Guide to Having a San Francisco City Hall Wedding

If you are looking for the Ultimate Guide to Having a San Francisco City Hall Wedding – rest assured we are here to help you feel at ease and empowered in the wedding planning process. We are an award-winning San Francisco City Hall Photographer Boutique and have documented countless weddings at SF City Hall. We hope this guide will help you through the wedding planning process and make your dream City Hall Wedding a reality.

San Francisco city hall wedding

You’ve decided to have your wedding at San Francisco City Jall. Now what?

Congratulations! Deciding on a wedding venue is a big deal so congratulate yourself, first and foremost. In order to make your decision official, you will first need to complete your marriage license certificate.

COST: $112
HOW: Make a San Francisco City Hall Wedding Appointment
WHERE: San Francisco City Hall, Room 168
BRING: Valid IDs for both of you (Passport, Drivers License, other Government Issued ID)

We know that not all couples live in San Francisco, but rest assured you can do this step on your wedding day if you have to. We recommend getting the license in advance if you live in San Francisco or the Bay Area, however. It makes the process a little smoother – and that is our main goal for your wedding planning. If you do decide to get your marriage license on the same day – please schedule it for approximately an hour ahead of your ceremony time.

Appointments are normally available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

(As of 08/07/2021 due to COVID-19 office hours are 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.)

Please check with the office as their open date is due to change at any time.

the two different types of wedding ceremonies at san Francisco city hall

There are two different types of ceremonies at San Francisco City Hall: private ceremonies and civil ceremonies. Civil ceremonies are way more common because they are quick and easy. If you want a date that is more than 90 days away, set a reminder on your phone for precisely 90 days prior to the date you want. It will be easier for you to snag the time slot you want that way. Keep reading to see the differences between Private and Public. We hope it will help you figure out which type of ceremony is right for your wedding.

Having a public civil ceremony at San Francisco city hall

Public ceremonies are conducted on the second floor of the Rotunda at the very top of the staircase. You can’t miss it! Public ceremonies are only 5-8 minutes long (It goes by fast!). This is why San Francisco City Hall allows up to 3 couples to book the same 30-minute slot as you. It is more than likely that your civil ceremony wedding will be witnessed by a few other couples (And tourists. They roam the hall and have free rein, even over the Rotunda)

Afterward, you are free to walk around the rest of City Hall (This is when we normally take photos of yourself and your guests). But we promise your ceremony will go by fast so be prepared for that if you’re having a civil ceremony.

Information on Booking This Package:

COST: $93 (In addition to your marriage license cost)
TO SCHEDULE: Make a San Francisco City Hall Wedding Appointment
TIME: Every half hour, Monday through Friday between 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
CHECK-IN: Ten minutes before your ceremony reservation, at the Information Desk in Room 168
CEREMONY LOCATION: Rotunda (Second Floor)
GUESTS: Six permitted, including a witness (And your photographer!)
TO BRING: Witness, marriage license, valid IDs for both of you. We can serve as witnesses for your wedding if you are eloping with just the two of you. Please just let us know in advance. And we’re honored for being considered.

Having a private ceremony at San Francisco city hall

If you don’t like the idea of having tourists mingling around, or want to have more than six guests, you’ll need to have a Private Ceremony at San Francisco City Hall. You are allowed to have up to two hours for your ceremony and the area will be exclusively yours. Below are the different options SF City Hall currently offers for their private wedding ceremonies.

One Hour Wedding Package

Information on Booking This Package:

COST: $1,000
TO SCHEDULE: Call (415) 554-6079
LOCATIONS: Three options: Mayor’s Balcony, 4th Floor North Gallery, 4th Floor South Gallery
DAYS OF THE WEEK: Monday – Friday 9am – 3pm

We recommend touring City Hall first to see the three options available to you. They all have their own distinct looks but are all beautiful. The most popular one is probably the 4th Floor South Gallery because it’s a bit larger. But really, it simply comes down to your preferences. This package does not come with chairs or additional lighting, which will be booked in addition to the above price. To get an exact quote on rentals and anything else you need, you’ll have to talk to City Hall Directly. It ranges from $5-10 per chair depending on quantity

To make your reservation for a private ceremony, call (415) 554-6079 or go to the City Hall Events page for more contact info.

Two Hour Wedding Package

Information on Booking This Package:

COST: $5,000
HOW: Call (415) 554-6079
LOCATION: Rotunda (Right above the staircase – the same location as Civil Ceremonies)
DAYS OF THE WEEK: Saturdays 9 am – noon
GUESTS: Up to 200

For $5,000, you can have the entirety of San Francisco City Hall all to yourselves. This package accommodates up to 200 guests and includes insurance and equipment rental. This is a luxurious package because it’s one of the only ones that allows you to have an Intimate and Private San Francisco City Hall Wedding

Get more information about two-hour private wedding ceremonies at City Hall

Evening & Weekend Wedding Package

Information on Booking This Package:

Cost: $10,000+
How: Call (415) 554-6079
Location: Anywhere in City Hall
Guests: Up to 2500

If you are having a large private wedding at City Hall, you can pretty much use any space your heart desires. You are allowed to stay until 2AM and will have the building entirely to yourselves. There is a lot of flexibility with this private weekend package. You are allowed to bring in your own vendors, including caterers and DJ’s with this package. If your dream wedding is a private affair on a prime weekend day … this might be the package for you.

For more information and detailed breakdowns, look at these specific pages on the San Francisco City Hall’s website:
Evening Weddings
Wedding Fees & Expenses


Frequently Asked Questions about SF City Hall Weddings

When should I have my City Hall ceremony?

San Francisco City Hall is the beating heart of the City. That being said, it can get crowded during tourist seasons because, well, it’s also beautiful as you know. That’s probably one of the reasons you’ve decided to get married here. Friday is the busiest day by far for public ceremonies, so if you book a Friday please keep this in mind. Tuesdays are normally the slowest but don’t count on it. Particularly with the backlog of people wanting to get married due to COVID-19, it is extremely unpredictable. We are San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Experts and are here to walk you through the process and having your dream wedding though. Please reach out to us and we’ll guide you through the process.

Can you be our witness?

Of course! And we’re honored you asked. It’s common for our couples to have us as their witness if they are eloping with just the two of them.

Where can we park?

We don’t recommend driving to your SF City Hall Wedding. Parking is a pain in Downtown San Francisco and it can be extremely difficult to find parking. We recommend using Uber or Lyft instead to have a painless process of getting to and from City Hall. That being said, if you do plan on driving – the best parking in the area is the Civic Center Parking Garage.

Where can we take photos after our ceremony?

By hiring us, you get the full Fig + Willow experience. And that includes us knowing all the good spots in City Hall to take photos in. We will take you to them and get the iconic San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photos you are dreaming of.

For our destination wedding couples, we also know all the great spots in San Francisco outside of City Hall to take photos at! We will craft a customized photo timeline for you dependant on what you want.


Hiring us as your San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

We are so honored to have been the Photographer for countless San Francisco City Hall Weddings and can’t wait to hear from you. Pricing for San Francisco City Hall Elopements starts at $500 for an hour photo session with a 3 hour minimum. We offer a variety of custom curated packages for you, including the option to add on video to make your dream San Francisco City Hall Wedding a reality. We can’t wait to hear from you! Click the button below to get in touch.