Wedding Gown Styles

No doubt your wedding day outfit is important to you, even if you are having a casual weekday elopement at the San Francisco Courthouse. So, what do brides wear to their elopement ceremonies? As someone who has been in the business for almost 10 years and has seen thousands of brides, I can tell that the outfits differ greatly. I have seen everything, from classic full gowns to casual little black dresses or even pantsuits and every bride managed to look beautiful and elegant. Just choose something that suits your preferences and style. Did you always dream of getting married in a Cinderella-style gown? Just because you are having a small City Hall wedding does not mean you should give up on that dream. Go ahead and wear the gown you were always meant to wear. Would you rather wear a regular evening dress or something completely casual? Go for it! It is your wedding, you call the shots. Do you want to honor your heritage by wearing a traditional outfit? Wonderful! We have had many brides who choose to do that. Now, guys, we have not forgotten about you. The same rules apply. The wedding is yours. You may want to wear a tuxedo or just slacks and button-down shirts. There is no wedding dress code at SF City Hall. You decide.

When it comes to choosing a right wedding dress for a City Hall wedding, majority consider a short dress. It is hard to argue with that as most couples prefer to keep things simple. However in this article I will recommend dresses that in our opinion look great on the Grand Staircase.

Those who are familiar with our style know that our main goal is to create a beautiful visual story and we especially focus on fleeting moments. This been said, we know how to pose, guide and get results in a shortest period of time. Below you will see sessions that took no more than 5 minutes each and resulted in these photographs.

sf city hall grand staircase long train 1

Notice how this semi-transparent train flows with a pattern of the staircase

sf city hall grand staircase long train 3

This train allows a front facing of the couple

sf city hall grand staircase long train 2

This dress allows moving photos

sf city hall grand staircase long train 4

This train makes it possible for a couple to face the photographer without twisting the dress

Which gowns may not be the best choice for a Grand Staircase photo-op.

First of all, you should always wear what you love. We can only give an advice. But if you are looking for a perfect Staircase photo, here are few advises.

NOTE: These dresses may look much better at different locations.

  1. Do not have a large veil that overlaps with a dress. It is extremely time consuming and not always possible to perfectly align the shape of the veil with a shape of the train.
  2. Do not have a dress that has multiple layers. Same story here: very hard to setup all layers.
long train dual 1

Even a slightest imperfection in aligning both layers is visible. This means that each pose with unbustled dress requires adjustments.

San francisco city hall wedding.

Note that the veil is impossible to spread on the sides of the dress

long train 3

The bottom layer of this dress has very rugged material that does not allow spreading in this pose.

Check out our cinematic love stories


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 photographers have experience in taking and producing videos. And since intimate weddings do not require a large scale production team, these moments are relatively easy to capture.