City Hall elopement or a full day wedding?
We had originally planned a wedding next year but decided to elope and just have an intimate ceremony. Are you available next Wednesday at City Hall?

I received this email a few days ago, and it got me thinking… It looks like a trend, more and more couples decide to elope or have smaller weddings.

 Photographers using the window lights at SF city hall

Photographers using the window lights at SF city hall

If you’ve ever visited the famous San Francisco’s City Hall, you must have noticed at least a few weddings. It’s becoming the ideal place for couples to tie the knot.

Here is a photo I grabbed during today’s wedding. Notice the three windows on the third floor? These windows are actually cool spots for photos because the light is pretty soft, which complements the skin.

 Portrait in front of SF City Hall

Portrait in front of SF City Hall

 Fourth floor gallery wedding in city hall

Fourth floor gallery wedding in city hall

Every single day, dozens of couples get married in City Hall. We filmed and photographed couples that came all the way from Taiwan, UK, Australia, Ukraine, you name it. Today’s couple traveled from Sacramento.

I remember just a few years ago City Hall wasn’t as popular. Today, it’s one of the most desired wedding venues in SF.

So why more and more couples choose City Hall over other destinations?
First of all it’s the cost. Compared to a full day weekend wedding, eloping in City Hall will cost you so much less. No need to pay for the venue (well almost), no need to feed 120 guests. These are probably the most obvious savings.
You can of course opt for a little bit more special celebration and rent out one of the 4th floor galleries or Mayor’s Balcony for about $1000. Couples also understand that the price gap between a talented and average wedding vendor (such as a photographer or a cinematographer) on a weekend could be in the thousands. But on a weekday, that gap is probably within the hundreds. We know at least a few couples that specifically changed their wedding venue to City Hall in order to afford us.

The other main reason is the beauty and convenience of marrying at City Hall. Undeniably, it’s one of the most gorgeous buildings in SF. As I mentioned, people travel from around the world for a wedding at City Hall. But it’s also very convenient. All you need is an appointment, and you will be provided with a marriage commissioner who will officiate your ceremony. Pretty simple and (almost) hassle free.

I’ve already written about how to get married in City Hall along with some useful tips, so feel free to check that out, or watch some of our city hall wedding films, or even follow our city hall blog for the most recent weddings.

Here is another email I received recently:
“We are getting married on August 15, 2019 at 11am at City Hall. We reserved the 4th floor north gallery and expect around 15 attendees. Most likely before the ceremony we will be getting ready at a hotel or an AirBNB, we aren't sure yet. Ideally we'd like to have the pre-ceremony and ceremony filmed. Thank you!”

 Just two at city hall

Just two at city hall

This is pretty unique. For the most part, our couples reserve us between 6 months and 3 weeks before their wedding. Planning an elopement at City Hall a year in advance, that is special. This only confirms just how popular City Hall weddings become.
BTW, you can reserve the 4th floor galleries or the Mayor’s Balcony a year in advance. More about that on our tips page.

I’ll leave you with this thought: there are many places to choose from in SF - Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, Presidio, the list goes on… but no matter the weather, wind, rain or fog, the City Hall will provide a roof and your guests won’t have to shiver during your ceremony.


 
 

If you planning a city hall wedding and interested in our cinematography or photography, feel free to fill out this form and we will get back to you within a few hours.

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Nestldown Wedding Shaheen & Mark

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to film a gorgeous wedding at one of our favorite venues - Villa Montalvo in Saratoga.
As you probably noticed from our films, storytelling is what drives us. We use speeches, vows or letters as the core of our movies, and this wedding was no different. We used Mark’s brother speech because not only it was pretty hilarious but gave some insight into the couple’s relationship.

Cinematography - Us
Photography - Danny Dong
Venue - Villa Montalvo Arts

Alex KohnComment