Cheerful Elopement at San Francisco City Hall | L & L

It’s a little funny to think how far we’ve come since I was first introduced to the Lauras (by Tif, whose elopement I also photographed and you can see here). There are so many things I love about this duo, but first, some context:

When I first saw Tif’s email introduction, I was at another wedding, so I sent a quick response that I’d get back to the couple the next morning. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized that both partners’ names were the same, and they even had the same last initial. I love that they embraced the power of the dual name with The Lauras.

(PS: I so wish that during wedding planning, Ben and I had considered getting a shared couple email to manage the influx of vendor emails and stay organized.)

These two were planning a larger ceremony with friends and family in the Caribbean later but wanted to go ahead and have a small ceremony surrounded by their parents to make it all official.

I’ve found that even if a decision to get married at City Hall starts for logistical reasons, there are so many other things that fall into place that end up making the day feel meaningful and sentimental:

One of Laura’s old friends surprised her by flying into San Francisco all the way from Australia so that she could be present. The day of, both Lauras wore the most cheerful red shoes which I think only matches the lightness they carry with them. Their officiant was so kind and uplifting and validating of everything that had brought them there together. Another bride who got married earlier in the morning passed down her lovely bouquet to my couple- a gesture that really sums up what it feels like to be in the shared positive energy of so many other couples getting married at City Hall.

Without fail though, my favorite part of this day was at the very end – after the civil ceremony, after portraits and family portraits, and right before we parted ways. The most obvious part of my role is to give you tangible proof that these memories happened, but sometimes I find small pockets in the day where I am able to step in just enough to give you a chance to savor the moment as it’s happening, too.

Under the trees outside of the building and next to the busy Polk Street, I pulled the Lauras aside so they could quietly share a moment together and take in the day before rejoining their families to celebrate. I can’t remember what I asked them, and I never heard what they said to each other, because it’s truly not mine to know. But the tears and embrace that followed is a reminder that my work is people-centered.

A few weeks ago, they left me with some words that had our experience feeling so fresh and made me feel so affirmed in prioritizing getting to know my couples.

We really love how genuine Sonum is and how excited she was for us leading up and day of – it felt so welcoming and inviting and felt like we could be ourselves.”

I say it a lot, but once you have me, you have me for life. I couldn’t ask for better couples as company.

Sun coming over treeline during outdoor summer reception near Shasta
A landscape view of San Francisco City Hall on a sunny morning


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