Getting married in San Francisco City Hall is much easier than planning an elaborate wedding, but there are still a few things you need to know to ensure that thing go smoothly.
The first step in making arrangements for a SF City Hall wedding is reservations. You’ll need to make one reservation to get your marriage license and a second for your ceremony. These can be made up to 90 days before your wedding date.
Both reservations can be scheduled for the same day, but be sure to allow at least an hour between the marriage license appointment and the ceremony time. If you prefer, you can get the marriage license before your wedding day, since they are valid for 90 days from the day they are issued.
Reservations can be made in person at City Hall on weekdays from 10:00 am until 3:30 pm, or online on the Civil Ceremony Reservations page of the City and County of San Francisco website. Reservations are given for three weddings at a time and each time slot is scheduled for 30 minutes.
Popular dates, such as Valentines Day or holiday weekends are snapped up quickly, so if you want them, reserving early on the morning that your 90 day window opens up is wise. Once you reserve a date, it cannot be changed, so choose carefully.
You will have to pay for your reservation when you make it, and fees are not refundable if you cancel your appointment. Payment forms accepted for reservations made in person are cash, money orders or debit cards. Online payments can be made with a Visa or Mastercard, and a $5 convenience fee will be added to your total.
The fee for your marriage license will be $97. A marriage ceremony performed in the Rotunda or a private ceremony room carries an additional $73 fee and you are given ten minutes of time for your ceremony. Reserving the Mayor’s Balcony or the 4th Floor for your ceremony will cost $1002, and you will have an hour for your ceremony.
Couples are limited to no more than six guests for ceremonies performed in the Rotunda or a private ceremony room. Since the Rotunda is a public space, many couples married there do have more than six guests present, but there is no guarantee it will be available. If you are married in a private ceremony room, that six guest limit may be more strictly enforced. Often, there will be other wedding parties in the area during your ceremony, waiting their turn for their own marriage.
Ceremonies performed on the 4th floor or the Mayor’s Balcony can include up to 100 guests. You can provide tables and chairs for refreshments if you like, but you will need to make those arrangements with the Office of Special Events. That office can be contacted online or by phone at (415) 554-6086 during office hours, which are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
What to Bring
On your wedding day, you’ll need to bring legal photo I.D., a valid marriage license and come equipped with cash, check or money order to pay your fees. You will need a witness for your ceremony, so if you aren’t inviting guests, be sure ask your photographer if he or she is willing to sign for you. Most experienced City Hall wedding photographers are happy to do so.
After the Ceremony
Once you’ve said your wedding vows and had a few ceremony pictures taken, it’s time to let your photographer take some wedding pictures in some of the many incredible spots in City Hall, or perhaps out among the may other beautiful San Fransisco landmarks in the area. After all, you’ll certainly want to have some spectacular wedding pictures as mementos of your SF City Hall wedding day.