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.
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.
It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the details of your wedding day. From finding the right dress to the perfect pair of cuff links, every little thing matters so much. But when you are all dressed and ready what is the best way to make it to the City and City Hall without causing undue stress and hardship on yourself and your guests.
Here are some tips to try and alleviate this confusion.
Public Transportation (BART, Muni, etc.)
If you have a morning ceremony it can get very, very busy on the commute into the city. If you are driving from the East Bay or the Peninsula the drive can easily become a two-hour plus nightmare if you don't leave very early. If you can take BART in we highly-recommend this option as you can exit at Civic Center and walk to City Hall in less than ten minutes. No worries about finding a parking space, or feeding the meter. You can arrive at City Hall early and change in one of the private bathrooms they have. Yes it is decidedly less romantic than driving away into the sunset but you can't beat the practicality.
Private Transportation (Your car)
Well if you know San Francisco traffic during the week then you know trying to get into the City from 7am to around 11:30am can be really bad. Even if we have a shoot at 10am, we still leave the house before 6am to cross the bridge before traffic gets insane. I know this sounds a little silly, arriving hours before the shoot and just sitting around. In fact, we like to arrive early as we can snag parking at a cheaper rate (more on this later), grab a leisurely breakfast, and double-check gear and appointments all before 8am. I have seen firsthand what it is like to get to the toll crossing before 6am and breeze through, and go 15 minutes later when it seems like every commuter in the Bay is trying to get across the bridge. Those few minutes can mean a difference of over an hour in commute time.
Car Service (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
I love to be driven around. It's so carefree and helps me to relax. Taking an Uber from your hotel to City Hall is one of the best and most convenient ways to get to your ceremony. You don't need to worry about parking fees and feeding the meter, you just get dropped off in front and you are good to go. If you are staying in the City proper, this is one of the best ways to get to City Hall.