SF City Hall Wedding Photography - by Toni

City Hall Staircase wedding kiss

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

Welcome to our San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer's website. We are one of the premier photography teams shooting weddings at this beautiful San Francisco Landmark. We photograph weddings at City Hall at least twice per week and would love to be your wedding photographers!

Toni and Mike's combined professional wedding photography experience is over 30 years with over 1000 marriages creatively photographed! For more information about our affordable service, click on any of the links at the top of this page including our San Francisco city hall pricing and availability.We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our special packages and prices. To read Toni and Mike's professional photographer bios click here. We are adding new photos to our website all of the time so please come back to check out more of the beautiful weddings and architecture at San Francisco City Hall.

Wedding Photography at San Francisco City Hall Bride at San Francisco City Hall Window

Nadya and Leo were a romantic couple and booked us for our popular yet affordable San Francisco City Hall wedding photography tour package. The photo above left was taken with a Fish-Eye lens and actually shows the dome of City Hall which is straight above. The upper right photo was taken clear across the building by using a radio slaved flash behind the bride to provide this dramatic look. Toni created the beautiful pose and Nadya did the rest!

Pier 7 City Hall Wedding Photography

Sara and Pete took advantage of our extended City Hall photo coverage package and booked us for a full day wedding shoot. We started at San Francisco City Hall and ended up on a Horn Blower yacht, cruising around the SF Bay. Pictured here at Pier 7 before boarding the party boat, Sara and Pete were a fun couple and were up for anything we suggested. When photographing weddings in the San Francisco downtown area you often have to be patient and wait for the right moment when less people are present in the background. Photoshop is sometimes needed at this very popular area.

City Hall Grand Staircase image

The grand staircase is a beautiful wedding photography location in the late afternoon especially if there aren't too many people milling around. To add to the drama of this shot, we back-lit Laura and Robert with a speed light. Notice the natural golden highlights on the stairs themselves. The staircase at City Hall is probably one of the top indoor locations for wedding photography in San Francisco. The same couple is pictured below with Laura in front of city hall's 3rd floor window illuminated by beautiful natural light. We also used an umbrella flash to fill in some of the shadows.

San Francisco City Hall window picture San Francisco city hall balcony kiss

It was so much fun photographing Robyn and Jeff's marriage. They had a beautiful civil ceremony surrounded by family and friends and then we toured around the building to capture romantic shots. Then it was on to California Street where we took a whole series of iconic Cable Car photos. It's hard to imagine a more fantastic setting to top off their wedding day. Thanks to Robyn and Jeff for one of our best times in San Francisco. The photograph below was one of our favorites. We even got a thrill ride through San Francisco in their Friend's Tesla!

city hall wedding photography

Bobby and Maria were a very romantic couple and we had a wonderful time taking them around SF City Hall. They brought their families with them to the ceremony so we made sure to capture some group shots of everyone together for this special occasion! If you plan on bringing a large number of guests to your San Francisco City Hall wedding, we suggest you book our City Hall PLUS package which provides 1.5 hour of coverage and allows extra time for family and friend photos, but still offers an inexpensive price of $795. Bobby and Maria photos are below.

shoes city hall same sex wedding photo

Michelle and David booked our "City Hall" wedding photography package which provides 1 hour of coverage and includes interior and exterior photos of the building. We also provided them full coverage of the ceremony. I love the natural light present for this window shot of Michelle. All of our clients receive a combination of color, black & white, and sepia tone images as you can see on this page. For the photo on the left, we used a radio slaved remote flash unit and placed it behind the subject to light up the veil and add drama to the shot.

4th Floor Balcony photo Window City Hall

We loved Phoebe's wedding dress and decided it would look great to have her run through the halls of the Legion of Honor (below). We always try to provide each of our bridal celebrants with their own unique images. Obviously, we receive lots of requests for many of the classic poses and locations that are seen on our web page, but it's also important to make every bride and groom's wedding pictures special. We are also quick to ask our clients if they have any preferences for locations and poses at San Francisco city hall or anywhere else.

bride running at San Francisco Legion of Honor

Our "San Francisco" wedding photography package includes 4 hours of coverage and an exciting tour of SF. The photo below is an example of the types of photos we like to shoot when we take our couple out on the town! We will visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, The Legion of Honor, Russian Hill, Coit Tower or the Japanese Tea Gardens to name just a few. We even supply your transportation and can suggest some of our favorite spots if you aren't sure! The photo above was taken on California Street very close to Market. You can see the 101 California building in the background. Our couple was able to jump on and allow us take a quick photo.

San Francisco Cable Car Wedding

We really enjoyed photographing George and John. They wanted to get some shots in other parts of the city after we finished at SF City Hall. We are all very grateful that Same-Sex / Gay-Lesbian weddings are finally legal in California. I heard from George recently and he told me that they still look at their photos on a regular basis, bringing back fond memories. It was a beautiful day at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco (below).

Palace of Fine Arts photo in San Francisco

Emma and Steve came all the way from Australia to get married at San Francisco City Hall. We took them all over town for photos, but this 4th Floor North Gallery window image was one of their favorites. Many couples come from all over the world to have their nuptials in this amazing building. Emma and Steve were another couple that mentioned to us that the building architecture was important to them. We always combine wide angle shots like the one pictured below, but also include close-up images to highlight the couple. We provide all of our City Hall couples a combination of different styles and angles to choose from. We also show them samples of Black and White and Sepia tone shots.

San Francisco City Hall 4th Floor

The couple below appear to be jumping over the Golden Gate Bridge as they complete their San Francisco photography tour at Crissy Field. We have a number of great locations in San Francisco area to take our wedding couples after their City Hall wedding is complete. Crissy Field is definitely one of our favorites, but let us know yours!

Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Vanessa and Matthew decided to rent out the 4th floor balcony so they could have a private ceremony with their friends and relatives. It was a beautiful wedding in the perfect location. After the ceremony, we took the 2 of them on a private photo tour of the building! Sometimes the best images are created by just leaving the couple alone for a while to interact (as seen in the shot on the right below).

Rotunda Arch image walking in the hallway at SF City Hall

Ken and Pat loved the architecture of this great venue and we made sure to capture it for them. We often ask our couples to tell us the types of photos they would like at City Hall. To be a successful San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer, it's important to listen to your clients and incorporate their preferences. Love the rainbow socks!

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

We had a great time with Genevieve and Matt shooting their December nuptials. They told us that it was important to them that we capture the architecture of this beautiful SF building. This was definitely one of our top five weddings of the year. Genevieve has been nice enough to send us 2 wedding photography referrals, both of which we booked! They also provided us with one of our first 5 star Yelp reviews on our new City Hall wedding photography Yelp Site!

matt and gen kiss in san francisco main doors san francisco city hall

April and Michael booked our "San Francisco" package with optional wedding reception coverage. They hired a private wedding celebrant and had their ceremony on the beautiful 4th floor balcony. After some shots around the building it was on to the Palace of Fine Arts to take some of the photos you see below. We ended our day at their downtown San Francisco wedding reception location.

city hall wedding photographer image Bride at the Palace of Fine Arts Palace of Fine Arts Wedding Photography Image

Same-sex couple Laura and Annette were very happy to marry after being together for over 20 years. It was a great day of celebration and fun with their children and friends. Thanks to both of them for allowing us to be part of their special marriage day. Please see below for their photos.

family photo in window City Hall Photographer

Nick and Ashley were a fun loving couple and really seemed to enjoy touring around San Francisco City Hall posing for photos. Both of them were very natural in front of the camera and so easy to photograph. After our trip around the building we headed off to the Legion of Honor and then to Lincoln Park Golf Course to get some Golden Gate Bridge photos and candid shots.Then they brought out the Champagne!They brought some of their friends along and we all had a great time celebrating their wedding. This type of coverage is available with our 4-hour Package, we even include comfortable transportation at no additional charge.

beautiful architecture at san francisco city hall

San Francisco Legion of Honor Photography window shot at SF city hall

Why Plan Your Wedding at San Francisco City Hall?

People come here from all over the world to get married at this historic San Francisco building. Rebuilt in 1915 after being destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake, SF City Hall has been host to many famous events over the years due to it's amazing beauty. Even Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their marriage here! To read more about the history of this grand building, check out this Wikipedia link. In addition to it's rich history and beauty, San Francisco city hall offers you a very convenient and affordable location to have your civil union marriage ceremony. For only $76 you can get married in the beautiful Rotunda at the top of the Grand Staircase. A private room is also available for those who want to be married out of the public eye. If you want to bring a larger group with you, The Mayor's Balcony or The 4th Floor can be reserved for around $1,000.A Deputy Commissioner is supplied for you as part of this affordable price! Saturday weddings can also be scheduled, but require a fairly large outlay of cash. You can basically rent out the whole building for $4,000 for your weekend event. You will have to supply your own officiant on the weekends and they don't allow you to wander freely throughout the building. They provide a beautiful set up for your money and you are guaranteed to get some breathtaking photos. Don't forget to hire a quality professional wedding photographer to capture this beauty!

Top City Hall Ceremony Locations

There are many beautiful locations to get married at in San Francisco City Hall! Listed below are some of the best available weekday ceremony options.

  • Rotunda Weddings - This is the most common place weddings occur. You will meet with your officiant shortly before your ceremony and often be given the choice of getting married in the Rotunda, or the private room. The Rotunda is at the top of the Grand Staircase, but the privacy is limited. People walk by and will occasionally take photos of the ceremony.

  • Private Room - The Private Room offers complete privacy during the ceremony. They keep it available in case of a large private event occurring during your wedding and also for those that request it.

  • The Grand Staircase Wedding - Officiants sometimes offer the top of the staircase or the lower landing for your ceremony site. The Grand Staircase offers a beautiful architecture location but is the least private. The staircase is one of the more popular areas for tourists and other photographers so there is lots of activity.  The grand staircase is also available for reserved weekend weddings.

  • Mayor's Balcony Weddings - This option is available to you for an additional $1000. The Mayor's Balcony is roped off for one hour to provide privacy to you and your guests. This is one of my favorite places to photograph because of the beautiful Rotunda in the background. Reservations need to placed through the City Hall Events Office for this location.

  • Fourth Floor Gallery - Reserving the 4th Floor Gallery is another option to have a private ceremony for you and your guests. One hour costs an additional $1002. The 4th floor offers the best view of the inside of city hall and is a popular reservation choice. Make sure to book early through the City Hall Events Office if you choose the 4th floor for your ceremony site.

Another option is the San Francisco City Hall Weekend Package offered by City Hall. A two hour reservation costs $5000 and can be booked through the Senior Event Manager. If you want to go all out you can rent San Francisco City Hall Rotunda for 10 hours!

The Best Photography Locations in San Francisco

After your San Francisco city hall ceremony we will take you on a tour of the building to photograph you and your new spouse. Many of our city hall customers want more and ask us to take them to other locations around San Francisco for additional photos. By booking either of our "San Francisco" or "Golden Gate" Packages, we will escort you to other locations in the city for photos and will even provide the transportation if needed. Let's explore some of the best locations to go for romantic wedding photography in the city by the bay.

The Palace of Fine Arts- One of the more famous wedding photo spots in San Francisco. A beautiful place for photos, good parking mid-week, and accessible. The only downside is that there are always people around and they could be in the background of the photos.Gorgeous architecture and wonderful colors set the Palace of Fine Arts apart from other famous SF locations. Crissy Field is just across the street with great San Francisco views and beach access. The Golden Gate Bridge can also be seen from the Crissy Field vantage point with some unique angles to take advantage of.
The Golden Gate Bridge - Probably our most frequently requested photo location. It can be approached from many angles and areas and is THE iconic San Francisco photograph. If it's a foggy day, it becomes nearly invisible. We always recommend alternative locations just in case or we will take you closer if possible. It also might be a little chilly and windy so be prepared! We can get nice shots of the bridge from Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach and the Legion of Honor. We can also take you to Sausalito for a unique angle. On a foggy day, Fort Point is probably the best bet to get a good look at the bridge.
The Legion of Honor - It's a bit of a drive to reach this fantastic photo location, but well worth it. The light here is always great for photos and it's a nice place if the weather is bad. You can even see the Golden Gate Bridge from here! If it rains on your wedding day, this is the place to come. There are some nice natural outdoor locations nearby. Note: Our Golden Gate Package includes 1 San Francisco location, if you choose the Legion of Honor, we will also take some shots with the bridge in the background. 2 locations for the price of 1! It's is closed on Monday and after 5pm.
The Japanese Tea Gardens - Another beautiful photo spot in San Francisco. Parking is tough and be prepared for a good walk! Lots of people in the background, but it's possible to avoid them by visiting certain areas of the gardens. The Tea Gardens are located in Golden Gate park - another nice photo location.
Ghirardelli Square - We love taking people here because there is so much going on. It's a great location for Street Photography and the perfect place to get a Cable Car Shot! Also some fun bars and restaurants to visit. Many of our clients like a photo with the famous Ghirardelli sign in the background. We often end our shoots here by taking the couple to the famous Buena Vista Cafe. The Irish Coffee is on us!
Twin Peaks Lookout Point - Without a doubt, the best view of the City. You can capture a near panoramic view of San Francisco from up here. Parking can be difficult and don't bother if it's foggy or really windy. Parking restrictions recently added has made access a little tougher, but we can still manage.

San Francisco City Hall from Toni Bailey on Vimeo.

San Francisco City Hall Helpful Hints

With over 250 marriages creatively photographed at this beautiful SF location, we have learned a few important things that will definitely help the day go more smoothly. The following list is not all inclusive, but features many of the things that have affected our engaged couples the most before the wedding.

1. Allow plenty of extra time to get here - Weddings here are on a tight schedule.San Francisco is famous for delaying people trying to make it across town and there is always the possibility of a large event happening close by which can either back up traffic or close the parking garage. Even the security check-in point can be backed up. So allow extra time to enjoy the historical information located all around the building. Or have some coffee at the Mint Cafe downstairs while you wait. You will be happy you did!

2. Bring current identification - The City Hall County Clerk's office will not allow you to get married if you present expired ID's. Whether you are using a Passport, Drivers License or other form of identification, the dates have to be current. If you have doubts about your documentation, obtain your City Hall marriage license the day before your ceremony. This way if there are any problems you will have time to fix them.

3. Bring a file folder or large size envelope - You will be provided with documents that you will want to protect, especially your souvenir marriage certificate. This is something you will want to keep nice! For extra protection, place a bit of cardboard in the envelope to keep it from bending. We will help you to keep it safe during your wedding photography session.

4.Don't forget snacks and water - On hot summer days, the building can become very warm. If your civil ceremony is delayed for some reason, it's important to keep hydrated and fed. Water fountains are present, but you may find yourself waiting for your Deputy Marriage Commissioner to show up in an area where there are none. We always keep a fresh water bottle with us for your use as well. Dehydration is one of the main reasons people faint during ceremonies. A protein or power bar is suggested to keep you going. They are available in the Mint Cafe at City Hall if you forget to bring one.

5. Walking shoes - We will take you throughout the building for photos so why not be comfortable and carry some walking shoes. We provide plenty of time to change for photos! Comfy shoes will also come in handy if you decide to walk to your lunch celebration after your civil ceremony. There are a number of nice places to eat within walking distance of city hall.

6. Celebration after the Wedding - San Francisco city hall weddings can often run late. The clerk's office gets behind and events at the building can delay your ceremony. If you are planning an event after your wedding, it's best to allow plenty of cushion time. Many weddings end in the afternoon and this will put you in the middle of rush hour traffic, be sure to account for this when planning your wedding day timeline.

Affordable Wedding Photography Packages and Pricing

We offer 5 different wedding photography packages to fit every need and budget. Our prices start at $695 for our most basic Elopement package, which provides 1 hour of coverage at a discount. For the bargain price of $100 more you can add 30 minutes on the "City Hall" Package and allow more time for photos of your family and friends. We call this our "City Hall Family and Friends" Package. You get a total of 1.5 hours of coverage including interior and exterior photos of San Francisco City Hall. This package goes for $795.

If you want even more you can check out our Golden Gate or San Francisco Packages which include additional time for photos and multiple photo locations throughout the city. You can even choose the landmarks we visit after your wedding! For those who want it all, we just created a new package which includes a beautiful custom made professional wedding album and 4 hours of inexpensive coverage. You pick the photos and we do the design.We also offer wedding reception coverage for those celebrating locally. For more information, please compare our prices on the City Hall Packages page. If none of our packages fit your needs, please send us an email and ask for a custom price quote based upon your own specifications. The Golden Gate Package costs $995 and the San Francisco package is $1,295. We are approved to cover weekend weddings at city hall as well, let us know and we will provide you with our special Saturday coverage pricing.

2nd floor hallway dip photo

Meet Your Wedding Photographer in San Francisco!

If you would like to set up an appointment to see some of our best work, we would be happy to meet with you. We have locations in both Concord and San Francisco for your convenience. Another great place to meet is at City Hall itself! Not only can you get to know us better, but we can show you some of our favorite spots to photograph. We offer some of the top bargain packages available for SF City Hall civil ceremonies and will do everything we can to make it affordable for you. Many of our clients create their own custom package to fit their needs. We also have special packages for elopements and pre-wedding portrait sessions, just ask us! To read our 50 - 5 star reviews, click Yelp or Yelp City Hall. We are a Gay / Lesbian / Same-Sex/Gender friendly wedding photography service.

We offer our customers many options in addition to our normal quality coverage. We can put together a gorgeous custom wedding album for you or a music slideshow. One of the great things about ordering a wedding album is that we give each of your selected photos a second round of editing. This special treatment will sometimes include facial retouching and removal of distracting background items. This can especially be useful if you happen to choose a busy day for your wedding because we can remove people from the background using Photoshop (in most instances). We can also provide beautiful wall portraits and small prints with a number of different framing treatments that you can compare. Ask us about our affordable extended wedding reception coverage.  Our service is open to people of all cultures, religions, gay / lesbian / same-sex and race. We are a full service and well established professional wedding photography company and have been in business in San Francisco for over 25 years.


SF City Hall Wedding Photographer
100 Pine Street
 Suite 1250
San Francisco, CA 94111