Looking for the dreamiest place to tie the knot in the Bay Area? Your search ends at San Francisco City Hall! This majestic building, steeped in rich history, is not just a city landmark but also home to some of the most breathtaking wedding venues in the Bay Area. From secret elopements to intimate gatherings, or even grand celebrations, San Francisco City Hall is the perfect stage for your love story.
As an experienced Wedding and Elopement Photographer, I’ve been privileged to frame hundreds of these love stories within the iconic halls of this venue. Each one has been unique, filled with emotion, and a testament to the versatility of these incredible spaces. Now, I’m excited to share my insider’s knowledge about these locations with you. Explore the (not so) hidden gems that make it a top choice for weddings. Whether you’re dreaming of a hushed, romantic elopement, a cozy wedding surrounded by your nearest and dearest, or a grand affair that’s the talk of the town, you’ll find the ideal backdrop here.
Through my lens as a Wedding and Elopement Photographer, I’ve seen how each nook and cranny of San Francisco City Hall can be transformed into the perfect setting for vows, kisses, and dances. Stick around as we delve into my experiences, insights, and tips on making the most of these remarkable wedding venues. So, if you’re envisioning your big day amidst the timeless elegance of San Francisco City Hall, you’re in the right place.
Civil Ceremonies at SF City Hall
Considering a courthouse wedding or an elopement? Then you should definitely explore the idea of a civil ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. Sometimes referred to as a public ceremony, this is an intimate affair that allows you to share your special day with your closest loved ones. Choosing a civil ceremony means opting for a smaller, more personal celebration. These ceremonies are scheduled from Monday through Friday, between 9am and 3:30pm, happening every half hour. This gives you the flexibility to choose a time that suits you and your partner perfectly.
One of the great advantages of a civil ceremony is that San Francisco City Hall provides an officiant for you. This takes away the stress of finding someone to officiate your wedding, leaving you more time to focus on each other. Keep in mind that you can invite up to six guests to your civil ceremony. This guest count includes everyone – photographers, videographers, children, witnesses, etc. Even though the guest list is small, remember that it’s the quality of the company that matters most on your special day.
For a Public Marriage Ceremony, it’s mandatory to have at least one witness present during your ceremony. This can be anyone who holds a special place in your heart – a parent, sibling, best friend, or even your Wedding and Elopement Photographer. Your ceremony will be held either in the Private Ceremony Room or the Rotunda at San Francisco City Hall. The location is determined by the venue and cannot be chosen by the couple. But rest assured, both these spaces are stunning and make for beautiful wedding venues. Booking for these ceremonies is straightforward and is done directly through San Francisco City Hall. Civil Ceremonies are simple, short, and sweet – perfect for couples who want their wedding day to be a private, heartfelt celebration.
Next on the blog: SF City Hall Wedding Venues: The Fourth Floor Galleries
One Hour Weddings in the Mayor’s Balcony and Fourth Floor Galleries
If you are looking to have a more intimate wedding but be able to accommodate more guests or would prefer a different location within SF City Hall, you have the option of the One Hour Wedding. These weddings are handled by City Hall’s Event Team. When you choose to book this option, you will need to allow for at least 4 weeks lead time and know the facility cannot handle last minute requests. You get private use of the Mayor’s Balcony or the Fourth Floor Gallery (the Galleries are my favorite place to capture love stories). These ceremonies are held Monday through Friday, 9am tp 3pm, every hour. You can have up to 100 guests though the Mayors Balcony seats up to 40 and the Fourth Floor Gallery seats up to 60, with extra standing space available. You may rent chairs for seating, and you can have a musician present as well for your ceremony. San Francisco City Hall is open to the public while ceremonies are being held but the ceremony locations are blocked off to keep your event private.
Two Hour Weddings on the Grand Staircase
If you’re dreaming of a more private and exclusive celebration at the iconic San Francisco City Hall, the Two-Hour Wedding option could be the perfect fit for you. These weddings are an embodiment of grandeur and elegance, held in the breathtaking setting of the Grand Staircase under the magnificent Rotunda. Offered exclusively on Saturdays between 9am and 12pm, these ceremonies allow you to craft your wedding day to reflect your personal style and vision. With the capacity to host up to 200 guests, these weddings provide ample space for your loved ones to share in your joy.
One of the standout features of the Two-Hour Wedding package is the provision of chairs for your guests. It’s a thoughtful detail that ensures the comfort of your loved ones as they witness your vows and celebrate your union.
Another exciting aspect of these weddings is the possibility of bringing in outside vendors for food and drink. This gives you the freedom to customize your menu to align with your tastes and preferences. However, do note that all outside vendors require prior approval to ensure they meet San Francisco City Hall’s standards. So, if you’re envisioning a wedding that combines the intimacy of a private event with the grandeur of San Francisco City Hall, the Two-Hour Wedding could be just what you’re looking for.
Evening Wedding at San Francisco City Hall
If you’ve always dreamt of an enchanting evening wedding, San Francisco City Hall offers just the right setting for you. Open until 8pm throughout the week, this iconic venue provides an opportunity to host your nuptials under the starlit San Francisco sky. Choosing to have an evening wedding at San Francisco City Hall means you can enjoy a private and intimate celebration with your guests. Specific areas of the facility are cordoned off, creating an exclusive space for you and your loved ones to revel in the joy of your union. While SF City Hall closes at 8pm, you are able to continue to celebration until midnight.
You can schedule an evening wedding here on any day of the week except for Tuesday. This flexibility allows you to select a day that fits best with your plans and preferences. The highlight of these weddings is the Grand Staircase, where you’ll exchange your vows. The majestic backdrop of the staircase adds a touch of grandeur to your ceremony, making it a moment to remember forever.
Once the ceremony is over, the festivities move to the North Light Court and the Rotunda for the reception. These areas epitomize the timeless elegance of San Francisco City Hall, providing an idyllic setting for your celebration.
You might also be interested in reading: How Much Does it Cost to Get Married at San Francisco City Hall
Booking Your San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer
Choosing me, Jessica Kay, to photograph your San Francisco City Hall wedding is a choice that you’ll cherish forever. With over a decade of experience in the world of wedding photography, I specialize in turning intimate moments into timeless pieces of art. My passion for capturing the essence of your special day shines through in every image, weaving together a beautiful narrative of your unique love story.
My expertise extends to small weddings and elopements at the iconic San Francisco City Hall. I’m known for capturing the romance and grandeur of the venue, creating a visual symphony that reflects the beauty of your relationship. My true passion lies in weekday events, where I can focus on the intricacies and candid moments that make each wedding uniquely beautiful.
As a California native and an experienced Wedding and Elopement Photographer, I have an in-depth understanding of the city’s landscapes and lighting conditions. This knowledge allows me to capture stunning images that not only encapsulate the emotions of the moment but also the beauty of our surroundings. My portfolio showcases a range of weddings I’ve had the honor of photographing at San Francisco City Hall. It stands as evidence of my ability to capture the essence of each couple’s love story through my lens. With Jessica Kay Photography, your wedding images will be more than just photos – they will be a celebration of your love, a testament to your journey together, and a cherished memory that will adorn your walls for years to come.