San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography
There is a reason why our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography packages are among the most booked packages that StillNation has to offer. What place could possibly be better for a wedding venue in the area than the San Francisco City Hall? The magnificent building is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the country. Hundreds of people get married here from all over the world every year. It is, surely, one of the most ideal and appealing places in the bay area to host your wedding.
Some interesting facts of San Francisco City Hall
The City Hall was built in 1915. Arthur Brown was the one who directed this project. Brown, the famous architect, was also responsible for many other buildings in San Francisco, including the Opera House and the Coit Tower. One of the tallest domes in the United States is actually San Francisco City Hall. It is often called the crown jewel of classical American Architecture. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful Beaux-Arts buildings in the USA. The enormous city hall building occupies almost two city blocks within the heart of downtown San Francisco. The interior features birdcage elevators, crystal chandeliers, oak paneling and skylights, perfect for light to floor in making it ideal for taking pictures.
City Hall’s Popularity
There are more than 2,000 weddings hosted at the City Hall every year. Indeed, our favorite calls to get for serving brides and grooms is someone inquiring about a San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography. Even the wedding of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe was hosted there in 1954. Dozens of movies have featured this building, too. The James Bond movie, “A View To A Kill” from 1985, includes shots from inside the hall.
Unfortunately, the Loma Prieta Earthquake severely damaged this historic landmark in 1989. But the people of San Francisco loved the hall so much they spent $300 million to restore it. To protect against future earthquakes, below each support pillar sits an innovative base isolator system. Now the whole building is actually separated from the ground. Moreover, it can sway up to 27 inches in any direction. The South Light Court features a variety of interesting historical and community exhibits. The ground floor hosts exhibits operated by the San Francisco Arts Commission, these days the exhibits are images from famous photographers from all over the world and also some from San Francisco’s locals.
Choosing the right San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography company / Why us?
Weddings are our passion! At StillNation, we’re determined that choosing the right photographer is the key to a successful photo shoot. In fact, we feel that it’s our mission to make every couple feel comfortable and relaxed because it’s the best way to get the most natural images of your wonderful wedding. We want you to be yourselves. Each couple has a different energy and we know it, so we blend that energy into the images and that helps to create the best images possible. We try to make our presence as invisible as possible, but at the same time, we’ll direct you in different ways to achieve the best shots possible. Capturing your true emotions and feelings is our goal!
Our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Packages
Our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography packages go as following: for every 1 hour of coverage that you book, you get the selection of 1 location. If you decide to book a 1 hour San Francisco City Hall Wedding photography package there will be only 1 location for pictures – City Hall. If you decide to go with a 2hr San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography package, you get to choose 1 other location for photo shoot in addition to City Hall; that way, 2 hours of photography will be split between two locations. And so on…
Choosing second location
If you’re from out of town and are not familiar with San Francisco surroundings, don’t worry, we have some amazing places in mind that will showcase our beautiful city. A few of them are Crissy Field, The Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, Bakers Beach, Legion of Honor and lots of other wonderful places in and around San Francisco.
If you book more than 1 hour of coverage, but you fall in love with City Hall so deeply you don’t want to leave it, we can simply continue the photography session in the city hall. There are plenty of beautiful spots to create wonderful images over there. Your experienced photographer knows them very well, and will walk you through all of them. Because of the natural light that is always streaming in City Hall, there is always gorgeous light to photograph your wedding ceremony no matter what time it is.
Prices for our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography packages
Our affordable San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography package starts at $550 for 1 hour of photography coverage. If you decide you’d want to get some extra time or another location, it will be only $250 for every additional hour. We don’t charge anything extra for other expenses, such as parking or travel fees. Except if you choose a long distance destination for a second location (we’ve even traveled to Half Moon Bay for a second location, we just need some fair warning), which may be possible if it works with our schedule. Please remember – time on the road to the second location counts. Choosing the secondary locations close to city hall is the best option. Total balance will be due on the day of your wedding. You can make payments directly or through online payment systems, that are also very convenient and safe to use.
What you’ll get with the San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography package
We promise unlimited High Resolution JPEG files, which you will be able to download and share with your friends and family.
You can also order wedding albums in different styles starting from $595. Prices vary depending on the style and volume of the album.
-Custom Slide Show:
Our images will bring you joy and happiness, but sometimes clicking though 150+ images can be a hassle when you are showing them to your friends. For our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography packages, we can offer you a custom made slideshow with a song of your choosing. It will take one week to have it delivered to you because the slideshows are completely custom made. We charge $250 for the slideshow
We use professional equipment for all of our photo shoots. We use Canon cameras, as well as L-Series prime and zoom lenses
San Francisco City Hall Procedure for Wedding Ceremony
First of all, you will need to make a reservation for getting your marriage license. It takes two steps:
1st To obtain your marriage license, go to Room 168. Its location is on the first floor of the North Light Court. The fee for that is $101.
2nd Book your wedding ceremony’s date and time. The fee for the ceremony is $77.00. It will be due at the time of scheduling. You can make payments with Cash, money order, or debit card and only in person. For updated information on prices, we recommend you to check them online on City Hall’s official website.
*You can also make your reservations online with your Visa or MasterCard, plus $5.00 convenience fee will apply.
The San Francisco City Hall schedule for these services is Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except holidays, by prepaid and confirmed reservation only.
Additional Ceremony Information
There are three reservation slots available during each time period. You can get married on the same day or you can schedule your ceremony for later. But remember, you can only schedule it 90 days in advance. For the ceremony, don’t forget to bring your valid IDs and a valid marriage license. Also, if your marriage license wasn’t purchased in San Francisco, it must be a public marriage license, otherwise it won’t be valid and you will be asked to make another reservation and pay the fee once again. If you are planning to purchase your marriage license on the day of your wedding, you will need to make a reservation at least half an hour before your ceremony time.
You should check in to the Room 168 at least ten minutes before your reservation time. Also, for your ceremony you will have to bring your own witness. In case if you will need help with finding a witness, we’ll be honored to be that witness.
Deputy Marriage Commissioner performs the civil ceremonies. You can hire your own commissioner as well. We love when people do that because it gives you extra time and makes it more formal.
When choosing the City Hall commissioner to marry you:
First of all, you won’t have to deal with the paperwork, he/she will do it for you. Second, you can pick the time and place. Then, the commissioner will choose the ceremony place. It is usually the Rotunda, if available, or a private room, located behind the Grand Staircase, next to the Recorder’s Office. Specific requests for the rotunda or any other area are not accepted, since the City Hall can’t guarantee availability.
There’s an opportunity of renting a Mayor’s Balcony and the 4th floor, the North or the South Side for your wedding ceremony. Also, if you’d like to rent out the whole building for large weddings, it is possible to do so during weekends and after hours. You just need to call the County Clerk and make a reservation. However, be ready to pay.
Best spots in the City Hall for wedding ceremony
Each floor of the City Hall has it’s own ambience, lighting and energy. If you’ve never been there before we would highly recommend that you and your future spouse have a little tour before your marriage day. Just to feel the atmosphere of each spot, and to choose the one that best fits your needs, and is closest to your personalities. Depending on how many guests you are planning to bring to your City Hall Wedding, you can make a choice between quieter and more intimate place or more spacious and open location. By the way, City Hall officially let’s you bring up to 6 guests, but don’t worry if you go over one or two. If you are planning to have a bigger ceremony with more guests when the City Hall recommends, you can check out their website for reservations.
The main ceremony spots of San Francisco City Hall
-The Grand Staircase-
The first floor is one of the busiest parts of the building. Despite that, it’s quite popular among marrying couples. This spot clears an open space for the ceremony in the middle of the Grand Staircase, giving you the feeling of being the center of attention and nice view above al the spectators. The top of Grand Staircase leads to the heart of the City Hall – The Rotunda.
The Ceremonial Rotunda is the most popular spot for getting married in the building. Even the wedding of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe took place there. The Tennessee pink marble makes up the Rotunda floor. Its design features an ornate and intricate design. Limestone blocks, brought from Colorado make the walls look gorgeous.
Four Medallions are decorating the walls of the Rotunda. An outstanding sculptor, whose name is H. Crenier, created those Medallions. Particularly, among them there’s a Medallion of Equality. She gained national attention when in June 2013, the Lt Governor mentioned her in his speech, after the Proposition 8 was proclaimed unconstitutional and same-sex couples got the right to get married legally.
Lots of embellishments surround the Rotunda, such as Greek Mythological faces that decorate the first floor of the Rotunda. On the East side you see the famous Father Time holding an hourglass in his hand. You can see the past on his left and future on his right.
-The Mayor’s Balcony-
The Mayor’s Balcony is large space on the second floor, overlooking the whole of city hall. It sits in front of the actual room where Mayor of San Francisco works. It has a perfect view on the Rotunda and the Grand Staircase in the background
-The Third floor-
The 3rd floor is perfect for the couples that want a quieter and a more intimate wedding. It has lots of natural sunlight during daytime thanks to huge windows on both sides of it.
-The Fourth floor-
The 4th floor is our favorite spot for getting married. You can reserve both sides for some extra cost, if you do not want anyone walking your background. The City Hall will close it for two hours just for you, set chairs and even serve champagne. The North Side has the best light for our images because of the large bay windows and the light spilling in from the background giving up an opportunity to include the well-exposed ornate dome that only city hall can offer. The stunning panoramic view of this location will amaze you. The fourth floor has huge half-circled windows with classic mosaic, which depicts historical scenes.
Address and parking:
San Francisco County Clerk
City Hall, Suite 168
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102-4678
Phone: (415) 554-4950
There is an underground public parking lot across the road from City Hall. We don’t recommend parking on meters. The cost is the same as for parking lot, but there is a higher risk of getting tickets.
By the way, the City Hall is completely ADA accessible.
We’re available to help you with all of this – just send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to guide you through the San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography booking process, as well as help you with any other questions and/or concerns you may have.