Posts tagged wedding photography
SF City Hall throughout the years

Taking photographs isn’t a new business. Getting married isn’t new either. Getting married in San Francisco, having a small SF City Hall wedding isn’t new. But it doesn’t make it less special when you are the ones getting married.

It’s a great privilege to not just be part of one of the biggest event in a people’s lives, but to be trusted as a photographer during their San Francisco courthouse wedding. I never take it for granted and every single wedding try to be the best i possibly can as a photographer. Through the years I met people from all over the world. Couples come from the UK, Canada, New Zealand and other US tates specifically to get married in beautiful San Francisco City Hall. Other people come from all over the world and meet in the US, then decide to get married in San Francisco Courthouse. Every story is unique and I have to admit I enjoy these stories. Maybe it’s the History major (and Bachelors degree) or maybe I’m very interested in people.. how they met, what they thought of each other, how they get along. And of course not everyone is a extrovert and will tell me their whole life story. That’s totally ok. It’s really none of my business you can say. At the same time it doesn’t only satisfy my interest, but it brings more in couples when we take photos. It brings fun memories of how they met, fun or maybe serious moments. And as we talk, we walk around the City Hall and take photos. Sometimes there’s more time, sometimes there’s less.

My path to being San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer was in some ways accidental, but then i don’t really believe in accidents. Neither do i believe in preordained destiny. I think it’s somewhere in between where we decide how our life goes. But I’m grateful that over the few years as an owner and photographer of SF City Hall Photo i met such amazing people, became part of their life (even if for a moment) and was able to leave them with some of the greatest memories they will have.

Phykun and Jonathan by SF City Hall Photo

Not everything goes according to plan. And no… everyone who comes to get married to the City Hall gets married. Phykun and Jonathan had some issues during the check in, but we worked out through them together. At the end we found our own officiant who was on fire and did the ceremony better than any officiant could. I laughed while taking photos.

We spent some time around the City Hall covering all 4 floors, happily coming outside for some fresh air and last few photos.

Kristine & John by SF City Hall Photo

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.

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Information by SF City Hall Photo

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.

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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 date. However, 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.

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.

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. 

Kenzi and Chris
Kelsey & Sam
Katie & Martin
Elizabeth & Jon
Melissa & Alvin
Sharvari and Abhiram
Monday morning with Anh-Thu and Paul
A&S

Thanks for the great shoot! Another successful San Francisco City Hall Wedding!

A&L
The Dollar's

Another lovely couple who made the trip to San Francisco from Oklahoma. Congratulations!

April & Mark

Every time we get to photograph someone it's also a chance to make new friends. I am proud to say I have two new ones who traveled from Southern California to get married here in San Francisco. Hanging out with April and Mark was so much fun. Thanks you two!!!

J+M

Great time with the local couple, congrats to the newlyweds!

H+A

Photos at City Hall and on location in SF.  Great time with the lovely out of state couple, congrats from SFCH Photo!