San Francisco City Hall

Maryellen and Diana
July 16, 2008

Maryellen and Diana are New Yorkers who have been together for 15 years. They had planned to be married in Big Sur, California on their 15th anniversary, but due to the CA wildfires they found themselves having to move their plans to San Francisco City Hall at the last minute. Irene Kane, a wonderful officiant who I had met at Stella and Phu's wedding last year, presided over their ceremony and was also the one who referred me to the couple in the first place (thanks Irene!). We both started and ended shooting in the couple's hotel room at the Four Seasons, which gave Maryellen and Diana a chance to have pictures taken in both their formal wedding attire and in comfortable regular clothes.

City Hall has 4 seperate areas where weddings are normally held on weekdays, the most popular of which is the Rotunda. I shot Neeraja and Mads wedding there last year. Maryellen and Diana however wanted something a bit more private, yet no less majestic, so Irene suggested the 2nd floor balcony facing the grand staircase. This area has some of the best light and views of the whole building, yet a cozier, more intimate feel than the Rotunda.

Maryellen and Diana wrote their own vows, of course, and they were beautiful. They took their time in saying them, and then re-exchanged the rings they had worn since their private ring exchange ceremony years ago.

After the ceremony we took pictures all over city hall, as well as in the plaza area out front, and then went to Golden Gate Park for more. I rarely get this much time alone with a couple on their wedding day, so the shoot had a relaxed, comfortable feel to it. We ended up back at the hotel where I had some lunch while the couple changed back into street clothes, and then did a few more images of them snuggling in the room with the city view out the window behind them. There is something about a couple that has been together that long...they just fit together, like they were made for each other.

Normally I might wish Maryellen and Diana all the happiness in the world; but they've already had that, and for more than 15 years. So instead I think I'll just wish that their next 50 years together is even more wonderful than the last 15 have been.

It was very sweet the way Diana was always looking after Maryellen.
I got to sign as witness on the marriage certificate!
Slideshow here.
Full set of images will be here.

1 comment:

Jessamyn Harris said...

beautiful! my favorites are the last and third to last shot - the latter of which blows me away for its unique perspective (I've been shooting in the same area from the other side, but this never even occurred to me). Great work Lauren!