San Francisco City Hall Entrance Wedding Photography Image
2nd Floor Bride and Groom Dance Dip Pose at City Hall
Black and White Bridal Portrait with Color Bouquet
Bride and Groom Walking at San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts
Silhouette  Wedding Photography in San Francisco
Newlyweds Leaving San Francisco City Hall by Entrance Sign
Candid Kiss at the SF Palace of Fine Arts with Bride and Groom
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Wedding Photography after City Hall
Romantic Wedding Photography at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
Candid Picture of Bride and Groom Having Fun Together in San Francisco
Romantic Wedding Photography Image in San Francisco
Romantic Wedding Photographer at SF City Hall
Palace of Fine Arts - Historic San Francisco Wedding Venue
City Hall Bride in the Window Light - Wedding Photography
SF City Hall Bride and Groom Kiss on the 4th Floor North Gallery
San Francisco City Hall Grand Staircase Wedding Photography Image
SF Palace of Fine Arts Fountain with Newlyweds Posing
Hooray we got Married at San Francisco City Hall!
Reserved Marriage Ceremony on the 4th Floor of San Francisco City Hall
Formal Portrait of Newlyweds at The Palace of Fine Arts
Limousine Kiss in front of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
First Kiss after San Francisco City Hall Marriage Ceremony as guests look on
Guests Congratulating Newlywed Bride and Groom at SF City Hall
Black and White Wedding Photographer at SF City Hall, back of the dress
Bride with Mom Walking into City Hall Wedding Ceremony
Formal Wedding Photography Portrait of City Hall Bride
Groom helps his Bride into the Limousine at the Palace of Fine Arts.
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SF Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts After City Hall Wedding

This was our first San Francisco city hall wedding of 2020 and it was amazing. Little did we know at the time that it was going to be one of our last weddings due to Covid-19 closure of City Hall (and everything else for that matter). Our couple reserved the 4th Floor North Gallery (one of our favorite locations) and had a pretty large crowd of guests. Everyone was so nice and supportive, it was a pleasure to just be a part of it. We actually helped the couple choose the officiant for this wedding and she also did a great job. The ceremony started out with a family friend doing the officiating to give things more of a personal touch. But once it was time for the vows the Professional officiant took over and handled things very well. We will definitely refer her again if provided with the opportunity.

City Hall Officiant can be Important

The ceremony was about 15 minutes long which I feel is about perfect for SF City Hall reserved weddings. They set up plenty of chairs and everyone was quite comfortable. Some of things that I notice that others may not is that this officiant knew how to keep the bride and groom in the middle of the aisle to keep them from drifting left of right. This may not seem important to the average person, but to a wedding photographer it is very key. When city hall sets up their chairs they frequently don't make a large enough center Aisle. So it can become a problem if the officiant is not aware of keeping the couple centered. It makes it so you can see the entire train of the bride throughout the ceremony. When a bride invests in an expensive and special Wedding Gown, she wants it to be seen in the pictures! Recently, we have been slightly enlarging the center aisle if we know that the bride is going to rocking a big wedding dress.

San Francisco city hall wedding ceremony with great officiant

Wedding Photography Tour - Building Interior

Once the ceremony and family photos were complete, it was time to take the happy newlyweds on our City Hall photo tour. You might be asking, what is the Photo Tour? This is simply the time we take the bride and groom only around the building to some of our favorite photography locations and take creative and romantic photos of them. We generally think that this photo session goes better if we only take the newlywed couple. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that often times the couple will not be as open and uninhibited if they have relatives and friends watching them. On the rare occasions that we DO allow friends and relatives to join us, they can sometimes be critical of the couple in a joking way. One example is that they may make fun of their smiles or poses. This really adversely affects the quality of the photography and posing. it can also sometimes upset the bride and groom which can compromise the shoot to a certain extent. The other issue that often comes up in this situation is the guests will try to take their own pictures and even attempt to get the attention of the subjects. It is obvious why this doesn't work well! However, if you as the bride would like to bring along a close friend as your helper, by all means do. We will not say no to this and will trust that they will act in a way that supports the couple, which is all we ask.

Palace of Fine Arts Wedding Photography

Our couple chose the the famous Palace of Fine Arts for their second location after SF City Hall. We took them on a full tour of the grounds and took pictures of them both in the front and in the back of this iconic San Francisco landmark. The weather was perfect and we captured some exceptional images. The time of the day was also helpful since the sun was low. This provided some very dramatic lighting as you will see in the gallery above.

Why Choose the Palace of Fine Arts for Wedding Photography?

This is probably a good opportunity to discuss the relative merits of choosing the Palace of Fine Arts as a San Francisco location for wedding photography. To help our clients agonizing over this decision, I am providing a Pro and Con comparison to help clear things up:

Pros of Palace of Fine Arts for Photography

  • Historic and beautiful location associated with San Francisco
  • Amazing architecture which photographs very well
  • Many different locations throughout the grounds for great photos - nice variety
  • Conveniently located with parking usually available

Cons of Palace of Fine Arts for Photography

  • Usually inundated with tourists and other wedding parties
  • Architecture is similar to San Francisco city hall and so some redundancy will result
  • Everyone goes here so your photos will not be as unique
  • POFA can often exhibit the "wind tunnel" effect which makes photography challenging

Most of the above "Cons" can be mitigated to a certain extent. We always manage to get some great images here despite the listed challenges. The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco continues to be one of our client's favorite destinations. There is so much to photograph here that it is not uncommon for us to spend close to an hour with our bride and groom walking from place to place. The Rotunda itself is an obvious choice as a nice background for wedding pictures, but there is so much more. Tall columns rising out of the bushes and lots plant life and flowers make for dramatic backdrops for your wedding images. The pond and fountain are a favorite of everyone including tourists and professional wedding photographers. Located in the Marina, many of the neighborhood dwellers also love to come here and relax on the grass or have a picnic. There is reason why it is chosen by the majority of San Francisco city hall brides and grooms for photos after their marriage.

Wedding Photography in Front of the SF Palace of Fine Arts