We have mentioned this in other parts of this website, but the Holiday Season at San Francisco city hall is a wonderful time of the year to get married. The beautiful Christmas tree is only part of the story. The feel around the building is very positive and I have noticed that all of the marriage commissioners are in great moods. The Christmas spirit is alive and well at SF City Hall during the holiday season. Normally on the first Monday of December the giant Christmas tree goes up and it becomes a backdrop not only for posed city hall pictures, but also most of the ceremonies. We like using the tree as a back drop for some of the family pictures as long as the couple celebrates Christmas. Please realize that all photos taken in front of the tree are optional for those who do not celebrate Christmas. We know, however, that many of our couples choose to have their Nuptials in December because they want wedding photography around the tree. With the newlyweds OK, we put lots of emphasis on the Christmas feel for our San Francisco city hall photography.
One objection we sometimes hear during the holiday season is that some people prefer to not get married in front of the Christmas Tree. No problem at all! The Marriage Commissioners understand that not everyone wants the tree in the background for the ceremony for various reasons. This actually can work to your advantage. During this time of the year, your officiant will be much more willing to move your ceremony to the location of your choice within San Francisco city hall. This provides the bride and groom the option of pretty much having their wedding ceremony anywhere they want (within reason). The Mayors Balcony, the 4th Floor Gallery and even the Staircase all become possible choices for your nuptials. You do not need to provide your officiant with a detailed explanation of why you would prefer not to have your marriage ceremony performed in front of the tree. Just simply let them know you would like another location other than the tree and give them your location preference.
There are many different ways to view the Golden Gate Bridge. Different angles, different sun exposures and of course different surrounding area and backgrounds. Many of our clients understandably want the Golden Gate Bridge in the background for some of their wedding pictures so the choice then becomes where? There are so many options and if you want some details to help you make this decision, we have already covered it elsewhere on this website. To see some of our favorite Golden Gate Bridge locations click the link. This holiday couple chose Fort Point as their angle of view to the bridge. Of course we love this San Francisco photography location and feel it is one of the best angles to the Bridge. Some people are slightly bothered by the heavy chain fencing, but it doesn't really bother us a wedding photographers. It is part of the charm of this photography destination. In addition, not all of the photos taken at Fort Point have to show the chains. We can do some closeup shots that crop above the chain and so it will not show. Other options to view the Golden Gate bridge include Baker Beach and Crissy Field. There are many others to consider, feel free to ask us and we are happy to share our suggestions. Often times, this decision will also be made on the day of the wedding depending on the weather.
Many San Francisco city hall weddings involve the blending of families, not just the bride and groom. City Hall weddings are almost always the couple's 2nd marriage and often children are involved. There is nothing like Christmas time to bring children together. If you have large families and are planning city hall nuptials, consider doing it during the Christmas season. In fact, right outside of the building during the Holiday season is an ice skating rink that is put up temporarily (Note: The Skating rink did not go up December, 2021 due the Pandemic. We hope it will return in 2022). How about inviting the children to skate right after the wedding as a way to bring them together. After that, head over to Union Square and check out all of the Holiday season decorations or go to Macy's and see Santa. Go to the many Toy shops that are open this time of year and pick out some favorites for the kids. The Fairmont Hotel always builds a gingerbread house which the children absolutely love to explore. The idea behind all of this is to create a family atmosphere that will make everyone happy and have fun together. This could help alleviate some of the tension that exists when 2 families come together and the Bride and Groom become step mothers and step fathers.
Below is listed some holiday ideas to help celebrate your city hall wedding
They say that every pictures tells a story. We agree with that of course, but also feel that there are ways to tell a better story. How do we do it? It is not simply taking pictures of everything that occurs during a San Francisco city hall wedding. There is a certain way of telling the story by highlighting the important events and showing the expressions on the bride and groom's faces. It is also important to catch candid moments, which means always being ready to take a picture when these exchanges transpire. We do try to show everything that happens through pictures as well, but try to add special touches that really tell the story in detail. Even the hugs that happen right after the ceremony are recorded and we try to get all of the good angles to show this in a meaningful way.