Intimate San Francisco City Hall Elopement | Jacquelyn and Ethan

Ethan + Jacquelyn

Ethan and Jacquelyn met at the school they both taught at, joked and told people that they met in "middle school". Ethan asked Jacquelyn to go out for a hike, which she thought was strange. It was the middle of February in Minnesota and was 12 degrees out. Ethan had planned for a photographer to be at a certain spot on the trail, so once they reached it, Ethan proposed! Afterwards, they went to dinner. Ethan had Jacquelyn's sisters come in from Texas and Colorado to be at the restaurant with them! They spent the rest of the night celebrating with family!

The Theme

Ethan and Jacquelyn didn't have a theme beyond "Let's not make this stressful." They have a large family, so they saw their options as either elope by themselves, or have a large wedding at home. They decided to elope since they didn't feel up for planning a large wedding, and didn't want to spend that much.

Ethan and Jacquelyn started out looking for a fun place to visit that neither of them had been to before. They opted for California because the laws are simple for out-of-town couples. There's no waiting period between obtaining a marriage license and getting married and they only need one witness. San Francisco has such a beautiful City Hall building that it seemed an obvious choice. There are so many areas around San Francisco that are amazing to see!

Ethan is very into socks and shoes, and Jacquelyn is very into any shoes that are comfortable. They wore "grown-up" shoes for the ceremony. They then switched into sandals for Jacquelyn and sneakers for Ethan! He wore Chewbacca socks for the day since he said the Muir Woods looks like the Moon of Endor - which Kyle agreed!


Exploring The City

After their City Hall ceremony, we grabbed some breakfast and did some exploring around San Francisco. We visited the Palace of Fine Arts, and a few different vantage points to see the Golden Gate bridge. For our evening portraits, Jacquelyn opted to change from her tea-length ceremony dress into a long pink skirt. It's her wedding day, and she can wear what she wants!

When asked if there was anything that stood out to her about the day, Jacquelyn told us "I loved going to the Muir Woods to take photos. It's very humbling to be around those majestic trees, and it was so quiet and peaceful. We got so lucky in that there weren't many people there that day! When we went back the next day to sight-see some more and there were way more people. It felt like we had the whole forest to ourselves."

Jacquelyn and Ethan said about their wedding day, "Just make it about you. Focus more on the commitment you're making than of the spectacle of it. For us, that meant doing it alone and away from home. If you really want the big party, then have it. But if you don't, don't be afraid to do it your own way. People pretend there are a lot of rules about how weddings need to be, but there aren't. I cannot recommend eloping enough. We had a party back home in Minnesota afterwards for friends and family, and it wasn't stressful at all. The ceremony had been a month prior. I didn't spend that morning getting ready and walking down an aisle. I wasn't posing for photos and dealing with any of the hundreds of issues that can affect a wedding. So when we had the party, I actually got to hang out with the people I love and enjoy it. I wouldn't do it any other way."


Ceremony Venue // San Francisco City Hall

Reception Venue // Bald Man Brewing (back home in Minnesota, a month later)

Jacquelyn's Dresses // Nordstrom (city hall dress), Etsy (skirt), & BHLDN (top)

Florist // Bella & Trunk