Are you planning to have a wedding with just a few friends and family?
Or maybe you are from out of town and are looking for a beautiful place to elope?
San Francisco City Hall could be the perfect place for you!
San Francisco City Hall offers an elegant yet affordable setting, perfect for small and big parties. The beautiful Beaux-Art style architecture of City Hall makes it a wonderful backdrop for your wedding photos. An abundance of high arched windows letting natural light pour in and white marble structures make it one of the most elegant wedding venues in San Francisco.
The most popular Ceremony Location at San Francisco City Hall is the Rotunda located on the second floor, at the top of the grand staircase. You are allowed up to 6 guests at that location but that rule is rarely enforced. This is a public area so you have to be prepared that other people will be witnessing your ceremony. If you wish to invite a bigger group of friends and family I suggest reserving 4th floor or Mayor's Balcony as each location can accommodate up to 100 people.
Step 1. Get a Marriage License.
In order to get married at City Hall you need to obtain a marriage license. The only way to do it is by making a reservation at City Hall. Wedding day can be plenty stressful without additional office appointments which is why I recommend to get your license a few days before your wedding day.
Step 2. Make a civil ceremony appointment.
San Francisco City Hall is a very popular place to get married so if you have a specific date in mind make a reservation as soon as 90 days before the wedding. City Hall does not allow reservations 90 days prior the date unless you are reserving 4th Floor or Mayor’s Balcony for the ceremony. In order to maximize photo opportunities and showcase an amazing architecture of the building without having a bunch a people in a background, try to avoid the busiest days which are Mondays and Fridays. Time of the day is as important as the day of the week. I find early mornings (9:30am) or late afternoon (3:30pm) to be the quietest.
Step 3. Wedding Day!!!
Bring as few things as possible. You won’t look relaxed in your photos if you are constantly worrying about your stuff. The only things that you really need are your marriage license, IDs for both of you, and smiles on your faces :) You need to be at the County Clerk’s Office (room 168) 10 min before your ceremony appointment to check in. Lately they do not allow early checkins so even if you show up half an hour earlier it doesn’t guarantee that you will be the first couple in your time slot. After you receive the “B” number wait in the hall. When your number is called you can bring your witness (two max) and a photographer to the office. This will be the time when your witness will sign the marriage license. Commissioner will check your documents and IDs, ask you few simple questions and tell you where you should wait for him/her. After you leave the office gather your guests and wait with them and the other couples at the designated location close to the Rotunda. The Commissioner will call you by name when it’s your turn. Ceremony is short and sweet so take in every second of it, because after those few minutes you will be MARRIED!!!!!
For more information about City Hall wedding ceremony please visit San Francisco County Clerk's website.
(available Monday – Friday)
The essential element of capturing the beauty of your City Hall wedding and making sure that you will look back on your photographs and treasure them for years to come is an experienced wedding photographer. Someone who can capture those intimate moments between you and your soulmate, know the camera angles so you can look the best possible on your wedding photos, organize your family and friends on a group photos and guide you through city hall wedding procedures.
To help couples capture lasting memories of their special day I have created these simple photography packages.
In order to reserve the date, a $200 retainer is required.
If you wish to customize your package and extend the photography coverage it's an additional $300 per additional hour.
Ceremonies at city hall hall are performed from Monday though Friday from 9:30 am till 3:30pm, but building is open from 8am to 5pm. If you like to avoid the crowds try to book your ceremony appointment first thing in a morning or late in an afternoon. Mondays and Fridays are usually the most busy days at San Francisco City Hall.
City Hall does not accept ceremony reservations beyond 90 days in advance, unless you are reserving a private space (4th Floor or Mayor's Balcony) you can book the ceremony a year in advance. Remember to book your license appointment first.
There are two fees. Marriage license is $108 and Ceremony appointment is $81. If you would like to rent a space for a private wedding, 4th Floor or Mayors Balcony are available for $1003 per hour.
To get married at San Francisco City Hall, you will need:
The significant difference is that the confidential marriage license is confidential, and only the married couple can procure copies of it from the recorder's office. Comparatively, the public license is part of public record, which means anyone can request copies, provided they pay the required fees.
I've been a witness to many of my clients. I would be honored to do it for you too!
The majority of ceremonies at City Hall are performed at the Rotunda (top of the grand staircase). Your officiant might offer you a private room as an alternative, which is essentially an office space. On days of special events, wedding ceremonies planned at the Rotunda might be moved to an alternative location such as a private room, 4th Floor, or Mayor's Balcony, depending on which one is available.
The ceremony lasts around 3 to 5 minutes, but the process starting from check in to the “first kiss” can be anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes. If you would like to take portraits to showcase the beauty of the building, two hours its an optimal time and allows for some photos in front of the building too.
City Hall website states that they do not allow more than 6 people at your wedding. They created that rule for crowd and noise control. I have never seen them enforce that rule during the ceremony, but if you decide to invite a larger number of guests please ask them to keep their voices down while wedding ceremonies are performed. Also, don't bring your guests to the clerks office to check in. Just the two of you, one or two witnesses and photographer are allowed at that time.
Depends on an officiant and how busy the day is. Officiants are on a tight schedule. There are three couples scheduled to get married every 30 min. If you like to write your own vows I recommend hiring an independent officiant who will personalize your wedding ceremony.
I offer two photo packages. View more info here.
In order to reserve the date I ask for a $200 retainer. The remaining balance is due on the wedding day in cash. I accept PayPal for retainer payments. Please check availability prior to sending retainer.