Getting Married in San Francisco's City Hall

Updated: Mar 24

Whenever I have a city hall bride I get so excited. Mostly because it is SO different than my usual weddings. It's often a lot quicker at only 1 or 2 hours and you have the element of people walking around everywhere. Honestly, it's so much fun. City Hall is just absolutely stunning! This post is for all of my amazing couples that are thinking about getting married in this beautiful place. All detailed information can be found at SFGov's website.

1. Don't wait, book early. Go here and reserve a time and pay for both or either of your license and ceremony appointments. Did you know that up to 33 couples can be married in a day, 3 every half hour. Appointments may be made as early as 90 days in advance.

Fees: Civil ceremony - $83, Marriage license - $104

2. Don't be late. If you are more than 30 minutes late you may have to reschedule your wedding.

3. Check-in 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled ceremony appointment. You should be at Room 168 to check-in about 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. The commissioner of the day checks in 3 couples (max) every half hour. If you miss them, there is no guarantee that you will be rescheduled or accommodated later on in the day because they wed 3 couples every 30 minutes and they're usually fully booked.

4. Bring a valid ID (both of you) and your valid marriage license. You have to show your valid ID and marriage license.

5. Bring at least one witness or I can be your witness. If you have a public license you need at least one witness (maximum of two). They must bring a valid ID, be over the age of 18, and sign your license. There is no need for a witness for a confidential license.

6. Pick the rotunda to get married. At the City Hall, you have several picks as to where you want your ceremony to take place -- the rotunda, the bottom landing, the private room, etc. The commissioner will ask you this question when you check in as this is the place where you will meet him/her. I prefer the rotunda right on top of the huge staircase, it's quiet, intimate and the view is perfect.

7. Don't forget your rings. I know it might sound silly, but trust me, I've seen this happen. Give it to your best friend or keep your rings in your wallet with you ID.

8. Be ready to walk around. I have about 8-10 spots I like to explore in City Hall. This place is HUGE. Yes, there are elevators but we will still do a lot of walking around. Feel free to bring a change of shoes so you stay comfortable.

9. Yes, you can have more than 6 guests. I probably shouldn't say this but the website will tell you that only 6 guests may attend the ceremony and this includes children, the photographer and videographer. This policy is encouraged but I've seen groups of 30 deep attend a city hall ceremony. While I don't suggest having this many people don't stress out if you have 7 or 8 people, it's fine.

10. Have fun. You decided to get married to your favorite person in the entire world in one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco. Just relax and enjoy your day!

These photos are from Katie-Joy and Carlos awesome wedding. City Hall wedding numbers from the awesome Maghoney Photography!

San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer

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© 2020 By Kelley Williams Photography | San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer | 831-613-1070

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