The San Francisco City Hall Same Sex Marriage of Louise and Lauren
Couples often ask me: “What’s like to do wedding photography at San Francisco City Hall so frequently?” Here’s my honest answer. Every time I walk through the doors of City Hall, I shed all expectations, all preconceived notions. I begin with a clean slate. I know that while the building is technically always the same, there are always new variables to consider. The light changes depending on the weather, and time of day. The building can be crowded and hectic, or quite empty and still. My couples all bring their own unique sense of style, their own entourage (or lack thereof).
The San Francisco City Hall same sex marriage of Louise and Lauren was a beautiful experience. There was a lot of hard work to make a San Francisco City Hall same sex marriage a reality, and it feels especially meaningful to write this post with the recent passing of Edith Windsor.
Preparations at the Intercontinental Hotel
I arrived at the Intercontinental Hotel very early in the morning, to capture the finishing touches of the girls getting ready. Their most intimate people were in the suite, and it was fun to observe the anxious pre-wedding energy. Even though their San Francisco City Hall same sex marriage was only a couple of hours away, Louise was still in planning and delegating mode. As I observed the preparations, I got a chance to meet the brides’ mothers. I also met Louise’s sister, Helen, who would be officiating the wedding ceremony on the Mayor’s Balcony.
Arriving Early for Creative Photographs
The brides and I arrived to City Hall early, so that we could get some photographs before the building became crowded. We had a chance to go through the various floors and accomplish several creative shots. I know San Francisco City Hall very well, and so I was able to navigate the brides quickly through the building. There was a magical moment: Louise and Lauren walked down the grand staircase of City Hall together. Their long, white wedding gowns contrasted with the dark brown marble steps. It appeared for a moment as if they were literally floating down the stairs together.
Mayor’s Balcony Wedding Ceremony
Louise and Lauren’s San Francisco City Hall same sex marriage was even more special because Louise’s sister, Helen, was the wedding officiant. It was very meaningful for the girls to have such a close family member and dear friend at the helm. The brides walked in from opposite sides, escorted by their parents. They read very emotional vows to one another, and addressed the guests. After the first kiss, and the conclusion of the ceremony, I organized some large group photographs on the Mayor’s Balcony. We then moved on to a spot with great window light to take more group shots.
Wedding Reception at The Laundry
There was an amazing story behind the brides’ wedding reception spot. Several months before their wedding, the first reception venue they had chosen fell through. Undeterred, Louise and Lauren found another spot for their party. Just TWO days before their wedding, that backup location fell through as well. I couldn’t believe it when they told me. Many couples would be massively (and understandably) upset over such a turn of events. However, Louise and Lauren coolly arranged for another spot. It turned out to be lovely: The Laundry SF.
There was a great mingling space upstairs where the girls were received by their guests. Then, a dining area was beautifully prepared down below. It was warm, cozy, and inviting. In other words, the perfect setting for all the kind words, hugs, and cheers. Louise and Lauren handmade much of the decor, including the escort cards, signs, and gift bags. Blue was a key color in the wedding decor, and as it happened, just outside The Laundry was a lovely blue wall. And we all know how much I love colorful walls. Louise, Lauren and I snuck out for a few minutes to get some colorful shots. Enjoy their photographs!