By far, the wedding venue that I get called back again and again to photograph is San Francisco's City Hall. And there is a very straightforward reason for that: the costs are low and the photography possibilities are huge. And this popularity extends beyond the locals because about 35% of my City Hall clients have been from the east cost or from foreign countries (the UK, China, Israel, etc.).
The marriage license itself is $99, and the civil ceremony is $75. For this price you will likely be married in the Rotunda which is located at the top of the grand staircase on the second floor. I say "likely" because at least one officiant insists on doing his weddings on the stairs themselves, and sometimes the building is so busy with events the Rotunda is unavailable and another location is used. So, technically that's it, $174 and you are married! I believe this phone number (415) 554-6068 will reach them.
Both parties must be present and have legal photo identification. Once you’ve made your appointment for your marriage license, you’ll pick it up from the County Clerk’s office (room 168) on the first floor.
However, there are options to rent spaces for a more private wedding on either the fourth floor or the Mayor's Balcony, starting at $1,002; visit or call the Events Office at City Hall for more info (room 495).
Naturally I believe that you will want to add a photographer to this special day. There are a number of talented and knowledgable photographers but it is important to select someone with experience because not all shots are obvious. A good photographer will have upped his/her game over time at the same venue and a great photographer will continue to seek new ideas even after 200 weddings. Depending upon who you hire, expect to spend between $500 and $1200 for a 2-hour session. I keep my costs toward the lower end of that range.
If you would like to know more about my services, click here: martinomingione.com/sfcityhall.html