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San Francisco City Hall Wedding | San Francisco City Wedding Photographer

 Depending on how you are scheduling your ceremony at San Francisco City Hall and how many hours you book your photographer for, will determine when you should arrive and take couples portraits. This couple hired me for 2 hours. Since we knew they were having a pretty good amount of guests for their ceremony and were planning on spending time with them but didn’t need event coverage after, we decided it was a good idea to start their portraits an hour before the ceremony and spend the remaining hour capturing them interacting with their family, having their ceremony,  taking family formals and few images outside of city hall. All of which fills  up the last hour really fast.

Once in a while, I will do a 2-hour session with couples who want images at a second location and will not have any guests attending. To time the locations right, you need to take in a few factors. What time is your ceremony? Will city hall be less busy before or after your ceremony and what time is the sun setting? If your ceremony is in the morning I highly suggest getting to city hall right when they open and utilizing the hall for portraits before other couples and tourists show up. If your ceremony is already in the afternoon and we will be doing outdoor images say near the beach we will want to make sure we can wait as long as possible before going to the beach for the best light. In that case, I would say we meet at ceremony time, do city hall images then head over to the beach.

To get those grand staircase shots and utilize city hall without many people in the hall, we need to be there on off hours. That means we meet before city hall opens and start shooting as soon as they open. Or we shoot a few hours after the ceremonies by their judges have ceased.  Your next question!  “What If I have my ceremony is set for 2:30 pm and we want to do couples portraits at 8 am to have fewer people in the hall? We can! I have incorporated a small fee per hour that I charge while I am idle to make it possible to do just this!

If you are interested reach out and I’d love to chat about it and your San Francisco City Hall Wedding!

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  • Kira - Very pretty city hall portraits. I love the ones in front of the window and exiting the building. You did a great job capturing their wedding!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - These are the most amazing wedding portraits I have ever seen taken at San Francisco city hall! Gosh Im swooning over them ReplyCancel

  • Alicia Yarrish - I had no idea a city hall could be this gorgeous! Such great tips on timing and coverage!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - OMG I love your tones so much! Everything looks so bright and elegant, and the couple is gorgeous! Great city hall wedding!ReplyCancel

  • Hilary - Talk about a spectacular location! Such a well done session! And I liked the little info into your sessions at the first ReplyCancel

  • Kalpna Kapoor - It is such a majestic location, love the soft tones in the images. Couple is gorgeous, they look good togehter and that dog is adorable. ‘ReplyCancel

  • Georgia - This wedding in San Fran looks right outnofna fairy tale! You did a great job with their day!!! Love the pup in the shots ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Hirsch - WOW what a beautiful couple! And that building is stunning. Love how they wrote their own timeline! Gorgeous set of photosReplyCancel

A valentines love note from your San Francisco Photographer

This is our 16th Valentine’s together! In 4 short years, we will have been together for 20 years. That makes me sound old! He’s my HS sweetheart so that will take a little off my age. Regardless, I am embracing and taking in every moment and every year I get to spend with this man. Over the last 16 years we have grown so much from who we were when we met. Not just grown as individuals but WITH each other.

I could have posted a perfect photo of us, but I love this photo. It tells more of who we are. We are not perfect. We are mixed with failures, triumphs and humor. We are adventurous and lazy. We are foodies who enjoy fitness. But most of all, we are WE. Together we have built a home, a family and careers.

I never know what tomorrow will bring. In the past, we have had tomorrow’s that brought heartache, stress and worries. We have had tomorrow’s that have brought laughter, excitement and accomplishment. What I do know, is that we get to spend our tomorrows together. From taking unsuccessful selfies to traveling the world. From booking work to worrying about if we will have enough work to pay our bills. Every road, every up and down, we get to spend it together.

Thank you to our family and friends who have supported us and our love the last 16 years. We have grown into better humans because of each other and we have grown into better humans because of you.

San Francisco wedding photographers

A valentines love note from your San Francisco Photographer


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How to get married at San Francisco City Hall. A Travelers Guide

Being that is it Valentine’s day, there is no doubt that many many people will be getting engaged today. After the engagement comes the planning and since The SF City Hall is a popular wedding location for people across the world I thought I would write up a post that would make getting married or elopeing there much easier!

San Francisco City Hall is stunning from the outside to every single detail inside. It’s ornate, has charm and gives you the option to have an elopement that is small and casual or a longer wedding where you can rent the mayors balcony or even the entire hall for a few hours on a Saturday. Regardless what you decide to do for your wedding, you can guarantee that your wedding will have personality and you will be surrounded by beautiful architecture and light. Oh the light! From mornings to evenings. Light and airy or a little more dramatic.

Sometimes the steps to get married can be confusing but I’m here to help! How to get married at San Francisco City Hall

First, you will need to get your marriage license. A marriage license is a permit to get married. It is valid for 90 days after applying. Meaning you will need to get another one if you do not have your elopement or wedding within the 90 days of signing. The permit cost $103.00 (cash, money order and/or debit card)

You will need to go to:

  • San Francisco County Clerk
    City Hall, Suite 168
    1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
    San Francisco, CA 94102-4678
    Phone: (415) 554-4950

You’ll need to call to make your appointment first between the hours of 8am and 4pm Monday -Friday.

You do not need to be a legal resident of California to apply either. So if you are visiting from out of state and want to get married here you are welcome to.  Both parties need to be 18 and older and both be present. Don’t forget to have a legal I.D. card with you. Find out more here . To get to the city hall you can get there by BART and get off at Civic Center Bart station. Walk up the staircase to Market street and literately just walk straight, you’ll come to a split in the street, take the slight right on Hayes St. keep walking straight and then make a right on Polk. You won’t miss it. It’s huge. If you are driving There is a parking lot underneath Civic center plaza and you can enter on McAllister Street, between Polk and Larkin. There is a ton of street parking as well.

Once you have your license signed and paid for you will want to reserve your time slot for your wedding. Reservations for your ceremony costs $76 and need to be paid when booked. You can do it online (must have a credit card visa/master card) or in person up to 90 days in advance. If you go in person make sure you are both there and have your I.D.’s as well as a payment form of cash, money order and/or debit. Make sure it’s the date you want because you can’t change it or get a refund. You’ll have to pay again.

Ceremonies are available Monday-Friday at 9:30 a.m through 3:30 p.m. Every half hour. There are three reservation slots available during each time period. A very popular option for a more privet and larger event is renting the North or South 4th floor or the Mayors Balcony for your ceremony. You get a longer allotted time frame and can have up to 100 guests. It cost $1,002.00 and you’ll want to contact the Events Office at City Hall for more info (room 495, 415-554-6086

If you plan to purchase your marriage license on the same day as your ceremony reservation, you must make and pay for a marriage license reservation for the same day at least 30 minutes PRIOR to your ceremony reservation time. For example, if your ceremony reservation is 10:00 a.m., your marriage license reservation should be scheduled no later than 9:30 a.m.

The day of your wedding you will want to go to the information desk at City Hall, Room 168 to check in 10 minutes before your appointment time. (Don’t forget you have to go through the security line. Normally the line moves pretty fast but you should give yourself at least 30 minutes before you need to check in) You can bring up to two witnesses with you.  There’s a waiting area outside of the room for your other guests. This where everyone signs the marriage license. =) (You can bring photographers with you as well. I’ve gone in with addition to the two witnesses and haven’t been told to leave yet. =) How to get married at San Francisco City Hall Nicole Blumberg Photography

Make sure to have your valid marriage license, both of your I.D’s and your witnesses. You need at least one witness. If you would like me (your photographer) to sign as your witness I would be honored to.

During the ceremony, they say the rule is no more than 6 guests and that includes a photographer. Because the hall itself is open to the public, I have seen people have more guests standing around. =) People have never been turned away. Which also means you may have standby-ers and tourists watching as you marry =) unless you have a more privet wedding in the mayor’s balcony. People may peek in but normally they will stay back and you won’t even notice them.



The ceremonies are from 9am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday and held mostly in the Rotunda on the second floor above the large staircase and are about 10 minutes long.  Where you will be having your ceremony is really up to the judge that will be marrying you and how many other weddings are happening. If it’s slow and not many people are getting married before or after you, it’s always worth it to ask and see if you can get married on the 4th floor or the mayor’s balcony.  You get to meet your judge when you sign your marriage license.


Fridays are the busiest days to get married at the city hall. While Mondays-Wednesdays in the early part of the day is the slowest at the hall.  If it’s possible to get married on one of those days I always suggest it. This gives you and me better photo opportunities around the hall. Often times when it is very busy It’s much harder to get photos without people in the background. And tourists don’t think about the weddings that will be going on before they plan to come visit the hall. So they come in the dreaded neon green shirt and stand around oblivious to everything around them. Also, there is more waiting for areas while another photographer is using the space. For more information on ceremonies at city hall, you can read that here

You might want to spend a separate day just walking around the city hall to familiarize yourself with it. Figure out where certain places are in the building and the bathrooms =) The bathrooms are on the first floor on both sides in large room’s. If possible apply for your wedding license before the day you are going to get married. It can get really hot in the city hall. It’s a very old building and not insulated well. Don’t be shy to wear a fun shorter wedding dress other than a long heavy one.

If you plan on doing something after your wedding for your guests, there is an abundance of great food and restaurants around the city! Don’t forget to make your reservations before. You can also rent trolleys to give your guests a tour of the city! It’s very fun! You will get ton’s of love from all of the city natives and if your guests are from out of town they will love all the sightseeing that comes along with it! Don’t forget to have me document whatever celebration you have planned after! You will want the memories!


I hope you have found this article helpful and valuable in your planning. Please let me know if there is anything you have found helpful to add as well! Helping one another in this thing called life is by far one of the most important things we can do for each other!

Email me to find out more details and booking options for your day!

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  • Alicia Yarrish - The architecture at San Francisco City Hall is stunning! What an amazing place to get married at!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Oh my word! These images from San Francisco city hall are stunning! What a lovely place! ReplyCancel

  • Twinspirational - Our older sister got married on Valentine’s Day! We loved all of your wedding planning tips for getting married at San Francisco City Hall. You are such a talented photographer. ReplyCancel

  • Cierra - This is such a great guide on how to get married at the San Francisco City Hall! I’ve seen quite a few elopements and weddings there and it’s absolutely gorgeous! If I lived in the area I’d definitely love to get married there!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Blume - San Francisco City Hall will forever be one of my favorite venues ever!  It is so incredibly stunning!  And you have put together an incredible How-To guide for couples who want to get married there!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Holladay - Whoa, I never realized how absolutely gorgeous San Francisco City Hall is!!  It feels like an elegant, elaborate wedding! Your tips are perfect for anyone looking into this option- and if they do- they should absolutely book you as their wedding photographer!ReplyCancel

  • Laura P - What a great idea to put all the pertinent information about getting married at city hall in one place. Every city is different and I’m sure San Fran has a few more rules than maybe a small town in middle America. ReplyCancel

  • Marie Rood - What a gorgeous San Francisco city hall wedding. Your work is stunning, I wish our city hall looked this good!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer M. Outlaw - Wow!  San Francisco City Hall is the most gorgeous place to get married!!  I love all the architecture and it looks like there are so many different spots for beautiful pictures.  Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Michele - This is the best post ever, with so much information. My fiance and I were just looking for all the tips on how to get married at San Francisco hall, and ways to make it easier. You have all the info right here! I wish everything was this easy, and these images…. Amazing!!! ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - This is such great information on how to get married at San Francisco city hall! Thank you for sharing! ReplyCancel

  • Hilary - What a helpful and well thought out post! You made it simple and easy to understand. It might just be a city hall but it is absolutely stunning there!  ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - What a gorgeous place to get married! This is such a great guide on how to get married at San Francisco City Hall and full of helpful information.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Such great tips!  San Francisco’s city hall is hands down the most beautiful municipal building anyone could get married in, so gorgeous. I wouldn’t have a clue where to even start if I wanted to get married there, great post very helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Kara - I never new the San Francisco City Hall was such a beautiful place! Where I’m from the courthouses are small dingy places, but this is such a lovely guide for people wanting to get married here. ReplyCancel

  • Joshua - This is a great blog! It is very informative blog about getting the marriage licenses. I did learn a several things about it since I haven’t done it before. Thank you for sharing the tips. :)I hope you don’t mind if I make a suggestion for this blog – San Francisco is a diverse city but I only see all couples on these pictures are white heterosexuals. It would be great if you include same-sex couples and people of colors too to best represent the City of San Francisco. ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Slaughter - the san francisco city hall is on my list of places to shoot a wedding! such a beautiful space ReplyCancel

International woman’s day and lemon curd cupcakes

There is a lot to be had when you spend the day off of work and off of social media. I decided to partake in the International Women’s Day by avoiding work, shopping and social media. So I filled my day with a 4 mile cross country run in the morning with my dog. Baked cupcakes to give away. Cleaned out and re-organized my fridge. (there was no where to put the cup cakes, it was a must!) Cleaned my kitchen and the floors. Cleaned my window seals watched Moana and helped Adam catch a hurt Robin bird in my back yard which resulted in both the bird screaming and then me screaming. There were no causalities (I’m talking about myself here) and the bird is in safe hands at the the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital where he can get fixed up and hopefully set free again. Let me tell you, that drive to the hospital was very nerve racking! All I could imagine was this wild bird getting out of the box it was in and hopping around my car while I’m screaming and driving on the freeway. The drive home was less stressful.

Below you can see images of my cupcakes! They are a butter sponge cake with a lemon curd filling. Raspberry cream cheese frosting and sugar flowers I molded myself!


San Francisco food photographer

It’s valentines day!

I’ve been teaching myself how to paint lately. Spending about 30-45 minutes a night or every other night practicing with both watercolor paints and acrylics. So far I’m better with watercolor but really want to learn how to do the one stroke rose as well as other flowers with acrylic. Flowers inspire me. I see them and I fall in love. I need to paint them. I need to paint them on my baked goods and then I need to photograph them!  It’s an ultimate creative outlet for me.


This year for valentines day I decided to bake… A lot. If you can image that last sentence coming from Blue in the Jungle Book movie, that’s how it came out.  I did sugar cookies, home made truffles and baked donuts. They were so fun to do and so pretty to take photos of after! I look forward to my next baking adventure! I hope you get to spend your valentines day doing whatever your heart desires! I think Adam mentioned going to see John Wick and something about Donuts.., 😉 Happy love day.sadie2016_0789painted sugar cookies_0003painted sugar cookies_0010painted sugar cookies_0006