Nicole and Adam's San Francisco City Hall elopement

Nicole and Adam’s San Francisco City Hall Elopement

This wedding is the perfect elopement. Two people in love, keeping it small and simple, with an officiant who's friends with both of them. You couldn't ask for a more idyllic San Francisco City Hall elopement.

San Francisco City Hall elopement - Presidio wedding photo

Nicole and Adam met back in 2007 while they were both attending San Diego State University. For years, they knew that they would get married. No fancy surprise engagement or proposal, just the fact that they knew they would get married. (I love that!) In 2016, they started seriously considering marriage and how their wedding should be. That led them down the path of the traditional wedding, with a proposal, engagement, a big wedding, the works. They initially thought about scaling it back to a small wedding, but it was just too stressful. The planning and execution involved in any wedding, big or small, is really stressful and not very appealing to lots of couples. They felt this way and concluded, rather quickly, that an elopement was most fitting.

So they started to plan their elopement. Nicole and Adam's research began in Northern California since they live in Berkeley, and they quickly discovered San Francisco City Hall. As soon as they saw photos of San Francisco City Hall, they were in love. And who wouldn't be in love with this place?! There is no better place to elope. In Nicole's own words, "The architecture and lighting are gorgeous in every shot." To contrast with the incredible architecture of City Hall, they wanted wedding photos in a natural setting. After simply saying, "nature and trees" to our photographer, Oscar, he immediately knew where to take them after their San Francisco City Hall elopement - the Presidio.

Final Planning for their San Francisco City Hall Elopement

Now that the date and venue were set, all they needed was the officiant. They had decided to go with the private ceremony at San Francisco City Hall since they would be allowed more time for vows and of course more privacy. With public civil ceremonies, City Hall provides officiants, but that's not the case with private ceremonies. So Nicole and Adam asked one of their oldest friends who has known them throughout their entire relationship.

Next, the issue of guests. Nicole told me, "We decided that we would have no guests because anytime we started talking guest list it turned into a slippery slope of not wanting to exclude anyone." So true! That guest list can quickly grow and grow, and it can be much easier to exclude guests altogether. Your wedding day is about the two of you, plain and simple. I love that Nicole and Adam embraced what matters on their wedding day!

The Wedding Day

They wanted their wedding day to be relaxing, which as you may know is often the opposite of what most couples experience on the day of the wedding. And that's what they got! While Nicole was getting her hair and makeup done in the hotel room, Adam enjoyed a glass of Blanton’s bourbon. Once they were ready, they met me (Oscar, their photographer) and officiant at City Hall and were married about twenty minutes later. I loved how personal their ceremony was; having an officiant who knew them both so well was just so perfect. Even more romantic and beautiful were the lovely details they incorporated into the ceremony. Nicole wore her great-grandmother's 100-year-old ring that had been passed down to her through the generations, and her something "old, borrowed, and blue" was a patch from her late father's medical lab coat that she pinned to her bouquet. They also wrote their own vows and toasted some champagne before heading to a serene spot in the Presidio. The whole day just felt right.

Later that night, they called their friends and family and surprised them with the news that they were finally Mr. and Mrs.! I couldn't be any happier for them. I love when couples really focus on what makes them happy, and make sure that the entire wedding day is about that. As a result, these two ended up with a relaxing, intimate, personal wedding day that they will cherish forever.


Florist: Violetta Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Fresh Face Makeup
Gown (Lotus Threads): Emerald City Gowns
Suit: Banana Republic
Vow Books: Seniman Calligraphy

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