Carleigh & Adam

Who says you can’t have a small wedding ceremony in the City Hall without your bridesmaids and groomsmen? Carleigh and Adam definitely didn’t think so.

Yes, it was small.. yes it was intimate.. and it was perfect! We got great emotional ceremony photos, lots of group photo variations and of course a good variety of photos with just the couple. Couldn’t help it but take extra photos of just the lovely bride by herself.

Irem & Berti

When your family is not in the same country when you decide to get married, you bring your close friends and Skype.

I have photographed large wedding, very large weddings. I do enjoy that, but a smaller wedding is more relaxing for bride and groom as well as their guests. Everyone gets time to talk to them, joke around, take photos and it ends up being more personal and emotional to capture.

That’s how it turned out when Irem & Berti got married. Once we shot the ceremony, group photos and most of Irem & Berti photos that i wanted to do, I did a few portrait solo photos. As you talk to your couple while shooting and behind the scenes, you learn a lot more. Like the fact that Berti was studying to be a photographer and does some great aerial photos - i checked out his instagram later on.

The best part about my job is that I get to meet people i normally wouldn’t meet. I get to hear stories, learn about their lives, what they like, what they do and at the same time be part of one of their most memorable day.

Cristina & Florian

Who says that after years of being with each other the feelings go away, dry up. No.. they are not the same when the 2 people just met. Emotions, feelings, attachments evolve. If a couple evolves together, they grow even closer. It’s great to see that kind of couple getting married after knowing each other for many years.

I really wanted to focus on that natural energy and chemistry that Cristina and Florian have. I wanted to focus more on their personality and do more closeups than wide shots. There was a lot of intimacy that i didn’t want to miss and lose. At the same time how can we forget - we are a beautiful San Francisco City Hall. I wanted to capture that as well. So at the end we ended up with lots of intimate photos while not forgetting where we are at.

Boris PolisskyComment
Xinwei & Minmeng - Valentine's day

Valentine’s day is a special kind of day at the San Francisco City Hall. It’s also one of the busiest day a year when it comes to weddings. On days like that we are always prepared to take advantage of the open areas as soon as we see them.

Now Xinwei & Minmeng got very lucky on that day in so many ways. They got one of my favorite City Hall officiant, their ceremony was moved up to the 4th floor. In addition to that we timed it right so they could get a clean shot of the Grand Stairwell. For those who have come to the City Hall on regular days, they would know that people are constantly going up and down the stairwell and standing on the 2nd floor. So the grand stairwell shots .. clean grand stairwell shots.. are not always possible. However it all was doable on February 14th for this awesome couple.

This is just a small sample of variety of photos the couple received . Both natural and flash light used.

Laura and Ivan

I have the most respect and admiration for couples who can endure and overcome the difficulties of a long distance relationship. I had mine for 2 years and our patience was running out towards the end. Now image 7 years… That’s how long it too Laura and Ivan not to say goodbye and plan next time they get to see each other.

And i have to say it’s great to see a couple overcoming the distance, the issues that come with it and witness them getting married in SF City Hall with only close family from both sides present.

Since their’s was the last wedding of the day, we enjoyed a very quiet (for the most part) City Hall and were able to get some really nice clean wide shots that are hard to get on a busy City Hall day.

Wishing both Laura and Ivan many many years of happiness as i could see the long distance relationship brought them even closer.

Boris PolisskyComment
Kristine & John

Our first wedding on 2019 was Kristine and John tying the knot in beautiful San Francisco City Hall. It was pretty quiet after the holiday rush. Kristine and John brought their 7 months old son Al and it was just the 4 of us wandering around the City Hall. The wedding session turned more into a family session and I wanted to make sure I leave them with a great collection of photos with the 3 of them. The more i do this, the more I realized it’s not the fancy, artistic shots that matter to a lot of couples. It’s these true moments where the family is captured our this special day. I feel we accomplished it quiet well.

Michelle & Ben

Close family and friends attended this ceremony at the City Hall. This being late in the day allowed us to spend more time around the City Hall and get wider shots, more architectural shots and of course more intimate and private images.

Boris PolisskyComment
Karyn & Jeff

As photographers we have the an opportunity to meet new people every single day. You get to hear stories of how couples met, how they like spending time together, how they feel about each other. Spending an hour or two with them isn’t a lot but we are lucky to share some of their most memorable experiences.

Last week we had 2 couples that met online and after several years took it to the next step - tying the knot in San Francisco City Hall

Karen & Jeff had a small ceremony inviting their 3 kids to join. The “kids” were all in their 20s, happily smiling, joking around and at some point singing along to “I won’t give up" by Jason Mraz - a song which has a special meaning to the couple. Once we found that out, we got our iphone out and made them dance to a 6/8 tune.

They each read their vows after the ceremony and talked about how much they mean to each other. The kids posed and fooled around while we took a few photos of the couple. And once done we did a few photos of the kids too.

Boris PolisskyComment
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Information

SF City Hall Wedding Walkthrough


Fourth Floor, SF City Hall, Rosey Bouquet

SF City Hall Photo began in 2015 as an affordable and high-quality photography service for couples getting married inside the iconic downtown building. After spending so much time in and around the structure, we thought we should share some tips and suggestions for making your San Francisco City Hall wedding even more enjoyable, and perhaps alleviate any confusion you may have about how the entire process works.

IMG_6852.jpg

Civil ceremonies take place Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 3:30pm. You must first make a reservation online to schedule an appointment for your marriage license and your marriage ceremony.  Payment for both services is due upon making the reservation, and is $107, and $86 respectively.  

Whenever possible, we recommend getting your marriage license on a day other than your ceremony dateHowever, if your license and ceremony appointments are on the same day, make sure to schedule them at least one hour apart.


      Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio got married at SF City Hall in 1954!

The County Clerks Office in room 168 is where you will check in and handle your paperwork.  You'll receive a ticket before being asked to wait in the hallway until your number is called. Getting through the office is generally a breeze, however, it's always wise to arrive early in case their are delays.  

Once your number is called we go back inside the clerk's office and meet the person who will be marrying you that day. Interestingly enough there are more than a dozen volunteer officiants who rotate during the week. We have had the pleasure of working with almost all of them and, very similar to us, they love what they do.

After greeting and handling paperwork, you will be asked if you are exchanging rings and given the choice of where you would like the ceremony to take place: private room or the Rotunda. The idea of a private room may sound appealing but in reality is a rather drab, windowless box which doesn't allow for stunning images. The Rotunda is the place to be.

You too can be a deputy marriage officiant for a day!

Another thing to keep in mind is the length of the ceremony itself. If you elected to use a city-appointed officiant the ceremony itself lasts no more than 5 minutes. You will also not be allowed to exchange your own vows. A private officiant is something to consider if you would like to share your own written vows with your partner. We enthusiastically recommend the services of San Francisco-based officiant Mark Hespeth

After choosing your location you both will be asked to show your identification and sign the marriage license. One witness (Two Max) needs to be present to sign the license as well as the decorative certificate City Hall provides for newlyweds. If your wedding is a low-key affair with just the two of you we can happily act as an official witness and sign the corresponding documents, just let us know.


Finally, the paperwork is settled and you are asked to head upstairs to the Rotunda to wait for the beginning of your ceremony. Typically there are at least 2-3 other couples getting married by the same officiant, so while you may be the first or last, it is best to go straight to the Rotunda forthwith to avoid any delays and potentially lose your place. We can help usher the rest of your party upstairs so everyone can watch this magical moment.

Helpful Links

ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM

Fee Schedule

County Clerk Office: General Info, Marriage

County Clerk Office: FAQ

Badhia & Zack

People meet in different places, under different circumstances.  They come from different countries, cities, cultures.  And then one day a few months later, few or even 10 years later they feel that getting married is the next logical or emotional step.  And if one lives in San Francisco why look for another place to get married.  People come from all over the world to tie the knot in beautiful San Francisco City Hall.  

Badhia and Zack like many of us get shy in front of the camera and were not sure how the whole experience will go.  But 15 minutes into our session they felt at ease and even started chatting about life while I was posing them.  We spent some time in the City Hall and then headed to Crissy Fields and Palace of Fine arts to complete our photo collection.  At the end we got a great fun, serious, silly series of images that they felt represent them.  

Andrea & Kevin

Andrea and Kevin are getting married in Aruba in 2019, but wanted to do a session at the City Hall as they were getting their license.  They came in on Friday afternoon and although City Hall got filled up with occasional tour groups, it was relatively quiet as the last ceremonies were finished at 3.30.  That allowed us room to maneuver around the City Hall and actually achieve a "clean", crowd-less shot of the Grand Stairwell.  I have to admit it's quite a rare occasion and even then i had to polite ask a few people to move for just a split second.  

It was a gorgeous day and i wanted to take advantage of the outdoors and the sun creating glares and fun shadows.   The end result is quite a good collection of photos done within a very short period of time. 

Shiqi & Ollie

Surrounded by friends Shiqi and Ollie tied the knot.  We had fun few hours covering all 4 floors of the City Hall. 

Boris PolisskyComment
Daniella & Ricky
Boris PolisskyComment
Aislinn & Philip

Ailsinn and Philip came all the way from Chicago to get married in the City Hall. No guests, no large parties... just the 2 of them. I served as their witness, photographer and guide around the City Hall for about an hour.  Aislinn mentioned to me earlier that her parents got married in the City Hall, so it was a special location for her. She even showed me a photo of her parents on the steps of the City Hall and asked if we could do a similar photo. We did, minus the pigeons that seemed to have made their habitat on the steps years back. Nowdays you don't get to see that. All though it would make for some good photos.  

Anh & Paul 1 year later

Anh and Paul married in June 2017 and one of the first weddings i did when i took over SF City Hall Photo.  The was lots of natural chemistry and they were a fun and easy couple to work with for a few hours we had together.   I approached them a few weeks ago and offered to go for a walk in San Antonio Rancho around the sunset and take some photos.   They agreed and let me tell them what to do once again.  As a result we got a nice collection of photos ourdoors.  

Kayla and Chris

Parents from both sides, bride's grand parents and bride and groom came together on a Friday afternoon.   Kayla and Chris have been together for a few years but this is the 1st time their parents meet.  One side is coming from Boston while another from San Diego for a wedding that brings the family together.   The grand parents served as witness. 

How it all started and my favorite photographer

I always admired one photographer who happened to be  a good friend of mine.  Before taking up photography seriously most of my free time was dedicated to recording, producing and playing music.  I needed to do some photos done for my album and of course asked my friend Joseph to do that. At that time i didn't realize i'll be learning the skill of photography from him.  Few years later I tagged along to most wedding he was shooting trying to learn as much as i could first hand from someone who's done it for 15 years professionally, someone who's very creative and enjoys what he does.  He inspired me and still does. He pushed me to be better and to improve every single time i shoot.  

I started doing my own sessions- friends, friends of friends, relatives and eventually weddings.  Then SF City Hall Photo happened and the rest is history. I get to spend time with beautiful happy couples and share some of their most memorable moments.  Not just share but capture them.  

And all that thanks to Joseph.  Check out his San Francisco City Hall Wedding photography  https://www.iqphoto.com/cityhall

Boris PolisskyComment
Zoe and Daniel

Over the years we have shots hundreds of weddings from small number of guests fitting all comfortably under the Rotunda to large weddings where the whole City Hall had to be booked.  They all have their uniqueness, lots of interesting moments and shots to capture.  One of our favorite though is when it's just the photographer and the couple.  First of all the couple is more relaxed - there's no pressure as it's just them.  They are there for themselves only... and for the photographer who hungrily takes the advantage of this opportunity.  

 

Zoe and Daniel were such a couple.  It was just the 2 of them.  After being together for 5 years, they felt it time to tie the knot with a quiet ceremony. They were at first shy in front of the camera stating they don't like too many pictures. But as the time together went on they became very comfortable with the camera in front of them to the point that they completely forgot about it at times.  As a result we got some very real photos even when they were posed.  

Boris PolisskyComment
Tati & Brian

Couples come from all over the world to get married in San Francisco City Hall.  Over the years I've met people who flew from different states and different countries to tie the knot in beautiful City Hall.  

In this case the groom is local Californian, while his bride came all the way from Brazil.  Only Brian's family attended, but we made sure to capture the ceremony and plenty of family and portrait photos for the family in Brazil.  As a side bonus we recorded a video of the ceremony just because we could.  They were a real pleasure to work with.  These are the moments i wish we had the whole day to photograph the couple.  But oh well.. after about an hour we had to let them go to enjoy the rest of their lovely day. 

Victoria & Kennon
Boris PolisskyComment