Francisco City Hall isn’t just a courthouse – it’s a symbol of resilience and hope. In 1916, the doors of the current City Hall opened, replacing the original structure that sadly succumbed to the 1906 earthquake. The reconstruction took two decades, mirroring the city’s spirit of perseverance and growth. Today, the City Hall stands tall, sprawling across 500,000 square feet, embodying the Classical Revival design that echoes the grandeur of ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

Choosing to tie the knot at City Hall means stepping into a story that has weathered many storms, much like the enduring bond of love that marriage represents. The building is not just historically significant but also holds a notable place in LGBTQ history, making it an even more poignant choice for many couples. Imagine saying ‘I do’ under the breathtaking dome, surrounded by architectural elegance that adds a timeless backdrop to your wedding photos. 

How to Get Married at San Francisco City Hall

Choosing to tie the knot at San Francisco City Hall is a wonderfully unique experience, but it requires a bit of preparation. As a top-tier San Francisco wedding venue, City Hall hosts ceremonies every half hour from 9 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. These weddings are often referred to as elopements or civil marriages due to their intimate and concise nature.

To ensure your San Francisco City Hall wedding goes smoothly, you’ll need to make two separate appointments. One for obtaining your marriage license and another for the ceremony itself. You can schedule your elopement up to 90 days in advance, which gives ample time for planning. Remember though, once booked, you cannot reschedule or receive a refund, so choose your date carefully.

As an experienced elopement photographer, I can assure you that whether your ceremony takes place in the Rotunda or the Private Room, both spaces provide a stunning and intimate backdrop for your special day. While you won’t have the option to select your ceremony location, rest assured, each setting offers its own unique charm and grandeur.

When getting married at SF City Hall, it’s important to note that you can invite up to six guests if you are having a civil ceremony. This count includes your chosen elopement photographer (that would be me), any children attending, and your witnesses.  If you choose to get married in the Fourth Floor Galleries or Mayor’s Balcony, you can have more guests attend and you will need to go through the San Francisco City Hall Events team to book your wedding. On the day of your San Francisco City Hall wedding, it’s recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Make sure both parties bring a valid photo ID, along with your marriage license. If your ceremony requires a witness, they should also be present with appropriate identification.  

This careful preparation will ensure that your special day proceeds without a hitch, leaving you free to enjoy every moment in this stunning San Francisco wedding venue. As your dedicated elopement photographer, I’ll be there to capture these precious moments, creating a beautiful visual narrative of your unique love story.

What Kinds of Services Do You Get When You Choose San Francisco City Hall as Your Venue

Opting for a San Francisco City Hall wedding involves a simple two-step process – securing your marriage license and scheduling your ceremony. There are several wedding packages available, providing you with flexibility to choose what suits you best.

The Civil Ceremony, also known as a Public Ceremony or courthouse wedding, is a popular choice. This 30-minute service includes an officiant provided by SF City Hall. This official, known as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner, is a volunteering judge who will be there to solemnize your vows. The ceremony takes place in either the Private Room or the Rotunda, both offering stunning settings for your special day.

Alternatively, you can opt for a Private Ceremony. These ceremonies typically last one hour, unless you choose a different package, and are held in more exclusive locations such as the Mayor’s Balcony or the Fourth Floor Galleries. Unlike the Civil Ceremony, you’ll need to arrange for your own officiant for a Private Ceremony. These ceremonies are also scheduled Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm.

As an experienced San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer, I’m here to capture every moment of your unique celebration, regardless of which package you choose. Remember, planning your wedding at this historic venue is not just about simplicity and convenience; it’s also about experiencing the grandeur and beauty that make it a sought-after San Francisco wedding venue.

Wives hands together holding a piece of paper.  Tux and Bridal Gown are visible

Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Intimate Destination Wedding at SF City Hall

Opting to tie the knot at San Francisco City Hall is not only an easy choice, but one that promises a day filled with unforgettable moments. To ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day, it’s important to be well-prepared. This includes having all necessary documents such as IDs, marriage licenses, and of course, the stars of the show – the bride and groom.

Plan to reach City Hall at least 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled wedding time. This buffer allows for any unforeseen hiccups, such as finding a parking spot, which can conveniently be done in a nearby garage. City Hall will provide you with detailed directions on where to go once inside, ensuring you’re exactly where you need to be when it’s time. As your trusted San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer, I’ll make sure to arrive 15 minutes early as well. My focus will be on capturing every significant detail, from the nervous excitement to the joyous exchange of vows.

Once your information is validated (they’ll do this 15 minutes before your wedding), it’s time for the highlight of the day – your wedding ceremony. Rest assured, every precious moment will be captured, allowing you to relive this extraordinary day whenever you wish. Remember, when planning your nuptials at this iconic San Francisco venue, being well-prepared is key to a seamless and memorable celebration.

Making Lasting Memories with Photos at San Francisco City Hall

Choosing me, Jessica Kay Photography, as your San Francisco City Hall Elopement Photographer, guarantees that every precious moment of your love story is beautifully captured. With over a decade of experience in capturing the raw emotion and intimate details of such special occasions, I bring a unique blend of passion, expertise, and a genuine love for what I do to your unique ceremony.

Booking with me is an effortless process. Simply visit my website, and secure your preferred date. I encourage you to look through my portfolio and read the heartfelt reviews from the numerous elated couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with. My work showcases a variety of romantic City Hall elopements, each telling its own unique love story.

As a photographer based in the stunning San Francisco Bay Area, I am deeply familiar with the majestic architecture and enchanting ambiance of the San Francisco City Hall – an iconic venue that provides a breathtaking backdrop for your elopement. Whether it’s your first look, the exchange of vows, or the joyous celebration afterwards, I would be honored to capture these timeless moments for you. Let’s create unforgettable memories together at the San Francisco City Hall.

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