The beautiful souls you see in my photos? They're real people, in love—just like you. With my gentle guidance, my camera will melt away and all you'll see is each other. I promise. Based in San Francisco, California.






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What Do You Need to Get Married at SF City Hall?

SF City Hall, with its timeless elegance and grandeur, is a dream venue for couples planning to tie the knot. Whether you’re considering an intimate elopement, a small wedding brimming with close friends and family, or a grand ceremony to mark your nuptials, this iconic location has something for everyone. The planning process may differ based on the type of ceremony you envision, but some essentials remain constant across all weddings.

As a seasoned San Francisco City Hall wedding and elopement photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing countless love stories in this magnificent setting. From the moment you decide on San Francisco City Hall as your venue, there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow. These include scheduling your ceremony with the County Clerk’s office, obtaining a marriage license, and choosing your preferred space within the venue – options range from the grandeur of the Rotunda to the intimacy of the Fourth Floor Galleries.

Remember, hiring an experienced photographer who understands the nuances of San Francisco City Hall is crucial to capturing the magic of your special day. With my extensive experience photographing weddings and elopements at City Hall, I can guide you through this exciting journey, ensuring your wedding day is every bit the dream you envision it to be.

SF City Hall Weddings

Civil Ceremonies are an excellent choice for couples seeking a simple yet elegant elopement. These ceremonies accommodate up to six guests (including your photographer) and can only be performed for two unmarried individuals presenting a valid original California marriage license. The ceremony takes place in either the Rotunda or the Private Ceremony Room and is held every half-hour from Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 3:30 pm.

Finally, for those seeking a truly spectacular setting, there are Evening Weddings. These ceremonies take place on the Grand Staircase, with access to the North Light Court and Rotunda for your reception. Evening weddings are available every day of the week, except Tuesdays.

For those desiring a slightly larger gathering, 1 Hour Ceremonies are ideal. These intimate ceremonies accommodate up to 60 guests and take place in either the Mayor’s Balcony or the Fourth Floor Galleries. These ceremonies are scheduled from Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 3 pm. For grander celebrations, City Hall offers 2 Hour Ceremonies. These ceremonies, held on the Grand Staircase of the Rotunda, accommodate up to 200 guests. They are exclusively available on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 pm.

What Do You Need for Your Civil Ceremony

Planning a Civil Ceremony at San Francisco City Hall is a unique and exciting experience. It’s essential to schedule your ceremony in advance as walk-ins are not accepted. The current cost for a Civil Ceremony in 2023 is $103, payable at the time of scheduling. This intimate setting allows for up to six guests, including your photographer, making it perfect for those desiring a more private affair.

Civil Ceremonies at San Francisco City Hall are held either in the Private Room or the grand Rotunda, both providing a stunning backdrop for your nuptials.

Before your big day, you’ll also need to secure your marriage license. As of July 1st, 2023, the fee for this is $120. Remember to bring the original document with you on the day of your ceremony, as photocopies will not be accepted.On your wedding day, ensure you have your marriage license, a government-issued ID, and a witness with you. These are necessary to validate your ceremony.

What Do You Need for a One Hour Wedding

When organizing a one-hour wedding at this iconic venue, scheduling is handled through the San Francisco City Hall Events team, rather than the County Clerk’s office. To secure your date and time, you’ll need to email them with your preferred date, time, and guest count, along with your venue choice – either the Mayor’s Balcony or the Fourth Floor Galleries.

In addition to scheduling, the City Hall Events team will also help coordinate any rentals you require. If you’re considering adding a touch of musical elegance to your ceremony, they can provide a list of approved musicians for you to choose from. It’s important to note that San Francisco City Hall does not provide an officiant for your ceremony. This means you’ll need to arrange for an officiant through the County Clerk’s office. As of July 1, 2023, Civil Marriage Licenses are priced at $103, and you can schedule a One Day Deputy Marriage Commissioner for $171. On your big day, be sure to bring your marriage license and a government-issued ID to validate your ceremony.

What Do You Need for a Two Hour Wedding

Just like a one-hour wedding, the scheduling and rentals for a two-hour wedding are managed by the San Francisco City Hall Events Team. This team will assist you in coordinating the details of your event, from setting the date to arranging the venue. Remember, though, due to time constraints, vendors such as food and beverage providers will require prior approval. The marriage license and officiant scheduling are handled through the County’s office. It’s crucial to remember this step as it’s not included in the City Hall Events team’s responsibilities. As of July 1st, 2023, the marriage license fee is $103, and the cost to schedule a One Day Deputy Marriage Commissioner is $171. On the day of your wedding, make sure to bring your marriage license and a government-issued ID.

Where to Schedule Your San Francisco City Hall Wedding

If you’re planning a civil ceremony, your first stop will be the County Clerk’s office. On their website, you’ll find a handy calendar allowing you to schedule your elopement up to 90 days in advance. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 3:30 pm. However, if your heart is set on a grander celebration with more than six guests, or perhaps a holiday or weekend date, then the San Francisco City Hall Events team is your go-to. They offer a range of options to accommodate your unique needs, including one-hour weddings, two-hour weddings, and evening weddings.

Where to Get Your Marriage License

To secure your license, an appointment with the County Clerk’s Office is essential as walk-ins are not accepted. The fee for the license is payable upon scheduling your appointment. During this time, you will also need to specify whether you require a public or confidential marriage license. Most weddings and elopements at SF City Hall would use a public license. In this case, you’ll need a witness at your ceremony, and the license becomes a part of the public record. However, if you and your partner are living together, you may qualify for a confidential license. This type of license doesn’t require a witness at the ceremony and the record is only accessible to the couple themselves.

When attending your appointment, both you and your partner must bring a government-issued ID. If your ID doesn’t have your full legal name, a birth certificate or social security card is acceptable. At this appointment, the office will verify that you are unmarried, at least 18 years old, and that you have a valid government-issued ID. Once these formalities are completed, you have 90 days to exchange your vows!

How to Request a Commissioner for Your Wedding

If you’re having a civil marriage or domestic partnership ceremony with six or fewer guests, a Marriage Commissioner will be automatically assigned to officiate your service. This commissioner is actually a volunteer Judge! This ensures your special day runs smoothly, with all the legalities expertly handled. 

If you’re planning a larger ceremony, or one that falls on a weekend or holiday, you’ll need to request a Marriage Commissioner. To do this, you’ll need to submit your request between 60 days and no less than 7 days before your big day. This involves completing and submitting the Offsite Ceremony Request Form. Once you’ve submitted your form and payment, you’ll receive the details of your assigned deputy marriage commissioner, including their name, phone number, and email address, if they are available. Navigating the wedding process can sometimes feel overwhelming, but rest assured, the friendly staff at the County Clerk’s office is always on hand to guide you through every step. So whether you have questions about the process, forms, or fees, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Booking Your SF City Hall Elopement and Wedding Photographer

Once you’ve chosen your special date, it’s time to add another crucial element to your planning list: securing a photographer. That’s where I come in! As a specialized elopement and wedding photographer with extensive experience at SF City Hall, my schedule aligns perfectly with your short timeline wedding. I have a deep understanding of the unique lighting and layout of this iconic venue. My advice? The earlier the ceremony, the better the lighting. And if you’re looking for a more relaxed day, it might be best to avoid Fridays which tend to be busier.

After you’ve sent me your inquiry, we’ll start the exciting photography planning process! Regardless of whether your ceremony takes place in the Fourth Floor Galleries or the Rotunda, rest assured that we can still utilize these beautiful spaces to capture breathtaking wedding photos. But the magic doesn’t stop at SF City Hall. I also know some hidden gems outside the building that will add a touch of uniqueness to your wedding photo collection. So let’s go on this photographic journey together and create memories that will last a lifetime! Remember, every love story is beautiful, but yours should be unique. Whether you’re planning an intimate elopement or a grand wedding, SF City Hall offers an unparalleled backdrop for your big day, and I’m here to ensure every moment is captured perfectly.

The Jessica Kay Photography Experience

Are you dreaming of an unforgettable elopement or wedding at the iconic San Francisco City Hall? Hi there, I’m Jessica Kay, your dedicated fine art wedding and family portrait photographer. My passion lies in capturing those raw, intimate moments that paint a beautiful picture of your unique love story.

Choosing Jessica Kay Photography isn’t just about hiring a photographer – it’s about investing in an experience that cherishes every detail of your love story. With over a decade of experience, I’ve perfected my craft to deliver high-end photography services that go beyond just taking photos. I strive to weave a visual narrative that mirrors your unique journey of love and commitment.

I understand the profound significance of your wedding day. It’s not just an event; it’s a testament to your love, a celebration of your commitment, and a new chapter in your life. It’s no surprise then, that I often find myself moved to tears during vows, completely immersed in the emotion of these precious moments. At San Francisco City Hall, I use my deep understanding of the venue’s unique architecture and lighting to create breathtaking images that capture the magic of your special day. Whether it’s the exchange of vows under the grandeur of the Rotunda or a quiet, intimate moment on the Fourth Floor Galleries, rest assured that each photo will be a true reflection of your love.

My commitment to you extends beyond your wedding day. I believe in creating timeless portraits that will grace your walls for years to come, serving as a constant reminder of the love you share and the incredible journey you’re embarking on together. So, why wait? Book your date with Jessica Kay Photography today and let’s create some magic together!

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