5 Ways to Prepare for Your City Hall Wedding | San Francisco, CA

Congratulations! You're engaged and you've decided to get married at City Hall! City Hall is one of my favorite wedding venues in San Francisco to photograph couples. The architecture is stunning and the light is unbeatable - there's nowhere quite like it. Now that you've decided to get married there and you've reserved a date, you're probably wondering, now what?


1. Book your photographer: The first thing you're going to want to do is book your photographer (and I'm not just saying that because I'm a wedding photographer). You can only reserve your date 3 months out, but photographers may book-up way before then, so reach out to a San Francisco-based wedding photographer (wink*Janine Licare Photography*wink) as soon as you have chosen a date to get the ball rolling.

2. Decide who you want there: Will it be just the two of you? Will you have friends and family? This will help your photographer guide you in the right direction in terms of the amount of coverage you'll want. I've photographed several City Hall weddings where it's just been the three of us. I've also photographed many ceremonies where guest numbers have ranged from 2 to 15+. If you do decide to have a sizable guest party, keep in mind that this may influence your photography timeline. 


3. Dress for the occasion: It's your wedding day! You deserve to feel and look beautiful. I always recommend you have your hair and makeup done (Benefit and DryBar are great options) or do it yourself! And don't forget to wear a wedding dress - whether your style is boho, classic, modern, or even Hollywood glam, wear something that will feel special. And make sure your groom matches your look. If you're more of a boho bride, you might not want him in a tux.

4. Get a bouquet: Having a bouquet on your City Hall wedding day will certainly make you look and feel more bridal. It adds an extra element to your overall look and is a beautiful addition to your photos, and let's be honest, it gives you something to do with your hands. Since you likely won't be having a reception with centerpieces, garlands, or other floral decors, having a bouquet is your way to express your personality and personal style. Farmgirl Flowers makes beautiful ones, but I've had several brides make their own and they've turned out beautifully as well. You can stop by your local market (or even Trader Joe's) and pick an assortment of flowers to create your own floral arrangement. If you do choose to design and build your own, there are tons of tutorial online on how to do so. Make sure you do it the day of your wedding though, the last thing you'll want is a wilted bouquet. 


5. Plan to take photos at a second location: As much as I love City Hall, there's something truly special about going to a second location with your photographer to take additional photos. Right after your ceremony, you'll both already look fantastic, why not take a few more photos at some of your favorite San Francisco spots? A few of my favorites are Sutro Baths, Lands End, and Lover's Lane.


This list could be endless, but for now I feel 5 is a good number. If you have unanswered questions about how to prepare for your wedding at San Francisco City Hall, feel free to comment below, email me, or reach out through my Contact page on my website! 

Janine LicareComment