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.
How to get married at San Francisco City Hall?
The most popular Ceremony Location at San Francisco City Hall is Rotunda located on a 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 bigger group of friends and family I suggest reserving 4th floor or Mayors Balcony, 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. Only way to do it is by making a reservation at City Hall. Wedding day can be plenty stressful without additional office appointments thats why I recommend to get your license 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 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) being the quietest.
Step 3. Wedding Day!!!
Bring as few things as possible. You won’t look relaxed on your photos if you are constantly worrying about your stuff. The only things that you really need is marriage license, his and hers ID and smile on your faces :) You need to be at County Clerk’s Office (room 168) 10 min before your ceremony appointment to check in. Lately they do not allow early check ins 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 a hall. When you 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 other couples at designated location close to Rotunda. 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 Clerks website.
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Packages
(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 couple’s capture the lasting memories of their special day I created these two simple photography packages.
San Francisco City Hall Special – $850
- Up to 2 hours of photography coverage at San Francisco City Hall
- Online Gallery (password-protected)
- High Resolution Files
- Photo Release – This document will allow you to print photos at any photo lab (Costco, Bay Photo etc.)
Personal Paparazzi – $1300
- 4 Hours of Photography coverage (getting ready, ceremony, portraits and additional location)
- Online Gallery (password-protected)
- High Resolution Files
- Photo Release
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the best time to get married at SF City Hall?
Ceremonies at city hall hall are performed from Monday though Friday from 9:30 am till 3:30pm. 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.
How soon can I book my ceremony appointment?
City Hall do not accept ceremony reservations beyond 90 days in advance, unless If you are reserving a privet space (4th Floor or Mayor’s Balcony) you can book the ceremony a year in advance. Remember to book your license appointment first.
How much cost getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
There are two fees. Marriage license – $103 and Ceremony appointment – $76. If you are looking to rent a space for a privet wedding, 4th Floor or Mayors Balcony are available for $1002 per hour (price does not include chair rental)
What documents do we need to get married at City Hall?
You need a marriage license and a valid ID.
Can you be our witness?
I’ve been a witness to many of my clients. I would be honored to do it for you too!
Can we choose the location of the ceremony?
Majority of ceremonies at City Hall are performed at Rotunda (top of the grand staircase). Officiant might offer you a privet room as an alternative, which is essentially an office space. I never saw anybody going with that option. On a days of special events, wedding ceremonies planned at Rotunda might be moved to an alternative location such as 4th floor or mayors balcony, depends on which one is are available. If you like guaranteed that your ceremony will be perfomed at 4th floor or Mayor’s Balcony you have to reserve it for an additional fee.
Can we bring more than 6 people?
City Hall website states that they do not allow more than 6 people at your wedding, but I never saw them enforcing that rule during the ceremony. The important thing is that you don’t bring your guests to the clerks office. Just two of you, one or two witnesses and photographer are allowed at the time.
How long is the ceremony?
The ceremony lasts around 3 to 5 minutes.
Since the ceremony is so short why do we need Two Hour session?
Even though ceremony at San Francisco City Hall lasts just a few minutes, the process starting from check in to the “first kiss” can be anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, and If you would like to showcase the beauty of the building two hours it’s an optimal time.
Can we bring our own vows?
Depends on an officiant and how busy 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. https://www.aperfectweddingofficiant.com