When it comes to civil ceremonies, San Francisco boasts one of the most striking municipal buildings in the U.S. in which to proclaim, “I do.” Built in 1915, City Hall is a Beaux-Arts beauty with a grand staircase and ornate architecture, and was featured in classic films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio tied the knot here in 1954!
One bustling Friday afternoon, we met up with Jayla and Tyler, who had driven down from Davis to elope. As it turned out, one of Jayla and Tyler’s first trips together as a couple was to San Francisco on Earth Day seven years ago…and it was a total coincidence that they chose the same day on which to get married! Our bride dazzled in a cream-colored, 1940s-inspired dress, navy T-strap heels, and sparkly nails, while our groom rocked a gray suit with a paisley tie.
Jayla and Tyler had booked the last marriage appointment of the day so we had plenty of time to explore the nooks and crannies of the building. By the time it was their turn under the majestic rotunda, the droves of camera-toting tourists and other couples waiting to get married had thinned out considerably. One passerby stayed for their entire ceremony and even clapped as our couple shared their first kiss. We were touched by Tyler’s failed attempts to wipe away Jayla’s happy tears.
And then City Hall shut down completely to set up for a full wedding. Somehow we exited through doors that were not the main doors and a swift breeze almost swept away Jayla’s veil during their ceremonial kiss on the steps. We made our way back to the main plaza to commune with the giant, inflated bunnies of spring, which were as adorable as our newlyweds.
More windswept fun ensued at Lands End, a rocky shoreline at the northwestern edge of the city. The most surreal, perhaps, was when two musicians (one wielding a saw!) atop a bluff overlooking the ocean insisted on performing “As Time Goes By” for their impromptu first dance. What a way to kick off a marriage! Here’s a still and animated look at this memorable day.
Bride’s dress & shoes: ModCloth
Veil: David’s Bridal
Groom’s suit & tie: Alfani
Bride’s ring: DeBartolo & Co. (Vacaville, CA)
Flowers: Strelitzia Flower Company (Davis, CA)