SF City Hall Wedding - Legion of Honor

Phoebe and Sean chose our San Francisco City Hall Photo Tour 1 Package which provided them coverage for 2.5 hours with one additional location. We started at San Francisco City Hall with the couple's civil ceremony and then went on a photo tour of the building. Our fun-filled photo tour includes pictures on all 4 floors of San Francisco city hall with various backgrounds and poses. Once completed, we took our newlyweds to The Legion of Honor to create some more photographic wedding memories. The Legion of Honor happens to be one of our favorite photo destinations in San Francisco. We love the light here and the fact that it is protected from the elements. You can even shoot here on a rainy day and we have on numerous occasions! It is our go to spot in any kind of inclement weather. It is also very well protected from the wind which comes in handy in San Francisco close to the ocean.


legion of honor columns - San Francisco city hall wedding

San Francisco City Hall Wedding Ceremony Comes First

Phoebe and Sean had the standard San Francisco City Hall Ceremony in the Rotunda surrounded by family and friends. The Rotunda is such a great place to have your nuptials, it is located at the top of the Grand Staircase and overlooks the Mayor's Balcony. Surrounded partially by walls, it provides the bride and groom with sufficient privacy. We also love the walls because it gives us something to bounce our flashes off of. This provides the couple with soft light and a natural look. Just remember that if you want total privacy for your wedding you can book a reserved ceremony on the Mayor's Balcony or 4th floor North Gallery. The cost is $1,000 which may sound like a lot of money compared to a standard ceremony, but it is still a bargain in San Francisco for such a magnificent venue. We love city hall weddings. Just remember that with any reserved wedding you also have to hire your own wedding officiant. This could add to the cost by about $200 or more. We know a number of excellent City Hall officiants but who also are civil ceremony marriage commissioners and we'd be happy to refer them to you if you need one. The nice thing about hiring a experienced City Hall marriage commissioner is that they wear the robes.

loh ring exchange in San Francisco

Our San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography Tour

The photo below was taken on the 4th floor of City Hall, commonly referred to as the North Gallery, it is one of the most beautiful locations for wedding photography. We love taking our couples there as part of our building photo tour. This particular photograph was taken with a fish-eye lens. As you can see, it causes a little bit of distortion, but in this case it works quite well to help show the architecture that makes San Francisco city hall so famous. The 4th floor is blessed with ample natural light which creates a soft mood and look to your wedding images. Your San Francisco city hall wedding photographer needs to focus on this beautiful d├ęcor and backgrounds because that is one of the reasons you chose this venue to have your wedding. Note that I shot this image slightly above the couple to keep their heads out of the window behind them. I just needed a small stool to get up above the window level. This prevents their upper bodies from looking a little bit like ghosts coming out of a bright picture window. It's just one of the many wedding photography techniques we've learned while shooting City Hall weddings for over 12 years.

4th floor city hall loh

Focusing on SF City Hall Architecture for Your Wedding Pictures

San Francisco city hall was built in the early 1900's using the Beau-Arts style of architecture. It's one of the main reasons wedding photographers love to take pictures here. Repeating lines and natural frames are present throughout the building. It really is a wedding photographer's paradise. In addition to the great backgrounds, we have many places we can take our newlyweds that have amazing natural light. This type of lighting if used correctly can gives the bride's wedding dress and veil a magical glow. These are the types of pictures you can expect from your SF city hall wedding photographer when touring this historic building.

bride and groom holding hand at the legion of honor in San Francisco

San Francisco's Legion of Honor for Wedding Photography

San Francisco's Legion of Honor is one of our favorite stops when we take our married couples on a photographic tour of the city. The natural light is always great, there is protection from the wind and it's covered in case of storms! We spent a considerable amount of time here for this particular wedding photography session. Our newlyweds were more than happy to pose for us and they received some incredible photos as a result. We like to mix up our formal photography session with lots of natural posing including walking shots and interaction between the couple. No matter what kind of weather is present in San Francisco, we always have great light here to work with. The other advantage to taking wedding pictures at the Legion of Honor is that it is rarely crowded with people. In fact I hardly ever see other wedding photographers here.

bride looking away at legion of honor in San Francisco after City Hall wedding

Phoebe shows off her wonderful wedding gown in this image between the giant columns of San Francisco's famous Legion of Honor. I love this image because even though it appears candid, it is actually a posed shot. She was a great model and we were so happy with the results

legion of honor walking out - City Hall Weddings

One last kiss as we ended our shoot and the happy couple walked out of the Legion of Honor. There is so much to photograph here, it never gets old. We obviously have a full list of other San Francisco photo locations to take you to and this is just one of them. Think of the Legion of Honor as one possible destination for your San Francisco photo tour! Maybe the only one!