{Secret!} Low-Key + Vintage Elopement at San Fran's City Hall

Sep 26, 2012

There are too many reasons to list why I love this elopement but I'll go ahead and name a few. SF's City Hall! What's not to love? {If you need extra help with that question, just reference this post or this one or this one. :) It also doesn't hurt that one of my favorite photographers, Laura Monfredini, shot this lovely elopement. And last but not least {although not really last because I could certainly go on} is the darling couple, Rob and Dawne - I just adore their vintage-y outfits {doesn't Dawne look like an actress straight out of the late 1950s?! And isn't her black cardi the cutest?} and I almost feel like I know them from the photos. You know how some weddings the bride tends to look unrecognizable because she's melting beneath an absurd amount of make-up? Rob and Dawne look so beautifully real and so, so, so happy ... it makes me happy! Enjoy!

Says photographer, Laura, "This couple, Rob & Dawne, live in Albuquerque and have been together for 10 years. They decided it was time to get married and planned a secret elopement to San Francisco's City Hall to coincide with a vacation they were planning to take here. They kept everything low key and simple -- they made their own bouquets and boutonnieres out of baby's breath flowers. Dawne wore the cutest short lace dress by Pim & Larkin that she found on Piperlime with her own accessories. Afterward, Rob (a graphic designer) put together a slide show to send to their friends and family to announce their marriage (so cute, apparently a lot of people thought they were already married!)"

Says the cute-as-pie couple, Rob and Dawne, "Quiet, quick civil ceremonies are actually big business at San Francisco’s City Hall. As we waited in line, twice, according to their system, with couples on both sides, we thought our photographer was joking when she advised to save our 'Please take a number' number. As we think back on the day, the bureaucratic processes are really quite charming. And, unlike the DMV, everyone was always smiling. 

Literally surrounded by other couples in love and caught up in the architectural beauty of this grand hall, when it was our turn, we were led to the rotunda by the most wonderful civil servant - we like to call her Judge Mary. Her entire day, all week, as Deputy Marriage Commissioner, exists of this routine, and there’s a comfort in her familiarity. 

The entire ceremony took less than 5 minutes, including extra time for Judge Mary to gently admonish Dawne who misspoke her contractual vows the first time. As Rob was thanking her afterwards, she looked at us and said her standard closing greeting: 'Have a nice day. And, have a nice life.'

The park outside of City Hall was filling with people on their lunch breaks, vendors, and other tourists. We were greeted by repeated congratulations and a small cheer when we left City Hall. It is often said that it’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. We couldn’t agree more. And, yet, there is no more fitting memory for that day than the image of couples waiting for their number to be called and realizing when we were up, we were ready."

Thanks so much to Laura for submitting this gorgeous elopement!
Would you consider eloping to SF's iconic City Hall?

Photography: eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY.


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