San Francisco City Hall is a beautiful and iconic location for weddings. This guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to plan your perfect City Hall wedding.
Before your wedding ceremony, you must obtain a marriage license. The current fee is $116, and the license expires in 90 days. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 3:30 pm. Schedule your marriage license appointment on the County Clerk website and visit Room 168 at San Francisco City Hall with valid IDs for both parties. We recommend getting the license ahead of your wedding day to ensure a smooth check-in process.
There are two types of ceremonies at San Francisco City Hall: public civil ceremonies and private ceremonies.
– Public Civil Ceremony: Performed at the Rotunda, the public civil ceremony costs $116 and allows up to six guests. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Schedule your ceremony reservation on the County Clerk website, and arrive 15 minutes before your reservation at the Information Desk in Room 168.
– Private Ceremony: For more privacy, a larger guest count, and longer ceremony duration, consider a private ceremony. There are several options:
– One-Hour Wedding Package: Costing $1,000, this package offers private use of either the Mayor’s Balcony or the Fourth Floor Galleries for one hour, accommodating up to 100 guests. Ceremonies take place Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm.
Parking can be challenging around San Francisco City Hall. The Civic Center Parking Garage, located across the street, is a convenient option. Alternatively, consider using Lyft, Uber, or public transportation like BART.
– Best Day and Time: Consider your preferred day and time for your wedding, keeping in mind that City Hall is a bustling tourist destination. Fridays are typically the busiest, while Mondays are the slowest.
– Witnesses: California state law requires one witness to be present during the ceremony. You may bring a second witness if desired. Your photographer can also serve as a witness.
– Officiant: City Hall provides an officiant for civil ceremonies, but you’ll need to provide your own officiant for private ceremonies. Alternatively, a friend or family member can apply to be a Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day.
In summary, getting married at San Francisco City Hall involves obtaining a marriage license, choosing the type of ceremony, planning your reception, arranging transportation and parking, hiring a photographer, and considering additional factors such as witnesses and officiants.
According to our research and experience, the best time to get married at San Francisco City Hall would be early morning before 10AM or late afternoon after 3PM.
The current limit is 6 guests for any San Francisco City Hall wedding. However, if you are renting a space via event department, you can have up to 100 on the 4th floor and up to 40 on the Mayor’s Balcony.
Between 20-30 minutes. The actual Civil Ceremony in the Rotunda last about 5 minutes. Registration prices can be as quick as 5 minutes and as long as 45 minutes depending on the County Clerk’s office schedule.
Yes, your friend can get a “minister for the day” license from the County Clerk and officiate your wedding instead of a City Hall provided officiant. However, you may not be able to get married in the Rotunda. Since City Hall has many beautiful private areas, it usually not an issue.
While it is possible to obtain a marriage and get married at City Hall without an appointment, it is unlikely that County Clerk office will agree to that although we’ve witnessed just that more than once. We highly recommend making an advance reservation.
Yes, you can choose either to exchange rings or omit this part from your Ceremony. The deputy marriage commissioner will ask you if you are going to exchange rings.
No. This is not permitted during the Civil Ceremony. Some officiants are okay with that but the general answer is no since there are other couples waiting in line to get married.
Yes, your photographer will be able to photograph you at any available public location inside the City Hall.
No. Any person over 18 years old who understands English (Ceremonies can be arranged in Spanish as well) and has a valid passport can obtain a marriage certificate and get married at San Francisco City Hall.
There is no concrete rule. We see clients dress “casual smart” or have a full wedding attire including tuxedo and full length gown. More often though its a shorter white dress and a suit.
Yes, you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate online, 2-3 weeks after the wedding and can order it to be mailed anywhere including international destinations. US military personnel can expedite this process.
Practically any SF based studio offer City Hall packages. You should only focus your attention on the quality of presented images, and a customer feedback. Remember that wedding photography is a lifetime investment.
Emotions: Take a closer look at our SF City Hall Couples.
Close-ups & Medium Range
Details: Shoes, Flowers, Jewelry and more!
creative & Fun Ideas
Grand Staircase: A favorite Location For Many Couples!
Epic Spots & Ideas
Videos: See Visual Stories We Create.
Slideshows & Fusion Videos
INCLUDED WITH SELECTED PACKAGES
Being so close to our clients on the wedding day allow us to capture many intimate moments on film. The end result can be put together in a form of a cinematic story.
Our team has experience in taking and producing full wedding videos. But since intimate weddings do not require a large scale production team, these short stories are relatively easy to capture.
My husband and I wanted a small and simple wedding. Wedding photography is an art and luxury, and so we were at first unsure if it would be something for us, but when we saw that SFCHWP offers beautiful photography in small packages we decided to go for it. We chose the package including photo’s of the ceremony and a couple of poses.
Joey was our photographer and he knows SF city hall really well. We married on a crowded day with lots of other couples and still he managed to get shots of us as if we had the city hall to ourselves! Really impressive. Joey spent quite some time with us and we never felt rushed.
Two weeks later we received the photo’s and they turned out great! We like them so much we are considering ordering more photo’s than we initially planned :).
Finally, communicating with SFCHWP was also easy. Megan is very responsive and answered all our questions quickly and adequately.
All in all, we are very happy we chose SFCHWP!
IF YOU ARE EVEN CONSIDERING SFCHWP, LOOK NO FURTHER THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!
We worked with Joey for our City Hall wedding on July 5th and just received our pictures!!! THEY ARE AMAZING, OMG I ALMOST CRIED!!! Joey made us feel super comfortable and took tons of amazing shots!!! Like literally every single picture is amazing.
When we first met up he was early so we took a few posed shots on the grand staircase and on the balcony. We then went back and checked in with the judge, that’s when the candid session began! All of the ceremony pictures are so sweet and he really did an amazing job capturing the moment for us! I AM SO THANKFUL 🙂 We then took more posed pictures in the long hall on the upper level as well as in front of the City Hall door! He had so many great poses and ideas for our pictures that really helped create a variation in all of them!!
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with any other photographer! He is so skilled and knows exactly what works and all the most beautiful spots in City Hall! Thank you so much Megan and Joey!!!
Hello everyone ! We just got our pictures and wanted to share how amazing they are ! We love them all ! It’s definitely hard to pick just a few !Joey our photographer was so amazing ! Super nice, friendly, and so so professional! Joey not only was an amazing photographer but also he made our session so much fun! He was definitely a big part of our wedding spark!Thank you Megan and Joey!
If you’re getting married at City Hall, this is an excellent photography option.
Our photographer’s name was Joey. He produced amazing photos! We were very pleasantly surprised at how many we loved. A big advantage of going with this service (and with Joey specifically) was their knowledge of City Hall – where to take photos, etc. We wasted no time in trying to figure out locations, poses, lighting, etc.; Joey knew it all! Their fee schedule is easy to understand and the prices are very reasonable. Although we initially bought the lowest price package we ended up buying all the photos.
If doing it again, I would consider buying more of the photos up front as it’s lower cost.Would definitely recommend.
We are a team of professional San Francisco based wedding photographers who specialize in complex weekend celebrations but have additional weekday availability. We love the intimacy of small San Francisco City Hall weddings and consider it as one of the most unique and special places to get married at. Established in 2011, SFCHWP has covered over 500 weddings at San Francisco City Hall. We treat each celebration in a unique way trying to avoid cookie cutter approach. Our goal is to create an artistic reportage of your wedding day.