Yumi and Dayo are an AMAZING couple – so gentle, full of heart, good-humored, loving and giving. They came to visit me back when I lived in Oakland a good few months before their wedding. Yup, they’re super organized types.
We talked about Redwood City, banana bread, work/life balance and their story – over homebaked goods, of course.
At the end of the meeting I gave Yumi one of my little branded book bags – and she had it with her on her City Hall wedding day!
They had first reached out to me 5 months before their wedding with excitement but in a relaxed way, more excited about being married than a huge celebration. Their wedding took place on 12/21 – no excuse for forgetting that wedding anniversary!
They tied the knot in the rotunda area of City Hall, the most popular spot for the short five minute ceremonies. It was decorated with a pretty Christmas tree which gives a wonderfully festive flavor!
After ceremonies, I normally take couples and their guests to the third floor (if the 4th isn’t available) for formal posed guest / family photos.
They kept the guest list deliberately small and very low key
They kept the guest list deliberately small and very low key, with just one sibling + their chosen family.
It’s hard when your family is spread out all over the world, Nigeria and Japan mostly, but they decided a larger reception at a later date would be SO worth it! It’d be basically the only time everyone would actually be in the same room (or, let’s be real, country) at the same time.
Their larger wedding celebration took place at the beautiful Cornerstone Sonoma a few months after their San Francisco City Hall ceremony.
Yumi and Dayo really wanted a relaxed day, so they decided to take their time with their creative couple’s portrait session and not overstretch themselves with different locations and complex logistics.
Don’t get me wrong though, I do love an itinerary that pushes us, keeps me on my toes and gets the couple maximum bang for their buck, it’s just not for everybody to be rushing around. I make sure that the coverage that my couples buy suits the pace that they imagine for their day.
We kept it sweet and simple for a handful of portraits outdoors.
Outdoor portraits are something I insist on for every City Hall wedding couple, even if it’s just a few shots of the couple leaving through the iconic ‘City Hall’ door on Polk.
It’s worth spending even a few minutes getting portraits outdoors in natural light
It’s really worth spending even just a few minutes getting some portraits in natural light to avoid a) higher levels of noise or grain due to the darker atmosphere and b) the color cast of artificial light which cameras see as very yellow/ orange, though it looks neutral to our eyes.
To finish up, we had a few pictures at my favorite City Hall outdoor portrait location – the back of the building at Van Ness. The light was fading and we worked efficiently to get a wide variety of shots that show the grandeur of the building in the background plus the beautiful last light of the December day.
As you can see, there were loads of smiles and goofiness at this sweet City Hall wedding! Plus a simple, understated elegance that I love so much.
Congrats, Yumi & Dayo!
Vendor love //
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Zoe Larkin is a San Francisco-based wedding photographer & fine art graduate originally from London. She specializes in photographing intimate weddings for joyful, free-thinking couples. Zoe creates raw, personal images that evoke a range of emotions, combining documentary photography with a stylized edge. Her work has been published on Offbeat Bride, Equally Wed, Catalyst Wed Co, Love Inc Mag among others. She adores simplicity, kindness & Earl Grey. Zoe is an equality-minded vendor that celebrates diversity in all its forms. She is passionate about City Hall weddings, having had one herself! Read more about Zoe here.