So, you’re thinking about eloping in New York City – how exciting! Let’s start thinking through the logistics of planning your intimate wedding. As experienced NYC wedding photographers, we love capturing intimate occasions throughout the city. Let’s take a peek at the most important costs for planning an elopement.
Eloping has a ton of benefits. As opposed to a larger wedding, elopements are an intimate occasion specifically designed for the two of you as a couple. Sure, your large wedding can be personalized in tons of beautiful ways, but many couples barely even see each other on their large wedding day! Let’s go through the benefits of eloping versus having a big wedding.
We love seeing the laughs and inside jokes shared between couples on their New York City elopements. Having an elopement is a super special day where it’s just the two of you, an officiant, and your photographers. It keeps the two of you spending lots of time together and can make for a great way to celebrate your love story.
When it comes to weddings in New York City, they can come with a lot of pressure. You may already have a lot of stressors between your job and life in this busy city – why not make your wedding a more low-stress event? Use your NYC elopement to be a stress-free and low-key celebration of your love.
Honestly, weddings can really add up when it comes to expenses. But the cost of an elopement in New York City can be as involved and lavish, or simple and sweet, as you make it. You can save a ton of money by eloping in NYC as opposed to hosting an extravagant event.
You might be wondering… with such a small occasion, are there specific vendors that need to be hired? The answer is yes – but which ones you choose are totally up to you. There are some non-negotiables for an elopement (like having an officiant!) but other vendors are optional. Let’s go through the top NYC vendors to hire for an elopement.
Eloping is such an intimate process, and having documentation of those moments can be so beautiful. Hiring a Brooklyn elopement photographer will allow you to document a super special day in your lives and be able to share the moment in a broader sense. Your family and friends may feel a little left out of the occasion, so having photos to show for it can help them feel involved.
Manhattan and Brooklyn elopement photography can range anywhere from $600 to $2500. It completely depends on the day ahead of you: will you be getting ready, having a first look, having a ceremony and getting portraits? Or will the day be more like… a ceremony, a few photos, and a few drinks? Think through your timeline before you talk to a photographer so you can work on a New York elopement photography package together.
One major question from couples: should you get videography for an elopement? There are definitely some major benefits to hiring a videographer for your intimate wedding. That’s why we work as a photography and videography team, should our couples be interested in video coverage. Let’s talk about elopement videography options in New York City.
You may not want a camera rolling on you for the entire day – just the fun parts! That’s why we offer highlight reel style coverage for your elopement videography in NYC. Instead of a constantly rolling videography team, you’ll have just the best snippets of the day put together in a video format.
For the friends and family who wish they could be there but can’t be, having your elopement filmed can be super beneficial. We’ll put little mics on you both (don’t worry, they won’t show!) and record the ceremony audio and video. This will give those who couldn’t attend a crystal clear view of the wedding happening.
Some couples really want to have certain guests there that may not be able to make it. That’s where livestreaming comes in handy! We have tons of recommendations when it comes to elopment livestreaming in NYC that are low-cost and highly effective.
When it comes to eloping, having an officiant is non-negotiable. You literally need someone there to make sure that you’re getting married legally and properly! But how do couples find an officiant for their big day? Well, just ask – we’ve got tons of recommendations for some of our favorite NYC elopement officiants. Some couples also choose to have a family member or friend be their legal officiant, which is always a fun and intimate experience!
Pre-COVID, you would have to go to the City Clerk’s office in person to get your marriage license. However, things have changed and the process is a little bit like getting concert tickets these days.
You must obtain your marriage license at minimum 24 hours before getting married. Especially if your wedding is on the weekend, you’ll want to get this at least a few days in advance. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
The fee for a marriage license in New York is about $35, which can be paid via credit card. The license is valid for 60 days anywhere in New York State – perfect for couples who are eloping in the city or in upstate NY.
Elopement officiants in New York City can cost anywhere from $150 and upward. Many of them will also make sure you’re obtaining your marriage license properly and help you plan out the intimate wedding ceremony. Check with your officiant to see if they’ve done a wedding in the spot you’re eloping before – they usually have great tips and tricks for eloping in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond.
Most states require two witnesses who are physically present to sign the license. That being said, New York is not one of those states! If you don’t plan to bring a friend or family member to be your witness, we’re always happy to sign as witness. As NYC elopement photographers we’ve been witness to lots of elopements in the city.
Another vendor to consider for your elopements is a hair and makeup artist. They can make sure you look and feel your best before you run around the city taking your elopement photos. Not all couples choose to go the route of hiring a HMUA, but they do make a big difference. Check with your makeup artist on if they have specific rates for eloping couples in NYC.
Having a hair and makeup artist for your elopement is definitely an extra cost. That being said, the extra cost may be worth it to certain couples. If you don’t want to have to worry about doing your own glam and want to treat yourself for this small event, then go for it! Elopement makeup and hair in New York City has a ton of prices ranges, anywhere from $350-$1000+.
Another additional elopement cost would be having wedding florals. No, you don’t necessarily need them but it might feel great to have them. Florist rates for elopements in NYC range greatly, so check in with floral designer on their City Hall wedding bouquets and elopement options.
What kind of florals do you need for an elopement? That depends on what you’re looking for, but the most popular options would be personal florals. This could include elopement bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, floral crowns, and corsages. Any of these floral adornments can add an extra touch of joy to your intimate occasion.
Trying to add some fanciness to your New York elopement ceremony? Add some floral design elements for an extra touch of joy. From a ceremony arch to some flower petals, there are tons of options when it comes to florals. Just make sure if you’re doing an installation that it’s somewhere that allows for it, like Prospect Park.
New York City is one of the best places to get married. From iconic locations to grand venues, you have a ton of options when it comes to getting married. The best part? You don’t necessarily need to elope in a venue at all. Sure, having an elopement venue in NYC is great in case of inclement weather, but it’s not always necessary.
If you get married in a public space in NYC, you can save a lot of money. There are many locations in the city where you can tie the knot for free. From Brooklyn’s gorgeous Prospect Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ve got iconic, scenic spaces in which to say your vows. However, some locations do require a permit ahead of time for the marriage.
Not sure whether or not your dream space needs a permit to get married? Do a quick Google search to see what may be the case. Spaces like the Conservatory Garden in Central Park are stunning, which is exactly why a permit is necessary. There are plenty of couples trying to get married in these sought-after public spaces, so having a permit ensures your elopement will go as smoothly as possible.
If you’re thinking about booking a venue for your elopement day, that’s awesome! Having an NYC elopement venue can save a lot of frustration when it comes to weather and logistical issues. Look for spaces in New York that are small enough for your celebration that are meaningful to you both. Is there a rooftop bar you frequent that might make a good spot? Check if they’ll take your ceremony! Be open to the idea of weekdays as well – you’ll get better rates and have more open availability from NYC elopement venues.
Presently, City Hall in NYC is closed for weddings. You can get married online via Project Cupid. In the post-COVID world, we’re not sure if City Hall weddings will start up again in New York City because of the efficiency of the online system. For now, we’re all playing it by ear to see if you can get married at City Hall in Manhattan.
Another elopement cost in NYC would be choosing what to wear. You can definitely pull something out of your closet for the lowest possible budget elopement. There are also tons of affordable ways to save money on a suit or dress for your small wedding ceremony. Let’s go through a few ways to have an affordable elopement ceremony look.
Check sample sales at suit stores and bridal boutiques for potential elopement outfits. Plenty of wedding shops hold these sales on a regular basis. Keep following your favorite shops on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to watch for updates on sales and new arrivals.
Trying to keep things eco-friendly and budget-friendly? Check out your local NYC thrift store for elopement dress and suit options. Many thrift stores have great options for dresses that are a fraction of the cost of buying a dress off-the-rack.
Consider making your “something borrowed” your wedding dress or suit. You may have a close friend or family member who could lend you an outfit from their wedding day – or even just a nice outfit they have that you like. Shop your loved ones’ closets for your potential wedding attire in New York City.
Some couples choose to have a reception post-elopement. Although the intimate wedding ceremony in NYC is strictly for them, they may invite family and friends out for a reception afterward. It’s a great compromise to have loved ones involved in the process, but still keep the ceremony an intimate moment for just you two.
That being said, having a reception after an elopement is an additional cost. This expense can vary greatly depending on whether you’re booking a venue, buying out a restaurant, or keeping it simple. Let’s go through some options for a post-elopement reception in New York
Depending on the size of your guest list, you can do a room booking or buyout of a restaurant. It’s a great way to celebrate and have catering and drinks taken care of, so all you have to worry about is having fun. This can be a bit costly depending on day of the week, time of year, size of your party, and your plans. Consult with different restaurants and bars that you two love to see what their wedding reception options are.
This is a fun option for couples who are super into DIY! Host your wedding reception at a Peerspace rented location. You’ll have to take care of catering and planning on your own, so if you want to be super involved, this is a great way to host your reception. Be sure to adhere to the rental rules and guest count limits.
Have some fun with family and friends and host a picnic reception. This doesn’t require booking a venue, just setting up in a park and having fun! You can make it a BYOF/BYOB event and let your guests take care of themselves. It’s a great option for relaxed NYC elopement couples who just want to see their loved ones after they tie the knot.
Don’t feel like including friends or family? Then don’t! Celebrate with an intimate dinner – just the two of you. Some couples go all out with a fancy-schmancy restaurant booking, while others will head over to Shake Shack to celebrate their matrimony. Whatever your style is, we totally support you.
If you’re thinking of something a little larger-scale, consider hosting a micro-wedding in NYC instead of an elopement. This is a great option for couples who want to involve more family and friends, and really host a party for their special day. But wait… what’s the difference between that and an elopement, then?!
We’re so glad you asked! A micro-wedding can consist of guest counts up to 50 people. Whether you’re having an intimate celebration with 25 guests at a restaurant or 50 people for a full day on a rooftop, that’s what’s considered a micro-wedding. An elopement, on the other hand, is an intimate celebration with just the two of you (plus a witness!) to tie the knot.
We’ve teamed up with the amazing wedding planners at Modern Rebel to put together an all-inclusive micro-wedding package in NYC. All you have to worry about is getting dressed up and feeling amazing for your big day. The package takes care of coordination, photography, officiant, and florals all in one concise package. We also have trusted vendors to recommend for makeup, wedding cakes, catering, and more – learn more about our micro-wedding packages.
So, how much does an elopement cost in NYC? Let’s break down the approximate costs of an elopement.
As you can see, the costs vary greatly depending on what you plan to do with your day. The average cost of an elopement in New York City can be anywhere from $750 to $8000 depending on what goes into it. Start reaching out to elopement vendors throughout the city to see what works best for you two as a couple.
When figuring out how much it costs to elope in NYC, getting quotes from potential vendors will help you understand your options. As New York elopement photographers, we want to make your day as seamless and beautiful as possible. Reach out to us with your ideas – we’d love to know what you’re thinking! We’ll also recommend trusted vendors to help you figure out how much it costs to elope in New York.