This couple just have the cool and sweet factor from the get go! Lauren emailed me and told me that she and Scott had booked the Mayors Balcony at San Francisco City Hall which rents for about a thousand dollars for an hour long ceremony and family photo session afterwards. We spent some time talking about a fun spot for the reception, and after NOT getting phone calls back from some local venues, they decided that the Noir Lounge, which is just a twelve minute walk from City Hall was going to be their spot of choice. Why? Because it’s where they had their first date, it’s cozy, cool and has old black and white movies playing on a huge screen. How fun is that?

But let’s go back to the start of the day. This wedding was a family affair right from the start. Lauren’s godmother was their officiant, and her mother walked her down the aisle. Her sisters, who are as lovely as Lauren (But Lauren was the queen on her big day, to be sure!) were her bridesmaids. The groom’s close friends stood up for him.

Lauren has a background in dance, and one of their wishes was to have a first dance, something that we almost never see at a city hall, but we found the perfect way to work it right after their ceremony. The events department allows couples to hire acoustic musicians to play for them while they rent the balcony, and I have a nice vendor list with cello, violin, harpists and a Spanish guitarist that I can recommend. We moved all of the guests back behind the balcony to a lovely atrium that they have there in front of the mayor’s office big wooden doors, and as their friends and family circled around them, they performed a choreographed dance that they’d worked on for a while to the music of their hired cellist. As soon as they finished the dance, her sisters all reached out their arms to encircle the newlyweds in a huge hug, and it’s a moment that’s going to stay with me.

We have a whole team at our couple’s disposal, and these are very trusted vendors that we work with many times throughout the month. Lauren used Adelina our incredible hair and makeup artist to create her look as well as flowers from our florist Marina. When you book your photography or wedding video with us, you also have access to the team and special prices for weekday weddings. Although Lauren and Scott didn’t use our officiant, we have one with a Ph.D. in theology, who does very nice ceremonies at any location in San Francisco that you choose.

We had started their couples session in the hour before the ceremony and balcony rental, so when the wedding and family photos were completed, everyone was free to take the walk over the Noir lounge for the wedding reception and cocktail hour. The walk over was a really fun part of the whole experience. It was a crisp, sunny day and just taking in the city and the trendy shops on Hays Street was a nice part of the experience for the guests. I’d never been to Noir Lounge before this event, but I’ve sure been back a few times in the months since their wedding. They were able to set up a huge table and chafing dishes on the sidebar for a make your own taco bar and all kind of delicious desserts to complement the full bar. Everyone was talking, eating, and having a blast. They set up a coloring and crafts table for the kids, and everyone had something fun to do.

This is just one of the many ways that you can make a wedding at San Francisco City Hall work for you. What do you want for your dream wedding? For this couple it was a walk down the aisle, family and friends, stunning couples portraits and a first dance with live music, followed by a fun and funky party. What’s on your shortlist?

We aren’t just a wedding photography company anymore. Affordable photography is our starting point, but we’ve spoken with so many brides who have a core list of wedding day wishes and think they have to pay a fortune to create a dream experience. So..we’ve started arranging their days for them and it’s the right fit for us. More about that coming very soon in our next blog. There’s a LOT on the horizon!