If you’re considering an NYC City Hall elopement, you are not alone! Plenty of other couples have chosen to opt for a City Hall wedding in New York. We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to get married at City Hall in NYC. As experienced City Hall wedding photographers in New York, we’re ready to be your guide.
You can get married at City Hall in New York City. There are many reasons why couples choose to have a New York City Hall wedding. Some couples want to elope and keep their marriage celebration private. Other couples want to get married ahead of their wedding for personal reasons.
Whatever the case may be, you can certainly have an NYC city hall wedding. Some couples even elope at City Hall in New York first, then save up for a big wedding celebration down the line. People travel from afar to elope in New York City and make beautiful memories. Let’s explore more about how to get married at City Hall in NYC.
The process is fairly streamlined at the Manhattan City Hall. These marriage ceremonies are relatively quick and easy for eloping couples. City Hall events are fairly low-key, so you have a lot of room to be creative. If you’re considering an NYC City Hall elopement but don’t know how it works, read on for a step-by-step guide.
We’ve outlined what happens at a City Hall wedding in New York City below:
The NYC marriage bureau is located at 141 Worth Street in Manhattan. There are nearby trains including the J, Z stops at Canal St or Chambers St, or the 4, 5, 6 at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station. You can also get to your New York City Hall wedding via the N, Q, R, W line at Canal St station or the A, C lines at Chambers St station.
The Office of the City Clerk in Manhattan is open from 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM, Monday through Friday. Marriage ceremonies are held during these hours. You cannot make appointments in advance and you must arrive at the same time. Couples cannot have one party arrive and wait, then the other show up.
If you’re having friends and family show up to your NYC courthouse wedding, make sure they show up at the same time as you! You’ll want them to come in with you as a party.
One big question for couples is whether you can get married on a Saturday at New York City Hall. The Marriage Bureau is only open from Monday to Friday, so you cannot get married on the weekend at New York City Hall. If you want to elope on the weekend in NYC, consider eloping in a private ceremony elsewhere.
You only need one witness to get married at New York City Hall. If you are planning a New York City Hall wedding, make sure that your witness arrives at the same time as you. You cannot get a number to wait without a witness. This is important to remember in case your witness is running late.
It will usually take about 2 to 3 hours tops to get married at City Hall in New York. If you want your NYC City Hall wedding to be faster, show up earlier and on an off-day. For example, many couples want to get married on specific dates (like 02/20/2020 for example) and those dates are going to be very busy.
The wait time does vary based on time of day, day of the week. Friday afternoons are likely to be busier than Tuesday mornings, for example. If you can take some time off work on a weekday morning, go for a mid-week wedding.
To get married legally in NYC you must get a marriage license from the City Clerk. The fee for a marriage license is $35, which you can pay via credit card or money order. After you get the marriage license, it’s time to plan your New York City Hall wedding!
After obtaining your marriage license in New York, you have to wait for 24 hours. Same-day marriage in NYC is not possible. You may get a Judicial Waiver in special circumstances for this waiting period, but otherwise you must wait exactly 24 hours. If you get your marriage license at 10:05 AM, you must wait until at least 10:05 AM the following day to get married.
You can apply for a marriage license online to speed up the process, which then has to be completed in person at the Office of the City Clerk. Both you and your fiancé have to show up in person to complete the process. You’ll need to bring at least one form of proper identification and be able to show proof of age.
Your marriage license in New York will be valid for 60 days, and can be used anywhere in New York State. You can’t get a marriage license in NY and use it in a different state. If your time runs out, you must obtain a new marriage license from the Office of the City Clerk.
To get married at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau in New York is $25. You can pay this via credit card or money order. All other costs for the wedding will be up to you! It depends on what you want to wear, if you want flowers, if you want a New York City Hall wedding photographer and so on.
You don’t need a bouquet for a courthouse wedding. That being said, having a bouquet at your New York City Hall wedding can make it feel like more of a “wedding”. You can pick out a bouquet yourself, or some florists even do City Hall bouquets. There are also usually vendors who sell floral bouquets right outside the Marriage Bureau, in case you make a last-minute decision.
You don’t need rings to get married in an NYC courthouse. They will offer to let you exchange rings, but you don’t have to have them. Not all couples choose to wear rings. Some couples don’t have their rings ready for their City Hall wedding, but will have them for their bigger wedding down the road.
Having a City Hall wedding photographer in New York is a fantastic idea. Capturing your intimate wedding in New York can make for lifelong memories. Consider having a photographer for your City Hall NYC wedding to remember that wonderful day you eloped with your spouse.
Your New York City Hall wedding photographer should follow you throughout the whole process. They will show up with you at the courthouse, and sometimes they will even act as your witness! While you wait for your number to be called, you can take photos with your photographer. After you’re officially married, you’ll then have time to take some beautiful elopement photos in New York City.
Some couples may have a small “reception” later on with friends and family. Your NYC City Hall wedding photographer can also show up to this occasion to document the happy memories. For these intimate wedding parties, having a brunch or lunch reception afterward is a lot of fun! Your family and friends will be so happy to celebrate with you.
For your NYC City Hall wedding, there are plenty of places to take photos after. Right outside the courthouse is a great place to start! Documenting where you two tie the knot is important to your story. The Manhattan Marriage Bureau is located right near the Brooklyn Bridge, which is a perfect opportunity for some iconic New York elopement photos.
City Hall Park can also make for some beautiful photos. If you’d like photos on a grand staircase, there are several within blocks of the marriage bureau. You can also opt to go to a location like Central Park, Dumbo, or the Flatiron District.
Working with experienced New York City Hall elopement photographers allows you the best possible experience for your photos. Though City Hall weddings are a smaller occasion than a typical wedding, the memories are just as wonderful. Your photographers should be able to direct you for some beautiful NYC courthouse wedding photos.
The cost of NYC Courthouse wedding photography varies depending on the needs of the day. Reach out to your photographers to ask about what their options are. Typically, they will have packages for courthouse elopements that will suit your needs. Some couples don’t need extensive portraits taken after their NYC civil ceremony, while others want to make a day of it!