Excited to share photos from another SF City Hall wedding! I was so pleased to get to know Jen and Jeff when they first reached out and told me about their plans for their San Francisco City Hall wedding.
About this super hip City Hall couple
These two people are the most incredible and inspirational world travelers.
We met at my place in the Mission District over turkey & beef tacos with cabbage & radish. They regaled me with tales from their recent yearlong trip traveling the whole world.
I was breathless just hearing about it, and it wasn’t just because of the extra hot salsa.
Jeff had proposed to Jen before they embarked on their extended travels.
The idea was to do a simple civil ceremony in their City of San Francisco soon after returning home.
It meant doing the whole wedding on a shoestring budget. San Francisco City Hall works great for working within small budgets.
You can be intentionally and marry simply, which suited them down to the ground.
Wedding photos at SF City Hall
As they didn’t want a lot of coverage I customized something just for them. Usually I begin with a 2-hour package but I actually did just 1.5 hours to keep costs down for them and leave them free to enjoy the rest of their day.
They loved my candid approach to wedding photography, incorporating lots of movement and natural smiley smiles!
There’s nothing worse than awkwardly holding a pose unnaturally while the photographer takes an age to get the shot.
Quickest way to zap a natural smile!
This couple’s San Francisco City Hall photography coverage
We started as I normally do outside room 168.
The checking in process can take as much as an hour and that’s without picking up the marriage license. This couple already had their marriage license.
They checked in 10 minutes before the appointment time. I suggest to couples to be the first to their timeslot by heading in 15 minutes before rather than 10.
The worst that can happen is they tell you you’re too early, wait another 5 mins!
After checking in, you head back to the corridor with your number waiting for it to appear on the one and only screen in the building.
You see your number then go in and meet with the judge who’ll be officiating your wedding!
Your witness will accompany you in at this point. It’s a simple and easy process to complete all the paperwork.
You’ll receive the souvenir marriage license (the real one comes in the mail 2 weeks later).
Then up to City Hall’s iconic rotunda
Then you’ll be sent up to the rotunda. However, don’t go too far! The judge will simply spot you and call out your name when it’s your turn to get married!
Jen and Jeff’s wedding date was quite busy. By the time the ceremony began, it was about 30 minutes after the designated appointment time. That’s about standard.
After their sweet wedding ceremony in the rotunda we took some posed pictures of the small group!
The only guest was Jen’s mom who’d flown in from Wisconsin.
Locations around City Hall for wedding pics
After that, we did some couples pictures in some of my fave City Hall photo spots!
My absolute favorite photo spot in San Francisco City Hall is the 4th Floor Gallery. Both sides are beautiful but the North Gallery has the better light.
It’s so lovely when there are not a ton of people around so we can do some wide shots taken from the other 4th Floor Gallery.
You stay put and I just scoot over and take a variety of different shots.
We finished up with some photos my favorite outdoor City Hall spot. I recommend all couples try and fit into their coverage some outdoor pictures, even if we limit it to just 10 minutes. Jen and Jeff did just that!
We were coming to the end of our coverage and the most beautiful light of the day. That last light was so stunning and gave a stylish, elegant mood.
Shorter coverage at SF City Hall weddings
We didn’t want to keep Jen’s mom waiting for too long, especially when she’d traveled such a long way and was the only guest!
I tend to keep the creative portraits short so you can enjoy your wedding day. Happy to take my cue from the couple as to how little or long they can spare for photos.
It’s not for everyone to rush around! For those on a tight budget though it can be a good workaround so you don’t have to go with the dreaded ‘budget photographer’ (they’re ‘budget’ for a reason!)
Vendors for SF City Hall
Jen and Jeff enlisted the help of their friend, Pilar, who is in the process of starting a floral design business called Two Penny Bloom. Pilar provided a beautiful, modern bouquet and boutonniere.
Florals really pop against the slightly pinkish Tennessee marble tones of City Hall! If you’re florally inclined I encourage you to invest in even the simplest bouquet. There are solutions for every budget these days. Even mail-order bouquets!
I would be delighted to provide a customized list of floral designers who experience with SF City Hall weddings.
Just let me know your floral vibe (e.g loose garden style/ big & bold/ classic & elegant / boho beach / modern & minimalist…)
As an experienced San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer I have an extensive list of vendors of all kinds I’m just waiting to share with you!
Whether it’s an HMUA, floral designer, dress store or something else. I’ll hook you up!
It was a super fun little ceremony and a very game couple =) Thank you for letting me document your wedding ceremony and congratulations, Jen & Jeff! To life’s newest adventure & many more to come!!
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.
Vendor love //
Want more information?
If you’re considering going for a meal or reception right after your SF City Hall wedding, I’ve created a guide to my 12 favorite hippest spots that welcome City Hall couples and their guests.