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If you’ve been following my recaps of our ceremony venue search (Need a refresher? Click here, here, here, here and here.), you’re probably wondering what happened? Did we go with our first choice, the Berkeley City Club? Or did we, by some miracle, get the SF War Memorial’s Green Room?

Well, long story short, a dark horse was named the winner. DL and I are going to have ourselves a little city hall wedding in San Francisco.

[Photo: FriscoCali]

Wait…WHAT!?! When did this happen?

Well, the Green Room remains fully booked for all 2011 Saturdays in July & August. Meanwhile, we had a to-be-signed contract for the Berkeley City Club that we were reviewing. During that period, I read about some amazing city hall weddings that were circulating in wedding blogger/magazine land (see here, here, here and here). Let’s just say, the pictures and recaps made me feel a little jealous. I thought to myself: Gee golly gosh, wouldn’t it be great if I could have a simple and lovely city hall ceremony, especially if it was in San Francisco’s beautiful City Hall. Too bad I’m having such a big wedding…it’s probably too expensive to rent the place (My former client once held a gala at city hall. Although I never saw the contract or invoices, I’m pretty sure the rental fees alone was upwards of $10,000) and a small, immediate family only wedding probably won’t go over too well (I’ve seen this scenario before. Trust me, it’d get ugly.)

Little did I know, I wasn’t the only one looking into city hall. One night after dinner, we (as in me, DL and my mom) had an interesting little conversation about how much cheaper the ceremony venue would be if we were having a religious ceremony since most churches just require a small (less than $1000) donation for using their space. The discussion later shifted over to how small civil ceremonies at local city halls are equally as cheap. At some point, we looked up how much this would cost exactly. Lo and behold, we found out that the City of San Francisco offers a special City Hall wedding package (which was much more cost-effective than our other options) on weekend afternoons that could accommodate 200-plus guests. Alleluia! Not only would City Hall allow us to invite everyone we wanted to, the price was also right for us. It was perfect….but was it available?

The next day, we called up City Hall to see if our date was available and it was (woot! woot!). We proceeded to politely decline our hold on the Berkeley City Club and quickly put down a deposit on City Hall. So with a few split-second sudden changes, DL and I decided to tie the knot next year in a not-so-small but still-somewhat-intimate ceremony on the steps of City Hall.

It’ll probably look something like this:

[Photo: IQ Photo]

[Photo: Impact Sounds]

[Photo: A Practical Wedding]