Hundreds of couples every year flock to get married at the iconic San Francisco City Hall. But, Hadley and Khalil decided to do things a little differently and have an adventure elopement in San Francisco instead of a city one.
One of the many reasons to elope in San Francisco is because you truly get the best of both worlds downtown urban views and epic landscape views. There are not many places where you can have both. And elopements like this one remind me why San Francisco is one of the best cities ever!
Hadley and Khalil actually got married over 7 years ago. Their adventures have taken them from Minnesota to Utah, Colorado, and beyond. A few years back Khalil’s grad school brought them to the Bay Area and they’ve called this place home ever since. Hadley just finished her own graduate degree this year and then purchased this gorgeous house in the Berkeley hills.
This is now where they and their absolutely adorable dog, Thisbee, live. And where they decided to spend the afternoon getting ready.
Afternoon getting ready in their home we headed out to start the day at Lovers Lane in the Presidio. Lovers Lane is actually a trail in the Presidio with an art installation. We were surrounded by eucalyptus trees and the San Francisco sun decided to peak out periodically. One of Hadley and Khalil’s favorite things to do together is hike and spend time outdoors so that is exactly how they want to spend some of their adventure elopement.
After portraits there, it was time to head over to Marin Headlands for their ceremony and picnic at Kirby Cove.
A Quick Recap of their SF Adventure Elopement
For reference (and inspo for your own San Francisco Adventure Elopement), here’s how the day unfolded:
- 12:00 pm: I arrive and get all the details and photos
- 12:30 pm: Hadley getting ready upstairs
- 1:00 pm: Khalil getting ready downstairs
- 1:30 pm: First look in the backyard
- 1:45 pm: Leave for Lovers Lane
- 2:30 pm: Arrive at Lovers Lane in the Presidio for Portraits
- 3:10 pm: Head to Marin Headlands
- 3:40 pm: Hike down to Kirby Cove
- 4:00 pm: Ceremony
- 4:15 pm: Picnic at Kirby Cove
- 5:00 pm: Kirby Cove Portraits
- 5:40 pm: Hike back up to Battery Spencer
- 6:00 pm: Portraits at Battery Spencer
- 7:00 pm: Coverage ends
Marin Headlands has soo many amazing hikes and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It can be hard to narrow it down so Hadley and Khalil didn’t! We hiked down to Kirby Cove and then ended the day at Battery Spencer.
Kirby Cove is a super easy half-mile hike down. And if you want you can actually camp there. There are 3 campsites and one day-use-site. You just have to plan ahead and act quickly because they get snatched up fast! Once we found the perfect spot for them to say I do. Hadley and Khalil read their vows, exchanged rings, and had their “first kiss.”
Tips for Your San Francisco Adventure Elopement
- Fall has the best weather for the Bay Area. So, if you can definitely try to plan your day from late August to mid-November.
- Be sure to apply ahead of time to get your special use permit from Golden Gate Recreation. It only costs $60 and is super easy.
- Pack warm layers. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is Karl (the fog) can roll in at any time and you’ll want to be prepared.
- Plan fun activities for your elopement! Even something as small as a picnic or reading letters from family can make the day more meaningful, and fun and not feel like an all-day photoshoot.
- Be sure to stay hydrated and bring lots of snacks. No one wants to be cranky on their elopement day so plan ahead.
After their ceremony, they enjoyed a charcuterie board with lots of goodies. And then they danced part of the night away on the beach underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Kirby Cove offers spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. And since it’s not as much of a well-known spot there aren’t as many onlookers or tourists around.
After the beach, we hiked back up to Battery Spencer. It was just in time to catch Karl rolling in. And we made the most of the time and light we had left. This day was a dream come true from beginning to end. It was so fun exploring San Francisco in a more adventurous way than normal.
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Hi I'm Torez, a die-hard romantic and San Francisco-based wedding photographer with years of experience capturing love stories against the backdrop of our charming city. From intimate City Hall ceremonies to epic coastal elopements, I've seen and photographed it all. I know the ins and outs of navigating wedding planning in San Francisco like the back of my hand - from selecting the perfect location that aligns with your love story, to creating the dreamiest wedding timeline that lets you enjoy your day to the fullest. And guess what? I'm sharing all of that expertise right here with you.