San Francisco City Hall
Wedding Photography by Choco Studio

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San Francisco City Hall
Wedding Photography by Choco Studio

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Wedding Photographer – San Francisco City Hall

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Imagine your perfect wedding day. A day where you solidify your love to your partner in front of family and friends. A day filled with much love and laughter. You need someone there to capture all those special moments. All the hugs, smiles, kisses and tears.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve met the love of your life who you want to share the rest of your days with. You’ve probably also chosen a date and decided that San Francisco City Hall is the perfect location to host your magical day (good choice, by the way).

So those are the easy parts taken care of.

Now you’re faced with the crucial decision of who you will choose to be your wedding photographer and capture your special day for you. That’s no easy decision to make. After all, these are the photos of the happiest day of your life, ones which you will cherish forever. These are the pictures that you’ll one day show to your kids and your grandkids. We fully understand that your wedding photos MUST be absolutely perfect.

Thankfully, we’re here to offer you peace of mind and help make that decision as easy as possible.

Hello, we’re Mike and Nat. We’ve been taking photos of happy couples on their wedding day for 14 years now. Along the way, we’ve captured over 300+ happy couples. So, you could say we most certainly know what we’re doing. In fact, it’s all second nature to us at this point and you need not worry about a thing.  

We understand your frustrations. You want the very best pictures which capture every wonderful moment and every beautiful detail of your wedding day.

You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve shot dozens of weddings at San Francisco City Hall.

Our experience with City Hall means we know the layout incredibly well. We know the set-up when a wedding is in full flow. You could probably say that we know every nook-and-cranny within the place.

This gives us the advantage of knowing where the best spots to take photos are. We’re familiar with the best backdrops which will really make your photos stand out. We know which angles produce the best light and enable us to capture truly stunning photos for you.

And because we know the layout so well, this allows for us to concentrate on what we do best – take photographs of the happy couple.

We also understand that being the center of attention and having a camera put in front of you can be nerve-wracking as hell. We pride ourselves on our ability to help you feel relaxed and at ease. It’s important you feel comfortable and your images look as natural as possible. We promise we won’t push you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with. It’s your wedding captured your way.

We would be delighted to share your wedding day with you, and it would be a real honor for us to shoot your wedding at San Francisco City Hall.

To find out more, or to discuss the possibility of us being your wedding photographers, please get in touch today, either by phone Tel: 415-375-0014 or via Email:

We look forward to sharing your magical day with you.

Mike and Nat.

City Hall Wedding Portrait
SF City Hall Creative Portrait
Wedding Ceremony at City Hall Rotunda

How to Get Married at San Francisco City Hall

What is the process of getting married at City Hall?

To get married at San Francisco City Hall in 2018 you'll need to make two reservations: one for your marriage license and one for your actual civil ceremony. We highly recommend scheduling your license appointment on a separate day in advance so you can save time and have less hassle on your wedding day. Once you receive your wedding license, it is valid for 90-days.

Your reservation for a ceremony can be made up to 90 days in advance on the following website: City Hall Wedding Reservations.

For 2018 City Hall wedding events are available Monday - Friday from 9am to 3:30pm. You'll need at least one witness (we'll be honored to do this for you!) and you can officially have no more than 6 guests, although we have seen much bigger gatherings.

Most importantly, remember to bring your state issued government IDs or passports as well as your wedding license. Everything else will take care of itself :)

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How much does it cost to get married at City Hall SF?

The fees for reserving a public City Hall ceremony is $83. The marriage license fee is currently $104.

If you'd like a more private ceremony on one of the three balconies you can pay $1,002 for up to 100 guests. The North Light Court is an especially beautiful part on the fourth floor of the office building.

Learn more about rental costs for special events here: City Hall Packages phone 415-554-6079.

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Where will your ceremony take place?

Most weekday San Francisco City Hall wedding ceremonies take place in The Rotunda, which is the beautiful public space on top of the grand staircase. It's also possible to get married in a small room set up as a chapel, although this is not a popular option.

If you'd like a more private setting or if you're having a lot of guests it's also possible to rent one of three balconies: San Francisco City Hall Mayor's Balcony wedding, North Fourth Floor Balcony, and South Fourth Floor Balcony. These balconies are great if you want privacy for your wedding photography and allow up to 100 guests.

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San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photos

The Mayor's balcony (seen below) is a beautiful private setting that can be reserved for your weekday San Francisco City Hall wedding. City Hall can provide chairs as well as a way of blocking off the area so your celebration will not be interrupted. Up to an hour of time is allocated for each booking.

San Francisco City Hall Mayor's balcony is available Monday - Friday before 4pm. This space can hold up to 100 guests.

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San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

Choco Studio is one of the leading City Hall Photographer studios in the Bay Area. Our 12+ years of experience help you to have a relaxed celebration so you can fully enjoy your special event. From the beautiful public staircase to the privacy of a Fourth Floor balcony - we have the necessary experience to help you enjoy the moment while we photograph your event. If you're looking for a San Francisco wedding photographer we welcome you to view our galleries and get in touch.

When you choose a wedding photographer San Francisco City Hall becomes like a beautiful photo studio. We'll create an experience you'll remember fondly.

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Wedding Reception at San Francisco City Hall

There are several options available for planning your wedding reception at San Francisco City Hall. If you're looking to have a weekend San Francisco City Hall wedding reception, rates begin at $10,000 (for up to 500 guests).

You can also rent the facility for just 2 hours for your San Francisco courthouse wedding. It's available on Saturdays and the cost is $5,000. You won't need a photography permit and you can learn more here about San Francisco City Hall wedding cost on their website.

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How do you get a wedding license?

To get your wedding license you'll need to book an appointment. The available days are Monday - Friday 8:15am - 3:30pm.

Once you obtain your wedding license, the ceremony must take place within 90 days from the date that your license is issued. If necessary, you can choose to obtain a confidential marriage license. This will not require any witnesses and your marriage record will only be available to you.

To schedule your wedding license appointment, click on the following link: Wedding Ceremony Reservations.

San Francisco City Hall office building address is: 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, Ca 94102

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How can I get a copy of a marriage certificate?

You'll be able to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate 10 business days after your marriage license is received from the person conducting your ceremony. The County Clerk will be able to issue you a certified copy of the record for a $15 fee.

Your marriage certificate can be obtained in person, online, or requested by phone at 800-708-6733. To learn more about this process in 2018, you can learn more about Marriage Licenses on the official website.

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Photography of Your San Francisco City Hall Elopement

One of the great things about San Francisco City Hall weddings is that they're perfect for a couple who is just looking for a special elopement package! As your wedding photographer, it'd be a pleasure to guide you and make sure that the details of your day runs smoothly while we create amazing images.

We know City Hall inside and out so we can give you suggestions about the best time of the day for light, where to go for portraits, and how to score the best spots for your dinner afterwards.

Elopements are great because they are intimate and without distractions. It's an honor for us to witness the day you become a family.

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Visiting San Francisco

San Francisco is a hilly northern California city surrounded by San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The City by the Bay is known for year-round fog, cable cars, and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. With a population around 870,887, "Frisco" is the 13th-most populous city in the United States.

There's a good reason why the "seven-by-seven-mile square" inspired Tony Bennett to write the song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". "The City" is the fourth-most populous city in California although it still retains a small-town feel that appeals to many people.

Founded in 1776, San Fran experienced rapid growth during the California Gold Rush. Chinese Railroad workers created the Chinatown quarter on the "Old Gold Mountain". "Golden Gate City" was partly shaped by the "forty-niners" who were seeking treasure during the gold rush of 1849.

SF Landmarks and Earthquakes

Tourists love the steep rolling hills, Fisherman's Wharf, Victorian houses, and it's no wonder residents call it Fog City. While the tallest skyscraper is the all-new Salesforce Tower the most famous building in the Financial District is the Transamerica Pyramid.

All of California is prone to earthquakes and SF experienced a major one on April 18, 1906. Most earthquake activity in the San Francisco peninsula is caused by San Andreas and Hayward Faults. There are more than 50 hills within city limits and some of the popular ones include Nob Hill, Potrero Hill, and Russian Hill. The tallest hill in "The Paris of the West" is Mount Davidson at 928 feet high.

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“You don’t always get professionalism with talent, especially with wedding vendors. Mike and Nat, however, not only possess a keen eye and skill but they also are communicative, reliable, patient, and calm. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Kate B., SF City Hall Wedding

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San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Packages

Monday-Friday wedding packages.

Additional Package Info:

Fourth Floor Balcony Wedding at San Francisco City Hall

Add more coverage time for $200/half-hour or $400/hour.

A smaller, 30-minute package is also available for $495 (Ceremony + Some Portraits).

Full printing rights and high-res downloads are included with all packages. Your images are ready in two weeks.

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San Francisco Courthouse Wedding Information

To be legally married in the city and county of San Francisco you'll need to register for your license ahead of time, prior to your civil commitment ceremony. A valid marriage license can be obtained at the County Clerk's office, in City Hall room 168. You'll need your photo identification to have your marriage license issued.

The good news is that you'll be able to obtain your marriage license on the day of your license appointment. This is different than the marriage certificate which will be ready two weeks after your actual ceremony. You can learn more details about your weekday San Francisco courthouse wedding at the information desk.

Get Ready For Your City Hall Photography

Your marriage license and civil ceremony appointments can be made online. Civil ceremonies at San Francisco City Hall usually take place at the Rotunda at the top of the grand staircase. Ceremony reservation can be done with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or money order. The ceremony fee is $99 and on Monday through Friday, you can make the reservation in person. Alternatively, you can also make the reservation online.

Your wedding officiant, also known as the deputy marriage commissioner, will conduct your intimate San Francisco City Hall wedding ceremony. Your private wedding will be about 5 minutes long and you may want to ask your guests to really be present and not hide behind their phones or cameras. This way your professional photographer will be able to get better photos of you and of your guests.

While a wedding on the Mayor's balcony can look really beautiful, 4th floor North gallery has the best natural light. You can choose the fourth floor gallery at the time of the booking. Your marriage ceremony can also take place in a ceremony room or on the 4th floor South gallery. On the day of your private ceremony, the bride and groom and the wedding party can enter the building from Civic Center or from Van Ness.

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Reviews From Couples - Heidi and Gonzalo:

"My wife and I are truly grateful and blessed to have met Mike from Choco Studio!

When we decided to secretly elope and get married at City Hall in San Francisco, we knew we needed to find a professional wedding photographer who could capture our wedding day in a romantic and intimate way. This was our first trip to San Francisco and we weren't sure what to expect at City Hall or where to go for on-location photography.

Mike from Choco Studio maintained a professional correspondence with us before our arrival and during our stay in SF. He made sure we knew where to meet him on the day of our wedding and even offered to take us to our on-location photo shoot. His hospitality made us feel special and we feel that he went above and beyond to accommodate us. He also made us feel at ease in front of the camera, this is evident in our pictures.

Our pictures have that true romantic feel that we wanted and had seen in previewing their portfolio. We truly and highly recommend Choco Studios if you're looking for a Photographer in the San Francisco and Bay Area. You must visit their blog to view their amazing work and you'll see why they're the best!" - Heidi and Gonzalo

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Reviews From Couples - Kathy and Joseph:

"I can't begin to express my happiness and satisfaction with Mike and Nat at Choco Studio - they are truly exceptional photographers. Their professionalism and talent are unmatched. I highly recommend them to everyone!

Our wedding pictures are truly beautiful. Mike and Nat captured each moment perfectly and I must say that we are so thankful that we selected them as our photographers.

Their work is beyond fabulous and what is even more impressive is that in addition to a superb product, they extend genuine kindness and thoughtfulness. That touch of humanity that they impart to others in business truly does speak volumes and I believe should be readily emulated by many other businesses. It truly makes a world of a difference to know that they adore their craft and genuinely care about the people that they work with.

We can't thank Mike and Nat enough for going above and beyond the norm and for making our special day one which can never be forgotten. We have received countless compliments on the artistic nature and elegant flair of our wedding photographs and are happy to say that we owe it all to Choco Studio. You can be sure that many are the ears which have heard mention of the incredible talent which is Choco Studio.

They truly are that good - please don't think twice: Book Choco Studios. You won't regret the decision. Working with them is unbelievable effortless and I must say was the best decision we made. I'm so impressed with their work that I'm already thinking of reasons as to why we need to go back to San Francisco to book them for another photo session.

Thanks to Mike and Nat we have exquisite San Francisco City Hall wedding pictures that we will cherish forever which truly means the world to us." - Kathy and Joseph

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Reviews From Couples - Kristen and Ben:

"We selected Choco Studio after searching through dozens of photographers' websites. Choosing to work with Mike and Nat was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. From initial contact, to engagement photos, to the final editing on our album, Mike and Nat provided a professional and stress-free experience.

Mike took our engagement pictures a few months before the wedding. I highly recommend taking those pictures early. The pictures turned out incredibly well, and we felt even more confident in choosing Mike and Nat once we saw the results they were capable of producing. I used the engagement pictures for our guest book. People loved looking through those pictures at our wedding reception.

We gambled with the weather on our wedding day, but it turned out perfect for photos. Mike and Nat were able to quickly adjust to the changing light conditions and I noticed how they worked seamlessly as a team to notice and adjust settings accordingly. Additionally, Mike and Nat made us both feel very comfortable and relaxed while we were being photographed. They were both able to work with us to capture the most flattering and natural pictures possible.

We love the beautiful photos and emotions Mike and Nat captured throughout our day. The pictures reflect both the overall feel of the wedding and the small details I had spent countless hours planning. Mike and Nat are both incredibly talented, and it was a pleasure working with them.

(P.S. Brides - if you're looking to have bridal boudoir photos done, I recommend working with Nat!)" - Kristen and Ben

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Reviews From Couples - Ksenia and Vladimir:

"To us, choosing Mike & Natasha was never a choice, it was more of a given. And to date, this is the safest, the easiest and the fastest wedding decision we ever made.

For one, we're fortunate to have them in our arsenal of friends, and we know behind the scenes just how dedicated and professional they are. For two, they do a damn good job - these guys are a guarantee for the perfect wedding pictures. All these years of me stalking their blog with secret desire to one day be featured on it, flaunting the ring and the husband, paid off - I'm there! And the pictures are - surprise, surprise - great!

We had our wedding in Hawaii, and in addition to the wedding day we had a trash-the-dress session in the rainforest. Guys had to drag their camera equipment through the jungle while beating off mosquitoes at the same time. The second part of the session was on the beach with majority of the shots in the water. Guys got neck deep in the water with us, while being extremely careful not get their camera equipment wet, and still worked the limited amount of angles to get the most amazing pictures. Plus, not every day I see a photographer so dedicated to getting the best shot he would get in the water in his boxers!

Mike & Natasha always go that extra mile to make the bride & groom happy. They are extremely organized and got all the right shots and more without monopolizing our precious time. They also made our tricky family portraits a 5-minute breeze instead of an expected half hour long affair. They also got the funniest and most memorable shots of us during preparations.

Am I happy with our choice of photographers? Yes, very much so. Would I be writing just as excited about a review if we weren't friends? ABSOLUTELY." - Ksenia and Vladimir

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Reviews From Couples - Veronica and Prashant:

"Let me start off by saying that I have seen and reviewed THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of international wedding photos thanks to my previous job at a photobook company. If you have good looking people in nice clothes, a beautiful backdrop, and high-quality camera with autofocus, it is not that difficult to take pretty photos.

After being exposed to the same pretty yet ordinary wedding photos for years, I knew I wanted photographers with a different approach and style- photographers who knew how to steal moments of explosive emotions or thoughts besides "I hope I don't look fat."

There are SO MANY photographers in the bay area. I started by looking at portfolios and moving on to blogs, social media, and anything I could find on them (It is so important to look beyond their portfolios- that only displays their select very best work!!). After narrowing my options down, I finally stumbled upon Choco Studios on yelp. While their portfolio is amazing, it was their blog and photos I found on google that reeled me in. They met all my criteria- 1) Unique approach & style 2) Experience with taking equally beautiful photos in natural light + artificial light 3) Experience in capturing diverse/multiethnic weddings (We had a Mexican/Indian wedding) 4) Affordable price. I quickly made an appointment and booked Mike and Nat on the spot.

Mike and Nat go far beyond taking "pretty photos". Indeed, what they can capture in raw photos is exceptional, but it is also their skills in photo editing software that contribute to their unique style. I truly believe that photography is what they were meant for; they have an intuitive nature of knowing the exact moment of when to take photos- when you are looking at the photos later, it truly is like reliving your special day. And their abilities go beyond capturing the bride & groom wonderfully- we have the most amazing photos of guests as well!

Lastly, on our wedding day, we had a few things go wrong with other vendors, but we were able to count on Mike and Nat to be professional and do an amazing job smoothly, despite messy situations. I cannot recommend Mike and Nat enough!" - Veronica and Prashant

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Favorite Wedding Locations in the SF Bay Area

Over the years we've photographed at many beautiful locations throughout California and beyond. Couples have taken us to places as far away as Mexico, Russia, and Hawaii to photograph their big day. What we learned after all this time is that it's not the place, but the people and their relationships that make a wedding day the most special.

Some of our favorite wedding venues in the Bay Area include Vezer Winery in Fairfield, Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, Arista Winery in Healdsburg, and Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.These settings have all the magical ingredients that make for the best wedding photography: great light, plenty of beautiful outdoor space, and a comfortable environment for the guests.

If you're still in the process of searching for the perfect wedding venue, we invite you to check out the photographs we captured at the links above. Bay Area has over 600 official wedding venues and you can also get married at many private estates. With so many choices, it can be difficult to narrow down your favorites.

We suggest starting by deciding what's most important to you. For example, maybe you care about having your dinner outdoors during a warm summer night. Or maybe you want to be able to have your guests all stay on the property, in which case a wedding at Dawn Ranch can be the perfect fit. You'll want to actually visit each location you're considering to make sure it has everything you want.

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Which are the best days for a City Hall wedding?

As you may have guessed, Fridays are usually the most busy – especially towards the afternoon. Some of the best days if you want less crowds are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

If you want to take photos at another San Francisco location afterwards we recommend scheduling your ceremony closer to 3:30pm. This will give us the best light for your outdoor pictures.

City Hall Photography

  • Which are the best days for a City Hall wedding?

    As you may have guessed, Fridays are usually the most busy – especially towards the afternoon. Some of the best days if you want less crowds are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    If you want to take photos at another San Francisco location afterwards we recommend scheduling your ceremony closer to 3:30pm. This will give us the best light for your outdoor pictures.

  • Do you edit the photographs?

    Yes! Every photograph you’ll receive will be edited for accurate color, exposure, cropping, etc.

    A number of photographs will also be black and white. Your images will be without any watermarks and ready to print.

  • How can we reserve the date?

    Contact us to see if we’re available for your date. We’ll reply with an easy way to make the reservation.

  • What kind of rights do we have to the photos?

    You’ll have full printing rights to your wedding photos. The full resolution images can be printed, shared, and used for any personal purpose.

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Choco Studio & City Hall Wedding Photographer

– Reviewed by Stephanie M. on

Amazing photography and true professionalism!

I wish all of my experiences could be as easy and fun as it was working with Mike at Choco Studios.

Rating: 5

“What I really love about Natasha is her contribution to making our Big day stress-free. She would send us tips and reminders before I could even stress about it. We ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE our wedding photos and could not have asked for anything more”

Tina P, East Ocean Restaurant, Emerville

“Natasha was genuinely interested in our love story, our history, and our wedding vision, and was a delight to work with. Her work speaks for itself- she really does take the most magical pictures and captures the most secretive, beautiful moments”

Miriam R, Dawn Ranch Lodge, Guerneville, Ca

“Without interrupting the flow of events or drawing attention to herself, she captured every special moment. Natasha is an incredible San Francisco wedding photographer and we'll always be Choco Studio fans!”

Kimberly Y, The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, Ca