Indian City Hall wedding

For this Indian City Hall wedding, Sandhya the bride took inspiration from her originally Indian heritage (via the Fiji Islands!). The Bay Area native wanted to honor her roots at the more formal City Hall ceremony ahead of a relaxed shindig the following weekend.

Check out the very informal picnic reception at the Roberts Regional Park in Oakland!

Formal ceremony vibes

For their wedding ceremony itself however, they wanted to inject a little more formality and pomp to the occasion. It was a very small ceremony with just immediate family & close friends present, numbering around 10. As it was a second marriage for both of them, the intimate & informal nature of their celebrations suited them down to the ground.

Sean wore a very dashing black tux, while Sandhya opted for a GORGEOUS blue imported Indian lengha in honor of her Indo-Fijian heritage. Against the pinkish hues of the San Francisco City Hall’s Tennessee marble, it really popped. I would LOVE to see more brides wearing blue!

I also encourage couples breaking with tradition or following traditions that honor their culture of origin. White dresses sure are pretty but there are actually endless options. If a white dress doesn’t suit your vibe, get inspiration from elsewhere!

Candid photography

Sandhya first reached out because she was drawn to my candid imagery and unobtrusive style. She reached out a full year before her Indian City Hall wedding – she’s uber organized! She emphasized the importance of unposed shots of the interactions between the guests, which I was happy to oblige as it’s my specialty!

With a group as fun as this there were so many opportunities for great interaction shots which can be taken unobtrusively. There was a good mix of ages, from Sandhya’s mom and stepdad, Sean’s mom, and Sandhya’s 15-year old, plus friends who injected a lot of lively fun to proceedings.

Although I don’t show the formal, posed portraits in my blog posts or anywhere else online, they are an integral part of wedding photography and something you and your guests will treasure for years to come. Some things may have changed, but formal posed pics of all your loved ones remain the same!

With everyone in their finery for this Indian City Hall wedding, it’s sure an occasion you’ll want to capture formally!

After the ceremony

Rest assured that right after ceremony we will have time put aside to capture all the family/ friend groupings you’d like. I’ll ask for a list of all the groupings so we can bang out those pictures efficiently and effortlessly.

I love City Hall weddings so much! Even though the format is essentially the same for every 5-minute civil ceremony, it is quite astounding how much personality couples inject into the details. Everything from their outfits, to their accessories, their vibe and expectations and what the guests bring.

Indian and cultural ceremonies

Couples often dress way more boldly (none more so than for an Indian City Hall wedding). They often seek to express their personalities way more fully. And the stress level is very low – because there is nothing to worry about! You have just a couple of vendors and everything else is done for you!

The fast pace of the City Hall wedding is something I really enjoy, too. We have just 4 – 5 minutes to capture the I Do’s, ring exchange, tears, laughs, first kiss etc.

My favorite thing though about City Hall weddings is that we can go ANYWHERE in SAN FRANCISCO to capture you and your boo in creative portraits! Get in touch and I’ll share all the good stuff.


couple checking in for wedding in room 168 city hall clerk's office candid san francisco city hall wedding photography on guest interactions happy san francisco city hall wedding couple relaxed ceremony formal san francisco city hall with indian cultural outfit in rotunda san francisco city hall wedding ceremony in rotunda first kiss group portrait after city hall wedding in rotunda 3rd floor windows of san francisco city hall and wedding rings beautiful san francisco city hall wedding photography indian swirl couple mehendi on san francisco city hall bride fun san francisco city hall couple getting tangled up under indian shawl details of city hall wedding couple, shoes etc on 4th floor north light gallery couple celebrating outside doors of city hall after wedding

Want more information?

Comprehensive frequently updated info from SF City Hall

Specific wedding-focused City Hall info from their dedicated event website

How do we get married at City Hall? Your complete guide to the process by Zoe Larkin

10 City Hall Tips You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else by Zoe Larkin

Request Zoe’s info & pricing guide for San Francisco City Hall wedding photography


san francisco city hall wedding photographer

Zoe Larkin is a San Francisco-based wedding photographer specializing in San Francisco City Hall weddings. Her work has been published on A Practical Wedding, Offbeat Bride, Equally Wed and Catalyst Wed Co among many others. Read more about Zoe’s SF City Hall services here. 


Sandhya + Sean | Indian & black-tie City Hall ceremony

previous clients

April 20, 2019


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