Weddings at San Francisco city hall tend to slow down a bit in March and April. There is a big push from Christmas to Valentine’s day and then once February is over, things tend to slow down. Given this slight lull, I thought it would be helpful to take the time to discuss some of our favorite destinations in San Francisco that we take our city hall wedding newlyweds after their ceremony. There are so many amazing places in San Francisco to take brides and grooms for wedding photos, it can be hard to choose. We provide our newlyweds with some very nice options, but limit the time so they can still celebrate their wedding day at their party or reception. How you handle the scheduling of your special day is up to you, but we are here to be accommodating and helpful while provide amazing wedding photography coverage. With over 800 City Hall weddings to our credit, we are well positioned to offer this service to you and provide you with long lasting memories.
Iconic San Francisco Photography Destinations
We take our couples throughout San Francisco after our city hall wedding photography sessions on what we call a “Photo Tour”. The other name we like to call it is the San Francisco Experience. It really is a amazing experience and we do everything we can to make this photography session amazing. We really want our couples to enjoy the whole process and not just the pictures they receive after the session. We will even share interesting facts with our brides and grooms about some of the San Francisco destinations. Here are some of the best San Francisco wedding photography locations that we have discovered over our 15 years of shooting weddings here.
Palace of Fine Arts
This is by far the most popular wedding photography destination in San Francisco after we finish up at City Hall. Chosen frequently by our international brides and grooms, it has a very large area for wedding photography with lots of options. The beautiful building is obviously the centerpiece, but there are large columns and trees everywhere to use as a backdrop. The only negative is that at certain times of the day, there can be quite a few tourists here. We always seem to manage to obtain great picture’s and will do our best to make it seem like our newlyweds are the only ones there! The most popular angles for wedding photography is in front of the fountain overlooking the actual Palace across the pond. Once we finish those pictures, we take our couples around the back to photograph them among the majestic columns that you see below.
Legion of Honor
Another popular wedding photography spot, but fortunately MUCH less traveled by tourists. The Legion of Honor offers beautiful Beaux-Arts style architecture which many of San Francisco’s older buildings possess. We love taking our San Francisco city hall brides and grooms to the inner area and pose them between the gray repeating columns. The light is also fantastic here from a wedding photography standpoint. This is because you have indirect light that comes in from the side, but is also reflected by the neutral tones of the building. It comes very close to studio lighting in an outdoor setting! Perfect for a rainy day as well because it is covered in certain spots to allow shelter. If it is really pouring down rain, we could actually conduct a whole wedding shoot there. There is also some amount of shelter from the high winds that can develop in San Francisco close to the coast.
The Golden Gate Bridge
This is an obvious one, but there are many options and decisions to make. We try to help our newly married couples decide by providing them with the best possible information and ideas. Late in the afternoon you can approach the Golden Gate Bridge from the ocean side by Baker Beach. This provides nice warm light on the bridge and enhances the colors. Earlier in the morning, we often like to take pictures of our newlyweds from the San Francisco Bay side of the bridge. This will often provide very nice dimensional lighting on the Golden Gate. The potential for fog is always a concern, especially in the late Spring and early summer. If we know it is going to be really foggy we will normally take our couples to Fort Point after their San Francisco city hall wedding. Listed below are some of the most common angles to approach wedding photography of the bridge. We are happy to discuss these options with the bride and groom and determine the best San Francisco locations based upon weather and the time of the day.
Golden Gate Bridge Views for Wedding Photography
- Baker Beach
- Crissy Field
- Fort Point
- Legion of Honor
- 17th Hole of Lincoln Park
- Fort Baker
- Lands End
- Battery East Vista
- Golden Gate Overlook
- Marin County side
Downtown San Francisco – Bay Bridge
The San Francisco Bay Bridge by downtown is another favorite spot and becoming ever more popular. We seem to end up in this area quite frequently for photos. Part of the reason for this is that there are so many great places to eat along the Embarcadero. Because of this, many of our clients want us to cover their wedding reception after their San Francisco city hall ceremony in this downtown area. Once we arrive here, it is natural to take the newlyweds on a photo tour of the nearby sites. Pier 7, the Bay Bridge and Cupid’s Arrow are just a few of the spots available to photograph our Town Hall wedding couples. We can also just have them walk around the downtown area and grab candid photos of them enjoying the city. It’s fun and natural and our clients love it. Pier 7 can be a bit crowded, but we have found that if you wait long enough, you can usually get a good image without too many people. It just takes a little patience and good timing. As you can see from the photo below, it IS possible to capture wedding photos on Pier 7 with tourists in the background, but sometimes you may have to wait.
The Japanese Tea Gardens
Another very popular option for San Francisco city hall brides and grooms are the Japanese Tea Gardens. Well known the world over, the gardens offers so much for newlyweds looking for a iconic San Francisco destination. People come to the Japanese Tea Gardens from all over the world marvel in the beauty and design. It can be a little crowed at times, so care must be taken to make sure the wedding pictures don’t show tourists in the background. There are some good places we have discovered with our years of taking pictures here that helps avoid too much distraction.
I have listed some of the most popular San Francisco wedding photography destinations, but there are so many more. Below is a list of some of our other favorites. We will discuss these in more detail in a future blog post.
Other Favorite San Francisco Wedding Photography Locations
- Crissy Field
- Golden Gate Park
- Russian Hill
- The Painted Ladies
- The Botanical Gardens
- Lands End Trail Head
- Sutro Baths