City Hall Editing Styles
When it comes to City Hall Wedding editing, first of all it is important to understand, that when you like certain photographer, you need to clearly distinguish whether you like the actual photography or the image editing. Modern editing tools allow quite a range of manipulations. For example images below is a very basic representation on how photo can be soft and shiny versus moody and dramatic.
And below is another sample taken right behind the SF City Hall at the Veterans Memorial park (Feb 2020).
SF City Hall Photography Locations
The Rotunda | Main Ceremony location
Coolest perks? It is filled with soft light plus there are beautiful crystal chandeliers. It is standing right opposite from the Mayor’s Balcony which means that great photo backdrops are guaranteed.
Mayor’s Balcony is a fantastic vantage point from where you can capture the most beautiful photos of San Francisco City Hall. That’s exactly why wedding photographers love it so much! Book a City Hall civil ceremony here and you will get gorgeous views of the ornate marble walls and the grand staircase.
Without a doubt, it offers the most elegant backdrops for the bride and groom shots. Its unique feature is the iconic golden railing which can really stand out in your wedding photos.
The 4th Floor - South and North
The 4th Floor Galleries are visually intriguing! The color palette is comprised of soft, natural shades of ivory, white, and grey. To make it even more picture-perfect, you can add some vibrant colors! Vivid bouquets, floral arrangements and bridesmaid dresses will create wonderful contrasts. And a large wedding party can easily fit in there. Yes, this area can be rented. You will have full control over the ceremony and will be able to hire your own officiant, share your personal vows, get a sitting arrangement and even hire a musician.
Here you can easily seat 60 guests and the chairs are forming a natural aisle for your big entrance. Additionally, there is also ample space for live musicians, small table for cupcakes, champagne, weddings gifts, etc.,. North is usually proffered than South as it offers a softer light.
The Grand Staircase
The impressive marble staircase is the centerpiece of San Francisco City Hall and its most photographed feature. Its extraordinary beauty will strike you as soon as you walk into the building. Exuding regal elegance and timeless style, this architectural masterpiece is often compared to the iconic staircase at the Opera de Paris.
Even if there are other people in the background, a skilled San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer can still make a few good shots.
The 3rd Floor
Compared to Grand Staircase and The Rotunda, South and North sides of the 4th floor, The 3rd floor is probably the most peaceful area in the building an excellent place to escape the crowds and busy areas (especially during City Hall events) and to get awesome portraits by the famous window.
The Main Door
Trained in Paris at the famed Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Arthur Brown Jr has designed San Francisco City Hall meticulously and with incredible attention to detail. One of the most striking features is the main entrance itself. Bedecked with intricate ornaments in gilded bronze, the iconic "City Hall" signage makes one of the most recognizable photo backdrops.
The County Clerk's Office
After your online reservation and during your booked time slot, you are allowed to take your wedding photographer inside the County Clerk Office. This means getting a few extra photo opportunities.
The photographer can then take a photo of you signing or holding your marriage license. Or capture the moment when you are talking to the judge who is about to marry you.
This space may seem un-photogenic to an inexperienced wedding photographer. However, a professional San Francisco City Hall photographer who has photographed hundreds of weddings there will know exactly which moments to capture even during the wait time before the marriage license appointment..
The Old School Elevators
City Hall elevators are exuding luxury and romance of bygone eras. Even the marble hallway with gleaming silver elevator doors looks gorgeous!
But the best photos can be made while the doors are open and the bride and groom are standing inside. We always try getting a shot inside these beautiful time capsules assuming we are alone.
Natural Light City Hall Photography
A unique example of Beaux-Arts architecture, San Francisco City Hall comprises acres of pearly white marble and elegant gilded bronze. Beauty is everywhere you look and natural light is filling the entire building.
Most of it is coming from numerous skylights. Stemming from the ceilings, the sun rays are spreading around and filling even the long hallways. On a sunny day, every corner is drenched in sunlight.
And when it is cloudy or foggy outside, crisp white surfaces are still bright. Ornate walls are constantly contrasted with bold shadows. This juxtaposition always creates awe-inspiring backdrops for your wedding photography.
San Francisco City Hall Photography Packages
FULL PACKAGES - (BOTH THE THE CIVIL CEREMONY AND PORTRAITS ARE INCLUDED)
Ceremony Package 1 - $495 - This package designed for couples who prefer a simple wedding experience. It includes coverage of your wedding ceremony during which we will capture the couple and the wedding participants. All high-resolution files that were taken during the actual civil ceremony, as well as the five high resolution formal or posed files, will be available for download. This package does not include the signing of the marriage license.
Package 2 - $795 - In addition to capturing the wedding ceremony at the Rotunda, we will take some pre and post-ceremony candid photos including inside the County Clerk’s office (to capture a marriage license signing). After the public or private ceremony appointment, we will spend time taking more photos (based on client's preferences) around the building to take advantage of beautiful backgrounds City Hall offers. All files will be available for download. One Hour Wedding Photography Included..
Package 3 - $1,395 - This package is similar to above One Hour Package. However, additional time helps to take a full advantage of all four levels of San Francisco City Hall. It was created for those who admire unique San Francisco City Hall architecture and want more photos taken in there or prefer to visit another location within this longer time frame. All digital files/photos will be available for download.
Package 4 - $2,395 - This option was created for couples who would like to get the photos of the bridal preparations, the first look, the wedding ceremony, additional location (ex: beach, park) and the reception. This package offers greater flexibility than previous packages. As with the One Hour or Two Hours Packages, all files will be available for download.
Package 5 - $2,790 - 2 Hours of photo and video coverage. All photos included. Highlight video included as well. Can be upgraded to 8-mm real film or to 4K UHD quality recording. Full package details available here.
WHICH SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Clients who require the Ceremony Appointment and the signing of the marriage license to be photographed, usually pick either one or two hours package. The first hour is dedicated to candid photography before the private ceremony, the coverage of the actual wedding ceremony, the group and formal photos afterward and to a few posed/semi-posed images of the couple around the building. The result is a documentation of the essential part of the wedding day.
While we can do a lot in the first hour, the 2nd hour results in an increased number of candid (or posed) photos. With longer packages we are able not only to photograph the essentials such as marriage license and the ceremony portion but to visit more spots, better use the natural light, visit previously unavailable locations and overall have more flexibility. To put it simply: the more time we spend, the better the image variety will be. A lot of creative light shots in our portfolio were taken within the 2 hour wedding package. However, anything beyond 2 hours would be too much for just the City Hall photography coverage. We recommend 4 hours package (we can customize 3 hours as well) for those couples who would like to capture the bridal preparations portion, considering visiting an additional location or plan to have a reception captured. We also offer full day weekday elopement coverage for $3450. Contact us for details.
And finally, we offer a combined photography and videography package that includes a separate person who will be filming alongside the photographer. This will result in a short highlight video on top of the high resolution files included in the photography package.
Some of our older favorites...
Can't choose a bridal bouquet? Get some ideas here.