San Francisco City Hall Wedding: How to Get Married Guide
San Francisco City Hall weddings have become one of the most popular ways to get married in 2017. The architecture and grand spaces of this amazing building create a once in a lifetime experience that will leave you with special memories. There is no shortage of beautiful settings or ways to have your wedding ceremony and in this guide we’ll go over all the options to help you decide.
Couples getting married at SF City Hall are looking for elegance as well as convenience. It’s easy to find plenty of both at this spectacular venue. There’s something magical about a building where couples can feel almost total privacy while getting married in a public space. The truth is that there’s always a hidden nook, balcony, or hallway just waiting to be used for creative photographs. You also have no less than seven different choices you’ll have for your wedding ceremony.
Weekday Public Ceremony
The easiest way to get married at City Hall is to schedule a weekday public ceremony in the Rotunda or private chapel. This ceremony appointment can be scheduled up to 90 days in advance and you’ll be able to choose between the Rotunda, located at the top of the grand staircase, or the private chapel on the day of your wedding. Friday’s schedule fills up fast so you’ll want to jump on it if you’re picky about the day you want to get married.
Weekday Private Ceremony for Your San Francisco City Hall Wedding
If you’re having more than a few guests or if you value privacy you may want to consider renting one of the three balconies for your weekday ceremony. This will give you an hour of private balcony time with plenty of chairs for up to 100 guests. Your choices for a private ceremony are:
Mayor’s Balcony Wedding
If you want to have a Mayor’s balcony wedding your ceremony will take place on the second floor directly opposite the grand staircase. This is a beautiful private space with a view that opens up to the entire City Hall. It’s usually the darkest balcony, but it works great nevertheless and couples love the feeling of privacy while still being in the middle of everything.
Fourth Floor Balcony North
This is most people’s favorite balcony because of the beautiful large windows that cast soft and flattering light. This space is wider and longer than the Mayor’s balcony and it tends to allow for the best wedding photographs possible.
Fourth Floor Balcony South
This is a mirror image of the Fourth Floor North balcony with the key difference being that it often has direct sunlight coming in through the large windows. Ceremonies here are beautiful regardless but if you’ll have a choice we highly recommend the North balcony if you want great light.
When scheduling your wedding day you’ll want to keep in mind that you need two appointments. First, you’ll need to schedule a marriage license appointment. While it’s possible to have them on the same day, it can be more convenient, and special, to get it done in advance. The marriage license can be done up to 90 days in advance of your wedding day.
Your appointment for the actual ceremony can be scheduled for Monday-Friday from 9am – 3:30pm. Here is the website where you can schedule both appointments online: http://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-civil-ceremony
If you’re considering a private balcony rental then you’ll be able to make your reservation for farther out than 90 days in advance. You’ll then probably also want to find your own wedding officiant and we’ll be happy to give you a great recommendation.
“Mike and Nat have a synergy that allows them to capture a full complement of beautiful formal and candid photos. We would definitely use them again for any family photos, events, etc.”
Shannon H, Nella Terra Cellars in Sunol, Ca
“A huge factor in our decision is that Mike and Nat are a pair and with a large wedding, we wanted to make sure all angles were captured. After meeting with Mike and Nat, we hired them on the spot.”
Olivia F, Villa Ragusa in Campbell, Ca
“Without interrupting the flow of events or drawing attention to themselves, they captured every special moment and more. Mike and Natasha are incredible and we'll always be Choco Studio fans!”
Kimberly Y, The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, Ca