I have done a good number of SF City Hall Weddings over the years. Since the new six-person rule went into effect, I have gotten several calls from people assuming that they would be able to bring more than six guests to their City Hall civil ceremony. Since the County Clerk has started enforcing their six-guest rule (check out my recent blog post for more info on the six-person rule and planning a SF City Hall wedding), I have found myself doing some educating.
When Casey called me about her 12 person SF City Hall wedding, I let her know that things had changed and we discussed her options. She ended up deciding to have her brother-in-law officiate the wedding in City Hall. Since she was getting ready at the Lodge at the Presidio and having dinner at the Commissary in the Presidio, we discussed possibly doing the ceremony somewhere in that area, but ultimately, she felt like she wanted to do the ceremony in SF City Hall.
Getting Ready at the Lodge at the Presidio
When I arrived at the Lodge at the Presidio around 2:30pm, there was a thick layer of fog lingering offshore. I went upstairs and took a few pictures of Casey and Brandon getting ready together. Brandon helped her with her wedding dress. Casey wore her sister’s blue and white veil and brought a couple of family heirlooms along with her. We went downstairs, met family, and took a hired van to City Hall. Getting across the City always takes so much longer that one would hope.
Ceremony on the Fourth Floor in SF City Hall.
Once we got to SF City Hall, we went through security, took a quick peek at the main hall, and got into the elevator to the fourth floor. The North Gallery had been reserved for a wedding so we went to the Southside of the fourth floor and found a spot out of the sun for the ceremony. The ceremony was personal and sweet. It was refreshing to have bypassed the check-in and waiting process at the clerk’s office.
Family Portraits on the Fourth Floor
I always try to be respectful of the other photographers waiting to use the spaces in City Hall. It is a dance. Two other photographers and couples showed up once we had started. We got our shots and moved out of the way for the other folks waiting to take pictures.
Couple Portraits on the Way Down to the Entrance.
We took the stairs from the fourth floor down to the entrance and out the front door. We stopped along the way to take pictures and chat. Casey and Brandon’s family went ahead of us and we waiting at the front with bubbles.
Back to the Presidio for Cocktails and Dinner.
We got back in the van and headed back to the Presidio. Since there wasn’t room for me in the back, I rode up front with the Irish driver. We talked about politics, work, Yelp, and the state of the world.
By the time we got back to the Presidio, the fog had cleared. Casey, Brandon, and I stopped by their room so that Casey could change into her incredible custom hat from Paul’s Hat Works. We walked a few doors down to the Commissary where family was enjoying cocktails and appetizers. Brandon broke a glass, we took some more pictures, and then I departed before dinner. On the way home I stopped off at the Golden Gate Bridge and took a closing image for them. I love intimate weddings. Congrats Casey and Brandon!