A San Francisco City Hall Wedding 8 Years in the Making

Married on a Thursday, after a month of planning

Kate, Interior Designer & Em, Kindergarten Teacher

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Cozy, stylish, thoughtful, and community-oriented.

Soundtrack of the day: We made a wedding soundtrack with all our favorite jams to be played in the limo, setting the tone pre-ceremony, and perfectly timed and sequenced for a limo dance party on the way home.

Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About

We were together for eight years before we would get married. Thinking of a way to have a wedding that felt like “us” was a somewhat daunting task—a big wedding that would involve a lot of people, planning, and money was not for us, and we did know that. After the overturning of DOMA, things came more into focus and we felt inspired to celebrate our commitment in a place that honored the history and significance of this moment in time—what better place than San Francisco City Hall?

Once that part was decided, the rest happened with record speed. We planned our Thursday afternoon wedding in all of a month. While simplicity was key, we still wanted to create a day that felt beautiful and ceremonious. We arranged all the flowers the night before and had a sleepover with our sister and her fiancé (conveniently sister was our makeup artist and hair stylist for the day, and her fiancé our photographer). We loved starting the morning at home, we felt calm and connected from the start, sipping tea and coffee in cozy clothes. Before guests arrived, we drove up to the to the Oakland hills for a portrait session in the redwoods, which turned out to be a perfect way to ground ourselves and soak in the gravity of the moment.

Family gathered at our home and we took a limo to San Francisco City Hall. (The limo was a complete surprise to our niece and nephews—we’ll never forget the look on their faces when the car pulled up!) We were joined by thirty of our closest family and friends for an intimate ceremony on the mayor’s balcony. Family members walked down the aisle, as did each of us, one after the other, arm-in-arm with both of our parents. We took time in our ceremony to remember the struggle and commitment of those before us that made our day possible, something we felt deep in our bones standing in city hall.

A favorite poem of ours was read: “The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” We cried. We got married. We laughed. And we ate delicious chocolate and red velvet cupcakes from La Farine with sparkling cider before heading back to Oakland (with a quick stop at our local Peet’s coffee in full wedding attire), and finishing the night at Doña Tomás, our favorite local restaurant.

Favorite Thing About The Wedding

Our photos. We look through them together all the time when we’re feeling nostalgic about our magical day.


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