2013 San Francisco City Hall Weddings

San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, California

The people of San Francisco are lucky to have such a stunningly beautiful City Hall, with its grand staircase, gilded detailing, cathedral-like atrium and dome, and marble floors. We continue to be in awe of its beauty every time we step inside its doors.

Chrisman Studios photographers spent a lot of time at San Francisco City Hall in 2013, photographing a variety of nuptials including an elopement, same-sex weddings, and a destination couple who married in Mexico but had the legal ceremony at City Hall several months later. The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of California’s ban on gay marriage in June certainly brought a lot more couples to San Francisco City Hall in the months that followed, and we were thrilled to see some of our couples take advantage of their newly instated, and long overdue, right to marry.

First up were Lou and Neil, whose San Francisco wedding we photographed back in 2009. They had been waiting until California legalized gay marriage before having their legal ceremony. Although they could have been married in other states that had already legalized it, it was important to them to become official in their home city. We always told them we’d be there for them when the time came! One adorable little change since their 2009 wedding – they now have a blue-eyed, red-headed, 1-year-old daughter who was there to see her daddies become legally wed. There was no way to not be moved by that moment. I think we all had tears in our eyes.

Next was Stephanie and Joe, whose Mexico wedding Ben and I photographed in April in the little beach town of La Manzanilla. The San Francisco City Hall wedding was their legal ceremony. They put on their Mexico wedding clothes again, and a group of friends and family came to witness and celebrate with them. Afterward, Stephanie and Joe treated everyone to Mexican food back at their house.

Our next City Hall wedding was Janice and Roshan, who had just moved to San Francisco from Hong Kong. Ben and I are photographing their wedding later this year in Palm Springs, but they wanted go ahead and marry legally here in their new city. It was just the four of us, with a few curious onlookers. Short and sweet and full of joy. We can’t wait for their big event this Fall!

Then came Jen and Lani, one of our most memorable couples who threw the destination wedding of our dreams in Puerto Vallarta a little over a year ago. Mauricio and I photographed it and totally fell in love with this beautiful couple and their crazy friends. In Mexico, they jumped off boats, danced with fire dancers and beat on drums, and partied late into the night for four days straight. Jen and Lani’s City Hall wedding was just the two of them and Mauricio, but with the exact same level of intense, meant-for-one-another love that we witnessed the first time around in Puerto Vallarta.

Our 2013 City Hall grand finale was Kevin and Ryan, whose Chicago wedding Ben and Mauricio photographed in May 2012. Kevin, who is a wedding photographer himself, always knew he and Ryan would need to have several weddings. The Chicago wedding was their civil ceremony, which is the only type of same-sex union Illinois allows. The San Francisco City Hall wedding was their legal wedding (Kevin is originally from San Francisco and always wanted to have his legal wedding here). And they plan to have a bigger celebration with family and friends later down the road.

Congratulations to all our 2013 couples, and here’s hoping 2014 will take us back to City Hall many more times for portraits, first kisses, and the thrill of seeing your names on that little piece of paper that says “marriage certificate.”


Authored by: Photographed by: Ben, Erin & MauricioCategory:  WeddingsDestination:  San Francisco, CaliforniaVenue:  San Francisco City Hall