The official “how-to” info can be found on the San Francisco City Hall website.
You must have a California marriage license to get married.
On the official City Hall website, you can make two reservations. The first reservation is for your marriage license. The second appointment is for your actual ceremony time.
If you are setting your marriage license and ceremony appointments for the same day, you only need 30 minutes between the two appointments. For example, if your ceremony is scheduled for 1pm, then you would want to schedule your license appointment for 12:30pm.
You can acquire your marriage license from any county in California.
Most couples have their wedding ceremony in the Rotunda. This is the area at the top of the grand staircase in the center of City Hall under the dome.
If you are having a large group of family and friends at the ceremony, you may want to consider reserving either the Fourth Floor or the Mayor’s Balcony. Contact the City Hall special events coordinator to reserve either the Fourth Floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for your ceremony.
If you reserve either the Fourth Floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for your wedding, I highly recommend hiring your own officiant for a personalized, thoughtful ceremony.
Ceremonies are available Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 3:30pm. Slots are available each half hour.
City Hall is busy throughout the day. The early morning appointments tend to be quieter.
The best days to get married are Monday – Thursday. Fridays are the busiest day for ceremonies. Expect lots of people at City Hall on Fridays.
Keep in mind that there will be two other couples also getting married in your time slot. Expect some time delays because it takes time for the marriage commissioner to check in each couple before their ceremony. Each couple is married one at a time in the Rotunda.
The ceremony is brief and lasts about 5 minutes long. Although brief, the ceremony itself is quite meaningful and well-worded.
The official officiants at City Hall are volunteer marriage commissioners. They all do a wonderful job with the ceremony.
CITY HALL PARKING
There is limited metered street parking at City Hall. An underground parking garage is located across the street below City Hall plaza. You can enter the parking garage at 355 McAllister Street, San Francisco.