Karen and Brandon’s Wedding at San Francisco City Hall
There is no more iconic, colorful and rich with history city on the West Coast of United States than San Francisco. Located at the entrance of a large bay on the Pacific Ocean, the city was found in March 28, 1776 by Juan Bautista de Anza. It became famous during the Gold Rush of 1849 when gold was discovered in California and thousands came to look for their golden opportunity to strike rich. Although the gold rush is long over now, people from all over the United States come to visit San Francisco each day. No wonder so many couples decide to make it their wedding destination too.
Karen and Brandon fell in love with San Francisco when they first visited the city and decided that that one day this will be their destination wedding location. Both traveled from Reno, Nevada to spend the weekend in the city and get married on Monday. Perfect plan for getting to know the city and also experience one of the most popular wedding location in the city: San Francisco City Hall.
Karen’s bridal preparation was in the historic St. Regis Westin Hotel on Union Square. Beautiful building with lots of history and character in the middle of the busy city center. Upon arrival early in the morning and after quickly photographing of the bridal details: dress, shoes, rings and purse, it was time for Karen’s bridal portraits. She looked so beautiful and excited. It was simply a pleasure to work with her.
Putting the dress was touching to document. Karen’s mom was so excited from the moment that her eyes were filled with tears. What a moment to capture! The day both have been waiting for was happening. I was so thrilled to capture the joy and excitement so they both can re-live it for years to come.
Brandon’s preparation few floors below was shorter and simpler but had equally interesting moments to document as well. Brandon’s dad was proud to see him getting ready and both shared moments of excitement.
The chartered limo took us through the busy streets of San Francisco, across the intersections filled with cars and pedestrians. So many lives crossing paths around us. I can see how on the back seat Brandon was mesmerized by the urban beauty and how his thoughts were taking him away. May be to the moment when he would see Karen arriving in her wedding dress at City Hall. We might never know what thoughts were crossing his mind at this moments but I captured how excited he looked and felt at that moment.
The civil ceremony as all ceremonies in the City Hall was short and punctual. As family members and friends gathered around them, Karen and Brandon held hand together and sealed their marriage with a long and passionate kiss. A moment they have been planned and prepared for months.
After the ceremony as planned during our pre-wedding consultation we had a full hour to explore the City Hall with Karen and Brandon. The couple wanted me to photograph them around City Hall so they can bring the memories of this magnificent location home with them. No matter where we stopped for bridal or couple’s portraits, the light and architectural elements were simply stunning.
After we spent close to an an hour photographing in City Hall, it was time to head down to the reception venue where the rest of the wedding party was waiting for us. In a busy tourist area of the city: Fisherman’s Wharf, we decided to capture a mix of urban images to show the city life and architecture but also to capture some portraits on the beach, near trees and texture rich backgrounds. A beautiful partly cloudy sky provided such soft and diffused light through the day. And the best of all: View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fisherman’s Wharf. No wedding photography is complete without the old red bridge spanning between San Francisco’s Marina District and Marin on the other shore of the bay.
And to finish the wedding day, both joined their families and friends at McKormick & Kuleto’s restaurant for an intimate lunch. Karen was proud to see her and Brandon’s name listed on the special wedding menu and what a more personalized and exciting way to end the wedding day. The table overlooking the San Francisco Bar and Golden Gate in the distance reminded me of the people who came over the years at this beautiful place, fell in love and decided to either settle down in it or come back over and over. It reminded me of the new beginning they all sought and the dreams for better life they brought and left in the city.
I hope Karen and Brandon keep the moments of their wedding day into their hearts as long as they hearts are beating and remember by looking at their wedding photos how they exactly felt for each other. Congratulations to the newlywed couple and wish them years full with joy and happiness.