Above is a full audio recording of a standard Marriage Ceremony performed by an SF City Hall Commissioner (John) assigned by a County Clerk office. The only requirement for the bride and groom is to repeat the vows and say: "I Do!". Click Play to listen.
• Unless renting a space from City Hall’s event department, the County Clerk office does not allow ceremony reservations beyond 90 days in advance so those who are planning on popular dates, long weekend dates, etc., we suggest reserving your ceremony time immediately 90 days prior to your intended date.
• If photography is your top priority, please contact us before booking the City Hall to make sure we are free on your potential date.
• If you are planning to get married at San Francisco City Hall from across the world, all you need is valid passports. City Hall commissioner will perform your ceremony while we can act as your witness.
• Best time for the Ceremony is early morning or around noon as City Hall is less crowded that time of the day: waiting is shorter and it is easier to get panoramic photos without roaming tourists in the background.
• If you are planning a larger number of guests, I’d suggest having your marriage ceremony on the 4th floor. It’s well-lit area and usually very quiet. See 4th-floor gallery photos below.
• We strongly recommend arriving at City Hall for your ceremony at least 20 minutes in advance. This way, you will be the first in the check-in line for the ceremony.
• Most Photography friendly time at City Hall is 8-9:
• Photography friendly days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
• If City Hall already booked for the date you prefer to get married, you can always hire an independent wedding officiant who can perform (and even customize) your Ceremony. Among other benefits, you won’t have to check in with the County Clerk office and officiant will file all the paperwork on your behalf.
• If you are planning a San Francisco City Hall 4th floor wedding, we recommend booking a
A: Despite the fact that City Hall website states that six guests is a limit for Rotunda Ceremony, we've witnessed many ceremonies with over 30 guests attending
A: Yes, you can book us before making a reservation with City Hall. All you need to do after that is to make sure to log-in into the City Hall's booking page exactly 90 days prior to guarantee your time slot. So far it worked 100% of the time.
A: Well, first of all, they are volunteers. Few judges are REALLY FANTASTIC, but some are not. Most will read a script with a smile. You should avoid the officiants with poor vocal skills and those who will chew through the script in less than 60 seconds (yes, it happens!). Some officiants (very few, though) are also painfully slow to process the paperwork which creates long lines and adds to the stress. Some judges won’t say “Now you may kiss the Bride!” – which may cause mild confusion. Once we see who you will be working with, we will provide you with instructions that will minimize the problems.
A: IQphoto is a recognized vendor by the City Hall Event Department with current paperwork on file including liability insurance requirements. We personally know the staff of both County Clerk Office and the Event Department which makes it easier to coordinate
While there are many couples who’d rather stay in the building as it is really magnificent, others prefer to visit another spot. This can be decided upon when we meet.
A: Unfortunately most deputy marriage commissioners will not allow couples to read their own vows due to time constraints. However, sometimes they don't mind.
A: Unlike with hourly packages, this option is not entirely based on time. We will meet at the time of your registration and will wait for you until the ceremony. We will then photograph the ceremony and will also spend 10-20 minutes afterward taking formal posed shots at one or two additional spots. This package is oriented to provide basic posed shots and to cover the ceremony.
09/04/2017 Update: The situation with marriage commissioners has dramatically improved. There currently no issues with the County Clerk commissioners.
03/18/2018 Update: The Friday 11AM-12PM couples should not book restaurant too close to their ceremony times. The current deputy marriage commissioner is running behind the schedule 90% of the time.
A: While the quantity of the photographs is less important than their quality, we typically deliver 120-150 images per hour of the coverage time. We delete only images that are obvious duplicates and/or images with bad facial expressions, eye blinks, exposure test shots, etc.,
A: On Fridays, City Hall is usually very crowded. If you want to enjoy empty City Hall and get the most out of your photo session, please schedule your Ceremony on Tuesday's or Wednesday's mornings. City Hall is fairly empty around lunch break as well (except Friday). There is a little trick to get completely empty City Hall on a weekday but it involves some level of creativity.
A: Our clients receive color corrected full-size digital images as a part of this package by default. Images will be ready for printing and will retain natural light and tonal range. We will color correct the images and adjust many of the parameters to achieve a uniform look for the entire gallery. Editing decisions will be based on many factors such as weather, lighting, skin tones, age, etc., Clients may also request a “special” editing of the entire wedding such as B&W conversion, however, this must be requested in advance and may require an additional fee. After the images delivered, clients may request retouching at a $60/Hr rate. Clients may also request unedited (Raw) files instead of jpeg images at no additional cost or receive both versions for $125.
A: Unfortunately we don't offer consultations with our City Hall packages (due to their pricing structure) but will be happy to schedule a phone consultation instead.
A: Yes, as long as the upgrade requested before the wedding day and we are still available. This package, however, cannot be upgraded after the wedding.
A: Yes. Just ask!
A: By default, you will be getting full resolution unmarked color corrected jpeg images. We will only delete obvious duplicates, blinkers, bad expression shots, etc., You can opt for unedited files (same exact images but in Raw format) instead, at no additional charge. Or you can upgrade the package (extra fee) and have two versions of the same image as well.
A: Our typical turnaround time is four to six weeks. You will have 30 days to download the images from a secure online gallery. You will be responsible for backing them up. We recommend making multiple copies on a DVDs and hard drives. We will not be responsible for storing the images after this period.
A: Since City Hall is not a controlled environment and often a very busy place, we can only try to get a specific shot but can not guarantee it. Those who really love City Hall architecture and interested in a larger number of posed photographs should consider two or even four hours packages.
A: Yes. You can split the time with a minimum of four hours of coverage (otherwise, there is a $100 split fee). Ex: Three hours during the day to cover the Ceremony and additional location for portraits and one hour to cover the reception.
A: You can drive with us although our car is packed with equipment so it might not be the most comfortable ride.
A: Yes, San Francisco City Hall will perform your ceremony as long as you have valid passports. Your marriage certificate will be shipped to you after 2 weeks (you must complete online form & postage fees apply).
A: In a case of heavy traffic we always try to add some extra time but generally coverage time includes driving.
A: All City Hall hourly packages include ALL high-resolution images at no additional cost. Standard price for the a-la-carte high-resolution image is $50.
A: San Francisco is a beautiful city with plenty of places to visit. Palace of Fine Arts, Legion of Honor, Crissy Field, Fort Mason, Golden Gate Bridge Overlook, Golden Gate Park, Baker’s Beach, Japanese Tea Gardens are just a few of them.