Although we hear so much about wedding planning, there are still couples that do the whole spontaneous City Hall elopement thing! Megs and Chad were one such couple that reached out to me just a few days before but we made it happen!

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The story

Megs and Chad eloped to San Francisco City Hall from Calgary, Canada where they live.

This was an absolutely spontaneous plan to get married, because why the hell not! Megs reached out very excitedly by email just 12 days before the wedding.

The couple was spending a few days in San Francisco for Megs’ birthday in October and in honor of her fav true crime Podcast live show, My Favorite Murder.

Megs wrote in her initial email, “we are wildly in love, love traveling, love spontaneous adventures, and making incredible once-in-in-a-lifetime memories”.

That pretty much sums up the thought behind the decision to elope. They were planning a bigger wedding reception for January 2019 in Calgary.

The order of the day was very low-key, relaxed, and chill time. This was a chance to take some pictures and enjoy a special vacation away together, just the two of them.

Megs + Chad wanted the number 13 in both their wedding dates. It’s a significant date for their larger reception in Canada.

When Megs went online to make their City Hall appointment, the only date available during their vacation was October 30 (10/30 so still a 13) – their preferred date!

Their check-in number was B103, so another 13 🙂 Meant to be!

After the ceremony

After a sweet, emotional ceremony in the beautiful rotunda, we took some photos around my favorite spots around City Hall. This included the grand staircase and the 4th Floor gallery.

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One of my favorite moments of the morning was when they exchanged personal cards. 

The meaningful exchange took place in the stunning Palace of Fine Arts. That was our second portrait location after Crissy Field with its Golden Gate Bridge views.

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There were nerves, and laughs and tears and hugs and it was the stuff that wedding photography is made of!

It’s such a lovely idea to write out some words of affirmation & love in a card to deliver later during the wedding day. You might exchange cards or read them out in your own private vow exchange ceremony.

While City Hall does not permit personal vows for the 5-minute public ceremonies, you make the rest of the day whatever you want it to be.

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I’d be happy to share with you some of my recommendations whether you’re looking for brunch restaurants, beaches, hikes, taco trucks or spas to continue your wedding day antics.

Cute touches

Megs wore a retro-inspired white dress with blue scallop design. White but not too wedding-y, and something she can wear again in the future! Plus, it had pockets 😉 Chad was in black pants, white shirt and vest with his trademark tweed cap.

They had with them a cute San Francisco tote bag which made for a fun memento of their trip and their wedding day.

We used Lyft for maximum efficiency between City Hall, Crissy Field and ending at the Palace of Fine Arts. We saved a lot of time vs driving & finding parking, so we managed to hit all the spots and stay within the 3 hours the couple had booked. Awesome.

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The couple ordered a beautiful coffee table book a few months after the City Hall wedding – scroll to the end to see! Isn’t it gorgeous?

If you’re looking for a San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer that’s experienced photographing elopements (even last-minute ones!) have a look at my pricing & services.

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Be sure to check out my ultimate guide to getting married at San Francisco City Hall! Always up to date, my guide takes you through it step by step and is the planning resource you’ve been looking for.

As featured on

This wedding was featured on Rock n’ Roll Bride! 

logo of rocknroll bride

Pin this graphic to your SF City Hall wedding planning board!

This rad couple LOVE their tattoos! They eloped spontaneously in San Francisco City Hall. Their simple, sweet wedding inspired by the number 13 was published on Rock n Roll Bride, the biggest alternative wedding magazine! Megs and Chad rocked their wedding photography session. They opted for 2 great portrait locations after their SF City Hall wedding, Crissy Field and the Palace of Fine Arts | #sfcityhall #sanfranciscocityhallwedding #rocknrollbride | Zoe Larkin Photography

About my SF City Hall photography services

Looking for a San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer? Look no further! I have an extensive blog library of detailed City Hall wedding planning articles, and I’m ready and waiting to create your customized wedding plan for your unique City Hall wedding! Spontaneous city hall elopements are not out of the question at all 😉 Get in touch for more!

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We will find something that’s just right for you, like we did for Megs & Chad. Congratulations, you two! 

READ MORE  San Francisco Elopement Photographer

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Want more information?

Comprehensive frequently updated info from SF City Hall

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

Information on my services & pricing for San Francisco City Hall wedding photography

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tattooed couple eloping at san francisco city hall

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Megs + Chad | Rad tattooed couple’s spontaneous City Hall elopement

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