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San Francisco City Hall Elopement on a $2K Budget

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We have a wonderfully sweet elopement for you today. It was just the two of them and they really felt that this magical day was all about them, with no stress, pressure, and hardly any budget. They got such beautiful photos to document their big day. You will love this San Francisco City Hall Elopement on a $2K Budget!
San Francisco City Hall Elopement on a $2K Budget

Jessica + John

San Francisco, California
- 01/18/2019
Total wedding budget $2,375

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Venue
  • Attire
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Flowers
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Total wedding budget

How did you meet?

John and I met at work. We had been coworkers and friends for many years before we began dating.

What is your proposal story?

John completely surprised me! He had our realtor send a “housewarming gift” to the house for us to open since we had just moved in a few weeks before that. I was certain it would be an engraved door knocker or a Christmas tree ornament so when we opened the larger outer box to see a tiny black jewelry box I was totally confused. When he finally realized I was stunned and was not going to reach in for the box he did. He picked it up, dropped to one knee and proposed. I was shocked!!

Tell us about your wedding vision.

We decided to elope one lazy Sunday morning sitting on our breezeway drinking coffee. We wanted something intimate and personal. We loved the classic feel of City Hall in San Francisco. The beautiful architecture drew us there. We were thrilled that we would also get to have photos taken on the beach with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge behind us.

Tell us about your attire choices.

Even though we were eloping we didn’t want to skimp on the wedding vibe. I chose a lovely tea-length dress with a great pair of shoes for a pop of color. John had a new suit made. We really wanted to fit the fun and classic style of the City Hall in San Francisco.

What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?

One of the most important things for us was to get great photos. Since we were eloping, just the two of us, the photos would be our family and friends’ only connection to our wedding day.

Also, while we knew we would be sharing the day with many other brides and grooms we wanted to have it feel as intimate and personal as possible.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

I loved the moments just before it was “our turn”. Standing just to the right of the rotunda holding hands and knowing that in a matter of minutes we would-be husband and wife. I loved how sweetly the judge spoke as we exchanged rings and vowed to always love one another and I can’t forget the smile on his face as he walked away. I loved the moment we burst out of the beautiful City Hall doors, me holding my flowers high with huge smiles on our faces.

While we were taking photos at the trolley cars this man came by with his own camera and snapped pictures of us. It was so funny. I wonder what he did with them?

I really loved spending time on Baker Beach. The view of the bridge and sound of the crashing waves. What an amazing way to end our photo session.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

My flowers were perfect! I love all blooms and was so thrilled with how they pulled together my vision.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

We chose a very simple cake from Whole Cakes and it was delicious. That morning John went for a run and grabbed the cake on his way back. We had intended to do photos with the cake but with Zoe’s guidance we re-prioritized our time with her to include the beach and ended up taking our own silly selfie with the cake in the hotel restaurant.

What did you do for favors?

No guests, no favors.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

If you are planning a SF City Hall wedding contact Zoe Larkin and read her guides on her website. She was the best resource! Since we were all the way across the country I relied heavily on her for vendor recommendations and she did not disappoint.