Our San Francisco City Hall Wedding

. . .  . .I just thought I’d share a few more photos from our wedding day and tell a little more of that story.  I absolutely love weddings, and through wedding photography, I’ve been lucky enough to get to go to all kinds of beautiful parties and events.  When it came time to get married myself, I always wanted to do something really intimate, and luckily Mark felt the same way.

We live in San Francisco and decided that City Hall was the perfect place to go.  Couples from all over the world come here to get married and it’s in our backyard.  I’ve also loved each and every City Hall wedding I’ve shot over the years.  Their process is simple – you sign up for your date online and you’re good to go.  The building itself is gorgeous and weatherproof (even on a rainy day, the interior is well lit and you can take beautiful photographs) and the civil ceremony there is actually quite romantic.  {Text below in case you’re curious – I couldn’t find it online ahead of time.}  It suited us perfectly. The ceremony was intimate and just about the two of us – we even did the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass after (we asked forgiveness not permission) in keeping with Mark’s background.  After City Hall we went to Quince for a long dinner.  I wore a pretty dress by Amy Kuschel and had my hair and makeup done.  Mark got a new suit.  In short, we made the day really special by doing the things we cared about.

We had one of Mark’s dear friends, Cheshire Issacs, who also happens to be a professional photographer takes photos for us, and our witnesses snapped a few shots too.  I’m so glad we didn’t “ban” them from doing so as I see suggested in so many places these days.  I love the professional shots, but I also love the “snapshot” feeling of the pictures they took and I’m so glad to have them too.  Anna at Loop Flowers did my bouquet and she made boutonnieres for our witnesses, and Shauna of Fox and Doll did my hair and makeup.

xx {L}

If you’re looking for it, here’s the text of the civil ceremony vows at San Francisco City Hall:

We gather in the presence of these witnesses for the purpose of uniting in marriage __ and ___.  The contract of marriage is most solemn and is not to be entered into lightly, but thoughtfully and seriously with a deep realization of its obligations and responsibilities.  Please remember that love, loyalty, and understanding are the foundations of a happy and enduring home.  No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important than those you are about to pledge.  Please face each other and join hands.

Do you ___ take ___ to be your lawful wedded wife/husband (spouse/spouse)? Do you promise to love her/him and keep her/him in sickness and in heath, for richer and for poorer, for better or for worse and be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live? [REPEAT]

Place the ring on her/his left finger and repeat after me, “I give you this ring, in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love.  With this ring, I thee wed.” [REPEAT]

Now that you have joined yourselves in matrimony, may you strive all your lives to meet this commitment with the same love and devotion that you now possess.

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife [or Spouses for Life].


Lets talk about wedding portraits…

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHYSome true facts for you today on this here blog.  Did you know that couples portraits from their wedding day are the number one most popular photos that people order in prints after their weddings?  They’re followed in close second by group family photos, and third by ceremony photos (and then, it’s usually the walking down the aisle shot).  Another fun fact – portraits are my very most favorite thing to photograph at a wedding (& generally – it’s why I specialize in them).  But I love wedding portraits so much that I decided to start offering portrait-only wedding packages.  Personally, this is all I would want to memorialize my wedding day (shockingly, I’m a little camera shy and as much as we stay in the background, I wouldn’t be able to forget that a photographer was there and I personally think it spoils a little bit of the mood) and I don’t think many people offer this as an option.  While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with all day coverage, sometimes you don’t need it or want it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want someone to take beautiful photos for you.  So I thought I’d make that service available.  I’m happy to tell you more about it if you’d like to get in touch.
xx -L



Sometimes I can be a bit slow.  I’m finally updating my actual website (I’ve spent far more time on this blog in the last few years and the portfolio has gotten neglected).  In the (slow) process of doing that, I realized that I don’t really feature a lot of what I do at events and weddings, and that is take candid shots.  Secretly (or not so secret since I’m telling all of you), they’re some of my favorite photos to take.  I love watching people and catching that moment when the smile is right, the expression is natural, and the moment is pretty.  Here’s a few favorites from a wedding reception I did last fall.  I’m going to dig into the archives and hopefully bring you a few more posts along these lines.

Style Me Pretty – California Feature!


You guys, I am so excited – we’ve got a feature up on Style Me Pretty – California today!!  You simply must go over there to check it out.  It’s the coolest wedding – the couple is from Australia and they planned to elope in San Francisco in complete secrecy — the two of them (and me, and the lovely Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll who did her hair) were the only people who knew their plan.  It was so awesome to be a part of that.  On top of it all, they were absolutely lovely people.  And quite relaxed too – during our photo session after the ceremony, Kate put her bouquet down for a few moments so we could shoot some pics without it, and someone walked by and swiped it!  None of us saw it happen (they were walking away from the camera and I was focused on them), but a good samaritan saw the whole thing go down, so I played action hero and chased it down and recovered it (don’t let it be said that we are not a full service boutique!).  It was crazy and I was so worried, but Adam and Kate were just completely relaxed and it seemed to barely be anything other than a funny story to them.  Anyway, go check out the feature – it’s one of my favorites and I’ll have some more pics on here at some point soon.