Patricia and Lyndez owe this courthouse wedding to a friend. Because that’s how they met! Patricia and Lyndez met the good ole fashion way, IRL. And in case you don’t know what that means that’s in real life. Enjoying her lunch with a friend Lyndez noticed how beautiful Patricia was upon first setting his eyes on her. And it was Patricia’s friend that first noticed Lyndez noticing Patricia. They exchanged some eye glances and smiles before Lyndez approached and asked to take her out. And now as they say the rest is history.
Couples come from near and far to have a San Francisco Courthouse wedding. And local couples are extra lucky to have this absolutely gorgeous government building within their community.
I am absolutely OBSESSED with Patricia and Lyndez’s San Francisco courthouse wedding photos! And since they’re a local couple I can only hope to work with them more in the future.
Looking for a San Francisco Courthouse Wedding Photographer?
San Francisco is my city, my specialty, and literally one of my favorite places. And San Francisco City Hall I know like the back of my hand. I’ve photographed countless weddings and elopements there and would love to capture your special day. So, if you’re looking for a San Francisco courthouse wedding photographer, don’t you worry about a thing. When you’re ready to inquire, you can fill out my contact form!
I have photographed lots of civil ceremonies and weddings at City Hall. And if you’re thinking about booking a civil ceremony here’s what you can expect. You check in for your ceremony about 10-20 minutes beforehand.
PRO-TIP: Plan more time for getting ready than you’ll think you’ll need! This is one appointment that you do not want to be late for!
You’ll check in with the office and show them all the documents that you’ll need like your IDs and marriage license. They’ll assign you a number. Once that number is called by the county clerk you’ll head to that office. If you filed for a confidential marriage license just you two are needed to sign your marriage license. If you filed for a non-confidential marriage license then you’ll bring your witness(es) with you into the office. The Justice of the Peace that is marrying you will tell you where to meet them for the ceremony.
I have seen civil ceremonies held on the 4th floor, though rare it can happen.
You’ll head wherever they told you for the ceremony and they’ll meet you there. You’ll have the ceremony and then boom you’re married!!
Courthouse weddings like civil ceremonies are always short, sweet, and to the point. They max last 10 minutes. I swear I feel like I might blink and they’re over. They really skip all the fluff and go straight to the do you take this person to be your wife, husband, etc. I believe there is an option to read vows. But, in my experience, couples really love these ceremonies for their simplicity, so usually they head straight to the I do’s.
Some of my favorite photos when photographing weddings and longer ceremonies are the point of view of what each person is seeing of one another. And I always run around trying to get both before the first kiss.
The Grand Staircase is probably if not the most iconic place in San Francisco City Hall. And is definitely a must for your San Francisco courthouse wedding photos. The key to the stairs is number one to be patient. There are so many things happening at city hall and lots of people waiting for photos here so be patient and have grace. And the second thing I recommend is to have a photographer that knows what the hell they’re doing! I can’t tell you how many people I’d have to photoshop out of photos. But that’s just the name of the game when you don’t have a private space.
Tip For Your San Francisco Courthouse Wedding
1. Book either the first ceremony of the day or the last ceremony of the day. San Francisco City Hall can be extremely busy! And If you can wake up and get ready early enough it’s so worth it. San Francisco City Hall Opens at 8 am with the first ceremony at 9 am. That means you can have all your photos done before your wedding. And can enjoy time with all your guests after getting married.
2. Pick up your marriage license on a different day if you can. As gorgegous as San Francisco City Hall is, it is a government building, and therefore things can run behind schedule. Save yourself the stress and pick up your marriage license on a different day. In California, marriage licenses are good for 90 days so even if you pick one up the week or month before it’ll be good for your ceremony day.
3. If you plan on having more than 6-10 guests book a 1-hour ceremony. Civil ceremonies can make have 6 people according to City Hall’s website. However, I have seen most Justices be flexible. If you plan on having a lot of guests save yourself the trouble and stress book a semi-private option.
4. Give yourself at least 2 hours to get photos around San Francisco City Hall. The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day is rushed! Based on my experience of photographing elopements/weddings and civil ceremonies at City Hall at least 2 hours are necessary to get high-quality photos. This is mainly due to the number of people in City Hall. No matter the time of day or day of the week in City Hall, there are at least 5 other couples getting married and or having photos done, girls having quinceanera photos, and just tours of people around. So, we have to navigate City Hall with consideration of all these people and patiently wait for specific spots.
5. Bring champagne, include your dog, and have a special bouquet or bracelet, do something to make the day special and unique to you. But, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box a little. Do something different, celebrate at a fun location before or afterward.
Some of my favorite photos of city hall are with the gorgeous building in the background. Like I’m seriously obsessed with the building and wedding venue in EVERY way possible!
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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.