Becoming #TeamNakamura: Picking a Ceremony Venue

I realize I’m kinda jumping around with my recaps here, but I guess that’s what happens when you are excited :).

If you are new to reading our recaps, here you go…

Dress
Cake
Reception Location
Flowers

I think I’ve mentioned before that after Sean & I got engaged, we immediately knew that we wanted to get married in San Francisco.  It was an important place in our relationship since we had our first date there and we got engaged there.

Somewhere, after we decided that Paris was out of the question, I saw a photo of SF City Hall on the Facebook page of one of my favorite, but way out of our price range wedding photographers, Jasmin Star, and I knew at that instant that I had found the place where we were going to be married.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Now, I know that sometimes, getting married at City Hall kind of gives the vibe that you are going to elope or it’s super casual, but this is by far one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen.  It’s like a European museum and even though I booked it sight unseen, I knew this was a very special place.  And then later I found out that Marilyn Monroe married Joe Dimaggio there which is pretty exciting.

There’s 2 ways to get married at City Hall, you can either make an appointment to get married in the rotunda, which is beautiful, but you are technically only supposed to have 6 guests and the public can be around you while you are getting married.  And you can only make the appointment I believe 90 days out from the ceremony.

Or the other way is to reserve either the North or South side of the 4th floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for $1,002 and then you can have your own private ceremony for 1 hour.  We picked a Monday so we didn’t really have to worry too much about having other weddings wanting our time.  The only disappointing thing was that we did want more of an afternoon event, and they couldn’t guarantee that because a mayoral event was scheduled later that day.  So we decided to do a late morning ceremony & then have a luncheon for the reception.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

The City Hall Events website has a lot of information and answered a lot of my questions.  We choose to get married during the week, but there is an option that is quite a bit more expensive to allow you to have a private ceremony on Saturday.  There is a package that includes up to 200 attendees, but it is $5,000 vs. the $1,002 for the weekday ceremony.  Needless to say, we were fine with a weekday :).

You could also make an appointment to get your marriage license there as well before the ceremony, but we didn’t think we would have time and didn’t want to wait until the last minute, so we got ours in San Diego instead.   It’s still best to make an appointment so you don’t have to wait in what might be a really long line.  We went to the downtown location, because it was where we went on the night we met, but there are a few other locations around the county.

SF Wedding, Marriage License, San Diego County

The nice thing about picking a venue like the San Francisco City Hall is that there was no need for any added decor, and due to the fact that we only had the space for an hour, there wasn’t time to have much of anything added on.  We did add on chairs for our guests.  You could either have a basic folded chair for $3.50 each or gold Chivari chairs for $7.00 each.  I liked the look of the Chivari chair so we went with them.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Sean & I arrived a little late to the ceremony, but we were able to get a bunch of photos there with our photographer Carmen Alvarez Photography.  She did an awesome job of getting some great shots around City Hall.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, 3rd Floor, Fancy Windows, SF Wedding

All in all we were thrilled with the venue and are were so excited.  It was the perfect ceremony location for us.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, SF Wedding

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