San Francisco City Hall is one of the most beautiful and glamorous city halls in the world, and is an effortlessly beautiful choice for your wedding! It is full of natural light, shimmering white marble, sparkling gilded details, and locations for stunning photos such as the grand staircase and intricately leaded windows. You can make a San Francisco City Hall wedding as budget-friendly or as luxurious as you want, with endless options from the simplest and most intimate elopement, to planning a whole day starting and ending in a five-star hotel. It is located in the heart of The City, surrounded by Michelin-starred restaurants, activities like cycling in Golden Gate Park, world-class Art and Science museums, and so many gorgeous locations for photos. The ambiance of all The City has to offer, combined with the famous ethereally beautiful fog rolling in off the majestic Pacific Ocean creates a magical and romantic atmosphere that is truly memorable and once in a lifetime.
Getting married at San Francisco City Hall is simple and easy, and includes several options for you to choose what is best for you. Below we give you all the details you’ll need to plan your perfect day!
The Courthouse offers four wedding options: A weekday appointment that occurs every half an hour, a one-hour weekday reservation, a two-hour Saturday reservation, and a full evening event on both weekdays and weekends.
The Step By Step
- Whichever option you choose, the first step is to make a marriage license reservation, scheduled for before your ceremony date. It is also possible to schedule this on the same day as your wedding if it is a weekday, but it must be scheduled at least 30 minutes ahead of the ceremony time. Bring with you a valid legal photo ID for each person, a completed public or confidential marriage application. The marriage license is valid for 90 days after it is issued, so getting it early relieves lots of stress!
- Decide which type of ceremony you want and book your appointment. You can get a weekday appointment, reserve a special location for an hour (and have more guests), reserve the staircase for two hours in Saturday, or have the whole building to yourself for an entire evening. See below for the details!
- On the day of: Bring with you a valid legal photo ID for each person, a valid marriage license issued by a California County (which you got at your marriage license reservation appointment), and a witness.
Quick and Intimate Weekday Reservation
This is a perfect option for couples wanting an intimate wedding, micro wedding or elopement. The ceremony will be officiated by a county commissioner on the beautiful rotunda or in a private ceremony room. You are allowed up to 6 guests (including the photographer and children). Tiffany and John chose this ceremony, and loved every second of it!
If this is the option for you, visit Online Civil Ceremony Reservations to book your appointment for a ceremony. Appointments are available Monday- Friday, 9 am to 1 pm, with two reservation slots available for every half hour. We suggest choosing a time earlier in the morning if possible, because the earlier we can get in, the more time we will have the building to ourselves for lovely pictures that capture the grandeur of the place. (Hint: Tuesdays and Wednesdays also tend to be less crowded!) It will cost $95 to make the reservation.
On the day of; Bring with you a valid legal photo ID for each person, a valid marriage license issued by a California County (which you got at your marriage license reservation appointment), and a witness. 15 minutes before your ceremony appointment, you will check-in at the information desk at City Hall, room 168 with one or two witnesses. We will be there to guide you to the room and to all the best photography locations, for a fun, happy, and stress-free morning celebrating your love!
One Hour Weekday Reservation
This option gives you a lot more freedom to personalize your wedding. You will provide your own officiant, you can have acoustic music, some decorations, and up to 100 guests. You can choose your location, either the Mayor’s Balcony or a Fourth Floor Gallery. You also get to skip the ceremony registration line! The building will still be open to the public, but the Balcony or Gallery will be your space for that hour. Check out Lalaine and Shingo, Shiva and Ben, and Alena and Bill‘s gorgeous weddings for more ideas!
If this is more your style, visit the SF City Hall events page for bookings and more information. The appointments are Monday-Friday, with the earliest ceremony starting at 9 am and the latest starting at 3 pm. The one-hour reservation with City Hall costs $1000.
The Mayor’s Balcony seats up to 40 guests and the Fourth Floor Galleries seat up to 60 guests (remaining guests stand for the ceremony). Acoustic music may be played with advance approval, and musicians must be selected from the qualified list. Unfortunately, because of time constraints, food and drinks are not possible inside the Courthouse, which is why it’s a great idea to plan a post-wedding party at some of the amazing San Francisco restaurants nearby!
For help choosing an officiant, visit the marriage officiant guidelines page. Options include ordaining anyone you want to be the officiant for the day!
Two Hour Saturday Reservation
For this option, your wedding will take place on the stunning Grand Staircase of the Rotunda on a much quieter Saturday morning. You can have up to 200 guests, and the package includes wooden folding chairs. With advanced approval, you can also have food and beverages from one of the outside vendors. You will supply your own officiant, can have some decorations, music, and other personalized details as well as a more relaxed amount of ceremony time in the building.
To book this option visit the SF City Hall events page. The earliest ceremony begins at 9 am and the latest begins at 12 noon. Two-hour City Hall reservations cost $5000.
Evening Weddings at San Francisco City Hall
For an unforgettably glamorous experience unlike any other, you can have a private ceremony on a weekend or weekday evening (other than Tuesday) and have the entire stunning building to yourself. It will be gorgeously lit up as the perfect backdrop for the wedding of your dreams. You can say your vows and exchange rings on the Grand Staircase, have a cocktail reception in the North Light Court and create a night of dinner and dancing in the magnificent Rotunda that your guests will remember forever. There are so many different possibilities for how you can design the perfect wedding for you in all the gorgeous spaces that will be available to you.
All the details for this option can be found on the SF City Hall events page. The rental rates for an evening wedding vary depending on your plans, guests count, and other factors, but start around 10k. Setup time starts at 2pm for the North Light Court and 4 pm for other locations. The wedding must be concluded by midnight and be cleared out by 2 am. That gives you many hours to enjoy the beauty and atmosphere and have the party of your dreams! You will provide your own officiant, vendors, decorations, and everything else you would like to include.
What to Wear to get married at San Francisco City Hall?
One of the best things about a San Francisco City Hall elopement or wedding is freedom! You can wear whatever makes you feel your best. Brides come dressed in formal wear, gowns, jumpsuits, short dresses, long dresses, and colorful dresses. Grooms come in full tuxes, creative suits, and business casual. You have the freedom to express yourself and be as formal or creative as you want to be. The beautiful surroundings will provide the perfect backdrop for timeless and classic wedding photos that you will cherish for a lifetime. We are also happy to help with suggestions!
A Few More Ideas!!
- Get ready at a hotel near San Francisco City Hall. There are so many wonderful hotels just a few minutes drive away, so that your gorgeous wedding clothes wont get wrinkled on the way. You can turn it into a weekend away and enjoy the many things San Francisco has to offer.
- Reserve hair stylists, makeup artists, and flowers in advance. We have lots of recommendations for you!
- Book a restaurant for a private dinner post ceremony, for just the happy couple or one with room for all your guests! Some nearby restaurants have private rooms that can hold up to 50 guests. SF boasts of 61 Michelin starred restaurants, as well as restaurants that specialize in any type of cuisine you can imagine. A restaurant reception is a fun, glitzy and glamorous way to make your special day even more fun.
We are so excited for you to get married at San Francisco City Hall, and can’t wait to serve as your photographers! Please reach out with any questions, ideas, and dreams you might have!