Same-sex marriage ceremony in the Rotunda
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

Same-Sex Ceremony in San Francisco

Obviously the main event at any wedding celebration is the actual ceremony. At city hall the ceremonies are very short and pretty much follow a standard script. The average nuptial ceremony is 3 minutes long. It includes a brief statement by the officiant followed by the vows and then the ring exchange. It is all sealed with the first kiss. This particular wedding ceremony was officiated by one of the best Marriage Commissioners at SF city hall. We have worked with him for years and he really is great. He treats each wedding like it is the only wedding he has ever done. He keeps it very real, but also is upbeat and positive. We love him! What is particularly unique about Gabriel is that he goes way off the script when doing his ceremonies. He adds some personal touches so the ceremony doesn't seem so over rehearsed and boring. He also deliveries his words in a very articulate way with lots of feeling. I really have noticed over the years that his couple's react to him and get more excited by how he delivers their vows to repeat. He also uses his arms to wave and make wide sweeping gestures which tend to excite the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, Gabriel is also unique in that he actually addresses the guest directly. He talks to them and explains what they are about to witness. I have been photographing large weddings for many years and Gabriel comes the closest to exhibiting the characteristics of professional officiant or clergy member while doing his ceremonies. The thing that makes his performance even more astounding is that he is volunteer at city hall. Yes, that's right, he does this for pure enjoyment and as a community service. As one of the regular city hall wedding photographers that have worked with Gabriel for years, I also appreciate the fact that he has a personal relationship with many of us. He takes the time to talk to us and ask us how we are doing. We feel do the same for him.

Evening wedding at San Francisco city hall - photography with light