Frequently Asked Questions about san francisco City Hall
What does the process look like? We've never done this before and aren't quite sure where to start.
The hard part about planning a wedding is that you're only supposed to do it once! City Hall weddings are great in their simplicity, so we'll take pictures during your ceremony as well as portraits either before or after as timing allows. It’s up to you for what time you would like to schedule, and we're flexible! Our goal is to give you gorgeous wedding photos without the hassle of a big wedding.
1. How should we schedule our day? Normally we meet couples either about 10 minutes before their ceremony, or about forty minutes to an hour before. That means that we either do most of the pictures before or after your ceremony. It's entirely up to you, and most couples decide their timing based on time of day or reception plans after.
2. What time of day or day of the week is best? Mornings are by far your best bet. The first appointment is now 9am, and if you can do that, we suggest doing some of your portraits beforehand. If you’re able to meet at 8am or 8:30am, City Hall is quiet, so we can get really nice open shots on the stairs and throughout the building. If that doesn’t work with your schedule, don’t worry! Just plan what works best for you and your guests!
3. We have our license appointment an hour before our ceremony. When should we meet? If you're going to be at City Hall between your license and ceremony, let's meet in between and do some pictures before your ceremony!
4. Friday afternoon is best for us, but I’m really worried about having a ton of people in my pictures. Do I have any options? Yes! We will do everything we can to angle shots to have the fewest people in them. Sometimes people in the background is unavoidable though. Another option is to choose to add one or multiple “heavily edited” photos. That means that we’ll take out absolutely everyone so it looks like you had the place to yourself.
5. What should we expect on the day of? Our goal is to be as organized as possible beforehand, so that your wedding is just fun and seamless! Please feel free to ask any questions so that you feel organized as well. We'll meet at least 10 minutes before your ceremony time at the stairs inside City Hall, and then we'll walk over to room 168 together.
6. Where exactly will you meet us? We’ll meet at the base of the stairs in the middle of City Hall inside. Just go through security and we’ll meet at the base of the stairs in the middle of the building. In this picture, the couple is standing in the middle of the stairs, and we'll be there at the bottom!
7. How can we pay you? We most often use Venmo (or good ol’ cash), but also use PayPal and Square. A deposit is due when you book, and the remainder is due at or before the wedding. Tips are also much appreciated. Thank you!
Day of Logistics
We'll meet at the base of the stairs in the middle of City Hall!
Photos & Editing
“Heavily edited” photo with no other people or cars in the frame.
8. Do you edit the photos? Yes! All of your photos will be “lightly edited” or touched up and color corrected. If you're interested in photos without any people to make City Hall look empty, then you're looking for “heavy editing,” which starts at $35/photo.
9. What pictures do you take? We’ll take a mix of fun candids and the standard posed ones (with friends and family) throughout the building. We’ll advise on the best spots and the lighting on your day. If you have any that you’d like, please just let us know!
10. When and how do we get pictures? And how many? You'll get the photos in a link (like DropBox, but we use SmugMug) and then they're yours to download or print! You’ll get a preview quickly, and then everything within a month. We usually deliver about 75-100+/hour, which is more than some other photographers because we like to let you have lots to enjoy.
11. Where can we order prints? Through your online SmugMug album, you'll be able to order all the prints you’d like from Bay Photo Lab online. We love the folks at this local lab because they do an amazing job going over every order by hand! You're also free to print photos on your own, but we’re not liable for any issues printing with a third party.