San Francisco City Hall is one of the most beautiful places to get married with its grand staircase, elegant architecture, and romantic light streaming through the windows. As a local San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer, I've worked with so many couples to capture all the big and small moments of their wedding day. Whether you're looking to elope with just the two of you or want to have a full day wedding, check out this guide on how to get married at San Francisco City Hall for more info on common questions like different options (civil ceremony vs. 1-hour ceremony), costs, logistics, and sample timelines for photography coverage.
Table of Contents
This San Francisco City Hall Elopement and Wedding Guide covers:
1. Why get married at San Francisco City Hall?
2. What are my options for getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
3. What is the process for getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
4. What should I know before getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
5. How can I make my wedding day special?
6. How far in advance do I need to plan for my San Francisco City Hall wedding?
7. How many hours of photography coverage do I need?
8. Where can I host my reception after?
Why get married at San Francisco City Hall?
If you've ever seen photos of San Francisco City Hall, you'll probably know that the photos speak for themselves. Check out some galleries to see photos of San Francisco City Hall weddings and elopements:
What are my options for getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
There are 4 ways to get married at San Francisco City Hall:
Most couples opt for the civil ceremony when looking to just have an intimate elopement. If you have more guests or want more privacy, the 1-hour ceremony is a great option.
What is the process for getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
Two-Hour Weddings and Full Weddings
For private weddings, check out the San Francisco City Hall Events Office for more info on 2-hour weddings and evening weddings.
What should I know before getting married at San Francisco City Hall?
How can I make my wedding day special?
How far in advance do I need to plan for my San Francisco City Hall wedding?
A huge reason why couples choose to get married at San Francisco City Hall is because it's a beautiful space without all the details, complexities, and stress of planning a traditional wedding. How far ahead in advance you need to plan very much depends on whether you're doing a civil ceremony or 1-hour ceremony, how many guests you're having, popularity of wedding date, and whether you are planning a reception. Here are sample planning timelines to help you get started:
How many hours of photography coverage do I need?
To fully capture all the beautiful moments of your wedding day and the iconic shots of SF City Hall, I recommend a minimum of 2 hours for civil ceremonies, 3 hours for 1-hour ceremonies, and 4 hours for ceremony + some reception coverage. Because SF City Hall can get so busy, it is always better to err on the side of caution as sometimes you may need to wait for spots to clear out to take photos. I recommend planning for 60-90 minutes for couple portraits at SF City Hall, or 45-60 minutes if you will be also be taking couple portraits at a second location. Here are sample timelines to get you started:
Where can I host my reception after?
There are so many restaurants and venues in San Francisco ranging from rustic outdoor patios to 1900's historic taverns. If you're looking to host an intimate reception, check out The Venue Report for private dining options. Broaden your search to wedding venues if you have a larger guest count and are looking to host a wedding reception to dance the night away. Here are some options to get started:
Alright, what next?
Now that you've got some ideas started, let's chat and craft your perfect San Francisco City Hall wedding!