The Grand San Francisco City Hall – Civil Ceremonies Weddings
San Francisco City Hall weddings are some of my favorite weddings. The architecture is absolutely amazing. City Hall is recognized as one of the most gorgeous wedding venues in the world. People travel from all over the US and from other countries just to be married here. There’s something about San Francisco City Hall weddings that I adore.
Ever since I started professionally photographing SF City Hall weddings, it quickly became one of our favorite wedding locations. I’ve been privileged to have captured over 40 Civil Ceremonies at the San Francisco City Hall. I am intimately familiar with every aspect of City Hall, from where to park, where exactly to go, how long things take, and most importantly where are the best location and light to shoot in the City Hall. You can be confident that I’ll capture the shots you want, at a price you can afford, and that your wedding day will run smoothly.
Lets chat! Would love to hear what you are looking for!
I can walk you through the whole City Hall process, where to go, how long things take and best photography locations to look out for!
You can call me directly at 415-717-5497 as well! Will try to respond within few a hours!
FAQ – SF City Hall Guide and Tips
I’M COMING IN FROM OVERSEAS. IS THAT POSSIBLE?
Yes, of course! San Francisco City Hall will perform your ceremony, and all you need is valid passports. They will then ship out your certificate in two weeks. Make sure to fill out the online form and postage fees may apply.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME?
Generally, the best time is early in the morning (8-9:30am) or after 3:30PM. Fridays generally are the busiest day of the week, and usually, the City Hall is quietest on Tuesday and Wednesday. During the busier times there may be tourist there, but don’t worry! I’ll be able to navigate the best spots in the City Hall that is quite for amazing photos.
HOW MANY GUEST CAN I BRING TO SF CITY HALL CEREMONY?
City Hall website usually advises a six guest for the Rotunda Ceremony, but I’ve seen it up to 20 people without any issues. One-hour (private) weddings permit up to 100 guests. Two-hour (private) weddings permit up to 200 guests with an extra fee for each guest.
WHERE TO PARK?
There is tons of street parking, but it does get busy during the week so give 10-15 minutes to find parking and getting to the City Hall. It usually is best in the Civic Center Parking Garage across the street. The parking garage is underground and has a single entrance on McAllister St.
CAN YOU BE OUR WITNESS?
Of course! Generally, one witness needs to be present during the ceremony. This witness must accompany you before the ceremony when you check in to Room 168 before your ceremony time. If it’s just going to be the two of you, as your photographer, I would be honored to act as your witness!
CAN WE HAVE YOU COVER OUR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION DINNER/LUNCH?
Yes of course! We can shoot the ceremony at the City Hall, do a quick portrait session elsewhere in the city and get some shots at the reception and all depends on how much coverage you would like!
WHERE SHOULD WE GO FOR OUR SECOND LOCATION IF WE CHOOSE TO?
There are a lot of great locations to shoot around San Francisco which is an absolutely beautiful city. Here are some locations: Legion of Honors, Crissy Fields, Fort Point, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Baker beach! You are also welcomed to hop in my car if we go to another location and can think of me as your mini-tour guide!
WE CAN ONLY BOOK SF CITY HALL CEREMONY 90 DAYS IN ADVANCE, CAN WE BOOK YOU EARLIER?
Of course! Just go to the City Hall website and make reservations exactly 90 days prior to lock in your time slot.
HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
I think 2 hours is usually the best as this will give you just enough time to sign in, attend the ceremony, photograph your family, as well as portraits of you two! If you would like additional locations around San Francisco than would recommend 3 hours.
WHAT IS THE BEST SPOT TO GET MARRIED INSIDE THE BUILDING FOR A SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL WEDDING?
Most weekday San Francisco City Hall wedding ceremonies take place in The Rotunda, which is the beautiful public space on top of the grand staircase. The lighting on the 4th-floor balcony is probably my favorite in the whole City Hall. If you’d like a more private setting or if you’re having a lot of guests it’s also possible to rent the Mayor’s Balcony, North Fourth Floor Balcony, and South Fourth Floor Balcony. They can allow up to 100 guest which is great If you have larger parties
DO YOU DO VIDEOGRAPHY COVERAGE?
Yes, I do! Check out my wedding videography page. Please reach out for a custom quote if you are looking for video or video + photo package
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET MARRIED AT SF CITY HALL?
City Hall ceremony is $83. The marriage license fee is currently $104. For the private balconies that can hold up to 100 guests is currently $1002.
FAQ – My SF City Hall Wedding Photography Process
HOW AND WHEN DO WE GET THE PHOTOS?
I usually have the photos edited and sent over within 5-7 days. Most other photographers can take four to six weeks, but I limit the number of ceremonies I take so can focus on each individual client. I will upload them to a private online website where you can view, save, share, and print.
WHAT IS YOUR PROVIDED IMAGES FORMAT?
I provide JPGs without any watermarks and just ask that when posting on social media to provide credit.
HOW MANY PHOTOS WILL WE RECEIVE?
Anywhere from 80-100 an hour, all depends on the variety of content, and a mixture of color and black and white.
DO YOU HAVE THE NECESSARY PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITS AND LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Of course! Have full liability insurance and very familiar with the staff and officiates at the City Hall.
WHAT KIND OF RIGHTS DO WE HAVE TO THE PHOTOS?
You’ll have full printing rights to your wedding photos. The full resolution images can be printed, shared, and used for any personal purpose.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF BOOKING?
We’ll hop on a quick call to discuss what you are looking for and I can walk you through the whole process. After that, I’ll send you a quick online contract form to fill out and require a 25% retainer that can be sent over via PayPal/Venmo to lock in the date. Rest of the amount is due on day of the event.