San Francisco City Hall Elopement
Elope to San Francisco City Hall!
Thinking of avoiding all the crazy wedding planning and having a San Francisco City Hall elopement? You’re not alone! About 50% of our city hall weddings are elopements. Yes, half!
Read about this couple who eloped to San Francisco City Hall!
avoid (most) of the wedding planning
For many couples, planning a traditional wedding is time-consuming, expensive, stressful and complicated. Many brides find the process exciting and feel that it’s all worth it in the end. But the time and expense just aren’t worth it for every couple. Or, they just want to keep things simple or they love the thrill of keeping such an exciting secret between the two of them.
Most brides still like to carry a bouquet, which can be acquired without too much advance notice from a local floral shop, floral designer or even a grocery store. Inventive brides could even pick wildflowers or some flowers from their personal garden to create a gorgeous, personal arrangement.
Often, couples wish to have rings to exchange during their vows, which can also be picked up from a jeweler fairly last minute. You may have to return to have them fitted though!
Choosing what to wear is another fun component of elopements. We’ve seen brides wear anything from a dress they’ve carefully picked from their closet to a wedding gown from a traditional boutique. Whatever you and your partner choose, it’ll be special.
The biggest thing to plan when it comes to planning your San Francisco City Hall elopement? The actual marriage license and wedding ceremony reservation!
San Francisco City Hall Marriage License
Since you’re eloping, you’ll likely want to get your license the same day as your wedding. First of all, go to the Office of the County Clerk website to make an appointment. Appointments are available weekdays 8:15 am to 3:30 pm. You can make an appointment up to 90 days in advance, but keep in mind that appointments do book up pretty quickly since San Francisco City Hall is quite popular. Once you have a date set, get online and make your appointment.
Once you’ve made your appointment, arrive at least ten minutes early to your appointment. Don’t forget your photo IDs! Head to Room 168 on the first floor of San Francisco City Hall.
Currently, the cost is $108 for a marriage license.
San Francisco City Hall Ceremony Reservation
To make your San Francisco City Hall wedding reservation, again go to the County Clerk website to make your appointment. If you’re getting your license the same day as your ceremony, make sure to schedule your license appointment before your ceremony with plenty of time in between! You cannot be late for your ceremony appointment; it’s highly recommended to arrive at least ten minutes early, and we recommend getting there even earlier. Check in at Room 168 on the first floor of City Hall.
Currently, the cost is $81 for a civil ceremony.
City Hall Civil Ceremonies
The day of your wedding, make sure you bring your marriage license, photo IDs and one witness. Your photographer from Red Eye Collection would be honored to act as your witness if you wish.
When you check in for your ceremony, you’ll likely be doing so with two other couples for that same 30 minute slot. That’s how fast these ceremonies are: they are able to perform six ceremonies every hour. Civil ceremonies take place on the gorgeous rotunda (at the top of the giant staircase) right in the middle of San Francisco City Hall. Civil Ceremonies are performed during public hours, so expect multiple “guests!”
This honestly is one of many reasons we love San Francisco City Hall elopements. Even though from the outside every wedding can seem so cookie-cutter, they’re really not. The potential for fun unexpected photo bombs is a blast! Couples go into this type of wedding with a great sense of humor and a huge love for one another, not for a huge wedding. They’re doing this for themselves, and really, that’s how it should be.