Best San Francisco Elopement Guide for 2023

Megan Goetz


July 19, 2023

How to Elope in San Francisco | San Francisco Elopement Photographer

San Francisco or “the bay area” is one of the most iconic cities in California. Known for its steep hills, unique architecture, city hall, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge, it’s a beautiful city to elope in. I might be a bit biased, but I truly believe that San Francisco is one of the best elopement locations in California. There are just so many amazing locations and so much to do/see that will make your elopement here unforgettable. As a San Francisco elopement photographer who has captured several elopements here, I wanted to share everything you need to know to help you plan your perfect elopement day! 

San Francisco elopement

All the Details About Eloping in San Francisco 

Why Elope in San Francisco?

San Francisco is a California elopement location that will undoubtedly make your big day that much more memorable. It has epic views of the ocean, the city, and the Golden Gate Bridge which makes taking your elopement photos that much more exciting. And the location of San Francisco makes it so easy to do an adventurous elopement in the Redwoods or at the beach and then head into the city in the evening for some drinks, food, and fun celebrating your new marriage. Whether you want a classy and modern city hall elopement or a more carefree and adventurous day, San Francisco truly has options for everyone. 

Best Time of Year to Elope in San Francisco 


Spring in San Francisco is a great time to plan your elopement. While the temperatures aren’t too warm and stay around the 60s, this is ideal weather for an adventurous hiking elopement. The crowds are pretty mild at this time of year so you won’t have to worry about higher prices. 


The weather in the summer here is not what you would expect. The weather is actually still pretty chilly and a LOT of fog rolls in. Summer in San Francisco is by far the busiest time of year for visitors so prices for everything increase. So in terms of affordability, the summer months aren’t the most ideal. But, if that doesn’t bother you, the summertime is beautiful and there are tons of events and festivals that you can attend. 


Fall is by far my absolute favorite time of year for elopements. The weather is super warm, it’s the least foggy time of year, and the crowds have died down. 


San Francisco during the winter months is quite cold and rainy. But, if that doesn’t bother you then it’s a great time of year to elope because there are hardly any tourist crowds which makes everything much more affordable.

Best Places for Your Elopement in San Francisco 

Eloping at San Francisco City Hall

The San Francisco City Hall is one of the most popular elopement locations in the city and for good reason. It is absolutely stunning with some of the most beautiful architecture that is perfect for an indoor elopement. It’s elegant, classy, and not at all what people think of when you say city hall lol. The location is quite popular nowadays so it’s important to look into booking it as soon as you know this is where you want to elope. 

Click here for more information on how to book your elopement at the San Francisco city hall. 

san francisco city hall elopement

Eloping at The Presidio

Another iconic location in San Francisco is of course the Golden Gate Bridge. To get the best views of the bridge, it’s best to visit The Presidio. Not only will you get stunning views of the bridge, coastline, and the San Francisco skyline, but there are also tons of hiking trails you can explore. 

san francisco elopement with view of the golden gate bridge

Eloping in Downtown San Francisco

If you’re wanting quintessential San Francisco city vibes, then a day spent wandering around the city and riding trollies is perfect. This city has some of the most beautiful photo op locations from the skylines, unique architecture, beaches, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. You can shop around Union Square, visit Chinatown, or even go into the Ghirardelli chocolate factory for some dessert. 

Eloping in Muir Woods/Muir Beach/Mount Tamalpais

About 45 minutes outside of San Francisco is the Redwood National Forest where you will find the Muir Woods and beach as well as Mount Tamalpais State Park. This is the perfect location if you’re hoping for a more adventurous elopement out in nature that is still close to the city. 

muir woods elopement

Eloping at Baker Beach

Baker Beach is a very popular location in San Francisco because it has some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. While this is a stunning location, it’s important to know that because it is such a small beach, it gets VERY crowded. So if you are wanting a more intimate elopement, opt for sunrise or a less busy time of year. 

Best Places to Stay in San Francisco

San Francisco has an endless amount of cool places to stay so it can be super hard to choose. So, here are a few different places for you to consider when visiting for your San Francisco elopement. 

Woodsy Silicon Valley Cottage – This Silicon Valley cottage is located in a more laid-back area surrounded by mature trees. This is perfect for the couple that wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy their stay in a more relaxing setting. This place is super unique because of the way it was built, it almost feels like a treehouse. 

Near Moscone Ctr, Privacy with Style the SoMa Loft – If you’re wanting to stay in a place within walking distance to tons of places like Union Square and the At&t park, then this is a great option. 

Private Cabana · Hot Tub · Mission Dolores Park – If you’re wanting a private and intimate stay with a hot tub, then this Private Cabana is perfect. It’s a super modern and clean cabana that still offers privacy in a big city. 

Style & Comfort-Private Suite near UCSF and GGPark – This one-of-a-kind private suite has its own private deck, kitchenette, and garden. It’s the perfect cozy place to wake up after your exciting elopement day. 

Live Oak Cove – This modern and chic studio in Pacifica is super bright and welcoming. It’s ideal for the couple that doesn’t want to stay in a busy area but would prefer a quiet residential community within walking distance of the beach. 

Legendary House in the Heart of Mill Valley – This is the perfect place to stay if you are doing an elopement in the Redwoods or you just want to stay out in nature. This historical bungalow was redesigned in the 70s and still holds the same charm today. The vintage details, spiral staircase, and unique architecture make this place truly one of a kind.  

Best Places to Eat in San Francisco

Okay so there are sooo many amazing places to eat at in San Francisco but to help make it a little easier for you to choose, here are some options:

Fun Activities to Do on Your Elopement Day in San Francisco 

San Francisco is full of so many fun activities that you can incorporate into your big day. Whether you’re an adventurous couple who loves outdoor activities or you prefer a more chilled and relaxed time, there is something for everyone! 

  • Take a sunset cruise across the Golden Gate Bride blasting your favorite music
  • See the city on a Trolly ride
  • Enjoy some drinks while you roof-top bar hop
  • Visit the Ferry Building Marketplace for SF’s largest farmer’s market
  • Stroll around Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Drive down the Iconic Lombard Street
  • Enjoy a relaxing picnic in front of The Painted Ladies
  • Grab some food in Chinatown
  • Venture out and enjoy a hike in the Redwoods
  • Visit San Francisco’s Botanical Gardens
  • Try one of the amazing breweries in SF
  • Take a food tour (there is seriously so much good food here)

Tips for your San Francisco Elopement

  1. Hire a local photographer: Hiring a photographer that knows the area well will help you so much. They can help you with the entire planning process from picking your location to the best local vendor recommendations. They know when and when not to go to certain areas which is super important in a busy city like San Francisco. 
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: Eloping in San francisco means that you are going to be walking a LOT and uphill. So I highly recommend that you bring or wear comfortable shoes.
  3. Plan ahead and consider traffic: San Francisco is a super busy city so it’s important to consider the times that you will be driving. Try and avoid rush hour if possible and better yet, plan your elopement during a time of year that is less busy. 
  4. Privacy is hard to come by: Because San Francisco is such a busy city, understand that getting privacy during your elopement will be difficult. If you’re wanting a more private ceremony, opt for a location outside of the city in nature. 

Meet Your San Francisco Elopement Photographer

Hi there, I’m Meg, your San Francisco Elopement Photographer!

I’ve always wanted to be a photographer and to be able to call this my full-time job is an absolute dream come true. Creating captivating, authentic images just sets my soul on fire and I have so much gratitude for this art. I love capturing moments. I’m the girl who takes my film camera everywhere I go because I just want to look back and remember what I was feeling at that moment. I love being able to look at a photo and travel back in time.

Being a photographer has allowed me to find the moments of beauty in everyday life and there is nothing I love more than allowing people to see themselves as a piece of art.

San Francisco Elopement Packages 

Whether it’s the San Francisco Courthouse or your favorite national park, this package is for you!

+ Coverage options starting at 2 hours through the full day

+ Planning that includes location scouting and curating a timeline

+ Online gallery with high-res downloads

+ 20 guests or less

+ print rights

+ Travel in California is included

+ International packages available

+ Online slide show & gallery

   to share with family and friends

Starting at $2550

San Francisco Elopement Vendors





San Francisco Elopement Inspiration



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