Comprehensive Guide to Planning an Elopement in San Francisco


If you are planning your Elopement in San Francisco, this Comprehensive Guide will make sure you don’t forget anything, and have the elopement of your dreams. We are wedding experts in San Francisco, and have shot at City Hall countless times, at the Bluffs overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, and a ton more. Keep reading to see our tips, tricks, and suggestions on how to make sure your Elopement in San Francisco is everything you’ve ever dreamt of.


Is having an Elopement in San Francisco right for you?

I think this is an important question to start off with. Are you eloping out of necessity (ugh, thanks COVID), or would you rather have less or even no people around on your wedding day? Do you want to just be with your partner and no one else? If that gives you warm fuzzy feelings, you might want to elope. You can focus on the elements of your wedding day like having a towering floral arch, splurging on an amazing wedding photo + video team (… hint hint) or any other element that you might have to cut from your wedding budget otherwise.


How to Start Planning for your Elopement in San Francisco

Our first recommendation is to get a wedding planner, or at the very least, a day of planner. The last thing you should be worrying about is when the florist will arrive, where the officiant is etc. A wedding planner is basically a friend whose only goal is to make sure you have the best day of your life. They are worth the investment, trust us on this. Here is a list of our favorite San Francisco Wedding Planners for you to reach out to.

If you decide to not invest in a wedding planner, that’s okay too. Elopements are not as stressful as weddings and you won’t have as many vendors to manage or guests to worry about.


Booking Your Wedding Vendors

Wedding Planner:

If you are choosing to have a wedding planner we recommend booking one you love pretty much as s soon as you get engaged. It gives you time to really lay out your vision and make sure you have enough time to plan out your dream elopement.

Wedding Photographer:

Once you pick your wedding date, it’s imperative that you book your photographer. As a studio, we normally book out dates 1-2 in advance. While we have a team and can accommodate some more last minute bookings than most photographers, we recommend booking ASAP. Especially for popular wedding dates! As of right now for example, we have 4 weddings on the books for 02/22/22 already and are nearing capacity! And we’re 10 months out.

Wedding Florist:

We recommend booking your florist about a year out, for similar reasons to booking your photographer early.

Wedding Officiant:

We recommend 3-6 months out. Officiants are like photographers … they can only accommodate so many couples per year. Here’s a link to browse through some San Francisco Wedding Officiants.


Average Costs of an Elopement in San Francisco

Did you know the average Bay Area wedding costs $50,000+? Elopements will save you a ton of money and you can still have a super pretty day. Here’s the average costs you can expect to spend:

Wedding Planner: $2,000

Elopement Photographer: $2,500

Elopement Videographer: $2,500

Florist: $1,500-$2,000

Officiant: $500

Venue: Free to $1,000+

Total Average Cost of San Francisco Elopements: $10,000 or less. It can be more or less, as anything in life. You could go all out and spend $20k on florals, if you want! Also please note: this cost doesn’t reflect the cost of your dress, wedding bands, etc.

Types of Places to Elope in San Francisco

I know we’ve talked about having a City Hall Elopement in San Francisco, but there’s way more places you can elope too! We absolutely adore City Hall Elopements, but we want you to know that there’s options no matter what you want your dream elopement to look like. How about a Garden Inspired Elopement in Golden Gate Park? Or a hiking elopement through the Redwoods? It’s your wedding day, let’s come up with something that fits you and your fiancé perfectly.


Final thoughts on planning a San Francisco Elopement

An elopement can be as fancy or as barebones as you want it. A lot of our couples choose to elope because they want to not worry about guests and want to have a day where their only goal is connecting with their partner. We totally respect either of your visions!

Of course, we’d love to chat about being your San Francisco Elopement Photographer and help you have the elopement of your dreams. Click that button below, and we can’t wait to hear from you.