Hey, I'm Codi! A western luxury wedding photographer in Northern California. Traveling near and far for love, I'm available for intimate destinations, elopements and more!





Your Guide to Planning The Perfect San Francisco City Hall Wedding

There’s something so undeniably romantic about running off with your person to get married at the courthouse. And while city hall weddings can be spontaneous and carefree (which is why they’re one of my favorites), there’s still some planning required. So in this post, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite San Francisco City Hall weddings for tons of elopement photo inspiration. Plus, some planning tips and things to keep in mind if your dream wedding involves you and your lover running down to the courthouse to make things official. Let’s get into it…

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Logistics

San Francisco City Hall is one of the most iconic landmarks in this historic city. With its ornate gold details, towering marble columns and sweeping staircases, it’s also one of the coolest spots for elopement or wedding photos. But if you think you can just head down to city hall dressed in your wedding attire and get married, slow down. Here are a few steps to take first…

  1. Get your marriage license. According to the San Francisco government website, this typically takes about 20 minutes to an hour to complete. It must be issued within 90 days from the time you plan to get married. You can download the application here, fill it out and bring it with you to City Hall along with your IDs. Your license will cost $120. 
  2. Book your appointment! If it’s just you two, you can book an appointment for your San Francisco City Hall wedding here. You can have up to 6 guests attend (including photographer or other vendors) and a witness is required for a public ceremony. It will cost $103 to book your appointment during office hours, $320 during weekends or holidays. 
  3. The day of…be sure to bring your marriage license and arrive at least 15 minutes early. We’ll also jump on a call prior to the big day to discuss any additional logistics! 

If you have further questions about planning your San Francisco City Hall wedding, visit the government website here or feel free to shoot me a message here!

City Hall Elopement Photos

Now for the fun part, elopement or wedding photos! After you guys say “I do”, we can explore City Hall and take advantage of the beautiful architecture and more private areas. And of course take some of those iconic shots out front of the courthouse. The great part about San Francisco is even if we get a rainy day like we had for Jillian’s elopement, it only makes the photos more stunning. Another great part about a San Francisco City Hall wedding is that it’s located right in the heart of the city, so it will only take us about 15 minutes to reach other popular wedding photo spots. One of my favorites being the Golden Gate Bridge overlook which is a 10 minute drive from the courthouse. You can’t get married in San Francisco without a few wedding photos with the Golden Gate Bridge framing the background! I’ve shot endless San Francisco weddings and elopements, so if you need suggestions of alternative wedding photo locations, I’m your gal!

If you want a beautiful downtown setting and breathtaking elopement photos, a San Francisco City Hall wedding is always a good idea. Not only will it be super easy to plan and execute, but will make for such a romantic and unforgettable day. If you’re thinking of ditching the high price tag and planning process of a traditional wedding, this is the route for you. If you need help planning your San Francisco wedding or City Hall elopement, drop me a line and let’s chat!