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Cheery San Francisco Elopement

Editor’s Note: I’m pulling this jewel from the archives but its timeless appeal will never fade!

It takes a special couple to pull off a stylish wedding with just two weeks of planning – enter Amber and Aaron. After a year of instant connection and sparks flying, Aaron proposed. Two weeks later, the two exchanged vows in a most chic and unfussy manner. And when you have San Francisco’s City Hall as your backdrop, you’re wearing the cutest Kate Spade dress in history and you have two uber talented photogs in your back pocket, things are bound to turn out well.

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Says Amber and Aaron, “We met in San Francisco – which has one of the most beautiful City Hall buildings in the world – so that seemed like an obvious place to elope. Having things in the city also meant lots of easy photo ops and great restaurants for celebrating. 


We loved when our photographers surprised us with green balloons for our photo shoot before the ceremony, it just made the “Kate Spade” look come alive.

As for style, we wanted to keep things simple in such an ornate building, and be able to walk around in SF’s urban downtown after the ceremony. For Amber, Kate Spade’s Gimlet dress and matching cardigan felt courthouse appropriate but still feminine. A chunky pearl necklace from J. Crew and gold Nina pumps with bows also kept things fun. 

We needed some help to pull off a ceremony we loved in just two weeks. Amber’s sister-in-law Ellen (who lives in Chicago and has great taste) picked out the bouquet and boutonniere from Church Street Flowers (a favorite shop of Amber’s in San Francisco) and had them delivered to us the morning of the wedding. Ellen sent Amber some pictures of possible options from the florist, but in the end, Amber just deferred to Ellen’s pick & they were perfect — they were completely Amber’s style and it was an awesome way for our family to be a part of our day even though they couldn’t be there in person.

We didn’t have a huge party to worry about, so we able to relax and focus on the ceremony and the commitment we were making to each other. That was definitely the best part. We also had a four-hour lunch at Zuni Café after the ceremony (we didn’t even make a reservation, we just walked in & they were so excited that we just dropped in after getting married, guess that’s not exactly typical!). The lunch was just us and our photographers (Laura & Bill of eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY) & it was the perfect start to our married life.


Don’t agonize over decisions and trust your instincts. For us, it was about the marriage and not the wedding.  We wanted something special, but we wanted to keep it easy and not get lost in the stress of planning a wedding. We planned most of our wedding in an afternoon from the roof of Aaron’s apartment building, with a bottle of champagne in hand. We decided to have a small, relaxed, wine reception later that night at the Nook Café, a favorite lunch spot, so we just went for it and let the staff decide on the final menu and it worked out great. We didn’t fuss over the details. And one random logistical tip: We used an on-demand private car from Uber instead of battling the crazy SF taxi scene in our wedding gear or springing for a limo – super easy.”

If you’d like to see some more {+ different} shots from this wedding, visit Grey likes Weddings. And click here and here to see another San Francisco City Hall elopement I previously shared. 🙂

Credits: Photography: eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY / Bride’s Dress: Kate Spade – Gimlet Silk Sheath / Flowers: Church Street Flowers / Locations: San Francisco City Hall & Zuni Cafe


  1. Very very pretty! And I kept thinking these images are so familiar, and then I realized I just got an email from eLLe this weekend! Can’t wait to talk to her, I’ll be getting in my email first thing tomorrow, scout’s honor. great job!

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