GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL

September 1, 2010

WHERE DO I GO?

When you check in for your license or ceremony, or to make an appointment, you’ll go directly to the County Clerk’s office in San Francisco City Hall, Room 168. 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA, 94102. The Phone number is (415) 554-4950.

I suggest using the polk street entrance and when you are facing the grand staircase, the County Clerk’s office is located in the far right corner of the building.

 

 
 
WHAT DOES IT COST?

Monday – Friday: You can expect to pay $107 for The marriage license, and $86 for the civil ceremony at Rotunda Hall on 2nd Floor, or you can rent the fourth floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for a private ceremony, and those start at $1,000 for one hour If you have your guests more than 20 people.

 

 

WHERE DO THEY DO THE CEREMONY?

Civil ceremonies are held in the Rotunda on 2nd Floor at the top of the main staircase.

If you have a small group and you want to avoid the crowd and get better photos of your ceremony, consider bringing your own officiant and then you can do the ceremony pretty much anywhere in City hall you want without paying the space fee.

 

 

WHO OFFICIATES THE MARRIAGE?

When you book the Ceremony, its included City hall officiant service. City hall staffs a number of amazing officiants who all work there on a volunteer basis and officiate the civil ceremonies.  

 

 

 

 
 Rotunda Hall on 2nd Floor for a civil ceremony the rule is up to six people guest.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you have a guests more than 6 people, private marriage ceremony room is only allowed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mayor’s Balcony for a private ceremony, and those start at $1,000 for one hour and can fit 40 guests

If you bring your own officiant and then we can do ceremony on Mayor's Balcony without paying the space fee when its empty.

 

 

 

 

4th Floor at North for a private ceremony, and those start at $1,000 for one hour and can fit 60 guests

If you bring your own officiant and then we can do ceremony on 4th Floor without paying the space fee when its empty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

You, or a third party, can go directly to the County Clerk’s Office Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm, or you can just schedule and pay for an appointment through the online reservation system : https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-license-and-civilcommitment-ceremony-online-reservations

 

 

WHAT TIMES CAN I GET MARRIED?

Appointments are available for ceremonies 9am through 3:30pm Monday-Friday.

 

You will need to make 2 separate appointments to get married at City Hall. The first one is to get your marriage license and the 2nd is for your ceremony. You can get your license anytime 90 days before your wedding but, I typically recommend to get it on the same day as your Ceremony or the day before. If you want to get your marriage license the same day as your ceremony, I recommend making the appointment 1 hour before your ceremony appointment. This gives you plenty of time to get you license without having to arrive at City Hall too early before your Ceremony. I usually suggest booking in the afternoon If you are adding another location after City Hall.

 

 

WHAT IS THE BEST DAY AND TIME TO GET MARRIED AT CITY HALL?

The least busy days are mid-week. Fridays are typically much more crowded than the rest of the week with other couples and tourists. Sometimes unluckily we may not to get whole scene of Grand staircase on Thursday or Friday because their special event. Please call them before you decide your date on Thursday or Friday to check the special event schedule. 

City Hall Events Office, the phone number is (415) 554-6079.

 

The least crowded times in City Hall are in the early morning and the late afternoon. I prefer and recommend later in the day as it provides the most even and flattering natural lighting. If you are adding another location after City Hall, I highly recommend making your ceremony appointment around 3:00pm or 3:30pm.

 

Best option 3pm or 3:30pm 

2nd option 11:30am between 1pm 

3rd option 9am-10am

 

 

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN I BRING?

For civil ceremonies the rule is six people, but we’ve seen people push it a little and nobody is really counting. 

If you have a small group and you want to avoid the crowd and get better photos of your ceremony, consider bringing your own officiant and then you can do the ceremony pretty much anywhere in City hall you want without paying the space fee.

 

 

DO I NEED A WITNESS? 

 

With regular wedding license, you can have up to two witnesses. Confidential wedding licenses are also an option and you would not need witnesses.

 

WHERE CAN I FIND MY PRIVATE OFFICIANT?


I recommend Lili for your private ceremony. I had good experiences with her few other ceremonies.

Lili Goodman Freitas, the phone number is (707)971-0633, lgoodmanfreitas@gmail.com

 

 
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